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The Gabble and Other Stories by Neal Asher

The Gabble and Other Stories (2008)

by Neal Asher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Polity Universe (5)

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143383,804 (3.94)5



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There is something grand about the imaginative and interlinked space operas Neal Asher writes. These short stories, some of them not very short, complement the novels by exploring some of the creatures and ideas found in his longer work. This collection features several stories about gabbleducks, one of his weirder and more fascinating creations. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Book Recommendation of The Gabble and Other Stories by Rafael Ng Year 8
Neal Asher's 'The Gabble and other stories' is the latest of a line of books set in the Polity. Neal Asher is an English science fiction writer with lots of experience in his field and it certainly shows in this collection of short stories. The first Polity novel he wrote was Gridlinked (2001) and since then the majority of his works have taken place in the Polity.
The Polity is the fictional future where anything could happen, from alien archaeologists and extinct alien civilizations to gory assassinations by drug cartels to an immortal albino and his robot girlfriend. The daily lives of the people living the Polity are generally very different from our lives in the present. For example, the government is run by Artificial Intelligences and people can be brought back from death as cyborg zombies. Because the novel is made up of stories that, for the most part, have no relationship with each other, you get to jump around a lot and you can explore more of the Polity. I found the constant change of scenery refreshing as one moment I could be finishing a story about a guy turning into a crustacean and then I could be reading about a scientific expedition on a planet that people only have scant knowledge of.
The characters in each story fit into a wide spectrum of archetypes, for example, a person who wants revenge, or a person who just wants to be left alone but everybody’s trying to kill him for some reason, or a person who just wants to make a living. Asher also switches from 3rd person to 1st person in some of the stories.
The Gabble introduces us to a variety of ideas, such as what might the world be like in the far future? Would it be run by Artificially Intelligent robots? How would the social structure of human society change with advances in technology? The way these ideas are handled make this a great book.
  VeronicaCrothers | Dec 4, 2012 |
Science Fiction horror is one of the most fun things to read. There is certainly a strain of this running throughou the various stories of Neal Asher's Polity Future History. Cover blurbs are often hyperbolic, to put it politely (complete crap, when being less so) but when a bit on this one says that Asher does the best monsters, the claim is quite correct.

If you take Science Fiction and Horror as a continuum, then unlike say Brian Lumley and his Screaming Science Fiction, Asher approaches Horror from the Science Fiction end, while Lumley does the reverse. Contemporary Alastair Reynolds does something different, but his atmosphere of gloomy gothic decay is radically different to the rather more gleefully (a la Lumley) exuberant style of mayhem, mycelium and machines that this author employs.

The Gabble and Other Stories collects Polity stories from a variety of venues, some so obscure I've never heard of them, so you are unlikely to ever track them down there, I think.

The coolest writers of Future Histories manage to have both longer and shorter works set in their universes, and this Asher handles with aplomb. In fact, while the various Polity novels (a couple of which I haven't read) are generally in the decent or better range, his shorter works are, I think, superior, as evidenced here by a 3.90 average rating for this book. many of them falling into the very good class, at least those I have come across. The longer work suffers a bit at times from just that, length, given the style of story he tells. Or at the very least you could say his Polity short stories in general are really excellent, as I believe he has a collection of other earlier work. Hopefully sometime this century when Tor gets around to webscriptions there will be a 'Polity' bundle, or at least Cormac and Polity bundles if the former has too much stuff.

The cover of this book would have lots of kids (and those older) saying 'where can I get the toy of that!' Steve Rawlings, very well done. Referencing the cover, 'Garp and Geronamid' has a Polity AI investigating dodgy drug dealings while in the body of an Allosaurus!!!

Asher has written an afterword giving some brief info about each story. Other than monster in the intro to 'Snow In the Desert' he says 'I like my super-tough heroes and lethal androids'. Sometimes even combined.

If monsters, biowarped stuff, weird ecology, dinosaur AI, super-tough heroes lethal androids and blowing stuff up appeals to you, then Asher is your guy. Great stuff.

Gabble and Other Stories : Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : Putrefactors - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : Garp and Geronamid - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : The Sea of Death - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : Alien Archeaology - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : Acephalous Dreams - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : Snow in the Desert - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : Choudapt - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : Adaptogenic - Neal Asher
Gabble and Other Stories : The Gabble - Neal Asher

Wave bye-bye to the monster, now.

4.5 out of 5

Terminal gutcheck case.

3.5 out of 5

Allosaurus AI Intervention ingestion.

4 out of 5

Cold and cracked up to be with aliens.

4 out of 5

Making a xenodiscovery killing.

4 out of 5

Abused religious cult murderer's execution given AI exchange for hive mind implantation and multiplicitous disintegration.

4 out of 5

Immortality bounty is more than a load of old bollocks.

4 out of 5

Fungus the virusman.

3.5 out of 5

Hanging out at auctions leads to an interesting confrontation via shape-shifting technology.

3.5 out of 5

Artificial discovery.

4 out of 5

http://notfreesf.blogspot.com/2009/02/gabble-and-other-stories-neal-asher.html ( )
  bluetyson | Feb 11, 2009 |
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Neal Asherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rawlings, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Peter Lavery and his scary pencil. Happy retirement!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330457594, Paperback)

'What has six arms, a large beak, looks like a pyramid, has more eyes than you'd expect and talks nonsense? If you don't know the answer to that, then you should and you haven't been reading Neal Asher (see point 1)' - Jon Courtenay Grimwood. In the eight years since his first full-length novel, "Gridlinked" was published by Pan Macmillan, Neal Asher has firmly established himself as one of the leading British writers of Science Fiction, and his novels are now translated in many languages. Most of his stories are set in a galactic future-scape called 'The Polity', and with this collection of marvellously inventive and action-packed short stories, he takes us further into the manifold diversities of that amazing universe. No one does monsters better than Neal Asher, so be prepared to revisit the lives and lifestyles of such favourites as the gabbleduck and the hooder, to savour alien poisons, the walking dead, the Sea of Death, and the putrefactor symbiont.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:59 -0400)

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Ten tales from the Polity, an alliance of humans spanning the galaxy and governed by artificial intelligences while under constant threat from alien technology.

» see all 2 descriptions

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