Saturday, April 15, 2017

Review: "Altered Carbon" by Richard K Morgan

I jumped to sci-fi with "Altered Carbon", by Richard K. Morgan.

A recommendation from a friend, "Altered Carbon" is about life a few centuries down the line. Humanity has colonized the stars. Space travel is (as far as I can surmise) still limited to decades or centuries of travel. Through hand-wavy science, one can transmit broadcasts through "hyperpsace needlebeams", though. This combines well with the technology of digitizing the human consciousness to "stacks" so that you can download a consciousness to new bodies, or "sleeves" as they're known.

Takashi Kovacks of Harlan's Word is a former Envoy (think uber-spy, black-ops, super-badass and you come close). After a job goes awry on Harlan's World, resulting in his death and that of his lover, he finds himself waking up on Earth where he has to investigate the death of a super-wealthy individual to confirm it wasn't suicide.

And then things just get worse.

"Altered Carbon" was, to be concise: fucking brilliant!

A mix of sci-fi and noir, it's a brutal and bleak look at how humanity would evolve with immortality available. I understand there's two more novels in the series. I'll have to check them out. I have to say I had a really hard time putting Morgan's book down, so my expectations are a bit high. I may have to read something else for a while and recalibrate a bit.

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