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Lock In by John Scalzi

Lock In

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lock In (1)

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1,8371305,890 (3.89)158
Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves "locked in"--fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. One per cent doesn't seem like a lot. But in the United States, that's 1.7 million people "locked in"...including the President's wife and daughter. Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, "The Agora," in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can "ride" these people and use their bodies as if they were their own. This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse....John Scalzi's Lock In is a novel of our near future, from one of the most popular authors in modern science fiction… (more)
  1. 00
    Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch) by Ann Leckie (sturlington)
  2. 01
    A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: Lock In deals with humans using adaptive technology and what that means; A Closed and Common Orbit deals with humans and AIs and AIs using adaptive technology and what that means.

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» See also 158 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
A detective, murder mystery story about a disease that sometimes leads to complete paralysis and a need of virtual reality to integrate with society or the ability to host a "locked-in" person in your own body. The murder mystery is well done with plenty of excitement, action, and twists that you would expect. The world building of the ramifications of the disease is also really well done. It is written in away that makes it feel like this might be a real condition. I really enjoyed this book. The audiobook is narrated by Will Wheaton, who does a good job making it easy to follow, but is not a voice actor and every character sounds exactly the same. ( )
  renbedell | Sep 2, 2019 |
Really enjoyed this. At first it seemed a weird mash-up of a prequel for a terrible movie called surrogates crossed with last seasons most cancelled fox show, almost human. Tropes are tropes for a reason and a skillful author twists them to his devices and makes you question your assumptions. Which is exactly what happened. ( )
  erroneous-wolf-man | Aug 24, 2019 |
This was fantastic. Scalzi is a brilliant writer and Wheaton a brilliant narrator. They are quite the team.

It's a scifi mystery adventure.

The worst "flu" epidemic takes out a huge portion of the population in three stages. First it's basic flu symptoms, many people died. But for those who didn't, just when a patient feels well, the meningitis symptoms hit; many more people died. And for many a third stage hits them, which locks that person inside their body. They are conscious, but unable to walk or talk or physically function on their own.

After years of research and development and billions upon billions of dollars, neural networks are created for those "locked in" and they are able use this to at least communicate. And later, personal conveyances are created, which allow the locked in to link through their network, control the conveyance and actually go out into the world.

An entirely new subculture of humanity is born and with it prejudices, and the usual exploitation. Then the newly voted in government voted to rescind much of the funding which is the lifeblood of many locked in citizens.

Insert greedy people and the thought of massive profits and then there is corporate espionage, plots and murder. It was a fascinating story/listen! The bonus novella after told the origins of the disease, Haddon's, and how it was handled by the world at large. I'm glad it was included because the only part of the original story I was salty about was not knowing more about where the disease had come from and how people dealt with it in the early years. ( )
1 vote Virago77 | Aug 22, 2019 |
Have you ever read a book based solely on the blurb on the back cover? I picked up Lock In by John Scalzi at my local library because I found its summary fascinating. The book itself did not disappoint. Not only was I blown away, but I discovered a new favorite author in the process.

Lock In begins with a description of a virus that ravaged the world. No country was immune to it, and the entire world suffered immensely. If you somehow managed to survive it, you may have escaped mostly unscathed. Unfortunately, roughly 1% of the disease’s survivors end up paralyzed with locked in syndrome, also known as Haden’s Syndrome, for the rest of their lives.

The main character, Chris Shane, is a famous Haden and a new FBI agent. His first day on the job, he meets his partner, Agent Vann, tours his new facility, and begins an investigation of a murder committed by an Integrator, someone who had the disease and survived without becoming locked in, but can now give a locked in person use of his or her body. Unsurprisingly, things get complicated. Just a day in the life, eh? Shane has an incredibly sarcastic sense of humor and the majority of his conversations end in a hilarious quip. In fact, most, if not all, of the characters enjoy a certain sense of levity, which really adds to the reading experience.

Scalzi possesses an astounding sense of imagination, emphasized by how difficult it is to label the genre, as the book is equal parts sci-fi, mystery, dystopian and speculative fiction. He also composes striking physical and mental illustrations of characters, as many of the locked in characters must either use a Threep, a controllable personal robot, or an Integrator to move around in their daily lives. It also takes a lot of finesse to effectively create a world that resembles our own, but in a slightly alternate future, which Scalzi accomplishes beautifully.

The book’s themes also parallel many issues in today’s political atmosphere. From debates over whether or not more money should be thrown into Haden-related government programs, to the appearance of a violent political revolution, and finally to the media’s effect on an already high-strung populace, there are some very uncanny similarities. It’s fascinating to view these issues in a new light and from differing perspectives.

The plot, the writing, and the characters in Lock In by John Scalzi impressed me immensely. As someone who had no prior knowledge about his writing and who had heard nothing about the book beforehand, I walked away with a fabulous first impression. I highly recommend this book to everyone, even those of you who have never forayed into the realm of science fiction. Go for it; you won’t regret it!
( )
1 vote Codonnelly | Jun 24, 2019 |
I enjoyed this book but would have been totally confused if I didn't read the free online prequel first. Definitely read it first - http://www.tor.com/2014/05/13/unlocked-an-oral-history-of-hadens-syndrome-john-s... ( )
  Awill424 | Jun 9, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scalzi, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benson, AmberNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Joe Hill, I told you I was going to do this.

And to Daniel Mainz, my very dear friend.
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Haden's syndrome is the name given to a set of continuing physical and mental conditions and disabilities initially brought on by "the Great Flu," the influenza-like global pandemic that resulted in the deaths of more than 400 million people worldwide, either through the initial flu-like symptoms, the secondary stage of meningitis-like cerebral and spinal inflammation, or through complications arising due to the third stage of the disease, which typically caused complete paralysis of the voluntary nervous system, resulting in "lock in" for its victims.
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