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The Skinner

Neal Asher

Tor Books

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SKINNER, THE
1In any living sea on any world there are always creatures whose fate is integral to the gastronomic delight of other ... creatures. Boxies might more correctly be described as lunchboxes, such was the purpose they served in the sea--and they knew it. Feeding upon occasional shoals of vicious plankton--which would make the experience of swimming for a human akin to bathing in ground glass--and the dispersing remains of those many other creatures which, at some point, always served as an entrée, the boxies swam at high speed and with a kind of nervous determination. Only by
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Skinner

"Dune meets Master and Commander . . . This sprawling tale boasts baddies who deserve their torturous fate and heroes who merit further evolution."-Entertainment Weekly

"Every age gets the science fiction it deserves. Neal Asher's grimly assured novel The Skinner projects the terror-haunted sensibility of our time into a future of limitless brutality. . . . Asher displays great virtuosity in dramatizing Spatterjay's eat-and-be-eaten ecosystem . . .
Asher keeps raising the stakes so that despite the repetitive nature of the violence, it never becomes merely formulaic. You may not relish your stay on Spatterjay. But you won't easily forget it." -The New York Times Book Review

"A rousing space opera . . . Asher will definitely appeal to connoisseurs of sophisticated adventure-oriented SF."-Publishers Weekly

"[A] riotous far-future SF yarn . . . The whole impressive, ingenious enterprise hurtles along at a high-octane clip while swinging with nonchalant abandon between horror and comedy: call it black slapstick. In sum: a blast."-Kirkus Reviews [Starred Review]

"Moby Dick meets Philip K. Dick . . . [A] summary does not begin to do justice to the sheer twisty exuberance and witty inventiveness of Asher's plot. . . . it is easy to believe that no lesson in the art of writing vivid and entertaining science fiction as practiced by [the] masters was lost on him.

"This book has got it all. Cute but vicious creatures that seem to have been devised through some unholy combination of exposure to Walt Disney-style animation and bad acid. Wisecracking AIs that use their advanced intellects to scheme against each other and pursue the main chance. Scary and believable aliens. The clash of complex cultures. World-building with a vengeance-literally. And a contagious sense of fun.

"As if that weren't enough, Asher's characters, alien and human, are drawn with care and depth. Even minor characters . . . are distinctive and engaging, with fully developed personalities. Thanks to Asher's prowess with character, The Skinner, for all its violence, good humor and zestful creativity, is also a poignant, emotionally satisfying read. This is only Asher's second novel, but it serves notice that a talent of the first order has arrived."-SF Weekly

"This is a stunning piece of work. . . . The Skinner is a hugely engrossing read and simply a fantastic piece of entertainment that deserves serious consideration for the Arthur C. Clarke award. I strongly recommend it."-SFRevu.com

"Crammed full of inventive technology, organic and artificial intelligence, horrible monsters, and a thick mesh of storylines . . . extremely hard to put down."--SFX

"If anyone still imagines that likening an SF author's work to action-thriller-horror genres means that it can't really be SF, or that it can't be good SF, then they need to pick up one or both of Asher's novels. Gridlinked and The Skinner demonstrate that zombies, mutants, killer leeches, spies and assassins can all be placed within detailed, scientifically, underpinned and extrapolated worlds, with the strengths of SF literature being used to resurrect dead clichés of popular narrative."-Interzone

"An exhilarating tour through one of the most ingeniously, elaborately deadly worlds since Harry Harrison invented Deathworld in the 1960s."-Locus

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Neal Asher

  • Neal Asher
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    The Skinner

    Neal Asher

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