Following the success of hugely popular series like The Crown, streaming channel Netflix is looking to develop original novels as drama series. The latest is based on Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon.
Although obviously marketed as science fiction, Altered Carbon does contain plenty of ingredients for a crime thriller – murdered bodies, forensics and investigators. What is not usual is that the good guys, when they are shot through to bits, just get a new body. The key is the futuristic technology that transfers consciousness. Those that are not to be transferred are the “Really Dead”! Set 300 years in the future, it is at a heart, a disturbing murder mystery. At over 400 pages of dense text it is poignant and intelligent. Literary quotations about corruption and social relations give the story some authenticity; and one finds interesting off-plot background passages with, for example: Chinese old ladies talking in a corner of a dark room. A book then with plenty of scope for a drama series.
The novel has echoes of other discovery and tech novels that continue to be an important part of contemporary literature. The landmark books by Dick, Gibson, Wyndham etc continue to attract collectors. We have a few copies of Altered Carbon, Gollancz 2002 first printing, signed and dated 5/02/02 by Morgan. Get in touch if you are interested in purchasing one.