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Comment: All profits go to Housing Works -- NYC's largest HIV/AIDS organization. Minimal wear to cover. Pages clean and binding tight. Hardcover.
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Lock In Hardcover – August 26, 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1ST edition (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765375869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765375865
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Scalzi's latest is a fantastic read. A fast paced sci-fi crime thriller, Lock In has enough of both to keep fans of either genre gripped. Another accomplished novel from John Scalzi and another recommendation from this reader. The Book Beard Blog John Scalzi's Lock In is just brilliant stuff that you don't want to miss out on. From the first sentence I read of Unlocked I was hooked line and sinker to the idea behind Lock In. John Scalzi presents his idea in full colors and has created a very dangerous and dire setting, it's not only a story that focuses on the virus alone or it's consequences alone or how society is dealing with it, it is much more than those parts alone. It's a detective kind of story that combines all of the above mentioned aspects in a brilliant story. The Book Plank Overall, this is a throught-provoking novel about individual and community rights, politics, identity, and a solid investigation. Definitely recommended. Civilian Reader Lock In is science fiction for the masses. Count me as one of them...it's clubbing you over the head with fun, and intrigue, and a compelling narcotic craving desire to keep reading. Tor.com

About the Author

JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut Old Man’s War won him science fiction’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, and Redshirts; which won 2013’s Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog The Whatever (whatever.scalzi.com) has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.

More About the Author

John Scalzi writes books, which, considering where you're reading this, makes perfect sense. He's best known for writing science fiction, including the New York Times bestseller "Redshirts," which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to astronomy to film, was the Creative Consultant for the Stargate: Universe television series. He enjoys pie, as should all right thinking people. You can get to his blog by typing the word "Whatever" into Google. No, seriously, try it.

Customer Reviews

Very fun read!
J. Cummings
The created world is consistent and real, the characters are people that we could know, and the story is well written.
L. Burstein
I often found myself thinking, that it was a little bit too brief.
Timothy Pecoraro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Morphie on August 31, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many, I eagerly await any offering by John Scalzi. He is, deservedly, one of the acclaimed Sci-Fi authors of this era. I have no doubt that the "Old Man's War" series will rank among the finest, multiple novel efforts of the genre. Regrettably, I think the author has missed the mark with "Lock In".

Without question, there are some intriguing characters and a wealth of sarcastic dialogue, that is the hallmark of Mr. Scalzi. I find the gradual introduction of "threeps" to be skillfully done, somewhat like peeling away the layers of an onion, finally revealing the physical and cognitive nature of a new mode of existence. Where the novel takes a disjointed turn is with the murder mystery elements. I find this a tedious and boring listing of characters, which is, for about half the novel, unrelenting and confusing. During this aspect of plot development, the story is difficult to follow. I was on the verge of putting the book down and returning it. However, I did complete the task; I must admit that the final few chapters become far more intriguing and even harkened back to Mr. Scalzi's more successful creations.

I was left with a sense that what was missing was the guiding hand of a skilled editor, along with a dose of of Harry Wilson's charm.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Graebel on August 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for this as I loved Redshirts, but I found myself disappointed by this book in several ways.

1. Not that I was anticipating Sherlock Holmes, but there is no mystery about who committed the crimes. Based on the potential ramifications of their actions, you would have thought they were a little smarter, the protagonist solves everything immediately.

2. The disease has been touted as fascinating, but I didn't really find it that thrilling. It has literally no negative impact on the characters in this story. We hear that it was devastating, but everyone seems pretty functional. Even the 'trauma' of one character was all told. Not supremely convincing.

3. Disability as a narrative choice. I feel like this was where I was the angriest. I keep reading reviews that tout this book as a piece on disability. I heartily disagree. The narrator is wealthy. Extremely wealthy. He uses and casts off expensive equipment at will, has FT caretakers in addition to his parents, and chooses a second apartment in the course of the novel. In addition, Haden's allows him to essentially transport himself instantaneously across the country to a new body. This has been done before in sic-fi, nothing terribly new or inventive, but there is no true disability to any of the characters in this story. Also, Scalzi plays lip-service to how awful one legal change will be to the country, but doesn't actually include anything in the story. These people we see with Haden's are so rich that it wouldn't matter what disease they were afflicted with, they can buy a solution.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By DeeJaye6 on October 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are a huge fan of television writing that ignores reality, this is the book for you. Scalzi was one of the writers on a TV show that turned me off because it ignored reality too much, but I didn't know that before I bought this book. Not to give too much away, but two points I can make are:

Chapter 4: main character asks veteran partner if they should return to the crime scene apartment. Veteran says no, the Metro Police Department has been there, so the scene has been contaminated. This is a Hollywood trope that ignores reality; real-life police officers are either trained in forensics and know how to handle a crime scene, or they have not gone through that training and stay out. Are there exceptions once in a while? Sure. But this scene in the book follows Hollywood's claim that patrol officers are no good.

Second point (trying to stay spoiler-free): a character (in a near-future Earth) believes that the destruction of a single building will destroy research and set them back "years." Hm. Apparently, the current use of multiple, off-site backup centers has gone out of vogue. This is another Hollywood trope that ignores reality.

It's no wonder Legendary Films has bought the rights to turn this into a TV show.

Skip this book, and try reading his Hugo winner, "Red Shirts" instead!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Boyle on August 31, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The premise Lock In, that a segment of the population has contracted 'lock in' and require brain implants to allow their consciousness to inhabit robots in the real world and avatars in the virtual is excellent, as is the shorter accompanying novella 'Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome'. However, 'Lock In' itself is a bit disappointing. Rather than really explore the implications of a two-tier society where a segment of the population is both diminished and enhanced by technology, we get that as a backdrop to a fairy humdrum detective story. Clichés abound as the detective in his first week on the job gets shot at, deals with Daddy issues and the bad guys prove to be motivated by greed. The characterisation and dialogue are poor and jilted respectively, meaning that the reveal of whodunnit lacks any real meaning to the reader. A shame as I was really looking forward to what proved to be a mediocre book.
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