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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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
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.
Ian Cormac-our hero who can best be described 25th century James Bond who is burned out from years of being linked to his AI in missions. Cormac lastest mission he must find the cause of destruction of runcibles which resulted in death of thousands of people. Cormac's got two problems in this case: one is mysterious and possible deadly alien construct called the Dragon who has something to do with the runcible tragedy and the other is brutal psychopathic interstellar terrorist by the name of Arian Pelter who is after Cormac for killing his sister in his last mission! Pelter is aided by terrifying and nearly unstoppable android called Mr. Crane!Gridlinked is awesome space opera that combines hard science with james bondian action sequences between humans, cyborgs and assasins!Asher's world-building skills are wonderful! his Heroes and villians are three-dimensional.I look forward to Asher's next book!
Neal Asher's science is also good. The Runcible mode of transport seems much in line with the recent discovery of black holes at the centre of galaxies (and Asher has been writing about Runcible technology for quite a while). Where Neal Asher has always seemed strongest is in his creation of biological entities - mycelium and pseudopods are real science. However, Gridlinked has also finally revealed that Asher does have quite a whimsical tone. It's a delight to finally discover that the Polity's mode of transport was named after the runcible spoon in Edward Lear's nonsense rhyme 'The Owl and the Pussycat'.Read more ›
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 12 months ago by ReginaldTheRed
The technician enters the runcible gate to star transport to the planet Samerkand, but something goes astray and his arrival ignites a nuclear explosion that kills at least ten... Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2004