Altered Carbon author Richard Morgan: ‘There’s no limit to my capacity for violence’

As Netflix screens his brutal body-swap novel, the writer talks about the anger – and the argument at a party – that fuelled its creation

On my way to meet Richard Morgan, I pass a poster for Altered Carbon, the new Netflix series based on his hardboiled cyberpunk novel about a future Earth where humans can transfer into different bodies. The writer, seated in a London cafe, grins with delight when I mention it: he lives in a village just outside Norwich and that poster, of a body preserved in plastic, is the first one he’s seen.

Altered Carbon tells the story of ultra-tough antihero Takeshi Kovacs, who wakes up on Earth “180 light years from home, wearing another man’s body on a six-week rental agreement”. Kovacs, a former member of a military elite, is tasked with investigating the apparent suicide of one of Earth’s richest men – or, as ...