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Javier Bernedo López
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 08:43 am:   

http://sandstormreviews.blogspot.com/2007/03/black-man-richard-morgan.html

http://www.strangehorizons.com/reviews/2007/04/black_manthirte-comments.shtml


http://www.sffworld.com/brevoff/356.html

http://www.sffworld.com/brevoff/357.html

Waiting for 17th may...
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Adam Davison
Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 01:56 am:   

Hi Richard, I'm very excited to see that you will be signing 'Black Man' at Forbidden Planet London, next week.

I will be there will bells on! I look forward to meeting you, and of course, reading the novel. The reviews look promising...

Adam
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Elizabeth L
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2007 - 07:03 am:   

I can't wait to read it!

*slavers*
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richard morgan
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2007 - 02:21 pm:   

Thanks guys - hope it proves worth the wait
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Kiran Patel
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 04:26 am:   

Hi Richard,

Just thanked Steph for being half of my favourite authors, so thought it rude not to thank the other half. I have had 'Black Man' on order since september(!), and it arrived this morning. I've already started 'The Modern World' though, so i'm afraid its going to have to wait. Seriously looking forward to it though.

Best dedication i've ever read.

Thanks again, Kiran
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Adam Davison
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2007 - 05:27 am:   

Richard, it was a pleasure to meet you at Forbidden Planet yesterday, even though I was somewhat starstruck. I hope you got some sleep on the sleeper!

Best wishes, Adam
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2007 - 10:11 am:   

Hi Richard,

I noticed you are in San Francisco at the end of July for a reading and book signing for Black Man (13). Does that mean you will then travel immediately to Comicon in San Diego and be at the Del Rey booth?
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richard morgan
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 - 12:41 pm:   

Hi Linda,

Yeah, the Comicon SD appearance is the end of the tour, immediately after the gig in San Francisco (at the Booksmith) so I will indeed be doing the booth, probably more than once.
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richard morgan
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 - 02:08 pm:   

Thanks Kiran - hope the rest of the book lives up to the dedication then.

Good to see you at FP, Adam - yeah, slept like a (slightly drunk) log on the way home.
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Elizabeth L
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007 - 10:10 am:   

Hey, Richard, you have a new fan. I gave my nephew the three-book set (The Altered Carbon trio) for his birthday and he literally binged on them, reading them one after the other non-stop and now wants more. He liked Broken Angels the best, but loved all three. Finally, I have someone in RL to talk to about your work. :-) We spent last Sunday dinner gabbing about Kovacs, sleeving, and our favorite parts of the novels.

So, what can I tell him about your future writing plans?
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007 - 01:21 pm:   

Here's a bit about Richard's future writing plans:
http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=33364
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2007 - 07:48 am:   

There's another excellent online interview from Matrix magazine in the UK. (matrixmagazine.co.uk) Tom Hunter asks RKM very interesting questions.

By the way, Richard, coincidentally, one of my teenage piano students told me yesterday she had to read Fahrenheit 451 for an honors English class. So it is required reading here already. If you don't mind I want to show her your comments from this interview re 451.

And my sister, who is on her annual visit to Spain, will be very interested in your comments re Spanish novels being translated into English.
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richard morgan
Posted on Friday, May 25, 2007 - 03:31 pm:   

Yeah, I think F451 has probably made it onto some required reading lists in schools in the UK as well - it certainly hadn't when I were a lad, but that's a while ago now, and I was at a fairly conservative school as well.

There's also some talk of another film version, which could be superb, but probably won't be - these days the book really can be read as a critique of contemporary society; most of what Bradbury imagined is now here in one shape or another; the proletarian ignorance, the all pervasive media, the surveillance at home and the unquestioned foreign wars abroad, oh, and don't forget the unexpected return strikes; forget 1984 - Bradbury had a far clearer vision of what was coming. But somehow I can't see a mainstream Hollywood movie allowing all that iffy political content on board, so I imagine instead we're going to get a rather unsubtle police state future in which the repression is forced upon kindly woodland folk by helmeted truncheon wielding thugs - rather than a world in which power is handed over enthusiastically by the very population who suffer under the system it creates.

