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  1. #31
    Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it emohawk's Avatar
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    I have a friend who recommended it to me some time ago. He's a nerdy programmer type and it seems to have a bit of a cult following among them which is one of the reasons I've steered clear so far (no offense intended to nerdy programmer types who read this forum ). On your recommendation though I might check it out at some point.

  2. #32
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by emohawk
    I have a friend who recommended it to me some time ago. He's a nerdy programmer type and it seems to have a bit of a cult following among them which is one of the reasons I've steered clear so far (no offense intended to nerdy programmer types who read this forum ). On your recommendation though I might check it out at some point.
    There is nothing in the way of long expositions about computers or technical stuff that would put anyone to sleep. The main POV in the modern-day SF thread does work in the 'data security' field, but the explanations are pretty simple, and actually almost cute - because they are accompanied by what looks like a third grade child's drawings for visual aides.

  3. #33
    Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it emohawk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FicusFan
    There is nothing in the way of long expositions about computers or technical stuff that would put anyone to sleep.
    I realise that, that sort of thing doesn't really bother me. I actually really liked Cryptonomicon which has pages and pages of techno-mathy-ranting. It was more a point that his tastes tend to be very dubious and cultish geek books tend to have appeal for reasons that don't often interest me much.

  4. #34
    I eat fish. Bear's Avatar
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    Not sure if I have to be initiated, but I'll throw in my two cents.

    As much as I'd like to give a big thumbs up for this book, I can't. Morgan can write (a lot of his prose was great), but his pacing was really off. It seemed like he was having a tough time juggling the mystery and sci-fi aspects of the book, particularly the mystery part. I liked the ideas (the sleeving and whatnot), but the "who-dunnit" plot was flimsy. He had trouble keeping it in the foreground, and as a result, the hook didn't stay sunk, and the last quarter of the book left me with an urge to skim. Also the characters, although adequate, weren't particularly memorable. It was a good first effort, and the ideas and excellent writing were enough to get me to the end, but I would have liked it a lot more if the characters and mystery aspects were stronger. But I'm much more of a mystery fan than a sci-fi buff, which may leave me a little biased.

    Final score: 6/10.

  5. #35
    Seeker of Stuff Moderator Kamakhya's Avatar
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    I have not commented because others have expressed far better than I what was good and bad abourt this novel. I liked the book well enough. I think it was a valiant first novel. But, I too, found the whole premise a bit bizarre and unrealistic. I also found the violence to be a bit much. It did fit with the story to a point, but I felt it was a bit gratuitous. I don't think he really thought through the whole "re-sleeving" thing enough. Yet, I thought the idea that one's very cells remember, a nice thought, if a bit idealistic.

    I liked the book, even if I had to toss aside common sense at times. In SF, I am always willing to suspend disbelief. I think Morgan may have a future and while I won't go out of my way to pick up his books, I will read more by him.

  6. #36
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    This one was very reminiscent of Kiln People. Well, Kiln People without the heart. Still, admist all of the violence, cyber-slang, and plot twists, there's an enjoyable story here. Morgan is a very good writer and because my experience with cyberpunk is very limited (I wasn't able to make it through the last book I started for this book club, Elizabeth Bear's Hammered), I found a lot the ideas presented in this book both novel and intriguing. In fact, I found Altered Carbon to be a very involving read - up until page 300 or so at which point all of the good feelings I had about this novel began to quickly dissipate. Again, I'm not a big reader of cyberpunk so I have to ask - are bloated narratives characteristic of the sub-genre? Is cypberpunk typified by repetitive and long-winded stories? If so, why is this the case? Do fatter books sell better?

  7. #37
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    Short answer: Cyberpunk is NOT typified by repetitive and long-winded stories. The Wikipedia article is a good overview of Cyberpunk.

    For me, the archetypal cyberpunk is William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy (NEUROMANCER, COUNT ZERO and MONA LISA OVERDRIVE). The writing is taut, the prose dense, reading like you're living in a fast-paced future.

    I second Kamakhya's comment on ALTERED CARBON.

  8. #38
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    The NOVEL is normally defined as having a minimum word-count of 60,000 but in recent years, novels have been getting more and more lengthy, typified by BFF (Big Fat Fantasy) books. Compare for example, some of the classic SF novels. Many of them are quite thin in today's market.

    I guess there is a sense of the reader getting more for their money & fatter books selling more. But for me, fatter is not necessarily better.

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