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Market Forces

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  6,713 ratings  ·  361 reviews
A coup in Cambodia. Guns to Guatemala. For the men and women of Shorn Associates, opportunity is calling. In the superheated global village of the near future, big money is made by finding the right little war and supporting one side against the other–in exchange for a share of the spoils. To succeed, Shorn uses a new kind of corporate gladiator: sharp-suited, hard-driving ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published March 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,713 ratings  ·  361 reviews

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6.0 stars. On my list of All Time Favorites. Many people who love Richard Morgan's other books think this is his weakest. I believe this is at least as good as anything else he has written. I absolutely loved the plot of the book and the description of the busines of "conflict investments." Road Warrior meets Wall Street meat Blade Runner. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

Winner: John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Morgan Murray
Jan 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
What an odd book. Richard Morgan's books always feature heavily on violence and sex, but the Kovacs series seem to hang together a little more coherently than Market Forces - all the way through, there's a sense of viciousness and disgust snarling from the page but I really can't understand about what!

The book tells the story of Chris Faulkner, a Mad Max/Gordon Gecko hybrid who works in Conflict Investment for the Shorn Corporation. The CI arm of the firm bank-roll paramilitary organisations and
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I almost gave this book three stars, but now I realize that third star would have been for the phenomenal discussion of philosophy and economics the text sparked in my class, so assuming you are reading this for a course, don't skim it. Otherwise...maybe skim it? Or save it for a plane ride, the beach, or similar.

My experiences thus far indicate that the book appeals more to men, perhaps given its focus on fast armored cars, expensive alcohol, and the occasional porn-star sex scene (none of whic
Greg (adds 2 TBR list daily) Hersom
So I almost went with 4 stars for Market Forces, then the last quarter of the book kicked @$$ and I also realized I was really only comparing it to Mr. Morgan's other books. Taking it on it's own, it's definitely a fiver as far as I'm concerned.
I so dig Morgan's stuff. Between his cynical style of writing, his out-there concepts that I can totally believe, and, even his themes that are heavy socialogical. Normally I don't care much for when authors push their personal philosophies and beliefs. N
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book. I find that (so far) mostly I'm not a fan of Mr. Morgan. The same goes here.

There is a pretty standard Science Fiction Trope (there's that word, the word "trope" is so over used it's becoming a "trope" or possibly trite...Oh well). Anyway there's a sci/fi trope where the giant corporations have taken over and they are the government. I assume this started with those who were afraid of unrestricted capitalism.

Well this one is the king/queen and all other royalt
Megan Baxter
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is ludicrous. The premise really doesn't hold up to the minutest bit of scrutiny, and yet the writing isn't quite as pointed as necessary for a satire. But for all that, it was an enjoyable read, once I resolved to stop trying to think if anything like this would ever happen. Because, after all, even if it's ludicrous, Mad Max in the modern corporate world is pretty fun.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2016
The fifth star goes for the last 100-150 pages. And because such a fucked up ending deserves them. I mean, that's not a way to end a book if you want your readers to be happy and at ease. But we readers like this sort of literary betrayal, I suppose.

Anyway, the main flaw of Market Forces is that the first 200 pages or so are slow (this is not the best adjective, but I didn't find a better one). And by slow I mean that there are too many small things happening, lots of information being thrown a
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm torn between the fact that I like Morgan's writing -- it's slick, tight, packs a punch -- and the fact that his world is just too ridiculously ultra-violent for me, and the characters I like don't come out well. I liked Chris' wife Carla, but of course, she loses her husband in the worst of way: he's not dead, but he's thrown himself into a life she hates, and refused to accept her help in getting him out of it. And he's cheated on her, of course: let's not forget that.

