Neal Asher has been publishing short fiction and books in the small press in Britain for several years, and made a successful move to paperback in 2001 with Gridlinked. He got a sheaf of favorable notices. “This is a brilliant and audacious work, chock-full of cutting-edge ideas. . . . I look forward to [his next books] enormously and to seeing Asher receive the success he is clearly destined for. Highly recommended,” said SFRevu.com. Now Asher crosses the Atlantic and breaks into hardcover with Gridlinked, a science fiction adventure in the classic, fast-paced, action-packed tradition of Harry Harrison and Poul Anderson, with a dash of cyberpunk and a splash of Ian Fleming added to spice the mix.
Cormac is a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future where "runcibles" (matter transmitters controlled by AIs) allow interstellar travel in an eye blink throughout the settled worlds of the Polity. Unfortunately Cormac is nearly burnt out, "gridlinked" to the AI net so long that his humanity has begun to drain away. He has to take the cold-turkey cure and shake his addiction to having his brain on the net.
Now he must do without just as he’s sent to investigate the unique runcible disaster that's wiped out the entire human colony on planet Samarkand in a thirty-megaton explosion. With the runcible out, Cormac must get there by ship, but he has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Arian Pelter, who now follows him across the galaxy with a terrifying psychotic killer android in tow. And deep beneath Samarkand's surface there are buried mysteries, fiercely guarded.
This is fast-moving, edge-of-the-seat entertainment -- an American debut that's sure to make a splash and launch Neal Asher in a big way.