Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Reddit AMA

The author AMA is now open:
https://www.reddit.com/r/sciencefiction/comments/8jn3kw/im_neal_asher_science_fiction_writer_ama/

Reddit AMA

I'll be doing a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) at 6PM UK time.

https://www.reddit.com/r/sciencefiction/comments/8igmgj/upcoming_amas/

You should be able to find it somewhere here at that time:

https://www.reddit.com/r/sciencefiction/

Hello people, Neal Asher here.

Here are the nuts-and-bolts of who I am, or maybe more correctly, what I do: I once was a hungry aggressive SFF writer struggling to get the odd thing published and writing new stuff on the back of rejection letters. I spent years running at that particular brick wall with my head, until something finally broke . . . I then spent years of getting short stories, novellas and the like published in the small presses (and earning some way below zero for them). A big publisher, Pan Macmillan, finally took me on and brought out my first full-length SF novel, Gridlinked, in 2001. A year or so later I took the risk of giving up my day job and now I’m about 25 books in. Most of my stuff is set in the ‘Polity’ – a far future human/AI society that is pretty utopian, except for the hostile aliens at the border, the occasional psychotic AI, a war that burned up a few hundred worlds and a civilization-destroying alien technology . . . you get the picture. If this is your kind of thing (described as post-cyberpunk space opera, apparently) then search engines will turn up all you need to know. You can find my website at nealasher.co.uk. The blog there is copied across from http://theskinner.blogspot.com while I can also be found on Twitter @nealasher, on Facebook at neal.asher and of course here on Reddit.    

My latest book, The Soldier, is the first in a new trilogy with the overall title Rise of the Jain. Jain technology is the one mentioned above. You might like to ask me why I named a hostile alien technology after a peace-loving religion and my answer will be suitably glib!

Here’s the blurb:

Her mission is vital. Her failure is unthinkable.
A hidden corner of space is swarming with lethal alien technology, a danger to all sentient life. It’s guarded by Orlandine, who must keep it contained at any cost – as it has the power to destroy entire civilizations. She schemes from her state-of-the-art weapons station, with only an alien intelligence to share her vigil. But she doesn’t share everything with Dragon . . .
Orlandine is hatching a plan to obliterate this technology, removing its threat forever. For some will do anything to exploit this ancient weaponry, created by a long-dead race called the Jain. This includes activating a Jain super-soldier, which may breach even Orlandine’s defences.
Meanwhile, humanity and the alien prador empire keep a careful watch over this sector of space, as neither can allow the other to claim its power. However, things are about to change. The Jain might not be as dead as they seemed – and interstellar war is just a heartbeat away.
The Soldier is the first novel in the Rise of the Jain series, by bestselling science fiction author Neal Asher.


This is an AMA so go ahead and ask me anything. I can’t guarantee I’ll answer, or maybe be any more than flippant, but I’ll give it a shot.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Locus Review of The Soldier

Nice review in Locus from Russell Letson of The Soldier. You can buy the magazine here. Here's a little of it:

But I get ahead of myself. The Soldier: Rise of the Jain Book One opens a new set of chapters in the story of the infiltration of Jain technology into the Polity/Prador neighborhood. The story hosts a reunion of characters from earlier books: the Jain-taming haiman (AI-enhanced human) Orlandine; the Jain-spreading creature once called the Legate, now Angel; and one of the ancient, moon-sized, enigma-loving aliens called Dragon. New characters include familiar Asherian types: a couple of Hoopers, nearly-indestructible humans from the everything-eats-everything planet Spatterjay; some disturbingly upgraded and cooperative (if still vicious) Prador; and miscellaneous snarky battle drones and AI warships. They are joined by some even stranger creatures, often singletons of various kinds: relicts and lone survivors, the creation of a rogue AI war­ship, self-redesigned cyborgian entities.


I had thought with the Transformation trilogy (Dark Intelligence, War Factory, Infinity Engine) that Asher had maxed out what could be done with the Polity setting – that the near-metaphysical im­plications of the fate of Penny Royal constituted a kind of narrative event horizon. I think I might have been mistaken.