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We Only Need the Heads (The Human Division, #3)
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We Only Need the Heads (The Human Division #3)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,188 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
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 Abumwes missions are fated to crossand in doing so, place both missions at risk of fa ...more
ebook, 48 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Tor Books
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Jan 29, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it
Vintage Scalzi. Demonstrating that he is skillful enough to get everything you need to know by indirection. A reader could skip "episode two" and get the jest of the story.

A fun read.
Mar 31, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it
Returning to characters from the first episode/chapter, and tying in with the second episode/chapter, We Only Need The Heads advances the plot and gives me a bit more of a clue where we're going. I think. I'm certainly hooked now, anyway. Straight on to the next episode, I think...

There's not much to say about each individual chapter, I think, but I'll keep reviewing them separately since I've started. It'll be interesting to keep track of my reactions all the way through.
Jun 24, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
After a lackluster episode 2 (the 2nd story in his 13 story episodic tale called The Human Division) Scalzi gets his mojo back in this one.
We've got Harry Wilson as a strong supporting character but Ambassador Abumwe really steals the show in this episode (that does tie in the aforementioned episode 2) about a Wildcat colony on a world where they shouldn't be and how that affects negotiations that Abumwe is undergoing.

I've got to tell you - I really love the episode format. Kind of a stand alone
Annabeth Leong
Jan 29, 2013 Annabeth Leong rated it it was amazing
The third week in, I can tell this serialization is really working for me. I woke up early, realized it was Tuesday, and felt like Christmas. I swear, I got out of bed early to read this thing before work.

And now we're cooking with gasoline. This third episode ties the first and second installments together. It brings back the characters I came to care about from episode 1 and leaves me legitimately concerned for the characters from episode 2. It provides context about the larger circumstances
Jan 30, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
These are getting harder and harder to rate.

I really enjoyed reading this. The problem is that, unlike the first two sections, this one felt like a chapter in a book rather than a standalone story. If the next one is like this (with an unresolved ending), then I may just wait until the entire completed set is done before I read it / purchase it.

On the plus side, when you realize the meaning of the title it's pretty great.
Feb 06, 2013 Alice rated it really liked it
This is the third of thirteen installments in The Human Division, a serial novel by John Scalzi. This wraps up some questions from the previous installments. The tie-in with the greater plot is subtle, but it is there.

In this, we find out that the colony from Walk the Plank is there in defiance of a treaty. Ambassador Abumwe is sent to negotiate a new treaty with the very race who owns the planet, while Harry Wilson is on the planet, his initial goal to clear out the unauthorized colony. Of cour
Jul 01, 2013 John rated it it was amazing
This review is for the entirety of The Human Division, comprised of The B-Team; Walk the Plank; We Only Need the Heads; A Voice in the Wilderness; Tales From the Clarke; The Back Channel; The Dog King; The Sound of Rebellion; The Observers; This Must Be the Place; A Problem of Proportion; The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads; Earth Below, Sky Above.

My first thought about this, the latest story in the Old Man's War universe from John Scalzi, was annoyance that I hadn't read it whilst it was being rel
Jan 31, 2013 heidi rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, scifi, reviewed
In this installment, Scalzi is loosening up and getting comfortable with the medium, which means there are interesting plot developments. The two previous installments are tied together and matters are sent barreling down a greased track of eventual chaos.

The other nice part is that now that we have the "what" of some of the characters, we can start filling in the "who". Ambassador Abumwe is a delight to me. I mean, I'm glad I don't work for her, but she says things like:
“Yes, well,” Abumwe sai
Carl V.
Feb 02, 2013 Carl V. rated it it was amazing

The enigmatic title to John Scalzi’s latest episode in The Human Division loses all its enigma in spectacular fashion as he returns readers with a vengeance to the characters introduced in Episode 1. If you could have been inside my head, dear readers, as I absorbed “We Only Need the Heads” this morning you would have heard the word “Damn!” drawn out with genuine incredulity time and time again. Daaaamn, John Scalzi! Do I have to wait an entire week to get the next episode?!?!


John Scalzi
Feb 21, 2013 Marcelo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Light- to mid-core sic-fi fans.
Recommended to Marcelo by:
Lieutenant Harry Wilson is back on a covert mission to a planet where humans don't belong. If his mission isn't successful, a diplomatic crisis can erupt.

Of course, Wilson isn't calling the shots in this mission (at first, at least) so we have the same low-ranking technical adviser who has to save the day, but don't be fooled by the apparent similitude with the first chapter, The B-Team, this is a very different situation. Also, a great surprise awaits you, something that manages to make the sto
Mayank Agarwal
Jan 25, 2015 Mayank Agarwal rated it liked it
This is such a vast improvement on the second story of the book. Also it tying up the first two story's of the book is added benefit. At last the book seem to have an overall plot and by itself the short story is a sold installment. Got intrigue and is well paced.

One does need to read the first story to get a better view on the characters but can skipped the second story all together.
Peter Anargirou
Jan 31, 2013 Peter Anargirou rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, google-books
Just a few minutes into We Only Need the Heads, John Scalzi's third episode of The Human Division, and I not only knew it was entertaining, but I also immediately realized the context of the second episode, Walk the Plank. Walk the Plank wasn't quite as strong as a stand alone episode, but We Only Need the Heads quickly relates back to both of the first episodes.

