John Scalzi’s Head On and the Potential of the Future

John Scalzi, Head On, cover

In 2014, John Scalzi’s Lock In introduced us to a world drastically changed by Haden Syndrome, a disease that strikes 1% of the population, causing them to become “locked in”: unable to move, but still fully aware of the world around them. The world in Scalzi’s imaginary future adapts to accommodate this population of people. They create programs and infrastructure to allow people with the disease—Hadens—to continue interacting with their family and friends while also creating Haden-specific spaces. The biggest change is the development of mobility robots, called threeps, that allow Hadens to move through the world like the able-bodied.

The main character of the series, Chris Shane, is a Haden as well as an FBI agent. Lock In introduces us to Chris as a brand new agent on a Haden-related murder case. Head On, the follow up to Lock In, brings in the Haden-specific sport Hilketa. Hadens ...

A Plethora of Space Operas: Where to Start With the Work of John Scalzi

Old Man’s War was my first book by John Scalzi, and it would be my gateway back into science fiction and fantasy after years and years skimming along the surface, apathetic about my reading choices and not finding the type of science fiction in literary form that I loved so much in visual mediums. I’m probably not Scalzi’s biggest fan (or AM I?), but I am at least up there in the Hall of Fame with the other people who have handwritten him letters and then mailed them to friends across the country to deliver at book events I couldn’t attend. I have tons of favorite authors, but there’s something special about finding that first author in whatever your favorite genre is that can tell a story that makes you go, “I want more of this immediately.” After reading Old Man’s War, I devoured all the work ...
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Scalzi Levels Up: The Collapsing Empire’s Characters Are Its Secret Weapon

At the end of March, my partner and I trekked four hours to Nashville, Tennessee to see John Scalzi not talk about The Collapsing Empire. That’s not abnormal; we already have the book, so he reads from awesome upcoming work that’s currently Secret (also Awesome). But during the Q&A, I was reminded of how entertaining Scalzi is as a performer (very) and how good he is at bringing that energy to his stories. The Collapsing Empire feels very much like a Scalzi novel, in that if you picked it up without reading the author’s name or the title, you’d know from the first few pages who it was written by if you’d read any of his previous work. But it also feels distinct and different, too, because he levels up his ensemble character-work in a big way. In The Collapsing Empire, humans live within The Interdependency, a millennium-spanning trade ...
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Where to Start With the Work of John Scalzi: A Guide for Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Readers

scalzi101 Over a decade ago, Tor gave away a free copy of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Little did they know how profitable that free PDF was going to be for them, over the years. I still have it, even though I have purchased copies of Old Man’s War multiple times since, and only half the reason is because I’m a digital hoarder. Yes, that’s right: I have nostalgia for a PDF file. Old Man’s War was my first book by John Scalzi, and it would be my gateway back into science fiction and fantasy after years and years skimming along the surface, apathetic about my reading choices and not finding the type of science fiction in literary form that I loved so much in visual mediums. I’m probably not Scalzi’s biggest fan (or AM I?), but I am at least up there in the Hall of Fame with ...
androidsdream
TheHumanDivision-cover
redshirts
fuzzy-nation

Where to Start With the Work of John Scalzi: A Guide for Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Readers

scalzi101 Over a decade ago, Tor gave away a free copy of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Little did they know how profitable that free PDF was going to be for them, over the years. I still have it, even though I have purchased copies of Old Man’s War multiple times since, and only half the reason is because I’m a digital hoarder. Yes, that’s right: I have nostalgia for a PDF file. Old Man’s War was my first book by John Scalzi, and it would be my gateway back into science fiction and fantasy after years and years skimming along the surface, apathetic about my reading choices and not finding the type of science fiction in literary form that I loved so much in visual mediums. I’m probably not Scalzi’s biggest fan (or AM I?), but I am at least up there in the Hall of Fame with ...
androidsdream
TheHumanDivision-cover
redshirts
fuzzy-nation

Where to Start With the Work of John Scalzi: A Guide for Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Readers

scalzi101 Over a decade ago, Tor gave away a free copy of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Little did they know how profitable that free PDF was going to be for them, over the years. I still have it, even though I have purchased copies of Old Man’s War multiple times since, and only half the reason is because I’m a digital hoarder. Yes, that’s right: I have nostalgia for a PDF file. Old Man’s War was my first book by John Scalzi, and it would be my gateway back into science fiction and fantasy after years and years skimming along the surface, apathetic about my reading choices and not finding the type of science fiction in literary form that I loved so much in visual mediums. I’m probably not Scalzi’s biggest fan (or AM I?), but I am at least up there in the Hall of Fame with ...
androidsdream
TheHumanDivision-cover
redshirts
fuzzy-nation

John Scalzi Knows Optimism and Representation Matter: A Non-Spoiler Review of The Collapsing Empire

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

When humanity discovers The Flow, an extra-dimensional field that spaceships can enter and exit at specific places in space-time, a huge empire grows around The Flow’s interstellar path. With the help of The Flow, human civilization spreads across multiple far-flung planets and space station outposts. Each relies on the others, and access provided by The Flow, to survive. When three individuals begin to learn the truth about The Flow’s future—and that the stability of this path that the empire relies on might not last as long as the government believes—they must find a way to save as many people as possible.

The Collapsing Empire is John Scalzi’s latest offering, launching a brand new space opera series in a universe distinct from his Old Man’s War series. It’s got a fascinating premise, interesting characters, and brings the same charm and approachable narrative for fans new to SF that all of Scalzi’s books offer. ...

Team Dynamics: Revisiting Nemesis Games

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Nemesis Games is the fifth novel in James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse series. When I was asked to revisit Nemesis Games for Tor.com, I went happily back to one of my favorite summer reads of 2015 to examine the novel in the context of itself as well as the upcoming television adaptation.

The Expanse, as TV viewers new to the books will come to recognize it, is already making waves online as episodes release digitally and the wider Syfy release approaches in December. Although a second series has already been ordered, it’s up in the air as to whether we’ll ever get to the point where Nemesis Games, five books deep in what looks to be a very long, epic science fiction series, will make it to television. Hollywood, after all, is fickle. Of course, I hope it does because after the second book in the ...