Skip to main content

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan : A debut for the ages

Imagine a world(or a galaxy rather) where your mind can be downloaded into any body(called a sleeve) you desire at a cost of course. This is the premise that Richard Morgan starts out with in Altered Carbon, his debut novel.
The rich live forever, have backup memories that are synced with data banks. The poor suffer as always. Takeshi Kovacs is dead. He had no intentions of coming back to life. It is at this point that he is brought back from the dead to investigate the murder of Laurens Bancroft, who is of course extremely rich, powerful and has all the latest bells and whistles . Takeshi Kovacs happens to be an envoy(a part of an elite military unit trained specifically to adapt to different body types). It builds in classic noir fashion where a murder turns into a much larger conspiracy.
Its amazing how far Morgan takes the concept of mind and body being separate(he calls them stacks and sleeves). Multiple copies of the same person exist. Takeshi Kovacs calmly talks to someone he had killed just last week. There is an exploration of how security would work. There is tons and tons of action as befitting a hard boiled detective novel. Gender politics come into the picture(A man's stack transferred into a woman's sleeve and some more).  There are also drugs aplenty. Also since your sleeve is in cyberspace all the time hackers get to it and do things with it that you would not wished to be done.
The funny thing is that I read this around an year back and I still remember a lot of the names and there are action sequences still embedded in my head.
A sci fi debut for the ages and an absolute masterclass.

You can buy Altered Carbon here.


Popular posts from this blog

The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

What a great read this turned out to be.  I was completely engrossed and fascinated. Jorg Ancrath starts of as a young prince who wants to get his throne back, get back everything he has lost and most importantly get revenge and he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aims. The thing is that Jorg Ancrath is a despicable violent bastard. He does things that should curdle your blood. But despite all of it, Jorg's voice is compelling. I couldn't help but put myself in his shoes. For most of the trilogy I was Jorg Ancrath even through his dastardly deeds(especially through his dastardly deeds). There was a part of me that couldn't help identifying with his ruthless streak of getting what he wants no matter what the cost. I have yet to find another character who embodies "The end justifies the means" more than Jorg Ancrath. The world itself set on an Earth of the far future. (Similar to the dying earth series by Jack Vance and Book of the new sun by Gene

On Hans Zimmer

I have been listening to quite a lot of soundtracks lately. Two composers in particular stand out, Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell. I have written about Clint Mansell over here . Hans Zimmer has somehow managed to score a lot of my favorite movies including Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight , the Gladiator, Sherlock, Pirates of the Caribbean just to name a few. In fact chances are that if there is a movie's score you like in the last decade its by Zimmer.(Apart from Lord of the rings of course :)) The thing about Zimmer though is that he is able to deliver even in movies that are not particularly good. Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons come to mind immediately which feature some great violin solos courtesy Joshua Bell. Here are a few of my favorite tracks. Put your headphones on and listen. Discombulate from Sherlock Red Warrior from The Last Samurai Time from Inception Jack Sparrow's Theme Science and Religion from Angels and Demons

Announcing the first part of the Karna trilogy

Finally after a lot of procrastination and some hard work the novel is done or at least the first part of it. Its about Karna in the Mahabharata. It also revolves around Kunti. From my reading experience Karna is highly readable and is short as well. (Novella length). You can read the whole book online here or if you want to get the pdf/epub for your reading devices you can get them from Leanpub Let me know what you think of Karna Part One. Two more parts are on their way.