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 with others?
Join our book group, led by researchers at Newcastle University to discuss John Scalzi’s 2014 novel Lock In and the way it envisions the future of human bodies, medical science, and social interaction.
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 along and tell us what you thought of the book and the way it envisions the future. Recorded as part of the AHRC 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. Youdon’t need you to be an expert on medical science, robotics or science fiction. Researchers just want to know what you thought about the book and the future it projects.
Join us and think about possible and impossible futures.
More information about the York Festival of Ideas reading group is available on the Prospecting Futures website.
The project is headed by Lisa Garforth, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Newcastle University and author of Green Utopias: Environmental Hope Before and After Nature (Polity).
Prospecting Futures explores how contemporary scientific developments and issues are being interpreted and navigated by science fiction writers and readers. It focuses on how new techno-scientific knowledge claims and dilemmas unsettle existing ideas of what the future might be – and how writers, readers and audiences can unsettle scientific certainties as they use science fiction to map, invent, explore and examine their worlds.