Philip K. Dick Award 2004. Locus Award nominee 2003.
Amazingly confident world-building, constant action, immensely readable. A superb debut from a bright new star in SF.
Four hundred years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilization discovered on Mars. The colonies are linked together by the occasional sublight colony ship voyages and hyperspatial data-casting. Human consciousness is digitally freighted between the stars and downloaded into bodies as a matter of course.
But some things never change. So when ex-envoy, now-convict Takeshi Kovacs has his consciousness and skills downloaded into the body of a nicotine-addicted ex-thug and presented with a catch-22 offer, he really shouldn't be surprised. Contracted by a billionaire to discover who murdered his last body, Kovacs is drawn into a terrifying conspiracy that stretches across known space and to the very top of society.
For a first-time SF writer to be so surely in command of narrative and technology, so brilliant at world-building, so able to write such readable and enjoyable SF adventure, is simply extraordinary.
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.