Saturday, May 30, 2015
Cephalopod Coffee House
Cephalopod Coffee House is a product of the Armchair Squid. Complete list of participants is at the link.
This month, I read Lock In by John Scalzi. In the world of Lock In, a new, highly contagious disease called Haden's Syndrome that causes total paralysis in about 1% of those affected. Because Haden's Syndrome is so contagious and there's now way to determine who will be "locked in" (and quite a few rich, famous and powerful people have been afflicted), billions of dollars have been invested by world governments in researching the disease, and allowing those who have been paralyzed (called Hadens) to be fully functional members of society. However, where Lock In picks up that is about to change in the United States. Congress has just passed a law defunding all Haden research and support. This starts off a revolution within the Haden community that threatens to destabilize society at large.
Within this preexisting situation, a murder has occurred involving an Integrator (a person who'd had Haden's Syndrome, but fully recovered, albeit with an altered brain structure) who happens to be the brother of the leader of the Haden movement. The murder is being investigated by Chris Shane, the "Poster Child" of Haden's Syndrome who is now an FBI agent. As the investigation unfolds, more Hadens turn up dead, and the Haden Rights movement becomes a implicated.
Basically, Lock In is a police procedural wrapped in a shiny sci-fi cover that leaves the higher questions that combination might ask out of the equation. Scalzi does his best to fill in the blanks on how people who are completely paralyzed would interact with the world at large and the book is full of humor and was a pretty quick read. I enjoyed it, and maybe some of you might too.