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Thin Air

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  4,504 ratings  ·  528 reviews

Richard Morgan has always been one of our most successful SF authors with his fast-moving and brutal storylines, blistering plots and a powerful social conscience behind his work.

And now he's back, with his first SF novel for eight years . . . and it promises to be a publication to remember.

An ex-corporate enforcer, Hakan Veil, is forced to bodyguard Madison Madekwe, part

Hardcover, 530 pages
Published October 25th 2018 by Gollancz (first published October 23rd 2018)
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Fresno Bob don't need to read 13/Black Man to enjoy this, but you should, because 13 is great!…moredon't need to read 13/Black Man to enjoy this, but you should, because 13 is great!(less)
Ana Ulin My guess is that it is a shortened version of a portmanteau of "membrane" + "gel" ("membranegel" -> " 'branegel "). From reading the book, I imagine t…moreMy guess is that it is a shortened version of a portmanteau of "membrane" + "gel" ("membranegel" -> " 'branegel "). From reading the book, I imagine these are some kinda fancy "bubbles" that can be projected to, so sort of like a thin and disposable membrane, possibly made out of a gel, used for projection.(less)

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Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the people that want to kill me barely have the budget for a nice knife.

Hakan Veil, ex-Overrider and now muscle for hire, is running hot after coming out of his four month hibernoid sleep rotation. All systems are cranked high, with emotion and aggression responses dialled right up to max, and that’s before everything turns to shit. Someone in the criminal underworld has aggressively disappeared a client he stepped in to protect on his last waking cycle and that’s the kind of disrespect
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! To be fair, I have been looking forward to reading more Morgan since the devouring the trilogy that started with Altered Carbon. Wasn't quite sure I wanted to go the fantasy route with him, but his SF?

It's an automatic Hell Yes. I'm a big fan of Cyberpunk and Noir fiction and this has all the same great features (if less technologically advanced) as Altered Carbon. Think Noir disgraced military turned gumshoe but put him firmly on a Mars surrounded by corruption, nasty corporate tricks, an
kartik narayanan
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thin Air is in the same vein as Takeshi Kovacs but the noirish/hard boiled element is much more.

Hakan Veil is an ex-black ops operative who is now dabbling in crime to keep himself alive. He is a manufactured product developed by a corporation to help them 'solve' problems - usually permanently. He is now unemployed but still has to pay for hibernation. As character, I really liked Hakan. He starts off as an amoral person but soon we get to see hidden depths in him with elements of humanity tha
Like his 2002 hit “Altered Carbon”, this one is a great blend of detective noir and cyberpunk in a dystopian world. Instead of shipping a detective self to far planets by sleeving a digital personality into a receiving body, the future tech staged here on a colonial, terraformed Mars is in the realm of bioengineering, artificial intelligence implants, and nanotechnology. Instead of Tak in the earlier series, our similar hero here is Hak, short for Hakan Veil, and he is a weapon incarnate.

Veil h
This is a standalone novel set in the same universe as Thirteen but as the action is pretty much all Mars (with some flashbacks from Hakan Veil's past as overrider - see below - and discussing a few important geopolitical events in the rest of the Solar System that impact the storyline) one doesn't need to read the other book (I read it a while ago on publication and didn't like it that much - the only thing I remember is that the usual RK Morgan twist, namely the main villain is the main hero's ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Hakan Veil is a gene-enhanced gun-for-hire on Mars, strong-armed by the local police into playing bodyguard for Madison Madekwe, an auditor looking into corruption in the state-run lottery. When Madekwe disappears on his watch, Veil finds himself in a morass of corrupt officials and police, organized crime, corporations with conflicting interests and a revolutionary movement.
Thin Air spins off from Morgan’s 2007 novel Thirteen (known as Black Man in the UK), another noir-ish action novel about a
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is only my second Richard K. Morgan book after Altered Carbon, so I'm not sure whether all his science fiction books are updated detective noir, or that Thin Air is just a cleverly timed tie-in for people who loved the recent Altered Carbon Netflix series. Either way, this is very much updated detective noir with intricate world-building and a believable future, albeit a darkly cynical one.

Hakan Veil is an ex-overrider, a genetically-engineered and cybernetically-enhanced human essentially
Aug 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
A while back my fiancée and I tried watching Altered Carbon on Netflix. We made it through one episode with no interest to continue. That should have been a good indication that Morgan’s stories may not be for me, but then again Netflix has long traded quality for quantity and Morgan’s new book showed up on Netgalley and it’s been a while since I read some scifi and it was set on Mars, so I took a chance. A decision I’ve come to regret over and over during the countless, ok, not really, it was t ...more
Robert Davis
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED … This book is a whole lot of fun!