Then again - maybe I'm doing Hollywood a disservice here; V for Vendetta was, for all its flaws, a remarkably brave and uncompromising look at the original material. Here's hoping.....
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2007 - 05:16 am:   

According to an interview at the back of the 50th Anniversary edition of F451, Bradbury says Mel Gibson's going to do the movie. So what do you think he'll do with it?

Bradbury also said one big problem is people don't think anymore because they don't read much anymore. All I can say is Black Man has caused me to think a lot more, though it's making my brain hurt to try this new concept of thinking. (Just read an article in the local newspaper re some parents who are protesting their library shouldn't be buying "R" rated materials. But guess that's not new.)

And people handing over power enthusiastically? It's being done here using "fear" as the key, and not necessarily by "helmeted truncheon wielding" thugs, if you know what I mean. It seems just about everyone else in the world is becoming a threat to us (US).

Is the proletarian ignorance due to an all pervasive manipulative media?
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Javier Bernedo López
Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2007 - 06:49 am:   

In the first review I have linked, I have read:

"The universe is the same as in Altered Carbon, but much less far in the future (only around 100 years)"

Is that true?
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richard morgan
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 09:47 am:   

Mel Gibson? Eeeek.
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Javier Bernedo López
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 12:42 pm:   

I have to improve my english. I guess "EeeeK" is no. XD

Anyway, 60 pages into Black Man and I´m really enjoying.
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richard morgan
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 04:14 pm:   

Re proletarian ignorance:

An all pervasive manipulative media certainly doesn't help matters - but I think this has also got in part to do with a peculiarly Anglo-Saxon Protestant suspicion of learning or sophistication. You see repeatedly in both British and American culture this very odd PRIDE in ignorance, this sense that there's no value in education for its own sake (ie education that doesn't directly improve your earning power), and that "knowing stuff" is a warning signal for some sort of effete elitism. Of course this sort of thing has reached really virulent proportions in the US - I can't think of another developed nation where a man could get elected President by playing up how dumb and uncultured he is - but the UK isn't lagging that far behind; our very own (ex) leader just got through cheerfully endorsing creationism in schools, the Prince of Wales equally cheerfully endorses a whole range of utterly unproven alternative medicines, and there's a wealth of anecdotal evidence on everything from newspaper choice to diet that suggests the UK is still a place where it's definitely not cool to be smart, or interested in educating yourself; couple of egs: a joiner friend of mine gets laughed at by his workmates if he reads a broadsheet paper (or indeed any kind of paper other than the tits n bingo tabloid variety); and up in Yorkshire parents are responding to a drive to improve the nutritional value of school dinners by feeding their children chips, chocolate and fizzy drinks through the gates of the playground......
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richard morgan
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 04:20 pm:   

Javier - no, Black Man is a complete stand alone, nothing to do with the Kovacs books (though you'll find there are common themes running through both)

Glad you're enjoying it.
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Elizabeth L
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 06:19 pm:   

Yay! Richard writing S&S Noir. Thanks, JJA, for the link to the article in scifi.com. That's great news -- I remember Richard talking about the possibility a while back. I also gave my nephew GRR Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice novels, so I'm sure he will be eager to read what Richard does with fantasy.

Still no Black Man here in Canada, or at least in my bookstore. Will have to go to Amazon.com I guess.
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 07:26 am:   

Okay, this might be sort of fun. Example of why some people don't believe in education:
A former student of mine took a philosophy class when she went to college. Uh, oh. The parents were very upset because this girl then began to question her religious upbringing and beliefs and stopped going to church.

