In what the publisher is calling a “unique new project,” Tor Books will publish The Human Division, the next book by bestselling science fiction author John Scalzi, as a weekly serialized e-book, before releasing it as a complete hardcover and e-book. The e-book serials will begin in December 2012 and run through February 2013. The print and full e-book editions will be available in the late spring or early summer.

Called an “experiment” by Tor senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the editor also described The Human Division as an “episodic novel.” He explained that the book will be published “like the episodes of a good high-end cable drama, each one will have enough internal integrity to work as an enjoyable chunk of story on its own, but each will advance a ‘season-long’ storyline as well.”

Hayden said once the e-book serialization is done, the book will be published as a hardcover and e-book and “we’ll be doing our best to make it so that buying the book in serial form costs about the same as buying the full e-book. There may also be some small extra material in the full-length book.”

Scalzi is off to the San Diego Comic-con International next week where he has been invited as a Guest of Honor. He’ll discuss the new “episodic novel” at a spotlight panel on his works on Saturday, July 14, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.