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The seas teem with hungry monstrosities, but Spatterjay holds immortality. When its giant leeches bite out gobs of flesh, they transmit a virus that forces regrowth, preserving the leech food supply. Some human colonists, the Old Captains, have lived many centuries. But beware of going native, like the legendary, repulsive Skinner whose undying head is now confined to a box...
Other locals include the worried AI Warden who polices Spatterjay, and the old, unruly war drone Sniper--as engagingly sassy as anything from Iain M Banks. Tourists arrive: a woman returning to ask whether her viral immortality was worth it, a human agent of hive-mind intelligence discovered among Earth's hornets, and a man 700 years dead but (thanks to preservatives and cyborg implants) still avenging the atrocities of Spatterjay's founding fathers in an even older war.
That ancient conflict involved the alien Prador, whose own war criminals fear the long memories preserved on Spatterjay, and are taking measures. Illicit intruders lurk, including an immortal sadistic psychopath and a submerged spaceship loaded with continent-busters.
Asher cuts deftly between strands of fast-moving narrative, laced with action, biological inventiveness, grotesque horror, and glints of humour. When Sniper the battle-happy drone gets swallowed by a giant "molly carp"--a protected species--he must wait in disgusted frustration for (ahem) natural processes to release him.
Multiple climaxes of combat, death, justice, sacrifice, and vindication lead to some nicely sneaky or witty reversals. This is an enjoyable, unpretentious, neatly crafted SF adventure. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I did not relise it was an ex library book but it did arrive some time after ordering, still a good read...Published 1 month ago by Eugene Beirne
Another great story from Neal Asher, One of those books that is a huge read but is over too soon.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic world building tied to a thrill a minute story. I enjoyed Gridlinked but I have to admit that The Skinner ever so slightly has the edge on it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. N. Braid
I find this book very confusing and difficult to read it has some good ideas but you lose the will to live trying to understand what is going on . Read morePublished 9 months ago by ct
Loved it, the Hoopers are no longer a mystery.
What I love about Asher books are how easy they are to read,you flow along enthralled by the story lost in the visuals your mind... Read more
FANTASTIC IMAGINATION. WORLD BUILDING ON AN EPIC SCALE!!!!!!Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is the first book by Neal Asher that I read, and I absolutely loved it. I have since gone out and read a lot of his other work, and although good, The Skinner stands out as my... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bearman
A combination of technological inventiveness that drives the narrative, whaling (sort of), vampirism (sort of), the ennui of eternal life, interplanetary war crimes and slave trade... Read morePublished 14 months ago by A. Scott