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The Technician (Polity 4) Hardcover – 20 Aug 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (20 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230708749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230708747
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 577,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The new standalone novel by Neal Asher featuring two of his favourite Polity creations - the hooder and the gabbleduck --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Neal Asher was born in Billericay, Essex, and divides his time between here and Crete. His previous full-length novels are Gridlinked, The Skinner, The Line of Polity, Cowl, Brass Man, The Voyage of the Sable Keech, Polity Agent, Hilldiggers, Prador Moon, Line War, Shadow of the Scorpion and Orbus.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This review is for readers who are unfamiliar with Neal Asher's work because...let's face it. If you're already a fan of his work, you're not reading this review because you're already reading the book! And when you're done you'll be all disappointed because you now have to wait for the next one.

So for readers who have not read any of Asher's work before, I have to say...Don't buy this book. Wait! What? Sorry, but while this book is great, it's not the book you want to start with. Technically, you can, as it's not *really* a sequel, but the events in this book take place after events in previous books and many characters from previous books are referenced. And more to the point...this book ties together many loose ends, so if you read this book and like it (which you will), you'll want to go back and read his earlier books. And you'll be missing out a lot since this book is somewhat "spoilerific".

So stop here and go read his earlier Polity books. Specifically, the "Cormac" series, starting with Gridlinked. [...]
You won't be sorry.

And when you're done with those (and this book), pick up the "SpatterJay" series. And then his stand-alone's. And then the short story collections. And then re-read them all again, while marveling at the universe he has created. And then wait anxiously and impatiently for his next book.

But when you've become a raving Neal Asher fan, don't blame me because remember...I told you not to buy the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a big fan of Neal Asher, I was very much looking forward to a new Polity novel. Those familiar with the previous books will find the setting familiar (Masada), and will be interested to find out more about Amistad (the war drone that featured in Shadow of the Scorpion). The book also follows-up matters introduced in previous Polity novels, as well as some of Asher's short stories about the gabbleducks and the fate of the Atheter. However, I did find this particular novel less compelling than some of the earlier Polity novels. The pacing is much slower than we are accustomed to from Asher, and his typical pyrotechnics only appear towards the end. One of the things perhaps missing for me was also Asher's trademark irreverant humour - The Technician is rather sombre is tone, without the comic relief that he usually provides in the form of witty asides or amusing characters (such as Sniper and Thirteen from the Spatterjay novels). This is by no means a bad novel, and will undoubtedly be enjoyed by fans of the Polity universe. However, it's not Asher's best to my mind...
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Format: Hardcover
I fell for the reviews on the back cover. I didn't notice they were from Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph or I might have saved myself a few dull afternoons chugging through this.
It's too long, the characters are childishly simplistic, not a lot of it makes sense, it resorts to hard sci-fi to try and drive the plot but fails monumentally (Greg Egan does it a whole lot better. Much, much better), and it is inhabited by some of the dumbest artificial intelligence personalities you can imagine.
On that point, imagine a scenario: giant dangerous (but unintelligent) beasties densely roaming an area. You are a large, dangerous artificial being equipped with no end of exotic made up technologies like force fields and various weapons that would entertain a teenager for weeks, and in addition you are overwhelmingly intelligent. You are trying to ensure the safety of a few people unlucky enough to be in the midst of it all. Said beasties cannot fly and they cannot burrow. You can move as fast or faster than them. You have endless tricks. You may be able to fly, surely you are able to dig. At the very least you could pick up these people in one of your magical force fields and naff off at speed. What to do? Obviously, you engage them with purely physical strength in what amounts to an arm wrestle.
If you want intelligent AIs, read Iain Banks. You won't find them here.
There's no real moral dilemma either. When it comes down to it Tombs the Proctor, in a position of authority in a very brutal political system, turns out to be a Jolly Nice Chap after all and not in the least fond of hurting anyone. No, too easy.
Anyway, it certainly had enough oddities to make it interesting as a one-off but it's an avalanche of colourful but ill-linked and ill-explained ideas that won't bring me back for any more by this author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Neal Asher books, especially the Polity ones. Big characters, great plots, wonderful action. This one has a great plot and nicely wraps up the earlier plot lines but lacks brilliant chracters like Sniper or some of the big AI's. It reads like something written for the marketing dept who seem to have told Asher to be poitically correct and include all demographics to sell more books. Its a bit formulaic as if its be written to order, to a timescale not for the pleasure of the writer - a bit joyless, as if Commisioned by marketers who have told him that he'll sell more books by being less boys own. it lacks the funky, slightly PC incorrect near the edge style of the earlier books. I only ever buy hardback books by two authors and Asher is one. Dont get me wrong its enjoyable but not in the outstanding way that made me buy the hardbacks immediatly on publication. I think Asher is one of the best hard/space opera SF writers there is at the moment and I hope the corporates havent got to him.
I still strongly recomend it although if you havent had the pleasure of the earlier ones its best to read them in order. I look forward to the next although this time I may well wait for a friends review or a second hard paperback. I hope not as an on form Asher is worth the price of a hardback
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