Boards.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more x
Post Reply  
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
19-11-2010, 00:50   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,137
Neal Asher

Anyone read anything of his? Spotted his books in a shop the last day and couldn't generate an opinion at all. His books sound like they might be up my street. Are they pulpy though? Would you class them with the likes of the brilliant Culture series or are they a bit further down the list like some kind of Terry Goodkind wank. Is it worth starting in on Mr. Asher?
Shryke is offline  
Advertisement
19-11-2010, 09:24   #2
ixoy
Moderator
 
ixoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,337
Send a message via MSN to ixoy
I've read a good bit - 8 of his Polity novels and one of his stand-alone series. The Polity novels would remind you of the Culture in the sense that it's a highly advanced technological race (from Earth this time) and many of the books feature AIs with personalities.

Asher wouldn't be as witty as Banks but he's stronger in other areas - he's excellent, for example, at alien ecology. He'll make some very interesting alien life forms backed with fairly plausible evolutions - there's some real nasty critters in there.
He's also good at action - the books tend to have a good pace and the Polity universe is rougher than the Culture.
I strongly dislike Goodkind - Asher, to my mind, is much better! His work isn't literature either though and it can veer close to pulp at times. Very enjoyable pulp though.

In terms of what to read, be aware that there's a few strands. The "Agent Cormac" series starts with "Gridlinked" and is a 5-book sequence. There's the Spatteryjay series, which starts with "The Skinner" and is a 3-book sequence. There's a couple of other standalone books set in the universe too.
Personally I'd recommend the Agent Cormac series which plays out on a big scale and has great soap opera moments, aliens, and plots.
ixoy is offline  
(2) thanks from:
19-11-2010, 12:58   #3
mcgovern
Registered User
 
mcgovern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,852
One of my favourite authors, as ixoy say's, its not high brow stuff at all, I'd say its the novel equivalent of a summer blockbuster, and it makes a nice change from harder sci-fi.
mcgovern is offline  
Thanks from:
20-11-2010, 05:47   #4
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,137
Sold!
I'll pick up Gridlinked the next day. Looking forward to a good new author. It's always a real pleasure to find one.
Shryke is offline  
21-11-2010, 13:28   #5
Johnny Storm
Registered User
 
Johnny Storm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,781
I've read all his books. I agree with all the comments so far. His books are kind of sub-Culture. The good thing is he pops out a new one every 6 months or so unlike that lazy Banks bastard.
They can be a bit repetitive though.
In the introduction to one of his short stories he says that he saw an illustrated book on marine parasites at an impressionable age and this is what his various hideous lifeforms are inspired by.
If you like this stuff you may also like "Altered Carbon", "Woken Furies" and "Broken Angels" by Richard Morgan
Johnny Storm is offline  
Advertisement
22-11-2010, 14:38   #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,137
Cheers Johnny. I've read Morgan. Altered Carbon is a brilliant recommendation! His other stuff isn't too bad. I wasn't gone on Black Man but couldn't help liking the ending.
Unfortunately I didn't like his fantasy work, The Steel Remains. It came off as too whiney for me at the time. I might try it again some time though.
Shryke is offline  
01-01-2011, 14:02   #7
mcgovern
Registered User
 
mcgovern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,852
I put up a ~1 line review on my website/blog of all the books I'd read in the last 6 months, and Neal Asher actually responded, explaining some of the comments I'd made about his novels, I knew I got a website for a reason
mcgovern is offline  
01-01-2011, 15:48   #8
ixoy
Moderator
 
ixoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,337
Send a message via MSN to ixoy
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgovern View Post
I put up a ~1 line review on my website/blog of all the books I'd read in the last 6 months, and Neal Asher actually responded, explaining some of the comments I'd made about his novels, I knew I got a website fo r a reason
What's the site then?
ixoy is offline  
02-01-2011, 20:45   #9
Johnny Storm
Registered User
 
