April 9th, 2007


The Atrocity Archives

This is another Charles Stross book. It got off to a bad start with the opening sentence:


"I'm on the first line," I said to k, "and I hate the font. It doesn't look good so far."

But typesetting apart - and the H/K blindness only applies on the chapter-intro lines - I really enjoyed this. It can best be summed up thus: David Langford's The Leaky Establishment and Neal Stephenson's[1] Cryptonomicon go on a drunken bender with Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos.

I was kinda surprised by the contents page, since I knew that this was collected from various magazines. Therefore I expected a short-story anthology, but no: some of it was serialised as a novella in Spectrum SF. It's effectively two standalone novellas about the stifling bureaucracy of Civil Service, with spy-thriller DNA spliced in. And Shoggoths. Well, not actually Shoggoths, per se, but, y'know, there are Great Old Ones lurking in the shadows.

Good fun.

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