Sunday, June 24, 2018

Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome

You can read the story for free here.
Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome is the prequel novella/short story to John Scalzi’s Lock In. I loved Lock In and am very eager to read Head On. Lock In was a mystery set in a science fiction world, but that wasn't Unlocked. Unlocked answered some questions for me, but also raised some more. Reading about the creation of the Agora and how people lived there, reminded me of Ready Player One, while the threeps reminded me of Surrogates, though they are less realistic.  It was interested to read how people who had Haden's Syndrome became their own people and faced ostracizing once the "novelty" of personal transports went away.

Of all the characters, the First Lady stood out for me. Margie Haden was strong and vivacious. She was the real power of the presidency. If it wasn't for President Haden's wife contracting the disease (and subsequently having the disease named after her), how would it have been handled. Once it was "under control" would threeps have been invented? Would it just be about maintaining bodies in their "vegetable" state. Having Marcus Shane (a Michael Jordan level basketball player?) testify too about what the disease did to his toddler son was also a way to get American emotions on the side of the researchers. Of course it is his son, Chris Shane is the star of Lock In and it makes sense to see how his young life played into the beginning of Haden's Syndrome. There are so many questions though. Where did the disease come from? Was it man made? Why isn't there a cure yet? Will the robot uprising actually be Hadens taking over the world? When will regular people get their own threeps?

Unlocked gave me a chance to whet my appetite for Head On. I thoroughly enjoy Scalzi's writing and am exciting for the next adventure.

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