Posts Tagged ‘Head On’


Head On, by John Scalzi. TOR, 2018, $25.99 335 pp.)

reviewed by Zeke Teflon

 

I ran out of reading matter a couple of days ago, so I picked up a copy of one of John Scalzi’s new ones. He’s almost always reliable for a good read, so here we go. I’ve been critical of Scalzi at times, and it’s a pleasure to say something deservedly nice.

Head On is a very enjoyable near-future techno-thriller, and I liked it a lot better than its much-praised prequel, Lock In.

This book is near-pure escapist sci-fi, with utterly unrealistic, hero, incorruptible FBI agents — not the guys who infiltrate and entrap environmental activists, frame Native American activists for murder and then send them to the hole, forever, and planned the Chicago PD assassinations of Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. No these are the good guys.

Despite this loathsome set up, lauding the forces of repression, this is a good book. The primary character is much more than a cipher, and the main secondary character (Vann) is well drawn.

Following the set-up, Scalzi follows with a beautifully complicated, detailed plot, with all details clicking into place, regarding professional sports leagues and their criminal financial manipulations. Scalzi skillfully guides the reader through the labyrinth.

Writing skill is not the problem here. Political reality is.

Recommended with reservations (Scalzi’s worship of the minions of the powers that be). Enjoyable as long as you’re aware of it or, god forbid, agree with Scalzi’s rosy assessment of the FBI.