This might be our first look at the Netflix sci-fi series Altered Carbon

The internet is buzzing over what appear to be the first tie-in images for Netflix's upcoming science fiction series Altered Carbon, which were posted discreetly to Reddit over the course of the last week.

Check out the mesmerizing animated GIFs in question below.

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There are telltale clues that whomever posted the GIF images did so on behalf of Netflix, the first being that the poster who provided them, a user by the name of lastenvoy, has only ever posted in two subreddits—r/cyberpunk and r/alteredcarbon. Additionally, the evocative, high-quality images are the only content the account has ever posted.

Next is the quality of the images themselves—they look pretty good! But rather than being computer-generated, the locations the images are showing are clearly real places, although they don't correspond to any recognizable real-world spot. There's a production budget behind these GIFs, making this either an expensive and curious hoax or—more likely—viral marketing for Altered Carbon.

It's not an uncommon tactic for businesses to seed out content like this when they want to build buzz. Thing is, the pictures are so pretty, with such a cozy-yet-foreboding neo-noir style to them, that they do make the show look very interesting—if they are, as we suspect, related to the series after all.

Altered Carbon is the debut novel of writer Richard K. Morgan, released in 2002 and establishing the author's cyberpunk sci-fi style. A hardboiled detective story set hundreds of years in the future, it introduced the character Takeshi Kovacs, an elite soldier and resident of Harlan's World, an extrasolar planet where people are able to live indefinitely. 

Immortality in this future is gained by a process called "resleeving", in which a dying person's consciousness is removed from one body—or "sleeve"—and replaced in another. It will follow Kovacs investigating the suspicious death of one wealthy man's previous sleeve, which evidently ended in suicide, though the man cannot recall why.

The television series adaptation of the novel, of which 10 episodes have been announced, will star Suicide Squad and The Killing's Joel Kinnaman as Kovacs, with James Purefoy and Kinnaman's Killing co-star Kristin Lehman in supporting roles. 

The series is being developed by Laeta Kalogridis, who previously wrote Alexander, Shutter Island and Terminator Genisys. In addition to Altered Carbon, she has writing credits on the upcoming projects Sword Art Online and Alita: Battle Angel.

Netflix has yet to comment on suspicions regarding the images' provenance, so the mystery for now continues indefinitely. One way or another, Altered Carbon is expected to arrive on Netflix sometime in 2018.