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Black Man

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,601 Ratings  ·  392 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 ...more
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published May 17th 2007 by Gollancz (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Justin
Dec 30, 2012 Justin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mohammed
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
...more
Stephen
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
...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
Brainycat
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
...more
Hazel
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
...more
fo jammi
Dec 29, 2008 fo jammi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Greg
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
Chloe
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
Greg
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
...more
William Thomas
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
...more
Mike
May 29, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
j
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.
Sandi
Jan 23, 2016 Sandi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Wealhtheow
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
...more
Chris
Apr 01, 2015 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Simon Mcleish
Mar 05, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it it was ok
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
...more
Zedsdead
Feb 22, 2016 Zedsdead rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mia
Dec 13, 2008 Mia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Nora
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
Dina
May 19, 2016 Dina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Solid plot, great fight scenes, unique locations and a cast of minority characters (the future ain't gonna be white, that's for sure). A little tiresome after awhile with the constant everything-relates-back-to-genetics dialogue and narration, but overall I plowed through all 620 pages in about four days. I like Morgan. He can also write a hot sex scene, which is more impressive than almost anything else when you think about it.
Michael
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
...more
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
Nathan
Aug 31, 2009 Nathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Ben Eldridge
Jan 03, 2015 Ben Eldridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Milos Dumbraci
Jun 08, 2016 Milos Dumbraci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O carte dură, agresivă, foarte post-cyberpunk la atmosferă/decor, care mi-a plăcut la nebunie! În ultimii ani doar doi autori m-au mai entuziasmat așa tare (Abercrombie cu Prima Lege și Bacigalupi cu Fata Modificată), dar din toți trei Morgan m-a sedus complet pentru că nu am rezonat cu el doar ca cititor (asta vreau să citesc) ci și ca scriitor: asta vreau să și scriu (și cam asta am și scris în romanul meu cyberpunk). Ce au în comun cele 3 (și deci e valabil și pt acest volum): atmosfera/situa ...more
Laura
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
...more
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Richard K. Morgan (sometimes credited as Richard Morgan) is a science fiction writer.
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