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Gridlinked

Agent Cormac Series: Book 1

Neal Asher

Gridlinked is a science fiction adventure in the classic, fast-paced, action-packed tradition of Harry Harrison and Poul Anderson, with a dash of cyberpunk and a splash of Ian Fleming added to spice the mix.

Cormac is a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future where "runcibles" (matter transmitters controlled by AIs) allow interstellar travel in an eye blink throughout the settled worlds of the Polity. Unfortunately Cormac is nearly burnt out, "gridlinked" to the AI net so long that his humanity has begun to drain away. He has to take the cold-turkey cure and shake his addiction to having his brain on the net.

Now he must do without just as he’s sent to investigate the unique runcible disaster that's wiped out the entire human colony on planet Samarkand in a thirty-megaton explosion. With the runcible out, Cormac must get there by ship, but he has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Arian Pelter, who now follows him across the galaxy with a terrifying psychotic killer android in tow. And deep beneath Samarkand's surface there are buried mysteries, fiercely guarded.

This is fast-moving, edge-of-the-seat entertainment, and a great introduction to the work of one of the most exciting new SF talents in years.

The Line of Polity

Agent Cormac Series: Book 2

Neal Asher

Outlink station Miranda has been destroyed by a nanomycelium and, because of this method of sabotage, the alien bioconstruct, Dragon – a creature as untrustworthy as it is gigantic – is thought to be involved. Sent on the titanic Polity dreadnought, the Occam Razor, Agent Cormac must investigate this, and resolve the question of Masada, a world about to be subsumed when the line of polity is drawn across it.

But the biophysicist Skellor has not been captured, and controls something so potent that Polity AIs are prepared to hunt him down forever, to prevent him using it.

On Masada the rebellion can never rise above ground as the slave population is subjugated by orbital laser arrays controlled by the Theocracy in their cylinder worlds, and by the fact that they cannot leave their compounds. For the wilderness of Masada is without breathable air, and out there roam the monstrous hooders, siluroynes, and the weird and terrible gabbleducks.

Brass Man

Agent Cormac Series: Book 3

Neal Asher

The knight errant Anderson is hunting a dragon on the primitive Out-Polity world of Cull, little knowing that far away a man has resurrected a brass killing machine to assist in a similar hunt that encompasses star systems. When agent Cormac learns that an old enemy still lives, he sets out in pursuit aboard the attack ship Jack Ketch … whilst scientist Mika begins discovering the horrifying truth about that ancient technology ostensibly produced by the alien Jain, who died out five million years ago.

On a planet roamed by ferocious insectile monsters the people of Cull must struggle to survive, while they build the industrial base to reach their forefathers’ starship still orbiting far above them. An entity calling itself Dragon assists them, but its motives are questionable having created genetic by-blows of humans and the hideous local monsters, before growing bored with that game. And now Cull, for millennia geologically inactive, suffers earthquakes...

Meanwhile a brass killing machine seeks to escape a bloody past it can neither forget nor truly remember. So mindlessly will continue its search for sanity, which it might find in an instant or not for a thousand years.

Polity Agent

Agent Cormac Series: Book 4

Neal Asher

From 800 years in the future, a runcible gate is opened into the Polity and those coming through it have been sent specially to take the alien 'Maker' back to its home civilization in the Small Magellanic cloud. Once these refugees are safely through, the gate itself is rapidly shut down - because something alien is pursuing them. The gate is then dumped into a nearby sun.

From those refugees who get through, agent Cormac learns that the Maker civilization has been destroyed by pernicious virus known as the Jain technology. This, of course, raised questions: why was Dragon, a massive bioconstruct of the Makers, really sent to the Polity; why did a Jain node suddenly end up in the hands of someone who could do the most damage with it?

Meanwhile an entity called the Legate is distributing pernicious Jain nodes ...and a renegade attack ship, The King of Hearts, has encountered something very nasty outside the Polity itself.

Line War

Agent Cormac Series: Book 5

Neal Asher

The Polity is under attack from melded AI entity controlling the lethal Jain technology, but the attack seems to have no coherence. When one of Erebus’s wormships kills millions on the world of Klurhammon, a high-tech agricultural world of no real tactical significance, Cormac is sent to investigate, though he is struggling to control an ability no human being should possess, and beginning to question the motives of his AI masters.

Further attacks and seemingly indiscriminate slaughter ensue, but only serve to bring some of the most dangerous individuals in the Polity into the war. Mr Crane, the indefatigable brass killing machine sets out for vengeance. Orlandine, a vastly-augmented haiman who herself controls Jain technology, seeks a weapon of appalling power and finds allies from an ancient war.

Meanwhile Mika, scientist and Dragon expert, is again kidnapped by that alien entity and dragged to the heart of things; to wake the makers of Jain technology from their five million year slumber.

But Erebus’s attacks are not indiscriminate, and could spell the end of the Polity...