Jenny Trapdoor

by Neal Asher

Jenny is a war drone in the shape of a trapdoor spider, created by an insane AI. At the edge of the Graveyard she feeds on prador, the enemies of the Polity, until she is nearly destroyed. When she awakens hundreds of years later she finds a changed world and a strange new friend.

This novella is definitely meant for existing fans of Asher’s Polity Universe. It is another chapter from the backstory of Penny Royal, the strange AI from Dark Intelligence. I wouldn’t start with this book, but if you are a fan I wouldn’t skip it.

The Departure

by Neal Asher

I’m a big fan of Neal Asher’s Polity Universe, so I was trying to figure out if I missed anything. I didn’t. But it turns out he wrote another sci-fi series. It’s good! This guy basically upgrades himself by merging with an AI, saves the planet from a space station that can kill anyone, any time, and hijacks the space station to rescue his sister from Mars. Echoes of the Polity Universe in a compelling series of its own. Loved it.

Jack Four

by Neal Asher

I love Neal Asher’s Polity Universe and I’ll read anything set in it. This one started with an interesting premise: Jack Four is an AI sub-mind cut off from its “parent” so he’s faced with true independence. It kept me turning the pages, but possibly for the first time I felt pretty meh about a Neal Asher novel. Recommended for Polity completionists who want to know more about the Prador king and the Spatterjay virus. Not recommended for anyone new to the Polity Universe. (Start with something like The Technician.)