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Prador Moon

(Polity Universe (chronological order) #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  6,590 ratings  ·  325 reviews
The Polity Collective is the pinnacle of space-faring civilization. Academic and insightful, its dominion stretches from Earth Central into the unfathomable reaches of the galactic void. But when the Polity finally encounters alien life in the form of massive, hostile, crab-like carnivores known as the Prador, there can be only one outcome — total warfare! Starships clash, ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Night Shade
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S.C. Hickman Here you go:

Internal chronological order:

Prador Moon (2310 CE)
Shadow of the Scorpion (2339 CE)
Gridlinked (2434 CE)
The Line of Polity (2437 CE)
Brass Ma…more
Here you go:

Internal chronological order:

Prador Moon (2310 CE)
Shadow of the Scorpion (2339 CE)
Gridlinked (2434 CE)
The Line of Polity (2437 CE)
Brass Man (2441 CE)
Polity Agent (2443 CE)
Line War (2444 CE)
The Technician (2444 CE)
Dark Intelligence (Circa. 2700 CE)[9]
War Factory (Circa. 2700 CE)
Infinity Engine (Circa. 2700 CE)
The Soldier (Circa. 2750 CE)[10]
The Warship (Circa. 2750 CE)
The Human (Circa. 2750 CE)
The Skinner (3056 CE)
The Voyage of the Sable Keech (3078 CE)
Orbus (3079 CE)
Hilldiggers (3230 CE)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  6,590 ratings  ·  325 reviews

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Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very readable and extremely quick-paced action adventure with buggy aliens vs AI-enhanced humanity in some distant future.

Sound familiar? Well, yeah, it is. But still! Lots of modern concepts thrown in, from virtual realities, fake-matter pocket universes, and bio-enhanced pheromone-enslaved monstrous race of aliens.

Add elements, mix well, and let the fur fly!

Seriously, I've read much worse and the quality *is* pretty top notch. There's even a few easter eggs for you peeps who want a little poe
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: with-reviews
2.5 stars.

Neal Asher makes Alastair Reynolds look like soft science fiction, and Vernor Vinge look like fantasy.

I picked up this book after hearing that a) Neal Asher was a lot like Alastair Reynolds, and b) that this particular book was a good place to start his Polity series. And, I will admit, the plot sounded just ridiculous enough to be a good summer read: humans finally meet their first non-human sentient species, only to be appalled to find that they're ginormous carnivorous crab-like cr
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This was my first Neal Asher novel and although I can’t say I found it amazing, I did like it a lot and hold my interest enough to check out the following books.

The Polity universe is quite interesting: a multitude of worlds inhabited by humans and run by AIs. Some like it, some don’t. This story here follows the first encounter between humans and an alien race, Pradors, resembling crabs. As expected, they are not a friendly one and war ignited between the two.

The accent is put on action; there
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
War, in space, but with giant crabs! GIANT CRABS!!!!!!

That’s what this novel boils down to, and if that isn’t a great pitch for Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay film, I don’t know what is. I expect Neal Asher will be getting a massive advance for Prador Moon, to be filmed as Crab Harbour: Age of Crustacean (IN SPACE, NO-ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCUTTLE.) sometime soon.

Seriously though, while reducing the novel to that simple premise makes it sound well…. Rubbish, this is actually a fun and engaging novel
Sep 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Though lacking much depth, originality or subtlety, this is good, fast paced first contact military sci-fi, which, at least conceptually, brought to mind Heinlein's Starship Troopers, though with even more focus on space battles, high tech nitty gritty and weapon porn. Asher also lays out some interesting transhuman aspects of Polity society through the use of augments, i.e. networked tech embedded directly in the human brain. The alien Prador take a wholly different approach, shunning any form ...more
Stevie Kincade
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Prador Moon is like a perfect pop song. When done right it seems deceptively simple, even obvious - but underneath we can see the workings of a genius applying their craft. Prador Moon is an intensely focused blast of sugary Science Fiction action-goodness. It achieves the rare feat of being incredibly exciting from the first page to last.

Normally if I read SF reviews that describe "epic space battles" "lots of action" even "evil aliens" I would immediately avoid it as I tend to HATE action and
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

I am a huge Neal Asher fan and absolutely loved the Spatterjay series. I have read several other novels of his and decided to go back to the beginning. Wow, it really paid off being well versed in world of the Polity. I loved this book and could not put it from down. This is an action novel and a thriller about alien contact. It works as a state to the massive world of the Polity and the Prador. Jebel U-Cap Krong is one serious bad ass dude that I loved.

