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December 5, 2017 4:23 AM   Subscribe

 
I had no idea this was going to be a thing. Why did I have no idea this was going to be a thing?

The body hopping is all very well but it's the landscaping and the cities and the power dynamics are the key to all this. The injustice of power and privilege and money in a dark future. It looks nice and dark and Blade Runner-y but I hope they don't fuck this up.

Don't fuck this up, Netflix. There is so much good potential here. Will they take the brave jump and have a different lead actor for each body Kovacs uses? That would be fun.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 4:32 AM on December 5 [9 favorites]


I'm meh on the books possibly because of the effusiveness of RKM's superfans but I will watch the hell out of this. Is Netflix telling HBO/Westworld to hold it's beer?
posted by Molesome at 4:44 AM on December 5 [3 favorites]


This sleeve is excited!
posted by parki at 4:50 AM on December 5 [5 favorites]


Unfortunately Joel Kinnaman appears to be filling the role of Takeshi Kovacs / Elias Ryker. Kinnan's CV illustrates that he is (imho) not up to a leading role.

Everything else about the world - aesthetically - looks pretty much how I imagined it from reading the book though.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:59 AM on December 5


I loved this series and Takashi Kovacs is a fav character of mine, just the right amount of hard-boiled detective mixed with military SF. I hope this does well.
posted by Fizz at 5:00 AM on December 5


(this is a 'your favourite book sucks' comment, just skip it if that annoys.)

So, I tried reading “Altered Carbon” a few months ago & bounced off it hard. The misogynistic outlook & dead prose made for a text that didn’t appeal; it had a kind of 50s pulp-SF feel I guess, but that aesthetic really didn’t work for me at all.

Have I missed out on something good? Were the early chapters a fake-out? Or was the rest more of the same? - In which case it can lie unfinished in my Kindle library, because it obviously isn’t for me!
posted by pharm at 5:02 AM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I thought Joel Kinnaman was great in The Killing.
posted by xyzzy at 5:03 AM on December 5 [8 favorites]


Have I missed out on something good? Were the early chapters a fake-out? Or was the rest more of the same?

I haven't picked up AC in a while but if you didn't enjoy the first few chapters you're unlikely to suddenly start enjoying the books. In particular the tone and prose style don't, IIRC, change appreciably.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:06 AM on December 5 [5 favorites]


So pumped! Might blow an implant!

Also, ANOTHER link I should have posted. :sigh:

And it does skew quit post-human noir, IMO.
posted by Samizdata at 5:13 AM on December 5


I thought Joel Kinnaman was great in The Killing.

I thought he was good on House of Cards. He's a recommend for me--or at least my eyes.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:20 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


I read Altered Carbon back in the day and remembered liking it, but I tried to re-read it recently and could not get back into it this time... it's got a decent detective noir plot but the pulpy aspects of the writing were too much for me. This adaptation looks gorgeous so I'll def be checking it out
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:07 AM on December 5


Have I missed out on something good? Were the early chapters a fake-out? Or was the rest more of the same?

I found the books a lot of fun but far from great literature; I agree with the comment above that if the early sections didn't appeal, it is unlikely that the rest of the series will sit any better with you.

The trailer looks inspired by (or derivative of, if you want to be more critical) the original Blade Runner, which is fine because so were the books. I'll definitely try watching it, unless it turns out to be a major dud.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:11 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


I had a friend tell me it was brilliant, and I thought it was... okayish. It was mostly the writing style I wasn't into though, some I'm hoping this series is good.
posted by Foosnark at 6:28 AM on December 5


Cyberpunk 2020 the series, I could be up for that.
posted by Artw at 6:33 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I really hope this is good. I watched The Expanse and enjoyed it immensely and then read the books and also enjoyed them, so i'm hoping this can work in reverse.

The Kovacs books are really easy reading. The first is noir detective, the second is a war treasure story and the third is a bit mixed. I loved the concept and the pulp was good but it's not high art, i guess.
posted by trif at 6:38 AM on December 5


TBH I go to the Expanse books for the same reason. 1000% seen it before tropes but fun page turners.
posted by Artw at 6:39 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


The world and atmosphere of the book is compelling and right up my alley, but I ended up hating the book because of the clunky prose and the misogyny, including the bog-standard lavishly-described violence-against-women trope that gets shoehorned into the story in a particularly obvious way.

