Friday, October 30, 2015

24. Black Man by Richard Morgan

(written Dec 26, 2015 catching up)

I loved Richard Morgan's Market Forces and found this in hardback for cheap at a used bookstore in PEI.  I was a bit disappointed.  It had a lot of cool near future transhuman cyberpunk technology and politics and some good action.  But everybody was constantly grim and mad at each other and full of tension about their past that after a while it just became a bit tiring.  The protagonist is a variant 13 (or "thirteen" perjoratively), a genetically modified human species that was bred for war then abandoned as being too dangerous and exiled to Mars or secure desert colonies.  Our herois semi-legit because he has chosen to hunt down other thirteens who are hiding out in the rest of society.  The conceit is that the thirteens are modified back so their DNA is structured as society's hunters, before we became agriculture.  It was kind of cool, but his social ostracization got a bit heavy after a while and I had trouble seeing anything of value in its metaphor for today's racism.  It was okay but felt a bit patched together and uneven.