One man will transcend death to seek vengeance. One woman will transform herself to gain power. And no one will emerge unscathed...
Thorvald Spear wakes in hospital, where he finds he's been brought back from the dead. What's more, he died in a human vs. alien war which ended a whole century ago. But when he relives his traumatic final moments, he finds the spark to keep on living. That spark is vengeance. Trapped and desperate on a world surrounded by alien Prador forces, Spear had seen a rescue ship arriving. But instead of providing backup, Penny Royal, the AI within the destroyer turned rogue. It annihilated friendly forces in a frenzy of destruction, and, years later, it's still free. Spear vows to track it across worlds and do whatever it takes to bring it down.
Isobel Satomi ran a successful crime syndicate. But after competitors attacked, she needed more power. Yet she got more than she bargained for when she negotiated with Penny Royal. She paid it to turn her part-AI herself, but the upgrades hid a horrifying secret. The Dark AI had triggered a transformation in Isobel that would turn her into a monster, rapidly evolving into something far from human.
Spear hires Isobel to take him to the Penny Royal AI's last known whereabouts. But he cheats her in the process and he becomes a target for her vengeance. And as she is evolves further into a monstrous predator, rage soon wins over reason. Will Spear finish his hunt, before he becomes the hunted?
This is the first volume in a no-holds-barred adventure set in Asher's popular Polity universe.
One seeks judgement, another faces damnation and one man will have his revenge . . .Thorvald Spear is losing his mind as he drowns in dark memories that aren't his own. Penny Royal, rogue artificial intelligence, has linked Spear with the stored personalities of those it's murdered. And whether the AI seeks redemption or has some more sinister motive, Spear needs to destroy it. He feels the anger of the dead and shares their pain. As Spear tracks the AI across a hostile starscape, he has company. Sverl, an alien prador, has been warped by Penny Royal and hungers to confront it. But will the AI's pursuers destroy each other or hunt it together? Sverl's prador enemies aren't far behind either. They plan to use his transition to prove human meddling, triggering a devastating new war. Clues suggest Penny Royal's heading for the defective war factory that made it. So allies and enemies converge, heading for the biggest firestorm that sector of space has ever seen. But will Spear secure vengeance for his unquiet dead?
Infinity Engine is the third and final novel in the Transformation series, by bestselling science fiction author Neal Asher, following Dark Intelligence and War Factory.A man battles for his life, two AIs vie for supremacy and a civilization hangs in the balance . . .Several forces now pursue rogue artificial intelligence Penny Royal, hungry for revenge or redemption. And the Brockle is the most dangerous of all. This criminal swarm-robot AI has escaped its confinement and is upgrading itself, becoming ever more powerful in anticipation of a deadly showdown.Events also escalate aboard the damaged war factory station where Penny Royal was constructed. Here Thorvald Spear, alien prador, and an assassin drone struggle to stay alive, battling insane AIs and technology gone wild. Then the Weaver arrives - last of the Atheter, resurrected from a race that suicided two million years ago. But what could it contribute to Penny Royal's tortuous plans?And beyond the war factory a black hole conceals a tantalizing secret which could destroy the Polity. As AIs, humans and prador clash at its boundary, will anything survive their explosive final confrontation?
Her mission is vital. Her failure is unthinkable.A hidden corner of space is swarming with lethal alien technology, a danger to all sentient life. It's guarded by Orlandine, who must keep it contained at any cost - as it has the power to destroy entire civilizations. She schemes from her state-of-the-art weapons station, with only an alien intelligence to share her vigil. But she doesn't share everything with Dragon . . . Orlandine is hatching a plan to obliterate this technology, removing its threat forever. For some will do anything to exploit this ancient weaponry, created by a long-dead race called the Jain. This includes activating a Jain super-soldier, which may breach even Orlandine's defences.Meanwhile, humanity and the alien prador empire keep a careful watch over this sector of space, as neither can allow the other to claim its power. However, things are about to change. The Jain might not be as dead as they seemed - and interstellar war is just a heartbeat away.The Soldier is the first novel in the Rise of the Jain series, by bestselling science fiction author Neal Asher.
