In outer space you can never feel sure that your adversary is altogether human.
The runcible buffers on Samarkand have been mysteriously sabotaged, killing many thousands and destroying a terraforming project. Agent Cormac must reach it by ship to begin an investigation. But Cormac has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Pelter, who is prepared to follow him...more
Like the behemoths of the genre Hamilton, Scalzi, Banks, Reynolds, Simmons, etc., Asher has created an authentic, complex world, bursting with fresh, creative Sci-Fi ideas.
Especially interesting is the idea of the influence of human and alien AIs that are not just entities of their own, but may be open or even dependent on a second kind of evolution. They may, para ...more
A blue snow was falling on the roof of the embarkation lounge, where it melted and snaked across the glass in inky rivulets. ...
On Samarkand it was raining Dragon scales. (c)
He saw the weapon.
'You made love like a machine,' ... (c)
Typical well-hugger trying to look like a member of the runcible culture, he thought. The vogue slick-pants and corsair shirt told him all he needed to know. The Sensic augmentation behind the man's left ear told ...more
That being said, I did rather enjoy the spy stuff, the high-tech stuff, and the *ideas* of the super-AIs, the investigation of the planetary disaster, the BIG ALIENS, and, as a matter of course, the very coo ...more
The world building is great, absolutely fascinating and if some of the concepts are not entirely new, well they are certainly freshly presented. The book would probably be improved by knocking 200 pages off it because I have no idea why it takes up 522 when it hurts to read more than a page or two at a time. The characters unfortunately are about as engaging as cold black coffee. Instant coffee.
Interstellar "dragon" that acts as histrionic and pathetic as a chubby junior high goth kid? Check.
Amateurish attempts at creating false tension by using the word "as" (as in "he moved slowly as he pulled out his gun" [my quote, not from the book:])? All over the place.
Use of the word "suddenly?" You betcha.
Horrendously awkward sexual encounters? Of course.
Seemingly random motivations and wild mood swings amongst the protagonist and antagonist? Don't ...more
My first Neal Asher novel and it did not let me down. I have had his series on my to-read list for far too long.
Sprawling, creative, dark, and dirty space opera. Artificial Intelligence run the Polity universe, a place like ours in the near future. There is plenty of creative science in here and Asher often spends time detailing his creations. Political wars, common enemies, and god like monsters to fear.
Cormac is a good lead protagonist, a high tech 007, who is not afraid to do things h ...more
This story I think is around book t ...more
That’s simplifying things somewhat, but Asher’s novel at its core is a tale of an interstellar secret agent who gives his licence to kill a serious workout.
This isn’t interstellar Timothy Dalton either, or even Pierce Brosnan. The tone of Gridlinked is down the Daniel Craig end of the Bond spectrum – a Bond who is a little dark, and more inclined to summarily shoot someone in the head than cheesily order a martin ...more
Even while I was reading it I had a hard time retaining what I had read. Several times I would be reading about a minor character and wonder "who is this person and why am I supposed to care about them again"? The ...more
Asher's novels have the coolest covers—I was kinda hoping I'd enjoy his writing so that I'd have a tonne of new books to read. Alas despite some cool ideas, it just went on and on, back and forth between hero and villain while almost nothing happened. More and more secondary characters introduced, none of them really distinct enough to get built into my head.
I've also found that, the cooler the book cover, the less the author thinks they need to describe cool stuff in their ...more
Two criticisms I've had to pick out, if only because of the extreme strange-ness, though:
1. Asher didn't seem to realise that our favourite characters were The Baddest Baddies: Pelter and Mr Crane (in fact, the series titular char ...more
Quite a long and good sized book, not space opera but features things like various planets, spaceships, AI and alien species. Like an action-adventure sci-fi movie, it moves along steady, never really slowing down too often. Good interesting lead character and others around him. If this is your kind of sci-fi thing, it probably will not let you ...more
The Good Parts: I loved the world-building and weird universe that Asher created. I liked his quirky AI’s. I enjoyed the grit, gore, action and pace. And once I got use to the slightly choppy writing writing style, I liked that too. It had the feel of a cyberpunk novel, but more readable. (I often find cyberpunk intriguing in concept, but difficult to actually ...more
I realize that Asher wrote many books in the same universe and ...more
Disconnected from the grid, Cormac has to investigate a potent ...more
This is a spy story. The protagonist is James Bond-ish, but with a critical weakness -- he's been hooked into the AI net for so long that he's lost his connection with his fellow humans. So, the AIs cut him off and he's now forced to do his job -- which involves thwarting the plans of an enigmatic alien -- without his usual advantage. Kind of an intere ...more
Gridlinked starts out with a bang and I really enjoyed it from the outset. However, I got really bogged down in the middle section of the book and it took me forever to finish. I finally finished it while traveling over the course of the last couple of weeks and remembered what ...more