Following a thread over at Chez Worstall on sci-fi novels, I acted upon the recommendation of two commenters to take a look at Altered Carbon, a 2002 novel by Richard Morgan. I’m not a huge sci-fi fan and when I tried reading some of the classics I found them too dated. Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers was an exception, but I couldn’t finish Stranger in a Strange Land. However, I enjoyed Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but that might be because I could visualise it better thanks to Blade Runner.
But one of the chaps who recommended Altered Carbon described it as “a sort of blade runner crossed with Sam Spade”, which was enough for me and so I bought it for my Kindle. I found to my delight that the description was absolutely spot on, and I was hooked immediately. I am rarely very impressed with modern fiction, with the last book that really held my attention being Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian for which I shunned all in-flight entertainment on a long-haul trip between Nigeria and somewhere. Altered Carbon had the same effect, and then some. I can’t recommend it highly enough, and I am looking forward to reading the sequels. I was also excited to hear that Netflix is making a TV series of it, which if done properly ought to be brilliant.
That’s why the Worstall Arms is the most popular pub in town. Come for the economics, stay for the comments.