Neal Asher followes up his impressive debut novel Gridlinked (my review here) with The Skinner, which takes place in the same Polity universe but with the action focused on the planet Spatterjay, arguably the most dangerous Earth-like planet in the universe, with indigenous life forms straight out of nightmares.
The Skinner deftly weaves space opera and hard noir into a compulsively readable whole, with interesting and well-drawn characters (including a walking 700-year-old police officer corpse), some of the most unpleasant crimes against humanity ever put to page (think the Borg but much worse), and very spunky artificial intelligences.
This is one of those novels that will keep you up till four in the morning.
(As an aside, whoever conceived of and approved of the cover for this novel should be fired immediately. Don’t let it turn you off.)
Related Core Dump reviews:
Posted Sunday, 30 July, 2006 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.