The Skinner (Spatterjay #1)
On the planet Spatterjay arrive three travelers: Janer, acting as the eyes of the hornet Hive mind, on a mission not yet revealed to him; Erlin, searching for Ambel -- the ancient sea captain who can teach...more
A “perpetual” tourist working for the Hornet Hive Mind…
A Planet so dangerous that it can give wedgies to Harry Harrison’s Deathworld…
A virus that grants virtual immortality and indestructibility…
A centuries old AI war drone with an attitude and “authority” issues…
An ancient enemy of humanity looking to start smack and raise a ruckus…
A psychotic, sadistic bitcharoony with a serious case of the crankies.
The word for world is ... Ocean (apologies to Ursula Leguin). This is Spatterjay, a waterworld populated by decidedly hostile fauna, backdrop for a richly imagined multi-threaded story that rivals the best SF books of the 2000s. Quite a tour-de-force worthy of multiple re-reads, and deserving of the lofty 4+ rating on Goodreads.
Here we meet Sable Keech, the most interesting of a long list of characters, a reification (resuscitated dead person), following the centuries old trail of a criminal. An...more
This is the book that changed that view. The Skinner follows many of the Space Opera conventions, including big adventure, big guns and bigger than life characters. Much bigger than life in this novel, as coping with inmortality, and boredom, and past mistakes and crimes, is one of the common threa...more
So the question then is if th...more
Perhaps it's me - I came in expecting to read a science fiction book. Instead, I found I was reading a fantasy book that masqueraded as a science fiction one. They are different beasts - and this one attempts to be b...more
Published in 2002 by TOR Books
Cover Illustration by Jim Burns
Artwork located via Amazon.com
It was not until half way through the novel, which clocks in at 424 pages in the edition owned, that the name of the planet Spatterjay was read correctly. It kept looking to be Splatterjay up until that point. In the context of the novel, either could work superbly. Spatterjay evokes a more artistic element, which as the book progresses is slightly more disturbing, and...more
It's also the first Asher I've read, and I find his writing broadly similar to both Alastair Reynolds and Iain M. Banks in the setting and even type of story being told. That said, it's definitely distinct from either of those, most notably through the heavy reliance on nanotechnology and the different approach to Artificial Intelligences (the ones here are more similar to Banks' Culture drones, but they're much...more
There are zillions of genre authors vying for my attention when I browse...more
Once I got past the forest of confusion I did start to get into the story. It was a bit more swashbucklin...more
And then I seriously think someone took Asher aside and shook him by the shoulders, yelling at him, "Get down to business...more
The first thirty pages seemed to offer little in the way of innovation, and Asher's writing style seemed pedestrian, but the more I read the more his style seemed to suit his subject.
This is not thoughtful sf but it IS kinetic, visceral and thrilling. The world on which this story takes place is a brutal and hostile environment, and Asher does a first rate...more
People infected with the Spatterjay virus are, essentially, immortal...although the virus, in its quest to keep the host alive, is capable of mutating those humans into something very terrifying indeed. My favourite parts of the book were those deal...more
The world that Asher creates in this trilogy (of which this is the first book) is intriguing. A sea-based world where almost every creature is a deadly predator bent on violence populated by crazy 18th century like sailors made virtually immortal by the poison of a leech that lives on the planet. A poison which means insanity and worse if the infected can't eat 'dome g...more
The planet Spatterjay is incredible. Very vividly described and in some ways similar to the Earth as described by Brian Aldis in Hothouse. It is completely over the top and wonderfully so.
The characters are fun too, again a refreshing difference from many pedestrian sci-fi books. The sub-mi...more
The world of was intricately detailed, maybe at the expense of the story and the characters it was there to support.
The first half of the book left you feeling confused and disorientated, you're dropped in without points of reference thrown detail after interesting detail.
Generally I like to get to know the characters and see the fantasy worlds through their eyes, This book had all...more
The Skinner is such a story, set in such a universe, written by such an author.
I won't go into too much spoilery detail, because I wouldn't want to deprive a new reader of the pleasant surprise in discovering the details and nuances of Asher's world(s). I will say that...more
My first time reading Neal Asher was a far future bizarro science fiction short novel called Africa Zero. This is a longer more epic tale, but it is also one of the most bizarro modern Sci-fi novels I have read. It has sold me on Asher as a bold new voice. Entertainment weekly called it Dune meets Master and Commander and I can't disagree with that. The plot and and setting are so strange that I struggled a little bit trying to explain it to others.
It takes place in the same “universe” as Asher'...more
Three humans have come to Spatterjay, each with their own agenda...Sable Keech, a Polity monitor dead for over 700 years but still seeking the last of the eight people he swore to bring to justice for crimes against humanity during the Prador war; Erl...more
Dans cette histoire, on suit les périgrinations de toute un tas de personnages sur une planète rien moins qu'hospitalière (elle m'a d'ailleurs fait penser à l'étrange monde de L'incident Jésus). Outre son côté hostile, cette planète a également la particularité d'abriter un virus rendant quasi-immortel - et accessoirement fort comme un turc.
Comme vous pouvez le voir, le décor est tout à fait impressionnant. Tel...more
Another guy for Betsey to check out.