Lock In by John Scalzi
Published by Tor books in 2015
I loved this book! It is a police procedural set in a post-epidemic future, with human remote-viewing technology and robot surrogates. The technology is imagined in relation to the the social effects and there are some plausible arguments. The main characters are a little cliched, a hard-bitten senior partner and a rich-kid rookie that proves his worth, but there are some interesting ideas around consent, autonomy, privacy, disabled rights and technology equality. I also really enjoyed the matter-of-fact references to the gay couple’s marriage – in this future they have a weird disease to contend with, but they have nailed marriage equality.
There is also a mini-novel at the end of the book about the disease in the main story and how the US responded to the threat. This little bonus was interesting, especially when it approached the idea of prisoners being bought out of life sentences in return for medical experimentation on their bodies – the characters voices were disctinct and the outcome was dialectic. The plausability lent to the idea of forced open research due to the personal woes of the President was also powerful.
This was my first John Scalzi novel – I have a feeling it won’t be my last.