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Head on
2018
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Author Notes
John Michael Scalzi was born May 10, 1969 in California. He attended the University of Chicago. During his 1989 -1990 school year he was the editor-in-chief of The Chicago Maroon. After graduating in 1991, Scalzi took a job as the film critic for the Fresno Bee newspaper, eventually also becoming a humor columnist. In 1996 he was hired as the in-house writer and editor at America Online. When he was laid off in 1998, he decided to become a full-time freelance writer and author. His first published novel was Old Man's War. His other works include Agent to the Stars, The Ghosts Brigades, The Androids Team, The Sagan Diary, The Last Colony, and Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas. In 2014 his title, Locked In, made The New York Times Best Seller List. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Leslie Vann (Female), FBI agent, Partner of Chris; investigates a murder involving an athlete dying on the field
Chris Shane (Male), FBI agent, Investigates a murder involving an athlete dying on the field
Genre
Fiction
Science fiction
Thriller
Topics
Technological innovations
Diseases
Epidemics
Robots
Murder investigations
Sports
Time Period
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Hugo-winner Scalzi returns to the fascinating world of the near-future thriller Locked In with this provocative sequel. Chris Shane was the poster child for Haden's syndrome, a condition in which a lively mind is trapped in an unresponsive body. Like other "Hadens," Chris uses an implanted neural network to control a "threep," an android body, and interact with the rest of the corporeal world. He works as an FBI agent handling Haden's-related cases alongside his partner Leslie Vann. This time, they are called to investigate the suspicious death of professional hilketa player Duane Chapman during a match. Hilketa (it means "murder" in Basque) is a violent sport of carnage and decapitations played by Hadens in specially built threeps; the damage dealt to Chapman's threep shouldn't have affected his physical body, but he reported unusual pain from his threep's injuries and then died. The sport is growing in popularity and money-making potential, bringing the possibility of corruption. Is the North American Hilketa League trying to cover up some skullduggery, or did Chapman's jilted wife kill him? Chris and Leslie need to uncover the truth before the tangled case ignites a national scandal. Scalzi expands his complex future with master strokes, balancing buddy-cop wryness with thought-provoking social and political commentary. This taut mystery, filled with memorable characters in a well-constructed world, will keep readers on the edges of their seats. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p> "As much as Scalzi has the scientific creativity of a Michael Crichton, he also has the procedural chops of a Stephen J. Canell to craft a whodunit with buddy-cop charm and suspects aplenty--most of them in someone else's body." -- USA Today </p> <p>John Scalzi returns with Head On, the standalone follow-up to the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Lock In . Chilling near-future SF with the thrills of a gritty cop procedural, Head On brings Scalzi's trademark snappy dialogue and technological speculation to the future world of sports.</p> <p>Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent's head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are "threeps," robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden's Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.</p> <p>Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.</p> <p>Is it an accident or murder? FBI agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth--and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.</p>
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