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Neal Asher

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Title: Neal Asher  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Cowl (novel), Brass Man, Gridlinked, Polity Agent, The Line of Polity
Collection: 1961 Births, English Science Fiction Writers, Living People, People from Billericay
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Neal Asher

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

Neal Asher (born 4 February 1961 in Billericay, Essex, England) is an English science fiction writer. He lives near Chelmsford.[1]


  • Career 1
  • Works 2
    • Polity universe 2.1
    • The Owner Trilogy 2.2
    • Other novels 2.3
    • Novellas 2.4
    • Short story collections 2.5
    • Short fiction 2.6
  • Awards 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
  • Footnotes 6


Both of Asher's parents are educators and science fiction fans.[2] 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. Asher identifies The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other fantasy work including Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber series as important early creative influences.[3]

Asher published his first short story in 1989. In 2000 he was offered a three book contract by Pan Macmillan[2] and his first full length novel Gridlinked was published in 2001. This was 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.[4]

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 post-cyberpunk.[5]


Polity universe

The Owner Trilogy

  1. The Departure (2011)
  2. Zero Point (2012)
  3. Jupiter War (2013)[8]

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)
    • Always with You (Polity Universe) (1996)
    • Blue Holes (Polity Universe)
    • Dragon in the Flower (Polity Universe) (1994)
    • The Gire & the Bibrat (Polity Universe)
    • Walking John & Bird (Polity Universe)
  • The Engineer ReConditioned (2006) - Reprint of The Engineer with three additional stories.
    • The Engineer
    • Snairls
    • Spatterjay
    • Jable Sharks
    • The Thrake
    • Proctors
    • the Owner
    • The Tor-Beast's Prison
    • Tiger Tiger
    • The Gurnard
  • The Gabble: And Other Stories (2008)
    • Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck (Cormac/Gabbleduck)
    • Putrefactors (Spatterjay)
    • Garp and Geronamid (Spatterjay)
    • The Sea of Death (n/a)
    • Alien Archaeology (Cormac/Gabbleduck - 5 out of 5 for this one)
    • Acephalous Dreams (Polity)
    • Snow in the Desert (n/a)
    • Choudapt (n/a)
    • Adaptogenic (Spatterjay)
    • The Gabble (Cormac/Gabbleduck)

Short fiction

  • Watch Crab (2003)


  • 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.

External links

  • 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
  • Story behind Zero Point - Essay by Neal Asher


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Neal Asher's Dark Intelligence: Transformation Book One: A tour de force of post cyber punk space opera
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
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