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Lock In

(Lock In #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  62,492 ratings  ·  6,339 reviews
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 affe ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Tor Books
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Dan There's definitely a line in the book where his dad is referred to as "an angry black man with a gun" It stuck in my mind as I had an unconscious visu…moreThere's definitely a line in the book where his dad is referred to as "an angry black man with a gun" It stuck in my mind as I had an unconscious visualisation of him as a white man until that point. His mother is referred to as having ancestors who ran guns for the Confederacy which more than likely makes her white and Chris mixed race.

Its a wonderful book for making race, gender and sexuality completely irrelevant to the story. I wish more SF&F could do that. I never picked up at all that the gender of Chris isn't specified so great work John.(less)
Ben Just finished the book, and you're right – she doesn't end up explaining it, even though she promised to!…moreJust finished the book, and you're right – she doesn't end up explaining it, even though she promised to!(less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  62,492 ratings  ·  6,339 reviews

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Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've read pretty much everything John Scalzi has written at this point, so when I pick up one of his books, I don't expect anything in particular. I just know he's going to take me somewhere, and I trust that he's going to make the ride a pleasant one.

Even so, I was a little surprised by this book. In some ways it's sci-fi but not rocketships-and-lasers sci-fi. In other ways it's a mystery, but not the Victorian-style Sherlock sort of thing. It's also kind of a police procedural. Maybe a bit of
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This one is going to be made into a movie, sooner rather than later.

Go ahead and call Fandango and decide which candy goes best with your buttered popcorn (Junior Mints). I would not be at all surprised if Scalzi did not have some preliminary discussions with Hollywood.

Lock In is a delicious combination of Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov with Scalzi’s signature snarky characterization and dialogue. This is also vaguely reminiscent of Poul Anderson’s Harvest of Stars books where consciousness ca
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
3.5-4 stars.

When I first started reading this book I was so confused I thought I was going to give up. Then my friend Mike came to my rescue explaining that there is a novella to this book up at Tor. http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/05/un.... I really think that part needs added to this book, it's very hard to figure out what's going on without it.

Once I read that I was sucked into this book.
A flu type virus has been transmitted globally. At first it starts flu like, if you survive that the secon
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you ever want a morbid exercise to kill some time, imagine living through this: full consciousness, full comprehension - and the complete inability to control your body, a physical paralysis that does not affect your mind, a complete and total helplessness that does not even provide you with a merciful unawareness but instead leaves you just lying there, conscious but immobile and unable to communicate.

This is what hell is like, I'd imagine - imprisonment within your own self. This is what li
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-shelf, sci-fi
My enjoyment of this book is probably unduly influenced by the narrator, a certain Will Wheaton, who pulled off yet another hat trick with his friend John Scalzi. What can I say? I'm a fan of both. So how does that allow me to rank a tale on a tale's own merits?

It doesn't. Alas. I just had a good time no matter what.


So what's this about? Telepresence! It's a novel about telepresence! Yeah, yeah, there's the horrible brain-re-writing virus and the people who weren't hit so hard with it, all
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
robots photo: robot2.jpg

4.5* Although Lock in was confusing to begin with, the story soon captures your attention. Since earth’s Great Flu caused paralysis of the nervous system to more than 2.75 billion humans worldwide, robots called Tweeps are being used by individuals, along with Integrators who can share their bodies. Chris Shane, a Tweep, has recently been hired as an FBI agent and assigned a partner, Integrator FBI veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two agents are given a task to investigate a murder at a nearby
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, sci-fi
Look, we all know that eventually robots are going to take over the world and kill all humans. That's a problem for future-us to worry about. Today-us is having fun seeing who could build the smartest robot ever. To have sex with. Seriously Japan? WTH?

Redneck version

But one way to avoid this mass genocide of the human race is to build robots that we can actually download ourselves into. Then, we get all of the cool parts of being robots and living in a robot world without the bloody ending. Take
mark monday
from the Earth Journal of Scientific Analyst SLJLK92349UO,
Earth Invasion Exploratory Unit

It’s tough to be a human: that is something I’ve learned during my lengthy time studying the human species on this planet Earth. Life itself is hard, of course, with its everyday pitfalls and each individual’s long-term ambitions and disappointments… but for humanity that difficulty is compounded by all of the –isms that exist to divide humanity from itself. Isms based on race and culture and gender and ori
4 to 4.5 stars

Bonus points for creativity. It was an unexpectedly unique sci-fi/techno mystery with nice twists of humor. I am glad that I didn't know much about this going in because it was fun to get into this bizarre new world (is it okay to say it's fun to get into a plague filled world?)

