To the remote planet Spatterjay come three travellers with very different missions. Janer is directed there by the hornet Hive-mind; Erlin comes to find the sea captain who can teach her to live; and Keech - dead for seven hundred years - has unfinished business with a notorious criminal.
Spatterjay is a watery world where the human population inhabits the safety of the Do...more
Also, there was a little bit of arrogance there in that the Old Captains were so strong, I imagine they fancied themselves up for any challenge the abomination could throw at them. Obviously.. they were wrong. :)(less)
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.
Of course, it could happen in no other place than the most f***ed up planet in the universe.
Spatterjay. The place where life just holds on. And on. And on. Nothing dies unless it gets THOROUGHLY destroyed. And that means every life form, once infected, is effectively immortal. ALL life forms. I swear, if ...more
The Skinner by Neal Asher is one hell of an awesome creature feature meshed in a hard science fiction world.
“The Skinner was complete again and Janer had never before witnessed such a terrible sight. For here was a real monster: a blue man four metres tall and impossibly thin, hands like spiders, a head combining elements of warthog and baboon with much of a human skull, evil black eyes and ears that were bat wings, spatulate legs depending underneath the long jaw like feelers and, when ...more
There are zillions of genre authors vying for my attention when I browse ...more
And then I seriously think someone took Asher aside and shook him by the shoulders, yelling at him, "Get down to business ...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
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
The characters were interesting once you could work out who was who. I like Keech and his ability to heal themselves with his machine augmentations.
A lot of the ideas in the book were amazing, and to me, ...more
This was a brilliant book, everything I have heard claimed about it is true. The Sci-Fi element is excellent and the fact that it is on a Marine based world totally rocked my boat (pardon the pun). I thought the world building was utterly spectacular. There is always something exciting about the really dangerous worlds created in Sci-Fi, this is one of them. On Spatterjay, most life is marine, all of it wants to kill you slowly and painfully and most of it, right down to the prawns, leaches ...more
There were characters which parts I really liked and if this book just focused on only a few points of view I might have actually loved it. But the way it was it just increasingly ...more
After I read "Gridlinked" I had noted that he had thus gone zero for two in terms of an interesting reading experience for me, but I was pretty sure that was the last book of his I had in queue. Alas, as I started the next pile over I noticed that there was yet one more book with his name on lurking about halfway down, seeming proving that my twenty-something year old self who bought was out to spite me and guaranteeing that if I ever had the opportunity to go back in ...more
Spatterjay is a water world with extremely hostile fauna and was once a site of a terrible war crime - a group of criminals exploited the local virus that turns humans into hooders, making them nearly indestructible. Then they sold them to the alien Prador to become the slaves - blanks with their minds destroyed - or food. For seven hundred years, a Polity cop turned into a reification - basically resurrected corpse - had been hunting them throughout the universe. He, an adventurer work ...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
In this sea world planet we have a virus that grants amazing strength and regeneration capabilities(virtual immortality) to every being that comes to be infected with it via a leech bite - the world is packed full with them leeches! Beware that the virus can have a very adverse effect on humans if they don't take certain precautions - it is sai ...more
I can't put my finger on it but I always felt one step behind the story. I was lost in the world Neal Asher created, not understanding the rules I couldn't really anticipate the plot and connect the dots.
2,5 stars ...more
The story takes place on the planet Spatterjay, where the native lifeforms are incredibly predatory and carriers of a virus that gives them incredible healing powers and super strength, basically making them immortal. The world-building is based around this concept, and it's really well done. The virus's role within the native ecology makes sense and the little glimpses of the food chain on Spatterjay that precede each chap ...more
by Neal Asher
'The Skinner' by Neal Asher is easily one of my favourite novels. My copy has now been read so many times that both covers are held on solely by tape.
The story is set in Asher's 'Polity', a potential future wherein artificial intelligences (AIs) benevolently rule humanity's interstellar dominion. This novel focuses on the planet of Spatterjay, a brutal but intricately-realised locale, and one of the most brilliant science fiction settings I know of. Against...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