the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘John Scalzi’ Category

Lock_In_CoverLock In, by John Scalzi

published 2014

where I got it: purchased new

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A near future scifi thriller, Lock In has an engrossing and compelling start.  I really loved the first few chapters of Lock In, really dug the world Scalzi built. Depending on how you look at it, he’s either being sneakishly subtle, or heavyhanded with his observations on how society in general treats anyone who is different from the norm, especially those with disabilities.  The novel takes place some 20 years after Haden’s Syndrome has left its mark on humanity. A type of encephalitis, many victims of Haden’s suffer from “lock in”, completely aware and awake, but unable to move or communicate. Thanks to neural technology, people who live their lives locked in (known as Hadens) can remotely use robots, called Threeps, to somewhat experience normal life. Even better, is the option to use an Integrator, a person who will allow a Haden to use their body for a contracted time.  For many Hadens, the only people who see their actual, physical bodies are their immediate family members and their home health care aides.

 

Chris Shane, poster boy for Haden’s and now all grown up, chose a horrible week to start his new job at the FBI.  They aren’t quite sure what to do with him, and he’s been partnered with Agent Vann, who loves antagonizing the local cops even more than she enjoys self medicating. So, right off the bat we’ve got some interesting characters. Shane is trying to get out of the shadow of his famous father, Vann has a secretive history she tries to drink away, and they’ve got a really weird murder investigation on their hands.

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Redshirts by John Scalzi

published in June 2012 by Tor Books

where I got it:  borrowed ARC from a friend

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If you grew up watching Star Trek TOS or TNG, if you fell in love with discovering new worlds and new civilizations on the back of suspiciously shoddy science, if you wondered were those relief ensigns on the bridge came from (ensign closet?), if you derided TNG for its pathetically formulaic and episodic set up (Data is training his cat in the opening? He’ll totally still be training the cat in the closing, and wow they sure solved that mystery fast!) yet still loyally watched and rewatched every single episode, Redshirts is the book for you. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long, long time. The franchise that Bakula nearly destroyed and Tim Allen inadvertently nearly saved has been saved again.

Way to wreck the franchise, Bakula.

Ok, you don’t have to be quite as much of a trekkie geek as I am to enjoy Redshirts. Scalzi starts out spoofing science fiction shows that feature terrible science, but ends up faithfully honoring the spirit of those same shows while at the same time boldly going completely meta and self-aware.

I found Redshirts to be hysterically funny, completely off the wall, full of sarcastic wit and absolutely brilliant. Also? it’s fucking hilarious.

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Congrats!  You survived my EpicConFusion posts, as full of geekery, author stalking and horrible photos as they were. (BTW, thanks for all the comments, I am slowly getting to respond to them.  too slowly. it’s all twitter’s and my day job’s fault)

But you survived! You deserve a prize!

How about a hard cover Limited Edition of John Scalzi’s The Sagan Diary, with stunning cover art by Bob Eggleton?

 

here’s the blurb:

Fans of John Scalzi’s “Old Man” universe, prepare yourselves: there’s a long new story in that universe, told from the point of view of one of the series’ most intruiging characters.

Subterranean Press is proud to present The Sagan Diary, a long novelette that for the first time looks at the worlds of the Hugo-nominated Old Man’s War and it’s sequel The Ghost Brigades from the point of view of Lieutenant Jane Sagan, who is a series of diary entries gives her views on some of the events included in the series. . . and sheds new light into some previously unexplored corner. If you thought you knew Jane Sagan before, prepare to be surprised.

If you’re a fan of his Old Man’s War series, you’d probably be interested in this.  I’m interested in it too, but as husband and I both received copies, even if I give one away, I’ll still have one to read.

This contest will be open until the evening of Sunday, Jan 29th, Eastern Standard Time.  It’s open to anyone living on planet Earth, however if you live outside the US the shipping might take a while.

Sounds great you say?  How do I enter, you ask?  All you have to do is leave a comment in this post telling me an author you’d love to meet at a convention.    The winner will be contacted within a few days after the give away closes.

Good luck!


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.