I find the world-build
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
The rising power of corporations has been a strong theme in SF since the '80s. It was a key element in cyberpunk and it's central to this novel. This isn't cyberpunk, though - cyber is largely irrelevant, certainly not a key theme or even an important part of the world building. Instead, Morgan extrapolates the trends of corporate power in the international political arena (in fairly conventional ways) and innovates by doing the same for corporate internal politics. These ideas are extreme and h ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
After several deep recessions, the rift between rich and poor has widened dramatically. Corporations pretty much run the world, and the only game in town is to work for one, if you have the guts for it. Tenders and positions are battled for on the road with car duels, often to the death. It’s all very cutthroat and cool, but Morgan has somehow kept it just this side of believable. Our hero, Chris Faulkner, works for the Shorn Corporation in the Conflict Investment department. His job is, in simp ...more
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, dnf
DNFing it at 30%
the whole idea was interesting and such but only for a short novela not the whole 500 pages
also sex scenes .... i knew Morgan isn't the best one when it comes to write female characters but man o man can't remeber the last time when i was eye-rolling so much
simply; i don't have much time to read things that i don't enjoy at all
'Nathan Burgoine
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
It would be wrong to say I was totally frustrated with this book. I did finish it, which means it passed the marginal test of "do I even want to bother finishing this?" Well, I finished it. It failed, however, the other marginal test of "should I have bothered finishing this?"

There was one significant strike against it from step one: for whatever the reason, the publisher decided that they would give the book the same style, cover, and font as Morgan's other two books: 'Altered Carbon,' and 'Bro
Neo Marshkga
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: dystopies, cyberpunk
Richard K. Morgan transports us into a world where the only thing that matters is money, where life has a price and where the destiny of whole countries is decided by men who only care about making a profit.
If this sounds s the world we are living in, its is not a coin coincidence, because the book is set in a very near future, where there was a big crisis, and something shifted in civilization.
Whole countries are in ruin, even the ones in the first world, companies are the ones making the calls
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Richard Morgan’s Market Forces paints a bleak, disheartening and fairly believable picture of our society in the year 2049. This is a world where the poor are penned in cordoned zones and keep in check by oppressive policing, dugs and lack of education. Corporations hold all the real power and executives (Zek-Tivs) are held to different legal standards. Not such a stretch is it?

The story focuses on the meteoric rise of Chris Faulkner’s career after his brutal killing of a fellow executive to ear
J Higgins
Dec 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a hard-hitting, brutally portrayed satire about global affairs and funding of wars.

The main character, Cris Faulkner, is a corporate deal maker, but in this world, in order to climb the corporate ladder, you are required to kill the person you wish you replace. This is generally done on the highway in fatal road-rage style face offs. Sometimes multiple agents work together against other firms for an account.

One thing I must stress about this book and all of Morgan's books is that while
Gritty and noirish, a cyberpunk novel that focuses on what happens in the gleaming towers of post-national corporations and leaves Gibson's "street" to a vague, dirty "other place". Richard's command of his craft is clearly evident, making what would otherwise be another noir negative character arc engaging, lively and fun to read.
Peter Tillman
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
A-, very fine thriller with WSOD problems. An entertaining, cinematic and very fast-paced book.
Roman Baiduk
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'Everything is about politics. Politics is everything. Everything in human society anyway.' Market Forces by Richard Morgan

A Brave New World of wild capitalism where venture fonds are openly financing civil wars in different parts of world and executives of firms literally fight for the contracts, killing each other in duels. A grim fascinating picture of a social distopia.
Teri Uktena
So very, very boring. While the action scenes were well done, nothing actually happens, the characters are card board and uninteresting, and there didn't seem to be any point at all. It's too bad. I like his other sci-fi.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF. While I loved Morgan's Kovacs trilogy, I found this one impossible to love. The premise just seemed too implausible (corporate executives as road-warriors-cum-samurai) and the characters too unlikable. Made it half-way through before giving up.
Richard Saar
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the Internet Book Review

It’s coming up to Christmas, the biggest book receiving (and giving) period of the year for me, so in the month of December I enter into a kind of self-imposed book buying exile. All my friends and family have by now received a list of books I’d like, if they’re going to be kind enough to be buying books for me. However, I’m not going to stop reading, so I go back to my bookshelf and pick a few books to re-read before Christmas
Graham Crawford
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Dear Mr Morgan.
I allow my favourite writers one huge stuff up. Consider yourself served. This book was truly terrible in every way. You say it started life as a short story, and then you turned it into a film script. The sort of B grade sci fi with cheap effects I find myself telling friends "no SF's not really like that - the books are really good...Hollywood always dumbs things down".
Well thankfully this story was too dumb for even Hollywood to make.

