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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,624 ratings  ·  279 reviews

When seventeen-year-old Toby McGonigal finds himself lost in space, separated from his family, he expects his next drift into cold sleep to be his last. After all, the planet he's orbiting is frozen and sunless, and the cities are dead. But when Toby wakes again, he's surprised to discover a thriving planet, a strange and prosperous galaxy, and something stranger still—tha

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Tor Books
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Melody At one point I guess it was a stand alone. But there is now more including the new one The Million set in the same universe.
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  1,624 ratings  ·  279 reviews

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About halfway through Lockstep, I realized that I wasn't smart enough to understand it. That makes it sort of hard to review.
The whole Lockstep system was totally confusing to someone with my limited brain power. See, the people on these planets hibernate for X amount of years (30 or so, I think), and then thaw out. They live their lives normally for about a month or so before jumping into a hibernation bed again.
Wash. Rinse Repeat.
But the problem comes when you add in the planets that don't op
Experiment BL626
This was one of my most anticipated books for 2014. I enjoyed the read but I was not wowed as I had hoped to be.

What I Like

+ the world building

The world building confused me, which I should have expected because the book was hard science fiction. It wasn’t till the middle of the book that I finally understood what lockstep was, and I felt giddy when I did. It took some time but it was worth it. I was amazed by how sophisticated and creative the world building was.

It was very interesting reading
3.5 stars. The basis for the far future human civilization in this book is fascinating; hibernate for years at a time while bots mine, process manufacture, plant, etc, so that when you wake, goods are available. In this future, humans have moved past Pluto (sorry, bud, you're not becoming a planet again), colonizing nomad planets. Mars, other solar system planets and other rocks are also colonized. All sorts of human experiments happened, with a variety of settlements and even civilizations risi ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum:

My brain does not feel fully equipped to handle Lockstep. Obviously, this is not a criticism of the book; rather it is one on my limitations in spatial-temporal thinking. For you see, the whole book revolves around a fascinating but sometimes confusing concept of coordinated hibernation cycles. With no warp drives and light-years between colonized planets, it's the most efficient way to keep a civilization going in a huge
Emma Sea
Aug 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, pn-library
this is YA, so it's fair to say I'm not the target market, but I have no idea why this is so popular. DNF on page 175. I didn't even make it halfway. The premise is expanded from Dayworld, which is cool, but the characters' stories so far are all "no time to explain," followed by a wordbuilding infodump. Repeat. And the MC has no inner life. I simply do not care about Toby, and as yet I have no idea what the love interest/side kick's goal is. Right now she is literally giving the MC the silent t ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Toby Wyatt McGonigal is only an ordinary, if extremely smart, 17-year-old boy. He was morosely flying his ship out to comet Rockette under orders of his father one day, when disaster struck. The hull of his ship was holed by a speck of rock. The automatic mechanics and bots of his ship had taken over while Toby was in deep sleep in a Cicada. The bots fixed the damage while Toby stayed in deep sleep. Toby's parents had bought the hibernation beds and had vastly improved their technology. But now, ...more
I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my book blog, Rinn Reads.

In case you haven’t already guessed, I love science fiction. One thing that frustrates me is the stigma that comes with the genre – it’s geeky, it’s nerdy, it’s for people with no lives. Which is all a load of rubbish, and since YA sci-fi has become increasingly more common, I hope it’s a stereotype that will soon disappear. One thing I have noticed though, is that th
The synopsis for Lockstep sounded really interesting, but unfortunately it turned out to be rather dull. It took me far longer to read this than I thought it would and I really pushed myself not to DNF it a couple of times. What I did like about the book was the concept of the Lockstep worlds where people who had colonized different planets slept for 30 years at a time in a frozen state, and were awake for only a month at a time. This allowed them to live for thousands of years and to travel to ...more
Toby McGonical's family has escaped from Earth and its super rich dominated society to settle Sedna, a planet many miles away. The McGonical family has altered a hibernation bed - a cicada bed- which was previously invented to treat the incredibly sick, into a device which freezes the passengers of star ships enabling them to fly incredible distances before waking up the crew. Since they are hibernating they do not age.

When Toby is out on a mission to claim an asteroid for his family his ship is
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*3,5 stars* I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!