Another example: A friend of my daughter's, whose parents are ultra conservative Christian, when questioned about evolution said, "I didn't come from no ape". These same parents, the daughter told me, believe God punished New Orleans because of its sins.

When he went to college, a relative of mine stopped believing the world is only 6,000 years old.

So education is dangerous.

Another scary thought: Mel Gibson buying the rights to Altered Carbon!
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richard morgan
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 01:21 am:   

Elizabeth - I think UK published books ship to Canada by surface mail, so it could be a couple of months before Black Man shows up in shops there - but it will arrive. That said, the change in title and cover (and US style spelling/vocabulary shift) really is the only difference in the two editions, so you might as well go for Thirteen, if it becomes available first.

In fact the vocabulary shift - pavement > sidewalk, etc - was complicated this time around by the fact that there are two main protagonists, one identifiably British, one equally identifiably American (well, New Yorker...). Bloody near future novels, eh......sooooo much easier when everything's set centuries ahead.

And - belated - thanks for pushing my product to your nephew. The fact Kovacs is the subject of family dinner table conversation gives me a strange, but very warm, feeling.....
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richard morgan
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 01:29 am:   

Linda - those are scary examples. On this side of the Atlantic, it's relatively unusual to meet people with such unreconstructed religious attitudes. But I got a very similar shiver/shock when I first moved to Glasgow and ran into the sectarianism here. I mean, Orange marches, school-kids wandering around with rucksacks inscribed with 1690 FTP, an RI teacher of my acquaintance who told his class to go home and read a bible story for class discussion, and was told by one student that his father had forbidden him to read anything in "that Fenian book"....I mean, Jesus fucking Christ, medieval or what?
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 09:34 am:   

Richard - Must research Orange marches and "that Fenian book". Some of my more conservatives friends here did not allow their children to read "Harry Potter", since there is witchcraft in said book. And, one of my daughter's HS teachers used biblical examples in his geography class, laughing about "since we're all Christian here guess it's okay." (It wasn't okay with my daughter). Which brings me to wonder about "separation of church and state". I don't know what the laws are in GB re that--are there any?
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Will Hindmarch
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 12:33 pm:   

Is it not possible to reference the Bible as a secular touchstone? Is the whiff of religion poison to all reasonable education?

I've got a lot (more than 100) new Icelandic co-workers, and it's been fascinating to discover just how anti-religion they are (from a country with an official state church, no less). It's like religion equals idiocy, which is certainly not the kind of willing-to-engage mind that I would like to expect from people who consider their reason to be superior because it is "informed." Isn't cutting out a huge chunk of world culture and philosophy sort of fanatical, whether you do it in the name of faith or not?

How is banning "Harry Potter" different from banning Bible references?

(I'll admit, I'm being something of a devil's advocate here. I am not an atheist, but neither do I think religion justifies a law.)
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 01:26 pm:   

Will,

The only reason banning Bible references is different is that in the U.S. there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. Bible references are fine in church, at home, in religious schools, but not in federally-funded public schools.
My daughter was home-schooled through a State funded homeschool association. When they brought in the Biology workbook, the section on Evolution had been neatly removed. Perhaps this was because most kids who are homeschooled do so because of religious reasons--the parents don't want their kids to believe in Evolution, which is taught in public schools, and most believe the earth to be only 6,000 years old.
Re Religion equaling idiocy, only those religions who scorn education are idiotic (I used to belong to one such sect, so I know).
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richard morgan
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 02:54 pm:   

Well, I'm with the Icelanders on this one. Religion does equal idiocy. Specifically it equals the idiocy of saying "I believe and fiercely defend a ludicrously primitive idea about the shape of the universe, despite there being not one shred of evidence to support it and rather a lot of circumstantial evidence against, because believing this thing makes me feel good." Actually, the correct word is probably not idiocy, it's childishness or existential immaturity. And unfortunately, speaking to Linda's point, ALL religions scorn education at some point, because all religions demand an abandonment of rational thought in favour of faith when the crunch comes.

