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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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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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

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Listen to them all!

I enjoyed the series more as I went through each episode. At first I struggled because it seemed like random stories set in this universe. But as it continued and I realized it was interwoven story lines I enjoyed them more. The main characters were enjoyable. It's pretty traditional sci fi fare but still worth the read.

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Enter The Conclave! _______________________ 😱

5 is great.
4 is good.
3 is OK.
________________________________________________
The back story of the Conclave is more complex than easily appreciated here. I think that will make appreciation for the beauty of this John Scalzi vinyette more difficult -- but still very worth the listen. __________________ 😱

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There's Hope!

Good read with steady building intrigue! Interesting how the author broke up the story, but hey, I brought it! You?

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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

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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.

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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

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  • Dave
  • Whittier, CA
  • 02-22-13

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

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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.

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  • Joshua
  • mcleansville, NC, United States
  • 02-19-13

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.

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  • Karl Gjertsen
  • 04-08-13

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.

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  • Richard
  • 03-15-13

Excellent!

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

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