Lock in

Lock in

Book - 2014 | First edition.
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A blazingly inventive near-future thriller from the best-selling, Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi.

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what's now known as "Haden's syndrome," rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an "integrator" - someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But "complicated" doesn't begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery - and the real crime - is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It's nothing you could have expected.

Publisher: New York : Tor Books, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780765375865
Branch Call Number: SCA
Characteristics: 336 pages


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Sep 02, 2018

Not sci-fi, but a detective procedural from the near future with sci-fi like confusing technology that Scalzi explains as the story progresses. Hard core sci-fi buffs may be dissapointed, but the book is a lovely different take for mystery addicts.

Jul 20, 2017

This book is so-so. Scalzi is very good at world building. The state of the world in this novel is very interesting and raises deep questions about what exactly it means to be human. However, that's as much praise as I can give it. He makes no effort to offer answers to those questions and leaves you wanting more. I don't read books to have to fill in the blanks myself. Tell me what you think. The main character is fairly bland with no real personality and whose existence only comes across as a narrative gimmick. The over-arching mystery of the story is mostly by-the-numbers and might just as well have been copied from a 'how to write a mystery' book. All in all, this isn't Scalzi's best work.

Jan 21, 2016

Really good writing. A lot of frustrating, bothersome and stupidly thought out details.

cmlibrary_myork Dec 23, 2015

A great book for the science fiction fan and the uninitiated alike! In the near future, a portion of the population is affected by Haden`s Syndrome, a disease that cuts the communication between a person`s brain and their body so that they experience `lock in` - they are conscious, but unable to move and interact with the physical world. `Threeps,` or advanced robot-like machines, allow `Hadens` a physical representation in the world. The story centers on a Haden named Chris Shane who has just started a job as an FBI agent. As government funding for Hadens is cut by new legislation, citizen protests and a rash of violent deaths may make Shane`s first week on the force an interesting one...

JCLGreggW Nov 19, 2015

A police procedual by way of speculative fiction, think of this as something Dashiel Hammet might have written if he lived in the year 2025. Using technology that is just out of reach, Scalzi gives us a classic whodunnit featuring an FBI agent who's consciousness is "locked in" an android. Sharp, thought-provoking, and accessible to a broad range of readers, this is worth picking up.

Jun 01, 2015

Lock In is a fast paced mystery, steeped in speculative (but not entirely outlandish) science fiction. The story is reminiscent of, but arguably easier to read than a Philip Dick cautionary tale. Though the final act is perhaps the weaker part of the story, far more enjoyable are Scalzi's worldbuilding efforts. The technological haven of Agora, the moral and ethical issues at play, and the largely untouched concept of the new 'digital natives' (those who were locked in at an early age, or born locked in, and who only know the world through Agora) give you plenty to think about long after the mystery comes to a close. Enjoyable, fast paced, and accessible, if you're looking for a good mystery with a side of scifi, you've come to the right place.

mvkramer May 14, 2015

This is a fast-paced science-fiction murder mystery - complicated by the fact that, in this future, people can remotely pilot other people's bodies to have them commit crimes. A neat story, that falls a bit short in terms of actually digging in to the world it's created. liked that the main character was written in such a way that you can't tell if s/he's male or female.

Feb 04, 2015

A detective story told in a society with robot avatars. The environment is as interesting as the plot. It left me wondering about what else could happen in this interesting world. I enjoyed the book and found the story picked up well throughout. I did not struggle to finish this one.

Cynthia_N Jan 30, 2015

Interesting book! Crimes committed by people who are under the control of others. Are they who they say they are? And who is ultimately responsible?

vmccreedy Dec 27, 2014

Agreed! @augsburgerin I was intrigued right away by the mystery, and it was a well put together police procedural. Also enjoyed the humour.

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