I Evoke Brow XVI: Sweet, Sweet Postapocalyptic Mayhem

Richard K. Morgan’s Market Forces

I love Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs novels; I liked this book. Market Forces has the same gripping writing but in the end it falls short of Margan’s first two novels. Chris Faulkner is a flawed hero in the mold of Kovacs but lacks the latter’s riveting efficiency and I found that I had less sympathy for Faulkner’s failings. Whereas Kovacs comes off as a tortured soul, brutal yet emotionally vulnerable, Faulkner just seems like an asshole to me at times. The revelation of his childhood angst comes to late to overcome my mindset towards him. Everytime Chris faces a critical decision he goes against what my hopes. That’s fine as far as that goes as it makes for a unique narrative, but it left me feeling pretty empty by the climax. Yeah, Chris has his small triumphs but are merely blips as he drowns in more and more shit. I felt no joy at his successes–maybe that’s how Morgan wanted it but I think it’s more likely that he just missed his target by a little bit.

I get the feeling that this could make a pretty damn awesome movie, Road Warrior meets Boiler Room with a touch of Tarantino and a bit of T&A. As a novel, it pushes the limits of plausibility. For whatever reason (and I’m sure there’s an interesting psychological reason behind this), I find it easier to suspend my disbelief when it comes to finding artifacts of intelligent alien life thousands of years in the future in the Kovacs series than I do wrapping my head around Faulkner’s near-future world. It’s still enjoyable but it’s really more thriller than great science fiction.

6/10, but I don’t feel great about that rating–maybe I need more time to digest it.

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Listening to Crowded Tub, Amberland 2005

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