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The Gabble - And Other Stories (Polity) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Length: 364 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Review

'Excellent, all of it well-worth reading. If you haven't yet read your way through this series, I envy you; if you have, go get your copy of The Gabble and Other Stories right now before it sells out in hardcover!' -- Green Man Review

'Fans of Asher's Polity future history will not be disappointed.' -- The Guardian

'For the established fan this collection makes a great addition and fills out some the Polity universe you've come to know and love. For the newcomer to Neal Asher, you've a treat in store as this will serve as a nice introduction to his work and a neat signpost as to what part of Asher's universe to read next.' -- Sci-Fi-London

'If you've never sampled the delights of Asher's work then this collection would be a very good place to start.'
-- SciFiNow

'Thirteen marvellously inventive and action-packed short stories.' -- Fantasy Book Critic

'economical, crisp and frequently fiendishly clever. The stories featuring...dangerous aliens who `speak' in a nonsensical language, are particularly impressive'
-- BBC Focus

Review

'Thirteen marvellously inventive and action-packed short stories.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1069 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (7 Nov. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003GK21DK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,305 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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By Ed.F VINE VOICE on 10 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I make no secret of being a big fan of Neal Ashers work and this collection of short works set in the Polity universe hasn't changed my opinion one bit. It's excellent. This collection sheds more light on some of the minor characters of the Polity novels, the Gabbleducks and Hooders, Geronamid, Erlin etc and adds more moments of drama and back-story to some and fleshes out the personas of others. There isn't a single weak story in this lot but if I was asked to pick the best, I'd go for "Softly spake the Gabbleduck" which was a claustrophobic chase story with a nicely packaged ending.

One quick note, and no fault of the Author, the longest story in the collection, "Alien Archeology" was also published in the recent "The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 21" anthology edited by Gardner Dozois, which effectively made a 1/4 of the book redundant for me.
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Format: Paperback
Compared to Asher's one other collection, The Engineer ReConditioned, this volume has a better focus on the Polity universe. If you're used to any Asher novel, then you'll be happy to know that his short stories contain the exact same elements as his larger works. Unlike Asher's novels, however, is the inclusion of some steamy sex scenes in three of the ten stories. Considering Asher's thousands of pages of novel text without any sex scenes I can remember, the inclusion of sex in the short stories is odd... perhaps the stories were too dry and needed to be lubricated to give them that certain "oomph."

These stories also represent an author finding his niche as a science ficiton writer. Sometimes called "post-cyberpunk" but really just action/horror/noir, the author can see the author settling into the niche which has made him famous... and so deep in the pit that I don't think the author could ever redefine himself. Whereas his previous collection was dating from 1995-2001, this collection mainly includes stories from 2001-2008.

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Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck (2005 novelette) - 3/5 - Incestuous siblings on homicide safari: Tameera, Tholan, and his assistant Anders hire a safari guide on the planet Myral. When Tameera snipes a C-grade sentient and later becomes abducted by the hextet of Sheq, the shagging siblings take revenge upon the Sheq, and the assistant and the safari guide who have witnessed the crime. When the gabbleduck appears in the shrouded mist of a valley waterfall, someone is bound to die.
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Format: Paperback
These short story collections often leave the reader with a somewhat empty feeling in that they can promise much but fail to deliver. This is certainly an exception.

Asher is a cyberpunk/hard scifi writer who can mix it with the best of them. The Gabble is an example of perfect weighting, with stories superbly executed and no padding whatsoever. Set in the Polity universe this collection is eminently readable as a standalone or as part of the wider sequence, without recourse to dense technobabble or any other weak literary device. Asher's frequently humorous style, naming the vicious alien predator which is central to several of these stories, a Gabbleduck is an example of a humanising touch that scifi needs to be truly enjoyable and believable.

Another glorious read from Neal Asher, who is fast becoming top of my list as an essential author to follow.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally, the truth about gabbleducks - maybe. This fills in a few gaps in the main series of books, and opens up a few more. These are complete, well written stories, not a quick moneyspinner, as many short story collections based on a series of novels are. Fans will approve, new readers will get a taster, and may also become addicted to the worlds of the Polity.
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By Chris VINE VOICE on 29 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've enjoyed the rest of Asher's "Polity" novels, this collection of short stories is well worth it. There's nothing in here you absolutely must read in order to understand the rest of the series (the Aetheter plotline is covered elsewhere in the "Cormac" series), but it's simply more of the same, and well-expressed too. The stories aren't dull, and have the Heinlein-esque quality of dropping in the odd little phrase that makes you see things in a different light; Rho's first encounter with an ECS Agent suddenly brings home how dangerous and well-trained they are, while Snow's grenades which create explosions "hugely disproportionate to their size" will all make you sit up. Asher's old favourites such as the Golem android chassis, the Geronamid AI, and picotech nodes also crop up in places.

For less than the price of a cinema ticket, you won't go wrong here.
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By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Those who have fallen in love with Neal's Polity series will more than be pleased with this collection of short stories as he continues to expand the universe in his own indomitable style as his universe building is perhaps one of the ones without par at the moment. Its beautifully written with a reality of blood, death, disease and of course slaughter as races come together in mankinds expansion. It's a cracking offering and one that is a good book to dip into if you just want a quick fix until the next novel. Personally I wouldn't advise reading this title if you've missed the rest of the series as I don't think you'll get the full scope without it but it's definitely a worthy addition to your Polity collection and one that if you can sneak it in will make many fans Christmas dreams come true.
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