Tuesday! We greet you again in all your second-day-of-the-work-week-ness! And with a new episode of The Human Division: “This Must Be the Place.” Let’s find out what it’s about:
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.
This episode will be interesting to see how people respond to, because this episode isn’t particularly “science fictional” — with the exception of a self-driving car, there’s very little tech that would be out of place today or situations that make you feel like you’re in the future. What it is, however, is a character study of one of the series’ most important characters: Hart Schmidt. Schmidt’s more than Harry Wilson’s sidekick and straight man, after all — he’s got his own reasons for doing things and for being in the diplomatic corps.
The excellent thing about the episodic nature of The Human Division is that it allows me to explore things in this manner in a way that I might not otherwise in a novel structure. It’s nice to give Schmidt his moment in the sun, and give him a context that makes everything that happens to him in the novel — and what will happen to him — a new depth.
Plus, this episode has at least a couple of my favorite lines of dialogue in the whole thing. That’s a plus too.
This is an episode that I suspect could benefit from folks talking about it a bit, so if you have thoughts about it (and especially if you liked it), feel free to review or comment about it on Amazon/Goodreads/your blog. Every little bit will help. And thank you! Also, of course, there will be the weekly discussion on Tor.com, which I will post to as soon as I see it’s up (update: It’s up! Also read the first comment, which contains extra quotes from me).
Next week we begin the final three episodes of the book, and it starts with a bang: The Clarke in a space battle. It’s “A Problem of Proportion,” and it’s one of the key episodes of the novel. Don’t miss it!
P.S.: Yes, the title comes from this:
Which is one of my favorite songs from the Talking Heads, and one of the best songs of the 80s, in my opinion.