Author: Neal Asher
Original language: English
Publication date: 2003
Come visit a world where you cannot draw breath… should its horrifying wildlife allow you.
Outlink station Miranda has been destroyed by a nanomycelium, and the very nature of this sabotage suggests that the alien bioconstruct Dragon — a creature as untrustworthy as it is gigantic — is somehow involved. Sent out on a titanic Polity dreadnought, the Occam Razor, agent Cormac must investigate the disaster, and also resolve the question of Masada, a world about to be subsumed as the Line of Polity is drawn across it. But the rogue biophysicist Skellor has not yet been captured, and he now controls something so potent that Polity AIs will hunt him down forever to prevent him using it.
Meanwhile on Masada, the long-term rebellion can never rise above-ground, as the slave population is subjugated by orbital laser arrays controlled by the Theocracy in their cylinder worlds, and by the fact that they cannot safely leave their labour compounds. For the wilderness of Masada lacks breathable air…and out there roam monstrous predators called hooders and siluroynes, not to mention the weird and terrible gabbleducks.