Thin Air (Morgan novel)
|Author||Richard K. Morgan|
|Genre||Dystopian cyberpunk military science fiction|
|Media type||Print, ebook, audiobook|
|Pages||544 (1st edition hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Black Man / Thirteen|
|Followed by||Sequel being written|
Thin Air is a dystopian cyberpunk military science fiction novel by Richard K. Morgan first published in 2018. Set in the same reality as his 2007 novel Black Man (published as Thirteen or Th1rte3n in the United States), it is set "well over a century" later than the earlier novel, with all the action taking place on Mars, whereas Black Man / Thirteen is set on Earth.
Protagonist Hakan Veil was genetically engineered from childhood to be a "hibernoid", who spends 4 months of every [Earth] year asleep. Bred to be a crisis commando, he was fired and exiled to Mars after the failure of a mission and has since worked as muscle-for-hire. When United Nations officials come to Mars to audit political corruption, Veil gets embroiled in violent complications and political conspiracies.
Morgan describes a Mars established as a colony for the benefit of Earth-based megacorporations, where potentially-dangerous industry can occur with minimal risk to humankind. Several streets on Mars are named for Chicago School economists and conservative politicians; in an interview Morgan stated that "neoliberalism has set loose a vast capital investment potential that certainly accommodates the necessary scale and ambition, but it is, of course, utterly rapacious, anti-humane and self-interested at the same time." The protagonist's view of Mars repeatedly critiques the "Martian High Frontier Myth", reflecting a theme common to Morgan's works, of grandness left to decay:
There is a central conceit that I keep ... returning to ... of something grand and worthwhile being abandoned by vicious and stupid men in favour of short-term profit and tribal hegemony. ... 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.
With Martian terraforming having been partly abandoned, the atmosphere is described as "four percent Earth sea level standard"; the colonists of Mars are of mainly Andean and Himalayan stock.
Morgan has described that some of the vague concept of Thin Air had been in his head since around the time Black Man / Thirteen and that the reference to "a character on Mars, a hibernoid PI who’s hard as nails" in that novel was a template for Hakan Veil. Morgan was embarrassed to describe that new-fatherhood meant that he hadn't found time to read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy before writing Thin Air, despite having intended to.
- 2018, English: UK and US, Germany, Spain: Del Rey Books, published 23 October 2018, hardcover, ISBN 978-0345493125
- 2018, English: UK and US: Gollancz, published 25 October 2018, paperback, ISBN 978-0575088566
- 2018, English: Worldwide: Gollancz, published 25 October 2018, ebook, ASIN B079RMQJR1
- 2018, English: Multiple territories: Orion Publishing Group, published 25 October 2018, audiobook, ASIN B07BZVQSM4 (UK), ASIN B07BZHYBH9 (US), ASIN B07CBM892V (AU), ASIN B07BZMMVM7 (DE), ASIN B07BZQK2TC (FR), ASIN B07F8BGVH6 (JP)
- 2018, English: Canada: Gollancz, published 25 October 2018, ebook ASIN B078W529FR
- 2018, English: Canada: Orion Publishing Group, published 25 October 2018, audiobook, ASIN B078W529FR
- 2018, English: Multiple territories: Gollancz, published 25 October 2018, hardcover, ISBN 978-0575075146
- 2018, English: Australia, China: Gollancz, published 30 October 2018, paperback, ISBN 978-0575088566
- 2018, English: India: Gollancz, published 31 October 2018, paperback, ISBN 978-0575088566
- 2019, English: Canada: Gollancz, expected 5 March 2019, hardcover, ISBN 978-0575075146
- 2019: German: Germany, as Mars Override: Heyne Verlag, expected 10 June 2019, paperback, ISBN 978-3453320222
- 2019: German: Germany, as Mars Override: Heyne Verlag, expected 10 June 2019, ebook, ASIN B07K26NWG1
- 2019, English: Japan: Gollancz, expected 11 June 2019, paperback, ISBN 978-0575088573
- 2019, English: France, Spain: Gollancz, expected 13 June 2019, paperback, ISBN 978-0575088573
- 2019, English: Canada: Gollancz, expected 13 August 2019, paperback, ISBN 978-0575088573
- Thin Air on Goodreads
- Stefan Raets (23 October 2018). "Martian Overrider Blues: Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan". TOR.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- Paul Di Filippo (21 October 2018). "Paul Di Filippo Reviews Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan". Locus. Retrieved 4 February 2018.