Saturday, February 23, 2008

Gridlinked by Neal Asher

What better way to end my run of non-fiction than with a good sci-fi action story? Gridlinked is certainly that, starting with a massive explosion in a supposedly failsafe travel system.

The title of this book is somewhat misleading. The central character begins the novel ‘gridlinked’ that is, connected permanently and wirelessly to the Internet of the future. However for reasons of his own health he is advised to disconnect and does so. A fair amount of the book details his slow reintegration after spending such a long time hooked up.

Gridlinked is a science fiction adventure story, so there’s murder, mystery, aliens, and spaceships. Not usually the kind of science fiction I choose to read, but this is an enjoyable book. I assume this is a first novel since there is a lot of people staring at people “for a long moment” which was a bit off putting after the first 12 times.

Too much hard science fiction can be bad for you I think. I kept wondering why the bad guys were waiting for the good guys at their destination, when the good guys travelled instantaneously via runcible (a quantum transporter) while the bad guys took a spaceship so they could smuggle weapons. I just had this dry voice in my head wondering why the bad guys didn’t arrive like eighty years too late instead of two days early. But this is my issue. I must do something about that voice.

The central character is distant from those around him, and I can almost believe the whole idea of him being gridlinked for so long is just a device to explain his introversion. It was the similarly introverted character of Mika who caught my attention. There are other characters to choose from, the android, the space pilot, the mercenary, the psycho terrorist. You may remember them from just about every other sci-fi action story you’ve read.

Gridlinked is an enjoyable read, not to be taken too seriously, but worth the time spent reading. It's no think piece like Revelation Space, but it's no mindless bore like Descent of Angels either. Books like this should have a place on everyone’s shelf. Plus, you know, Taryn liked it.


Neal Asher said...

It is quite amazing the effects of speed-of-plot on FTL travel. Obviously you don't understand the physics ... who does?

DK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DK said...

That's true - I don't! But what confused me (or at least caused my brow to furrow while reading) was how come Pelter was able to overtake Cormac using a spaceship, while Cormac travelled instanteneously? That kind of stuck with me for the latter part of the novel.

Still enjoyed it though. You even made me care whether Stanton and Jarv made it through.

So.. any chance of Mika coming back again?

Taryn said...

Is Mika the scientist cum strange religious girl who can't ask questions? If so, she is in a few more of the cormac novels.
If not, sorry! hahah

DK said...

Yes, that's her. Okay, so what's the next Cormac novel after Gridlinked, then?

Taryn said...

Sorry, for some reason never saw this question!? The next Cormac novel is Line of Polity and then there are about 5 more... check out the list