Sunday, November 14, 2004

Altered Angels

A few months ago, on Jon's recommendation, I picked up Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. I'm not the biggest fan of "cyberpunk" stuff, mostly because I find a lot of it fairly unoriginal, and one of the standard-bearers for the genre, William Gibson, has a writing style I find insufferably overwrought and self-indulged. But Altered Carbon was more detective story than it was cyberpunk tale, meaning the mystery aspect served as the framework for the book, rather than the nifty-but-awful-techie-future that serves as the framework for other tales in the genre, with story playing second fiddle.

Not that Carbon didn't include some of that, but it wasn't so overbearing as to be distracting.

Morgan put out a sequel, and I picked it up last week, since Tuesday was a one-DVD day (Shrek 2) and there haven't been any good new DVDs for a while, and there won't be any good DVDs for a while. It's called Broken Angels, and while it's a little more cyberpunky than Carbon, it's still not overbearingly so. I was half-expecting a shitty sequel, one cobbled together to fulfil a contract, or to make more money, but Morgan has crafted another fantastic mystery. This one takes place on a backwater planet embroiled in a civil war, more reminiscant of Firefly than anything else, and I discovered my doubts were unfounded about three pages in, when Morgan got the hook in my lip and started tugging.

I'll post more when I'm done reading it, but I encourage anyone who hasn't read Altered Carbon to get a copy and give it a whirl.

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