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Altered Carbon
By Richard K. Morgan

To Be Discussed January 2009

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  1. Many of popular hard Scifi tropes are here. What are they? What does Morgan's future have in common with The Risen Empire, Blade Runner and Spin State?
  2. Kovacs is an Envoy, what are the characteristics and training of an Envoy? What was his background? How has he changed?
  3. Kovacs has several relationships described in the book that imply emotional attachment. There is Sarah, Ortega, Miriam Bancroft and Trepp. Why are these women attracted to Kovacs? How is the chemical basis of attraction described weighted and how does Sarah fit in? The only male friend or relationship is Jimmy. Why is that? What the relationship with the Hendricks? How does the author portray AIs? How is it like or unlike the AI in Spin Control?
  4. What role does Quell play in the book? How about the Martians?
  5. How have Meths affected society? Good or bad? How is this like Risen Empire?
  6. Why does he kill Kawahara? What is the motive?
  7. All institutions are written as flawed or evil: religion, government, police, criminals, the military. Are viable alternatives offered for the dystopia?
  8. Why are double sleeves illegal? Does it seem reasonable that most people have no other backups and that only the very rich have offsite backups?
  9. Does Kovacs have a goal or future? Does the society offer any moral alternatives? What is your impression of Kovacs?
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