In fact, Will, the attitude you encountered with these Icelandic guys isn't an uncommon one on this side of the Atlantic. Certainly most of the people I know and associate with have no religious faith, nor much time for its practitioners. The difference is maybe that the Icelanders are more blunt about it than some other nationalities. Or, if they're working wth you in the U.S., they may just be making the point hard and early on as a defensive act against what they likely see as an insane level of religiosity in America. Much the same way a Christian would probably assert their faith in no uncertain terms if they found thmselves required to live for a time in Iran or India, or the way in which Catholic households in Mexico often put up notices informing callers of the fact in order to forestall visits from evangelicals.

Interestingly enough, I can still remember a lecture given while I was at university by a visiting Swedish lecturer, in which he said Sweden was late getting christianised and (his words) "I'm proud to say is still not really a christian country." So maybe something of the same stubborn Norse paganism informs the contempt in your Icelandic colleagues.
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richard morgan
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 02:59 pm:   

As regards the question of willingness to engage, there's a misconception here - being open-minded doesn't mean that you have to engage with every ludicrous idea or belief you meet coming down the pike. You wouldn't see a refusal to entertain the gibberings of an alien abduction sect or the preachings of Fred Phelps as evidence of a closed mind. A rational open mind is a fine thing, generalised credulity is not.

The cultural issue has nothing to do with any of this - you don't have to be religious to enjoy Handel's Messiah, or Gospel singing, and not being religious doesn't require you to write off that beauty. You don't have to believe James Bond exists in order to enjoy Casino Royale.
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richard morgan
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 03:19 pm:   

Hmm - I should probably clear up some of my sectarian references back there - seems to have been a little misunderstanding. The father I mentioned who refused to let his son do his homework was cursing the Bible as an instrument not of religion, but of Creeping Catholicism. (Fenian is loose shorthand for Catholic in this kind of sectarian mudslinging, shorn of its specific historical context). The father seems to have missed the fact that the bible isn't an uncommon item in Protestant churches, but then again you don't expect a functioning brain where these issues are concerned.

Linda - Orange marches, are Protestant street pageants celebrating the British Protestant victory over Irish Catholics at the battle of the Boyne in 1690 (the same 1690 that appears as provocative grafitti on kids rucksacks, along with FTP, which means Fuck the Pope). They are quite scary events to witness if you've never seen hardcore religion in action before - lots of martial music and posturing, a latent threat against anyone who "crosses the path" of the marchers, and a consistent attempt to route the marching through predominantly Catholic areas.

In fact, the historical record indicates in fact that the Battle of the Boyne was a great deal less clean-cut in its religious orientation than the Orange marchers would like to believe - for one thing it appears that forces paid for by the Pope fought on the British side. But then again, when did the deeply religious ever allow little things like facts to get in the way of what they want to believe......?
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 03:34 pm:   

Okay, Richard, so ALL religions scorn education at some point?? Well that just can't be true, that's a pretty blanket statement. What about the religion of er, hmm, will have to think about this, can't seem to think of any examples offhand.
So is this the definition of religion, then, an abandonment of rational thought in favor of faith? Well, I never did have much faith come to think of it, and I'm certainly not existentially immature, though I know plenty of folk around here who are.
Can't there be some kind of spiritual power in the quantum soup?
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richard morgan
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 03:15 am:   

Nope :-)

The quantum thing is interesting, though - obviously the same mindset who latch onto religion have spotted the incredible complexity of quantum physics, and see in it an analogy for the ineffability of the godhead. No-one understands it, therefore we can make it stand for anything we want.......eg, Quantum Healing. Yeah, right.
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 05:27 am:   

