Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thirteen” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,329 Ratings  ·  382 Reviews
The future isn’t what it used to be since Richard K. Morgan arrived on the scene. He unleashed Takeshi Kovacs–private eye, soldier of fortune, and all-purpose antihero–into the body-swapping, hard-boiled, urban jungle of tomorrow in Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies, winning the Philip K. Dick Award in the process. In Market Forces, he launched corporate glad ...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Del Rey (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thirteen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thirteen

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineThe Martian by Andy WeirOld Man's War by John ScalziThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsAnathem by Neal Stephenson
Best Science Fiction of the 21st Century
62nd out of 457 books — 5,141 voters
Neuromancer by William GibsonSnow Crash by Neal StephensonThe Diamond Age by Neal StephensonDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Best of Cyberpunk
27th out of 220 books — 909 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 30, 2012 Justin rated it it was ok
Richard K. Morgan is kind of hot shit in the sci-fi world these days, but this book does not demonstrate why. At 550 pages, it's a ridiculously long thriller wrapped in a shroud of William Gibson-esque cyperpunk. Morgan has a lot of interesting ideas about human genetic modification in the future, and how it all ties into the political intrigue of the time, but his actual plot, at least in this book, is an overly complicated murder mystery that fails to pay off in any way whatsoever. The main ch ...more
Jun 24, 2011 Mohammed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
SF thrillers or just regular kind its hard to find someone who writes as good,hardcore noirish thrillers as Morgan. He stands out, his action scenes are better than most authors in the same fields. He writes about main characters like Carl Marslais who you could never in a million years call a hero and who is a violent, amoral noir protagonist. Still he makes seem him more human than you would expect. He doesnt write simple thriller stories where the good and bad guys are clear.

Something i must
6.0 stars. IMHO, second only to Market Forces as Morgan's best book and he is one of my favorite authors.

Winner: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominee: British Science Fiction Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Mike (the Paladin)
Well, I made several discoveries here. First I discovered I'm deeply grateful that I got this from the library and didn't purchase it. Second I discovered that I probably won't be seeking out any other of Mr. Morgan's work.

Thirdly? I've discovered that the four letter "f" word that ends in k (f**k) is apparently Richard K. Morgan's favorite word in the entire English language. He uses it as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb... a participle...sometimes a dangling participle. It just depends
Genre: scifi / cyberpunk
Brainycat's 5 'B's:
boobs: 4 // blood 4 // bombs 2 // bondage 1 // blasphemy 4
Currently listening to: Alien Vampires: Harshlizer CD2

Richard K. Morgan has again established himself as one of my very mostest all time favorite authors. As a reader, I've often gone through endless numbers of book descriptions online, or browsed the shelves at bookstores, and felt like nobody is writing a book just for me. Sure, there's more 'good' or even 'great' books out there that I'd enjoy
Oct 28, 2009 Hazel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Two hundred pages in and great fun. This is intelligent science fiction, a look at social and cultural change and geopolitics, all interwoven with 21st century genetics and artificial intelligence. It would make a good movie, just the kind my husband would love, lots of action, great visuals and clever plotting. Why haven't I read Morgan before?

Well, I'm almost finished this and I have a problem. I think there are two books here. One is an intriguing proper sci-fi novel about an outsider negotia
fo jammi
Dec 29, 2008 fo jammi rated it really liked it
Richard Morgan doesn't conceal his source material, intellectual or stylistic. His acknowledgments at the beginning of the book are a great jumping off point for exploring some of the themes that "Thirteen" tackles, and there are plenty of them. Stylistically he weaves a noirish blend that owes a great deal to Dick, Gibson and Chandler, and echoes cinematic sources as well as literary. The last scenes evoke "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in the slant of the light and the quiet punctuated b ...more
Liviu Szoke
I don't particularly enjoy the cyberpunk subgenre and I was worried when I saw that the book (the romanian edition, at least) has more than 800 pages. But this book it is not only with cybernetworks, virtual realities and so. No, it is gritty, violent, sad, has depth, characters, commentaries (about politics, about history, about media and so on), and everything you can ask from a good book. Although the pace it is quite slow sometimes and the author forgets that this is fiction, overall the rea ...more
This was ok, it had some interesting ideas about what it means to be human, and an especially bleak look at our possible future, but besides that the book was very predictable, even when it was throwing in big plot curve balls. For all the convoluted twist and turns the book is essentially an action / adventure story in the vein of something like the Penetrator. A big guy who women can't keep their hands off of goes around and kills all the bad guys that get in the way between him and his righte ...more
Jun 14, 2009 Chloe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carl Marsalis is not a lucky man. A genetic variant, the thirteenth result of humankind's tinkering with their own DNA, Carl is engineered to be the perfect soldier. He's cold, emotionless, able to shunt away knowledge of pain and avoid human concepts like community and dependence. He and his kind were very good at what they were designed for, a little too good according to the humans they supposedly protected. So, once peace again descended on this 22nd Century globe, the Thirteens were offered ...more
Oct 12, 2015 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
F*@%in' A, Thirteen is another awesome book by Richard K. Morgan!
Mr. Morgan is one of my top three favorite current authors and I can't rightfully say why I just now finally got around to reading Thirteen but it's more than worth the wait.

