Cover Art & Synopsis | The Departure by Neal Asher (Tor)

Visible in the night sky, the Argus Station - its twin smelting plants like glowing eyes - looks down on the nightmare that is Earth. From Argus the Committee maintain an oppressive control: citizens are watched by cams systems and political officers. It's a world inhabited by shepherds, reader guns, razor birds and the brutal inspectorate with its white-tiled cells and pain inducers.

Soon the Committee will have the power to edit human minds, but not yet; twelve billion human beings need to die before Earth can be stabilized. But, by turning large portions of Earth into concentration camps, this is achievable, especially when the Argus satellite laser network comes fully online...

This is the world Alan Saul wakes to in his crate on the conveyor to the Calais incinerator. How he got there he does not know, but he does remember the pain and the face of his interrogator. Informed by Janus, through the hardware implanted in his skull, about the world as it is now Saul is determined that, just as soon as he has found out who he was, and killed his interrogator, he'll bring this corrupt world crashing down.
Finally, my most anticipated novel of the year has a cover! The Departure is the first novel in Neal Asher's new series, focusing on the origins of The Owner, a figure from some short stories he's written in the past. These stories of his (Proctors, The Owner, Tiger, Tiger and Owner Space) are among my favourite short stories I've read, and I know I've not been alone in hoping and praying that Neal would expand these stories into a complete novel or series.

The cover itself is nice and certainly stand out, and is another excellent Jon Sullivan creation (the artist responsible for all Neal's rejacketed covers). The only amendment needed is the removal of 'A Polity novel' from the front, simply because it isn't! The Departure is due in September this year and it just can't come soon enough for me. Head over to Neal's blog to see the full wrap-around cover and some more blurbs for it, but I expect this novel to be far and away the best thing I read this year.

Anonymous –   – (18 January 2011 at 21:28)  

New series? The cover says a "Polity novel" . . .

Neal Asher  – (19 January 2011 at 09:13)  

They use an old cover as the base format for a new cover and 'A Polity Novel' had yet to be removed. It will be removed by time of publication.

This story is about the Owner's origins, Mark, but is disconnected from those stories by about 10,000 years.

Mark  – (19 January 2011 at 11:03)  

Hi Neal

Thanks for clarifing that its an origins story - but all that does is to make me more eager to read it :) Very much looking forward to see how the books pan out and how the Owner gets to be what we've already seen!

Dan  – (5 August 2011 at 03:47)  

Hi Neal.
I'm a huge fan. Can't wait to read it. Hurry up and take my money!

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