As one CDF officer is loaned for a CDF mission to remove an unauthorized colony, a Colonial Union ambassador is tasked with completing
Mar 15, 2014 Marco rated it it was amazing
This is the third installment of the new John Scalzi's book set in the Old Man's war universe. The separate plots of the previous two installments comes together on this one, focused on intergalactic diplomacy and colony massacre investigation. We only need the heads is adroitly written, entertaining to read, and I can't wait to read the next chapters of this story.
Lis Carey
Feb 19, 2013 Lis Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, audiobooks
This is the third episode in Scalzi's Human Division, and Wilson, Schmidt, and Ambassador Abumwe are back. Abumwe and Schmidt are sent to pinch hit for a suddenly ill ambassador in negotiations with the Bula, seeking agreements on trade and tourism. Wilson, meanwhile, is temporarily assigned to a ship being sent to remove a wildcat colony from a Bula world--and it's in this context we discover the significance of events in Episode #2.

Having a wildcat colony on a Bula world is bad; having a Colon
Nov 07, 2013 Pierre rated it liked it
This is a review for the series of the Human Division. I have read all the 13 books in a row, this was my first time reading John Scalzi.
I was at first disturbed by the series: more than 400 different races, some with very unfriendly intents toward each other, but all at about the same technological development level and strength which makes it none really prevails? It just does not fit with my idea of technological advancement and species competition.
Anyway, I decided to forget about the imposs
Shannon Appelcline
May 02, 2015 Shannon Appelcline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This short story nicely subverts the Star Trek-ishness of the new setup by reminding us that Old Man's War universe is dark, gritty, and realistic. Things don't always turn out like you'd like. A good turnaround, and a tense story as a result.
Evgeni Kirilov
Aug 25, 2014 Evgeni Kirilov rated it it was amazing
So far this was one of the better stories in The Human Division.
Cathy Young
Jan 23, 2015 Cathy Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
nice series

This is a nice little story, well worth the price. I enjoy the approach John Scalzi takes to the story.
Amanda Allen
Feb 13, 2014 Amanda Allen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
this one felt more like the middle of something than the other. I continue to be plagued by not caring if our protagonistrs fail or succeed.
Jun 05, 2014 Drew rated it liked it
Shelves: space-sci-fi
Overall these aren't the best on their own but put together they make a great story
Apr 28, 2014 Ryne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-sf
A tense mystery chapter that could serve as a continued plot point in the series.
Another good installment. I liked bringing a few of the different stories together at this point.
Great episode of The Human Division - in this one the wildcat colony from Walk the Plank is destroyed and everyone is dead. Meanwhile Ambassador Abumwe and her team, from The B-Team, are negotiating with the Bula alien race over travel and tourism rights between the two cultures. However, what happened to the wildcat colony, which happened to be on a Bula planet, changes the narrative of the negotiations completely. Harry Wilson & Hart Schmidt each play a role as the two stories come togethe ...more
Feb 12, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it
Pretty good, short, classic feeling scifi
Ignacio Energici
Jan 11, 2016 Ignacio Energici rated it really liked it
Otro capítulo de una saga excelente.
Loving it, eager to move on to the next section. Heads, heh.

I bought a copy.
Jan 29, 2013 Anissa rated it really liked it
We get back to Schmidt & Wilson in this installment. Schmidt is with Ambassador Ambumwe & Wilson is on a trek to New Seattle on Wantji. The Ambassador's negotiations with the Bula's Sub-Ambassador Ting is going strangely well & before too long we find out how what's going on at the New Seattle colony ties in. Needless to say, the treachery is running deep, the CDF has a lot to explain & there's that issue of the missing head (I think it's clear where it turns up at the end). Look ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Jaime rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The third installment in the Human Division saga begins to ratchet up the tension in true Scalzi style. Of the three episodes thus released, this is the first that ends on a bit of a cliff hanger making the reader wonder what could happen next.

I'm enjoying this series and like getting it delivered each Tuesday to my Kindle. I didn't know if I'd enjoy the serialized format, but it's actually very fun.

If you enjoy Scalzi, pick up the Human Division.
Joe Martin
Jan 29, 2013 Joe Martin rated it really liked it
This episode was indeed a follow-up to Walk the Plank. And it ratcheted up the tension in the story nicely. I'm looking forward to A Voice in the Wilderness, next week.
This story more or less explains everything that was described in the last story, and then it dials up the intrigue and the squick factor by bringing in the title. Thanks for that, Scalzi. But really, thanks for bringing back the plot and the humor and the conspiracies, because I am all about those!
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John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)
More about John Scalzi...

Other Books in the Series

The Human Division (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The B-Team (The Human Division, #1)
  • Walk the Plank (The Human Division, #2)
  • A Voice in the Wilderness (The Human Division, #4)
  • Tales From the Clarke (The Human Division, #5)
  • The Back Channel (The Human Division, #6)
  • The Dog King (The Human Division, #7)
  • The Sound of Rebellion (The Human Division, #8)
  • The Observers (The Human Division, #9)
  • This Must Be the Place (The Human Division, #10)
  • A Problem of Proportion (The Human Division, #11)

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