4 February 1961 |
|Period||2000 – present|
Neal Asher (born 4 February 1961 in Billericay, Essex, England) is an English science fiction writer. Both his parents are educators and science fiction fans. Although he began writing Science Fiction and Fantasy in secondary school, Asher did not turn seriously to writing till he was 25. He worked as a machinist and machine programmer from 1979 to 1987 and as a gardener from 1979 to 1987. He published his first short story in 1989. His novel Gridlinked was published in 2001, the first in a series of novels made up of Gridlinked, The Line of Polity, Brass Man, Polity Agent, and Line War.
The majority of Asher's novels and most of his short fiction are all set within one future history, known as the "Polity" universe. The Polity encompasses many classic science fiction tropes including world-ruling artificial intelligences, androids, hive minds and aliens. His novels are characterized by fast paced action and violent encounters. While his work is frequently epic in scope and thus nominally space opera, its graphic and aggressive tone is more akin to cyberpunk. When combined with the way that Asher's main characters are usually acting to preserve social order or improve their society (rather than disrupt a society they are estranged from), these influences could place his work in the subgenre known as postcyberpunk.
Polity universe 
In order of publication
Agent Cormac series
Stand alone Polity novels
In internal chronological order
The Owner Trilogy 
- The Departure (2011)
- Zero Point (2012)
- Jupiter War (tentative title, forthcoming)
Other novels 
- Mindgames: Fool's Mate (1992)
- The Parasite (1996)
- Mason's Rats (1999)
- Africa Zero (2001), originally as two novellas: Africa Zero and Africa Plus One
Short story collections 
- The Engineer (1998) - Containing novella of the same title, and short stories.
- Runcible Tales (1999)
- The Engineer ReConditioned (2006) - Reprint of The Engineer with three additional stories.
- The Gabble: And Other Stories (2008) - short story collection. Contains a number of short stories including "Snow in the desert" and "Adaptogenic"
Short fiction 
|Title||Year||First published in||Reprinted in|
|Adaptogenic||1992||Threads 2||The Gabble and Other Stories (Tor, 2008)|
|Watch Crab||2003||Rick Kleffel's The Agony Column|
|Snow in the desert||2002||Spectrum SF 8||Year's Best SF 8 (2003)
The Gabble and Other Stories (Tor, 2008)
- British Fantasy Society Award nomination, 1999, for stories "Sucker" and "Mason's Rats III";
- SF Review Best Book designation, 2002, for The Skinner.
- Neal Asher page at Authortrek. Online 25 March 2008.
- Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. Document Number: H1000162683. Online. 25 March 2008.
- Neal Asher's personal website
- Neal Asher's blog
- Neal Asher at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Neal Asher's online fiction at Free Speculative Fiction Online
- Infinity Plus profile
- The ZONE interview
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