[By Nic Lindh on Saturday, 06 August 2005]
With Market Forces, Richard Morgan moves away from the far-future trappings of his Takeshi Kovacs novels and instead delivers a more “traditional” cyberpunk novel set in a dystopian near-future where most nation states have collapsed and their functions have been subsumed by corporations.
Market Forces suffers a lot from the somewhat silly premise that the way to rise through the ranks of the corporations is by war driving, having duels on roads that are mostly empty since only “zek tivs” have the money to buy gasoline. But if you can swallow that, as well as the heavy-handed polemic that crops up, the portrait of Chris Faulkner, our protagonist, is deftly painted and surprisingly rich.
While highly readable and tightly plotted, Market Forces feels like a novelization of a graphic novel with a focus on visually interesting scenes. That being said, if you like the genre the novel is well worth a read, and provides a snack while we wait for the next Takeshi Kovacs saga.