What dreadful friends you must have, to co
Mathew Whitney
Jul 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I had to give this one some time to settle in my mind before sitting down to review it. With Market Forces, Richard K. Morgan puts me in a position as a reader that I haven't found myself in since reading Frederik Pohl's Gateway. I liked the way the story was written, I was interested in the world the author created, and I felt that most of the characters were well-written and the basic premise was good. On the other hand, most of the characters in this book are despicable.

For a little while, th
Thomas Cavano
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Confessions: First of all, let me confess that I listened to the audio book, read by Simon Vance on a long drive. Second, let me confess that I now have read all of Richard K. Morgan's published novels, and have loved all of them. They are intelligent, surprising, innovative, full of rough humor and rough characters. They are all to some degree horrifying.

This one was one of the roughest, though not for its violence. It is horrifying because its dystopia is so accessible from where we stand. It
Mark Harding
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book. That Morgan turns such a bleak vision of the world into something that is such fun to read is remarkable.


# Rollerball, Death Race 2000, James Bond (Daniel Craig era)
# Wall Street
# The Godfather
# A Clockwork Orange
# The book is extremely filmic. (In the Acknowledgements you learn the book is derived from a film treatment.)
# Masses of violence, no shortage of sex and a good leavening of wit
# Careful study of a marriage going wrong

As a satire, what is particularly inter
Robert Laird
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
There's a scene in the book where the characters hear violence in the next apartment, and no one does anything, until our anti-hero gets fed up and goes next door. He ends up shooting the man of the house in the shoulder and knees, and then gives the wife some money to get him patched up.

Well, this story was like that... I was getting fed up with it and wanted to take a gun to the author... not to kill, but simply to maim him by shooting his hands, so he couldn't write any more.

Ok, that's a bit
May 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
I don't know. I just did not like this. I most disliked the bizarre and implausible death car battles by corporate executives. This was crucial to the plot, but thoroughly ridiculous. Other than that, the scenario is an absolutely depressing dystopic vision of capitalism gone wild, where corporate executives toy with and overthrow third world governments for a share of GDP.

All of the characters, with the possible exception of Carla (the protagonist's wife) and her family, are absolutely despica
Christopher McKitterick
I felt this was the best SF novel of the year. This is surprising to write, because one really can't like the protagonist for most of the book. However, as the story progresses, we discover he's just a product of his environment - both his horrid childhood environment (the Zones) and his dog-eat-dog's-whole-family corporate environment that is the current time of the book. These influences have turned him into what he is... and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. He's the best person he could be a ...more
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: spec-fic, sci-fi
Market Forces takes place in a ridiculous near future where investment banking executives control the fate of third world revolutions...and also duel to the death on the highways of England. (Ok, so the IBank stuff is far more plausible.) The story follows the adventures of a young executive named Chris, who I disliked within the first 20 pages, and who became less likable (although occasionally more sympathetic) as the book progressed. In fact, I found most of the characters repulsive.

That said
Wow, harsh ending.
I like this author a lot, I love his gritty and harsh anti-hero type characters and the blow 'em up, beat 'em up, shoot 'em up worlds they live in.
Chris Faulkner is my least favorite of his characters so far, not because he is a complete and utter bastard but more because he has these qualms of conscience, like he's a good guy who didn't mean for any of this to happen and isn't quite sure how it did.
The idea of 'Langley' now being contract killers was highly amusing, especia
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Richard K. Morgan (sometimes credited as Richard Morgan) is a science fiction and fantasy writer.

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