Woken Furies: A Takeshi Kovacs Novel

Woken Furies: A Takeshi Kovacs Novel

by Richard K. Morgan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345499776
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/29/2007
Series: Takeshi Kovacs Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 43,247
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richard K. Morgan is the acclaimed author of The Cold Commands, The Steel Remains, Thirteen, Woken Furies, Market Forces, Broken Angels, and Altered Carbon, a New York Times Notable Book that also won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2003. The movie rights to Altered Carbon were optioned by Joel Silver and Warner Bros on publication, and a film version is currently in development with Mythology Entertainment. Market Forces was also optioned to Warner Bros, before it was even published, and it won the John W. Campbell Award in 2005. Thirteen won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2007 and is currently under movie option to Straight Up films. The Steel Remains won the Gaylactic Spectrum Award in 2010, and its sequel, The Cold Commands, appeared in both Kirkus Reviews’ and NPR’s Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Books of the Year lists. Morgan is a fluent Spanish speaker and has lived and worked in Madrid, Istanbul, Ankara, and London, as well as having traveled extensively in the Americas, Africa, and Australia. He now lives in Scotland with his wife, Virginia, and son, Daniel.

Read an Excerpt

Woken Furies

By Richard K. Morgan

Random House

Richard K. Morgan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0345486129

Chapter One

Damage. The wound stung like fuck, but it wasn't as bad as some I'd had. The blaster bolt came in blind across my ribs, already weakened by the door plating it had to chew through to get to me. Priests, up against the slammed door and looking for a quick gut shot. Fucking amateur night. They'd probably caught almost as much pain themselves from the point-blank blowback off the plating. Behind the door, I was already twisting aside. What was left of the charge plowed a long, shallow gash across my rib cage and went out, smoldering in the folds of my coat. Sudden ice down that side of my body and the abrupt stench of fried skin-sensor components. That curious bone-splinter fizzing that's almost a taste, where the bolt had ripped through the biolube casing on the floating ribs.

Eighteen minutes later, by the softly glowing display chipped into my upper left field of vision, the same fizzing was still with me as I hurried down the lamplit street, trying to ignore the wound. Stealthy seep of fluids beneath my coat. Not much blood. Sleeving synthetic has its advantages.

"Looking for a good time, sam?"

"Already had one," I told him, veering away from the doorway. He blinked wave-tattooed eyelids in a dismissive flutter that said your loss and leaned his tightly muscled frame languidly back into the gloom. I crossed the street and took the corner, tacking between a couple more whores, one a woman, the other of indeterminate gender. The woman was an augment, forked dragon tongue flickering out around her overly prehensile lips, maybe tasting my wound on the night air. Her eyes danced a similar passage over me, then slid away. On the other side, the cross-gender pro shifted its stance slightly and gave me a quizzical look but said nothing. Neither was interested. The streets were rain-slick and deserted, and they'd had longer to see me coming than the doorway operator. I'd cleaned up since leaving the citadel, but something about me must have telegraphed the lack of business opportunity.

At my back, I heard them talking about me in Stripjap. I heard the word for broke.

They could afford to be choosy. In the wake of the Mecsek Initiative, business was booming. Tekitomura was packed that winter, thronging with salvage brokers and the deCom crews that drew them the way a trawler wake draws ripwings. Making New Hok Safe for a New Century, the ads went. From the newly built hoverloader dock down at the Kompcho end of town it was less than a thousand kilometers, straight-line distance, to the shores of New Hokkaido, and the 'loaders were running day and night. Outside of an airdrop, there is no faster way to get across the Andrassy Sea. And on Harlan's World, you don't go up in the air if you can possibly avoid it. Any crew toting heavy equipment--and they all were--was going to New Hok on a hoverloader out of Tekitomura. Those that lived would be coming back the same way.

Boomtown. Bright new hope and brawling enthusiasm as the Mecsek money poured in. I limped down thoroughfares littered with the detritus of spent human merriment. In my pocket, the freshly excised cortical stacks clicked together like dice.

There was a fight going on at the intersection of Pencheva Street and Muko Prospect. The pipe houses on Muko had just turned out and their synapse-fried patrons had met late-shift dockworkers coming up through the decayed quiet of the warehouse quarter. More than enough reason for violence. Now a dozen badly coordinated figures stumbled back and forth in the street, flailing and clawing inexpertly at each other while a gathered crowd shouted encouragement. One body already lay inert on the fused-glass paving, and someone else was dragging their body, a limb's length at a time, out of the fray, bleeding. Blue sparks shorted off a set of overcharged power knuckles; elsewhere light glimmered on a blade. But everyone still standing seemed to be having a good time, and there were no police as yet.

