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Richard Morgan, known as Richard K. Morgan in the U.S., (born 1965) is a British science fiction and fantasy author.

Richard Morgan
Morgan in Zagreb at SFeraKon, 2008
Morgan in Zagreb at SFeraKon, 2008
Born1965 (age 53–54)
London, England
GenreHardboiled, postcyberpunk, Science fiction, fantasy
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Morgan's books are generally set in a post-extropianist dystopian world. Morgan described his "takeaway" of one of his books as:

Early life and educationEdit

Born in London, and brought up in the village of Hethersett, near Norwich, Morgan studied history at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating he started teaching English in order to travel the world. After 14 years and a post at the University of Strathclyde, his first novel was published and he became a full-time writer.

Literary careerEdit

In 2002 Morgan's first novel Altered Carbon was published, combining elements of cyberpunk and hardboiled detective fiction and featuring the antihero Takeshi Kovacs. The film rights for the book sold for a reported figure of $1,000,000 to film producer Joel Silver, enabling Morgan to become a full-time writer. In 2003 the U.S. edition received the Philip K. Dick Award.

In 2003 Broken Angels was published, the sequel to Altered Carbon, again featuring Takeshi Kovacs and blending science fiction and war fiction in a similar way to his cross-genre début.

Market Forces, Morgan's first non-Kovacs novel, is set in the not-too-distant future. It was originally written as a short story, then as a screenplay (both unpublished). After the success of his first two works, it was released as a novel and optioned as a film.

Morgan's third, and he has stated final,[2] Kovacs novel Woken Furies was released in the UK in March 2005 and in the U.S. in September 2005.

Morgan wrote two six issue miniseries for Marvel Comics under the Marvel Knights imprint. His first story, Black Widow: Homecoming published monthly in 2004 was followed by a second, Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her published monthly in 2005; both are available in collected editions. According to Morgan's official website the series was "an artefact of limited appeal" and is unlikely to be continued, although he has other comic projects in development.

Black Man was released in May 2007 in the UK and in June 2007 in the United States (as Thirteen or Th1rte3n). According to the author, the book is about the constraints of physicality and the fact that people are locked into who they are. These are things he could not deal with in the Kovacs universe, because for Kovacs and people like him mortality is avoidable: they just skip into a new body.[3] The novel won the 2008 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Morgan wrote a fantasy trilogy with a gay protagonist, A Land Fit for Heroes, the first volume of which has the title The Steel Remains and was published in August 2008 in the UK[4] and on 20 January 2009 in the United States.[5] The second volume, titled The Cold Commands was published in 2011. The third book in the series is called The Dark Defiles and was published on 17 August 2014.[6]

Liber Primus Games is creating a gamebook series based on the A Land Fit For Heroes trilogy. The first game was published for Android, Apple and Amazon Kindle Fire devices on 4 November 2015.

In 2008, he worked with Starbreeze as a writer for Syndicate, the 2012 re-imagining of the 1992 original.[7] Additionally, Morgan worked with Electronic Arts and Crytek as lead writer for their 2011 video game, Crysis 2.

In October 2018, Morgan's science fiction novel, Thin Air was published in the UK by Gollancz.[8]

In an interview before the launch of Thin Air, Morgan described a common feature of his works:

There is a central conceit that I keep — not consciously, I swear! — returning to in my work. It takes different metaphorical guises, but at root it’s always the same sense of something grand and worthwhile being abandoned by vicious and stupid men in favour of short-term profit and tribal hegemony. You see it in the regressive politics of the Protectorate in the Kovacs novels, the way both the Yhelteth Empire and the — so-called — Free Cities fail their duty as civilisations in A Land Fit for Heroes. So also with Thin Air — the landscape is littered with the markers of a retreat from the grand scheme of terraforming and building a home for humanity on Mars, in favour of an ultraprofitable corporate stasis and an ongoing lie of highly emotive intangibles sold to the general populace in lieu of actual progress.[9]

A graphic novel titled Altered Carbon: Download Blues, which continues to follow the character Takeshi Kovacs, was released in July 2019.


Takeshi Kovacs novelsEdit

  • Altered Carbon (2002) ISBN 0-575-07390-X
  • Broken Angels (2003) ISBN 0-575-07550-3
  • Woken Furies (2005) ISBN 0-575-07325-X
  • Altered Carbon: Download Blues (2019) ISBN 978-1524109677

A Land Fit For HeroesEdit

Black Man novelsEdit

Other novelsEdit

Graphic novelsEdit

Video gamesEdit


  • "Woken Furies" from the album Dark All Day by Gunship (2018)


  1. ^ Morgan discussing his "take away" of his novel Altered Carbon, in "Never Mind the Cyberpunks: An Interview with Richard Morgan" Archived 26 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Originally published online at, 2002.
  2. ^ "Interview with Richard Morgan". IT Conversations. 16 August 2005.
  3. ^ Moira Gunn. "Tech Nation". Your Mom's Basement. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009.
  4. ^ "The Steel Remains". Richard Morgan's website. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  5. ^ "The Steel Remains (Hardcover)". Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Richard K Morgan - The Dark Defiles early cover art revealed". Gollancz Limited. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  7. ^ Michael Plant (22 March 2012). "Interview: Richard Morgan on rebooting Syndicate". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  8. ^ Morgan, Richard (2018). Thin Air. U.K.: Gollancz. ISBN 9780575075146.
  9. ^ Sara Martín Alegre (2018). "Martian Politics and the Hard-Boiled Anti-Hero: Richard Morgan's Thin Air" (PDF). Revista Hélice. 4 (11): 84–95. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 February 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2019.

External linksEdit