Richard Morgan, the award-winning author of Altered Carbon
and Broken Angels
, strikes out into new territory with Market Forces
, leaving behind the farflung battlegrounds of Takeshi Kovacs for the not-so-distant future of corporate Earth. Here, Morgan extrapolates a world where commodities trading reaches a brutal pitch and the outcomes of banana republic uprisings are the new market. Now, on the road to success, the brokers of the new economy compete for status and promotions via road rage on the freeways of new London.
Morgan's conflicted protagonist, Chris Faulkner, is a comer known for one spectacular kill that shot him to the top of mid-range global capital firm. He parlays his reputation and skills as a driver into a job in the emerging field of "Conflict Investment" at the world's hottest and hardest firm. Soon he finds himself running with the big dogs and rises to the top of a brutal realm, but his ascent is quickly threatened by vicious senior partners, gold-digging suitors, fame, fair-weather friends, and his own nagging conscience.
Market Forces is at once an anti-globalization treatise and anime fantasy meets The Road Warrior. Morgan employs the graphic-novel imagery of his two previous novels to create a disturbingly brutal picture of slash-and-burn capitalism run amok. There are times when Faulker's moral quandries seem hollow in the face of his actions but this isn't Crime and Punishment. Enjoy the ride and "come back with blood on your wheels or don't come back at all." --Jeremy Pugh
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From Publishers Weekly
Morgan's brutal, provocative third novel (after Altered Carbon
and Broken Angels
) charts the moral re-education of executive Chris Faulkner, who joins notoriously successful Shorn Associates, which specializes in "conflict investment" - financing totalitarian regimes, as well as guerrilla movements, in developing countries that are never allowed to develop. Taking his theme from such well-known critics of Western capitalism as Noam Chomsky, Susan George and Michael Moore (all listed as sources), the author presents a bleak near-future that includes continuing job loss through NAFTA, the undermining of national economies like that of China and the creation of a permanent underclass. Faulkner and other company hotshots compete in highly dangerous, often fatal car races, which reflect the ruthlessness of their corporate careers. Faulkner's auto-mechanic wife, Carla, strives to humanize him, but he will have to kill a lot of people with his car, guns and, in the penultimate bloodbath, a baseball bat before seeing the error of his ways. While some may be put off by the graphic violence and the heavy-handed polemics, most readers will find Morgan's economic extrapolation convincing and compelling.
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