Yeah, part of me jeered. Probably all too busy up the hill right now.

I skirted the action as best I could, shielding my injured side. Beneath the coat, my hands closed on the smooth curve of the last hallucinogen grenade and the slightly sticky hilt of the Tebbit knife.

Never get into a fight if you can kill quickly and be gone.

Virginia Vidaura--Envoy Corps trainer, later career criminal and sometime political activist. Something of a role model for me, though it was several decades since I'd last seen her. On a dozen different worlds, she crept into my mind unbidden, and I owed that ghost in my head my own life a dozen times over. This time I didn't need her or the knife. I got past the fight without eye contact, made the corner of Pencheva, and melted into the shadows that lay across the alley mouths on the seaward side of the street. The timechip in my eye said I was late.

Pick it up, Kovacs. According to my contact in Millsport, Plex wasn't all that reliable at the best of times, and I hadn't paid him enough to wait long.

Five hundred meters down and then left into the tight fractal whorls of Belacotton Kohei Section, named centuries ago for the habitual content and the original owner-operator family whose warehouse frontages walled the curving maze of alleys. With the Unsettlement and the subsequent loss of New Hokkaido as any kind of market, the local belaweed trade pretty much collapsed and families like Kohei went rapidly bankrupt. Now the grime-filmed upper-level windows of their facades peered sadly across at each other over gape-mouthed loading bay entrances whose shutters were all jammed somewhere uncommitted between open and closed.

There was talk of regeneration, of course, of reopening units like these and retooling them as deCom labs, training centers, and hardware storage facilities. Mostly, it was still just talk--the enthusiasm had kindled on the wharf-line units facing the hoverloader ramps farther west, but so far it hadn't spread farther in any direction than you could trust a wirehead with your phone. This far off the wharf and this far east, the chitter of Mecsek finance was still pretty inaudible.

The joys of trickledown.

Belacotton Kohei Nine Point Twenty-six showed a faint glow in one upper window, and the long restless tongues of shadows in the light that seeped from under the half-cranked loading bay shutter gave the building the look of a one-eyed, drooling maniac. I slid to the wall and dialed up the synthetic sleeve's auditory circuits for what they were worth, which wasn't much. Voices leaked out into the street, fitful as the shadows at my feet.

"--telling you, I'm not going to hang around for that."

It was a Millsport accent, the drawling metropolitan twang of Harlan's World Amanglic dragged up to an irritated jag. Plex's voice, muttering below sense-making range, made soft provincial counterpoint. He seemed to be asking a question.

"How the fuck would I know that? Believe what you want." Plex's companion was moving about, handling things. His voice faded back in the echoes of the loading bay. I caught the words kaikyo, matter, a chopped laugh. Then again, coming closer to the shutter, "--matters is what the family believes, and they'll believe what the technology tells them. Technology leaves a trail, my friend." A sharp coughing and indrawn breath that sounded like recreational chemicals going down. "This guy is fucking late."

I frowned. Kaikyo has a lot of meanings, but they all depend on how old you are. Geographically, it's a strait or a channel. That's early-Settlement-years use, or just hypereducated, kanji-scribbling, First Families pretension. This guy didn't sound First Family, but there was no reason he couldn't have been around back when Konrad Harlan and his well-connected pals were turning Glimmer VI into their own personal backyard. Plenty of DH personalities still on stack from that far back, just waiting to be downloaded into a working sleeve. Come to that, you wouldn't need to resleeve more than half a dozen times, end-to-end, to live through the whole of Harlan's World's human history anyway. It's still not much over four centuries, Earth-standard, since the colony barges made planetfall.

Envoy intuition twisted about in my head. It felt wrong. I'd met men and women with centuries of continuous life behind them, and they didn't talk like this guy. This wasn't the wisdom of ages, drawling out into the Tekitomura night over pipe fumes.

On the street, scavenged into the argot of Stripjap a couple of hundred years later, kaikyo means a contact who can shift stolen goods. A covert flow manager. In some parts of the Millsport Archipelago, it's still common usage. Elsewhere, the meaning is shifting to describe aboveboard financial consultants.

