The Gabble: And Other Stories by Neal Asher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I decided to go all out and even read the short stories surrounding some of the memorable and unknown peeps in the connected universe that Neal Asher has made.
I mean, why not? He has a very engaging splatterpunk Hard-SF style with tons of great alien environments, interesting aliens, AIs, enormous constructs, ancient dead alien cultures, cyborgs, regenerative immortals, and more bullets and interesting ways to kill stuff than you can shake a railgun at.
These stories are all pretty fun. Of course, it's even more fun when you've been building up a corpus of his novels and can start pointing fingers and laughing at the in-jokes, and that's where I'm beginning to be. I'm no master yet, of course, but as I get closer, I tend to have a lot more fun.
Worldbuilding! Universe-building! And a few core characters that always show up.
It's NICE. :)
Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck - Re-introduction to the alien duck. Semi-sentient, funny, scary. :) I liked all the stories that had them. This includes Alien Archaeology and The Gabble, as well. Fascinating stuff! Devolved? A victim? Who knows?
Putrefactors was like a wild-west town with some horrible company secrets, enforcers, and angry locals. With horrible alien biology involved.
Garp and Geronamid was a very fun whodoneit involving a not-quite-dead corpse and an AI finding justice on a non-polity world. :)
Acephalous Dreams has the AI Geronamid in a very cool alien-tech (Jain) cautionary tale.
The Sea of Death, even though it has a pretty cool concept, kinda left me cold. Same is true for Adaptogenic. They seemed to have some promise, but I liked all the others much better.
Snow in the Desert was just fun and funny and was full of sex and a weird conspiracy. :)
Now, I can't really say whether this would be a good place to start with Asher's writings or not, but it definitely fills in a few gaps for me and whets my appetite for the rest. Definitely worth reading.
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