The Technician Paperback – 4 Feb. 2011
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
I know that when a tale from him arrives that I’m going to get a story that I absolutely love. (Falcata Times)
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Somewhat surprisingly for a book by an author who enjoys using words that, from time to time, have me checking whether they are in the OED or are ones that he made up there is a glaring error at the bottom of page 363. The word 'discrete' meaning individually separate) is used when the word 'discreet' (meaning intentionally unobtrusive) should have been used. Bit careless.
Neal Ashers books are really, really, REALLY good fun, a somewhat strange thing to say about the subject when dealing with massive, virtually indestructible alien constructs, stellar warfare, hegemonising swarms (yoink! nicked from IMB) planets teeming with flora and fauna that can and very much will kill you in a wonderfully escalating series of nasty ways and a whole plethora of supporting thugs, mad robots, evil villains and a race of aliens that could give the Affront a run for their money on sheer outrageous bloody-minded cruelty and viciousness!
You get the sense from these books that Neal is having a rollicking good time writing them, and it feeds through the pages to make you chuckle at all the right places, and merrily buzzsaw through one of his books in one sitting and finish it with a smile on your face and a feeling of 'I'm coming back to read you again on a grey, rainy winters day for sure' when slotted into the bookshelf
There is also a miniscule undercurrent of slight silliness, especially in the Splatterjay novels, that cuts through his work but it is a masterstroke of writing that you revel in it rather than think 'Oh now come on, you are just being daft! I mean, its a giant snail for crying out loud!' which again just make his books very difficult to put down once started.
I for one have worked my way merrily through the entire back catalogue of his work and every new release gets added to my wish list as soon as they appear, and if you want some very good science fiction, that is a lot more fun and enjoyable to read than it really should be allowed to get away with, even when being deadly serious then hunt out and delve into the Polity universe, you won't regret it!
Lots of connections with other stories by Asher are in this long and interesting story. It has little space travel in it, and mostly takes place on a distant planet in the future. The story is captivating and interesting. I found this an enjoyable read. The creatures of Masada and the human colonists are struggling against an alien device.
I'm now going to get the Splatterjay books and carry on with my great love of the Polity universe.
Great news Asher has a new trilogy in the pipeline set during the Prador wars Brilliant can't wait........
Top international reviews
Mit diesem Wissen ausgestattet war "The Technician" eine spannende Geschichte mit vielen tollen Konzepten und Wendungen.
Die Kolonie Masada, erst seit kurzem unter Polity-Einfluss, ist eine raue Welt für Menschen und Heimat von bizzaren Kreaturen. Da sind einerseits die Gabbleducks (Schnatterenten) - tierische Nachfahren einer einst hoch entwickelten Zivilisation, den Athetern. Diese haben (aus Gründen, die im Buch erläutert werden) vor langer Zeit beschlossen, ihr intelligentes Dasein zu beenden und sich - vor allem auf neuronaler, psychischer Ebene - zu Tieren zurückzuentwickeln. Ihr letztes Werk: eine hoch entwickelte und auch an Waffen nicht zu knapp ausgestattete Apparatur, die ihre Fühler über hunderte Lichtjahre ausstreckt und darüber wacht, dass das auch möglichst in alle Ewigkeit so bleibt.
Dann sind da die Hooder - gigantische Tausenfüßler, die man einfach als lokale Fauna oder aber hoch entwickelte Maschinen bezeichnen kann. Ihr zügelloser und unkontrollierter Appetit auf tote Gabbleeducks wird einer ganzen Siedlung zum Verhängnis. Der Technician, ein Prachtexemplar von einem Hooder, spielt dabei eine besondere Rolle - nicht zuletzt deswegen, weil er aus unerfindlichen Gründen einen Menschen angegriffen UND leben gelassen hat.
Dragon - ein außerirdische "Streuner" mit unklarer Mission und äußerst effektiver Bio-Maschinerie - mischt vorne mit und lässt ebenfalls erst sehr spät erkennen, welche Tragweite seine offenbar lang geplanten Eingriffe haben.
Erzählt wird die Geschichte anhand eines gewissen Jeremiah Tombs, ehemaliger Aufseher der gehassten (und mittlerweile gestürzten) Theokratie auf Masada. Tombs gilt als einziger dokumentierter Fall eines Menschen, der einen Hooder-Angriff überlebt hat - wenn auch mit schwerwiegenden physischen Folgen. Das weckt das Interesse zahlreicher KIs und Menschen. Die ehemalige Kampfdrohne Amistad (der Skorpion aus "Shadow of the Scorpion"), mittlerweile auf dem besten Weg zu einem Experten für die Atheter-Zivilisation, vermutet, dass der Technician bei seinem Angriff auf Tombs Spuren in dessen Gehirn hinterlassen hat. Zahlreiche, bis zum Sturz der Theokratie unterdrückte Bewohner von Masada hingegen haben ein zutiefst primitives Interesse am ehemaligen Aufseher - als einer der wenigen Überlebenden des gehassten Regimes ist er zu einem Symbol geworden, das man gerne leiden lassen will - bis zu dessen voraussichtlich unnatürlichen Tod.