It is, essentially, a hard-boiled noir detective story set on the Red Planet. Think of Mike Hammer on Mars! Although set in the same universe as Thirteen, it is a stand alone novel and completely separate from its' predecessor. Meaning, if you haven't read Thirteen, no worries, you will have no problem with starting here. In many ways, I think Thin Air is superior in style and overall fun. It is a great combination of old fashioned detective n
“Thin Air” is a grim swaggering tour-de-force of hardscrabble cyberpunk thrills. Take a gene-enhanced cyborg trained killer exiled by the corporate overlords to spend the rest of his waking hours on the frontier of Mars where the cities are filled with beating nightclubs, egotripping stars, lightshows, strippers, and corruption by the armful. Surround that city with the frontier valley, filled with prospectors hoping to find fabled El Dorado, tight knit, loyal, distrustful of outsiders. Cyborg V ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hard men
Recommended to Alan by: Altered Carbon, according to the cover
These days, as my wife reminds me, it is often possible to judge a book by its cover—and that it's particularly telling when the cover only mentions an author's previous work.

Richard K. Morgan's novel Altered Carbon amazed me—twice, in fact, most recently in 2011—and its popular, high-profile Netflix screen adaptation just came out in 2018. Perhaps that's enough to explain why Morgan's new novel mentions Altered Carbon so prominently on its front cover, and why the quotes on the back are all abo
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
109th book for 2018.

Every so often when the corruption of this World gets too high, I need a hit of cynical ultraviolent scifi, and who better to deliver this than Richard K Morgan? His first two Takeshi Kovacs novels (Altered Carbon and Woken Furies) are among my all time favorite books, his world-building and character development were phenomenal (forget the obscene corporate saccharine wankfest television series designed for maximum appeal to a brain-dead publicum).

Like most (all?) RKM books
Michael Hicks
I've long been a fan of Richard K. Morgan's style of science fiction writing and his return to the field after a decade-long absence is certainly welcome, with Thin Air doing much to remind me why I fell in love with this author's work to begin with.

Morgan writes sci-fi that is heavily, heavily influenced by hard-boiled mysteries. Beneath all the whiz-bang high-tech wrappings of interstellar colonization, cybernetic augments, and next-gen weaponry, there's a grizzled take on the classic PI - do
I liked the descriptions of the tech. I didn’t like all the macho tough talk and objectification of women. There was corporate skullduggery and Martian politics, but mostly it was just the protagonist being manly. I made it a third of the way and gave up. Since I also didn’t like “Altered Carbon”, I assume that this writer and I are not compatible so I won’t try again. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
May 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was Ultraviolent and Porny cyberpunk on the High Frontier. Morgan rotely follows the formula of his popular, Altered Carbon series with its cyberwarrior Takeshi Kovacs. The new cyberwarrior was ex-corporate enforcer Hakan Veil and the venue was exclusively a colonized Mars. I dimly remember reading the Altered Carbon books, although the TV series is fresh in my mind. This story (I’m betting it’s to be a series) was just an OtT and overly long version of that series’ well-worn dystopian sc ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
“Thin Air” by Richard K. Morgan is the latest book by the author of the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy (Altered Carbon, Woken Furies, Broken Angels) and especially “Thirteen”/“Black Man,” the last of which is set in the same universe. Like those books, “Thin Air” is a noir sci-fi thriller featuring an ultra-violent, surgically enhanced, anti-hero who has a weak spot for the underclass in society. This time the protagonist is named Hakan Veil, a former Earth-born mercenary who has been trapped on Mars af ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This guy sure can sling words around. He uses an impressive, brutal, noirish style here that leaves no room for boredom. OTOH, sometimes he seems more thrilled with the style than the substance, which occasionally distracts from the story.

Over all I enjoyed the book, and I liked this character conceit (a bio-engineered "Overrider" who is designed to be sleepless for eight months out of every twelve and comatose for the remaining four; he is designed to be a failsafe on long-haul ships, awakened
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't wake the overrider....

As catchy mantras go, I like it, ... and it grew on me (... no, I didn't get it at first, maybe I was a little slow... but), as a warning, a harbinger, or, I dunno, a curse.... If they end up making this one into a movie (or a Netflix series), I expect don't wake the overrider.... could be right up there with I'll be back.... or, I dunno, Jumanji or, for that matter, Beetlejuice, ... it's not exactly a summoning of a demon, ... but I digress.

In any event, it's been y
Judy Lesley
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, noir
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for a digital galley of this novel.

