Wed
Apr 10 2013 10:45am
John Scalzi’s The Human Division Has Been Renewed for a Second Season

The Human Division renewed season two

Now that we’ve come to the end of the 13 episode serialization of John Scalzi’s The Human Division, it can be told: A second season has been commissioned!

Author John Scalzi broke the news this past Tuesday, revealing that the story of the Old Man’s War universe will continue for at least one more season. The story, still in its very early stages, will be collected in a novel in a manner similar to The Human Division, which will hit shelves on May 14th, containing two extra stories set in the Old Man’s War universe.

No word yet on how precisely the episodes and chapters will be handled, but Tor Books senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden had this to say: “The serialization of The Human Division was very successful for us, and we're looking forward to learning from our experience and making it even more fun for everyone the next time we do this.”

From Scalzis’ blog:

“...yes, there will be another novel that continues to explore the current events in the Old Man’s War universe. I’d been hoping for a while that I would be able to make this announcement; The Human Division and its episodes so far have been a success, and it’s been clear for some time that people would want to see more along this particular storyline. But we literally only agreed to another novel in the last couple of days (contract negotiations, folks — they’re crazy), so this is just about the earliest I could tell you about it. 

So for those who hoped for/needed/were about to angrily demand more in order to find out what happens next, you’re going to get your wish. And, you know, I get my wish, too. I mean, you guys aren’t the only ones who want to find out where everything goes from here.

I can’t give you any more details at the moment because I haven’t written anything else in the universe yet (see earlier point about contract negotiations), and among other things we’re going to look at all the data from the serial run of the episodes and see what it all means for how we present the next novel. I will say that I have started thinking about particular story ideas and elements. And that I have plans. Oh my, yes.”

Rejoice! If you’ve been keeping up with the weekly episodes of The Human Division, or are just starting, check out Ron Hogan’s read-along, which features commentary from John Scalzi and editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

18 comments
Capsilon
1. Capsilon
Yay, just what I wanted. My books to become more like a TV show. And surely it will just be a 3-4 month downtime until the next season right?

Hopefully the "second season" will also have as unsatisfying a conclusion, then maybe we'll get a third season and a fourth and a fifth, and then a cancellation 1/2 into the sixth, leaving nothing resolved and my ebook shelf full of fucking 300 "episodes" that take 5 minutes each to read and have the content of and move at the pace of a 15 second radio spot for car insurance.

I'm salty because I love the Old Man War Universe but Scalzi really needs to take a cue from Alastair Reynolds or Iain M. Banks on how to handle a universe of novels and short stories.
Capsilon
2. GMark
I hope I misunderstand this. I was ok paying a premium price to get the weekly chapters, and I enjoyed the episodic feel. I expected the collected book would cost less than $12.87. BUT! The idea of paying $0.99 per chapter and then having buy a book (at whatever price) of what I already bought in order to get two more "stories" is NOT appealing. The "extra stories" need to be available on their own to series purchasers.
Capsilon
5. Chaddaï
I agree with GMark : I really hope the extra stories will be available independantly because it would be such a dirty trick to reward those that faithfully followed each episode, paying some premium for that, by either denying them two extras or forcing them to pay all over again for the whole book just to get the extras.

I don't agree with Capsilon though, I quite enjoyed the experience (and nobody forced us to buy the episodes after all, we already knew the complete book would be available just after the weekly run ended) and would like to see it renewed (except for the small problem just evoked).
Michael Ikeda
6. mikeda
GMark@2, Chaddai@5

Scalzi posted more about the extra material on his blog. Basically, the extra material WILL be available separately electronically at some point but there will also be a time window when the second story in the extra material is only available in the hardcover/compiled ebook release.

(The first story in the extra material is actually the first print appearance of a short story that is already available online.)
Eric Dean
7. Aerich
Is it just me, or does anyone else see a TV series in the near future? These 'episodes' could easily be adapted to the small screen... ugh.
Capsilon
8. RhoOphuichi
I'm with Chaddai on this - it's like a punishment for people who bought the series as it came out!

Next 'season' I won't buy each episode, I'll just wait for the full book.
Capsilon
9. Belgaran
What! There are two more chapters of this serial that will only be available in the combined "book?" I love the universe and the people he has created in this iteration, but dude, really . . . we have to buy the freaking book in order to read them after already investing about $13?

I'm with Chaddai and RhoOphuichi . . . it's fun to read the snippets, but I am not going to buy the book coming out in May and I'll wait for the entire book next time.
John Laudun
10. johnlaudun
Well, I see I'm not the only one disappointed by the conclusion. And also not the only one surprised to find that there will be extra material in the book. Eh? Whatcha doin there, John? I don't mind a series, the Old Man's War, taking on the shape of a serial, but make a decision on what the form is and stick with it. Screwing with people who went with you on the move to a serial, only to be told you gotta buy into the series ... that's just not nice.

