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The Back Channel: The Human Division, Episode 6 | [John Scalzi]

The Back Channel: The Human Division, Episode 6

The Conclave is a confederation of 400 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. "The Back Channel" is a tale from John Scalzi's The Human Division, a series of self-contained but interrelated short stories set in the Old Man's War universe.
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Publisher's Summary

The Conclave is a confederation of 400 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.

"The Back Channel" is a tale from John Scalzi's The Human Division, a series of self-contained but interrelated short stories set in the Old Man's War universe.

Listen to the complete edition of The Human Division, the fifth full-length book by John Scalzi in the Old Man's War universe.

©2012 John Scalzi (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    Hassan 02-19-13
    Hassan 02-19-13 Member Since 2009

    5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Conclave Side in this Episode"

    In this episode you listen to the Conclave and what decision they are going to take... I'm not liking the length of each episode , i believe it would have been better if they are a bit longer.
    But here you get to know some technologies and the human division getting bigger and bigger.

    Lets see what the next episodes will bring.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel Aclaro ANAHEIM, CA, United States 05-03-13
    Mel Aclaro ANAHEIM, CA, United States 05-03-13 Member Since 2008

    My wife says she can read me like an open book. Though she regrets not being able to shut me up the same way. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A little detour from the B-Team"

    (Continuing my running editorial from Eps 1-5.)

    I'm still hanging on. But I do still miss the character development that a novel has more "room" to do than in a short story serial. This one continues the plot line ("the plot is thickening," as they say) but I find myself not caring as much for some of the characters introduced in this series than I did for those I "grew up" with in the Old Man's War series.

    Anyway, I'm invested: On to Episode 7.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 03-26-13
    AudioAddict 03-26-13

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

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    "Not a good standalone story"

    This is Episode 6 of the Human Division series. Scalzi has apparently divided what could have been one book into multiple separate episodes. I don't understand that logic, as the episodes don't stand alone unless you're a fan of a very short plot with a flimsy leave-you-wondering type of ending. Hopefully the weak connection between the episodes will build with each coming episode and culminate in an interesting finale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis CRYSTAL RIVER, FL, US 03-01-13
    Dennis CRYSTAL RIVER, FL, US 03-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "VERY GOOD!"

    As short stories go, This is a very good one. So far this seems to be a great saga.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Whittier, CA 02-22-13
    Dave Whittier, CA 02-22-13 Member Since 2010

    I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Aliens, Churros, and Exploding Goats"

    Another episode away from the B-Team, but by the end, I was okay with it. This story focuses on Hafte Sorvalh of the Conclave, and it was fun to see her shine - particularly when she heads to the racist wildcat colony and explodes goats. I'd buy her a churro too.

    William Dufris must've had fun with this one, reading aliens and doing crazy racist bits. I think this episode was one I wouldn't have enjoyed as much if I had read, so hat's off again to Dufris!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 02-20-13
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 02-20-13 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Churros are good....."

    Churros are good and racists are bad, particularly if they form a wildcat colony and the Conclave finds out about it. Alien diplomacy to the rescue. Another short but entertaining installment in the Human Division series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua mcleansville, NC, United States 02-19-13
    Joshua mcleansville, NC, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2011

    www.newimperium.org

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Solid Installment"


    Another solid, but short, addition to the ongoing series. The tension continues to mount between Earth, the Colonial Union, and the Conclave. This episode introduces us to some of the main alien characters in the Coalition and follows from their perspective. It's hard to pull off a complete episodic story in just 45 minutes to an hour, but Scalzi has been doing a decent job so far for the most part.

    I still think this guy should take over writing the Star Wars books. He's got the right amount of wit and humor for it, and his way of writing aliens make them feel, well, more alien. Maybe not completely alien as in incomprehensible to humans, but they definitely don't feel like humans in costumes, which most other authors seem to write like.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karyn 01-18-14
    Karyn 01-18-14 Member Since 2012
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    "JOHN SCALZI IS GREAT AT THESE SPACE BOOKS"

    I really like the Human Division. William Dufris, makes this series and all John Scalzi books. He is a wonderful orator and makes the funny parts, even funnier!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Hardy Stockton, California United States 03-19-13
    S. Hardy Stockton, California United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2012

    S. Hardy

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    "I'm enjoying this whole series."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    John Scalzi has a talent for smoothly blending dire situations with flip and sarcastic (but also brave, loyal, competent, and involved) characters. He's also able to design a classic, epic space opera plot and deliver it with a clarity that makes it easy reading. There are plenty of innovative, hard-science ideas, and their effect on society, and on individuals that you care about, will wring your heart. This is episode six of as series called The Human Division, and it's less than an hour long. There have been shorter episodes, and longer episodes, but this one is just a little less than the average, which is about an hour. I don't recommend starting the series with this episode. Start at the beginning - Episode One: The B Team. Scalzi makes sure that each episode is self-contained, but in a series, some episodes will set out mysteries and raise dramatic tension while others give you a break and let you see at least some of the background politics, and the people working them out. Each episode is written from the perspective of a different set of characters, although there is at least one main set of characters whose recurring episodes are forming a backbone for the plot. The Back Channel is the first episode written from the perspective of characters from alien races who are dealing with the continuing human problem. And while it's interesting in it's own right, it's more interesting if you've experienced the preceding episodes and know the pain and bloodshed that the political ploys are intended to avoid, and that will rain from the sky on many planets if they fail. Although since the politics is all done via back channel, if things go south, they never happened at all.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Back Channel?

    Although not a pivotal moment, I enjoyed watching Emissary Hafte Sorvalh being guided on a tour of the Lincoln Monument and discovering the joy of churros. The moment with the goat WAS pivotal, but that would be a spoiler.


    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    William Dufris has a wonderful range of voice attitudes, which gets a good workout in this series. There are more than 400 alien races in The Conclave alone, and many more who are unaligned. Not to mention the strong differences playing out within the human race. He gives each character its own voice, and there are many characters. His flip sarcasm can slide from smooth to pointed and suits main character Harry Wilson (not in this episode) wonderfully. A few of Dufris' words can make you sure that you're hearing a violent asshole (this episode) or a flaky ambassador (not this episode). Hafte Sorvalh, this episode's main character, is believably competent, dangerous, civilized, and charming. That she is also an alien comes through subtly, as her English diction is confident and relaxed. It makes her feel more of a threat, somehow.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wait for each episode to be released each Tuesday and download it as soon as I'm home from work. If I can't listen to it immediately, I get grumpy.


    Any additional comments?

    After listening to a few episodes, I had to download and listen to the three novels set in the Old Man's War universe that had preceded The Human Division. You don't need to hear them to understand the action in the series, but they're available, they add richness by providing additional background, and they can be downloaded on any weekday. That helps me wait for the next Tuesday. Or, it did. Next week is going to seem long.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kyle WICHITA, KS, United States 03-18-13
    kyle WICHITA, KS, United States 03-18-13
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    "Perfect Entertainment"
    Where does The Back Channel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the most consistently entertaining audio books I've ever listened to.


    What does William Dufris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator captures the wry wit of the text better than I would have thought possible.


    Any additional comments?

    Scalzi is on top of his game.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Karl Gjertsen
    Northampton, UK
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Great short story"

    This is a great short story, in a collection of intertwined short stories.

    I will look for more title by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Vienna, Austria
    3/15/13
    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    The best chapter so far! When I started hearing "The Human Division" I was not convinced. Now I can't stop... ;-))

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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