Neal Asher Books

"The Engineer Reconditioned"
Recently, I have been on a scifi book binge. I kept seeing one called "The Engineer Reconditioned" and decided to purchase it at the local Borders based solely on the fact that I really love the sound of the book's title. Well, it sat on a self for months and I finally got to it in early December and immediately regretted not reading it earlier.
It is a series of shorts related to some of his other books. "The Engineer" (the title story) I believe to be the best of the bunch. It has many similarities to the "Alien" movie, but it is openly referenced as one of the characters mentions the movie, though not by name. The technologies of the creature and the responses of those that hear about it are completely realistic. A very interesting read.

Mr. Asher's first novel. A wonderful begining point for his books, in part because it is his first novel, but also because it has so much in it. A plethora of interesting characters and circumstances. There is a revenge plot, an alien super being called dragon, a bunch of augmented soldiers and mercenaries, and a Golem with a unique affinity for small trinkets.
The main character Ian Cormac is a man who works for an earth central security, and has become partly detached from humanity as a result of being "Gridlinked" too long. It is a sort of mental internet connected to massive artificial intelligences, that one can access for information on most anything. He gets hired to investigate the destruction of a "Runcible"(interstellar teleportation) on a colony world, and goes off the grid to do so.
It could be a cautionary tale of being too reliant on our technology. Then again, it might just be an awesome story. A jumble of characters woven together in a way that keeps you wanting more.

"The Skinner"
The Skinner is about a planet that has an entire ecosystem that has become nearly immortal. Many characters in the story are centuries old, some through a viral fiber that infects most living things on the planet "Spatterjay", another through post-death machinations to keep his body going.
This novel offers another great mix of characters. There is a man working for a Hornet's hive mind, an undead cyborg officer, a pair of Artificial Intelligence's working for a larger AI, a whole mess of fairly indestructible "Hoopers", an alien culture that uses mentally cored out people as slaves, and the title character himself whose name is derived from his favorite past-time.
Once again, a bunch of intersecting stories woven together seamlessly coming to a very satisfying conclusion.

I don't want to ruin any of these books, but would highly recommend all three.
His main website(http://www.nealasher.com/) has been under construction for quite some time, but I found his blog today(http://theskinner.blogspot.com/) and celebrated.
This is an author I would definitely recommend for science fiction lovers.

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