I like Scalzi's wit and verve, and I suspect he will find some way to make this right -- I'm guessing that the print side wanted something "exclusive" for themselves in order to move print copies. Such thinking is clearly wrong-headed, and reverses the impulse I had to buy the print edition just to show my support. Now, I'm more likely to wait out the serials and just buy the next print book when it comes out -- if I can wait two years for a new Culture book from Banks, then I can wait six months to a year for the second half of this story.

But I suspect, or hope, that a shit-ton of things are still being worked out. Witness the number of pages added to both ends of the eBooks. I like the experiment. I support Scalzi and Tor in their experiment. But, folks, you got some thinking to do both on this round and the next.
Michael Ikeda
11. mikeda
johnlaudun@10

You don't have to buy into the series to get the extra material. You will have to wait a bit for one of the extra stories if you don't.

(The other extra story is already available online.)
John Laudun
12. johnlaudun
mikeda@10 ... I, of course, knew about "After the Coup." I remember being delighted with its appearance on Toc.com. I hadn't realized that that was one of the two extras. The other one sounds slightly interesting, and I'm guessing Scalzi will let it bubble up somehow at some point in the future. He's too good a guy not to.

That does leave the lack of a conclusion, at least for some readers, to these serials something to be discussed, I think, unless Scalzi is imagining this particular series to be like other forms of episodic fiction in which the resolution is perpetually deferred. It certainly seems a trend where inter-character conflict is the focus more than any larger story arc. It's long been the stuff of soap operas of course, but I would argue that the ulimate dissatisfaction many viewers had with BSG or Lost was really the result of the writers focused episodically and not on whatever you want to call the other axis of fiction.

Scalzi is, of course, free to do anything he chooses and I think he should be encouraged to experiment. And, like he notes on his blog about the extra material, it'd be nice if readers had more awareness of what's going on, but that assumes the writer himself has foresight, and, let's face it, part of the joy of creation is not knowing what you are doing sometimes.

Which is all to say that some of this may sound like a complaint, but it's not. I'm just thinking out loud. Keep doing your thing, John. You have a large and diverse audience. Some are outright cheerleaders, some are critics, and some of us are just trying to think alongside you, happy to have something so interesting to think about/over/whatever.
Capsilon
13. ashcomp
Shocked, shocked that there'll be a follow-on. Is that not the point of a cliffhanger? The announcement basically means that all concerned are happy with the earnings. And would dearly like to make more.

My first reaction to the ending was annoyance that Human Division wasn't a standalone novel. My second was to wait untill the whole thing is over and done with, and printed, and buy it second hand.
This has to be tempered with the fact that I'm the sort of reader who has paid Baen $15.00 for ARCs full of typos. And being of an age with PNH/TNH, can no longer feel certain of living long enough to see the end of any popular series.

Scalzi, I just hope you've at least outlined the ending of this thing, and know who the bad guys are. Don't go pulling a Lost on your readers!
Capsilon
16. Agog
I enjoyed the serial nature of it as a change of pace and format - much different than a novel.

Don't think I'm going to go with the next season (at least in the serial release format) - expensive and because they are so short the story gets dragged out over too long a time... plus I don't think I want the clutter of another 13 'books' listed in my e-reader.

I do very much enjoy the Old Man's universe and Scalzi's style of writing, so expect I will pick up the compilation at the end of the second season.
Hank Roberts
17. hankroberts
> will be collected in a novel in a manner similar to The Human Division
-------
Another half a novel broken at a cliffhanger?

No. Just don't do this, if you're interested in -readers-.
It's a mistake.
Capsilon
18. Jaam91
Loved the stories, and love the universe.
Hated the weekly releases.
Hate the idea that I paid a premium and don't get the extra stories; screwed by marketing folks.
I likely won't participate again.
James Caplan
19. caplanjr
So, having read the missing story, Hafte Sorvalh Eats a Churro and Speaks to the Youth of Today, I don't feel cheated for having to wait this long. It's sweet, it's cute, it's pretty much tangential to the story arc other than doing some character building for Ambassador Sorvalh.

Meanwhile, back to the original question, "What should be included in Season 2?" We need answers and we need them now!
1. Who are the bad guys?
2. Why are they doing this?
3. Why did we have to buy an entire season of episodes with no; I mean absolutely no plot resolutions?
James Caplan
20. caplanjr
I would like to request some sort of subscription model, where we can pay up front for the episodes and get the novel included at the end.
James Caplan
21. caplanjr
aaron deraps
22. dronf
Let's just hope The Human Division 2 isn't just a retelling of the exact same story as #1, just from another character's POV.

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