The Technician (Polity 4) Hardcover – 20 Aug 2010
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The new standalone novel by Neal Asher featuring two of his favourite polity creations - the hooder and the gabbleduck...
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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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.
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!
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........
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