Synopses & Reviews
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. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats existence as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.
"Richard K. Morgan has created a world as cinema-rich as those of Philip K. Dick...and William Gibson's." New York Times
"This far-future hard-boiled detective story is a lovely virtual-reality romp distinguished by a conspiracy whose strands have the potential to generate several successful sequels, which is just what its publicity promises." Booklist
"[A] hard-bitten detective story in a science-fiction setting....[D]espite the difficulty of writing combined genre tales, this one succeeds brilliantly." Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Morgan's first novel Altered Carbon was published, combining elements of cyberpunk and hardboiled detective fiction and featuring the anti-hero Takeshi Kovacs. The film rights for the book sold for a reported figure of $1,000,000 to film producer Joel Silver, enabling Morgan to become a fulltime writer. In 2003 the U.S. edition received the Philip K. Dick Award.