On August 26, 2014, author John Scalzi and Tor Books will release his newest novel, LOCK IN and for the next month I will be sitting here drumming my fingers impatiently. Now, I know a great many of you are probably wondering just who in the hell is John Scalzi and why have you never even heard of this book? Unless you are a science fiction aficionado, Scalzi may very well have never appeared on your bibliophilic-radar. So you're going to have to trust me on this: in the sci-fi world, he is a very big deal. His last novel, Redshirts, won last year's Hugo Award (although if we're going to be honest here, the competition last year was crap so...slow clap).
But LOCK IN may well end up being his genre cross-over novel and I'm going to tell you why I think you need to have your eyes on this one, even if this isn't your normal reading fare. Take a gander at the synopsis:
Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.But don't make the mistake of thinking this is your typical apocalyptic novel because Scalzi cannot be bothered with that drivel. Instead, Lock In is the story of how the American scientific community responds to those left "locked in" and the consequences and fall-out.
One per cent doesn't seem like a lot. But in the United States, that's 1.7 million people “locked in”...including the President's wife and daughter.
Of course, Scalzi being Scalzi, he wrote an engrossing short story revealing exactly how this virus, Hayden's Syndrome, got loose and destroyed so much of humanity. UNLOCKED: AN ORAL HISTORY OF HAYDEN'S SYNDROME is thirty-two pages told in the tradition of World War Z and once you read it, you'll be hooked on Scalzi's riveting premise. It's available for any ebook and for only $1.99, it's a steal. (Check it out on Barnes and Noble or Amazon or whatever your ebook thing is.)
And as all this wasn't enough, it was recently announced that the audiobook version of Lock In will actually be released in two versions. Oh yes. One will be read by Wil Wheaton (yes, I just said that) and the other read by Amber Benson. Why two versions? Because it's just completely awesome to have two different gender interpretations for this novel. Scalzi himself has all sorts of very cool things to say about it here. And if you think it's too difficult to decide which damn version to buy --- okay, admittedly I didn't because, well, Wil Wheaton --- Audible Studios is making it easy. If you pre-order they are throwing in both versions for the price of one. Um, yeah....I'm there.
So later on in September when you're seeing Lock In jumping up at you all over the place on blogs and reading lists and best-seller lists, don't forget you heard it here first. This one is going to make waves. Check it out.