Market Forces - Richard K. Morgan - New
Market Forces is a science fiction novel by Richard Morgan, first published in 2004. Set in 2049 in the wake of a global economic downturn called the Domino Recessions, it follows up and coming executive Chris as he plunges into the profitable field of Conflict Investment. Major corporations invest in rebel armies, totalitarian dictatorships, freedom fighters, and terrorists by selling weapons and services in exchange for a percentage of a state's GNP. The potential for profit is immense, and competition is cut-throat. It's not enough to out-bid a competitor; rival executives joust for the privilege on public roadways via armoured cars or "battle-wagons". This fiercely competitive business model is bloody but effective: surviving executives are by natural selection more cunning and aggressive than their fallen competitors, and therefore best suited for the job. The practice was born by accident when Chris' boss inadvertently killed a coworker while both were racing to work out of fear that showing up late would result in unemployment. When Chris Faulkner first arrives at Shorn Associates, he meets and befriends Mike Bryant, a fellow executive. After his initial project, Faulkner works on shoring up an aging Colombian dictator, General Hernan Echevarria. Colombia is called the North Andean Monitored Economy (NAME) by the conflict investors and other western powers. The Shorn contract is up for renewal and the General is also likely to die soon, leaving his regime in the hands of his son Francisco Echevarria. Initially, Faulkner attempts to get a better deal by playing the regime against several active rebel groups, but ends up actually supporting the Popular Revolutionary Brigade, led by Vincente Barranco, to depose the General. After meeting with Barranco in person, Faulkner becomes convinced that he can both win a revolution and make NAME a better place, as well as making a profit. Eventually, both the General and Barranco are invited to Shorn headquarters in London. Faulkner becomes more convinced that backing Barranco is the correct decision. When Barranco finds out Shorn is playing both sides, Faulkner beats the aging General to death in order to convince him of Shorn's support. After the killing of the General, elements of Shorn still want to support the regime, with Francisco Echevarria as the General's replacement. The final decision comes down to a duel between Faulkner and Bryant. Faulkner kills Bryant, and the novel concludes with Faulkner informing Francisco Echevarria that he will be executed if he does not leave NAME within 48 hours.
About the Author Richard K Morgan
In 2002 Richard K .Morgan's first novel Altered Carbon was published, combining elements of cyberpunk and hardboiled detective fiction and featuring the anti-hero Takeshi Kovacs. The film rights for the book sold for a reported figure of ,000,000 to film producer Joel Silver, enabling Morgan to become a full-time writer. In 2003 the U.S. edition received the Philip K. Dick Award. In 2003 Broken Angels was published, the sequel to Altered Carbon, again featuring Takeshi Kovacs and blending science fiction and war fiction in a similar way to his cross-genre début.
Market Forces, Richard K Morgan's first non-Kovacs novel, is set in the not too distant future. It was originally written as a short story, then as a screenplay (both unpublished). After the success of his first two works, it was released as a novel and has also been optioned as a film. Morgan's third, and he has stated final, Kovacs novel Woken Furies was released in the UK in March 2005 and in the U.S. in September 2005.
Richard K Morgan wrote two six issue miniseries for Marvel Comics under the Marvel Knights imprint. His first story, Black Widow: Homecoming published monthly in 2004 was followed by a second, Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her published monthly in 2005; both are now available in collected editions. According to Morgan's official website the series was "an artefact of limited appeal" and is unlikely to be continued, although he has other comic projects in development. Black Man (known in the USA as 'Thirteen') was released in May 2007 in the UK and June 2007 in the USA. According to the author, the book is about the constraints of physicality and the fact that you are locked into who you are and there's not a whole lot you can do about that. These are things he couldn't deal with in the Kovacs universe, because for Kovacs and people like him mortality is avoidable: you just skip into a new body. The novel subsequently won the 2008 Arthur C Clarke Award.
Richar K Morgan's current project is a fantasy trilogy, the first volume of which has the title A Land Fit for Heroes (The Steel Remains in the UK) and was published in August 2008 in the UK and is due to be published on January 20, 2009 in the United States. His current writings feature heavily on the theme of autonomy in science fiction and escapism in fantasy.
Market Forces - Richard K. Morgan - New
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