What a fun read and amazing start
David Firmage
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
First physical book I have read since May. Really love this world Neal Asher has created. The Prador are a great adversary.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars

"Tom Clancy goes to space"

I think "Prador Moon" is a good example of the so-called new (or modern) space opera (or not so new, at least for the last two decades). However, I think this novel -my first, I don't know for the rest of the series- do not reach in excellence other authors known in this subgenre like the masters Peter F. Hamilton or the missed Iain Banks.

What is about “Prador Moon”? In two sentences: The Polity is an human interstellar empire ruled by artificial intelligenc
M Hamed
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-sci-fi, 2016
this is no space opera, minus two ships running after each other for a brief period.

on par with The Culture books,you can also catch two ships running after each other there also ,and now that i thought about ,there is also people who rebel against the AI machines as a main theme in the story (Ha 4 alsos that must be a record )

and i have read recently an article about how the brain works ,and it sends all the mind augmentation theories to the shitter
and most of the science here is super pretenti
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Many of you, like me, may have gone to a grocery store, and noticed the crappy mascots on the store brand cereals. This sort of feels like a store brand version of Iain M. Banks's Culture series, but it's still entertaining for all that. ...more
Chris Berko
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another A+superior outing from Asher. This is the thirteenth book I've read by him so I knew what to expect and i wasnt disappointed. Drones, AIs, space battles, person to person combat, augmented humans... everything you want in a science fiction book, with a few, yay, go humans! scenes thrown in. ...more
Konstantinos Georgokitsos
2 1/2 stars. I should have known better before reading Asher's Polity Universe prequel, because the SFX blurb on the cover said something about "sex and violence and excellent aliens". Well the sex scenes were scarce and boring, while the violence was abundant and explicit. And the aliens cartoonish. In fact, what saves Asher from a 1 star rating is that he knows that, and plays into the pulp and trash genre:
Newsnet services she auged into carried the same incredible comic-book stories. [...]
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
The basic premise of the book is that monstrous aliens have invaded human occupied stystems killing and eating anything in their path, and now humans must find a way to hold them off. The story was entertaining, albeit not too original. Asher gives the reader two main points of view with a few others scattered along the way including the aliens. Some of the tech is interesting, but considering the length of the book nothing is really expanded on, much like the two main characters who are only it ...more
Robert  Finlay
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Unadulterated shlock. Gigantic crab-like, intelligent, space-going creatures with a taste for human flesh. You hope they don't phone home. Go for it, Peter! ...more
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
When I read Dark Intelligence, I was aware that I lost 20-30% of the content because I haven't read the rest of the Polity Universe series. I decided to go back to the beginning and start with the first chronological book in the universe - Prador Moon.

The novel describes the beginning of the war between the Polity (human/AI union) and crab-like Prador. While they do not possess artificial intelligence, they achieved the technological advancement on their own and it is uniquely suitable for war.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
A fun and action packed space opera adventure, Prador Moon is a first contact story told with plenty of firepower. This is the first Neal Asher book I've read and I understand it is a prequel of sorts to his other novels set in the 'Polity' Universe -a future where humanity has colonised a number of worlds but has left the running of civilization to AIs who are also the only ones capable of using FTL gateways.

While the story is simple and the antagonists unapologetically and irredeemably evil (p
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was ok

I tried to chalk my dislike of this novel up to the fact that military sci fi isn't really my genre, but that's not it. I don't dislike military sci fi when done well. This book was simply not done well. However, if military sci fi is your genre, you might be able to overlook some of its flaws.

First of all, the book is riddled with typos and quite poorly written. I kept getting pulled out of the story because of the awkwardness of a sentence, or because a passage was rendered incomprehensible on

Stephen West
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As I’m also currently reading Ian M Banks’ Surface Detail, I couldn’t really help comparing and contrasting the two. Both are space operas featuring a human spacefaring civilisation (Asher’s Culture equivalent is called the Polity) and both authors are known for their gritty and somewhat dark depictions of violence and brutality. But when I was plowing through another of Banks’ breezy discursions on the wonders of the Culture, the power of Asher’s economical exposition really became apparent. Pr ...more
Bryan Brown
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci_fi
I liked this book it was like a documentary with no narrator just jump cuts for one critical or interesting scene to another. While that made the book fascinating it was also hard to read.

