Sunday, December 19, 2010

Need to read: "Altered Carbon."


It is not as if I don't already have enough to read.  All of the paperbacks and hardcovers are packed away in boxes our spilling out of the shelves into stacked piles that resemble the walls of medieval castles.  There is much literature that I still need to get to.  But one more can't hurt, right?
I'm rather anxious to read Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan.  I first heard of this book on Simon's Reader on Duranduran.com.  Yes, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran has a "book club" of sorts where he tells fans what he is reading and whether or not he would recommend it.  Yes, Simon is a quite well-read and intelligent man and if he's reading this, he's among my heroes.  But I digress...
Altered Carbon appears a hybrid of vintage William Gibson memes and Blade Runner sensibility while combined with an interstellar angle.  It deals with a future world where people can easily change bodies by transferring their digitized consciousness to a new corporeal form, or "sleeve" as it's called in the book.  The Catholic Church is trying to ban this.  No surprise there.  Within this milieu, a man named Takeshi Kovacs is hired to investigate a mysterious death.  Along the way he is subjected to United Nations politics, a number of baddies who want him rubbed out, and an AI that projects itself as Jimi Hendrix.  I am a bit miffed about that last bit as I once had a story where an AI represented itself as Elvis.  Now everyone is going to think that I'm cribbing Morgan.  Great.
Nevertheless, I am still very interested in reading Altered CarbonReaders on Amazon rank it alongside the writing of Neal Stephenson and China Mieville it would seem. 

Add in Simon Le Bon and I don't see how you could get a more glowing recommendation.


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