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Altered Carbon Hardcover – 2002
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning. . . .
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When someone asks me for a book recommendation, I do not recommend this book or series if the person is underage, or if the person likes fairies and fluffy dragons, or if the person has never read at least some of the Classic Science Fictions works.
When someone asks me for a book recommendation, and I think that person is smart enough and tough enough to read hardcore blindingly brilliant Science Fiction, I will recommend this book and series with the caveat: "You will either get totally sucked in and miss days of your life, OR you will run screaming.
Your mileage may vary.
Background: I typically buy my Kindle books as part of the Kindle Daily Deals and plan them for airplane reading or times when I am away from home and cannot do more exciting or responsible tasks. This means that my standards are not too high and I am looking for books in the beach read category under the fantasy/sci-fi genres. I try to rate fairly on the star scale and personally consider anything 3 stars and up to be fine.
If you fell in love with the series, I whole heartedly recommend the book but add the caveat that you should be prepared for some significant differences between the two. They're both excellent though.
This is classic noir detective fiction transposed to a future world where surgically implanted "stacks" store human consciousness, which can be transferred from body to body and approximate immortality. "Methuselahs" can live for hundreds of years, and Kovacs is beamed in from a distant planet to solve the 'murder' of a Meth. Great fun, the book barrels along with enough twists and turns to keep you constantly guessing, and enough speculative details to make the far-future San Francisco setting vivid.
Should be a great show on Netflix!