Line War

LINE WAR Available from Amazon in hardback, trade paperback, mass-market paperback and kindle. Also available from the Book Depository (free international shipping.

He doesn’t do combat droids; he does razor-edged combat droids with attitude. He doesn’t do alien tech; he does alien tech clumped like coral round desiccated bodies – floating in deep space with a deep desire to spear bits of his heroine -- Jon Courtenay Grimwood (SFX)

I won't be giving anything away by saying I came away from Line War, and the series as a whole, completely, thoroughly and immensely pleased. I saw everything I wanted to see and had answers to questions I wanted answering. –Walker of Worlds
The Polity is under attack from melded AI entity controlling the lethal Jain technology, but the attack seems to have no coherence. When one of Erebus’s wormships kills millions on the world of Klurhammon, a high-tech agricultural world of no real tactical significance, Cormac is sent to investigate, though he is struggling to control an ability no human being should possess, and beginning to question the motives of his AI masters.

Further attacks and seemingly indiscriminate slaughter ensue, but only serve to bring some of the most dangerous individuals in the Polity into the war. Mr Crane, the indefatigable brass killing machine sets out for vengeance. Orlandine, a vastly-augmented haiman who herself controls Jain technology, seeks a weapon of appalling power and finds allies in those who fought in an ancient war.

Meanwhile Mika, scientist and Dragon expert, is again kidnapped by that alien entity and dragged to the heart of things; to wake the makers of Jain technology from their five million year slumber.

But Erebus’s attacks are not indiscriminate, and could spell the end of the Polity…

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Polity Agent

POLITY AGENT Available from Amazon in hardback, trade paperback, mass-market paperbackand kindle. Also from the Book Depository (free international shipping).

'Polity Agent' satisfies on a number of levels, from the monsterama aspects that Asher's readers expect to the open-and-closed ending of the novel. More entries in this series are certain to come, and that's great news for those of us who enjoyed the first four. If you've not started, you’re not that far behind yet. Well, light-years and centuries, to be sure. But just step through the runcible gate that is 'Gridlinked' and you're here. There. In Asher's universe. Be warned: here be monsters. But also, like Orlandine and Cormac, great characters as well. -- Rick Kleffel

He’s got a fantastic eye for monsters, writes turbo-charged battle sequences, and can describe cosmic events and alien landscapes with an edge of evocative beauty -- Saxon Bullock (SFX)

From 800 years in the future, a runcible gate is opened into the Polity and those coming through it have been sent specially to take the alien 'Maker' back to its home civilization in the Small Magellanic cloud. Once these refugees are safely through, the gate itself is rapidly shut down - because something alien is pursuing them. The gate is then dumped into a nearby sun. From those refugees who get through, agent Cormac learns that the Maker civilization has been destroyed by pernicious virus known as the Jain technology. This, of course, raised questions: why was Dragon, a massive biocontruct of the Makers, really sent to the Polity; why did a Jain node suddenly end up in the hands of someone who could do the most damage with it? Meanwhile an entity called the Legate is distributing pernicious Jain nodes ...and a renegade attack ship, The King of Hearts, has encountered something very nasty outside the Polity itself.

    

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Brass Man

BRASS MAN Available from Amazon in hardback, trade paperback, mass-market paperback and Kindle. Also from the Book Depository (international free shipping).

His writing is fast-flowing and tight, fizzing with energy and the resulting stories are examples of the very best science fiction out there. -- John Berlyne (SFRevu)

Neal Asher is back and he makes 'Brass Man' far more fun than reading has any right to be. -- Rick Kleffel

Gridlinked marked Asher as one of the most inventive practitioners of hard SF and Brass Man consolidates that reputation with another virtuoso display. -- Barry Foreshaw (Dreamwatch)

The knight errant Anderson is hunting a dragon on the primitive Out-Polity world of Cull, little knowing that far away a man has resurrected a brass killing machine to assist in a similar hunt that encompasses star systems. When agent Cormac learns that an old enemy still lives, he sets out in pursuit aboard the attack ship Jack Ketch … whilst scientist Mika begins discovering the horrifying truth about that ancient technology ostensibly produced by the alien Jain, who died out five million years ago.

On a planet roamed by ferocious insectile monsters the people of Cull must struggle to survive, while they build the industrial base to reach their forefathers’ starship still orbiting far above them. An entity calling itself Dragon assists them, but its motives are questionable having created genetic by-blows of humans and the hideous local monsters, before growing bored with that game. And now Cull, for millennia geologically inactive, suffers earthquakes…

Meanwhile, a brass killing machine seeks to escape a bloody past it can neither forget nor truly remember, and will mindlessly continue its search for sanity, which it might find in an instant or not for a thousand years.

REVIEW LINKS

Crowsnest here: http://www.sfcrowsnest.co.uk/articles/books/2005/nz7728.php SFR evu here: http://sfrevu.com/Review-id.php?id=3665 Rick Kleffel here: http://trashotron.com/agony/reviews/2005/asher-brass_man.htm

Green Man Review here: http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/book_asher_brassman.html

SFsite: http://www.sfsite.com/09b/bm208.htm

Kirkus says: “Fizzing with intelligent ideas and occasionally streaked with black humour. Appalling, mind-boggling, fascinating—and irresistible.”