Reviewing Lockstep proves to be very hard for me. There were so many things that I loved about the book but in the end it couldn't completely convince me of its grandness, unfortunately. I've come to realize that I'd read books of any genre as long as the characters appeal to me. I like to feel what they feel and the best books are those who best describe human emotions
Althea Ann
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've read (and loved) quite a few of Karl Schroeder's books, but this was the first to be marketed as YA, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I found it better than I expected!

Toby McGonigal is a near-future teen, obsessed with playing simulation video games, a loving brother and son. His family are pioneers, among the first to leave the solar system and lay claim to a rogue planet. In order to cement the ownership claim, the family must physically visit all the bodies in the system - but on
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
This was pretty fun science fiction novel that explored some unique ideas. I found the concept of Lockstepping to be very fascinating and enjoyed learning how these hypernation cycles affected every aspect of their society. The characters felt a bit weak and the plot began to drag, but overall I enjoyed this one for the tidbits of hard science.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Enthusiasts and time-trippers both YA and OA
Recommended to Alan by: I thought it was one of John Scalzi's "Big Idea" guest columns, but no. Probably io9, then
Karl Schroeder's Lockstep is that comparative rarity, at least among the books I've been reading lately: a standalone work, without (apparent) intent to become a neverending "saga." That's extremely refreshing, but in this case it's also (almost) a shame, because the setting for Lockstep is complex and unusual, with a lot of potential for rich storytelling.

This is the setup: given a slower-than-lightspeed universe (just like the one we seem to be stuck with in reality), a universe where even the
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karl Schroeder produces a classic early-80s hard-SF adventure novel. Or do I mean early-90s? Heck, it could be early-70s, depending on whether I want put it in the genre of _Ringworld_ or _Fire Upon the Deep_.

_Lockstep_ is not as gargantuan as either of those, but it *is* a genuinely new idea for a hard-SF civilization. I didn't think any of those were left. Come to think of it, the last one was Schroeder's _Permanence_, unless it was Schroeder's Virga books. I guess he's chosen a metier.

I will
Jeff Raymond
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-sci-fi
I had picked this up thinking it was a foray into YA sci-fi in a way that was sorely lacking. Having never read a Karl Schroeder book before, I was happy to find a good (albeit sometimes draggy) science fiction tale even if it's not really young adult.

The story is really about Toby, who wakes up 14000 years after being put in a frozen state. He quickly learns that his family pioneered a form of interstellar travel/cooperation called the Lockstep, which involved timing states of sleep/suspended a
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the world, I am a huge sucker for good world building and if you do that, you halfway have me as a reader. The characters were both good and bad, the main I enjoyed, the rest as a whole were not as developed to me as Toby, the hero.

It's a interesting story, and will draw you in, if you are a fan of hard science fiction and want to try some young adult, this is the book for you. I'm a fan and look forward to future tales.

Apologize for the shortness, I decided to get to the point on a few
Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
*I received a free ARC of Lockstep from Macmillan / Tor/Forge via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

The start of Lockstep is very slow, but once I got into the story, I was completely hooked!
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 stars

This review is based on an ARC received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.

After spending fourteen thousand years adrift in space, Toby McGonigal wakes to find himself in a future where most people spend thirty years asleep for every month spent awake, and that these cycles are controlled by his despotic brother and sister.

full review
Let me preface by saying that this is not a bad book.
*Genre* Science Fiction
*Rating* 3.0

*I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

*My Thoughts*

For Seventeen year old Toby McGonigal, a supposed quick trip to a comet called Rockette to file a claim on it in behest of his family, ends in a 14,000 year journey thanks to a major malfunction with his ship, and ends profoundly changing his life, while putting him directly into confrontation with
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnt-finish
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I seem to be on a run lately of reading weaker books by authors that I like. I ended up skimming this book after the first hundred pages.
While I loved the Virga series, many of the strengths of those books were not apparent in this one.

One: imagery: Virga was a really cool steampunk/singularity cross, with airships, gear-cities, and other great images. I didn't really get any of that with Lockstep.

Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[4 Stars] Video Review Here:

I will start off this review by saying that I hardly ever read hard science fiction, particularly space opera. That being said, it is a genre which has always intrigued me. Space opera operates at such a grand epic scale with characters jumping from planet to planet and entire empires unfolding before your very eyes. In all honesty, the idea of reading a book about the vast uncharted empire of space was quite intimidating to me. I hoped Loc
Feb 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The lockstep is the weirdest concept I have ever come across. By hibernating, the population of a far flung colony can exist on almost nothing but the power required for the deep sleep modules. While they slumber, bots tend the day to day activities, harvesting and harbouring resources to sustain the colony when it wakes, and to fuel a journey across the stars to another colony for the purpose of trade. If they sleep on the ship, they can awaken at that other colony, having travelled multiple li ...more
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Upon initial evaluation, Lockstep sounds like your typical YA: young protagonists engaging in a soppy romance while navigating a loopy plot with staggeringly bad logic and science.

But that is not this book.

What we have is an intelligent, well written, and thoroughly grounded hard sci fi with a surprisingly warm heart at the core. Originally published in parts in Analog magazine, the story provides a realistic method b
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned-read
Let's start with the obvious and work our way back from that (trust me that sentence is very funny after you read the book). I am not a science person. String theory or time travel is about my limit, everything else inhabits a hazy sort of nebulous region of "Well it sounds plausible". I thought a lot of Star Trek sounded plausible and real so that's the level of scientific gullibility I have. LOCKSTEP requires you to really think about what you're reading--not just the characters or their motiv ...more
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if we jump off the wagon train of humanity hurtling towards singularity and skipped a few decades at a time, would we become effectively immortal or just outdated? For a YA science fiction novel, Lockstep poses some very adult questions. Well, at least, the book gives this senior reader some pause for thought.

The story of Lockstep itself is very YA: a teenager trapped in hibernation on his way to claim a comet for his newly-colonial family wakes to find a burgeoning civilization that is si
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Lockstep by Karl Schroeder is a space opera sci-fi novel which tells the story of Toby McGonigal who wakes up after a drift into cold sleep to be confronted with a new and confusing world. He must learn about the lockstep and his place within this new society. I was given a free copy by Tor/McMillan to review. I should point out straight off the bat that sci-fi/space opera is not a genre with which I am very familiar. In some ways that is a good thing; I am not so clued in to the standard tropes ...more
Toby is the seventeen-year-old scion of the McGonigal family, which is in the process of colonizing Sedna, one of the countless unclaimed orphan planets that can be found in interstellar space, far beyond Pluto but light years away from the next-nearest star. To secure ownership of the planet, the McGonigals must also claim every single one of its moons, so when a distant satellite of the planet is discovered, Toby is dispatched to go claim it for the family. But then something goes horribly wro ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, ya-fantasy, ebook
3.5 stars
The first half of the book was a definite 4 stars, but the last half was more like 3 stars. So I split the difference and give it 3.5 stars. I am obsessed with space novels, and fortunately for me there seem to be a lot being published right now. This one was unique and in-depth in its world building. The character development was well done. I felt like the last half explained the lockstep system repeatedly. I just wanted the story, but the explanation kept getting in the way. The premi
Timothy Ward
I'm afraid this is a did not finish for me. The idea of hibernating planets across the universe is interesting, and I liked the plight of our main character with how his family is involved and (view spoiler), but after around the scene with the cat purchase, I realized I didn't care enough about the plot to keep reading. Lots of details, not enough engagement on what will happen. ...more
Dana Stabenow
Earth emigrates outward to occupy worlds on which they live awake for one month and then sleep for the next forty years while the robots carry on with the making and mining of resources, to which the sleepers then wake up and reap the benefits of. All the worlds march in lockstep, until one of them doesn't, and then the lost heir shows up. A bit complicated and over-detailed, but an interesting premise.
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Karl Schroeder is an award-winning Canadian science fiction author. His novels present far-future speculations on topics such as nanotechnology, terraforming, augmented reality and interstellar travel, and have a deeply philosophical streak. One of his concepts, known as thalience, has gained some currency in the artificial intelligence and computer networking communities.

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“Makers?" said Toby. Jaysir nodded.

"We're not loners, you know. There just weren't any on Wallop. We love to get together, we just refuse to engage in social relations that are based on material inequity.”
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