Prador Moon by Neal Asher
Published by Tor in paperback 17 Oct 2008
Prador Moon is my second piece of Neal Asher and it’s a nice slice too. Actually it’s more than a slice. More like a thick chunk being 222 pages long. The story revolves around The Polity Collective’s first contact with an alien species – The Prador. This is a special occasion and one that doesn’t go well. The crab-like carnivore Prador make their intentions quite clear in the first meeting where they also discover quite quickly that they also like human flesh.
Neal Asher brings together several threads in order to tell this story. You have Jebel, the hero, in direct assault with the Prador. Moira, who got more than she paid for, and the Prador themselves.
Asher is trying to tell a very big story in such a slim volume but at no point do you feel short changed. It’s pack with titbits that I’m hoping will be pulled and explored at in other stories.
At the heart of Prador Moon is the threat of the Prador as they set about to destroy The Polity. The Polity with its A.I. and advanced technology seem stronger. But the Prador have more than one trick that the Polity doesn’t. It’s quite disturbing really especially when they try to convert their human prisons to the same purpose. Asher has a vivid, logical and scientific imagination but this doesn’t detract from the emotional drama.
He invests the Prador with completely alien traits but also a level of humanity. He does the same with A.I Golem George. You get to get to see humanity from all sides. Which is the point really of most stories.
I might be pumping this up a little too much but I greatly enjoyed Prador Moon as you can tell. Asher mixes his three, well four, if you include Occam Razor… storylines and gives each a piece of a the puzzle that comes together in an explosive conclusion.
Asher writes thoughtful and engaging sci-fi and I’m eager to try more.