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The Gabble: And Other Stories (Polity - stand alone short stories)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  821 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In the eight years since his first full-length novel Gridlinked was published by Pan Macmillan, Neal Asher has firmly established himself as one of the leading British writers of science fiction, and his novels are now translated in many languages. Most of his stories are set in a galactic future-scape called 'The Polity', and with this collection of marvellously inventive ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Tor Books (first published October 21st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,329)
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Gabble and Other Stories is a collection of short fiction set in the universe of the Polity series by Neal Asher. I’ve been curious about his books for a long time now, especially since his work has been described as being close to Splatterpunk, a sub-genre often characterized by its depiction of gory graphic violence, fast-paced action, and a tendency to push the boundaries especially in horror-themed sci-fi.

I was n
Mar 24, 2015 Lady*M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The stories in this collection:

Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck
Gard and Geronamid
The Sea of Death
Alien Archeology
Acephalous Dreams
Snow in the Desert
The Gabble

First, look at that cover. The gabbleduck in all it magnificence. So cool.

While the ten stories all happen in and around the Polity, they are centered on the more exotic elements of Aher's world. From the mysterious gabbleduck, aliens ensconced in ice to albino immortals, the range and depth of Asher's imagination
Michael Fierce
After separately reading the short story, Snow in the Desert, included within, I picked up this book of short stories by Neal Asher, based in his Polity Universe, and though I do like the cover art of the edition I purchased, I prefer the cover below a bit more.


*Going to be a perfect read for when I swing back into reading Space Opera!
Guy Haley
Dec 16, 2015 Guy Haley rated it it was amazing
Ten tales of the Polity from the entertaining Mr Asher.

I love Asher's futuristic hard men, weird monsters and chillingly pragmatic AI. This book serves up a dozen "short" stories set in his Polity universe (we say "short" because some of them scrape novella length). I'd like to grumble, his heroes are similar to one another (all super-tough killers, with the occasional journalist or researcher thrown in) but we just can't. Fact is, Asher's stories do have a fairly narrow range of themes to them,
Ben Bates
Jun 14, 2013 Ben Bates rated it liked it
I have to state up front that I love Neal Asher books so I knew I would enjoy this. In all honesty there are few others for whom I'd bother reading short story collections. I generally believe that short stories, if they are of any merit, will be developed into novellas and so what you have in a short story collection is ideas that didn't make the cut but where the author didn't quite want to bin them either. Is this the case with the Gabble? Yeah, sort of. Some of the stories here are little mo ...more
Jul 05, 2011 Mya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge Neal Asher fan girl so its really unfair of me to rate this book, when I pretty much love everything the man writes. I bow to his world building skills and I must say that "The Gabble and Other Stories" just impresses me all the more. There are several stories which hark back to his Spatterjay and Ian Cormac sagas, blending tech, biology, energy weapons and weird science into tales of betrayal, love, revenge and nobility. Truelly for Asher fans, this one is a must!!
Jan 03, 2010 Guy rated it it was ok
I really like Asher's novels and the universe in which they are set, but his short-stories, although set in the same universe (and therefore in theory benefitting from all that background) are somehow unsatisfying. They feel... thin. A recurring problem is insufficient character development, in other cases not enough happens in the plot. I liked the book, but I'm not surprised that he didn't manage to sell his short stories until after his novels were successful.
Jim Mcclanahan
Jun 08, 2015 Jim Mcclanahan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A series of short stories set primarily in the Polity universe, I found them to not only be entertaining, but also informative on several fronts regarding detail of things in his novels which are not clearly spelled out otherwise. Aiding in this are a set of thumbnail blurbs for each tale which provide context. Anyone reading the Cormac tales will love these.
Oct 13, 2013 Lauri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mõnusaid lugusid on siin küllaga, aga Polity-huvilistele kohustuslik juba ainuüksi kolme gabbleducki loo pärast (Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck, Alien Archaeology ja The Gabble). Asher kontsentreeritud kujul, väga võimas.
Tim Hicks
Aug 02, 2012 Tim Hicks rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a good addition to the set if you have read some previous Polity work, and not a totally bad place to start if you haven't. You'll soon get the idea that the Polity universe is huge and has to be absorbed and understood over several books or more.

