John Scalzi has become one of my most reliably favorite authors, thanks predominantly to the Old Man’s War series of novels. They are military space opera in the best sense, with big world building, characters you come to truly care about, and exciting battle scenes. These novels are worthy successors to Joe Haldeman’s Forever War (one of my favorite novels ever) and Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (minus Heinlein’s troublesome politics and misogyny).
Lock In is a different animal completely, but I really enjoyed it. Published in 2014, it’s set in the aftermath of a global pandemic, which is a little eerie given current circumstances. Lock In is a police procedural built around a meticulously rendered near future science fiction setting. Scalzi excels at this kind of world building, with absolutely believable, and absolutely terrifying, science that is complex yet easy to understand. Given everything I’ve read by Scalzi, I’m not surprised that the science fictional aspects of the story are riveting. What makes Lock In such a pleasure to read is that the murder mystery and subsequent investigation at the heart of the story is equally satisfying.
If you’re a fan of hard science fiction, police procedurals, or both, give Lock In a try.