Best Neal Asher book to start with?

Brian G Turner

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Well, he's posting a lot here so I'd best show my support by buying at least one of his books. :)

However, which titles should I be looking at most? I appreciate there are a few, I just aren't sure whether we're talking complete standalones, series, or whether there are important references you need to follow.

Any recommendations?
 
I'd start with Gridlinked; if memory serves that is the first, and the rest flows from that. At least the Polity books.
 
I started with The Skinner. It's set in the same universe as the Cormac novels, but it's a stand alone trilogy.

I would recommend The Technician.
 
Surely not The Technician as a starter? It follows on directly from events in The Line of Polity.

I still think one of the best to get a feel for Asher is Prador Moon - the first Polity book chronologically - partly because its the first but also because it gives a great introduction to the Polity and Ashers style.

That's not where I started but it is where I always recommend starting. I can post a chronological list of Polity books if you like though or there is a thread with one in it somewhere here!
 
The Technician was the first of his I read, and I found it practically unintelligible since I knew nothing of his worlds, not made any easier by a lot of info-dumping of backstory and a time line which initially jumped around all over the place. So my recommendation is definitely not to start with that one! It gave me something of an advantage when I subsequently read Line of Polity but overall that was a far easier book to get into and understand.

The other two of his I've read are Line War and The Voyage of the Sable Keech, and again I found them not the easiest of reads. I'll have to get hold of Prador Moon and try that.
 
Whilst some of Ashers books are moderately standalone they nearly all (other than the first ones) tend to assume some familiarity with the Polity. I would say the interdependence between Asher's Polity books is, for example, much stronger than Banks' Culture books.
 
A fair point about The Technician. I still feel that the Skinner trilogy's a good place to start.
 
Gotta be Gridlinked. Everything sorta spirals outwards from there.
Or start with the first one in the owner series, which has a very different feel to the polity novels.
 
In that case. I, Brian, what did you decide upon and how did you enjoy it?
 
It's described as "Owner Trilogy Book 3", which rather suggests that it isn't the best place to start. (I bought the fifth book in the polity series -- Line War -- in a secondhand-book shop, but I realised in time that I had to read the first four first**.)


** - Personally, I wish I'd started with Prador Moon first.
 
My first Asher book was Cowl, a definite stand alone. Probably not the best choice for immersing myself in his milieu, however. My next was The Skinner. Then the next two in the trilogy in short order. Much more satisfying. I'm now getting through the Agent Cormac novels in proper order. Perhaps I should take a break and read Prador Moon. I am currently reading The Gabble and other stories as it is and I have a copy of Shadow of the Scorpion in hand.
 
The Skinner is really unique, yet involved and sometimes confusing. But I found it fascinating in a character and world building sense. Very much so.

Chris
 
My first Asher book was Cowl, a definite stand alone. Probably not the best choice for immersing myself in his milieu, however. My next was The Skinner. Then the next two in the trilogy in short order. Much more satisfying. I'm now getting through the Agent Cormac novels in proper order. Perhaps I should take a break and read Prador Moon. I am currently reading The Gabble and other stories as it is and I have a copy of Shadow of the Scorpion in hand.
You should be aware that Prador Moon is the earliest chronologically and Shadow of the Scorpion is a sort of Cormac prequel.
 

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