In the far future, the Heliothane Dominion is triumphant in the solar system, after a bitter war with their Umbrathane progenitors. But some of the enemy have escaped into the past, intent on wreaking havoc across time. The worst of these is Cowl, an artificially forced advance in human evolution but one who is no longer human. Polly, desperate to obtain funds to support her habits, is unprepared for her involvement with Nandru Jurgens, a Taskforce soldier, and the killers pursuing him. Nor can she resist the the alien 'tor' which she feels impelled to attach to her arm. But she must learn fast, as she is dragged back through time, not least that to the denizens of some earlier eras, she is little more than a convenience food. Initially, the fragment of tor imbedded in Tack's wrist sums up his value to the Heliothane a point brought home to him with bloody abruptness. But, as a vatgrown programmable killer employed by Ugov, he is no stranger to violence. His long journey into the lethal world of the Heliothane is only beginning, the extent of his mission just becoming apparent. Meanwhile, hunting throughout time and the alternates, Cowl's pet, the tor beast, grows vast and dangerous. And the beast continues to feed.
The Polity Collective, which benignly rules numerous star systems, has come up against a chilling opponent. The crablike Prador are bloodthirsty aliens bent on crushing the Polity and stealing its runcible technology . . . and they possess a frightening superiority in space warfare. Two wild-card humans, a vengeance-driven soldier and a runcible technician, must now combine their talents in an attempt to stop a seemingly invincible Prador warship from incinerating yet another Polity world. Combining violence and cunning in a race against time, this is classic space opera from one of the new UK masters of the genre. Literally never a dull moment: ‘A fast and furious spectacle developed with gusto’ Booklist
In charge of an old cargo spaceship, the Old Captain Orbus flees a violent and sadistic past, but he doesn’t know that the lethal war drone, Sniper, is a stowaway, and that the past is rapidly catching up with him. His old enemy the Prador Vrell, mutated by the Spatterjay virus into something powerful and dangerous, has seized control of a Prador dreadnought, murdering its crew, and is now seeking to exact vengeance on those who tried to have him killed. Their courses inexorably converge in the Graveyard, the border realm lying between the Polity and the Prador Kingdom, a place filled with the ruins left by past genocides and interplanetary war. But this is the home of the Golgoloth, monster to a race of monsters, the place where a centurieslong cold war is being fought. Meanwhile, the terrifying Prador King is coming, prepared to do anything to ensure Vrell’s death and keep certain deadly secrets buried . . . and somewhere out there something that has annihilated civilizations is stirring from a slumber of five million years. The cold war is heating up, fast.
On the primitive world of Cull, a knight errant called Anderson is hunting a dragon, little knowing that far away someone else (now more technology than human flesh) has resurrected a brass killing machine called ‘Mr Crane’ to assist in a similar hunt encompassing star systems. When agent Cormac learns that this old enemy still lives, he sets out in pursuit aboard the attack ship Jack Ketch … whilst scientist Mika begins discovering the horrifying truth about that ancient technology ostensibly produced by the alien Jain. Meanwhile, for the people of Cull, each day proves a struggle to survive on a planet roamed by ferocious insectile monsters, while they slowly construct the industrial base that may enable them to escape to their forefathers’ starship still orbiting far above them. But an entity with questionable motives, calling itself Dragon, assists them with genetic byblows created out of humans and the hideous local monsters. And now the planet itself, for millennia geologically inactive, is increasingly suffering earthquakes … 'Compelling reading ... Asher has become a resounding and distinctive voice in British SF' SFRevu
From 800 years in the future, a runcible gate is opened into the Polity and those coming through it have been sent specially to take the alien ‘Maker’ back to its home civilization in the Small Magellanic cloud. Once these refugees are safely through, the gate itself is rapidly shut down – because something alien is pursuing them. The gate is then dumped into a nearby sun. From those refugees who get through, agent Cormac learns that the Maker civilization has been destroyed by pernicious virus known as the Jain technology. This, of course, raised questions: why was Dragon, a massive biocontruct of the Makers, really sent to the Polity; why did a Jain node suddenly end up in the hands of someone who could do the most damage with it? Meanwhile an entity called the Legate is distributing pernicious Jain nodes . . . and a renegade attack ship, The King of Hearts, has encountered something very nasty outside the Polity itself.
Raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and the vicious arthropoid race, the Prador, Ian Cormac is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpionshaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn’t remember. In the years following the war he signs up with Earth Central Security, and is sent out to help either restore or simply maintain order on worlds devastated by Prador bombardment. There he discovers that though the old enemy remains as murderous as ever, it is not anywhere near as perfidious or dangerous as some of his fellow humans, some of them closer to him than he would like. Amidst the ruins left by wartime genocides, he discovers in himself a cold capacity for violence, learns some horrible truths about his own past and, set upon a course of vengeance, tries merely to stay alive.
