To Stand or Fall, Episode Four of The End of All Things, is Out Now!

This is the end of The End of All Things — or more accurately, the final novella episode of the book. And just what happens in this one? Here’s the official synopsis:

“Back on Earth, the beginning and end of all things. The nations of humanity’s home planet have parted ways with the starfaring Colonial Union, the human interstellar empire originally established to keep the home planet free. The Union needs to regain Earth’s trust. The alien races of the Conclave have their own hard choices to face. All of these threads culminate in this, Part Four of the four parts of The End of All Things.”

It’s all so climactic! Here’s an excerpt, if you’d like a sneak preview. And here (for US folks) are some retailers where you can get the ebook:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Google Play|iBooks|Kobo

Obviously I don’t want to spoil the events of this particular novella for anyone, but I will say I was very happy with how this one turned out, and that I think it goes in a slightly unexpected direction; I did a zag where I think people might assume I was going to a zig. We’ll see! But in the meantime, I think we put the Old Man’s Universe in an interesting spot for whatever happens next, whenever it happens.

Happy reading!

41 thoughts on “To Stand or Fall, Episode Four of The End of All Things, is Out Now!

  1. Read it early this morning. Absolutely brilliant. Love where you ended it, it was definitely an “interesting” place – and hope you do return to that universe someday.

    Hart hasn’t had much to do in this book, hope he’s in one of the extras.

  2. Does the “novel” form out in August contain any additional content, or can I buy these 4 sections now & have it all, as it were?

  3. Dane:

    The printed book is going to have an extra “chapter” made from deleted material, but we’ll be releasing that online for free as well, so you won’t miss anything no matter how you get it.

  4. The iBooks edition seems to have a tense issue: “I removed it, unlocking it via a command from his BrainPal”. Everything else in in present tense so I’m fairly sure that should be “my” not “his”.

  5. Nice way to wrap it up, and I really liked how it built off of the entire story (and I mean the entire story – over the last week, I re-read Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, Zoe’s Tale, and The Human Condition :-)). It’s been really interesting to see the ways your writing style has changed – and not changed – over the series. IMO your writing has gotten tighter – you’re a bit more economical in how you move the plot along (and OMW already moved along at a pretty good clip). That’s not a bad thing at all, especially for the action set pieces in the story. My only complaint is that I wish each installment was longer – which is actually a compliment, not a complaint! I’m definitely looking forward to reading your next work (is the Lock In sequel next? Is it? Is it? :-)).

  6. I really liked this. I would like to read a prequel to the old man’s war universe. Make It happen !

  7. So, to be sure, if I buy “The Life of the Mind”, “This Hollow Union”, “Can Long Endure” and “The Stand or Fall” now I have the complete story as published in August? Because I remember “The Human Division” had 13 seperate stories, and this are just four.

  8. I hope the next chapter might revisit some of the protagonists from the first 3 books. Not to complain, love what I have in these.

  9. Loved the ending, you did nail it! Whew!

    It was weird that it felt so much shorter (and is) compared to the shorter but more frequent chapters, though. I’m kinda like “it’s over?”

  10. I’m curious to know where John, Jane, and Zoe are doing during Human Condition and End of All Things. Did they stay on Earth?

  11. How do CDF soldiers stop looking green? It takes a couple of months to grow new bodies, right?

  12. A perfect ending to a fantastic series. I loved the 3rd episode’s powerful disjointedness, as part of the whole… the lack of tidying up was probably my favourite bit. I can’t really articulate because spoilers, but yes. So wonderful.

    I don’t know what I’m going to do next Tuesday, to stave off the withdrawal symptoms. Bah.

  13. Kuaikuai:

    I could imagine the CDF had a quick way to disable the photosynthetic pigments giving the green color in case they needed a stealth operative. And that they’d think of it. (They might need to give it a couple of days to deal with the dead layers of skin on top, but Harry had some time between ‘you need to get to Earth’ and actually landing in Virginia. )

    (I’d wonder more about the eyes, which I recall from OMW, have catlike slit pupils. On the other hand, they could be concealed by sunglasses and are a lot harder for passers-by to pick up on. Presumably Harry would also need something other than the combat unitard anyway to avoid people wondering why the hot dancer guy is wandering through the streets of the DC area. One of the hidden benefits of green skin is that it is such a strong visual cue for ‘CDF soldier’ that people might not notice the other traits.)

  14. Well, I managed to not read this one at work today, something I failed at with the other three. Going off to read it now.

  15. Loved it. And I do like the episodic nature. I think the story was resolved very well too.

    You know what I’d like to see in future OMW universe stuff? More about the Consu, I reckon there has to be a rich mine of potential material there.

