4 star rating
ByKarl Schroeder
ISBN# 9780765337269
Author’s Website: http://www.kschroeder.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar

lockstep-karl-schroederAs author Karl Schroeder, a pioneer himself in a new type of science fiction writing, his new character Toby McGonigal and his family are just the same, pioneers.

In an Earth that is divided in two, there are those who have money (the Trillionaires,) and then there’s everybody else that barely have enough to eat. This is the world that Toby and his family escape from. In a  future where traveling through space is possible, the McGonigals and a few other Trillionaires, who were not happy with how the world is ruled, pool all their money together and migrate to the far outside of the solar system to colonize the small planet of Sedna.

To hold their claim on Sedna, Toby must travel to a new comet that has been discovered. Believing it will be a few months trip, he hibernates in his cicada bed, but when he wakes up, his ship is dead. The bots kept the ship going on a minimum pace,  during his hibernation his ship ran into trouble which the help bots weren’t able to repair and they lost their course. They arrived at the orbit of a planet that appeared to have life but everything seemed dead. His ship didn’t have the energy to keep moving or keep him alive, so his last option was to go into a deep dive of hibernation where even if the power ran out, he would still stay asleep forever.

For Toby, it felt like he just went to sleep for a short period of time, but in reality he wakes up, orbiting the planet, only to find out that he has been asleep for over 14,000 years. Not only that, he is now a god, his family is still alive and so are the people that rule over the majority of the lockstep and want him dead.

The lockstep is the new way of living. One hibernates in a cicada bed for a certain time and then awakes for also a certain time. The McGonigal lockstep is asleep for thirty years and awakes for a month. Now, you can live for ever in the lockstep.

I liked Lockstep. It’s been a while since I read science fiction and I think it’s my first time reading a space opera book. It was an interesting story; I liked the idea that if you want to go to another world or planet, you just go to sleep and wake up there.What makes the story appealing is that planets are years away. For example: Mars, our next door neighbor, is almost a year away and Neptune the farthest planet is twelve years away.

Schroeder found a way to get to those places without spending light years in a spaceship aging waiting to get there. In the book the majority of locksteps are in the outer side of the solar system. The characters simply have to hibernate and they don’t age.

For me, the first part of the book felt a little slow and I had to put it down a couple of times, somewhat distracted, but it was because that part that explained what the lockstep is, how it works, and the characters that will play a part in the game. Afterwards, the book started to get more interesting to the point where I didn’t want to put it down.

I might be making the locksteps look great, but there were sad parts, which give the book more flavor, making the reader see that what was meant for good can be used to do bad things:

“Some people treat it like a train to a better future. They hop on, and when they hear about some world or civilization that’s come up that appeals to them, they step off. Some people think it’s a way of leaving mortal time altogether and becoming eternal, but that’s ridiculous. We all die. And some… some just get tired of wandering the halls of the dead, calling out to people who’ll never respond.”

Another aspect of the book that I also liked was the sceneries that Karl Schroeder painted for the readers; some look like worlds designed for games. It made me think of worlds that in a far future could come true.

I recommend you read Lockstep to experience worlds that are suspended in clouds, worlds that are covered in snow, underwater worlds, visit Mars and have hope for a future with possibilities. Step into Lockstep, but beware of where to get out, you never know when you will get out.

Will you pay the price to live in Lockstep? Comment below.