Genetically modified humans is nothing new to SCI-FI but I haven't ran across any where the building material came from the savage hunter/killers that had long since been bred out of the human race. Carl Maralis is the product of such genetic engineering call
May 29, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi, xcharity-2011
2 stars for me, despite what I admit is some good writing in places. The premise of this book is that we have killed off all the disruptive, aggressive “hunters” in society since we invented agriculture and became civilized. The “thirteens” are the results of the effort to reinvigorate our gene pool through genetic modification, developing a strain of feral soldiers and law enforcement not found in the societies of the near future. What a bunch of crap! Ya think UBL thought in those last few sec ...more
Jan 06, 2011 j rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to j by: Nancy Nield
Probably a bit rape-y for a book club selection.
Jan 23, 2016 Sandi rated it liked it
Shelves: sff, lib
Morgan at his best... which is not saying much. Gratuitous violence, unnecessary, unnecessarily graphic sex scenes, at least a hundred pages of preaching about the emasculation of the modern world and how we need a huge dose of testosterone to solve all of our problems. Especially us poor, stupid women who need a real man to come along and f*ck us to happiness (a. word. that. was. definitely. overused). There are a plethora of cuss words in the English language, not to mention culturally specifi ...more
William Thomas
Oct 20, 2011 William Thomas rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I wrote in a status update, while I was still reading the book, that this book was basically Wolverine hunting Sabretooth. After I've finished with it, it still feels that way, although it became more of a modern political thriller by increments than a science-fiction novel. And I wonder, with the way China Mieville has been writing these days, if that isn't the current trend in sci-fi. At least for the Brits.

Another reviewer said she keeps coming back to Morgan because of his essential Scottish
Mar 19, 2013 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok
Carl Marsalis seems like a lucky man. Thirty-odd years ago the US and UK created genetically modified soldiers, called "Thirteens", but when public horror shut the project down, the Thirteens were put into camps or shipped off to Mars. Carl is one of the few permitted to roam free--on the condition that he hunt down other Thirteens, who have left their reservations without permission. His latest mission is to stop Merrin, a Thirteen who tortured, ate, and mutilated the corpses of his fellow pass ...more
Neal Asher
Feb 24, 2012 Neal Asher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable stuff, but perhaps far too heavy on the polemics for some. A couple of times I felt the urge to skip bits, especially some of the long conversations serving as vehicles for social commentary, but I didn’t skip because by then Mr Morgan had hooked me. Also, for someone who very definitely can illustrate the shades of grey in human existence, Morgan goes blind to them when writing about what seem to be his pet hates: religious fundamentalism and right wing politics. Taking a whole lump o ...more
Judd Karlman
Prelude: Carl Marsalis, the protagonist of this novel, should be played by Idris Elba. He would rock the shit out of this role.

Nature vs. Nurture, Black vs. White, Blue State vs. Red State and Faith vs. Reason collide with lots of sex and violence in this modern Blade Runner. If you are upset by the graphic sex but not upset by the vicious violence that counter-balances it, I don't know what to tell ya other than Morgan isn't the writer for you.

My only complaint about this book is that it was na
Apr 01, 2015 Chris rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Fans of dark, dark fiction
No me guista! I was NOT a fan of this novel... at least not the first 100 pages or so. That's as far as I got, I'm afraid.

Morgan's writing style is adequate and at times, interesting, but the total lack of anything resembling a conscience in any of the characters the novel had introduced left me feeling, well, pretty lousy. I need my novel's heroes to have SOMETHING for me to cling to. Everyone I got to meet in this novel seemed morally bankrupt, depressed or was completely forgettable.

The tippi
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 2007.

On the assumption that any technology developed by the human race will be used in for short term gain without consideration of the consequences or of ethics, the outlook for genetic engineering is frightening. That is the basic premise of Black Man, Richard Morgan's latest novel (published in the US as Thirteen, presumably because the publishers there - Del Rey - don't want readers to assume that it is about racism). Richard Morgan envisages th
Feb 22, 2016 Zedsdead rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Zedsdead by: Goodreads
It's early in the 22nd century. Genetic engineering has produced a number of human "variants": bonobos, which are submissive female super-geishas; hibernoids, who possess superhuman focus but go into a catatonic sleep state four months a year; and thirteens, an alpha-male throwback variant, last seen in pre-civilization, pre-agricultural times. Thirteens are stronger, tougher, more remorseless and single-minded than mere humans. All the variants trigger some level of resentment and fear from "no ...more
Dec 13, 2008 Mia rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2008, sf-f
I liked this so much more than Altered Carbon. I think it was the layer of added complexity and the implicit questions the book brought up -- of nature vs. nurture, gender roles, the nature of connection and emotional attachment, and of humanity.

