Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Book Reviews: Africa Zero by Neal Asher

Africa Zero by Neal Asher

Paperback, 169 pages

Published 2006 by Wildside Press (first published 1994)

Neal Asher is one of my favorite modern Science Fiction writers and this lost novella is a work of his that I read once before. It takes a short story and a novella and marries them together into one piece. The best thing about this novella is how batshit crazy it is. I mean this is early Asher and has not been re-issued probably because it was before Asher polished his skills. That said I really enjoy how weird it is.

The main character is a Cyborg named "The Collector" who is all machine at this point except his brain. This hints of Sable Keech the amazing character from the novel I consider Asher's best "The Skinner." The Collector roams Africa a thousand years after a human exodus collecting and DNA and re-seeding lost species of plants and animals. Sometimes he tinkers including a time that he gene spliced A Human-vampire species Great African Vampire.

So yes you have a post human earth with a mostly machine cyborg fighting post civilized African cults and genetically engineered vampires. Way weirder than that. It is short but Asher fans should check it out for sure. If you are new to Asher start out with The Skinner or Gridlinked. You can find reviews on this blog if you search Neal Asher in the blog search window.

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