What It Means To Live In Your Own Head: Thoughts on John Scalzi’s Lock In

One of John Scalzi‘s great strengths as a writer, one I wish I could better understand and emulate, is that he almost never tells the same kind of story twice. Even in the same series. Even in the same novel – The Human Division moved so deftly between space opera and political thriller and media satire and slapstick comedy and family drama that the journey was just dazzling to behold.

So, it’s no surprise that his latest novel is almost entirely unlike anything he’s written before.

But there are still plenty of surprises to be found in Lock In. And again, it’s a wonder to see them unfold.

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More Reasons Why You Should Be Reading The Human Division

I don’t typically recommend judging a series by its pilot episode.  It’s made when the writers and producers are still trying to figure out what the show’s going to be, where it’s going to go.  So, much of what we may come to love about the series, should it get that far, is yet unformed in that first episode.

But the first episode in John Scalzi‘s serial The Human Division was so good that I felt pretty confident in recommending it.  “The B-Team” was a fantastic opening, and promised another classic from the creator of Old Man’s War and Redshirts.

And it’s only gotten better…

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The E-Book As Appointment TV: John Scalzi’s The Human Division

One of the highlights of my year in geek culture was finally discovering John Scalzi.  Of course, it was through his brilliant novel Redshirts, which is about precisely what you’d think, until it inverts and subverts itself in ways I can’t begin to reveal here.  Just trust me on this, if you’re a sci-fi geek and you haven’t read it yet, you really should.

And if (like me), the experience of Redshirts inspires you to try more of his work, you should check out his newest project.  It might be the best midseason replacement you’re not watching.

Granted, that’s only because it’s not actually on TV.  But still.
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On John Scalzi’s Redshirts, or: Ave, Captain, Morituri Te Salutant

I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be,
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two…

– T.S. Eliot

There’s a character type, originally created to build drama, that has instead become the most enduring running gag in science fiction.

And there’s a particular clothing item, of a particular color, that has been forever ruined by said character type.

If you know anything of the genre, then you may have an idea of where I’m going with this.

Or you may not…
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