York Festival of Ideas 2018 || Reading Group


What might our bodies be like in the future? What kinds of health crises are looming – and what solutions does medical science promise? What would it feel like if human brains and minds operated independently from bodies: who might we be, and how might we act?



Come and join a one-off book group in York (part of the Festival of Ideas 2018) to discuss John Scalzi’s 2014 novel Lock In and how it dramatizes these questions.


The book group is on Saturday June 16th 2-4pm at the Ron Cooke Hub, Campus East, University of York.


We have paperback copies of the book to give away, or you can browse the first chapters online


Register for the event at


Email the project leader Dr Lisa Garforth lisa.garforth@ncl.ac.uk to request a free

paperback copy of Lock In (while stocks last!).


Lock In is a crime novel set in the mid- 21st century, some years after a virus has created millions of ‘Hadens’- people suffering from a kind of locked-in syndrome: fully aware, but unable to react or move. Advanced neural surgery allows Hadens to project their consciousness into humanoid robotic bodies and thus interact in the world. And Chris Shane must solve a series of Haden murders.


Come and tell us what you thought of the book and the way it envisions the future. Your responses will be recorded and analysed as part of our Prospecting Futures project. Your contributions will help researchers understand how people engage with science and the social futures it creates through science fiction.


All you need to do is read Lock In (or some of it!) and join us for the discussion. You don’t need you to be an expert in medical science, robotics or science fiction.  More information about the recording of your contributions for use in the research project, along with details about anonymity and data protection, will be provided on the day.