If the show can figure out how to capitalize on the best parts of the story while minimizing the chauvinist aspects, I will be so into it.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 6:46 AM on December 5


In terms of narrative i'm with you on The Expanse, Artw, but there is some neat science in there as well.
posted by trif at 6:48 AM on December 5


I think it's interesting that so far the comments about the books are about half and half "easy read" vs. "clunky prose." If you read anything else by Morgan, it's pretty clear that in the Kovacs books he's intentionally channeling the Raymond Chandler/Dashiell Hammett/John D. MacDonald "private eye noir" style of writing. I fell in love with the original authors long ago, so the prose of these books is right up my alley. But I'm curious about whether the commenters who bounced off these books also bounced off (or have never read) other "private eye" novels.

(Plus, of course, there's the strong thread of "angry combative socialism" which runs through all three novels, and basically drives the last. Which thread seems especially relevant in these times . . . )
posted by soundguy99 at 7:00 AM on December 5 [4 favorites]


I'm withholding judgement through Kovacs waking up in the US and then checking into the Hotel Hendrix. If they get those scenes right I'll be down for the rest.
posted by Ber at 7:04 AM on December 5


So we get a Blade Runner sequel and Altered Carbon, but (still) no Neuromancer?

Also still waiting on Schismatrix series. Swarm is probably one of my favorite novelettes.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:12 AM on December 5 [8 favorites]


...but what I'd really, really, really love would be a series set in The Diamond Age. Immediate rejection of Cyberpunk tropes! Young female protagonist! Cool educational progression of said protagonist! Vickies! Han! Ashanti! Ractors! Drummers! (well, maybe not Drummers)

It's a fully realized world of a type which has never before been seen on screen. It'd be awesome.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:24 AM on December 5 [15 favorites]


I'd kind of like to see someone do a film version of Walter Jon Williams' Voice of the Whirlwind.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:27 AM on December 5 [2 favorites]


Only read the first and didn't realize there were superfans, but the trailer looks good enough for the sub-one-minute amount of actual footage. I feel like the juxtaposition of "discerning clientele" with the state of the "sleeves" promises at least some of the class issues the story relies on.

And God, yes, leotrotsky. I'm still annoyed the Syfy miniseries ended up consigned to development hell.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:42 AM on December 5


This is joyous news, though put me in the "enjoyed it way back, but really hope they deal with some of the stupendously problematic bits" camp. No medical risks associated with keeping my fingers crossed til February, right?
posted by ominous_paws at 8:13 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


It's a minor derail, I know, but the Expanse books are literally a transcription of a pen and paper RPG game among friends so.. it's not so surprising that the plot unfolds the way it does. Still love 'em tho.
posted by thedaniel at 8:27 AM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I was surprised at the tone of the trailer. the book is about Kovacs, how he came to be what he is, and the mystery he's set to solve. heavy doses of cyberpunk and noir. this trailer seemed bog standard matrix-style future flesh farms and evil mega-corp.
I enjoyed the books in the day, will definitely watch, but the trailer didn't exactly get me hyped.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:33 AM on December 5


angry combative socialism

I'll thank you not to copy directly off of my business cards.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:42 AM on December 5 [10 favorites]


I recently finished the book series, and while I generally enjoyed the plot arcs and setting, there's junk beyond hard-boiled Hammett/Chandler fisticuffs and sex that fell flat for me. Having more stories, short arcs, stuck between major plot beats in a series would open up the world and make it more palatable, I think.
posted by mikeh at 8:58 AM on December 5


...but what I'd really, really, really love would be a series set in The Diamond Age.

Yes, please! Also, while we're at it with the pony requests, could someone with deep pockets take on Hyperion? Can you even imagine how creepy Father Lenar Hoyt's story would be on screen, or how sad the Consul's story? Then there's the Shrike with its Tree of Pain. *shudder* And that's not even including how you'd visually present the results of the Gideon drive from the latter novels.

Looking forward to Altered Carbon at least though. Read the first two, but lost interest. Haven't read them in ages, but I always have really liked at least the memory of them. Not sure if I want to re-read them. My own private theory is that the people who really gush about them were introduced to noir by the novels. It seems to be a pattern each time a noir-infused story hits big—LA Story, Chinatown, or a friend suddenly getting excited about that old movie they saw on TV by the name of the Third Man, or Laura, or the Big Sleep, etc. Well regarded or successful noir stories seem to be spaced far enough apart that each time one makes it big, an entire new swathe of population stumbles across it for the first time.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 9:53 AM on December 5 [3 favorites]


I'd really, really, really love would be a series set in The Diamond Age

Totally agree, but I might like Snow Crash even more, at least just to see Y.T. pooning minivans with her skateboard. Oh, and motorcycles with smart wheels.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:19 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


And to second leotrotsky, Neuromancer remains the pinnacle of this genre. It would be an ambitious effort I hope someone takes a Molly's-awesome-fingernails stab at doing someday.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:22 AM on December 5


You had me at tetrameth.
posted by mhoye at 10:26 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


AC is my favourite sciFi novel period, have reread it ~15 times, almost never watch movies as they so seldom live up to book - this might. But I'm so obviously not a connoisseur.
posted by unearthed at 10:27 AM on December 5


Response 1: WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

Response 2: Fuck yeah.