Johnny Storm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgovern View Post
I put up a ~1 line review on my website/blog of all the books I'd read in the last 6 months, and Neal Asher actually responded, explaining some of the comments I'd made about his novels, I knew I got a website for a reason
That is kewl
Johnny Storm is offline  
Advertisement
04-01-2011, 15:01   #10
mcgovern
Registered User
 
mcgovern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,852
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixoy View Post
What's the site then?
It's only got about 3 posts on it (by me) but here it is
http://stephenmcgovern.ie/?p=57
mcgovern is offline  
05-01-2011, 00:23   #11
ixoy
Moderator
 
ixoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,337
Send a message via MSN to ixoy
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgovern View Post
It's only got about 3 posts on it (by me) but here it is
http://stephenmcgovern.ie/?p=57
Still kewl though. Asher is very good at responding to his fans. I know he's done videos on his site where he'll read out e-mails sent to him and answer questions. He seems very down to earth in that sense.
ixoy is offline  
06-01-2011, 00:30   #12
margarite
Registered User
 
margarite's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixoy View Post
I've read a good bit - 8 of his Polity novels and one of his stand-alone series. The Polity novels would remind you of the Culture in the sense that it's a highly advanced technological race (from Earth this time) and many of the books feature AIs with personalities.

Asher wouldn't be as witty as Banks but he's stronger in other areas - he's excellent, for example, at alien ecology. He'll make some very interesting alien life forms backed with fairly plausible evolutions - there's some real nasty critters in there.
He's also good at action - the books tend to have a good pace and the Polity universe is rougher than the Culture.
I strongly dislike Goodkind - Asher, to my mind, is much better! His work isn't literature either though and it can veer close to pulp at times. Very enjoyable pulp though.

In terms of what to read, be aware that there's a few strands. The "Agent Cormac" series starts with "Gridlinked" and is a 5-book sequence. There's the Spatteryjay series, which starts with "The Skinner" and is a 3-book sequence. There's a couple of other standalone books set in the universe too.
Personally I'd recommend the Agent Cormac series which plays out on a big scale and has great soap opera moments, aliens, and plots.
This sounds like the kind of books I d like, if you do not mind can you recommend where I would start i e the name of the first book that I should read, secondly where can I buy them. thank you.
margarite is offline  
06-01-2011, 00:42   #13
ixoy
Moderator
 
ixoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,337
Send a message via MSN to ixoy
Quote:
Originally Posted by margarite View Post
This sounds like the kind of books I d like, if you do not mind can you recommend where I would start i e the name of the first book that I should read, secondly where can I buy them. thank you.
I'd definitely recommend you start with "Gridlinked". It's the first Polity novel he wrote and the first in a five book sequence and it would give you a good taste of what Asher is like.
You can find it in most decent sized bookshops. I know Chapters on Parnell Street have it (and may have it cheap too), but it should also be in Hodges Figgis or other stores as well as readily available online.
ixoy is offline  
06-01-2011, 00:43   #14
margarite
Registered User
 
margarite's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixoy View Post
I'd definitely recommend you start with "Gridlinked". It's the first Polity novel he wrote and the first in a five book sequence and it would give you a good taste of what Asher is like.
You can find it in most decent sized bookshops. I know Chapters on Parnell Street have it (and may have it cheap too), but it should also be in Hodges Figgis or other stores as well as readily available online.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my query, I really appreciate it.
margarite is offline  
22-01-2011, 15:49   #15
Black Sheep
Registered User
 
Black Sheep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 489
I really like Neal Asher's stuff.

Comparing him to Iain M. Banks is probably inevitable as anyone who has read the Culture novels won't be able to overlook the similarities.

I don't think his stuff suffers that badly in comparison, but I guess your mileage may vary. What I admire about the Culture novels is the scope, the vision of the technology etc. Asher focuses on that aspect of things and delivers war-drones and massive alien organisms in gratuitous quantities. Personally I like the focus on more action, less opaque storylines etc. More accessible isn't always a bad thing.

FWIW whereas Banks is a leftie who famously cut up his British passport Asher is further to the right on most issues. His blog is worth following:-

http://theskinner.blogspot.com/
Black Sheep is offline  
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Share Tweet