sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

The Jennifer Morgue, by Charles Stross

This is a follow-on to The Atrocity Archives. It's another novel about Bob Howard, Linux geek and occult engineer from MI6 department 66, aka The Laundry. Stross has, rather magnificently, taken the Cthulhu mythos and blended it with James Bond, only Stross's protagonist is a computational demonologist instead of a ruthless assassin. The Bond riff is even stronger this time around, as Stross not only gets into the Casino Royale groove, but drags the whole setup into the plot as well.

Megalomaniac Larry Ellison clone Ellis Billington is messing around with things that Man Should Wot Not Of, things that can eternal lie, silent in the abyssal depths. Bob is the only Laundry agent with the necessary combination of skills and knowledge to handle this, so he's sent in. But not alone: along for the ride is Ramona Random, gorgeous femme fatale from the CIA's Black Chamber. And they're destiny-entangled first, which makes Bob worry about what he's going to tell girlfriend Mo.

There are some lovely scenes. Where Bond gets the Aston Martin, Bob gets a SMART car. Where Bond gets the sharp tailored designer gear, Bob gets, well, the same, only Bob has no idea how to wear it. And where Q gives Bond all manner of high-tech gadgetry, Bob gets kitted out by Pinky and Brains - and it's the kind of high-tech gear Bob can use.

It's packed full of in-joke references to many source concepts. Bond books, Bond movies, Cthulhu stories, geek (Bob's middle names are Oswald and Francis!) and governmental, and a delight to read. It's followed up with Pimpf, another Bob short story - at least, it is in the hardback I have.

Marvellous stuff.
Tags: books, charles stross
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