Book Review: Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon cover courtesy of Amazon

Altered Carbon cover courtesy of Amazon

I finished Altered Carbon, the first book by Richard Morgan, Sci-fi, a couple of days ago. It’s taken a few days for my ideas upon it to crystalise..

It’s a complex weaving book, very, very good for his first. The plot moves thick and fast, set in an ugly futuristic society. The technology of the sci-fi not that new, but its a novel implementation.. what happens when humans can be digitally stored, but set in a plot. My most stringent criticism would be that the primary character shows borderline superhero syndrome, or of being a “superhero” in a world that should have none. Mostly explained in the story well, but borderline. If I want to read a superhero story, I’ll go read a superman or batman comic 😉

The book touches on our societies current quest for immortality, and it’s something I’ve thought of recently as well. Our society is broken, and still reeling from the changes that computers have brought upon it. We can now communicate a lot further a lot faster than ever before. It is unlikely, that had I been writing this 20 years ago, that this post would have been able to exist, let alone be able to be read by people living almost anywhere in the world. We seem fixated with our human needs; you just have to go on google, and be a little careless to bring up an example of rule 34 1 .

Believing as I do in a world beyond this, seeing everyone so fixated on their needs now, rarely thinking about others, rarely thinking about the future beyond their deaths hurts. Some humanists are changing this, and I am probably using too big a brush in some cases, but still.. worth thinking about possibly.

  1. Internet axiom created by the 4chan community. If it exists, there is porn of it (normally on the internet).

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Altered Carbon

  1. Axiom

    Surely the transition from a material to immaterial state negating hormonal influences/desires/need to posses anything material (money/food/stereo/TV/things) is the purest state of being? Would the material world hold any interest i.e. the seduction of gazing into cyberspace may not be the same in reverse meaning once immersed there would be no reason to either interact or return to this material world.
    Ask yourself – If you could have an operation performed on your brain to remove the desire/evil inclination (extraction of the evil nugget) would you submit to the scalpel? Probably not a good idea as it would hinder your chances of survival – Could it be the case evil people (Such as I muhahahaha) are better suited for survival in this place – Further, could this be why there are ever more and more of us? Could it be God himself likes us the most? We have greater entertainment factor/keep him on his toes/give him cause to exist. You are hindered/ limited to a half-life of shadows governed by your cheesy morals – Whereas we live in the harshest, most fulfilling, light of day! 🙂

  2. Kirrus Post author

    Surely the transition from a material to immaterial state negating hormonal influences/desires/need to posses anything material (money/food/stereo/TV/things) is the purest state of being? Would the material world hold any interest i.e. the seduction of gazing into cyberspace may not be the same in reverse meaning once immersed there would be no reason to either interact or return to this material world.

    Even if we could become digital entities (we can’t, and the science I’ve read says it won’t happen in a very long time) the physical hardware would still need to exist for us to operate on. You would need people looking after the physical realm. They might be able to do it through avatars, and robots, but computers go wrong, and they need people there to fix them.

    Ask yourself – If you could have an operation performed on your brain to remove the desire/evil inclination (extraction of the evil nugget) would you submit to the scalpel? Probably not a good idea as it would hinder your chances of survival – Could it be the case evil people (Such as I muhahahaha) are better suited for survival in this place – Further, could this be why there are ever more and more of us? Could it be God himself likes us the most? We have greater entertainment factor/keep him on his toes/give him cause to exist. You are hindered/ limited to a half-life of shadows governed by your cheesy morals – Whereas we live in the harshest, most fulfilling, light of day! 🙂

    But, I’m not hindered by my cheesy morals. I find breaking my morals incredibly depressing, and sticking to them, helping others, incredibly elating. Why would I choose to loose them? Also, since you brought it up, God gave us the morals we have, the morals I try to run my life by. Why would he want evil people running around hurting people, because at the end of the day, being evil requires that you hurt others.

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