Richard K. Morgan

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Richard Morgan
Richard Morgan 270408.jpg
Richard Morgan in Zagreb at SFeraKon, 2008
Born 1965
Nationality English
Genre Hardboiled, postcyberpunk, Science fiction, fantasy

Richard Morgan (born 1965 and known as Richard K. Morgan in the USA) is an English science fiction and fantasy author.

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.

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

Society is, always has been and always will be a structure for the exploitation and oppression of the majority through systems of political force dictated by an élite, enforced by thugs, uniformed or not, and upheld by a wilful ignorance and stupidity on the part of the very majority whom the system oppresses.[1]

Literary career[edit]

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 It was originally written as a short story, then as a screenplay (both unpublished).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 now 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 USA (as Thirteen or Th1rte3n). According to the author, the book is about the constraints of physicality and the fact that you are locked into who you are and there's not a whole lot you can do about that. These are things he could not deal with in the Kovacs universe, because for Kovacs and people like him mortality is avoidable: you just skip into a new body.[3] The novel subsequently won the 2008 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Morgan's current project is 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, creator of Narborion Saga 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.

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

His current writings feature heavily on the theme of autonomy in science fiction and escapism in fantasy.


Takeshi Kovacs novels[edit]

A Land Fit For Heroes[edit]

Other novels[edit]

Graphic novels[edit]



  1. ^ Morgan discussing his "take away" of his novel Altered Carbon, in "Never Mind the Cyberpunks: An Interview with Richard Morgan", Originally published online at, 2002.
  2. ^ "Interview with Richard Morgan". IT Conversations. 16 August 2005. 
  3. ^ Moira Gunn. "Tech Nation". Your Mom's Basement. 
  4. ^ "The Steel Remains". Richard Morgan's website. 
  5. ^ "The Steel Remains (Hardcover)". 
  6. ^ a b "Richard K Morgan - The Dark Defiles early cover art revealed". Gollancz Limited. 
  7. ^ Michael Plant (22 March 2012). "Interview: Richard Morgan on rebooting Syndicate". London: The Independent. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Carol Emshwiller
for The Mount
Philip K. Dick Award
for Altered Carbon
Succeeded by
Gwyneth Jones
for Life
Preceded by
Jack McDevitt
for Omega
John W. Campbell Memorial Award
for Best Science Fiction Novel

for Market Forces
Succeeded by
Robert J. Sawyer
for Mindscan
Preceded by
M. John Harrison
for Nova Swing
Arthur C. Clarke Award
for Black Man
Succeeded by
Ian R. MacLeod
for Song of Time