Saturday, April 9, 2016

Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome, by John Scalzi

I was browsing the electronic books for my public library, looking at favorite authors, and came across Unlocked.  I enjoyed Redshirts so went for this one.

Scalzi made an interesting move here by taking all the explanatory stuff one would normally have to work into a novel and publishing it as a precursor to another novel.  We get several interviews with people involved in the big social change that came along when a massive viral infection causes a large number of people to have "locked in" syndrome--they are conscious but unresponsive.  A way is found to give them robotic telepresence, and the large numbers pose a social integration issue.

It's well written and all, but I am not sure I'd run out and buy the story.  We're already headed this way and I don't think the change is going to proceed in a way that would show the book to be particularly prescient.  I might go back and read it if I'd already read Lock In, the "real" novel.
3 stars for solid writing.

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