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  1. #16
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lemming

    Erfael... I read your paragraph on how you didn't find the book to be especially violent, and didn't find the action to be especially nonstop, several times over to be sure I read it right. Wow. If this one didn't make the cut, I don't think I would make it through a book that you would assign those attributes to. I'd get too tired on behalf of the main character and fall sound asleep.
    Maybe it's just the sort of things I focus on that lends me that impression. I tend to focus on the intrigue and plot pointss rather than whatever bodies are striving to kill one another off in physical conflict, i.e., while a well described fight is nice and all, it doesn't tend to stick with me as much as a nice juicy tidbit of info or plot revelation.

    I think the kind of book that I would assign those attributes could easily be one with far less violence than this one, but also with far less other areas substance to balance it. Perhaps I didn't express my ideas clearly enough in that earlier paragraph. Yes, there was a great deal of violence in the book, but for me it wasn't the focal point that many of the reviews in the "Reading in ..." threads seemed to make it out to be. Coming into it, I expected almost a running battle from top to bottom, body parts flying all the way(not that I expected to like the book given that, either...I also would fall asleep on behalf of the main character if that was the case, I think). Being more interested in plot points and revelations, I guess I just don't dwell on the mindless brutality sections.

    Hmm, maybe I've gotten more to the root of my thoughs with this one.

  2. #17
    BookWyrm Archren's Avatar
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    I have to say that the rampant sex left more of an impression on me than the violence. After a while, I was thinking to myself; "Is there any named female in this book that he ISN'T going to have sex with?" It was getting pretty ridiculous. I guess in my mind the rampant violence, along with rainy nights and an overall night-time/dark clouds atmosphere, is required to make a novel "cyberpunk" instead of just plain SF.

    The thing with the criminals assuming that Ryker was still in Ryker's body I rationalized to myself this way: they just wanted to have some revenge, and his body was a good a stand in as any. It wasn't logical, but to them it was fun. And since they're criminals, they don't really care who's in there when the body gets torn to shreds. However, this is a heck of a rationalization, and I know it.

    I also rationalized the DNA-tagged bank account as: Bancroft got the body for Kovacs, and figured that Kovacs couldn't get another body on his own, and figured that if he did, then he didn't want Kovacs to still have access to the bank account. Bascially, it was less security, more of a leash. Again, rampant rationalization.

    Still, all in all, I'll probably read the sequel. I liked it.

  3. #18
    Give me liberty! Ouroboros's Avatar
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    As regards Ryker's body and the criminals, some speculation :-

    It was possible that Ryker had somehow been released or reinstated, maybe as likely as the idea that someone sleeved in his body would appear poking around in the kind of dodgy areas that the criminals frequented. Just the possibility that it was him probably made it worth attacking him. If it wasn't, then they wouldn't have lost anything.
    Last edited by Ouroboros; March 5th, 2004 at 05:06 PM.

  4. #19
    BookWyrm Archren's Avatar
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    Ouroborous: thank you for putting it so clearly. That's what I was thinking, but failed utterly at conveying.

  5. #20
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ouroboros
    As regards Ryker's body and the criminals, some speculation :-

    It was possible that Ryker had somehow been released or reinstated, maybe as likely as the idea that someone sleeved in his body would appear poking around in the kind of dodgy areas that the criminals frequented. Just the possibility that it was him probably made it worth attacking him. If it wasn't, then they wouldn't have lost anything.
    It is a plausible thought, my problem was that whole sub-plot pulled me right out of the story, and made me realize that they had no identity rules, mechanisms, or technologies in the future described in the book.

  6. #21
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    Ficusfan,
    With you now.

    I hadn't fully contemplated the ramifications of the tech available in 'Altered Carbon', a failing I apparently share with Richard Morgan. I can see how that would impact on one's enjoyment of the book.

    This reminds me of a rather bad 'mission-to-Mars' type telemovie that I saw the first 20 minutes of once. I stopped after they had an interplanetary-CNN-style newscast with a 'live' interview with the folk on Mars, in a universe without FTL, in real-time. Talk about having to check your brain in at the door!

  7. #22
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Soon Lee
    Ficusfan,
    With you now.

    I hadn't fully contemplated the ramifications of the tech available in 'Altered Carbon', a failing I apparently share with Richard Morgan. I can see how that would impact on one's enjoyment of the book.

    This reminds me of a rather bad 'mission-to-Mars' type telemovie that I saw the first 20 minutes of once. I stopped after they had an interplanetary-CNN-style newscast with a 'live' interview with the folk on Mars, in a universe without FTL, in real-time. Talk about having to check your brain in at the door!
    Well it makes me wonder who Richard Morgan is. I know Altered Carbon is his first book, but is he a mystery geek using CP and perhaps not very aware of the rules of SF, or is he really an SF geek, using mystery, and just making a newbie mistake (or his editor hacked it all out) ?

    In the US, in Barnes & Noble anyway, the book was not put in with the SF when it first came out. It was on the middle of the aisle table for new non-genre releases. There are a lot of outside authors using our stuff, but not being marketed as SF, nor do they consider themselves SF, and as outsiders they don't know the ropes.

    In any case it didn't make the book horrible, and until he brought in that sub-plot with Ryker I had missed it too. I just sailed blindly along taking things at face value

  8. #23
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    I found this which refers to Morgan being a lecturer of English as a foreign language. There's also this interview which may be of interest.

  9. #24
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Thanks Soon, I guess he is an SF geek. Very interesting, and I will have to check out the Murakami book he mentions, the title sounds wild.

  10. #25
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Yes, Richard has now managed to give up his lecturing job in order to concentrate on writing full time. Altered Carbon has been bought by Hollywood for a big advance too, I understand. It is his first book.

    Lke many authors at the moment, their work is promoted without too much reference to genre. (Have a look at Christopher Priest's The Separation for another example, and he's been writing SF for 30+ years!) The covers of Morgan's books, and Altered Carbon is the best example, where a Chris Moore cityscape has been bleached out in the background, leaving the author's name and title to dominate.

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  11. #26
    Registered User lemming's Avatar
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    a Chris Moore cityscape has been bleached out in the background, leaving the author's name and title to dominate.
    Oh yeah. I was several days into reading the book before I realized that it even was a cityscape rather than just an abstract smear of yellow and some other colors. Silly of me, yes.

  12. #27
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    Originally posted by Hobbit
    Lke many authors at the moment, their work is promoted without too much reference to genre.
    Hobbit
    Our university bookshop has M. John Harrison's Light in the Popular Science section!

  13. #28
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    LOL.... Soon, that's one I hadn't heard before. Not sure whether to laugh or cry over it, but it is a trend at the moment.

    When is SF not SF?

    (When Margaret Atwood writes it, evidently... )


    Lemming - on the ARC copy the Chris Moore picture is much more prominent... here's the clearer version.

    Hobbit
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  14. #29
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Just picked up my copy of The Separation tonight, boy was I surprised.

    I was expecting a small blue hardcover with pictures of buildings and old planes (I think) and I got a large hardcover in purple and white with faces and old planes. I had heard a new publisher was going to republish it, but silly me I assumed it would look the same.

    Of course when I checked amazon, they also show a trade paperback available, but my store ordered in Hardcover-

    Now if only I could get my trade paperback copy of Natural History by Justina Robson. We have been ordering it for almost a year now. It seems to be suffering the same fate as Priest's book with his first publisher. Gardner's keeps promising it is due in to them next month, and even amazon.uk says it is hard to find.

  15. #30
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Just thought I would say that I ended up getting and reading the book Morgan recommended: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. It was quite good and had a noirish feel to the SF strand.

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