Four hundred years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilization discovered on Mars. The colonies are linked together by the occasional sublight colony ship voyages and hyperspatial data-casting. Human consciousness is digitally freighted between the stars and downloaded into bodies as a matter of course.
Reviewed on 19th May 2019
Recent TV series Altered Carbon is based on this book - though I’ve entered the world from a book-first approach, so can’t compare the two.
The story find us in a world where consciousness can be removed from one body, stored electronically, and downloaded into another - possibly on another planet. We are aligned with a character with a mixed past, who has been forced into helping to investigate an unusual crime back on Earth.
It’s a fascinating idea, and a solid science fiction novel that explores the repercussions of an interesting and just-plausible future technology. But I didn’t find the narrative compelling enough to hook me as much as I needed it to. I wanted to feel like I couldn’t put the book down, and to be excited to pick it up on my commute each day, but it didn’t manage it - and eventually felt like I was only reading to get it over with quicker.
So overall I don’t think I’ll be continuing to read the series, and I’m not inspired to start watching the TV version either.