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The Atrocity Archives

The Atrocity Archives

Book - 2006 | Ace trade pbk. ed
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Charles Stross takes a departure from his epic science fiction to craft this cross between Len Deighton--style espionage and H.P. Lovecraftian horror.

Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic.

But somehow, he is...

Publisher: New York : Ace Books, 2006
Edition: Ace trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780441013654
0441013651
Call Number: SF STROSS 2006
Characteristics: xix, 345 p. ; 21 cm

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Humorous cross between World War II era spy thriller, cosmic horror, and bureaucratic comedy. Leans toward the nerdy, mathy, cyberpunk end of things

Humorous cross between World War II era spy thriller, cosmic horror, and bureaucratic comedy. Leans toward the nerdy, mathy, cyberpunk end of things.


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mammothhawk229e
Dec 22, 2019

Loved pre-9/11 it because author flexed his imagination, it made X-files so small potatoes & tone so reminded me of Len Deighton.
Yes, it gently mocked James Bond franchise, Chtulhu, The office, X-files & all those cold war techothrillers.
However, now I'm curious on Declare by Tim Powers (which Andrew Wilson persuaded author not to read until he finished the novel) & Delta Green the role playing game. Ditto The Magicians by James Gunn.

n
N13m4nd
Sep 28, 2019

Since it turns out that magic and computers are different ways of calling on the same powers, unassuming IT guy Bob Howard finds himself recruited to become a reluctant superspy and hesitant sorcerer in the battle to defend earth from the eldritch horrors that lurk in every shadow. This is the first book in the on-going saga of the Laundry (which is the nickname of Britain’s supernatural defense agency, since their entrance hides inside a laundry). As an odd but fascinating combination of humor, action, espionage, and Lovecraftian horror, the Laundry stories are fairly light in tone, but be warned that some fairly nasty things can happen to the characters.

d
Debneo
Jun 03, 2015

great mix of tech and occult. Sounds plausible. The Horror-to-come fits my personal perspective on the world. I'd unreservedly recommend anything he's written-if you have an interest in the occult genre.

a
adam1999
Dec 29, 2011

Odd mixture of occult and geek sci-fi.

b
brianernst
Dec 03, 2010

Alan Turing solved a theorem allowing unsolvable problems (or only solvable through brute force) to be converted into solvable problems allowing magic to become the next secret weapons. Now any attempt at reproducing Turing's theorem is monitored and erased by giant bureaucracies of spys and techies.

A fun read with enough adventure to keep it exciting and enough geekyness to keep it interesting.

e
erigami
Dec 06, 2009

A fun read. Be warned, however, it's super geeky.

It starts out strong, but Stross seems to lose steam about halfway through.

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mammothhawk229e
Dec 22, 2019

"Something to do with that training course?"
"Yeah. Fred from Accounting. He grounded a summoning grid-"
"Gene police! You! Out of the pool, now!"
"It's not funny."

m
mammothhawk229e
Dec 22, 2019

"Uh, yeah. One question. Why me?"
"Why - well! Hmm. I suppose you're already on the inside, Bob. And you've got a pretty unique skill mix. Something you overlook is that we don't have many field qualified agents, and most of those we have are old school two-fisted shoot-from-the-hip-with-a-rune-of-destruction field necromancers; they don't understand these Babbage engine Internet contraptions like you do. And you've already got experience with basilsk weapons, or did you think we issued those things like toothpick tubes? So rather than find someone who doesn't know as much, you just happened to be the man on the spot who knew enough and was thought...appropriate."

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d
Debneo
Jun 03, 2015

Debneo thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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