Altered Carbon

Takeshi Kovacs #1

Richard K. Morgan

fiction mystery science fiction
adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced

544 pages | first published 2002

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.

But some things never change. So when ex-envoy, now-convict Takeshi Kovacs has his consciousness and skills downloaded into the body of a nicotine-addicted ex-thug and presented with a catch-22 offer, he really shouldn't be surprised. Contracted by a billionaire to discover who murdered his last body, Kovacs is drawn into a terrifying conspiracy that stretches across known space and to the very top of society.

What the community thinks

summary of 1395 ratings (see reviews)


dark 87%
adventurous 83%
mysterious 66%
tense 58%
funny 12%
challenging 8%
emotional 8%
reflective 8%
lighthearted 4%
sad 4%


fast 48%
medium 40%
slow 12%

Plot- or character-driven?

Plot: 50% | A mix: 25% | Character: 25%

Strong character development?

Yes: 47% | No: 30% | It's complicated: 21%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 56% | No: 34% | Yes: 8%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 69% | No: 21% | It's complicated: 8%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 23% | No: 9%

Average rating