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The Technician Paperback – August 20, 2010


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About the Author

Neal Asher was born in Billericay, Essex, and still lives nearby. His previous full-length novels are Gridlinked, The Skinner, The Line of Polity, Cowl, Brass Man, The Voyage of the Sable Keech, Polity Agent, Hilldiggers, Prador Moon, Line War, The Gabble and Shadow of the Scorpion.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Tor (August 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230750370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230750371
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,920,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 7, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review is for readers who are unfamiliar with Neal Asher's work because...let's face it. If you're already a fan of his work, you're not reading this review because you're already reading the book! And when you're done you'll be all disappointed because you now have to wait for the next one.

So for readers who have not read any of Asher's work before, I have to say...Don't buy this book. Wait! What? Sorry, but while this book is great, it's not the book you want to start with. Technically, you can, as it's not *really* a sequel, but the events in this book take place after events in previous books and many characters from previous books are referenced. And more to the point...this book ties together many loose ends, so if you read this book and like it (which you will), you'll want to go back and read his earlier books. And you'll be missing out a lot since this book is somewhat "spoilerific".

So stop here and go read his earlier Polity books. Specifically, the "Cormac" series, starting with Gridlinked. [...]
You won't be sorry.

And when you're done with those (and this book), pick up the "SpatterJay" series. And then his stand-alone's. And then the short story collections. And then re-read them all again, while marveling at the universe he has created. And then wait anxiously and impatiently for his next book.

But when you've become a raving Neal Asher fan, don't blame me because remember...I told you not to buy the book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Adrian on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I fell a bit intimidated writing this review because everyone prior to me LOVES this book. I however, found it a bit boring. I thought long and hard about why, and came up with the following reasons:

1. There was nothing new to astonish and amaze us. Previous books had conflicts with the Prador, battles agasint the Jain, working out the conundrum that is Dragon, everyone's favourite planet- Spatterjay, plenty of action, new technology and space battles, and Ian Cormack's journey to discover the truth about the Polity.

In contrast, this book was set on a planet already known to us, with a handful of previously unknown people as leads. The book just answers a couple of questions posed to us during the series, but that's it.

2. It felt about 150-200 pages too long. Never before have I experienced wanting to just skip to the end of the book in a Neal Asher book.

I think it says a lot about the quality of Neal Asher's novels that I didn't like this. It's not that it's that bad, it's just not as great as most of his previous ones.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By rk future unwritten on August 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read almost everything Neal Asher has in print, and I think that this may be his best yet. That may in part be due to its tying in aspects of many of the previous books, but I think that it stands on its own. The title refers to a specific creature living on Masada, a world which featured heavily in one of Asher's previous Polity books. However, the novel revolves around several different characters whose lives intersect at a flashpoint for the planet and for human civilization. I loved the plot twists and slow progression towards a climax entwining the multiple threads, which is characteristic of an Asher novel, but in particular, The Technician involved more character development and growth than in many of his other novels. I suppose that Hilldiggers and The Cowl also involved a significant character growth, but The Technician combines this with the familar feel of the Polity novels. The AIs also seem different than in his previous books - far more removed from human behaviour and less like silicon humans, and more like minds which really think differently than we do. The AIs, and the whole novel, reminded me more of Iain Banks' Culture novels than some of his Asher's earlier novels. All in all, a wonderful read and further evidence that Asher is becoming one of the top writers in SF.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W. Frederick Zimmerman on November 26, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I always feel both attracted and repulsed by Asher's style. He is great at extended action scenes, indeed, often past the point of brutality. He is very good at Big Dumb Object and Big Idea SF. His characters are tough and engaging. But he's not that great at a) describing likable or realistic characters and b) at describing science & technology in the "sense of wonder" sense as opposed to the "weapons porn" sense.

I read this LONG book in its entirety and enjoyed it. That said, I don't think it's Asher's best -- maybe in the middle of the pack -- it doesn't have as much "animal vigor" and sheer narrative drive as the Prador series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ove Jansson, Cybermage.se on December 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Technician can be enjoyed as a standalone novel but you will get more out of it if you read the Cormac novels first. Visiting Masada again for me that have is a bit like coming home and I get to enjoy some of the characters from previous books. The Line of the Polity is the one with most Masada in it.

As usual with Neal's books this one also has an intriguing and well developed back story that tightly fits together with what happened before. I can understand why he went back to Masada. It is such a wonderful quirky place with huge hooder predators that can swallow a man or a minor car and gabbleducks walking around copying human talk but not making any sense; the whole world is wrapped in the mystery of a disappeared alien civilization called the Atheter. On top of this an oppressive theocracy was toppled by rebellion facilitated by the Dragon's destruction of their orbital lasers. Masada is also the homeworld of the Dracomen created when the Dragons crashed on the planet.

Amistad the war drone from Shadow of the Scorpion is back in charge of Atheter research as events set in motion by the Dragon once again threatens humanity. Amistad is one of my favorites. With him we get to follow a bit of personal growth and development, ai style.

I might be the only one but I thought it was hilarious when Blue, the only blue Dracowoman was introduced, I immediately thought; Neal your rascal, you sneaked in a Na'vi on us. The other explanation that came to mind was the blue pill from Matrix in reverse.

The plot centers on Jeremiah Tombs and his journey back to sanity. A theme he also used success with Mr Crane/The Brass Man. Tombs is not the only point of view or main character in this novel but I enjoyed him most because he changes the most.
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