Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Hive Construct - Alexander Maskill

I decided a few days back that I needed to get back into reading again as a precursor to starting writing again. I think what is happening to be can be described as a slow and error-prone reboot. Anyway, to this end I’ve started reading an hour of Greek a day, and I also picked up an SF book that had been sitting on a shelf for more than a year.

My apologies to those at Transworld/Doubleday who sent me this uncorrected proof copy for comment. Stuff got in the way and I’m more than a bit late for useful comment. I had a slight problem when attempting to start The Hive Construct a number of weeks back but suspect that has more to do with the state of my mind than any fault in the book. This time I slid into it easily over a few days and polished it off late last night. I won’t go into much detail. Cyberpunk staples like hackers, AI, bio-augmentation, civil unrest and nasty corporations are all there, but the tale is engaging, well told and insightful. Suffice to say that it’s not all black and white, good guys and bad guys. I could go on citing this and that but in the end any review is ‘I liked this’ or ‘I didn’t like this’ along with numerous justifications.

I liked this. Well worth a punt for the SF reader. Buy it.    


Geoffrey said...

OK - third time's the charm.....

That looks interesting as I seem to have a great fear of all things that live in hives (esp hornets!) - I'll check that one out. I was wondering what your reading list is, short stories specifically as I tend to like them a lot (more Strood universe please!)

I just read a SS called "Living in the Singularity" by Tome Borthwick. The story was not so exciting but the concept really hit home, even though I am not a fan of the "sock it to 'em at the ending" type of short story.

Also "Bright Red Star" by Bud Sparhawk is another recent discovery - very awesome military SF.

Neal Asher said...

To be honest I don't really get why the word 'Hive' is used in the title at all. Short stories? Don't read many collections but I do have some Asimov's (a year's worth on my Kindle) to catch up with. Best short story collection I've read in recent years is Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang.

Geoffrey said...

Ted Chiang's work is quite interesting. His "Exhalation" is a breath of fresh air, so to speak.

Just finished "Brass Man" and quite enjoyed it. For whatever reason the title never struck me right so I had skipped it. King of Hearts - very interesting character possibly my favorite. I will have to implement something called "King" in my own writing... which is entirely in C++ and Python.

I will now turn to The Owner for a while... I wonder about the overlap between The Owner and Polity... as there was some in earlier short stories. Seems to me that The Owner and The Collector are one and the same... The Collector being the same type of being as Fethan. I can't work out the connection tho... Earth in Africa Zero has lost technology and there are no AI's about. Perhaps slightly overlapping literary universes is what I figure.

One question - why can't I lend your books on Kindle? I suspect it is the publisher who dictates these things. I am trying to get a friend into your stuff - he insists on old school (but great) authors like Niven - and since the last time I bought a paper book was ages ago there is no way to give him the shove he needs. Oh well his loss.

Neal Asher said...

The overlaps in the books are because they are timelines running close to each other on the probability slope, of course.

No idea about the Kindle problems.