Head on: A Novel of the Near Future (Hardcover)

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Mysterious Galaxy Books
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(SP Science Fiction)

Staff Reviews

A follow-up to the novel Lock In, Head On was a book I simply couldn’t put down. The story reads like an Agatha Christie murder mystery, but with more corporate conspiracy and robots. Beyond the mystery and sci-fi, there are also elements of social commentary that had me questioning humanity’s shared beliefs on race and minority. While I enjoy the story’s alternative take on the near-future, I simply love the balance between the often-humorous banter of the main characters and the narrative’s action-packed moments. All this combined with the even pacing of the story, as the author avoids inundating the reader with too much information all at once, makes for a smooth and enjoyable read. If you’re a fan of crime dramas, sci-fi, and some humorous dialogue, you’ll love John Scalzi’s Head On as much as I did.  

— Nicholas


"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

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.

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.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

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.

About the Author

JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut Old Man's War won him science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, and Redshirts; which won 2013's Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog, Whatever, has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. Scalzi also serves as critic-at-large for LA Times.He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780765388919
ISBN-10: 076538891X
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: April 17th, 2018
Pages: 336
Language: English