13 July 2010

Neal Asher - Prador Moon

  • Author: Neal Asher
  • Title: Prador Moon
  • Publisher: Nightshade Canada 2006 (Tor 2006 US/UK)
  • ISBN: 978 1597800525
First contact with the Prador was supposed to be a good thing. The AI's lined up a meeting between ambassadors from both species aboard the space station Avalon, and things began smoothly enough. The giant crab monsters arrived through the airlock, and the air grew tense. The human ambassador greeted the Prador with a message of welcome. And the Prador responded with rail guns.

It turns out, the Prador only came to the meeting to find out whether humans were any good to eat, or if they could just be wiped out from space. And we apparently taste pretty good. Better if we have been dead for a while first though.

This novel is essentially the story of Jebel "Up Close and Personal" Krong, ECS agent turned super soldier, and the early defeats of the Prador war. The human Polity is hurt badly in the early days of the war, but as the AI's discover more about the Prador, the tide slowly turn in humanities favour.

A non stop thriller, this book is all action and almost no philosophy. It is quite a quick read, being only 300 pages or so, but it certainly delivers on the promise of all action scifi, with the weird terrain of Asher's future history slotted seamlessly into his vivid, intense and often brutal prose. This novel is a reimagining of First Contact that you won't soon forget.

If this guy gets any better, he's going to overtake Alastair Reynolds as the master. This one is right up there with the best.