Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
I must admit i'm a big fan of Asher's work and this re-issued collection of short stories hasn't caused me to change my opinion of his stuff. This is a collection of quality short fiction loosely bound into slabs which may or may not link in with his other, novel based, work. The little notes from the author, about each story and how hard it is to be a sucessful SF...
Published on 11 Oct 2006 by Ed.F

versus
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good stories but a really shoddy book
This is a collection of some of Neal Asher's earlier stories and it gives an interesting glimpse into his first forays into his Runcible universe and the planet Spatterjay.

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...
Published on 17 Oct 2008 by D. Patrick


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 11 Oct 2006
By 
Ed.F "edz314" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I must admit i'm a big fan of Asher's work and this re-issued collection of short stories hasn't caused me to change my opinion of his stuff. This is a collection of quality short fiction loosely bound into slabs which may or may not link in with his other, novel based, work. The little notes from the author, about each story and how hard it is to be a sucessful SF writer, are a mild distraction but don't lessen the enjoyment of the collection. Good stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short or long, Asher delivers, 4 May 2008
Although I don't generally like to read short stories (the longer and more complex the story the better, I say), because I enjoy Asher's novels so much, I gave The Engineer a chance. I enjoyed each of the stories, even though they simply left me wanting more. It was particularly interesting to see characters from a few of his novels (Erlin, for example) before they figured in those novels. Some of the stories are set in the Polity universe, but, with the exception of the novella "The Engineer," the AI minds of the Polity play no role in those stories. Most of the stories take place in backwater or primitive worlds which have lost touch with the technology that brought the inhabitants to those worlds in the first place.

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good stories but a really shoddy book, 17 Oct 2008
By 
D. Patrick "dave_jp" (Slough, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a collection of some of Neal Asher's earlier stories and it gives an interesting glimpse into his first forays into his Runcible universe and the planet Spatterjay.

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection with some exceptional stories, 1 Jun 2010
By 
Mark Chitty (North Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Engineer Reconditioned is a collection of short stories by sci-fi author Neal Asher, some in his popular Polity Universe, some not. One thing for sure is that it's well worth reading. Here's what's contained in this great collection:

The Engineer - 8/10
The Engineer is the title novella in this collection and is a story about the discovery of a stasis pod that turns out to hold a Jain, an ancient race that is been extinct for millions of years. The story follows the science ship as it discovers the pod, a Polity dreadnought as it attempts to reach the science ship, and a group of mercenaries totally against any alien life and want to destroy the Jain and anyone that has had contact with it.
If you've read any of Neal's other novels you'll know that the Jain are a highly advanced species, and one that has held quite a bit of interest for many within the human domain. The story itself is enjoyable, starting off at a slow pace when the discovery is made and follows through with an interesting and action packed finale. I think this is a story to read if you're familiar with Neal's previous novels set in the Polity, but not one for newcomers as it does throw you in at the deep end when it comes to prior knowledge of the setting, although some aspects have small explanations.

Snairls - 7/10
Another Polity story, and one focusing on a character we know from The Skinner: Janer. He's still indentured to the hornet hive mind in this one and it's a look at another weird alien creation from Neal. It's not too long, but is Neal through and through, although it contains no action as such.

Spatterjay - 9/10
This is a short story that I really recommend as an intro to the Spatterjay series (The Skinner, Voyage of the Sable Keech, Orbus). It has Erlin, a character from The Skinner, in and we also get to encounter the Skinner himself. It's a great little story and one of the highlights of the collection.

Jable Sharks - 7/10
Another weird one from Neal, but I couldn't be sure if its Polity or not. It sounds like a Spatterjay based story, but clearly isn't, although it is set on a boat and features a creature from the sea. A nice little ending rounds it off as a solid entry.

The Thrake - 7/10
This is one of Neal's stories that has religion as one of the central themes, and I must admit that I do quite like it. It has that 'I'm right because I'm religious' feel to it and the central character always finds ways to justify what he sees as a sign of sentience and religion when the scientists actually know the truth, but he just refuses to believe them.

