* TheLostLenore: Sarah Sachilowska seems to be this for Kovacs during ''Woken Furies''. Her execution [[note]] She is also killed at the beginning of ''Altered Carbon'' but her [[BodyBackupDrive cortical stack]] is intact so she is sentenced to storage. While she is not technically KilledOffForReal when she is executed, her sleeve is destroyed and her cortical stack is thrown into the middle of the ocean, making her consciousness essentially unrecoverable and making her as good as dead.[[/note]] at the hands of religious extremists after she flouted their rules in an attempt to re-sleeve her daughter sent him on a ''year-long'' RoaringRampageOfRevenge whose ferocity astonishes even [[SociopathicSoldier Virginia Vidaura]]. After Sarah's death, Kovacs grows even more cynical than before and focuses on nothing beyond his revenge. The fact that ''Woken Furies'' (and therefore the trilogy as a whole) ends [[spoiler: on a hopeful note, with Kovacs seeming to give up on his vendetta and privately hoping that the ultra-advanced Martian technology that Sylvie Oshima can communicate with will one day be able to locate the cortical stacks belonging to Sarah and her daughter so they can be re-sleeved]] would seem to provide more evidence for this.
** It is also revealed that the fact that she became involved with another man after getting out of storage was one of the main reasons why he left Harlan's World for Sanction IV, although she was alive for at least part of his time there.
* NightmareFuel: Richard Morgan, major proponent of modern HumansAreTheRealMonsters sci-fi, can reach NightmareFuel levels through sheer cynicism.
** People's minds are backed up on in-brain memory and easily transferred to another body (or 'sleeve'). Major societal change from this? AFateWorseThanDeath is now standard procedure. They're JackBauerInterrogationTechnique {{Lotus Eater Machine}}s, pretty much.
** [[spoiler:Quellcrist Falconer]]'s fate after the attack on Millsport at the end of the Unsettlement: [[spoiler: her body vaporized, and her mind trapped in a Martian data storage system for ''three hundred years'']]. One of the downsides of having the technology to back your mind up somewhere.
** The Qualgrist Protocol from ''Woken Furies'', a [[spoiler: [[HatePlague bioweapon]] from the Unsettlement developed by the Quellists]] that uses GeneticMemory coupled with a symptomless virus to [[spoiler: create a pheromone-based biological response in anyone carrying the right genes who got infected, so that they are compelled to try and kill anyone with Harlan family genes]]. While the Unsettlement was an example of TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized, the fact that [[spoiler: Nadia Makita ultimately deploys the Protocol ''while hallucinating'' and while she's unsure whether or not she's real]] ensures that the events following the conclusion of the novel will almost certainly be bloody and horrible.
** All of Kovacs' hallucinations/memories of Innenin and the viral strike there, including but not limited to [[EyeScream Jimmy DeSoto clawing out his own eye]]. Arguably, what makes this truly nightmarish is not the event itself, but the fact that Envoys are conditioned to have [[PhotographicMemory perfect recall]] and so can't truly forget anything they experience, even if they also have the conditioning to lock away trauma so it doesn't destroy their psyches.