Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
(Takeshi Kovacs Novels)

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Synopsis

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. . . .


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Richard K. Morgan

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Richard K. Morgan is the acclaimed author of Woken Furies, Market Forces, Broken Angels, and Altered Carbon, a New York Times Notable Book that also won the Philip K. Dick Award. Morgan sold the movie rights for Altered Carbon to Joel Silver and Warner Bros. His third book, Market Forces, has also been sold to Warner Bros. He lives in Scotland. "From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published January 1, 2003 by Del Rey. 544 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Altered Carbon

Kirkus Reviews

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Bancroft thinks that when someone shot him in the head the other day and ruined that sleeve, somebody was trying to murder him, though the local cops think he was just trying to kill himself and doesn’t remember because his stack hadn’t been backed up yet.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Readers of cyberpunk and hard-boiled detective novels will probably find this incredibly brutal, sexually explicit and action packed novel a worthwhile read.

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SF Site

But Morgan succeeds admirably in unifying Kovacs' different aspects, and even in making him sympathetic, in large part through Kovacs' haunted memories of his past, which form a melancholy refrain throughout the book.

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SFFWorld.com

With the protagonist dying in the prologue, Morgan has started the novel in an interesting manner, while perhaps done before, it is handled quite originally by Morgan through his Big Idea of downloaded personalities.

Apr 04 2003 | Read Full Review of Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovac...

SF Signal

Morgan’s debut novel, Takeshi Kovacs, an Envoy operative, is killed but his stored memories are re-sleeved into a new body courtesy of Laurens Bancroft, a rich man who is accused of committing suicide.

Jan 29 2004 | Read Full Review of Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovac...

Fantasy Faction

They can come read this thread to see what our book club thought of Altered Carbon so they can see if they want to add it to their TBR list "the worldsong is a colorless dirge without the differences that distinguish us, and it is that difference which should be celebrated not condemned...

Jan 24 2013 | Read Full Review of Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovac...

io9

Morgan's ultra-noir Altered Carbon getting fast-tracked makes us a bit nervous.

Feb 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovac...

io9

Morgan's ultra-noir Altered Carbon getting fast-tracked makes us a bit nervous.

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Fiction Reviews

Bancroft wants Kovacs to put these skills to work in order to discover who had Bancroft killed, something he cannot remember himself since the stored copy of himself was not updated with the information.

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The Zone

Kovacs finds himself caught up in political machinations with various ethical and moral implications for the 're-sleeve' trade, on both sides of existing international law, and is forced to resort to extremely violent means to make progress with his inquiries.

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Reader Rating for Altered Carbon
81%

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