Dudes, I finally did it! I finally read a Charles Stross novel that didn't leave me feeling vaguely disappointed that I didn't enjoy it more! Apparently this is the series for me, of his work. So far.
should have guessed. I may not be into Cthulhu as a general rule, but
Cthulhu plus bureaucracy? British secret service meets red tape?
Horrible summoning rituals and literally trying to make an omelette
without breaking eggs?
Yeah, of the Charles Stross books I've
read so far (this is number 4), this is definitely my favourite. I like
the lightness of tone, and although some of the computer speak goes over
my head, it isn't enough to throw me off. I always got what he was
driving at, although the physical mechanisms may have been a bit fuzzy.
I have to pause for a minute. An orange cat is sitting on the desk next
to me, purring like his life depended on it, and looking at me. Pats
are necessary. This cat thinks he's my muse. Sometimes he's right. He is
not, however, getting a coauthor credit on my dissertation, no matter
how cute he looks.)
Okay, I'm back. The purring continues.
Howard is a computer guy, who works in the department of the British
civil service you get pulled into if you, say, almost by accident opened
a portal between our dimension and one filled with things that cause
the word "gibbering" when you were younger. Funny thing is, Bob sort of
believes in what he does. He certainly believes the world would be a
better place if monsters that can swim behind your eyeballs and eat your
soul were not wandering around, causing havoc. And he's just been
upgraded to field service.
His boss, however, is not pleased.
That time he got knocked out on assignment and another government
shipped him back to England by plane? He didn't get that approved, in
triplicate, ahead of time.
That's the general feel of the book.
Throw in some Nazi plotters, a bunch of holes to places you do not want
to go, a beautiful linguist, and a cow turned to stone, and, well, you
may not have the idea, but hopefully you're intrigued.
This book contains a fairly short novel, The Atrocity Archives,
and a really ripping short story, "The Concrete Jungle." I'm very glad I
read it and particularly glad I found a Charles Stross book I like as
much as his twitter feed.