Neal Asher, Brass Man Reviews

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“Brass Man ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 11/11/2006

Brass Man
Neal Asher
Tor, January 2007, $14.95
ISBN: 0765317311

Schizoid when he controls his impulses; psychopathic as his norm, the maniacal Golem Mr. Crane is an insane killing cyborg machine brought back from the abyss by the deranged Skellor, who combines the most amoral human artificial intelligence with the ancient alien Jain bio-technology. Earth Central fears that the Jain destroyed other races, and probably itself with their WMD technology, so they worry that the lethal Mr. Crane is reported back this time as a more powerful BRASS MAN. Thus, top agent Ian Cormac is recalled from dragon hunting to lead an expedition of mostly throwaway AI's whose objectives are to destroy Skellor and eradicate the Jain technology.

At about the same time on Cull, Anderson, a half-breed Rondure Knight battles the Dragon at the same time Skellor seeks to ally with this Dragon, who apparently can safely use Jain technology that is already inside him. As Mr. Crane, his puppeteer Skeller, Cormac, Anderson and Dragon head towards a supernova collision, some of Ian's AI's who reject the notion of being disposable pawns are considering joining the enemy.

BRASS MAN, the sequel to the wild GRIDLINKED, is as feral and violent as its predecessor, as Neal Asher paints a forbidding dark distant future where violence is as civilized as apple pie, in spite of great affluence. Through flashbacks and current events, the two prime rivals, Mr. Crane and Cormac, are fully developed as they head towards a high celestial noon collision, with the booty being Dragon. Not easy to read, this novel paints a bleak brutal futuristic science fiction landscape.

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