- Hardcover: 260 pages
- Publisher: Cosmos Books (3 Feb. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0809556766
- ISBN-13: 978-0809556762
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 961,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Engineer ReConditioned Hardcover – 3 Feb 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
My one complaint is that the book is very poorly edited - many typos and even missing words, which surprised me since most of the stories were published earlier. Even the page numbers in the table of contents was screwed up.
But, still, if you enjoy Asher's novels, you will be sure to enjoy these stories. And, unlike the first reviewer, I liked the very short blurbs prefacing each story. It is interesting to get a sense of the person "behind" the author.
These stories aren't quite as good as his more recent novels but any fan of his is really going to enjoy this novella and short stories.
But there is a huge problem with this book, and it has nothing to do with the stories themselves. I've never seen a professionally produced book before with so many amateurish mistakes and this goes far beyond just typos and even characters being called by the wrong names.
Several stories don't appear in the contents list at the front. Small problem you might think, but several of these stories are missing their titles and have been stuck on the end of the previous story as if it was just a new paragraph. This happens once after the story 'The Engineer' and TWICE after the story 'Spatterjay'.
If you can read around these problems there are some enjoyable stories here, but this particular edition is a shoddy mess.
Not quite as cerbral as Iain M Banks, not quite as nasty + violent as Richard Morgan, and not quite as politically charged as Ken MacLeod, but if you're fans of either (or more) of those three you should find something here to pique your interest.
Snairls - 3/5 - Giant aerial snails filled with passengers are being internally observed by a human and its contingent of a hornets Mind. 18 pages
Spatterjay - 2/5 - Too short, unsatisfying prequel to Asher's The Skinner novel. 19 pages
`The Sea Fage' - 4/5 - Ship crew get a nasty surprise aboard and the captain gets the rotten end of the stick. 14 pages
`Paul the Orbonnai' - 3/5 - Pre-sentient alien attracts the Church but the Polity doesn't like bible beaters... or Thrakai thrompers. 19 pages
Proctors - 4/5 - Mysterious Proctors take an unusual interest in human affairs and murder investigation on a colony planet loosely looked over by the Owner. 34 pages
The Owner - 3/5 - Ensemble of humans quest into Forbidden Zone to find answers about the missing Proctors. 39 pages
The Tor-Beast's Prison - 2/5 - Takes place in the Cowl universe, but it too hasty and too muddled to settle well. 13 pages
Tiger Tiger - 3/5 - Owner non-believers take it in their interest to hunt and kill a suspected tiger. 17 pages
The Gurnard - 3/5 - Baptiser and Earther leave on religious rite. 26 pages
There's stories in this collection that touch on all of the major book series he's written and provide some interesting insights and connections. While I'm a big fan of the Owner series the short stories didn't grab me as much as the novels did. They're an interesting hint as to the Owner's future and it also reminded me of the adage of sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic.
Overall I enjoyed these stories, not quite as much as the author's novels but they were a fine read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I came to this after reading most of the polity series and found it very interesting how certain recurring Asher themes seemed to have their early life here. Read morePublished 5 months ago by michaelgarnham
This was kinda good.
Mostly I can't be bothered with short stories; I'm lazy, and want a continuing narrative, with escapism, and characters that I can follow.. Read more
Neal Asher is one of my favourite authors alongside Ian Banks and James Corey. Always well written with interesting ideas, believable worlds and charactersPublished 11 months ago by Andrew Scooter Guy
A set of short stories, which might not suit everyone who are looking for a longer read but Neal tells a good story(s). EugenePublished 16 months ago by Eugene Beirne