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Lock In

Lock In [Kindle Edition]

John Scalzi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description


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's clubbing you over the head with fun, and intrigue, and a compelling narcotic craving desire to keep reading. (

Book Description

Imagine a plague that incapacitates almost 1.7 million people - and now imagine a cure that is even worse.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 693 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0575134348
  • Publisher: Gollancz (28 Aug 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J37925A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,929 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, great characters, great story 16 Nov 2014
By Jim J-R
John Scalzi is rapidly becoming one of my favourite science fiction authors. In this new novel he depicts a world after a massive flu epidemic, which leaves thousands of people with a type of locked-in syndrome. Industry quickly catches up, with mind-controlled robots becoming available for the locked-in to use to interact with the world. This is the story of a locked in FBI officer in his first week on the job.

The science fiction elements of the story are fascinating. It's a really clever idea to think about users of remote controlled avatars ad how their world would work, for example being able to rent a new body in a different place and jump straight there. There are aspects that really stand out, including the slang that's developed around the new situations. Scalzi also uses these elements of world building to feed the plot, rather than just to create somewhere for it to happen, and I really liked the complete integration of the whole story.

The characters are really interesting, although I didn't feel we explored them in as much depth as we could have. There area a good range of characters all of whom fit into the world that Scalzi has constructed and help to make the whole novel feel a single work of art. The story keeps you guessing, and fits the mould of a crime novel without compromise - making it one of the best pieces of cross-genre fiction I've read for some time.

An excellent novel that explores potentially real issues while remaining thoroughly entertaining. I'm really loving getting into John Scalzi's novels and will definitely be looking to fill out my collection of his back catalogue as I wait for the next one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is something of departure from Scalzi's other works, as it is basically a police procedural, albeit in a near-future world with some significant differences from our world of today.

The basic setup imagines a world where a new pandemic disease has struck, and for some of those whom the disease did not kill outright, leaves them completely paralyzed, with no method to communicate to the outside world. So far, this is something that many other novels have explored. But Scalzi takes this three steps further: he adds a technology that allows these `locked-in' people to directly control robot avatars, although at significant cost for the research to develop the technology and to actually install the necessary hardware interface, he adds another class of people known as `integrators', very small in number, where the disease changes their brain structure to allow them to directly interface with other lock-ins, and shows the economic, political, and social changes in society that occur when a significant number of people now interact with world via these robots, a mark of writer who really understands the nuances of what science fiction is all about. The background history of the disease and its aftereffects are only briefly covered in this work, just enough to set the stage for this story. For a much fuller detailing of the events leading to the opening of this book, see his novella Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome, which is recommended.

The protagonist of this work is one of these lock-ins, Chris Shane, starting a new job as a police officer, who, on his first day on the job, is dragged in to the investigation of an apparent murder, with the original main suspect being one of these integrators.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lock In 15 Sep 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is the first book by John Scalzi that I have read, but I shall make a point of hunting out more of his works. This is his latest novel, published in 2014.

In a future not far from our current time, a virus has spread across the globe. Flu-like symptoms affect many, and of those 4% suffer meningitis-type sysmptoms. A further 1% of those who fall sick get much worse, experiencing “lock in”, where the victims are fully awake and aware, but cannot move or respond to anything. Twenty five years on from the onset of “Haden’s syndrome”, those who are affected by the lock in are now largely able to be fully functional in society, through the care of their bodies, and the ability of their consciousness to interact through complex computer programs and ‘threep’ machine bodies. There is also the option to ‘integrate’ with some people who are able to use neural interfaces to allow the locked-in Haden sufferer to utilise their body as surrogates – for meetings, or for special occasions.

In the world where Haden’s is now a part of society, how accepted Haden sufferers are depends largely on those around them; and when law changes in the US threaten to impact those who are dependent on government funding and support for their ongoing lives as locked in afflicted, tensions are bound to run high. That, coinciding with a homicide which appears to be Haden-related makes life difficult for new FBI agent Chris Shane, himself a Haden, and son of a Senator hopeful candidate.

This is a great novel; a great blend of sci-fi (but a sci-fi world that is so closely related to our own world as to be scarily familiar) and police procedure; as in any world, greed and corruption threaten those who are not able to help themselves, and law enforcement agencies are faced with difficult choices.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to his best!
I just loved this book. It's an original "near future" idea, surrounded by fast-paced corporate political and crime intrigue. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Mrs T
3.0 out of 5 stars Lock in
Loved the preamble and so glad it was recommended. This was a move for me, into the world of Sci fi. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Sarah Noel
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely locked in
I couldn't put it down I felt the world created by the author is so beautifully written the characters come with real feel to them and the storytelling is always first class
Published 17 days ago by Tony
4.0 out of 5 stars solid Scalzi
Fun who done it with a great scifi twist. I hope there are more to come. Scalzi's sarcastic wit in evidence.
Published 18 days ago by A. Sawyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Believable Sci Fi
The Hayden disease started off looking like the common flu, but when people fell into comas and did not come out again we realised this was something very different. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Sam Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome!
I had read the short story Unlocked and couldn't wait for the novel. It ticks all my boxes; futuristic, high tech, crime, the human condition! Loved it. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Elmamaria
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I enjoyed parts of this and the idea is good but I'm not sure it completely worked.
Published 26 days ago by Mrs. Jd Rumble
5.0 out of 5 stars A good one
This is a fun, direct and deceptively simple novel, with well-drawn characters, great near-future world-building and a punchy plot. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and thought provoking
This is a Hollywood movie waiting to happen (if it's not already in the works). Fantastic storytelling and a well worked conclusion. Recommended.
Published 1 month ago by Chris Donnelly
1.0 out of 5 stars Formatting errors spoil the book
This refers only to the Kindle edition. I was unable to continue reading this book past the first few chapters, as the Kindle formatting was sloppy and unprofessional, with... Read more
Published 1 month ago by John Fulton
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