An atmospheric thriller, full of corruption, abduction and a mysterious return from the dead in the red Martian dustbowls.
Hakan Veil is back, and he's pissed off.
He's an Overrider by trade – gene-tweaked to cryo-sleep shipboard across interplanetary space, but wake up running hot and save the day if ever things go wrong: take out the pirate assault team before they can board, put down the mutiny before it can take hold, save the ship from whatever ails it – meteor strike, hull breach, crew crisis, reactor failure, fuel or atmosphere leak – and bring the cargo safely home. Fast-thinking, no need for sleep, running on stored energy that lets him work hard and fast until the situation is resolved, he's the ultimate First Responder, hardwired to fix the problem, whatever and wherever it is.
At the other end of the cycle – getting ready to hibernate for a solid few months – it's a different story. Slower, eating more, not quite so crisp. Because by then the emergency is supposed to be over.
Exiled by his employers to Mars for failing to execute a captive, Veil found himself thrust into the violent chaos arising from the Earth Oversight audit. He took out the powerful and corrupt with extreme prejudice, uncovered a major political conspiracy, defeated a cell of hardened undercover spec ops provocateurs. In the end, he brought a rough and ready kind of stability to the faction-riven Red Planet.
You could say he's owed some much needed downtime.
Only now there's a new f*cking emergency. And it's only just getting up to speed. The son of a Martian corporate aristo has gone missing under mysterious circumstances; a charismatic tech-messiah believed long dead appears to be back in business at the head of his cult; and high above the Martian surface, military grade orbital platforms are falling out of the sky like storm-struck birds. Once again, Hakan Veil finds himself in the midst of rising chaos, and once again it looks like he's the only one equipped to deal with the crisis.
And he's in no mood for any of it.
Richard Morgan (born 1965) is a British science fiction author.
Richard Morgan was, until his writing career took off, a tutor at Strathclyde University in the English Language Teaching division. He has travelled widely and lived in Spain and Istanbul. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.
In 2002 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 were sold, which enabled Morgan to become a full-time writer. In 2003 the U.S. edition received the Philip K. Dick Award.
Photo: Richard Morgan at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow, 2005. Picture taken by Szymon Sokół. Source: Wikimedia Commons.