blade runner

The concept
In the future, the human consciousness can be digitised and downloaded into new bodies – or “sleeves”.
In the future, the rich – also known as “Meths”, short for Methuselahs – can technically live forever.
In the future, morality is for the powerless and the poor.

The story

Former military officer Takeshi Kovacs is retrieved from the “stacks”, given a new body and a new assignment – to find out who killed “Meth” Laurens Bancroft.

The world
It’s cyberpunk meets detective story meets Blade Runner … but with an even darker premise.
The Singularity never happened. But AI, off-world colonisation and societies massively divided by wealth did.
The only victory the poor used to have was that the rich died along with them. Now they’ve had even that consolation taken away from them.
Death has been conquered.
But not sin.

The visuals
Primo small-screen eye candy.
“Damned if it isn’t the best-looking series Netflix has yet produced,” wrote The AV Club.

The gun show
Primo high-tech bang bang.

The source material
I’d never heard of Altered Carbon author Richard Morgan before this, but I am now bona fide HOOKED.
A staggering achievement for a first novel, Altered Carbon won a slew of prize including the Philip K. Dick award.
Read it NOW.
Actually, read it after you’ve seen the series.

The critics
“Ambitious, dense and thrilling, Netflix’s new sci-fi epic starring Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy and Martha Higareda is a binge-worthy potential blockbuster,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter.

The actors
Did we mention James “Rome” Purefoy, Joel “RoboCop” Kinnaman and Martha “El Mariarchi” Higareda?

The binge factor
Because you’ve already watching Game Of Thrones, The Sopranos, Westworld, The Wire and everything else and you’re looking for a new series.

The satisfaction
This will go some way to filling that sci-fi-shaped hole in your heart left by the disappointment of the Blade Runner sequel.

My military thriller Game Of Killers: The Spartan is out now as an ebook and paperback.

I discover to my surprise that I’m the youngest person at the RSL.
These people are so old they’re still buying newspapers.
Which makes me wonder – if only there was some way of “monetising” RSLs online like newspapers.
A brainwave hits me: maybe they should sell newspapers in RSLs?
I congratulate myself on just having saved the newspaper industry.

I choose my horses according to the time-honoured way – by name.
Did I ever tell you about the time I almost put $50 on Oxford Prince to win and it won at like 200 to 1?
It’s like the time I almost invented Post-It notes, except that I forgot that when you make glue first you need to thermoset your resin and then after it cools you have to mix in an epoxide, which is really just a fancy-schmancy name for any simple oxygenated adhesive … and then you raise the viscosity by adding a complex glucose derivative during the emulsification process.

I order the first of several Strongbow Ciders.
Did I ever tell you that I drank cider 20 years before everyone else suddenly did?
You’ve heard that story already?
Pipe down, Judgey McJudge.

There is a bowl of nuts at the table.
Just how many different types of urine from unwashed hands do I want to sample today, I wonder.
The correct answer is none.

I am served my chicken schnitzel.
I tell the waiter that the pepper grinder isn’t big enough and ask for a bigger one.
Only one person will get this joke.

I think it’s unfair that horses aren’t given a representative at the Melbourne Cup.
They should have a spokesperson to speak for them at the podium.
And that spokesperson should be a horse.
And someone should be there to translate their horse words for them.
I may have possibly had too many ciders at this point.

Dami Im sings The Power Of The Dream.
She has an amazing voice – but there is something about the lyrics, the idea that with the power of belief that anything is possible, that bugs me.
In particular these lyrics annoy me: “It’s the moment that you think you can’t/You’ll discover that you can.”
For example, you can’t suddenly afford a house in Sydney just because you BELIEVE you can.
I start rewriting the song as “The Power Of Inheritence”.
“You’ll find your fate is all your own creation/
As long as you have a wealthy relation,” I sing in my head.

I wonder how many jockeys have been held by their ankles over hotel balconies the day before the big race.
An urban myth, surely?

Dami Im returns to sing Advance Australia Fair.
Did you know that this song was chosen as our national anthem by plebiscite in 1977?
I presume it also cost $160 million in 1977 dollars to hold the plebiscite.
“Boom!” I think. “Cutting-edge satirical humour!”

I cheer on my outsider Japanese horse until it becomes clear that it won’t win. Once again my foolproof scheme of betting has failed.
I suspect tonight that more than one jockey knows he’ll be allegedly spending the evening being dangled over a hotel rooftop by his ankles.

I still around for the speeches afterwards.
There are too many humans talking.
It eventually becomes clear that there will be no horse spokesman – or horse translator – to speak for the horses.
Disgusted by this speciest behavior, I leave.
At the doorway, I leave a tiny origami unicorn.
“It’s too bad she won’t live!” I shout. “But then again who does?”
Only one person will get this joke, too.

My ebook military thriller The Spartan is out now on Amazon.