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  1. #16
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Blimey, I'm not objecting, Hobbit - I very much enjoyed the review because of what you focused on. I can't say too often that my aim isn't to astound with my brilliance (which usually leads to literati boredom). I pointed out that the hive mind thread because many enjoy that kind of brain-bending stuff.

    Archren, my initial reaction to Cheryl's review was grrrr, but then sitting back and reading it a second time I realised I was being a bit of a prima donna. Despite the book not being her sort of thing, it was a pretty good review after all. As someone recently pointed out to me: if I don't return to characters/stories readers have enjoyed I get complaints, and I get the same if I do return to them - if I don't do something new. If you check out the sfrevu one (link above) you'll see that John Berlyne's single gripe was the Sniper thread being 'more of the same' (thought I contend that it's turned on its head at the end) yet many fans really liked Sniper and wanted to see more of him.

    It is a fact that the more well-known you become, the more reviews you see that flatly contradict each other. I have now received opinions/reviews declaring that X is my best book for each and every book. Which reviews do I ignore and which ones do I pay attention to? In the end I can only use my own judgement.
    Last edited by nealasher; March 7th, 2006 at 04:01 AM.

  2. #17
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Here’s a couple of reviews from the excellent Rick Kleffel:
    http://trashotron.com/agony/news/200...-06.htm#031406
    http://trashotron.com/agony/reviews/...able_keech.htm
    (the first is for The Engineer ReConditioned)

  3. #18
    Just finished Sable Keech last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. The action and plot was great and Spatterjay is just a great setting for a story. I've only read The Skinner and this so far, but enjoyed both very much.

    I've had a read through the reviews that have been posted in this thread and on the whole agree with them, but there are a couple of bits in the novel that I was slightly disappointed with.

    The first of these being the whelk chasing ship plot. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much, but thought it would have been better as a short story rather than part of this one. I know that during this section the plot is moved forward, but it was the inbetween bits that just didn't seem right to me and I was expecting more from the monster at the end of the novel - it was sort of an anti-climax.

    The other thing that didn't so much disappoint me, but rather I wish was more vague was the true identity of John Styx. As soon as the first Hooder incident was described and the later discussion about it, I pretty much knew who it was. If the hints were more subtle the surprise would have been better, but it was still great when it was finally revealed.

    I know I'm picking on the smaller points there, but I can't say how much I enjoyed the book and very eager to start on the next (Engineer Reconditioned incase you were wondering ).

    Mark

  4. #19
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    I commented on this on your blog, which I stumbled upon just recently.

    I had intended to use the whelk plot thread to complete the novel, then subverted that simply because I expected the reader to expect that (??) Whilst you were disappointed by this, other readers would have moaned about the ending being too obvious. As to the identity of Styx, well, that's like so many things involved in writing this kind of stuff. How bright is your reader? With what degree of attention is your reader going to read the book? How much is giving too much away and how much is being too obscure? Not an easy call. It's one that for many I got wrong in Gridlinked by being too obscure.

    Glad you enjoyed it and hope you enjoy The Engineer ReConditioned!

    Cheers!

  5. #20
    Thanks for the comment Neal. I know what you mean and although there were those couple of things that slightly disappointed me, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and couldn't recommend it highly enough to anyone who's yet to discover your work!

    My girlfriend id currently reading Cowl and is loving it, and that's saying something for someone who very rarely reads anything I try and push under her nose. The only drawback to that is the fact that I now have to wait for her to finish before I can start

  6. #21
    polity agent gaiusbaltar's Avatar
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    funny i thought polity agent was your last one?!

    shows what i know - anyway although i waited to buy it (i do prefer your polity agent series to the spatterjay ones) i actually thought it was a bloody good read after that and wish i had bought it sooner!!

    interesting twist with the prador - that could prove interesting in the future, especially given the polity already know the weakness of spatterjay-virus infected forms.....

    i did miss the ai battleships (jack ketch, brutus) though - can't wait for line war now :-)

  7. #22
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Line War is the last one I have planned in the present Cormac sequence simply because the back-story, which has to be introduced with each new book in it, is becoming too intrusive. This is not to say that there might not be more Cormac books ... if he survives... I'm certainly not going to say 'never' and end up going the Sean Connery in a wig route.

  8. #23
    polity agent gaiusbaltar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealasher View Post
    Line War is the last one I have planned in the present Cormac sequence simply because the back-story, which has to be introduced with each new book in it, is becoming too intrusive. This is not to say that there might not be more Cormac books ... if he survives... I'm certainly not going to say 'never' and end up going the Sean Connery in a wig route.
    not to mention fan pressure for more...... i mean if the Connery succumbed then surely even you will.....?! ;-)

    i like the back-story, though you are right, but it is like a reward for the fan who has followed the series in some respects.

    that's why i was surprised you killed off the other agent character in polity agent (name escapes me right now) - after so much development in previous novels - i guess it proves everyone is expendable and he was starting to feel redundant in some respects, but he was in some respects the most human of all the major characters, and the one you could maybe do more with in the future....

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