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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking collection,
This review is from: The Gabble - And Other Stories (Polity) (Hardcover)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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More please,
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly executed scifi collection,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect short stories,
This review is from: The Gabble - and Other Stories (Polity) (Kindle Edition)I don't have time to read the great epic sci if I used to...small child!
These short stories are perfect. I was hooked from the first story. The only trouble is I now want to embark on the longer stories.
5.0 out of 5 stars I've found a new author to follow...,
This review is from: The Gabble - and Other Stories (Polity) (Kindle Edition)I've never read anything of Neal Asher before so bought this book on spec - it was cheap in the kindle store... His writing is clear and pulls you through and well rounded universe at an enjoyable pace.
The book is a collection of short stories that have now left me wanting more of the Polity universe and to find out more about the Gabble-duck...
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Sci Fi,
This review is from: The Gabble - And Other Stories (Polity) (Hardcover)Neal Asher does brilliant Aliens, Brilliant tech and Galaxy spanning wars. Violent and sometimes disturbing but always leaves you wanting more
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book,
This review is from: The Gabble - and Other Stories (Polity) (Kindle Edition)These short stories are great and just as good as the longer 'novel' format. They, also, for fans of the polity series, give some background events that are important in the main story line. As an example, there is a short that gives extra information on Penny Black which explained some aspects of that character.
If you're into the whole AI/polity scenario then this is a must read book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book,
This review is from: The Gabble - and Other Stories (Polity) (Kindle Edition)I stumbled into Neal Asher by mistake, I love the Culture books by Iain Banks and bought my first Asher/ Polity book on that basis. This is a neat collection of short stories that surround the Polity. Thoroughly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars Asher finding and filling his niche,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.
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. 33 pages
Putrefactors (2008 novelette) - 4/5 - Unauthorized android attacks assassin Ansel: The Company's assassin's mission is to kill a villager on a gastronomically uninhabitable planet, but Earth Central is onto his plot. The tables are turned on Ansel when the same company he works for seeks to kill him off, one way or another. 25 pages
Garp and Geronamid (2005 novelette) - 4/5 - Salind snoops simulacrum, snubs safety: A reporter follows a murder victim reification, who later becomes an unwilling assassin for a non-Polity world's mafia queen. The ruthless police rear their ugly head in matters the visiting AI Geronamid considers vulgar. With the mafia's drug-crazed grip and vise-like clutch of fear over the people, a fair and democratic vote towards Polity integration looks unlikely, unless Salind can find a newsworthy story to broadcast back to the Polity. 45 pages
The Sea of Death (2001 short story) - 4/5 - Sub-zero subterranean sarcophagi sleep soundly: Millions of kilometers of tunnel lie below the surface of Orbus, each tunnel loaded end-to-end with frozen sarcophagi. The aliens within have been scanned and studied but only Duren the loosecannon was crazy enough to actually open one. The passing planetoid of Corlis is about to add some unexpected geothermal energy to the usually frigid Orbus. 18 pages
Alien Archaeology (2007 novella) - 5/5 - Rho's rare relic releases rampage: Rho's Atheter memory store is so valuable that pirate Jael steals is and offers to transfer its store into a gabbleduck, a creature which is thought to be a non-sentient de-evolution of the Atheter race. Havoc breaks loose as she attempts to sell the gabbleduck to the Prador, a situation which involves a reclusive rogue AI named Penny Royal, who inhabits the Prador/Polity borderland known as the Graveyard. Rho simply seeks revenge against Jael, but he becomes mixed up in Earth Central's attempt to hinder Jael's plans for the Prador. 76 pages
Acephalous Dreams (2005 novelette) - 4/5 - Murderous Daes dons Geronamid's node: Daes decapitates a man who once hurt him long ago, but he has no doubt that he'll be caught for his actions. The regional AI Geronamid's Golem offers Daes the chance to be given a cephalic implantation of a Csorian node. Should he survive, the charges will be droped. Once quarantined on a remote planet, Daes is quickly subsumed by the node and Geronamid's plans are soon revealed. 26 pages
Snow in the Desert (2002 novelette) - 3/5 - Arid assassins aim at albino: On a desert planet where water is scarce and highly valued, an albino man named Snow has a bounty placed on his testicles. Having fought off assassins before, the level of guile to retrieve his DNA has reached unexpectedly high levels. 41 pages
Choudapt (2008 novelette) - 2/5 - Mycelia medic manhandles malicious mold: Simoz carries a doctor mycelium inside himself. A virus keyed into the genetic augmentation of the population of Wrack has them hostile against outsiders like ECS Simoz. He and his mycelium, named Mike, must produce a retro-virus and find the perpetrators releasing the terror. 24 pages
Adaptogenic (1994 short story) - 4/5 - Antiquarian acquires autogenic at auction: Jason Chel bid for a hammer-whelk shell, a related early Golem series, and a box of miscellaneous items. The Golem is missing its long-term memory, something which fellow bidder Grable is eager to attain. When it's found inside the shell, Chel journeys to the Golem's last known planet of service to learn more of the story, only to be met by Grable, an uncooperative AI, and a planet on the cusp of a world-time. 30 pages
The Gabble (2006 novelette) - 3/5 - Spastic speech spurs corpse search: Jonas is eager to dissect a hooder in situ but gabbleduck researcher Shandelle has the only available ATV. The two decide to investigate a gabbleduck on the way to the forensic dissection. With dracomen, tricones, mud snakes, and heroynes littering the surface of Masasa, the 530km jourey is as interesting as their discoveries. 48 pages
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Tales,
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The Gabble - and Other Stories (Polity) by Neal Asher