People have always used "God", gods, etc to explain what they don't understand. Once something is explained in scientific terms and understood "God" is no longer needed. As you put more eloquently. Quantam physics is just the latest example. Just as people also seem to use the concept of a literal devil or demon to explain mental illness. In fact, my dad still thinks meditation opens up your mind to demon possesion (to my utter amazement).
At least in my part of town there seem to be very few rational human beings.
Do you know of any research that's been done to show which part of the brain holds any god concept? Must be in an ancient part. Perhaps once this area is removed we can all be more rational.
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richard morgan
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 08:14 am:   

No physiological information on that one that I know of, Linda. But I do recommend Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell", for a lucid analysis of how religion may have emerged from early human experience. The book's a bit prissy for my liking in its concern not to upset anybody religious who's reading it, but otherwise it's a fascinating treatise. (and even that prissiness is, as Dennett points out in his preface, a fascinating insight into the cultural differences between the US and the rest of the developed world).
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 09:44 am:   

I seem to remember reading awhile ago about the most ancient part of the brain (limbic? can't remember) containing the info re religious beliefs. At least the experiments showed that area of the brain lighting up while thinking some sort of religious thoughts (ha).
Eventually all things will be explained as brain function I'm sure of it.
The Dennett book sounds interesting, especially cultural differences which I find fascinating, especially having lived with Hawaiians for awhile. And I'm used to having to pussyfoot around people's religious beliefs since I have to deal with that constantly.
Re your earlier post about Orange Marches and such, the 1690 brought to mind the fact that the U.S. is so young. Can't imagine being so passionate about something that happened in 1690. Wow.
So I would like to read the books listed in acknowledgments in Black Man, but which would you recommend first: Blank Slate, Nature via Nurture, How the Mind Works, or Redesigning Humans?
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 10:05 am:   

B&N doesn't have the Dennett book in stock, but reviewers also recommended How We Believe by Michael Shermer. Have you read that one? BN has it so I'm going to go check it out.
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 10:57 am:   

Back to the Reviews and such thread:

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist has just listed Black Man as the number 1 hotpick read of the year so far!
And he's so right.
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Lee M
Posted on Monday, June 18, 2007 - 02:29 am:   

Hi Richard,
Just finished Blackman. Another entertaining and thought provoking read. The whole concept of the Id driven alpha male was really interesting. I also liked Carl’s ongoing internal conflict against both nature (genetics) and nurture (conditioned upbringing) with willpower and conscious thought. Tanindo was pretty cool as well. :-)

Cheers
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richard morgan
Posted on Monday, June 18, 2007 - 08:17 am:   

Glad you liked it - we'll be getting back to the Black Man universe book after next, so tanindo at least should see some more development.
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Lee M
Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - 03:48 am:   

Excellent, I was wondering if there would be more in the same universe. Mars sounds like an intriguing place. Then there's Sutherland who I thought was an interesting sounding character even though we never actually 'met' him. I look forward to it.
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Linda Palapala
Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 08:12 am:   

Personally, I want to know what happens to Carmen Ren and whether or not she and Carl meet up again.
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Elizabeth L
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2007 - 02:10 pm:   

Woo hoo! Just got my copy of Black Man here in Canada. Yes, they do call it Black Man here, and not Thirteen as they do in America, land of the free and home of the brave. :-) Isn't it funny that the country with the so-called nanny state doesn't use the more politically-correct title? :-)

Will post response later.
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 - 02:19 am:   

Another excellent book, nice work! :-)
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 - 02:25 am:   

You are actually going to do died-in-the-wool Sword and Sorcery (always can use more of that) with your own twist?
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richard morgan
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 04:15 am:   

Yeah, it's already in train - having a lot of fun with it as well. All sorts of odd constraints I didn't have before, but there's a certain freedom to the form as well.....
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Luke Jackson
Posted on Friday, November 02, 2007 - 02:53 pm:   

I'm about 100 pages into Thirteen (here in the U.S.) and am enjoying it very much. I love the gritty crime noir with the fractured-U.S. future background. The portrayal of "Jesusland" is especially amusing.

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