'If you want sex, violence and excellent aliens this is your book' SFX
The Polity Collective, which benignly rules numerous star systems, has come up against a chilling opponent. The crablike Prador are bloodthirsty aliens bent on crushing the Polity and stealing its runcible technology ...and they possess a frightening superiority in space warfare. Two wild-card humans, a vengeance-driven soldier and a runcible technician, must now combine their talents in an attempt to stop a seemingly invincible Prador warship from incinerating yet another Polity world.
The earliest chronologically in the Polity series (as at Apr 2009), set before The Shadow of the Scorpion and the Ian Cormac series.
'a book of high enjoyment, dollops of gore and the occasional wry line...a lot of fun.'
BBC Focus Magazine
'Sex, violence and giant crabs. Yep, it's business as usual for Neal Asher...Deep it ain't, but its a lot of fun'
'I cannot recommend it highly enough.' -
"Asher's enjoyable if violent SF novel pits heavily augmented posthumans and the AIs who rule them, the Polity Collective, against the Prador, vicious, bug-eyed aliens out to conquer all human space. The Polity Collective, an eminently civilized society, despite a small separatist underground that resents the AI's benign rule, stands in contrast to the crablike Prador, who rule by brute force. Since the Prador have a technological advantage in space warfare, two human beings—the super-soldier Jebel Krong and Moria Salem, a technician with an illicit brain augmentation—must combine their talents to try to destroy the impregnable Prador warship threatening humanity. The Polity novels (Gridlink, etc.) lack the intellectual complexity of the best British space opera by such writers as Iain M. Banks, Ken MacLeod and Justina Robson, but if you don't mind the gross out (the Prador eat not only their young but also their human enemies), they're invariably a good read."
The Polity, a space-faring civilization ruled mostly by AIs because only they can cope with the math for the runcible operation enabling interstellar travel, has just made first contact. No one knew quite what to expect of the crablike Prador's visit to Avalon Station, though the massacre that ensued wasn't on anybody's list. Seems the bloodthirsty Prador are bent on taking over the Polity and its runcible technology, and the Polity powers that be must scrambled to get to have any chance of defeating them. Jebel Krong, a soldier on Avalon when the aliens arrived, and runcible tech Moria Salem, recently cerebrally augmented to handle the technology, are thrown together in a classic space-opera scenario in which two wild cards are the private surgeon who installed Moria's aug--a fugitive--and the aug itself, which is more than ordinary. The Prador invasion and Polity politics are revealed as horribly intertwined, but Moria and Jebel might end the war with a particularly bold plan. A fast and furious spectacle developed with gusto."
Neal Asher, a life-long inhabitant of coastal Essex, began writing SF stories at the age of sixteen, and is now published in America and in translation all over the world.