The Atrocity Archives
A friend put me onto this book, saying that he was sure I’d like it. So I sneaked a copy of Charles Stross‘s The Atrocity Archives into one of my Amazon.co.uk orders of Christmas presents. My only regret is that I didn’t know about these stories before.
Charles Stross has taken some lovecraftian horror, added geekery and then put it into a British civil service context for the conspiracy cover-up, although it is much more a case of hiding the cock ups as on a low budget…
The basic premise is that magic is just about doing mathematics, which makes using computers a serious occult capability. It sort of puts the sysadmin up there with sorcery, which given the jokes about getting SCSI to work needing black candles and a blood sacrifice makes some sort of sense. I certainly could identify a bit with the main character, a civil servant sysadmin turned occult spy (well the first part of it – back in the mid-90s I was the sysadmin for the Energy Efficiency Office).
The book has a main story sharing the title of the volume which covers Bob Howard’s first field trip, which is supposed to be in a relatively friendly territory but which turns out to be nothing of the sort, involving occult nazis and alternate universes. There are also a couple of other much shorter stories in the book with the same character set.
- New Year, New Campaigns from Worlds in a Handful of Dice (nitessine.wordpress.com)
- TSS: Twas the weekend before Christmas… (fyreflybooks.wordpress.com)
- Charlie Stross Rocks (themself.org)
- Review: The Fuller Memorandum (piaw.blogspot.com)
- What I’m Reading: The Fuller Memorandum (professorbainbridge.com)
- Battle of the Sci-fi Nerds: Charles Stross Vs. Cherie Priest (slog.thestranger.com)
- Glasshouse (zompist.wordpress.com)