Neal Asher

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Neal Asher
Neal Asher.jpg
Born (1961-02-04) 4 February 1961 (age 53)
Essex, England
Occupation Novelist
Nationality British
Period 2000 – present
Genres Science fiction

Neal Asher (born 4 February 1961 in Billericay, Essex, England) is an English science fiction writer.


Both of Asher's parents are educators and science fiction fans. Although he began writing speculative fiction in secondary school, Asher did not turn seriously to writing until 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.

Asher is published by Tor, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, in the UK, and by Tor Books in the United States.[1]

The majority of Asher's work is set in one future history, the "Polity" universe. It 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.[citation needed]


Polity universe[edit]

The Owner Trilogy[edit]

  1. The Departure (2011)
  2. Zero Point (2012)
  3. Jupiter War (2013)[3]

Other novels[edit]


  • 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[edit]

Short fiction[edit]

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.


External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Skinner, Neal Asher". Macmillan. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  2. ^ Asher, Neal. "The Polity Books". The Skinner. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  3. ^ "Neal Asher - Jupiter War cover art and synopsis reveal". Retrieved 2013-05-28.