In internal chronological order this is the first book in a series of Neal Asher's Polity stories. Some of the books are stand alone novels while others are part of a story arc. I don't think he intended this book to be an introduction to his world but it is where I started. Story wise it has the format of a d
Marc Jones
Prador moon isnt exactly high art, its a combination of hard science meets sci-fi horror with a does of camp and its non the worse for it.
Sure theres not much character development, sure the whole thing seems a bit disorganized, the end is fulfilling and it lapses into techno babble BUT its enjoyable.
Theres a profound sense of childish joy and reading about giant murderous well armed crabs tearing across human world.
Somehow super camp badguys, space battles and crab death matches make up for th
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
If Neal Asher would have passed the rough draft of this story to Alistair Reynolds (House of Suns) for help with character development, this book would have been five stars. Not quite as enjoyable or convincing as the author's Spatterjay Trilogy, but still a very enjoyable read. And a shout out to the bad-ass commando Jebel Krong...hooyah! ...more
Kelly Flanagan
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Of course I am giving this a 5 out of 5. Any Neal Asher book deserves that I've found! How this man is able to do damn good space opera at any length is beyond me (ha ha) but it is a calling I guess.
Shabbeer Hassan
Oct 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019, science-fiction
An utter tosh of a book with cringy ideas, rampant xenophobia/speciesism and machoism, fit more for a Hollywood, CGI filled movie than serious sci-fi. If this is a universe, then I would rather like to give it a miss.

My Rating - A big pile of stinking poo/5
May 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to the polity universe via the more recent Spatterjay novels. I was so impressed, I raked through Audible and ordered all the Polity Universe books. I have just finished listening to 'Prador Moon' and was not disappointed. On the contrary, I loved it. Although, I do know what happens way down the line with regard to the war between the Prador and the Polity, it did not spoil my enjoyment of this novel. I shall be settling down to Shadow of the Scorpion very shortly :)

Asher's abi
Guy Haley
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
The supposedly all-powerful Polity gets a rude shock from a band of murderous space crabs.

Forming the backdrop to the majority of Asher’s books, the Polity is a vast human empire run by (mostly) beneficent Artificial Intelligences. It is the home of luxury, tolerance and generally fulfilling lives for its billions of citizens. In a galaxy studded with the archeological remains of long-dead races, there’s been no contact with an extant space-faring civilisation. Until now.

Prador Moon details the
Lars J. Nilsson
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it
I picked this up out of curiosity after seen Neal Asher on the local SF book store. What I was after was a straight forward space opera; I thought anything more than that would be a bonus. And yes, that's what I got.

Several other reviewers has complained that this book might not be as good as Neal Asher is supposed to be. And having read it, I think I can see that: there is capacity here, there's good pacing, and interesting characters. However, there's also a shallowness in the story, the worl
Apr 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is space opera. Well-conceived, fast-paced, galactic war. Men and women off the street rise to the challenge of first contact with an alien species who will devour us—literally and figuratively. The science is plausible, which is not a given in modern SF. The writing is up to the challenge. And minimal typos.

The cast is large and diffused enough (as the narrative jumps to their points of view) to get the reader fully engaged but keep the energy up.

Interesting subplot about human society bei
Steven Stennett
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Mr Asher is one of my favorite writters and he has not failed me yet. Science used on such a grand scale for war is sad, but the human races back is up against the wall in this one against an alien race that see us as a snack to nibble on, so the gloves have to come off. No adorable E.T comes a calling, more like your worst nightmare in the form of a crab like monster, ramped up to the size of a pick up truck.

Put it this way, this book going to put you off seafood for
Paul  Perry
Neal Asher's books are pure pulp SF - fast paced, ultra violent and darkly fun reads, complete with big ships, lasers railguns and nukes (oh my!) and, in this case, giant crab-like aliens intent on conquering human space and enslaving or eating all humans.

Strangely, it reads less silly than it sounds.
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Prador Moon [May 1, 2018] 29 44 May 30, 2018 04:35AM  
Science Fiction A...: Will be reading: Polity Universe - Neal Asher 1 24 Oct 03, 2013 09:11AM  

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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

Other books in the series

Polity Universe (chronological order) (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Shadow of the Scorpion (Polity Universe #2)
  • Gridlinked (Agent Cormac #1, Polity Universe #3)
  • The Line of Polity (Agent Cormac, #2)
  • Brass Man (Agent Cormac, #3)
  • Polity Agent (Agent Cormac, #4)
  • Line War (Agent Cormac, #5)
  • The Technician
  • Dark Intelligence (Transformation, #1)
  • War Factory (Transformation #2)
  • Infinity Engine (Transformation, #3)

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