Sunday, May 22, 2005

Richard Morgan - Woken Furies

I have to admit that I really like Richard Morgan's SF. This admission is important, because what I am about to say may sound like I hate it.

Apart from the fact that one of his central thesis' seems to me to be so implausible, that no technology of the future can ever make it happen - that a human's consiousness and memories can be stored electronically for retrieval at a latter date - I really like the gritty, dirty, realism of Morgan's futures.

Ok, so the best SF of recent years has shied away from glorious future utopian worlds where robots serve your every whim, and men are men and women beautiful. Morgon does the exact opposite. The future is filled with war, revolution, bloodshed and violence, though his men are still men and the women beautiful.

But his stories. Well, there I have a problem. I just can't seem to follow the plot. It all fairly races along, you meet characters, like them, dislike them, then they are killed and the plot twists and turns like a worm in soapy water. Christ knows what's happening, but it all seems quite fun. Anyhow there it is. I'm sure it's a great SF if you can work out what is going on. But it's riveting none the less.


Resolute Reader said...

Ugh. I write something like "so implausible, that no technology of the future can ever make it happen" and the very next day, Yahoo! reports how it might.

Aginoth said...

Richard Morgan is indeed a very good read, a tad violent at times, but excellently written.

Great Blog, will come back and read your thoughts again :o)

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Karl Yundt said...

I haven't read any Morgan, but I don't find that implausible technology is a problem. It can be a handy device to make up a thought provoking situation. The idea of memories being storable, copyable and transferable like computer files is a good example. (Used in rather a good episode of Red Dwarf, IIRC). Another example is the drug in Phillip K. Dick's '3 Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch' which sends the taker into a hallucinated world where the same drug exists - so people have 'nested' trips and by the end of the book you don't know which level is 'reality'. (Alright, thats a drug not a technology, but its an implausible plot-doodah which allows this idea to be explored).

I didn't think that the Yahoo story was very weighty, BTW. Generally, 'futurology' seems to be a synonym for 'wild unsupported speculation'.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who read Morgan and was left saying, "Wow! That was fun! ...but what the hell just happened?"

I enjoy his prose and characters tremendously, but I find myself feeling like a royal idiot after finishing one of his books.