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The Engineer ReConditioned Hardcover – 3 Feb 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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: 680,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Neal Asher lives in Chelmsord, Essex, UK.. This is his second novel.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Ed.F VINE VOICE on 11 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of the author's novels but these are the first of his short stories that I've read and I'm pleased to report that they're a fine read. The opening story was the highlight for me and for me is one of those stories that illustrates what I love about science fiction. It tells the story of first contact with an alien that has been dormant for millions of years. What I enjoyed was the attention to detail and the unraveling of the mystery of the Jain (the alien race if you're not familiar with the books).

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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..

So, I suppose, these are not "Good" sci-fi short stories: they take ideas that the the author has already explored in novels, and add some small details..

Good details, though.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
a selection of tales set in the Asher universe(s). reach story while stand alone puts even more flesh on other stories and the Polity universe. not a poor take in the collection with each full of believable characters and settings. From Jain tech to Runcible gates it's all here in fantastic clarity. if you don't know Asher this is an excellent start.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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).
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