Welcome to Spatterjay...where sudden death is the normal way of life; To the remote planet Spatterjay come three travellers with very different missions. Janer is directed there by the hornet Hive-mind; Erlin comes to find the sea captain who can teach her to live; and Keech - dead for seven hundred years - has unfinished business with a notorious ...
Welcome to Spatterjay...where sudden death is the normal way of life; To the remote planet Spatterjay come three travellers with very different missions. Janer is directed there by the hornet Hive-mind; Erlin comes to find the sea captain who can teach her to live; and Keech - dead for seven hundred years - has unfinished business with a notorious criminal. Spatterjay is a watery world where the human population inhabits the safety of the Dome and only the quasi-immortal hoopers are safe outside amidst a fearful range of voracious life-forms. Somewhere out there is Spatterjay Hoop himself, and monitor Keech cannot rest until he can bring this legendary renegade to justice for atrocious crimes committed centuries ago during the Prador Wars. Keech does not realise that Hoop's body is running free on an island wilderness, while his living head is confined in a box on an Old Captain's ships. Nor does he know that the most brutal Prador of all is about to pay a visit, intent on wiping out all evidence of his wartime atrocities. Which means major hell is about to erupt in this chaotic waterscape.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-01-26 With his second novel (after 2003's Gridlinked), a rousing space opera, Asher takes us to Spatterjay, a deadly planet reminiscent of that in Harry Harrison's 1960 classic Deathworld. Spatterjay has Earth-equivalent gravity and a breathable atmosphere, but it overflows with inimical life forms, from gruesome leeches that grow to the size of sharks to horrific glisters, gigantic shellfish that will eat anything. Worse still, all of Spatterjay's life forms are infected with a virus that makes them virtually invulnerable to harm. Most of the few human inhabitants are also infected with the virus. Ruling loosely over the world are the superhumanly strong Old Captains, who spend their days aboard ships fishing the planet's dangerous waters. Three off-worlders land on Spatterjay: the depressed Erlin, who has returned after many years to find Ambel, an Old Captain whom she hopes will give her a reason to go on living; Keech, a long-dead former police monitor kept cybernetically alive who hopes to hunt down the last of a group of murderous pirates; and Janer, essentially a tourist who acts as eyes and transport for a hive mind. Unbeknownst to the three, however, other more unsavory intelligences, some human, some alien, are gathering with evil intent. Though his fiction is less thoughtful than that of Ken MacLeod, Iain M. Banks and some of the other top British genre writers, Asher will definitely appeal to connoisseurs of sophisticated adventure-oriented SF. (Apr. 30) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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