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Market Forces - Ed's journal
Market Forces
I really quite like Science Fiction. I feel that the optimal format for it, is the short story - where an author introduces a concept, and explores the impact on humanity. (That's distinct from 'space opera' which is more or less 'swords and sorcery fantasy in a futuristic setting')

And it's with that in mind, that I'd like to commend to you Richard K. Morgan's work. His debut novel was 'Altered Carbon' which ... in many ways hold some of the elements I like best about the short story format - a new concept, developing the ideas and it's impact on society.
But it's tied together ... almost as a set of short stories, by an underlying detective story. It's fast paced and compelling, and I have to say I feel it's substantially better than it's sequels that move more into the realms of space opera.

The most recent book of his I've read though, is Market Forces. It's similar, in that it takes a short story concept, and extends it into a well paced and entertaining novel. It's deliciously cynical, and is ... a story of globalization gone mad, set in the near future.
It's got something of a mix of mad max crossed with high powered massive bonus executives. In such it really does shift a gear from the high sci-fi of Altered Carbon, and into something a little closer to today - the setting is 2049 or so, and the technology is not a particular far cry from where we are today. But what's different is culture and society. The rising prices of fuel have made the roads the province of the wealthy.
The story is of Chris Faulkner, as he takes up his new job at Shorn Associates, in the Conflict Investments section - their investment fund focussed on financing and profiting from 'conflict areas' around the world.

I think it's excellent - well written, well paced, with just a hint of 'this is how things could be'. And really, crossing 'boardroom politics' with 'road raging' is such a beautiful concept, that it's a delight to see it quite this well executed.
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anchiale From: anchiale Date: January 20th, 2009 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Very interesting! I may have to look into those. :)
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