Lockdown Tales (Polity #20) ★★★✬☆

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Title: Lockdown Tales
Series: Polity #20
Author: Neal Asher
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 329
Words: 151K


A collection of short stories about the Polity as it becomes the Post-Polity. This consists of:

The Relict
Monitor Logan
Bad Boy
Dr Whip
Raising Moloch

My Thoughts:

From what I could gather, the Polity didn’t collapse so much as it simply ceased to exist as the AI’s bootstrapped most of humanity up to their level and they all decided to stop playing government. The little clues make it seem like this all took less than 100,000 years. There’s no mention, that I can remember, of the newly raised Atheter or any mention of what happened to the Prador. While it all might have made sense in Asher’s head, to me it felt very “I’m bored with this particular literary construct, thus I’ll wave my authorial hand and …..”

Don’t get me wrong. Besides the first story where Asher lets his vitriol against religion take front and center, I enjoyed these stories. They all had his ultra-violence that I’ve come to expect from him as well as the techno-babble that I just skim over now.

What threw me for a loop was that these were not ALL post-Polity. Monitor Logan takes place squarely during the height of the Polity/Prador standoff and Bad Boy takes place on Spatterjay and involves a situation where the AI lets things run their course hoping the inhabitants will apply for Polity membership. It just made me feel like the secondary title on the cover What Comes After the Polity was misleading.

I think this might be a very good jumping on place for anyone new to the Polity. There are 19 previous Polity books and I can imagine it is daunting to a new person to figure out where they want to start.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

40 thoughts on “Lockdown Tales (Polity #20) ★★★✬☆

    1. I understand where you are coming from 😀

      This is the danger of a long running series. Someone who has read it all is already familiar with the jargon and uses it without a second thought while outsiders are left floundering, not having a clue what is going on.

      Which is why when anyone has ever asked about where to start, I always have them start at the beginning, even if the writing isn’t as good.

      This definitely would have been an incomprehensible mess if I’d tried this as my first Polity book 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Asher was caught up in his writing commitments and had several short stories he wanted to tell. They turned into novellas and he wrote them during lockdown (I think he’s located in the UK. That or Greece). So it was directly because of covid.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. I have this on my TBR, but I think I’ll continue with the novels for now. I’ve read only one or two shorts of his, but feel like his short stories are kind of… I don’t know, too much tied to the general Polity stuff maybe? to be enjoyed as a separate thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, this is just like his other Polity short story collection (Engineer Reconditioned? I can’t remember off the top of my head). Which is why I put squarely in the polity series line up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I’m disappointed. I thought this was going to be a bunch of funny sci-fi related things that happened to Mr. and Mrs. Stooge during lockdown.”

    I echo the above thought and would be keen to see the above in a full and frank expose of the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Like Paddington 2. Now THAT was a good movie.

                      Speaking of mocking, what happened to Alex? He seems to have disappeared on your blog. If it’s none of my business, no worries.

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. He wrote these during lockdown. He goes pretty indepth in the intro about how everything came into place for this collection to make its appearance.
      So definitely covid lockdown related.

      Liked by 1 person

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