Response 3: I hope they don't fuck it up.
posted by zakur at 10:27 AM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I'd kind of like to see someone do a film version of Walter Jon Williams' Voice of the Whirlwind.

I'd stan hard for an adaptation of WJW's Hardwired, simultaneously a tribute/sequel to Roger Zelazny's Damnation Alley (very different from the cheesy movie adaptation), a solid cyberpunk adventure in the Gibsonian fashion, and a predecessor to Voice of the Whirlwind.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:12 AM on December 5 [3 favorites]


es, please! Also, while we're at it with the pony requests, could someone with deep pockets take on Hyperion? Can you even imagine how creepy Father Lenar Hoyt's story would be on screen, or how sad the Consul's story? Then there's the Shrike with its Tree of Pain. *shudder* And that's not even including how you'd visually present the results of the Gideon drive from the latter novels.

Or the daily heartbreak of Sol Weintraub with his daughter Rachel.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:27 AM on December 5


could someone with deep pockets take on Hyperion?

This has been in development hell attached to Bradley Cooper (who is apparently a ginormous dork IRL) for several years, usually linked to Syfy.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:52 PM on December 5


If anyone is going to develop one of Walter Jon Williams' books there are two that I'd like to see before Hardwired : the first is Angel Station, which is a very gritty first-contact adventure, and the second is Metropolitan. It's hard to describe that one, the first of an uncompleted trilogy, but it's basically a worm's-eye view of a revolution taking place on a steampunk-y world rebuilt through the careful use of geometry-as-magic. It's visually cool and has a heroine who's not magically-chosen or the heir to destiny, just lucky, and knows it. She wants to do right by her family and everyone else, but has to deal with scrounging relatives and people that just aren't grateful. It's really good.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:09 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


I've been waiting a long time for this...
posted by kovacs at 4:10 PM on December 5 [4 favorites]


Heh. Someone else in the world has read Angel Station! That universe would make for a great show.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on December 5


The vacuum-packing of the sleeves is an interesting touch -- sous-vide noir, if you will.
posted by lumensimus at 5:12 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


I'd kind of like to see someone do a film version of Walter Jon Williams' Voice of the Whirlwind.

There are some interesting parallels between VotW and Altered Carbon.
posted by juv3nal at 5:37 PM on December 5


I've been waiting a long time for this...
posted by kovacs at 7:10 PM on December 5 [+] [!]


Some among us have abandoned any realistic hope...
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:09 PM on December 5 [2 favorites]


Heh. Someone else in the world has read Angel Station! That universe would make for a great show.

How do these things work? Does Williams' agent keep pestering studios to take options on his books, or do scriptwriters approach his agent, or what? If you really like something, is there a way to get it in front of the right people?
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:26 AM on December 6


I agree with everyone's suggestions; anything bringing more transhuman scifi to the screen is ok in my books.
posted by Marticus at 1:16 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately Joel Kinnaman appears to be filling the role of Takeshi Kovacs / Elias Ryker. Kinnan's CV illustrates that he is (imho) not up to a leading role.

Honestly, I rather liked him in the new RowboatCop.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:09 PM on December 6


Mumblecop from The Killing? He's great.
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on December 6


I kinda hope they'll do a Quantum Leap sort of thing and have an Asian actor play Kovacs as we see him, and various other actors playing him as he's seen in mirrors or video cameras or whatever to show which sleeve he's in.

But it looks like they won't be doing that.
posted by sotonohito at 5:04 PM on December 6


New trailer up but for the moment it seems to be on facebook rather than the youtubes. io9 has a link to it. It's a string of disconnected actiony shots.

Per imdb, Kinnaman plays Takeshi Kovacs.

Byron Mann, who appears to be of east-Asian ethnic background, plays "O.G. Kovacs," which I would guess is his original body.

Leonardo Nam, whose appearance is likewise east-Asian, plays "Stronghold Kovacs." Maybe this is his Envoy body?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:44 AM on December 7 [1 favorite]


All in. Nice.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on December 7


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