I will say that this is a very brainy story. A lot of concentration and thought must be given in order to keep up. I am still not entirely sure of everything that happened!
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25ish stars.

Oh, John Scalzi. Your words are my comfort food. Whenever I fall into a reading slump, I know that I can come back to you. This book is no exception.

It's got everything I expect from him. It's creative - I love the concepts of the threeps and the Agora. Interesting characters, especially Agent Vann and Cassandra Bell. Engaging central mystery. And the classic Scalzi dialogue that is his trademark.

I get that this isn't the same thing and I don't mean to be insensitive, but I can't
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
First off, if you haven't read the prequel short story for this book, do so now, even if you have already read this book. It is short but does a tremendous job fleshing out the world this book takes place in. Seriously, go read it now. And if you are feeling so inclined, check out my review of it.

All done with that? Good.

So at its very heart, good science fiction is about introducing some change in technology and extrapolating how that change will affect people and societies. Good ones will not
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: Amazon Daily Deal 10Apr18 here for $2.99

Will you like this book?

Honestly I think it will depend on what you care about in the book. If what you are looking for is a great who-done-it murder mystery well then this maybe won’t be for you since that part of the book was a little easy to figure out and was just okay as murder mysteries go. But if what you want is something that makes you wonder what society would be like if one part of the general population is essentially stuck inside
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, cyber-poly
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the ladies at BB&B!!!

Well this stile of writing feels like a blast from the past! Cyber-Punk and plague-pocalipse mixed in one with some humorous undertones. I enjoyed the heck out of it!!!

John Scalzi is a very refreshing and bright author. He is a Sci-fi nerd through and through, and the popular Science Fiction TV and literature of the 80's and early 90's, which by the way is some of my favorite, can be seen as a heavy influence on his themes and stile. Coming from me
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: weird, fantasy
From London City Airport... waiting for my flight with a fresh cappucino...finished this one, great book!!
How shall I describe it... a crime novel in apocalyptic sort of time. Quite unusual, great read.
Recommended & looking forward to the followup, I believe to be published in 2018.
Imagine living your life at one remove, as through a veil; more of a passenger than a protagonist. Would you feel secure, claustrophobic, wanting release - and if so, at what cost? Would it be easier if it was the only existence you'd ever known, or if you had memories of a normal life? What is it that makes us human, anyway - surely not the efficacy of our physical bodies?

I was hooked by the situation, but infuriated by the constant and very crass exposition (for which I downgrade the book), an
Andrew Smith
I confess that I really struggled with this book. It's not that I think it a bad book, rather I think it's a book I was incapable of fully appreciating. Not my style, too outlandish? No, not really either of these. I like books that commence with an event that so disturbs our world that it is forever significantly changed (in this case it was a disease, of which more later). It does require a leap of faith to accept the new world, but I was up for that too and fully willing to jump in neck deep ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2020, thriller
In the near future a highly contagious viral pandemic has swept through the world (sound familiar?). Millions died from the initial flu like symptoms or from the secondary meningitis-like illness it caused. Some who survived the meningitis developed "lock-in" (called Haden's syndrome), their fully awake brain locked into a body no longer able to move or respond to stimuli. Although no cure has been found, scientific advances have made it possible for people with Haden's to integrate their neural ...more
Elyse  Walters
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Locked In" is the first Science Fiction book I've read all year, (I've read very little science fiction in an entire lifetime).
'John Scalzi' fans have told me this novel is different than all his others. I have nothing to compare. But.., I liked it!!! I was pleasantly surprised at storytelling. It felt like a contemporary
fiction crime thriller. The story takes place in the future... But not so far off -- that I couldn't
Imagine cars driving themselves. ( we have these now).

I find the whole "h
4.5 stars!

Count me in as new fan of John Scalzi!

After listening to Scalzi's Redshirts, (also narrated by Will Wheaton), I knew I would be reading and/or listening to more of his books in the future. I wasn't all-out crazy about it, due to what I felt was the excessive use of "he saids" and "she saids" in the narrative, but I recognized interesting world-building and great story-telling skills and wanted to try more of Scalzi's work. I'm so glad I did!

The world-building in this book is just...bey
Emily B
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I thought the idea of this book was really cool but after reading it I feel that book just wasn’t for me. I finished It because it wasn’t too long and a relatively easy read.

It just wasn’t that exciting. Nothing was particularly surprising to me. There were no big twists or turns and a lot of simple dialogue. The events of the investigation just didn’t seem natural or realistic in any way. Everything happens within a week or less of the main characters first week on the job. And a lot happens i
Scalzi does it again.

