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Neal Asher


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.

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.

Alien Archaeology

Polity

Neal Asher

This novella originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2007. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fifth Annual Collection (2008), edited by Gardner Dozois, and Galactic Empires (2008), edited by Neil Clarke. The story is included in the collection The Gabble and Other Stories (2008).

Snow in the Desert

Polity

Neal Asher

This short story originally appeared in Spectrum SF, May 2002. It can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 8 (2003), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. The story is included in the collection The Gabble and Other Stories (2008).

Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck

Polity

Neal Asher

This novelette originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, August 2005, and was reprinted in Clarkesword Magazine, Issue 107, August 2015. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection (2006), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Mammoth Book of Kaiju (2016), edited by Sean Wallace. The story is included in the collection The Gabble and Other Stories (2008).

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

Prador Moon

Polity: Book 1

Neal Asher

Neal Asher takes on first contact, Polity style.

This original novel recounts the first contact between the aggressive Prador aliens, and the Polity Collective as it is forced to retool its society to a war footing. The overwhelming brute force of the Prador dreadnaughts causes several worlds and space stations to be overrun. Prador Moon follows the initial Polity defeats, to the first draws, and culminates in what might be the first Polity victory, told from the point of view of two unlikely heroes.

Hilldiggers

Polity: Book 2

Neal Asher

A terrible war once raged between the two rival planets within a distant solar system. Over the centuries their human inhabitants had ‘adapted’ themselves to the extremely different conditions of their new homes, far outside Polity influence..

In the midst of this merciless conflict, one side encountered a bizarre object suspected of being a cosmic superstring employed as a new weapon by the rival side. Their attack on it caused the object to collapse into four parts, each found to be packed either with alien technology or some unknown form of life. Pending further study, these were quickly encased inside four separate Ozark cylinders, and stored in a massively secure space station in orbit.

Sometime later, while conducting research on this alien entity they now call ‘the Worm’, a female scientist falls pregnant and susequently gives birth to quads. She then inexplicably commits suicide by walking directly out into space…

The war was finally brought to an end by use of new weapons arising as a result of research of the Worm. These were employed by giant space dreadnoughts nicknamed ‘hilldiggers’ –– and their destructive power created new mountain ranges out of the vanquished planet’s terrain. Twenty years after the dust has settled, those four exceptionally talented orphans have grown up to assume varying degrees of power and influence within a post-war society.

And one of this exceptional breed now seems determined to gain total control over the deadly hilldiggers. But why?

Shadow of the Scorpion

Polity: Book 3

Neal Asher

Ian Cormac's Early Years!

Raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and a vicious alien race, the Prador, Ian Cormac, is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn't remember. Cormac signs up with Earth Central Security and is sent out to help restore and maintain order on worlds devastated by the war.There he discovers that though the Prador remain as murderous as ever, they are not anywhere near as treacherous or dangerous as some of his fellow humans, some closer to him than he would like. Amidst the ruins left by wartime genocides, Cormac will discover in himself a cold capacity for violence and learn some horrible truths about his own past while trying to stay alive on his course of vengeance.

The Technician

Polity: Book 4

Neal Asher

The Theocracy has been dead for twenty years, and the Polity rules on Masada. But the Tidy Squad consists of rebels who cannot accept the new order. Their hate for surviving theocrats is undiminished, and the iconic Jeremiah Tombs is at the top of their hitlist.

Escaping his sanatorium Tombs is pushed into painful confrontation with reality he has avoided since the rebellion. His insanity has been left uncured, because the near mythical hooder called the Technician that attacked him all those years ago, did something to his mind even the AIs fail to understand. Tombs might possess information about the suicide of an entire alien race.

The war drone Amistad, whose job it is to bring this information to light, recruits Lief Grant, an ex-rebel Commander, to protect Tombs, along with the black AI Penny Royal, who everyone thought was dead. The amphidapt Chanter, who has studied the bone sculptures the Technician makes with the remains of its prey, might be useful too.

Meanwhile, in deep space, the mechanism the Atheter used to reduce themselves to animals, stirs from slumber and begins to power-up its weapons.

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