“Amortals (to paraphrase another sci-fi writer who, in my opinion, has nothing on Matt Forbeck) blew down the walls of my imagination. It then stepped over the smoking rubble, seized me by the throat and kicked my ass. Was this your first novel, you bastard? Holy crap!”
Matt Forbeck arrives as the new king of high-concept — with a blockbuster action movie in a book. In the near future, scientists solve the problem of mortality by learning how to backup and restore a persons memories into a vat-bred clone. When Secret Service agent Ronan “Methusaleh” Dooley is brutally murdered, he’s brought back from the dead one more time to hunt his killer, but this time those who wanted him dead are much closer to home.
Science Fiction [Future Thriller / Cheat Death / Rogue Agents / Who Killed Who?]
Besides the story itself, the book features some special treats for readers, much like the kind of extras you might find on a collector’s edition DVD. This includes:
A note from me about how Amortals came to be.
The pitch I used to sell Amortals to Angry Robot.
The original synopsis for the book from when I first tried to sell it in 1994.
The original first chapter that went with that synopsis.
A preview of Vegas Knights, including the first two chapters of the book.
“Amortals starts with a bullet to the head and gets more dangerous from there. Matt Forbeck has constructed a disturbingly real future and placed at the center of it a fascinating character, a man destined to witness his own death time after time all in the service of his country.”
“Matt Forbeck does near-future so well, I think he’s been there. Actually, I think he designed it. Then he kicked its ass.”
— Dan Abnett, author of Triumff, co-writer of Iron Man/Thor, and writer of the Ultramarines movie
“In Amortals, Matt Forbeck does what all great science fiction authors do: weave thought-provoking concepts through a cracking good story. The morality of immortality is a fascinating idea with which Matt Forbeck deals deftly. If you are looking for a great story with action, politics, great characters and an eye toward what might well be our future, Matt Forbeck’s Amortals is not to be missed!”
“I keep wanting to use that old slogan “Tight, taut and terrific” about Amortals, which is accurate, but oh, so wrong. There’s not a wasted word. There’s not an idea that doesn’t make sense. I meant to start it tonight and finish other work, then finish it tomorrow, but it’s a read-at-one-sitting book so I’ve rescheduled some other things… I love the opening. Just enough information – just enough fear… Easy to read. Easy to understand. Easy to get hooked. Very nicely done. As is the rest of the book.”
“One helluva sci-fi thriller! … In the span of few chapters, I went from only slightly interested, to thinking, ‘Hey, this isn’t half bad,’ to being genuinely sucked in. Matt Forbeck does an excellent job creating depth in what is essentially the stated ‘typical action hero.'”
“The story comes together as a great multi-stranded thriller, peppered with some good red herrings. It’s high-octane, with plenty of hovercars and crazed factions out for Agent Dooley’s high-profile blood. Add this to his recklessness and determination to get to the bottom of the mystery and you have the recipe for an all-action, high-tech scrap and a half.” 4 Stars!
“I thought I had figured out the Big Reveal by the end of chapter two. I was right and wrong — I had figured out one of the surprises, but it was only the first reveal — a lowly lackey far below the peak of this pyramid of reveals. Matt Forbeck’s Amortals takes off running, makes a few detours, and packs a lot of thoughtful socio-economic science fiction in around the action-movie-style murder mystery.”
“Forbeck’s ability to create a world is undisputed. His Washington DC of two centuries hence is a gritty and dark place. A few of his observations… are really quite incisive, and his main protagonist, Dooley, is instantly likeable as the prototypical cyberpunk antihero.”
“Forbeck deftly deals with the philosophical implications of the society he’s functioning within while delivering a thrilling, chase-filled detective story with a surprising finale.” VERDICT: 8/10 Highly enjoyable technothriller.
“Forbeck has created an exciting, brilliantly executed novel of action, intrigue and super-science… It works on every level and is truly a fantastic addition to the realm of cyberpunk thrillers. Highly recommended.”
“[A] fast paced and action packed story that touches on murder cults, old enemies, love, assassination attempts, cover-ups, hidden agendas and a bigger picture… [I] highly recommend it both to thrill seeking and cerebral readers of science fiction.”
“Amortals is a fast and engrossing read, highly original, and with more than its fair share of surprises. If you like thrillers with a science-fiction edge, check out Matt Forbeck’s Amortals, and strap yourself in; it’s a wicked ride.”
“The end result is a much deeper, more complex story than I was expecting, with a thought-provoking ending. What you get, thusly, is an action-filled, tense piece with plenty of cinematic moments and a heck of a payoff. Some of the story beats are reminiscent of Philip K. Dick… Amortals is an SF action-thriller that satisfies on all levels.”
This is a blast of fresh air… This book not only throws together all the elements of a good modern thriller — shoot-outs, chases, explosions, gadgets, intrigues, a sparky agent of the opposite sex, politics, hints of exotic foreign travel (as in Mars, this being sci-fi after all) — it is also written deftly… Read this, please.
Amortals is a slice of light science fiction that wraps complex ideas around an action packed thriller. The book has as many explosions, chases, and gun fights as it does science fiction concepts… It has as much in common with the likes of Lee Child as it does Iain M. Banks.
It spins into a veritable tourbillion of a plot that delivers wilder and wilder revelations, as security and freedom (aka law and chaos) do battle, with the main character unwittingly poised at their center. This is a plot that will remain with me, among my favorites.
If Matt Forbeck’s Amortals had come out in 1986, I would have been grouping it along side of some of the greats of the cyberpunk movement. I think this is a book that can stand beside Gibson’s Neuromancer, Sterling’s Islands in the Net, Rucker’s Ware novels, or Williams’ Hardwired.
At the suggestion of my overlords publishers at Angry Robot, I sat down the other day, taught myself how to use Garageband, and read the first chapter of Amortals to my laptop. Give it a listen. I hope you enjoy what you hear.