Thursday, July 9, 2015
Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future by John Scalzi
I bought this book as a reaction to the boycott effort, which was called against the Daw books. The far right people who were demanding it seem to especially hate John Scalzi, so this book was an appropriate choice.
After a wide spread viral infection a number of people are left locked in, that is “imprisoned” inside their brains. Apparently, the lock-in which was caused by the virus isn’t similar to the ordinary lock-in syndrome, which is usually caused by damage of pons. At least the locked-in persons in the novel apparently retain some of feeling of their body, while the normal locked-ins usually do not retain any sensory functions.
Some of those who recovered from the disease are able to allow other people ride inside their minds. There are also sophisticated robotic bodies, which also can be used by the locked in people. To enable those, the lock-ins have a sophisticated intracerebral wiring with highly developed software attached to them. Most of the lock-ins practically live inside the robot/android bodies and their physical bodies are being taken care of in faculties designed for that.
A locked in person with a very rich and famous dad has just started working for the FBI. Her first case involves a lock-in person, who apparently was killed in pretty strange circumstances. Slowly a conspiracy is revealed.
The book is mainly a police procedural in the future with people with an interesting fictional disorder. I would have like that the symptoms and what it is to be a sufferer of the disease had been examined in more detail. The writing pretty straight forward and simple with nice, maybe too light banter, but the plot was engaging and interesting. The book was pretty fast read. Especially the beginning of the book had a lot of exposition, which wasn’t done very well – people were telling each other’s things there certainly knew, in the best “as you know, Bob” manner. Nice summer reading, not as good as “Old Man’s War” books. If this had been a Hugo nominee, it wouldn’t have been my first choice, but not the last, either.