Asher bringt im Verlauf des Buches unauffällig Separatisten, Dragon, Polity-Agenten und Kampfdrohnen, einen gefährlichen, uralten Wachmechanismus und die mittlerweile degenerierte Zivilisation, die ihn erbaut hat, in Stellung. Irgendwann gegen Ende erkennt man das großartige Bild, die Zusammenhänge der vielen kleinen Details und wird auf dem Weg zur Auflösung auch noch mit einem schönen "epic space battle" belohnt. Und das vor einem stimmigen, mit tollen Konzepten gespickten Sci-Fi Hintergrund mit viel Tiefgang - volle Empfehlung!
I enjoyed the read immensely and look forward to New samples of themselves imagination.
The Technician is gripping, dense, lots of different stories weaved in ( I had to use the word!). I thought it's also his best book, I just went through the Cormac series, Mr. Asher's prose has reached a new level, the plot really coalesces at the end, and the characters are not unidimensional anymore.
The Gabbleducks...are something else, I didn't love a sci-fi creation that intensely since Paranoid Android! and I waited patiently through the Cormac series for their return- Line of Polity is the book where the seeds are planted, and the one that still haunts me out of those series, I fell for the utterly strange life forms on the planet Masada: tricones, heroynes, siluroines, hooders, and... gabbleducks, to which you get a bonus of dracomen!
Masada! - yes, the name is not random, the historical resonances bring depth to the story: questions on self determination and free will, on self sacrifice " for a worthy cause" ...
I don't think you can be luke warm about Mr. Asher's prose, you either love it or hate it! I belong to the former, I can't stop reading, I want more! And I want more Gabbleducks! I bought The Gabble and The Technician from the UK, when they were not available on Kindle, now there is no excuse, any format is available, go read!
The novel picks up a few years after the events in "The Line of Polity" on the planet Masada, home to the famous Gabbleducks and the majestic Hooders which are both directly connected to the perished alien race of the Atheter. As is typical for Asher, we follow a larger group of protagonists and opposing factions through the story. There is an old proctor of the Theocracy and the only person to have survived an encounter with a Hooder. There is a scientist following the works of art of one particular Hooder through the decades. There are members of the Tidy Squad, a remnant of the old underground which does not accept the general amnesty provided to the Theocracy by the Polity. There is a black AI from the Prador war who was involved in the creation of an Atheter AI. There is an old war drone who turns to become an expert in Atheter and many more.
There is no doubt about the quality of the world building in Neal Asher's books. The fauna (and flora) is definitely alien and pretty nasty for the most part. The mysteries circling around the Atheter and Jain are compelling and intriguing. The characters and factions in this novel have developed to a stage that they are totally believable in themselves and it is a pleasure to see their relationships evolve.
Although it admittedly took me a while to really get into the world of the Polity, the most impressive thing about the series is how seemingly effortlessly and flawlessly the different parts are being pulled together from book to book. It is a lot of fun to encounter many of the characters and to get to know them better. While this book builds directly on "The Line of Polity" (and obviously "Gridlinked"), I suggest to read "The Gabble" collection of short stories prior to this one, too. Ideally, "Shadow of the Scorpion" should be known also (which as a prequel to the full Cormac series includes all five of those) but that is probably more optional and not as important.
I am going to move on to the Spatterjay line now, but so far this is my absolute favorite book of the Polity series!
Oh, yeah: you also get tricones, heroynes, siluroynes, hooders, and gabbleducks.
In having read a good deal of Asher, I am always amazed by what lies beneath the tech, the biology, the battles and the balls-to-the-wall action... and to be honest, I am rarely disappointed.
The book is richly populated by the various types of humanity, with one of the main characters being an "Amphidapt" - having genetically acquired gills, fur and flipper like feet.
Various types of AI play important roles, including a key role for the newly upgraded war drone Amistad (who looks like a metal scorpion) from the Authors Agent Cormac sub-series.
The Technician from the title is an apparent albino mutation of the vicious and huge Hooders with a twist: he makes scultures from the formerly living bodies of various native and human entities. He encountered a policeman/priest from the former ruling elite on this non-Polity planet and changed him by inserting things into his living brain - the only known survivor of the Technician's attentions. But the encounter leaves him insane.
The book details his journey from insanity to, well, a less insane condition as the AI's eagerly await being able to decipher what was put in his brain.
A good read.
Not as much of the visceral, mind blowing, gut wrenching death and destruction as in some of his other work, oh, ok, except for the end. It isn't like he's not going to have it at all. Oh, and the bit in the middle. The Polity AIs cop a bit of a blow to their arrogance at the sharp end of some new tech which I enjoyed. Damn smarmy AIs.