  16. Great story, excellent wrap up. Looking forward to reading it in old fashioned paper format.
    Not to be detail minded, but did you possibly mean to link to an “excerpt”?

  17. Could you sometime walk us through the reasoning behind The End of All Things and The Human Division being released in parts? Specifically, why can I buy all four parts of The End of All Things separately now, but would have to wait till August for the collected edition when it’s the same content (less the “deleted scenes being offered for free later) and same (Kindle) price? I’m not bothered – actually, I’m excited, I get to read it a month “early”, I just feel like I’m missing some interesting tidbit of how publishing works.

    (And I’d like to second Jim C’s remarks above. I just reread OMW and it’s as great as I remember it, but it’s also been a lot of fun to see your writing change and improve with every book.)

  18. Zack Wussow:

    The short answer is that we did it to see what would happen. TEoAT, like The Human Division, is a bit of a publishing research project.

  19. Loved it!
    From Human Division on, it has been very interesting to see the changes in the CU. I enjoy reading about people who aren’t always about Hard Men Doing The Hard Things.

    Sadly, I think the text needed another editing pass, ‘casual’ was what was meant instead of ‘causal’, a ‘brace’ is a pair, not a set of three, shot ‘by’ the batteries, not shot ‘from’, and “Like I said, we know the Rraey aren’t the only ones chipping in… …But we think it’s the primary one.” -plural vs singular(?).

    Those all kicked me out of the story a bit. I don’t remember noticing that kind of thing in the previous chapters.

  20. Thomas M.: Well, Our Host specifically stated that the events of TLC/ZT were the last we’d see of those characters, so there’s not likely to be a canon answer there. That said, I do think they stayed on Earth, as it’s comfortable, it’s (now) out of CU jurisdiction (so they can’t be arrested for treason), and, having just kicked the CU hard and square in the balls as part of getting to Earth, I think they’d welcome a little peace and quiet.

  21. Wow, I haven’t been paying attention, and missed that episodes 1-3 were already out! I just finished the first one, and must say…it’s a DAMN fine read! Now, pardon me…I have 3 others to go buy and read today!

  22. I need to know what the special forces have been doing since it’s clear that sciz’s plan to stop his people being second class citizens failed. I’ve actually been really bothered by this since THUD. (and have asked wether we’d see the special forces in this book the last two times you were in SF both times you said yes, lies, all lies)

    Like this conclusion ended with a better society than one dependent on child soldiers. But what about the Ghost Brigades what’s gonna happen to them with the new Colonial Union, keep em and it’s child soldiers, don’t and it’s genocide. And what has Sciz been doing. I need to know!!!!!

    Also: other thing, I’m beginning to get tired of all of your books ending with the characters coming up with a mysterious plan and then you seeing their plan pan out perfectly. (Androids Dream, Lock in, Fuzzy Nation, End of All Things, The Dog King, Arguably the Last Colony and Redshirts, probably others I can’t remember) It’s a cool trick and a good bit of show not tell but it’s becoming a little monotonous. Sorry. (I found this particularly boring/annoying in Lock In).

  23. Not to say I don’t love your books they’re great (which is why I’ve read nearly all of them), just tropes get a little grating when overused. Still awesome.

  24. I may have missed it, but is there a Paperback publication date?

    What can I say, I’m old school….

  25. It looks like I’m in the minority, but I don’t like the book coming out in 4 installments. I prefer to get it all at once. I did get the all at once version for THD, but decided to try out the installments. Going forward, I will wait. I think the installments made it feel like there wasn’t much to the entire thing; it felt more like a shorter work.
    That aside, enjoyed it.

  26. I hope the “episodic release” fad dies a fiery death. There is some confusion in the comments about whether or not the entire book is now released and I read on another forum that someone thought it was several separate short stories being released. Someone else in the comments above thinks this meant he was getting the book early, but the episodes ensure that we get the entire book later. There are several negatives and no positives to episodic release….unless there is a financial motivation, that is.

    Sigh. I just want the finished audio .

  27. Alright, since you promised there would be hints in part 4*, I’m going to ask: just what is the government structure of the Colonial Union? And why the choice to keep it vague, while at the same time describing the governments of various colonies and alien races (not to mention the Conclave), sometimes in loving detail? It only concerns me because, without getting too spoilery, it seems like much of the climax and resolution of “To Stand or Fall” depends on the off-page actions of people who’ve never even been described on page.

    *But those hints turned out to be about the future, not the present

  28. @Jay – What makes you think episodic releases means the final release is delayed? Its far more likely that the final publication is set in stone by the publishers physical release schedule – set months or years in advance – whereas the electronic episodes can be released far more flexibly. The BAEN ARC copies are another example of a similar approach.

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