Yeah, and farther south it means a holy man possessed by spirits, or a sewage outlet. Enough of this detective shit. You heard the man--you're late.

I got the heel of one hand under the edge of the shutter and hauled upward, locking up the tidal rip of pain from my wound as well as the synthetic sleeve's nervous system would let me. The shutter ratcheted noisily to the roof. Light fell out into the street and all over me.


"Jesus!" The Millsport accent jerked back a full step. He'd been only a couple of meters away from the shutter when it went up.


"Hello, Plex." My eyes stayed on the newcomer. "Who's the tan?"

By then I already knew. Pale, tailored good looks straight out of some low-end experia flick, somewhere between Micky Nozawa and Ryu Bartok. Well-proportioned fighter's sleeve, bulk in the shoulders and chest, length in the limbs. Stacked hair, the way they're doing it on the bioware catwalks these days, that upward static-twisted thing that's meant to look like they just pulled the sleeve out of a clone tank. A suit bagged and draped to suggest hidden weaponry, a stance that said he had none he was ready to use. Combat arts crouch that was more bark than readiness to bite. He still had the discharged micropipe in one curled palm, and his pupils were spiked wide open. Concession to an ancient tradition put illuminum-tattooed curlicues across one corner of his forehead.

Millsport yakuza apprentice. Street thug.

"You don't call me tani," he hissed. "You are the outsider here, Kovacs. You are the intruder."

I left him at the periphery of my vision and looked toward Plex, who was over by the workbenches, fiddling with a knot of webbing straps and trying on a smile that didn't want to be on his dissipated aristo face.

"Look, Tak--"

"This was strictly a private party, Plex. I didn't ask you to subcontract the entertainment."

The yakuza twitched forward, barely restrained. He made a grating noise deep in his throat. Plex looked panicked.

"Wait, I . . ." He put down the webbing with an obvious effort. "Tak, he's here about something else."

"He's here on my time," I said mildly.

"Listen, Kovacs. You fucking--"

"No." I looked back at him as I said it, hoping he could read the bright energy in my tone for what it was. "You know who I am, you'll stay out of my way. I'm here to see Plex, not you. Now get out."

I don't know what stopped him, Envoy rep, late-breaking news from the citadel--because they'll be all over it by now, you made such a fucking mess up there--or just a cooler head than the cheap-suited punk persona suggested. He stood braced in the door of his own rage for a moment, then stood down and displaced it, all poured into a glance at the nails of his right hand and a grin.

"Sure. You just go ahead and transact with Plex here. I'll wait outside. Shouldn't take long."

He even took the first step toward the street. I looked back at Plex.

"What the fuck's he talking about?"

Plex winced.

"We, uh, we need to reschedule, Tak. We can't--"

"Oh no." But looking around the room I could already see the swirled patterns in the dust where someone had been using a grav lifter. "No, no, you told me--"

"I-I know, Tak, but--"

"I paid you."

"I'll give you the money--"

"I don't want the fucking money, Plex." I stared at him, fighting down the urge to rip his throat out. Without Plex, there was no upload. Without the upload--"I want my fucking body back."

"It's cool, it's cool. You'll get it back. It's just right now--"

"It's just right now, Kovacs, we're using the facilities." The yakuza drifted back into my line of sight, still grinning. "Because to tell the truth, they were pretty much ours in the first place. But then Plex here probably didn't tell you that, did he?"

I shuttled a glance between them. Plex looked embarrassed.

You gotta feel sorry for the guy. Isa, my Millsport contact broker, all of fifteen years old, razored violet hair and brutally obvious archaic datarat plugs, working on world-weary reflective while she laid out the deal and the cost. Look at history, man. It fucked him over but good.

History, it was true, didn't seem to have done Plex any favors. Born three centuries sooner with the name Kohei, he'd have been a spoiled stupid younger son with no particular need to do more than exercise his obvious intelligence in some gentleman's pursuit like astrophysics or archaeologue science. As it was, the Kohei family had left its post-Unsettlement generations nothing but the keys to ten streets of empty warehouses and a decayed aristo charm that, in Plex's own self-deprecating words, made it easier than you'd think to get laid when broke. Pipe-blasted, he told me the whole shabby story on less than three days' acquaintance. He seemed to need to tell someone, and Envoys are good listeners. You listen, you file under local color, you soak it up. Later, the recalled detail maybe saves your life.


