Altered Carbon

I read yesterday that Richard K Morgan’s excellent novel, Altered Carbon, is being adapted into a series for Netflix.  This makes me very happy.

Altered Carbon is one of my favorite books.  Oddly enough, it was not another urban or contemporary fantasy novel that really inspired me to sit down and write A God for Thieves, it was Altered Carbon.  I’d like to think there’s a little bit of that neo-noir/cyberpunk aesthetic in my work, even if it’s only a tiny little bit of shared genes, like a how a dachshund proudly considers itself kin to a timber wolf.

I remember reading a while back that the movie rights for Altered Carbon had already been optioned, and though it excited me, I was concerned about how you would make it work at feature length.  Partly I wondered about casting.  If they wanted to do a sequel, how would they deal with the complete change of cast inherent in the whole body-swapping aspect of the Altered Carbon universe?  But I think a limited series is a much better fit for it.  Shows like True Detective have paved the way for a more anthology style program where a complete change in cast between seasons wouldn’t be as jarring.  That way they could move on to Broken Angels for season two with no worries.  (confidential to the producers of Altered Carbon: don’t chicken out.  Let the main character suddenly be black in the second season.  It’ll be fine.)

Of course, this is assuming they’re going to stretch the book to cover the full season, and not try to turn it into a procedural or something silly like that.  That would be a mistake.

Elisabeth and I were talking about it yesterday, and she was saying how she was never happy with novels being turned into movies, because they always had to cut so much out.  Novellas and short stories are easier to adapt without losing much.  A full series can also be awkward for a book, with the content being spread too thin.  But a limited series seems about like the perfect fit to me.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing Takeshi Kovacs on my TV.

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