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  1. #1
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    people reviews/ratings of Neal Asher's books

    Hi,

    I am a big sf fan and Neal Asher is one of my buy on publication writers (out of "established" 4+ books authors, I have 8 such, the others being Peter Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, J.C. Grimwod, Richard Morgan, JackMcDevitt, John Ringo and David Weber with John C. Wright almost there). Since I live in the US I have to pay the Amazon.uk postage but it is worth it . I thought of sharing my impressions of Mr. Asher novels/ss here. On a scale to 10:

    Gridlinked: 10 - I like to try new authors both from here and the UK especially in my favourite areas (space opera and military sf) so in 2001 I got Gridlinked (bundled with Chasm City - to reduce postage costs I try to bundle several UK books together); after reading it I said "Wow" that is someone to buy on publication

    The Skinner: 10+ - Usually the second book is not as good as the first but this time it was better. Loved Sniper

    Cowl: 9 - I do not like time travel books unless the time travel is one way (blink and that Universe changes/dissapears is too solipsistic for me) so I got this book because it had Neal Asher as author and I really liked it to my surprise

    The Line of Polity: 8 - I really waited impatiently for this book and I was very dissapointed since it seemed too much a rehash, plus the Theocracy and all thing has been done to death and I do not like villains you cannot like or at least appreciate if only a little bit (I liked Mr. Crane, but Skellor or the theocrats both stupid and unlikable... Even Arian Pelter was more interesting...) Maybe I expected too much (had a similar experience with China Mieville where after 2 books I really liked came Iron Council which I almost could not finish...). On rereading The Line when Brass Man came out, I changed my mind slightly so I give it an 8 now, but still it is the weakest of the novels so far

    Brass Man: 10 - It was everything that The Line was not. Loved the rogue AI's subplot - thought it brilliant

    The Voyage of Sable Keech: 9.5 Very good, just a bit too similar to Skinner but still loved it a lot

    Short Stories: 9.5 I own both the Enginner (old edition) and The Writers of the Future book which has a group of stories "Runcible Tales" by Neal Asher and of course I read the Asimov's stories with the Gabbleducks. Overall they are pretty good, some are mentioned in the novels (original meeting with Dragon, Janer on the Snairl ship) and the last ones may represent the begiining of an extension of the Polity Universe with the origin of Hodders and so on...

    Liviu

  2. #2
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Hello suciul,

    Thanks for the rating, it's nice to see I'm on people's 'to buy' lists and that, in your opinion I seem to be keeping up the standard. Night Shade's books will soon be releasing Prador Moon and, having read much of my other stuff, you'll have some idea what it's all about. And Polity Agent will be out in nine months.

    cheers

  3. #3
    BookWyrm Archren's Avatar
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    Hi! I just finished reading Cowl, and I've scattered a few reviews of it around.

    I've got a review of it Here, at my own website and from a Hard SF perspective, Here, at HardSF.net.
    And of course, I posted one here at SFFWorld as well.

    I don't know many authors personally, so this may be one of my few opportunities to ask a questions I've been curious about for a long time, Neal. How does such a nice guy like you write such violent scenes? Is it a difficult process for you, or do you feel it comes naturally? I've always wondered about that aspect of writing, where some pretty shocking stuff comes from the nicest of people (I feel the same way about some of Ray Bradybury's writing).
    Last edited by Archren; March 17th, 2006 at 01:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Sorry about the delay in getting back to you, Archren -- been in New Zealand for three weeks. In a way your question is similar to the 'where do you get your ideas from'. I guess the simple answer would be that there's the rubber-necking instinct in all of us and that even the most pacifistic person can get off on watching something like Terminator.

  5. #5
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    And thank for the reviews!

  6. #6
    BookWyrm Archren's Avatar
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    You're welcome. And I'm envious - New Zealand! My husband and I hope to get out there maybe in 2010 -- I think it will take us about that long to save for the plane tickets. I hope you had a good time!

  7. #7
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    A moderately good time, what with it being their autumn there. Ate some excellent green-lipped mussels ... anyone reading my stuff will know my obsession with shellfish...

  8. #8
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    anyone reading my stuff will know my obsession with shellfish...
    Just as long as it didn't try and get you back, Neal.

    The Revenge of the Mussel! LOL.


    Mark / Hobbit
    Mark

  9. #9
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    This tickled my so I thought I'd ask if I could put it up here. It's from Andy on Myspace.

  10. #10

    i know asher book

    yea that right i know it koolz i know Asher Book we are like best friend for everoh yea baby but i have to say my friend is sexy

  11. #11
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    I've just joined this site because I had to complement you on the spatterjay trilogy. A friend of mine received Orbus as a gift but refused to read it before the first two in the series and so gave it to me, and I cant tell you enough how thankful I am that he did! I did worry that I would come into the novel completely out of my depth lacking in the background plot yet found it as a stand alone novel in it's own right nothing short of amazing. The novel is both gritty and funny at the same time with a world that is totally immersive, I keep on imaging what it would be like to be an old captain living within the core polity worlds! the AI sniper also is as i've has been remarked upon is hilarious and is perversely more engaging than many of the human characters and another favourite of mine.

    I've since bought both the skinner and the voyage of the sable keech and am now beginning the agent cormac series. All of which I rate as highly as Orbus, I think it is possibly that orbus was my introduction to this incredibly vivid universe and as such stands out as my favourate. I can only say this is the best sci fi series i've read for a number of years and I am looking forward to finishing gridlinked and the many more novels awaiting me!

    thank you Neal!

  12. #12
    Neal Asher nealasher's Avatar
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    Thank you kindly, Allyd, and here's hoping you've got lots of happy reading ahead of you! You have the Cormac series, other Polity books, one-offs like Cowl and a new series that starts with The Departure in September.

    Incidentally, the Spatterjay series is also available as an audio book at audible.co.uk.

    The Skinner

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