If you check out the information for this book it shows 544 pages, the Goodreads info shows 400. I can tell you it definitely feels more like the 544. And it started off so well with Richard K Morgan getting the noir element just perfectly blended with the science fiction. I was fully on board with Hakan Veil and his backstory of the four months of the year cryo sleep, coming out o
Karen’s Library
I watched Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon on Netflix when it first came out and was so enthralled with the sci-fi, tech, and premise, that I watched all 10 episodes in a weekend and then bought the book to read. That was my first Richard K. Morgan book and I really enjoyed it.

When the chance came to read a new sci-fi book of his that was set on Mars, I jumped at the opportunity as I love everything Mars. Hak is an overrider exiled to Mars. He’s been bred as an elite soldier/warrior and has en
Chaunceton Bird
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-hi-fi
Cyberpunk the way it should be. This cinematic, action-packed, tech-laced, thrill ride is exactly what I was looking for. Richard Morgan writes with a noir-like clip to his sentences, which gives this story a quick pace and sharp punch, despite its considerably long length. This was my first read from Mr. Morgan, and I'm going back now for everything else he's written.

Constructive criticism for the publisher, Del Rey: make better covers. This cover is the worst. What is this? A b-movie for the
Steven Shaviro
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Richard K Morgan has long been one of my favorite science fiction writers. This book marks his return to science fiction after writing a fantasy trilogy. That trilogy was pretty good, but I found it intrinsically less interesting than his science fiction work, so this new novel is a welcome return to form. Thin Air takes place in the same universe as Morgan’s last SF novel, THIRTEEN (US title; it was originally called BLACK MAN in the UK), but it is not a sequel; the two books are entirely indep ...more
Adam Whitehead
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Bradbury City, Mars. Hak Veil used to pilot ships through the blackness between worlds, acting as a highly-trained combat operative. After a few things went wrong, he's wound up abandoned on the Red Planet, trying to find a way of getting back to Earth. His unique abilities allow him to find work in the most unlikely of places and his new job is a doozy: playing bodyguard to a pen-pusher, one of a team sent to audit the colony's finances on behalf of the colonial authorities. But things soon sta ...more
May 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
From the author of one of my fave SF trilogies, Takeshi Kovacs, Richard K. Morgan rocks it again with THIN AIR, a hard boiled noir set in a cyberpunk Martian backdrop with explosive action, gritty streets, and an ever-twisting plot. Highly recommended.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm a big fan of Richard K. Morgan's science fiction. I reread his Takeshi Kovacs trilogy every handful of years, and 'Market Forces' is a dark, nasty thrill ride that I only appreciated more once I took a job in corporate America. So when I learned that he was working on another sci-fi novel after a long break, I was eager to get my hands on a copy. Unfortunately, I'm not sure this is one I'm likely to revisit.

Part of the problem is the main character. Hakan Veil is both a "hibernoid" and an "o
The lawless wild west on Mars.
Well this should be interesting

It wasn't.
I threw in the towel at 40%.

It just wasn't a good story and the telling of it wasn't good either.

Mars is being audited by Accountants/IRS agents sent from Earth and some people are unhappy with that. An investigation into widespread corruption on Mars. Am i missing something here? Did you say audit?

Part of the problem with this book is the main character. Hakan Veil is just not interesting. I was looking for someone like Han
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good: hard-boiled space noir. Snarky yet scrappy Tec (in the form of our protagonist, ex-overrider, Hakken Veil). Bladerunner-esque dystopian futurescape set on Mars (with Earth having a minor supporting role). Excellent world-building; you could see the movie playing in your head as you turn the pages.

The Bad: an overly complicated mystery involving way too many characters, red herrings and corporate espionage. Despite careful reading (and often re-reading) I wasn't really sure who did wha
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Morgan’s writing opens with a shotgun blast of Mars-speak. The slang, the technology, the background of the politics on the Red Planet… it can be dense and overwhelming, but I say stick with it. The most important info will come back around. I do have to say that there may have been one too many side missions in this one, a puzzle wrapped in a… but the ending is one of the best I’ve read in awhile. A complex wallop… it’s the big finale at the end of the fireworks show.

Thin Air is a vastly reward
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
OK action and world-building but not as good in terms of characters or ideas as Morgan's previous Altered Carbon series of books, while being very close to those. ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cyberpunk, books-won, 2018
Okay, so first of all, I won an ARC of this and that's why I have it.

Second, well... It wasn't great. Not even really all that good. Thin Air has its moments, but uh. Not enough of them. Few and far between.

As usual, Morgan tosses the reader in blind and lets them catch up. The 'lingo, the terms, the plot; pretty much figure it out yourself. It worked in Altered Carbon, and to a lesser extent in Thirt3en. It doesn't work in Thin Air. Not enough is explained, well, ever. Some things are, but most
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Richard K. Morgan (sometimes credited as Richard Morgan) is a science fiction and fantasy writer.

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