Excerpted from Woken Furies by Richard K. Morgan
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Woken Furies 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked the first 2 books in the series but this one became boring after a while. The cheap philosophy overwhelmed everything else by sheer volume and it was hard to continue finish reading. I recommend stopping before buying this one and keeping the great pleasure of the other two books intact.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This sci-fi universe was tailor made for the big screen.
JWMSales More than 1 year ago
I've read all of the Takeshi Kovacs books and this is the best of the lot. Great character development and a fun read. Hopefully the series continues.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Woken Furies' is far and beyond above Richard Morgan's last effort in the Takeshi Kovacs series, 'Broken Angels.' The revenge subplot running through Kovacs' actions on Harlan's World provides the perfect touch of noir to the novel, and the entire question of both literally and philosophically who is Quellcrist Falconer, a vague and somewhat-unnecessary presence in the earlier tales, propels 'Woken Furies' into the stratosphere, no pun intended. It's a nice return to form for Morgan, who made 'Broken Angels,' itself not a bad novel, little more than a treasure hunt while inexplicably introducing the race of Martians into the mix of human colonization of the galaxy. In fact, the continued presence of the Martians in this chapter of Kovacs' life is the only reason why I didn't rate this novel a perfect 5 -- however, that's what happens when you can't have a half-star addition! 'Woken Furies' simply rings true to me, like it really could and should have happened the way events unfolded, and that's a sure sign of success in any fictional genre. I am not sure why this novel didn't receive better distribution than it did -- note the late date of my review -- but I am simply happy I finally found a hardcover copy. I truly hope this is not the end of the line for Takeshi Kovacs, especially as I am not exactly enjoying as of my writing this review 'Market Forces,' driving the point home to me that Richard K. Morgan's best strengths as a writer lie in the 25th Century.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the distant future, Takeshi Kovacs heads home to repressive Harlan¿s World to eerily confront himself when he was an Envoy working for the UN as a super soldier to keep people on the remote planets in check. Since he could afford to leave that body behind, Takeshi downloaded his personality into a new 'sleeve' and left for another world to start life anew...................... On Harlan¿s World, Kovacs soon finds himself protecting Sylvie, an apparent reincarnation of a long dead messiah, from the First Families, who need her dead as her message interferes with the power they yield. The First Families send an Envoy to kill Sylvie, but Kovacs believes the killer is a younger healthier him................ This is an action-packed science fiction Noir that starts in hyperspeed before accelerating into faster than light velocity. The suspense laden story line is all action except when Richard K. Morgan chooses to pontificate against any form of religious fundamentalism, which Kovacs believes by its essence means its burden requires either altering carbon structure or breaking the angels of those of other belief systems. Kovacs is at his best when affirming you can¿t home, at least not safely. Fans of electrifying futuristic thrillers will appreciate the award winning author's latest triumph............... Harriet Klausner
revslick on LibraryThing 25 days ago
If you're in the mood for roughneck, old-school detective novel mixed with sci-fi then look no further. Richard Morgan makes Takeshi Kovacs into the Bruce Willis (Die Hard) of the future age.
JapaG on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Woken Furies is the third instalment in the Takeshi Kovacs series. In this one, Takeshi returns to his home world, Harlan's World, to wreak havoc.The book starts very well, almost in media res. The reader is taken on a fast-paced journey through Harlan's World and its current state of affairs with Kovacs, who seems to be as much a passenger on the trip as the reader. He joins a group of mercenaries that fights against robots left over from a war long past. This part of the book has interesting characters, fast violence and well-written sex - the trademarks of the Kovacs series.After the jaunt with the mercenaries follow meandering descriptions of the history of the world, Takeshi's travels all over the place with close to no goal, and frustration by the reader as Kovacs becomes more and more an idiot that one does not want to know any closer.At the end the pace again picks up, and the book closes well. The threads are brought together interestingly, even though somewhat abruptly. I would very much like to read more about the martians and the aftermath of this book - perhaps through someone else's eyes...Not as good as the first book, but an ok read.
nancydotcom on LibraryThing 27 days ago
I love Tak, I love his futuristic worlds and the entire wild ride, every time. Have to get a Takeshi Kovacs fix every once in awhile....