During a war between two planets in the same solar system – each occupied by adapted humans – what is thought to be a cosmic superstring is discovered. After being cut, this object collapses into four cylindrical pieces, each about the size of a tube train. Each is densely packed with either alien technology or some kind of life. They are placed for safety in three ozark cylinders of a massively secure space station. There a female research scientist subsequently falls pregnant, and gives birth to quads. Then she commits suicide – but why? By the end of the war one of the contesting planets has been devastated by the hilldiggers – giant space dreadnoughts employing weapons capable of creating mountain ranges. The quads have meanwhile grown up and are assuming positions of power in the postwar society. One of them will eventually gain control of the awesome hilldiggers . . .
The Polity is under attack from a 'melded' AI entity with control of the lethal Jain technology, yet the attack seems to have no coherence. When one of Erebus' worm ships kills millions on the world of Klurhammon, a high-tech agricultural world of no real tactical significance, agent Ian Cormac is sent to investigate.
In outer space you can never feel sure that your adversary is altogether human. The runcible buffers on Samarkand have been mysteriously sabotaged, killing many thousands and destroying a terraforming project. Agent Cormac must reach it by ship to begin an investigation. But Cormac has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Pelter, who is prepared to follow him across the galaxy with a terrifying android in tow. Despite the sub-zero temperature of Samarkand, Cormac discovers signs of life: they are two 'dracomen', alien beasts contrived by an extra-galactic entity calling itself 'Dragon', which is a huge creature consisting of four conjoined spheres of flesh each a kilometre in diameter. Caught between the byzantine wiles of the Dragon and the lethal fury of Pelter, Cormac needs to skip very nimbly indeed to rescue the Samarkand project and protect his own life.
Visible in the night sky the Argus Station, its twin smelting plants like glowing eyes, looks down on nightmare Earth. From Argus the Committee keep an oppressive control: citizens are watched by cams systems and political officers, it's a world inhabited by shepherds, reader guns, razor birds and the brutal Inspectorate with its white tiled cells and pain inducers. Soon the Committee will have the power to edit human minds, but not yet, twelve billion human being need to die before Earth can be stabilized, but by turning large portions of Earth into concentration camps this is achievable, especially when the Argus satellite laser network comes fully online . . . This is the world Alan Saul wakes to in his crate on the conveyor to the Calais incinerator. How he got there he does not know, but he does remember the pain and the face of his interrogator. Informed by Janus, through the hardware implanted in his skull, about the world as it is now Saul is determined to destroy it, just as soon as he has found out who he was, and killed his interrogator . . .
Earths Zero Asset citizens no longer face extermination. Thanks to Alan Saul, the Committees despotic network is in ruins and its robotic enforcers lie dormant. But the ruthless Serene Galahad sees an opportunity to grab power. On Mars, Var Delex fights for Antares Bases survival, while the Argus Space Station hurtles towards the red planet. And Var knows whomever, or whatever, trashed Earth is still aboard. She must not only save the base, but deal with the first signs of rebellion. And aboard Argus Station, Alan Sauls mind has expanded into the local computer network. In the process, he uncovers the ghastly experiments of the Humanoid Unit Development, the possibility of eternal life, and a madman who may hold the keys to interstellar flight. But Earths agents are closer than Saul thinks, and the killing will soon begin. PRAISE FOR THE OWNER SERIES: Playing like a turbo-charged mix of Total Recall and The Bourne Identity, The Departure moves at Ashers usual bullet-speed pace SFX, I had an absolute blast with this book his work really does get better and better FalcataTimes blog, I simply couldnt stop reading until I reached the end WorldsInInk blog
To the remote planet Spatterjay come three travellers with very different missions. Janer is directed there by the hornet Hivemind; Erlin comes to find the sea captain who can teach her to live; and Keech dead for seven hundred years has unfinished business with a notorious criminal. Spatterjay is a watery world where the human population inhabits the safety of the Dome and only the quasiimmortal hoopers are safe outside amidst a fearful range of voracious lifeforms. Somewhere out there is Spatterjay Hoop himself, and monitor Keech cannot rest until he can bring this legendary renegade to justice for atrocious crimes committed centuries ago during the Prador Wars. Keech does not realise that Hoop's body is running free on an island wilderness, while his living head is confined in a box on an Old Captain's ships. Nor does he know that the most brutal Prador of all is about to pay a visit, intent on wiping out all evidence of his wartime atrocities. Which means major hell is about to erupt in this chaotic waterscape.