Book Reviews

Review: The Bosch by Neal Asher

I like this cover. I would have elected for maybe a stroke, especially on the back cover for the white lettering only because it would make it easier to read. Overall, the cover does it’s job well and it does so with bifurcation of light in the form of art. Publication date : April 27, 2020

The Bosch is a short novella of 21,000 words, written after nightmares about a far future biotech world and subsequently leafing through a Hieronymus Bosch art book.

Set in a far future after the Polity of my books has passed into history, The Bosch tells the story of how, when your biotechnology is sufficiently advanced, you can create the monsters others only imagined. When you are the ruler of a world, based on such tech, and have lived for thousands of years, perhaps you have become numb to mere human concerns. But a crime has been committed and restitution must be made, by raising the Bosch.


The Progenitor has arrived. Man, oh man. Let me start off by saying – If this is anything like the future, equip me with a gamma death ray, caliber 4 miles wide. This novella, titled The Bosch is really something else, let me tell you. I have read some other hard science fiction, namely Neuromancer by William Gibson, but that book didn’t sit too well with me. Thankfully, I didn’t let that fact set the stage in my mind for other works of hard science fiction because this little book knocked my socks off in a special kind of way.

I purchased this book in light of the fact that a couple of blogs I follow also posted favorable Asher reviews. Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road and Re-enchantment Of The World. It was a test of the water from Asher for me and I will venture into his other works as well, at some point.

This book is like an advanced, R rated ( possibly NC-17 ) No Man’s Sky and also reminded me of the movie Blood Machines, just because everything is so thick. Asher’s writing is concise and to the point; he makes a point not to dual complicate things seeing as we are set far, far into the future. The writing is pulpy, gritty, concise, omnipotent, thoughtful of the reader, occasionally humorous in a distant way and unique. In fact, sometimes things are stated in the most simple way possible.

Then, there is the advanced, biological life-form discovery channel content which was equally shocking as it was intriguing and goes into great detail ( with sexual organs ). Also, other parts of the book were very sexual, mentioning organs and everything in relations to what I assume are human characters.

This guy. Yes, the Plague Doctor is here in The Bosch by Neal Asher. [ Source: ]

Another thing that should be mentioned is that this book has been published by Asher himself in a series titled Far Future Polity ( currently only a one book series ). Most his other books have been picked up by publishing companies. And, although I really didn’t mind – there wasn’t a lot of effort or thought put into the formatting of this book and the whole story takes place without chapters. The upside is that if I were eating sauced chicken wings while reading, there’s plenty of space in top, bottom and outside margins around the words that I wouldn’t have to worry about obfuscating the message in the book:

© Neal Asher
However, it does accomplish the main purpose of putting the letters on a page and it’s readable. 😎

The only thing I can say that is negative is that I wish the author made more focus toward important parts of the story for emphasis, because if you aren’t paying 100 percent attention you could miss important details.


If you like gritty, pulpy, wet, dripping, dark other-worldy hard science fiction and don’t mind topics surrounding sexual violation, then give this book a go. I found it an honor to read and the writing to be excellent; a breath of toxicity of a good kind. Very entertaining and I give this book ★★★★☆ four stars out of five.

Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

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