Society is struck with a form of meningitis in which certain people are 'locked in' to their bodies - able to feel and hear and see and think - but completely unable to move. These people are called Hadens. They can use droids that are uploaded with their consciousness to move around in the physical world.

Another, much smaller subset of people were affected but were not paralyzed. These are called Integrators and Hadens can hire them to serve as a vehicle for their conscious
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopian
I want to say this was fun (and I think I just did), so I'll just say it outright, Fun! I'm a little hesitant to say that because the story behind the story has a serious tone – a flu epidemic and a multi-murder investigation. This is what I think it is about books like these: Sci-Fi authors are cool because they imagine things yet to exist, crazy stuff that could possibly happen, or just crazy stuff that probably won't. I don't read a lot of Sci-Fi books, but I'm drawn to certain ones for those ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2014/08/25/b...

Whenever I need a good pick-me-up or book to brighten up my day I always turn to John Scalzi, and he hasn’t let me down yet. I’ve been a big fan of his ever since I read Old Man’s War, and that’s also when I started associating his work with light, humorous sci-fi that’s also accessible and not too overwhelming for someone like me, who is predominantly a fantasy reader and not always in the mood for hard science fiction
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Scalzi scores again with me in his solid storytelling and imaginative play on technology trends. The big “what-if” here concerns advances in brain-machine interfaces that allow someone who is largely paralyzed to live in the real world by controlling a robot. The premise gets pushed to a large scale following a plague resembling viral encephalitis that kills off a lot of people and leaves millions intellectually intact but unable to move, a state referred to as “lock in”. The care of these peopl ...more
Diane S ☔
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A big surprise to me, but I loved this book and I am far from a lover of Science fiction. Plus I learned many new words like threeps and integrators. The thought of a flu that would affect the world as Hadens does in this novel is absolutely frightening. But I suppose it has before, the Spanish flu, but that killed people, Haden does much worse.

A murder mystery, some great characters and a fast moving pace kept me reading with great curiosity.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My first book by Scalzi and it was amazing! Such great ideas and the world is really engaging, fascinating and totally relateable. I am going to read more from him. And I will grab the upcoming sequel the first moment I can.
Whitney Atkinson
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
This book wasn't horrible, but I had very little motivation to return to it every time I put it down. Sci-fi isn't my favorite genre to begin with, so I was actually surprised that I enjoyed this world, yet once the whole FBI mystery aspect of this novel was thrown in as well, it lost my interest again. This book took me too long to read, so important characters introduced in the beginning of the book were meaningless to me when I reached the solution. This just resonated very "meh" with me. ...more

Featured on my 2014 favourites list!

I had a pretty good idea going in that I would enjoy this book. What I didn’t know was that I was going to spend a whole day telling myself I would read “just one more chapter” putting off breakfast… and then lunch… until there were no more chapters left to negotiate over, and it was practically dinner time.

Often, when entering a fictional world that is different for our own–be they far in the future, on another world, or in a place ruled by magic
2.5 stars


Barely science fiction. Mostly police procedural.

Too much dialogue, and lacking in Scalzi's usual wit and humor. Infodumps before the novel started, over dinner and at other times (Show, don't tell!). I expected more/better from Scalzi.

Glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't buy it.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hmm this is a tricky one to comment on - you see you could zoom in on it and dissect it to the most basic elements of the story, in this case its a cop buddy story where two totally dissimilar characters team up and actually learn from each other and in the process get the bad guys and become heroes. But that is far too easy and misses a HUGE part of the story.

Or you could zoom out and see it as shocking discussion about how sooner or later any natural disaster (in this case the Hadens syndrome)
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Tampa Nerd Night ...: Lock In – March 2016 1 7 May 01, 2020 05:59PM  
Play Book Tag: Lock In by John Scalzi - 4 stars 6 16 Apr 28, 2020 11:53AM  
The Evolution of ...: March 2019 - Lock In by John Scalzi 36 29 Apr 02, 2019 10:42AM  
Sci-Fi Group Book...: Lock In 8 33 May 20, 2018 01:35PM  
Cyborg Knights: Sci-Fi: Locked In by John Scalzi 2 7 Apr 12, 2018 09:04AM  
Apocalypse Whenever: December 2014: Lock In (and prequel) by John Scalzi 82 165 Feb 24, 2018 02:28PM  
Sci-Fi Indonesia: Buddy read: Lock In (John Scalzi) 30 52 Jan 14, 2018 05:05PM  

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John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)

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