By John Scalzi
Head On is a sequel to John Scalzi’s Lock In, with FBI agents Chris Shane and Leslie Vann returning to investigate another high profile murder case.
The premise behind the Lock In universe is that there is a disease that shuts the body down but leaves the mind fully functioning. People in this locked-in state, Chris Shane being one, are able to get around and interact by using mechanical avatars known as “threeps.”
Head On begins with a game of hilketa, a new, ultra-violent team sport played by threeps whose corporate backers are trying to break into the professional big leagues. When one of the hilketa players is killed in action Shane and Vann are drawn into a complex web of intrigue that spans the globe, and some prime real estate in virtual reality as well. You’ll have to pay attention in order to follow all the different threads, but Scalzi is in good form again here with his usual rich blend of smart, rapid-fire dialogue and well-paced bursts of hard-hitting action.