Now that John Scalzi’s The End of All Things—sequel to Old Man’s War-verse novel The Human Division—is available in print and ebook form, Tor Books is offering a free download of this special appendix featuring deleted and alternate scenes from the first episode, The Life of the Mind!
As Scalzi explains in his introduction to the Extras, he had a number of false starts while writing The End of All Things, resulting in an opening that, while covering roughly the same events as the finished novel, presents a very different narrative spin. Read the full intro below, and start your free download of the Extras in PDF, .epub, or .mobi format!
The End of All Things took me longer to write than most of my books do, in part because I had a number of false starts. These false starts weren’t bad—in my opinion—and they were useful in helping me figure out what was best for the book; for example, determining which point-of-view characters I wanted to have, whether the story should be in first or third person, and so on. But at the same time it’s annoying to write a bunch of stuff and then go Yeaaaaah, that’s not it. So it goes.
Through various false starts and diversions, I ended up writing nearly 40,000 words—almost an entire short novel!—of material that I didn’t directly use. Some of it was recast and repurposed in different directions, and a lot of it was simply left to the side. The thing is when I throw something out of a book, I don’t just delete it. I put it into an “excise file” and keep it just in case it’ll come in handy later.
Like now: I’ve taken various bits from the excise file and with them have crafted a first chapter of an alternate version of The Life of the Mind, the first novella of The End of All Things. This version (roughly) covers the same events, with (roughly) the same characters, but with a substantially different narrative direction.
In an alternate universe, an alternate version of me went ahead with this version, and The End of All Things ended up being a rather different book. Which would be cool. I’d like to meet up with that John Scalzi and trade books.
Please note: This version of the story is noncanonical and mildly spoilery for the version that is, in fact, canonical. While you don’t have to read the official version of The Life of the Mind to read this (or to enjoy it), I recommend that you do to fully appreciate the compare and contrast.
Also, this version ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger. Which will never be resolved. Sorry about that.
Download now at the following links (Right click and “Save As”)