Gridlinked Hardcover – Aug 16 2003
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Gridlinked is the talented Neal Asher's first full-length SF novel, an accomplished rapid-action thriller crammed with high technology, obsessed characters, and the glittering boys' toys of advanced weaponry.
Cormac is a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future where "runcible" transmitters allow interstellar travel in an eye blink. Unfortunately Cormac is nearly burnt out, "gridlinked" to the AI net so long that his humanity has drained away. He has to take the cold turkey cure and shake his addiction to instant online access, even while investigating the unique runcible disaster that's wiped out the entire human colony on planet Samarkand in a 30 megaton explosion ...
Hot on Cormac's heels is vengeful terrorist Pelter, backed up by his unstoppable, psychotic android killer "Mr Crane" and a goon squad of mercenaries. Other trouble has been brewing since 27 years earlier, when Cormac was humanity's ambassador to a vast, incomprehensible alien that called itself Dragon. Deep beneath Samarkand's surface there are buried mysteries, fiercely guarded. And is it true that Cormac's enigmatic boss is an immortal who's lived half a millennium and was born in the 20th century?
Asher's galaxy is full of colour and sleaze, and his story rattles along at speed. There are surprises, double-crosses, elaborate lies to be seen through, astonishing escapes from certain death, and last-minute reversals. Though the ultimate fates of the lesser villains seem mildly anticlimactic, the true bad guy is dealt with in spectacular style. Sequels are hinted. Fast-moving, edge-of-the-seat entertainment. --David Langford --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"Gritty. Now, there's a word you don't often hear in connection with science fiction -- more's the pity. If all novels could employ this atmosphere as well as Gridlinked does, I could wish that all authors followed Neal Asher's lead. Then again, this unique style is all Asher's; it's highly doubtful that a copy would be as deeply satisfying. . . .And he leaves you eager for more. . . . Is it too early in 2001 to be thinking of a top-ten list? Not with a novel this impressive."-SF site.
“I couldn’t put it down. I even ended up reading it twice. Highly recommended.”—i
“Neal Asher makes the move to the big league with Gridlinked . . . [a] fast-moving and enjoyable tale.”—Starburst magazine
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Angelina Pelter gazed out across a seascape as colour-drained as a charcoal drawing and felt her purpose harden: this was her home, this was the place she must defend against the silicon autocrat Earth Central and all its agents. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Many interesting ideas were introduced and Asher's 'Polity' promises to be a great backdrop for many future novels - likewise the main character Ian Cormac is interesting and complex enough to star in many more adventures. For me there were two things that kept it from scoring higher than 3 stars. What follows will not spoil the plot if you have yet to read the novel - however if you would rather dive in without knowing what to expect (like I do)I'd skip the rest of this review, and just buy the book - it is well worth the read.
Firstly, the theme of Cormac being separated from the grid was never fully explored later in the book. I would have liked to see this continued throughout the novel. Asher seems to forget about it half way through and focuses on Cormac as "action hero" rather than "social misfit with no humanity". Pity.
Secondly, there are 2 main plotlines and 1 tiny one which never really crossover in a way that makes sense. The revenge theme just wraps up too easily for my tastes and never connects with The Maker storyline as I hoped it would. The Stanton story ended very poorly and added nothing to the novel for me - a real shame since Stanton was a great character - I was hoping for some real interaction between him and Cormac more than just the "why choose a life of crime" conversation they have that lasts for thirty seconds.
In the end though I thought this book was quite good and I will definitely read his other novels. I would sum up his style as half way between the noir-action of Richard Morgan (Altered Carbon) and the space opera of Alistair Reynolds (Revelation Space) - both great British Sci-Fi writers who I would choose over Asher, but then again why waffle? Just read all three and don't forget to read Iain M. Banks' culture novels as well while you're at it!
-- Ryan Buckley
Asher seems overly enamored of twenty-dollar words when five-dollar ones would suffice. I don't believe hard sci-fi needs to be so obdurate in its word choices - he sometimes uses obscure or almost archaic English in places. While some might excuse this of him as he is British, I've spent enough time in the UK with British intellectuals to know this isn't a universal trait.
Overall, this was an enjoyable enough summer sci-fi read that I also have consumed his other books, but I don't think he's yet on par with his peers, such as Richard Morgan. All the same, I will keep reading his works.
While Cormac struggles to adjust to an unplugged existence, he makes inquiries into the explosion. However, Arian Pelter and thugs working for him want Ian dead because Cormac killed his sister while working a separatist's case. As Cormac acts and reacts clumsily, Arian becomes self-assured that he will assassinate his enemy soon.
The technology is cleverly designed so that the reader can sense this futuristic galaxy has some unique gadgetry yet all the gizmos are interwoven into the terrific action-packed plot. The investigation subplot into whether an accident or sabotage occurred is exciting and hooks the reader even while the death count dramatically rises. However, the key to Neal Asher's fabulously complex science fiction is Cormac and Pelter whose cat and mouse contest makes for an engrossing and entertaining futuristic science fiction novel that runs at hyperspeed.
Most recent customer reviews
Anyone who liked Iain M Banks' sci fi universe will feel right at home here. The same style and wit and scale make Gridlinked a very enjoyable next step if you've finished all of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by ReginaldTheRed
Every line of this debut novel crackles with energy and ideas. The backdrop is a society enhanced by connectivity (the Grid of the title) and cross-galaxy travel made possible by... Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2003
I loved this book! Gridlinked was a super read set in a high-tech 25th century universe where interstellar travel is done instantly through runcibles-matter transmitters control by... Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2003 by Rodney Powell