But there were troubling things too. Like, that in a society where all kinds of human genetic modification are possible, there doesn't seem to be access to effective and unobtrusive contraception. Also, for all the interesting examination of racial assu
Mar 14, 2015 Nora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A gripping plot, kept me reading all day. Not sure about all the genetics involved, but it's hard to say how much is being filtered by the POVs. The future history is interesting, some of the Jesusland stuff is pretty chilling. Typical Morgan stuff, which means getting more descriptions of big-breasted and long-legged ladies running about than I really care for, but the sex scenes are relatively toned down compared to some others I can think of from him. Also the book felt like it did not need t ...more
In Thirteen Richard Morgan explores many different concepts of genetic engineering. Humans have created what are called "variants". Hibernoids that must go into a sleep state for four months out of a year. Bonobos that are female super-geishas. And then there are the Thirteens, who are stronger and tougher then normal humans. They are conditioned to tap into a primal rage, and are more remorseless and single minded then modern humans.

This book is what I think I can now call classic Richard Morga
Janos Honkonen
Jun 08, 2011 Janos Honkonen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard K. Morgan's "Black Man" was one of those books that are initially a very interesting read - sometimes action packed, sometimes surprisingly touching, but consistently thought provoking. The thing that made it stand out for me is the fact that it was one of those books which stayed in my head for weeks after the book was finished. The novel touched interesting and important themes and featured characters, who by all probabilities should've been unlikable or cliched, but whom Morgan manage ...more
Aug 31, 2009 Nathan rated it did not like it
Dreck. Belabored themes of genetic monsters and compulsion could have easily been handled in a short story. The violence that seems so integral to the Kovacs novels feels gratuitous and titillating after the first scene here. Likewise the sex.

The detective story is interesting enough but really had little to do with the other themes and could just as easily have taken place today (minus the Mars bits).

Also suffers from the same over-analysis of every action along genetic lines and hyper-cynicism
Ben Eldridge
Jan 03, 2015 Ben Eldridge rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
For all there is to admire about Richard Morgan's Thirteen / Black Man it remains, in my opinion, the weakest and most problematic of his published literary works to date. And yet, I've still given it a 4-star rating, as when the novel soars, it really soars. So let's start with the positives. As per usual with Morgan's work, the world-building is convincing, and the world presented here is provocative (if somewhat reductive) - the US has literally split upon conservative/religious and liberal ...more
Dec 30, 2009 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Embarrassing disclaimer: Despite the fact that I downloaded this book from Audible in three parts, all clearly labeled with the title of the book and the part number, I managed to skip part 2 completely and only listened to parts 1 and 3. In my defense, I was able to do this with only minimal confusion - which says something about the storyline - but that doesn't cover the fact that I made a really stupid mistake. End of embarrassing disclaimer

In view of the above information, I'll restrict my
Benjamin Newland
Jan 04, 2011 Benjamin Newland rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
I read a three book series by Richard K. Morgan last year, beginning with Altered Carbon. Much of what I said in my reviews of those books applies to this one as well because Morgan keeps a similar writing style and feel throughout.

Thirteen is another near future setting, though even nearer than Altered Carbon, with the stories occupying a similar universe where the United States has fractured into three sections. During Thirteen, colonization of Mars is underway and progress has been made with
Mar 21, 2013 Amaenad added it
Shelves: sf, thriller
On the one hand, this is a much better read than the overrated Altered Carbon.

On the other hand, there are two things that really trouble me. He seems to have based some of his future genetics on a very reductive gender binary, plus some discredited ideas about early humans. It's possible that this will turn out to be critique - I'm only 1/3 of the way through. But then he's based genetics on it...

He's also splintered off the U.S.into several smaller states, one of them embodying all the worst e
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brasyl
  • Song of Time
  • The Skinner (Spatterjay, #1)
  • Fools
  • Fairyland
  • End of the World Blues
  • Distraction
  • Spin State (Spin Trilogy #1)
  • Nova Swing (Empty Space Trilogy #2)
  • Air
  • KOP (Juno Mozambe Mystery #1)
  • A Fire in the Sun
  • Mindstar Rising (Greg Mandel, #1)
  • Infoquake (Jump 225 , #1)
  • Glasshouse
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Richard K. Morgan (sometimes credited as Richard Morgan) is a science fiction writer.
More about Richard K. Morgan...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“The way I see it, anyone who's proud of their country is either a thug or just hasn't read enough history yet.” 24 likes
“No such thing as time travel, he'd rumbled patiently, once. Only live with what you've done, and try in the future to do what you're happy to live with.” 6 likes
More quotes…