Asher has created another multi-threaded romp full of awesome spaceships, awesome weapons, and vicious drooling beasties with awesome appetites. -- Interzone (Sandy Auden)

...to thrill the blood of any Culture fan who likes 'Big Fast-Thinking Spaceships with Nukes', -- Starburst (Anthony Brown)

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The Line of Polity

Beware the gabbleduck my son, beware the heroyne and shun, the murderous siluroyne... 

Available from Amazon in paperbackand kindle. Also from the Book Depository (free international shipping).

‘This is undoubtedly Asher's best novel ... surreal alien biologies and ecosystems' -- The Guardian (Jon Courtenay Grimwood)

'Specialising in the creation of hilariously lethal ecosystems, he’s already displayed his literary teeth with the surreal menageries of GRIDLINKED and THE SKINNER- but Asher’s latest rip-roaring space epic makes his previous ventures look like relaxing trips to the local zoo' -- SFX (Saxon Bullock)

Outlink station Miranda has been destroyed by a nanomycelium and, because of this method of sabotage, the alien bioconstruct, Dragon – a creature as untrustworthy as it is gigantic – is thought to be involved. Sent on the titanic Polity dreadnought, the Occam Razor, Agent Cormac must investigate this, and resolve the question of Masada, a world about to be subsumed when the line of polity is drawn across it.

But the biophysicist Skellor has not been captured, and controls something so potent that Polity AIs are prepared to hunt him down forever, to prevent him using it.

On Masada the rebellion can never rise above ground as the slave population is subjugated by orbital laser arrays controlled by the Theocracy in their cylinder worlds, and by the fact that they cannot leave their compounds. For the wilderness of Masada is without breathable air, and out there roam the monstrous hooders, siluroynes, and the weird and terrible gabbleducks.

'This is smart, sophisticated writing that seems too much fun to be true. It's not true -- it's all a big, bold, glorious lie. Asher's Ian Cormac may prove to be the Paul Bunyan of the twenty-first century' -- Rick Kleffel'

Time will tell how Asher will be judged, but the world of the Polity explored so far in the three novels and many of the short stories is one as complex and as compelling as any created in the genre, and in the breadth of biological speculation almost unparalleled' -- Dusk Site (Lavie Tidhar)

'If anyone survives, it won’t be for lack of chances to die horribly' -- sfsite (Lisa DuMond)

'Fast paced, intriguing, and brutal...' -- Starburst (Anthony Brown)   

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Shadow of the Scorpion

War destroys everything, even memory.

Available from Amazon in paperback, American paperback and kindle. Also from the Book Depository (free international shipping)..

I love the way he can create believable and hugely enjoyable worlds and his story telling skills are second to none' -- SFFworld

‘Neal Asher's latest novel, Shadow of the Scorpion, is an insane, sexy war story full of giant explosions on alien worlds. It's also a well-plotted exploration of the way violence destroys everything, even memory' -- io9

Raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and the vicious arthropoid race, the Prador, Ian Cormac is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn't remember. In the years following the war, he signs up with Earth Central Security, and is sent out to help either restore or simply maintain order on worlds devastated by Prador bombardment. There he discovers that though the old enemy remains as murderous as ever, it is not anywhere near as perfidious or dangerous as some of his fellow humans, some of them closer to him than he would like. Amidst the ruins left by wartime genocides, he discovers in himself a cold capacity for violence, learns some horrible truths about his own past and, set upon a course of vengeance, tries merely to stay alive.

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Gridlinked

Agent Cormac Book 1

Book Cover: Gridlinked
Editions:Hardcover: £ 12.82 GBP
ISBN: 978-0765307354
Pages: 426
Paperback: £ 9.99 GBP
ISBN: 978-0330512541
Size: 11.30 x 19.70 cm
Pages: 528
Kindle: £ 5.29 GBP
ISBN: 978-0765307354
Pages: 433

Not only humans know the meaning of hate.  

A technician comes through the runcible on Samarkand at a fraction below light speed. His arrival has killed thousands and wrecked a terraforming project. The immortal Horace Blegg sends agent Cormac to investigate, but Cormac must resolve things without the support of the AI grid, for his thirty years of being gridlinked has left him without humanity. He does have Shuriken, a throwing star with a mind of its own, the ambivalent dracomen, and Golem combat androids at his side. But Pelter, with his mercenaries and something out of nightmare, is on his trail.

Samarkand has descended into frigid cold and sabotage is uncovered. The prime suspect is unfortunately an alien called ‘Dragon’, which had apparently destroyed itself twenty-seven years before the event. An alien artefact is uncovered and its monstrous guardian is a killer. How did both of these get where they were? Why was the runcible destroyed? Cormac must resolve all questions and decide who is lying. He must do this while hunted by Pelter and avoiding the ungentle attentions of the killing machine, Mr. Crane. And in the end someone must be punished.

 

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Reviews:John Berlyne on sfrevu wrote:

This is often gruesome and shocking but it is always engrossing and never once does Asher drop the ball.

Lisa DuMond on sfsite wrote:

Gritty. Now, there's a word you don't often hear in connection with science fiction ...'

Peter Tennant on TTA wrote:

Asher is the hot ticket, and if he doesn't get started on the sequel this book is crying out for then I'll send Mr Crane's dad down to the school to sort him out


Looking for the alternative ending? Look no further, the Scooby ending can be found here...
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