Altered Carbon: A Takeshi Kovacs Novel (Takeshi Kovacs Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 1600
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Top Customer Reviews
In this future world, everyone is implanted at birth with a "stack," a chip in the back of neck that keeps your memory and personality on file. If you're murdered, and the stack survives, you're "re-sleeved" into another body (synthetic or not) to testify at your trial. Die of old age? Buy a new sleeve, if you can afford it. The amount of "fallout" in this society due to this technology was astounding, and plausible, and done extremely well by Morgan.
At it's heart, this story is a murder mystery, and a story of revenge: someone kills a centuries old "Meth," (Methuselah), who, dutifully backed up every eight hours, comes back, but with no real idea of what happened in those eight hours to lead to his murder, and quite curious about it, and that Meth hires our hero to figure things out. Our hero of the tale is actually a criminal serving time in a virtual jail (his body is, of course, given to someone who needs it more), and he is beamed to earth from his own colony when the Meth hires him. Wearing someone else's body (which has a fallout of its own), the narrator of the tale tries to figure out who would try to kill a man who'd lived centuries, and why...
Between religious and spiritual reasons, hatreds, rivalries, and plain-old-jealousies, there are no shortages of potential murderers, and the tale spins wonderfully. I highly suggest it.
The reason I finally decided to buy this book was that I'd quoted the sleeving and needlecasting process and wanted a clearer idea of what Morgan actually meant by those terms, in Sci-Fi they are not uncommon but his working implementation of the principles of colony Sci-Fi, though familiar are highly pecimistic.
As a source of inspiration it was disappointing, but for entertainment value it is unparalleled.
I'm recommend Chris Moriarty to anyone who reads Altered Carbon because the styles are near mirror images of each other. As well as the Kevin Anderson Saga of the Seven Stars simply because there are so many of those books that any fan of the genre should find something satisfying within.
Still, I should have known better. And since I own everything Morgan has written thus far, I decided to bring Altered Carbon with my as I traveled around Southeast Asia. Let's just say that with all the rave reviews this novel has garnered over the years, my expectations were rather high. Although I didn't think he managed to do it with fantasy, with science fiction Richard Morgan can swing with the best of them. And he packs a powerful KO punch.
Simply put, Altered Carbon is definitely one of the best scifi novels I have read in my life. This seamless blend of science fiction/hard-boiled crime/cyberpunk novel is amazing. The more so when considering that this was Morgan's debut!
Here's the blurb:
In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.
Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great book, hope the new tv series rumored to be is does it justicePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book itself is good. The quality of the product I received was not. Two of the disks have holes in them. Should probably have been listed as poor condition rather than fairPublished 5 months ago by John
While I typically prefer my fiction to be substantially more post-modern-ly brain-swelling, books like this and Cryptonomicon are fun to burn thru, like a good ole' rip and ride or... Read morePublished 21 months ago by KC
I found this book recommended as a top 50 SF novel. And I agree. Punchy, visionary and a darn good read!Published on April 14 2013 by Keinnon
Altered Carbon started off well: an interesting, if semi-sociopathic, main character, an intriguing mystery, and rapid pacing. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2010 by Zafri M.
The plot of this novel is based on a very original idea: the ability to digitize human consciousness. Read morePublished on April 22 2010 by S. Lavigne
This audio book is one of the best I have listened to. The plot is very fast paced and constantly moving. Read morePublished on Dec 13 2009 by Gary S
This book is one of the finest I have read in years. It takes elements from sci-fi and a hard boiled detective novel and weaves them together to create a seamless and believable... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2008 by David Murray