Science fiction and fantasy
by Richard Morgan
The roads are practically empty because executives are the only people able to afford petrol or driving licenses. And in a world where the lines between rich and poor are sharply demarcated, Shorn is one of the wealthiest and most bloodthirsty companies.
Conflict Investment is nothing new. People have been picking sides in wars and investing in the probable winners throughout history. What is new in this novel is the raw savagery with which it's done, and the way people have abandoned all pretence at fairness and justice. Might is right, corruption is rife at every level, and there's one law for the wealthy, another for the rest.
Chris travels to work in a souped-up armoured Saab, kept in fighting condition by his wife and mechanic, Carla. But the cut-throat environment at Shorn is taking its toll on their relationship. The question is, will Chris find a way out of his job, before his way of life destroys his marriage or himself?
Market Forces is a story of set-ups, cover-ups, sex, death and double-dealing in the corporate jungle. The violence of the executive world often resembles anarchy, and the only way to survive is to be the strongest. Unfortunately this means that the main character is a real hard case, an over-macho product of his environment. Chris is brutal, thuggish and unprincipled, and the more we learn about him the less sympathetic he becomes. Richard Morgan makes his points about the ruthlessness of the business arena with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, and his anti-hero is likewise extreme. It's hard to warm to such a character, and as a result this novel isn't all that enjoyable to read.
The body-count stacks up, as Market Forces whips up into a frenzy of guns, fast cars and mayhem. This is writing at its most masculine.
If you like this, try:Infoquake by David Louis Edelman
The human body is the battleground when ruthless corporations clash in this far future thriller.
Amortals by Matt Forbeck
In a world where cheating death is possible, the gap between the haves and the have-nots is wider than ever.
Pretty Little Things To Fill Up The Void by Simon Logan
In a nightmarish urban dystopia five very different people search for what matters most to each of them.
Review © Ros Jackson
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