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Africa Zero

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  288 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The Collector rampages across a far future Africa populated with gene-spliced vampires, resurrected mammoth and nutters with APWs . . .
Paperback, 152 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Cosmos Books (PA) (first published 1994)
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Another high octane orgy of gore-strewn violence, savage technology and uber badassery, delivered with a droll casualness that masks the emotional underbelly hiding at the core of the story…in other words, another fine outing by Mr. Neal Asher.

This is a fix up novel combining a pair of linked novellas both set in far future Africa long after civilization has collapsed under the weight of a myriad of the usual suspects (wars, plagues, over-population, exhaustion of resources, etc.). Earth of the
Neal Asher is one of the half-dozen best science fiction writers active today, IMHO, and so normally a book of his would garner at least four stars from me. Unfortunately this book is shovelware... tossed out there without appropriate attention to detail. It is still Asher, so it isn't bad... just a little disappointing.

Asher specializes in odd ecologies and horrific fauna blended with mid- to far-future tech, and this book is no exception. Set in Africa (surprise) over a thousand years after th
David Agranoff
Neal Asher is one of my favorite modern Science Fiction writers and this lost novella is a work of his that I read once before. It takes a short story and a novella and marries them together into one piece. The best thing about this novella is how batshit crazy it is. I mean this is early Asher and has not been re-issued probably because it was before Asher polished his skills. That said I really enjoy how weird it is.

The main character is a Cyborg named "The Collector" who is all machine at thi
Africa Zero is a novella comprise of two connected short stories (well, longish short story to be honest). Neal Asher writes of a post-apocalyptic earth, sparsely populates with gene-spliced relics of times past co-existing with new forms of post-human life. The Collector, his immortal protagonist, and the sparser writing style create a Zelazny-esque work that mixes conservation at its extreme with good old-fashioned human warfare. Nice.
So I like stories about vampires. I confess. I picked up Africa Zero because it promised "gene-spliced vampires" in a far-flung future Africa. An interesting twist on the old genre, or at least it presents as such and don't get me wrong, it isn't a bad story, it just wasn't exactly my cup of tea. (A bit too much religion bashing and environmentalist preaching for me. I do admit, I have a low tolerance for those kind of things.)
Lilla Smee
Asher doing what Asher does best! Africa Zero collects two related, early novellas by Asher. They precede the Polity novels, and there are prototypical elements in them that will resonate for fans of Asher - Africa Zero's sauramen are not unlike the dracomen; and the cyborg protagonist of AZ, the Collector, prefaces the Golem of the Polity novels (the wonderful Mr Crane).
I was kind of disappointed with Africa Zero. Though it was a pretty good story, and an interesting concept - it was a bit of a chore to finish. It was nowhere near as good a book as Asher's 'Polity' books are. The story seemed to be a compilation of two distinct short stories or novelas, slapped together to make a short-novel-sized book. Certainly worth reading - but not the best Asher.
Good enough to keep rather than recycle.
Good yarn with plenty of action and lateral thinking plus a central figure that ya just love to hate - The Collector - he's 'doing good' (saving copies of everything living) but cares very little about anyone or anything (hmm shades of the Clint Eastwood archetype ....or is he just Zen?)

Would make a much better film than Avatar
Kelvin Clements
This was an interesting read, obviously an early Neal Asher, but you can see were some of the idea started for the commonwealth series. But a very interested read, once you get used to the slightly different style he had back at the turn of the century.
This is a great novel for fans of scifi, especially hardcore scifi. After finishing it, I was immediately reminded how great a writer Asher is. _Prador Moon_ is up next for me, after a quick pitstop to read "Ur" by Stephen King.
Neal Asher's imagination continues to astound me. This short book, two related stories, is full of ideas that Asher develops in his Polity stories, but the stories, setting and characters are themselves worth the read.
Sorry Neal, love your work dearly but couldn't do this one. To be fair it is one of those little book types I rarely read and it seemed to have some type of "message". Just not my cup of tea.
Ivor Hartmann
I like Neal Asher's books and this one had some great ideas, however the African stereotyping just left me cold and detracted from the overall book greatly.
There's a vampire and a cyborg and mammoth and a space ship and a dinosaur man... it's only missing a guy with a hockey mask.
A different kind of book by Mr.Asher. Weird, kind of stark. It could have been fleshed out a little more, but I liked it a lot.
Tim Janssen
Entertaining post apocalyptic world. GAV's play a far less prominent role that one might think from the dust jacket.
Simon Parsons
I know it was an early work, but it was definitely down from his usually high quality.
loboMuerto marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
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Mark Watt marked it as to-read
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William Degroot marked it as to-read
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I’ve been an engineer, barman, skip lorry driver, coalman, boat window manufacturer, contract grass cutter and builder. Now I write science fiction books, and am slowly getting over the feeling that someone is going to find me out, and can call myself a writer without wincing and ducking my head. As professions go, I prefer this one: I don’t have to clock-in, change my clothes after work, nor scru ...more
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