Valleyguy on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Finally, in this book, I got to enjoy Takeshi Kovacs involved in a plot that incorporates elements of his past that are only hinted at in earlier novels, which makes the story part of an actual event of change in his life, where the other books featured "side jobs" so to speak. Woken Furies takes place on his home world and features the presence of Quellcrist Falconer, the revolutionary figurehead of centuries ago, when Takeshi was much younger. There is a cool plot where the powerful founding family of Harlan's world sleeve a former version of himself to kill him. We get closure on the anticlimactic precursor that was Broken Angels, and we get to see Takeshi go from purposeless man of vengeance to a redeemed man, part of a bigger plot. This was my favorite of the novels and it had a very satisfactory ending where a lot of interesting things tied together in an unpredictable way.
gglockster on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Somewhat disappointing, left many hanging plot devices and a bit fragmented.
slothman on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Takeshi Kovacs is back on his home planet of Harlan's World, and he seems to have some people mad at him-- angry enough that he finds it expedient to skip town and go out with a group that hunts rogue war machines left over from the planet's last civil war. His life is complicated by pursuit by a formidable opponent: a backup of himself taken from more than a century ago, when he was considerably more ruthless and unsubtle. And if that weren't enough trouble, he seems to have found a rallying point for the planet's previous revolution to start up again.Morgan delivers a harsh critique of both entrenched power and the revolutionaries that oppose them, examining the high costs paid by those who value power over people.
Parsiya on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Pretty Strong Stuff. It's a shame that there won't be another Takeshi Kovacs book :(
FicusFan on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Wow! This is an amazing book and the best of the series. Morgan has matured as a writer and Takeshi has become more than just a one-dimensional, cardboard, super hero character who is all flash, violence and sex. I know it annoys many who want the same thing (Altered Carbon) repeated endlessly.SPOILERS AHEAD !In this book Takeshi goes home to Harlan's World. It is set about 100 years after the first book. He is working on a personal vendetta against a repressive religious sect whom he blames for the death of and stack loss of the woman he loved in the first book, Sara. He becomes accidentally sucked into a sale/crime/political deal that involves deComs, the Yakuza and the ruling Harlan family. When it all goes wrong he hides out with the deComs, bringing them the expected death and disaster.deComs are basically poor outcasts that band together in teams and with weapons, computers, and bio-engineering comb through the empty wasteland of one of the islands on the planet where the last war took place. There are all kinds of smart machines and smart weapons that have been left without humans and have developed their own cultures and ideas and are harmful to human life. The deComs are sent out to kill/destroy/clear them. They are paid for their kills and use the money to refine their weapons and their bodies. They take in Takeshi without knowing who he is, or about his Envoy past.Violence and plots ensue and through it all Takeshi has to start facing who he is and how he got to this point in his life. He has to look at the rage he has for Sara's killers and what it might be covering. An interesting method to achieve this is the use of a younger, illegal copy of himself that the Harlan's have re-sleeved and sent after him. The Takeshi in this book seems to be older and losing it a bit, though his body is young, strong, and combat modified (though an older model). He is missing clues and he is not hearing or seeing things that should warn him the shit is about to hit the fan. The overall impression is of a man who has lost his mooring in life and is tired of going through the motions, but has no other ideas or options. There is still snark, sex, and violence but it is not the main feature of this book. Takeshi comes across as a real person, and he comes up against the real life current people of the memories he has of them in the past, and in his head. He has to re-evaluate his beliefs, griefs, and the rage that fuels him to act in set ways, often without thought.Along the way we get to see more of the future that Morgan has created. We see the deComs, the Haiduci criminals, a surfer community, the swamps, sea, weather and abandoned land of Harlan's World. We also meet more Envoys. The aliens/Martians and their abandoned technology also come into it, and does the supposedly long Real Dead revolutionary Quellcrist Falconer. There are several buried surprises in the plot and an ending that seems to be hopeful, though not all tied up in a bow.Morgan has said on his web site that he won't ever write Altered Carbon again, and I hope that means he won't be writing a repeat of the same type of book, not that he has finished with Takeshi and the future he is set in. I would still love to read about an older/wiser Takeshi, and more about his world and the aliens/Martians.
bradsucks on LibraryThing 5 months ago
There's something about these books that doesn't agree with me. I think he purposefully glosses over information in order to intrigue the reader but it just confuses me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read.
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