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Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 11:04 am:   

Amazon UK has a book listed called Black Boy (EXP), supposedly coming from Gollancz in March 2006. The author is listed as Richard Morgan. Does this have anything to do with you? Is it Land Fit for Heroes or Normal Parameters under a different name, or something else, or just an erronous listing? Or perhaps a different Richard Morgan?
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richard
Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 12:13 pm:   

A very erroneous listing in fact...that should be Black Man. It's the likely title for Normal Parameters, due some time next year, but not March...I hope...eeek.
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Adam
Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 03:50 am:   

I can't find the thread which describes the 'Normal Parameters' content. Is that the Machu Picchu near-future one?
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jeremy denny
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 04:24 am:   

I just came across this thread. Intrigued as to what Normal Parameters was. I googled it and found Weblog Without a Cause. (URL intentionally omitted

There was some good information on it. But Jesus Christ, talk about backhanded compliments. I donít know why the blogger (who seems to have omitted their name) hates Market Forces so much, but as far as Iím concerned the Novels have been only getting better.

Iíd like to prove that Iím not a fawning fan who praises everything you do, so please write a bad book.

In the meantime I shall just have to look forward with delight to the next thing.
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 06:46 am:   

That's my blog.
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 06:47 am:   

And the information there was all from here and Richard's website.
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 09:59 am:   

And, not to sound defensive, but backhanded? I thought I praised WF quite soundly, and I've always made it clear that I loved AC and enjoyed BA.
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richard
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 02:28 pm:   

Black Man (nee Normal Parameters) is indeed the book which features the Peruvian altiplano and is set in the near(ish) future

Thanks for the write-ups, mastadge - much appreciated. Just as a matter of interest, why DO you hate MF so much?
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 02:47 pm:   

http://www.asimovs.com/discus/messages/2/3112.html?1114083585

Some other people passionately hate Market Forces over there the Asimov's forum too. I tried to set them straight.

Since everyone keeps bringing up the anti-globalization slant of the book, I thought I'd ask if anyone here (Richard, for instance) has read the new book THE WORLD IS FLAT, and if so, what did you think of it?
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richard
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 04:21 am:   

heheheheheh....they really are tying themselves in knots over there. I think I'll just...look, I'll be right back....

...there. Now. No, I haven't read THE WORLD IS FLAT - what's it like/about?
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JJA
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 03:59 pm:   

THE WORLD IS FLAT is a non-fiction book by journalist Thomas Friedman about the current state of the world economy and globalization. The title refers to how the playing field has been leveled, so that now almost any country can compete in the global marketplace in at least some small way.

One of the most interesting things in the book is when Friedman shows how all the innovations of recent years -- high-speed internet, etc.-- which have allowed for out-sourcing jobs to India, among other things, have also made it easier for terrorist groups like Al-Queda to be more of a threat because they have easy access to a wealth of information, they can easily and efficiently organize their terrorist cells, and the internet provides them with their own soapbox, so that they can release their propaganda directly to the masses without having to rely on networks or other media.

One of the other things I liked was what Friedman calls "the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention," which is basically states that no two countries with McDonalds franchises will ever go to war...because none ever have as of yet. Friedman's theory evolves into "The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention," by going to show how many countries were part of Dell's global supply chain -- countries with little or no natural resources, whose economy depends heavily on their place in the chain -- and how Country A could not afford to go to war with Country B because going to war would force them to lose their place in the supply chain, and big businesses would think twice about doing business with those warring countries again.

It's interesting stuff. Real-world market forces!
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 10:17 pm:   

" guys, guys.....please.....where in my novel does it say that Market Forces is anti globalisation?"

ROTFLMAO

I love the way you kind of casually drop in on the conversation. Its kind of like when you're at a party, and a group of people talking is talking in depth about you and your motivations, and they don't realize that you are sitting there listening to them the whole time.

Brilliant. Way to keep them tied in knots.

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richard
Posted on Saturday, April 23, 2005 - 10:28 am:   

Well, I ask you.....it had to be done.

Seriously, I am so tired of Market Forces generating knee jerk fury and a totally missed point. I mean, weren't these guys paying attention at ALL when they read Altered Carbon and Broken Angels?

JJA - may have to have a look at TWIF - though I'm dubious about the Golden Arches theory. Wouldn't there have been Mackey Ds in Beirut and Jerusalem when Israel stormed into the Lebanon? Or for that matter in Baghdad when the first Gulf war kicked off?
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Martin
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 02:27 am:   

The Economist's review of TWIF:

http://www.economist.com/books/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3809512
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richard
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 06:00 am:   

ah
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 01:18 pm:   

Richard,
I think you may have hit the nail on the head -- they weren't paying attention In Altered Carbon and Broken Angel. Or rather, there were other things within those books that dwarfed and overshadowed the challanging themes and critiques that people find so distressing in Market Forces..