This one reminded me that Asher does get a little carried away with his formula of cynical hero is deadly warrior who carries an incredibly deadly (sin gun, railgun, thin gun, etc. etc) in case he meets the incredibly deadly (hooder, gabble duc
Kelly Flanagan
Jan 02, 2015 Kelly Flanagan rated it it was amazing
More great stories by the one and only Neal Asher. He has to be my favorite sci-fi author so far. His short stories are as good as his novels are and seem to contain as much!
Gareth Park
Mar 03, 2014 Gareth Park rated it really liked it
some of the short stories were fantastic and 5/5
others were boring
Mark Cheverton
Jul 02, 2013 Mark Cheverton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, anthology
Ten short stories (some not so short) make up this collection. Almost all of the stories are strongly aligned with the themes in his novels, and I was pleased to see Asher using the opportunity to fill out some of the interesting creatures in his macabre menagerie. He is just as good at short form story telling as knocking out a novel, and he has definitely honed this craft since The Engineer, which certainly wasn't up to this standard. I had a lot of fun reading this collection and would recomm ...more
Karen Turner
Jan 02, 2016 Karen Turner rated it it was amazing
cool stories
What surprised me about this short story collection is how constant the quality is, even spread through many years. None are really world changing, but they are correct, worthy additions to the Polity future that Asher has constructed through the years. The form is used to explore some aspects and characters that are nor well suited for a longer form, such as a suicide mission or a different but predictable love story.

For those who enjoy the Polity books.
Pippa Jay
As a group of short stories, I thought this would be a good introduction to an author new to me. Overall Asher's writing is on the grim and chilling side, sometimes macabre but always thought provoking. Some of these stories disturbed me, some puzzled me, and others intrigued me. Looking forward to reading another, but I'm not swearing eternal devotion just yet.
Feb 18, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it
There is something grand about the imaginative and interlinked space operas Neal Asher writes. These short stories, some of them not very short, complement the novels by exploring some of the creatures and ideas found in his longer work. This collection features several stories about gabbleducks, one of his weirder and more fascinating creations.
Jul 26, 2012 Allan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
As a collection of 13 short stories set in Neal Asher's Polity Universe, this is an excellent excuse for a break from reading a whole novel and keeping your fingers dipped into the realms of AIs, golems, Hooders, ECS agents, reifications, murder lice and of course, Gabbleducks.

A thoroughly enjoyable interlude and well recommended.
Aug 07, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing
I've ordered all Asher's novels on the strength of this collection of short stories and novelettes. Nuff said. What's that? You want more? Okay, he's a cross between Larry Niven (when LN was still good) and Iain M Banks.
Markus Jevring
Sep 13, 2014 Markus Jevring rated it liked it
This was a good collection of short stories. They were of varying quality, of course, but they provided some nice back story to some of the concept present in Asher's other books.
Mar 27, 2014 Martyn rated it liked it
New collection of short stories by UK author Asher.

His sci-fi is messy and smelly, with bio-tech and physical augmentation leading the way.
Apr 30, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
I don't normally like short stories, but this book is full of wonderful Neal Asher stories. Only a few people get eaten. :)
Alison Gow
Sep 24, 2010 Alison Gow rated it liked it
Like this but if you're not familiar with his other novels, these short stories wouldn't be the best place to start, I guess.
Liam Proven
Sep 24, 2012 Liam Proven rated it it was amazing
Vintage stuff. Excellent collection of Asher's short work with some enjoyable insights into his universe. Highly enjoyable.
Aug 02, 2013 Althepal rated it it was amazing
Every story excellent.. my favourite is Mr Snow trying to figure out why someone has a reward out on his testicles...
Simon Parsons
One of the best book of short stories I have read. Neal Asher's sci-fi worlds are dark and entertaining.
Aug 05, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
having never read Asher I was impressed by the range and reality of his universe.
Jun 23, 2010 Jack rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, horror
Great stories from Neal Asher, set in the Polity world of most of his novels.
Aug 14, 2010 Chrys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories in the Polity universe, inventive as always.
Aug 29, 2011 Emmanuel rated it liked it
Mix of short stories giving hints of backstory to Polity.
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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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Other Books in the Series

Polity - stand alone (5 books)
  • Prador Moon  (Polity Universe, #1)
  • Hilldiggers (Polity, #2)
  • Shadow of the Scorpion (Polity #3)
  • The Technician

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