Hey, I Think I Will Give Away an ARC of Lock In

Tor has sent along to me seven ARCs of Lock In. Six of them are already claimed by various people I need to send a copy along to. One of them isn’t. So, I’ll give it away here, now. Here’s how to get it:

I’m thinking of an animal right now. Tell me which one it is. 

I’m looking for a specific species. Just saying (for example) “bear” will not help you.

The first person to correctly identify the animal I am thinking of wins the ARC. I will also sign, personalize and ship the ARC to anywhere on the planet.

Any hints about the animal? Yes! It’s a chordate. Any non-fictional chordate, alive or extinct, is within the realm of possibility.

How long do we have to guess? Until 11:59:59pm Eastern time today, June 27, 2014.

How do we know you won’t lie about which animal you’re thinking about? Because I told the animal to my daughter just before I posted this, and she’d let you all know if I lied to you. Also, after telling her the animal, she said “no one’s going to get that.” But she doesn’t know you like I do, oh Whatever readers.

What happens if no one gets the right animal? Then I will randomly select a winner. So no matter what someone’s getting out of here with an ARC.

So: What animal am I thinking of right now? Give your best guess in the comments.

762 Comments on “Hey, I Think I Will Give Away an ARC of Lock In”

  1. Note:

    Comment thread for guesses only. Other comments will be excised.

    Also, specific guesses will win over very general ones. So “Sun Bear” will win over “Bear.” Don’t be trying to lock up entire families of species, folks.

    Also also, one guess per person, please.

  2. JohnFromGR – Grand Rapids, Michigan – Chief Operations Officer of Caffeinated Press. Editor-in-Chief of The 3288 Review. Martial arts instructor. Web/mobile developer. I write sometimes, too.


  3. shanaqui – Thirty-one years old, from Wales, living in South Yorkshire. Reads and reviews books -- a lot. Crochets -- less than they would prefer.

    Duck-billed platypus.

  4. “No one’s going to get that,” eh? So either something exotic, or something “hide in plain sight” banal, like a specific person.

    I’ll go with the second option, because you’re sneaky, and guess that it’s yourself, John Michael Scalzi.

  5. doylist – Matt Doyle is a freelance writer and game designer who works on fantasy & historical fiction; political, historical, & scientific nonfiction, and LARPs or other game events on a commission basis at 5 cents a word. His political blog is located at bluefargo.wordpress.com
    Matt Doyle

    Guiyu oneiros

  6. Michael J. Martinez – the Garden State – Husband, father, writer, homebrewer, half-decent cook, pretty good barbequer, avid traveler, and interested in far too many strange and disparate topics. Most recently, a science-fiction/fantasy author!
    Michael J. Martinez

    Myke Cole’s betta fish

  7. “Any non-fictional chordate, alive or extinct,”

    So, not Francis the Talking Mule, then? That’s what I think of whenever anyone says, “Think of an animal, any animal.”

    The voice of Chill Wills haunts my dreams.

  8. Graham J. – Washington, DC – Fascinated with (in no particular order): open-source warfare, western hegemony, naval power, complex systems, community-centered/funded warfare, the singularity, alternate history, John Robb, decentralization and devolution, nanotechnology, neo-feudalism, intelligence, networked war, DIY terrorism, Shlok Vaidya, security, imperial systems of rule, warships, secession, nuclear strategy, 1991, federalism, zombies, asymmetric warfare, Christopher Hitchens, terraforming, counterinsurgency, the special relationship, post-humanism.
    Graham J.

    Texas Horned Lizard

  9. Neon tetra

  10. A fennec fox!

  11. agirlwhogames – I've been playing boardgames since I could talk and Dungeons and Dragons for a decade. I was trying to find blogs like Wil Wheaton's for female gamers and came up surprisingly short...so I decided to fill some of that void myself. I mostly play board or pen-and-paper RPGs, so if you're looking for computer or video games, you're S.O.L. here.

    Sea Cucumber

  12. My son, a big fan of anything that is the fastest in the world, wants me to vote for peregrine falcon. He notes that even if it isn’t your choice, it should be!

  13. ScoBo – USA – Scott works in marketing. His favorite candy is cinnamon bears and he always has some LEGO nearby.

    Komodo Dragon

  14. Dan Hirschman – I am a sociologist interested in the use of numbers in organizations, markets, and policy. For more info, see <a href="http://danhirschman.com/">here<a>.
    Dan Hirschman


  15. Golden marmoset

  16. Bonobo chimp. (1st three guesses were taken.)

  17. Are we allowed to guess more than once? If so, my second guess is Jumbo the elephant. If we’re not allowed to guess more than once, I offer up my excellent Jumbo guess to anyone else who hasn’t yet taken a crack at it. :)

  18. honugirl1 – Tuscaloosa, AL – NJ native, current AL resident, Hawaiian girl at heart. Passionate about science (particularly geoscience), education, and science communication.

    I believe it’s the quokka (Setonix brachyurus), the small marsupial known affectionally as the “waste recycler” for their adorable habit of caecotrophy.

  19. Bruce Diamond – Flyover Land on the teeming Mississippi River – Despicably proud old man. Text-extruding asshole (thank you, John Scalzi) with a skewed vision on life, pop culture, writing and general assholiness. Not a scholar, not a gentleman, not Martin or Lewis. But still trying to make life fun and funny.
    Bruce Diamond

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson

  20. A platypus, because platipi are awesome, and your thoughts trend towards awesome

  21. Jaguar, even more specifically, the melanin-rich “black panther” Well, that’s what I’m thinking of, anyway.

  22. Because you had to type it out, clearly you were thinking about “Sun Bear”. You may have ALSO been thinking of some other animal, but Helarctos malayanus is almost by definition the correct answer. ;-)

  23. Bullockornis planei – the Demon Duck of Dooooooooom!

    You know those south American terror birds from about 10 million years ago? 10-foot-tall flightless eagle apex predators? Well, this is the Australian version of that, except that it’s most closely related to ducks and geese.

