Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Technician Review -- Walker of Worlds

Nice review here from Mark Chitty over at Walker of Worlds.


The Technician is Neal Asher's latest novel and marks the completion of my resolution to get up to date on all of his releases. I've not done too badly, this being the fifth book of his I've got through since January, each being just as enjoyable as the previous one. I'm actually quite glad I've done it this way, especially as much of what happens in The Technician relates to the Cormac series, mainly the events in The Line of Polity which is set on the same planet. I thoroughly enjoyed completing the Cormac series and was eager to once again see what was happening in the Polity, but Neal didn't meet my expectations. He exceeded them.

The Amazon link is here and Book Depository (free shipping worldwide) is here.

14 comments:

Jebel Krong said...

the technician is probably my 2nd favourite of all your novels actually, neal. the whole concept of the technician as it's true nature becomes apparent is awesome, and i also loved the sea-urchin-esque penny royal's reappearance :)

Neal Asher said...

Penny Royal is definitely one of my favourites, but then he's the ultimate AI anti-hero. It's very enjoyable writing about a 'character' who upon, say, finding someone sinking in a bog, might pull them out or just push them under; who at any given time can choose to wear either his black or white hat. Similarities there to Mr Crane I think.

Mark said...

I always thought of Penny Royal as a she while reading The Technician for some reason :/

Neal Asher said...

Um, funny you should say that, mark. As I was writing that comment I used 'it' but decided 'he' scanned better.

Ryan said...

I also thought penny royal was a woman, don't know how I missed the he!

"might pull them out or just push them under"

Me too, it's why I love characters like the Gabbleducks, they can eat people or sometimes seem to help people. I find many of your alien characters to be like the natural world, sometimes they can help you, sometimes they can kill you and sometimes they might ignore you completely

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

i said to myself 2 seconds before the tidy squadder 'no fucking way' when Penny did her little ferris wheel gesture.

sorry, HIS little gesture. see? not just us 3 probably.
Crane and Penny: spine ripping match made in Masada, now a medical journal 'how to' show on BBC Ω.
-

the Jain in ENGINEER RECONDITIONED is truly strange and alien as i start the book. other than the two 70s movie references, its a solid gold read.

Neal Asher said...

Ryan, Penny Royal is essentially sexless. Throughout the Technician I always referred to it as 'it'. Part, really, of the process of making it more threatening, more remote. Amistad, for example, was always referred to as 'he', thought the only bollocks he had were the metaphorical kind.

I find it quite curious, and surprising that so many of you saw Penny Royal as a she. I'll refrain right now from saying something sexist concerning female canines...

Glad you're enjoying The Engineer, Vaude. It's another one, like The Parasite, that could do with a makeover.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

Amistad was a stud at one point though.

Penny Royal was a ...(rogue) tea bag?

Rob said...

I thought female too.

Jay said...

The Technician was a joy to read.

Disco Stu said...

I thought of Penny Royal possibly as 'she' but at least in a feminine vein.

Grew the herb once and still remember it is an emmenagogue.
Think thats why 'she'.

Not sure if that makes me 'weird' - or if I should even have said it out loud...Ho hum.

8)

Cameron said...

Penny Royal was always an 'it' in my brain.

Violent, amoral, antisocial, serial-killer-esque it.

In the end, I loved Penny Royal's assertion that it liked its current state, fractured though it was.

I'd imagine that its decision will have far reaching consequences.

I also love the idea that humans were really the only ones who ascribed to such terms as 'Black' and 'White' AIs. As if Geronamid wouldn't cheerfully eat his breakfast out of the skull of some backwards little Separatist. Oh wait.

Jebel Krong said...

hmm i never ascribe sexes to AIs, maybe because my scientific mind cries 'illogical' at the thought: it's always an 'it' even when inferred one thing or another through common english.

penny royal in my minds-eye is reminiscent of the matrix core thing from the last film - all dark/spines in a sea-urchiny way. i like the honest anti-heroism it displays, too, which is different from the 'pretend'-we're-good mindset of most of the other Ais, whilst they sit back and watch events happen. if penny royal fucks (with) you, at least it's an active thing.

Neal Asher said...

Mmm, I see a book in this. Maybe some human character who has lost someone close intent on tracking down Penny Royal and destroying it, her, he, THEM? - remember all those different 'states of consciousness'...