Framing the Dialogue

Lock In

I remember many many years ago while my wife was working on her masters degree with an emphasis on neurology.  She really wasn’t a very quick typist so I used to type her papers for her.  One subject that I still remember to this day was Locked In Syndrome.  I believe that the syndrome started with a stroke (not really sure there) and the affected couldn’t move anything but their eyes.  The almost appeared to be in a coma, but they were aware of everything around them.

“Superficially, Integrators perform the same role as Personal Transports,” Schwartz said. “They allow those of us who have been locked in by Haden’s syndrome to be mobile, to work, and to participate in society. But this”—Schwartz tapped his threep’s chest with his knuckles—“is a machine. Without its human operator, it’s a pile of parts. It has no more rights than a toaster—it’s property. Integrators are humans. Despite the superficial resemblance to what threeps do, what Integrators do is a skill and profession—one that they train hard for, as Agent Vann can no doubt tell you.”

In John Scalzi’s Lock In, there is a world-wide virus that kills most, but leaves a great many people unable to use their bodies.  Necessity being the mother of invention, entrepreneurs find a way for these people to use mechanical bodies to function.  Their bodies stay protected and fed, but their minds, as it were, are out in the world.  Wow, I’m not sure that’s a great explanation.

With that background, this is a crime story where a rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann.  Shane is locked in.  A simple murder case takes on worldly dimensions and the stakes become very high for the agents.

ScyFy and high tech crime fighting.  A very interesting novel.


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