MF is a more distilled, potent form of the same criticisms in AC, and BA. And this is the core of why people react so strongly I think. You suckered them in with the first two books... The same criticisms were there, but they had equal billing with the Noir/cyberpunk furnishing of AC, and they had equal billing with the "military SF" style action of BA. The furniture in those books set people at ease, and made them more receptive, or less conscious of the subtext and critiques.

In Market Forces, there is no glad handling, no soft selling, and no nostalgic/genre-comfort food style settings. It's a straight ahead classic SF dystopic "if this goes" on style critique. It's minimalist in it's construction. Everything serves at the alter of this critique. Even the quite complex and mirrored character/familial relationships (that you so eloquently described on the Asimov's message board) serve to reflect the alienation and dehumanization of a social and economic order based solely on profit.

If MF had been your first novel, people probably wouldn't have reacted so harshly against it, they would have simply dismissed it, and or not been engaged at all. MF gave readers no room to wiggle, and not other hooks to hang their coats -- and there was the expectation (based on AC and BA) that there would be. You are a director who just cast an actor against type, for great dramatic effect.

I can see how totally frustrating it must be to constantly face the same misguided critiques and simplistic assumptions. Nobody wants to be stuck in the "Oh him, he's the (Michael Moore/Margaret Thatcher/insert whatever polarizing socio-political figure you want) of Science Fiction box" Those types of boxes are deep and hard to get out of once the labels have been affixed. But I think the kinds of bouncing around that you are doing (The Fantasy novel comes to mind) will help you avoid this fate in the long run. But for now -- Most of your US audience is discovering MF for the first time, and won't be seeing your next Kovacs book for a year. It's probably old hat to you, but MF is a brand new shock for most of your US. fans.

And with MF, you have set up Woken Furies perfectly. No matter how blatant, obvious, and harsh any of your social/political critiques might be in WF, people will be more accepting of it, because its NOT MF, its a universe they know and already love. The fact that it's a Kovacs novel give's readers a place to hang their coat, and after the alienation that they suffered in MF, this will seem like a great relief.

At which point they will be all the more susceptible to your socialist anti-freedom, communist propaganda. You manipulative bastard. ;)

In any event, I wish you luck -- Keep shocking people, and keep undermining their expectations. I'm completely blown away by what I've seen of your work so far, and look forward to more. (I'm starting Woken Furies today!)

Best,
Jeremy
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JJA
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 02:29 pm:   

Jeremy --

Great post. If you have the time, I'd say you should consider cleaning that up into a more fully-realized review (i.e., adding the requisite plot summary, etc.) and get it published somewhere. Strange Horizons or IROSF would be a good place for it, and they both pay. NYRSF would be a good place too, and they pay a bit of cash, but have a nice prestige bonus package.
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Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 06:19 pm:   

As I've said elsewhere -- I don't hate MF. I just didn't care for it, not for any ideological reasons -- mostly because it didn't engage me. I couldn't get into it, didn't care enough about it after a few days, put it down for several weeks before picking it back up and pushing through another 50 pages before it gripped me enough to make me really want to read the rest.
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richard
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 05:06 am:   

>>At which point they will be all the more susceptible to your socialist anti-freedom, communist propaganda. You manipulative bastard. ;)<<

Heh-heh-heh-heh....yes, nothing can stop me now, Mr Bond, bwoahahahahah....
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Alastair
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 12:58 pm:   

Hello all

As someone who has read AC, BA & WF (and thoroughly enjoyed them of course) but um'ed & ah'ed about MF, Jeremy's review is really helpful - I definitely give it a go. Thanks.

btw I've just found this forum and I must say it's a real surprise (a good one) to find a forum where the subject of the forum is it's most frequent poster! I'll be asking questions later - got a bit of catch up to doÖ

Alastair
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Larry the Coyote
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 04:55 am:   

Having read Altered Carbon which I enjoyed and unlike a lot of raved about novels - really deserved its raves. I plan to go on to Market Forces next which seems to have generated a lot of controversy. On the subject of Lebanon which you brought up, other than glad to see the Syrians leaving, I plan to read Robert Fisk's book about Lebanon soon enough. Do you consider him a reliable source? Most people including academics on leftwing political forums I have frequented recommend him as a generally reliable source on the middle-east. Do you also consider him unbiased?

