08 June 2010

Neal Asher - The Gabble and Other Stories

I really like Neal Asher's Polity series of books. They are clever and varied enough to keep my interest over 20 odd books I think.  This book is a collection of short stories, with several featuring Gabbleducks.  Awesome.  Asher is the new Larry Niven, only he can actually write. At least two of the stories (Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck, Alien Archeology) have featured in the Garner Dozois Years Best series, which is where I first came across Asher.

Just a few notes to follow after the jump, I haven't written about all the stories, but they are all excellent. This book is on my urgently to buy list.

  • Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck - Yay for Gabbleducks.
  • Putrefactors - Just fucking gross.  But most Spatterjay stories are.
  • Garp and Geronamid - You can always count on a good cop to get his man, even if he's a corpse and a memstore. And if an AI turns up to a political summit in the body of a large carnivorous dinosaur, and you happen to be a planet ruling drug manufacturer and multiple murderer, run. Because it probably won't go well for you.
  • The Sea of Death
  • Alien Archaeology - This story follows on in the polity timeline from The Gabble.  After Jonah figures out the Atheter mystery, some shenanigans with a rogue AI named Penny Lane, a retired ECS hit man turned Sandadapt archaeologist, a reified company owner, the Prador, a thief and her lover, an Atheter memstore, and a Gabbleduck.  "It means, human, that you've fucked up big time.  Now go away."
  • Acephalous Dream
  • Snow in the Desert
  • Choudapt - An ECS agent goes to visit a sea louse adapted colony that seems to be sick, trying to figure out why.
  • Adaptogenic
  • The Gabble - In which, while studying Hooder anatomy, Jonah figures out what the Gabbleducks actually are.
Absolutely fucking loved it.