The Voyage of the Sable Keech by Neal Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Does anyone remember the time when SF was all about the weird and wonderful? When it was all about the strangest aliens and incomprehensible worlds? When awe met terror, spiced it up with truly amazing worldbuilding, and then threw us into a really F***ed up world?
I do. I've been chasing that feeling ever since I was a kid... and then I read these Spatterjay books and I'm an 8-year-old again, getting terrified out of my mind by all the things I imagine might be out there if not exactly terrified by what I'm actually finding.
What would my 8-year-old self do upon finding Spatterjay?
Hmmm... I might have to rave about it right until the point I was put away in the children's psychiatric ward. :) What could be more horror driven than a world where nothing dies because the spatterjay virus keeps rebuilding EVERYTHING there? Just think about the most horrible creatures that you could find there, especially in Asher's mind... *ahem hooder ahem* or think about the old 1000 year old boat captains who never die... who just get stronger... or how about the truly unfortunate victims who get chopped up and spread to the four corners to become fish bait only to later become mindless living husks as part of even stranger creatures... or become stranger swimming creatures themselves. *shiver*
Or in this case, Sable Keech. The re-living. Walking corpses with AI crystals and programming keeping them alive... only to be yanked back into the living world thanks to this special virus. :)
Truly. This kind of imagination is extraordinary. Not only does Asher explore so many avenues and throw in some of the most amazing characters, he does it by writing novels about high-tech pirates and undead captains and many-limbed monsters not limited to the Prador. :)
As an adventure, it's awesome. As a visual extravaganza with enough scathing creativity making me wish this was a full-budget Hollywood special-effects monstrosity to drool over for years, it's even more than awesome. I'd give my left nut to see this on the screen.
Just saying. My mind would be blown.
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