Apparently Beirut was called the Paris of the Middle-East before the civil war erupted in '75. I"m sure the atmosphere there is still too stifling for it to be the Paris of the ME again, but who knows hopefully in the future and with the Syrian withdrawal.....
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richard
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 09:06 am:   

don't know Fisk well enough to comment on that, I'm afraid. Anybody else?
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simon
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 09:36 am:   

I'm just about to plunge into it. At 700 plus pages and a type size bordering on the sadistically miniscule I can only vouch for its apparent comprehensivness . . .
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Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 12:00 pm:   

Black Man
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Psaldorn
Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 05:21 pm:   

Just to show how stupidly narrow-minded somepeople can be: I loved AC and BA, when I saw MF pop up on amazon one day I was gloriously happy, until I saw it wasn't Kovacs-related. I decided to not bother and wait for the next book.

I amaze myself sometimes, and not the good way - from the reviews I now read it sounds exactly up my alley; something to pick up once the cashdribble beefs itself up.

Any plans for a published Quellist volume for us armchair revolutionaries?
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crandall
Posted on Sunday, September 25, 2005 - 06:26 am:   

John Joseph Adams: "Some other people passionately hate Market Forces over there the Asimov's forum too."

Most of those Asimov's regulars are complete idiots and blowhards. It can be tiring just reading the threads.

Nice try Richard, by the way, to engage them but they're extremely ornery. The moment you ask them to step forward and declare themselves, they screw their toes in the dirt and give you the "aw shucks." When the whole deluded structure of the horrible world they help prop up with their resentment and hate comes crashing down around them (pardon my tortured metaphors, please) they'll be bitching louder than anyone, and pointing fingers.

Sorry about that; I don't know what came over me.
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Adam
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 08:21 am:   

Still looking forward to this 'un - of course - more so since my girlfriend returned from a month-long trek around Peru. Richard, I even forwarded her your notes from Peru in preparation!
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richard
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 04:04 pm:   

Nice to know, Adam - thanks for the vote of confidence. Hope the notes were of some use
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richard
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 04:09 pm:   

Yeah, Asimov's - it's a guilty pleasure, posting political there - like porn or too much chocolate, you know you shouldn't but.....

(It was curious, though, the way the temperature started to come down as soon as I stopped giving my own opinions and just asked questions...)
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richard
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 04:14 pm:   

The Quell book...hmmm. It's very tempting, there's a good story there, waiting to be told (more than one in fact) but I'm still hesitant to do too much background strip mining...think I'll have to brood on it some more and maybe in a few books' time...
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Sue
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 06:57 pm:   


quote:

Yeah, Asimov's - it's a guilty pleasure, posting political there - like porn or too much chocolate, you know you shouldn't but.....




Mea culpa. :-) I think I actually enjoy reading the most outrageous of statements they make -- I'm enthralled and can't help seeing them as exotic insects or rare freaks of nature. I can't resist peeking and poking them to get a rise. But you really can't understand them unless you get them to explain themselves and if I push, I do so to see if they really believe the things they say.

They do.


quote:

(It was curious, though, the way the temperature started to come down as soon as I stopped giving my own opinions and just asked questions...)




They really don't see themselves as neocons. I found it quite enlightening, so thanks for your thread.

I still have to read Market Forces (too many books, not enough time) but am looking forward to it. Of course, will also buy Black Man when it comes out.

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richard
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 01:27 pm:   

Hi Sue - nice to see you over here, welcome.
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Sue
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 06:03 pm:   

Thanks, Richard. Almost bought The World is Flat the other day but bought Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival instead. Will have to buy MF ASAP after reading some of the posts on this thread! If the people on Asimov's hate it, that's good enough for me. :-)
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Franck
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   

Hello there,

just a fan message to thank Mr Morgan,
I'm a french reader, I discovered AC one year ago and since then I keep looking for your books. I even read MF in english since it hasn't been published in french yet. I'm not really into the controversy about it, i just love it all the same even if it wasn't the same theme.

Sorry for the english not being as good as i'd like it to be.

Thanks for your work, long life to you ;)
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richard
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 06:32 pm:   

Hey Franck - you're very kind. And your English is fine - would that my French was even a tenth as good.
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Adam
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 08:46 am:   

Amazon now have Black Man listed as being published October 19, 2006. Is this accurate Richard?
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richard
Posted on Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 05:10 pm:   

(grimly) It will be if I get my arse in gear and beat my newly agreed January deadline..........
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Lee M
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 12:22 am:   

So...how's that January deadline looking?
No pressure :-)



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