Postcards From a Dying World
News, views, book reviews and commentary from the Science Fiction and Horror fiction underground. Home of the Wonderland award nominated author of Vegan Revolution...With Zombies and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Book Review: Zero Point by Neal Asher
Zero point by Neal Asher
Neal Asher is one of if not my favorite modern Science Fiction writers. This is my fourth Asher book, the second in a new trilogy which takes place in a different universe (The Owner Trilogy) from the majority of his novels (Polity universe). I read and reviewed the first book in this trilogy last year and spent alot of time commenting on the political nature of Asher's work. Asher and I don't share political views unlike most sci-fi writers Asher comes from the right side of the aisle (he is far from alone Ray Bradbury loved GW Bush after all). Despite radically different views and a political message I wasn't sure I agreed with I found a way to enjoy The Departure the first book because at it's core it's a neat story and wheather I agreed with it or not I was happy to see someone saying something deeper with a novel.
Zero Point picks up where Departure ended. The Argus Station , a huge space station was being used to kill Zero asset citizens in a wildly overpopulated earth of the future. Our main character Alan Saul has led an attack on the station fusing his mind and his dying body with the station and the army of robots at his command. He has stopped the murder and flung the station into deep space. Back on earth one of the few leaders he didn't kill manages to gain power and continue to kill off the population with a virus that kills billions and is blamed on Alan.
This is a dark, gritty and horror filled science fiction novel that blends action, battles, technology and political intrigue with a gee-whiz story. It is a really cool Science fiction novel. It builds on the Departure and has me interested in a third part.
To me this story is pure ecological horror, If I didn't know better I would think Asher was closer to the radical environmental camps, so it is a bit weird to see some a grim view of the future based on population issues put forward by someone who is not. In many ways this is a gonzo action take on John Brunner's territory. It is nothing like Stand on Zansibar in reality, but imagine if Brunner was super into battles and crazy spidergun androids and drone tech.
Is it Asher's best? no he has still yet to top The Skinner for me, but I have many more of his books to read before I can say for certain. Big Thumbs up from me.