Lots of news about The Human Division to get to today, so let’s just dive in:
One: The Human Division begins its eBook episodic run on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, with the release of “The Human Division, Episode One: The B-Team” in DRM-free eBook form at most major eBook retailers, including Apple, Amazon and Barnes and Noble (all of whom right now have the entire episode run available for pre-order). A new episode will be released every Tuesday through April 9th. Tor was worldwide rights to the English-language version, so wherever you are on the planet, you should be able to get the episodes as they are released: I see them on the local versions of Amazon in the UK, France and Germany, for example. Each episode is priced at 99 cents in the US (69 pence in the UK, EUR .79 in France and Germany, etc).
Two: Each episode, in addition to my words and stories, will feature new, original, fantastic cover art by John Harris. You see the art for Episode Two (“Walk the Plank”) above. If you would like to see even more incredible John Harris episode cover art, visit Tor.com, io9, GeekDad, SciFiChick.com, SFSignal.com and Beatrice.com at some point in your day. And be prepared for awesome.
Three: When each episode is released, writer and Internet raconteur Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com will lead a discussion of the episode over at Tor.com, which will include mini-interviews with me, THD editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and others involved in the production. It’ll be a great way of getting a behind-the-scenes look at The Human Division as well as a way to connect with other fans of the episodes.
Four: For those of you with an audiobook preference, yes, there will be audiobook episodes as well, from Audible, which I believe will be released simultaneously with the eBook episodes. More details on those to come.
Five: Want to know more about each individual episode? Here’s the (spoiler-free) write up on each, along with their release dates:
Episode One: The B-Team (1/15/13): Colonial Union Ambassador Ode Abumwe and her team are used to life on the lower end of the diplomatic ladder. But when a high-profile diplomat goes missing, Abumwe and her team are last minute replacements on a mission critical to the Colonial Union’s future. As the team works to pull off their task, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson discovers there’s more to the story of the missing diplomats than anyone expected… a secret that could spell war for humanity.
Episode Two: Walk the Plank (1/22/13): Wildcat colonies are illegal, unauthorized and secret — so when an injured stranger shows up at the wildcat colony New Seattle, the colony leaders are understandably suspicious of who he is and what he represents. His story of how he’s come to their colony is shocking, surprising, and might have bigger consequences than anyone could have expected.
Episode Three: We Only Need the Heads (1/29/13): CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson has been loaned out to a CDF platoon tasked with secretly removing an unauthorized colony of humans on an alien world. Colonial Ambassador Abumwe has been ordered to participate in final negotiations with an alien race the Union hopes to make allies. Wilson and Abumwe’s missions are fated to cross — and in doing so, place both missions at risk of failure.
Episode Four: A Voice in the Wilderness (2/5/13): Albert Birnbaum was once one of the biggest political talk show hosts around, but these days he’s watching his career enter a death spiral. A stranger offers a solution to his woes, promising to put him back on top. It’s everything Birnbaum wants, but is there a catch? And does Birnbaum actually care if there is?
Episode Five: Tales From the Clarke (2/12/13): Captain Sophia Coloma of the Clarke has a simple task: Ferry around representatives from Earth in an aging spaceship that the Colonial Union hopes to sell to them. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and Coloma discovers the ship she’s showing off holds suprises of its own… and it’s not the only one with secrets.
Episode Six: The Back Channel (2/19/13): The Conclave is a confederation of four hundred alien races — many of whom would like to see the Colonial Union, and the humans inside of it, blasted to extinction. To avoid a conflict that neither side can afford, Conclave leader General Tarsem Gau appoints Hafte Sorvalh to resolve an emerging diplomatic crisis with the humans, before the only acceptable solution is war.
Episode Seven: The Dog King (2/26/13): CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson has one simple task: Watch an ambassador’s dog while the diplomat is conducting sensitive negotiations with an alien race. But you know dogs — always getting into something. And when this dog gets into something that could launch an alien civil war, Wilson has to find a way to solve the conflict, fast, or be the one in the Colonial Union’s doghouse.
Episode Eight: The Sound of Rebellion (3/5/13): The Colonial Defense Forces usually protect humanity from alien attack, but now the stability of the Colonial Union has been threatened, and Lieutenant Heather Lee and her squad are called to squash a rebellion on a colony world. It seems simple enough — but there’s a second act to the rebellion that finds Lee captive, alone, and armed with only her brains to survive.
Episode Nine: The Observers (3/12/13): In an effort to improve relations with the Earth, the Colonial Union has invited a contingent of diplomats from that planet to observe Ambassador Abumwe negotiate a trade deal with an alien species. Then something very bad happens to one of the Earthings, and with that, the relationship between humanity’s two factions is on the cusp of disruption once more. It’s a race to find out what really happened, and who is to blame.
Episode Ten: This Must Be the Place (3/19/13): Colonial Union diplomat Hart Schmidt is back home for Harvest Day celebrations — to a family whose members wonder whether its youngest son isn’t wasting his life clinging to the lowest rung of the CU’s diplomatic ladder. When his father, a legendarily powerful politician, presents him with a compelling offer, Schmidt has to take stock of his life and career.
Episode Eleven: A Problem of Proportion (3/26/13): A secret backdoor meeting between Ambassador Ode Abumwe and the Conclave’s Hafte Sorvalh turns out to be less than secret as both of their ships are attacked. It’s a surprise to both teams — but it’s the identity of the attacker that is the real surprise, and suggests a threat to both humanity and The Conclave.
Episode Twelve: The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads (4/2/13): United States Diplomat Danielle Lowen was there when one of her fellow diplomats committed an unthinkable act, which had consequences for the entire planet. Now she’s trying to figure out how it happened before it can happen again. Putting the puzzle pieces together could solve the mystery — or it could threaten her own life.
Episode Thirteen: Earth Below, Sky Above (4/9/13): At last, the Earth and the Colonial Union have begun formal discussions about their relationship in the future — a chance for the divisions in humanity to be repaired. The diplomats and crew of the Clarke are on hand to help with the process, including Ambassador Ode Abumwe and CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson, both of whom were born on Earth. But not everyone wants the human division to be repaired… and they will go to great length to make sure it isn’t…
Six: For those of you who prefer print, the hardcover edition of The Human Division will arrive May 14, 2013. And yes, at this point we are planning a tour to support its release. No more details than that, as we’re in the very early planning stages.
Seven: What? You want to see more cool John Harris episode covers? Well, I don’t blame you. Okay, a couple more for you.
Seriously, how spectacular are these? Super spectacular. If I do say so myself.
And those are your update for The Human Division for today.