- Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (August 4, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780765381323
- ISBN-13: 978-0765381323
- ASIN: 076538132X
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 685 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future Mass Market Paperback – August 4, 2015
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Praise for Lock In
"This is the kind of thriller that Michael Crichton, Lincoln Child, and James Rollins do so well. Add John Scalzi to that list." ―Douglas Preston, #1 NYT bestselling author of The Kraken Project and Impact
"As much as Scalzi has the scientific creativity of a Michael Crichton, he also has the procedural chops of a Stephen J. Canell to craft a whodunit with buddy-cop charm and suspects aplenty―most of them in someone else's body." ―USA Today
“Scalzi takes his work to an entirely new level.” ―Cory Doctorow
“A smart, thoughtful near-future thriller…. This powerful novel will intrigue and entertain both fans and newcomers.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“John Scalzi may be the most entertaining writer in SF today.” ―Toronto Star
Praise for Head On
"Particularly relevant....A fun, breezy thriller, one that showcases a world that carries with it some extremely astute commentary on some of the real problems that we face in our own. " ―The Verge
"Head On doesn’t care if you’ve read Lock In or not, but it does care if you enjoy a mystery wrapped up inside a science fiction novel....This might even be one of the best introductions to Scalzi out there." ―Culturess
"[Scalzi's] prose flows like a river, smoothly carrying us through the story; his characters are beautifully crafted; and his future world is impeccably designed, at the same time wildly imaginative and wholly plausible." ―Booklist, starred review
"This taut mystery, filled with memorable characters in a well-constructed world, will keep readers on the edges of their seats." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Readers will definitely showup for the witty banter and smartass takedowns….Very clever, wonderfully satisfying fun." ―Kirkus
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 has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.
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The world created for the background to the mystery explores the possible implication for a disease that doesn't kill but rater with technological aid created a new category of human (maybe). It brings to mind the deaf parents who do not want their children or themselves "cured" of their disabilities. Scalzi leaves this discussion ambiguous rather promote his own view -- the reader is lead to consider it but is not offered a resolution.
The lead character is a little unusual in that he is a nice, bright young fellow. Somewhat innocent and seltered even for a victim of a devastating disease and not to mention heir to a fortune. Much more a fresh minted Peter Wimsey than a Mike Hammer or Phillip Marlowe type.
The work that went into this world and these characters begs foe a sequel or even a series.
Honestly I think it will depend on what you care about in the book. If what you are looking for is a great who-done-it murder mystery well then this maybe won’t be for you since that part of the book was a little easy to figure out and was just okay as murder mysteries go. But if what you want is something that makes you wonder what society would be like if one part of the general population is essentially stuck inside their bodies with no way to move around and they are given their own personal C3POesk unit to use to be able to walk around the world in, then the answer is YES.
I like books that take a premise like what would happen if…and then expand on that to maybe 20-200 years into the future and then make a story around how would our world change because of that one thing. I think that Neal Shusterman so far has been my favorite author to do that in a Urban setting with his Unwind Series. But Scalzi did a pretty good job at that as well and had a lot of very interesting concepts and social commentary throughout the story.
***“Interesting that you don’t always stay fully sense-forward on your threep,” Jerry said, as he prepped the lidocaine.
“I don’t like how it feels,” I said. “If I can’t feel my body it feels … off. Adrift. Weird.”
Jerry nodded. “I can see that, I guess,” he said. “Not everyone does it that way. My last client was full sense-forward on her threep all the time. Didn’t like feeling what was going on with her body. Hell, didn’t like acknowledging she had a body. She found it inconvenient, I think is the best way of putting it. Which was ultimately ironic.”
“How so?” “She had a heart attack and didn’t even feel it,” Jerry said. “She found out about it from an automated alert to her threep. I think it came as a surprise to her that she could die. She spent so much time in her threep I think she believed it really was her.”***
So the thing that I didn’t notice until someone pointed it out to me was that our MC could be any gender or race. I think I didn’t realize that Chris was biracial until about 70% into the book. I still have no idea if Chris is male or female. Since Wil Wheaton is the narrator for the book I just assumed that Chris was male for most of the book until I realized that maybe wasn’t the case at all.
I did get pretty caught up on how society changed because of all the people who were locked in and how they became like their own class/race of people. So many concepts in this book made me ponder and wonder about the lives of people in this world and the current political crisis it was going through and how that would change everything.
Overall I think the Societal SciFi part of the book is much stronger than anything else. If that is you cup of tea and you don’t get all caught up on the how did they get peoples brains to control a robot you’ll totally be fine.
The dialog, on the other hand, was hard for me to swallow. Having read a fair number of crime novels, I felt like the dialog was missing the gravity to suit the situations, and most of the characters spoke in minor variations of the same voice – one that reminded me of a sarcastic teenager. That was the case with Redshirts, too, but it felt appropriate for a satirical Star Trek spin-off. For a crime novel... I could have done with more depth of character and more realistic, adult dialog.
I also didn't find the sequence of their investigation believable. I felt that it took much too long for the investigators to ask the most obvious question – who is the victim? What can we find out about him? While they do eventually pursue that thread, it just took an unusually long time for them to ask the first question that's usually asked at the scene of a crime.
The choice to make the main character a rich kid was also curious. I can appreciate Scalzi's choice to create unlikely heroes, but he didn't give his main character any inner turmoil. This could have been explored while also explaining why this rich and famous young man chose to pursue a career in law enforcement. He could have also explored the hardships that went into achieving that goal. But instead we got a main character with a perfectly healthy psychology who lives an extremely comfortable and convenient life. Which is... a touch too boring for my taste.
In sum: Worth reading if you enjoy sci-fi concepts and can forgive (or perhaps can enjoy) superficial characters and dialog.