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Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

Altered Carbon (2002)

by Richard K. Morgan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Takeshi Kovacs (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,2211591,353 (3.99)1 / 200
In the 25th 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 - a person's consciousness can be easily downloaded into a new body, making death nearly obsolete. Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly brutal. Resleeved into a new body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco), Kovacs is thrown into a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that buys and sells human existence. As a warrior-for-hire, he is called to help a far-flung planet's government put down a bloody revolution. But when a rogue pilot and a sleazy corporate fat cat offer him a lucrative role in a treacherous treasure hunt, he's only too happy to go AWOL with a band of resurrected soldiers of fortune. All that stands between them and the ancient alien spacecraft they mean to salvage are a massacred city bathed in deadly radiation, unleashed nanotechnology with a million ways to kill, and whatever surprises the highly advanced Martian race may have in store.… (more)
  1. 40
    Kiln People (The Kiln Books) by David Brin (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Similar idea about transposable conciousness, and the corruption this can endevour in those with the money/power to exploit it.
  2. 30
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (electronicmemory)
  3. 31
    Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover (nsblumenfeld)
  4. 31
    Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Both these novels are told in first person by men who are not averse to a bit of violence every now and then, and who have a certain attitude towards the universe. Altered Carbon is SF, while Sandman Slim is more of a Supernatural Urban Fantasy.
  5. 20
    Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh (VictoriaPL)
  6. 10
    Sleepless by Charlie Huston (sturlington)
  7. 10
    Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (voodoochilli)
    voodoochilli: Very similar.
  8. 10
    Emissaries from the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro (majkia)
    majkia: Another mystery set in a sci fi universe. Altered Carbon is darker in tone, but equally focused on solving a murder (or several)
  9. 10
    Burning Chrome by William Gibson (electronicmemory)
  10. 00
    Permutation City by Greg Egan (jekier)
    jekier: Heavily features mind uploading.
  11. 00
    Axiomatic by Greg Egan (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Heavily features mind uploading.
  12. 00
    Gridlinked by Neal Asher (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Similar themes
  13. 00
    Existence 2.0/3.0 TP by Nick Spencer (nsblumenfeld)
  14. 00
    The Blackouts by Robert Brockway (TomWaitsTables)
  15. 00
    Electronic Echoes of the Mind by Wade A. Kimberlin (PortiaLong)
  16. 01
    Dancing with Eternity by John Patrick Lowrie (viking2917)
    viking2917: exploration of personality downloads, immortality
  17. 01
    The Liminal People by Ayize Jama-Everett (Valleyguy)
    Valleyguy: Dark and noirish with an anti-hero and a well thought out sci-fi element

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English (152)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Romanian (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
This is the sort of book, like Snowcrash, that I wish I'd found when it came out, because it could have changed my reading (and writing) trajectory. Just for the record, I haven't seen anything, even trailers, for the Netflix series. The book came up on a "you should read" list I found online.

Aside from one short scene near the end that was triggering for me and that I skipped as much as I could (and that robbed me of most of my sleep last night, so that I resorted to pills), this was an electric read. I went slowly through it, in part because I'm reading with a friend and we gave ourselves the whole month, and in part because I wanted it to last. However, by the time I was nearing the end of the book, I was ready for some kind of ending. This is a twisted book, twisted in many ways. https://formyselfandstrangers.blogspot.com/2020/01/book-review-altered-carbon.ht... ( )
  Murphy-Jacobs | Jan 13, 2020 |
After watching the series on Netflix I decided to listen to the audio of the book to see what was different between the two. The book is very SF Noir with the added benefits that Kovacs has no true allies and really can’t refuse the case. He has to solve a killing that the cops have said is suicide but the man who killed himself says he didn’t do it. Since the rich get to backup themselves as often as needed it doesn’t make sense that he would kill himself and then be restored to a fresh cloned body with the last mental backup. The book really reads as a mystery noir that uses SF tropes very well. As long as you don’t mind all the sex scenes [ the downside of audio is it is harder to skim those sections] it is a well thought out universe and I grabbed the next book on the series to listen to. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jan 6, 2020 |
The overall premise was nice, the writing style didn't quite fit with me though. The plot was mostly solid, a couple of slow/boring moments though, overall I would give it 3.5/5. ( )
  Bucceh | Dec 16, 2019 |
Interesting ideas for a world where your mind can be stored, copied, etc. Not a huge fan of the crime/thriller way it was written and the lurid sex scenes seemed inappropriate and unnecessary, but neat ideas. ( )
  davemiedema | Jul 16, 2019 |
Pretty good book! Heavy on the description, but fun, and world building. ( )
  ptrsdwski | Jul 16, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
In this rousing first novel, Morgan reimagines Chandler's "Big Sleep" as 25th-century noir, with a Philip Marlowe-esque protagonist trying to avoid "real death" in a world where serial resurrection is a privilege of the rich and ruthless.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard K. Morganprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chong, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempen, BernhardÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for my father and mother: JOHN for his iron endurance and unflagging generosity of spirit in the face of adversity & MARGARET for the white hot rage that dwells in compassion and a refusal to turn away.
First words
Two hours before dawn, I sat in the peeling kitchen and smoked one of Sarah's cigarettes , listening to the maelstrom and waiting (Prologue).
Coming back from the dead can be rough (Chapter One).
Pull on the new flesh like borrowed gloves
And burn your fingers once again.
An electronic demon, a malignant spirit that dwelled in altered carbon and emerged only to possess flesh and wreak havoc.
“Credit access will cease in thirty second,’ said the hotel patiently. ‘Please key in your DNA signature now.’
‘Mr. Kovacs won’t be needing his reservation,’ said the man behind me, putting a hand on my shoulder. ‘Come on, Kovacs, we’re going for a ride.’
‘I cannot assume host prerogatives without payment,’ said the woman on the screen.
Something in the tone of that phrase stopped me as I was turning, and on impulse I forced out a sudden, racking cough.
Bending forward with the force of the cough, I raised a hand to my mouth and licked my thumb.
‘The fuck are you playing at, Kovacs?’
I straightened again and snapped my hand out to the keypad beside the screen. Traces of spittle smeared over the matte black receiver. A split second later a calloused palm edge cracked into the left side of my skull and I collapsed to my hands and knees on the floor. A boot lashed into my face and I went the rest of the way down.
‘Thank you sir.’ I heard the voice of the hotel through a roaring in my head. ‘Your account is being processed.’
I tried to get up and got a second boot in the ribs for the trouble. Blood dripped from my nose onto the carpet. The barrel of the gun ground into my neck.
‘That wasn’t smart, Kovacs.’ The voice was marginally less calm. ‘If you think the cops are going to trace us where you’re going, then the stack must have fucked your brain. Now get up!’
He was pulling me to my feet when the thunder cut loose.
Why someone had seen fit to equip the Hendrix’s security systems with twenty-millimetre automatic cannon was beyond me, but they did the job with devastating totality. Out of the corner of one eye I glimpsed the twin-mounted autoturret come snaking down from the ceiling just a moment before it channeled a three-second burst of fire through my primary assailant. Enough firepower to bring down a small aircraft. The noise was deafening.
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2 56
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