- Hardcover: 426 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books (Aug. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765307359
- ISBN-13: 978-0765307354
- Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.5 x 24.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,069,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Gridlinked (Tom Doherty Associates Books) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2003
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Gridlinked is the talented Neal Asher's first full-length SF novel, an accomplished rapid-action thriller crammed with high technology, obsessed characters, and the glittering boys' toys of advanced weaponry.
Cormac is a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future where "runcible" transmitters allow interstellar travel in an eye blink. Unfortunately Cormac is nearly burnt out, "gridlinked" to the AI net so long that his humanity has drained away. He has to take the cold turkey cure and shake his addiction to instant online access, even while investigating the unique runcible disaster that's wiped out the entire human colony on planet Samarkand in a 30 megaton explosion ...
Hot on Cormac's heels is vengeful terrorist Pelter, backed up by his unstoppable, psychotic android killer "Mr Crane" and a goon squad of mercenaries. Other trouble has been brewing since 27 years earlier, when Cormac was humanity's ambassador to a vast, incomprehensible alien that called itself Dragon. Deep beneath Samarkand's surface there are buried mysteries, fiercely guarded. And is it true that Cormac's enigmatic boss is an immortal who's lived half a millennium and was born in the 20th century?
Asher's galaxy is full of colour and sleaze, and his story rattles along at speed. There are surprises, double-crosses, elaborate lies to be seen through, astonishing escapes from certain death, and last-minute reversals. Though the ultimate fates of the lesser villains seem mildly anticlimactic, the true bad guy is dealt with in spectacular style. Sequels are hinted. Fast-moving, edge-of-the-seat entertainment. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Widescreen, action-packed science-fiction drama by a notable talent. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
I liked the settings of the novel, and the future that Asher describes; I like the hero, Cormac, and his companions the Sparkind soldiers, the golem androids, and his shuriken; I liked the lead villain Pelter and HIS companions, Mr Crane, Stanton and the mercenaries; Hell, I even liked the runcible AI's.
But did I like Dragon or The Maker? No way - I found them a bit "unbelieveable", even in this future context, and a bit too "comic book". And did I like the ending of the book? Even more "no way". In fact, did I even understand the ending of the book?
I read the last few pages again and again to try to figure it out. When I started reading the sequel "The Line Of Polity" I had to read the end of "Gridlinked" yet again, because I still didn't get what happened with the Dracomen! And I'm happy (I guess) to read other reviewers here who were equally confused.
Well, I think it's with some dismay that I find Dragon and a Dracoman in "The Line Of Polity", but hey, onwards and upwards and lets see how the plot develops.
Asher’s ‘Polity’, which is in effect a benign AI dictatorship, is seen in the novel as a safe, happy place to live, although the ‘quotation’ chapter prefaces gradually make us aware that AIs are capable of the manipulation of data and have, in effect, rewritten history to suit their own purposes. No system is perfect, as Asher subtly and cleverly points out.
Outside the Polity are other human-colonised worlds which have been supplying Separatists with arms and explosives. Ian Cormac a ‘gridlinked’ ECS (Earth Central Security) Agent, has infiltrated a Separatist cell and is forced to kill Angelina Pelter when his cover is blown, leaving her vain and psychopathic brother Arian vowing vengeance.
Meanwhile, on the planet Samarkand the unthinkable has happened. A runcible has exploded, destroying most of the AI controlling it and ten thousand people.
Cormac is recalled and advised by Horace Blegg (a strange Japanese and apparently immortal human) to relinquish the augments and AI links which he has been relying on for the last thirty years; to regain his human responses and investigate the disaster.
It’s an extraordinarily impressive debut novel, one of those you wish was longer. Most novels of 500+ pages tend to be inflated with extraneous fluff. This however, is dense, tight and wastes not a word.Read more ›
Is Agent Cormac real, or just a myth made up by the all-powerful AI to keep the people in check? In fact, he is real, but has spent so long linked into the AI that he no longer exhibits the right human emotions and for someone that often goes undercover, this is not good. Now he is recently disconnected from the Grid and must investigate a possible terrorist attack whilst dealing with a mad man seeking revenge for the death of his sister.
At over 500 pages ‘Gridlinked’ is an investment in time and, to begin with, it was one that I was willing to give. The world of Cormac is an interesting one, he is a mysterious character who does the bidding of the omnipresent AI. The fact that Cormac is not a good guy also helps. The book kicks off with a murder he knowingly commits that has ramifications for the rest of the book. Pelter is a once handsome man, now disfigured by Cormac, who will do whatever is necessary to revenge the death of his sister. Watching Pelter fall deeper into revenge is well written.
Therefore, it is a shame that this element of the book appears to be a sideshow. Instead we are introduced to a creature known as Dragon – that may be AI, or may be a giant many part organism. Either way, Dragon is a little dull and confused.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read for anybody who is a fan of Neal Asher's work, or just anybody who likes great science fiction!Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Asher does great monsters and reasonably good action. If that's what you want, buy this. If you want themes, fine writing, good characterisation (ANY characterisation), don't.Published 16 months ago by Bertolt
My first taste of the Polity universe, wont be my last, basically its a revenge piece, and those are always so uplifting... Read morePublished 16 months ago by sharpen the edge
This is the first of a series (which we like as it saves us having to remember stuff next time - and the Polity universe and associated AIs and FTL travel are well done, and there... Read morePublished 19 months ago by D. Jones