  24. Rubbing my crystal ball… rubbing, rubbing… rubbing more. I see… I think I see a… it’s a bit foggy… a tiger shark.

  25. jennjamison1215 – Tucson, Az – I am a full time undergraduate student at the University of Arizona in the College of Fine Arts. My major is Art History Museum Studies with a Religious Studies minor. I am also an artist.

    Are churros an animal now? If not, I vote chupacabra!

  26. Kate George – Vermont – Award winning author, Kate George is the creator of the popular Bree MacGowan mystery series, which started when she took up a dare to write a book; the result was Moonlighting in Vermont. She was born in Sacramento, California, was raised on a ranch until the age of eight, and graduated from UC Davis with a degree in anthropology. She is currently working on her MFA. She has been, in no particular order, a paste-up tech, a motorcycle safety instructor, an actor, and the assistant to the dean of a medical school, all of which provide plenty of fodder for her novels. Currently, she lives in an old farmhouse in the backwoods of Vermont with her husband, four kids, and two rescue dogs, where by day she teaches and by night, she dreams up wild adventures for her characters. Visit her at kategeorge.com, or contact her at kate@kategeorge.com. She always loves to hear from readers!
    Kate George

    Chuckwalla. (A lizard in Death Valley. I’ve been there and seen them.) But I did think Aardvark first. Someone got there ahead of me though.

  27. dann665 – A generally libertarianish critter that has been loving sci-fi and fantasy since the age of 10. Give or take. For more, check out my blog at http://libertyatallcosts.blogspot.com

    An ai.

    My favorite crossword puzzle answer, FWIW

  28. Don’t know what you were thinking of then but right now you are thinking of a tree horse. And, if you are not, you should be.

  29. Red panda? (Checked after I typed that – I wouldn’t have expected red panda guesses to outnumber the regular panda 5:1…)

  30. Karen A. Wyle – I'm an appellate attorney, an author, a photographer, a politics junkie, and a Hoosier (aka intermittent fan of IU basketball). My published work (aside from law review/legal journal articles) includes multiple science fiction novels, some near future and some involving other planets, equipped with aliens. More recently, I've veered off into historical romance, specifically a series called Cowbird Creek and set in 1870s Nebraska. I've also published one nonfiction book, Closest to the Fire: A Writer's Guide to Law and Lawyers. While originally intended to help writers use accurate details in their legal settings and expand the scope of such stories, I realized while writing it -- and have heard from readers -- that it could also be of use and interest to students, immigrants, and anyone interested in better understanding the American legal landscape. My other blog, Looking Around, is at http://looking-around.blogspot.com.
    Karen A. Wyle


  31. KokkieH – Happiness Engineer at Automattic, writer, counsellor, newbie coder. He enjoys music, movies, reading and people. He's just the slightest bit obsessive-compulsive. He could be a half-decent musician if only he practised a bit more. He makes puppets. And bakes.

    Cape Buffalo

  32. I meant {June 27, 2014 at 11:23 am} Putin as an animal, and the Uruguyan striker whose cannibal teeth are about to be pulled out by an Italian dentist. Both animals.

  33. I’m going to go with the Iberian ribbed newt, because we should all be able to puncture our ribs through our sides as a defense mechanism.

  34. OrbitalElements – Southern CA – Mom, wife, geek, and Naval Officer. Not necessarily in that order. I have about a million hobbies, but they all boil down to loving books, space, family, cooking, and exploring this extraordinary world.


  35. Bombay duck (bummalo). You did ask for the specific species: Harpadon nehereus. In case you’re wondering, it’s actually a fish, not a duck. I suggest looking up a picture – it’s creepy.

  36. In order to tell Athena the animal that you were thinking of, you must have been thinking of her. As she is a chordate, she seems to be the obvious guess. So… uh… Athena.

  37. How about the Green-Crested Scalzibird of North America? It’s known for it’s long and interesting songs that somehow sound like ukelele music.

  38. austinsims – ATX – IT professional, SFF author, and unrepentant nerd. Lover of brews and critical discourse. Novum validated by cognitive logic.

    African Elephant

  39. I’m glad I read the comments, because I was going to say elephant shrew (because they’re hilarious looking!) only to find that someone had already said it. Which kind of blows my mind.

    So intead: humuhumunukunukuapua’a, AKA the reef triggerfish, and the official state fish of Hawai’i.

  40. Came here to say “White Polar Bear,” per canon, but too late. You folks who guessed it first, consider yourselves favorited.

  41. aztraph – Indiana – I fix, hack, build, bake, write, play, math. If i can't fix it, it pretty much can't be fixed. There are two mathematical impossibilities in the physical universe, zero and infinity. debates welcome.
    Andrew Davis

    3 toed sloth

  42. PANGOLIN. (I haven’t read all the other 467 comments so I don’t know if anybody already guessed that. And I don’t quite know why *I* guessed that.)

  43. I DON’T CARE! I just finished reading Unlocked and I think you should give me an ARC because I will not make it until August without reading the book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. I feel wrong that I’ve never commented on your blog until there was potentially something in it for me……. but pushing that aside…. a springbok.

  45. A bush baby……(remember, that’s what Heywood Floyd’s daughter wanted him to bring her back from the moon in “2001: A Space Odyssey”)