Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome

John Scalzi. Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $40 (96p) ISBN 978-1-59606-683-0
This intriguing companion novella expands the backstory behind Scalzi’s provocative near-future science fiction novel Lock In. Originally mistaken for bird flu, “The Great Flu” killed 400 million around the world, and left millions more “locked in” their bodies, unable to communicate with the outside world. When the First Lady, Margaret Haden, was stricken, the flu came to be called “Haden’s Syndrome,” prompting President Benjamin Haden to stump tirelessly for a major medical and technological effort—a new “Moon Shot”—to find a way to help Haden’s victims. Scalzi presents both pro and con insider views of the Haden Research Initiative Act, its priorities, and its stipulations that all research would be shared in an open database and all products would be cross-licensed, available for everyone to exploit equally. Researchers, businessmen, politicians, and human rights activists clash in this skillfully written novella about one of the most fascinating SF scenarios created in recent years. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/07/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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