Proctors - 10/10
Here's the first of three Owner stories in this collection, and probably my favourite stuff Neal has ever done. This one introduces the idea of the Owner and his Proctors which enforce his rules on his planets. The setting is not a high tech one, more like mid-20th century tech in a low population world. One of his rules is that the population of the planet is to not go above a certain amount and when it does the Proctors turn killers to bring the population back down to the required level - one of the reasons they are feared so much. The story follows a couple of groups of activists that go searching for a spaceship that has been seen to land near their town, the first group wanting it for themselves and the second in an attempt to stop them. I love this one!

The Owner - 10/10
The second Owner story and another gem in the collection. This one follows a widow and her daughter with her servant and son while they try to escape those that want to kill them. A code of honour on how they can be challenge is evident from the start and when they meet a new companion, the Daybreak Warrior, the story shifts a gear and more of the Owner's history is revealed. Once again I loved this story and have no issues with it in any way, very, very highly recommended.

The Torbeast's Prison 6/10
This story is related to Neal's novel, Cowl. It's a time travelling story following one man as he shifts from tiem to time trying to escape his inevitable destiny. There's a nice twist to the tale, but ultimately I found it to be the weakest on offer here.

Tiger Tiger - 10/10
The third and final Owner story in the collection. This one is more focused on one of the Owner's rules on the planet: 'Man must not kill tiger and tiger will not kill man.' However, a tiger is killed and many of the residents in the village are fearful of the retribution that will come. Again, Neal has developed a deeper history of the Owner and done so in a great and very interesting way. There are some nice little revelations about the characters and the twist in the tale is not overly unexpected, but brings about a very satisfying conclusion.

The Gurnard - 7/10
The final story in the collection is another looking at religion, but also bring in one of Neal's staples to his writing - alien organism's. There is also a character from Neal's novels here - Erlin - who is studying the gurnard of the title and the religion that has grown around it. It's an interesting story and gives a good look at what the less developed cultures of the Polity are like, especially those around religion. Erlin's perspective is a good addition and made the story worthwhile, at least from the point of view of getting explanations to the central plot.

Conclusion
While The Engineer ReConditioned is a good collection, it's because of three stories that I consider this to be a must-have for any sci-fi fan - the Owner stories. I can't stress enough how amazing I find them and I rate them as my all time favourites. Really, they are that good. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the stories present here will be great for anyone who is familiar to Neal's writing, most of them very accessible to those new to Neal Asher, but it's because of the Owner ones that this totally unmissable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 July 2014
By 
P Digard "Paul D" (Scottish Borders) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Engineer ReConditioned (Kindle Edition)
Great stuff - interesting bunch of short stories
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Short stories that flesh out the Owner verse, 18 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Engineer ReConditioned (Kindle Edition)
As usual with Neal Asher, the stories are well written and highly entertaining.
They can be a little gruesome in parts but that is the 'verse that his characters live in. Bad things happen to good people (and bad people and people who just happened to be passing by).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of stories, 17 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Engineer ReConditioned (Kindle Edition)
Great collection of background stories to previous novels. If you are a fan (or not yet) this is a good read. Some stories from Spatterjay really round out the previous stories and it is nice to see the evolution of the ideas in the author's writing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A good read., 16 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Engineer ReConditioned (Kindle Edition)
This is a good introduction to Neal Asher however, being a fan already a bit frustrating as I would like the stories to continue.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars insightful, 5 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Engineer ReConditioned (Kindle Edition)
What a well written look into the asher universes. Everything from Jain, Cowl, Owner and others worth picking up for when you want that little bit more :-)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Nice collection of short stories, 28 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Engineer ReConditioned (Kindle Edition)
Nice collection of short stories, including the engineer and the a couple about the owner. Nice to have a sought different spin on some of the characters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Engineer ReConditioned
1.81
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews