Jan
16
2017
1

In the Mail: Charlie Stross’s gingerly-tap-dancing ‘Empire Games.’

Come, I will conceal nothing from you: one major reason why I bought Empire Games was for the amusement of watching Charlie Stross extricate this particular story line from the morass of pseudoscience and conspiracy theory that he originally drove it into.  ‘Peak oil.’ ‘Aspartame causes brain damage in children.’ ‘Secret US nukes set up for domestic false-flag operations.’ ‘President Rumsfeld, master manipulator and Destroyer of Worlds*.’  It’s not nearly as bad as David Gerrold’s continuing inability to figure out how to get humanity to win the War Against the Chtorr**, but neither is it trivial.  Fortunately, ‘alternate history’ can handle this sort of problem…

Moe Lane

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Jun
27
2016
15

In the Mail and Early, to Boot: The Nightmare Stacks.

A day early: all hail the power of hyper-efficient Amazon delivery systems! A… suggestion? If you have not effectively memorized* Terry Pratchett’s Lords and Ladies at this point, perhaps you should go read that book first. You’re gonna need that mindset up and running, methinks.

Moe Lane

*You have, of course, at least read it, yes? – Because if you have not, well, this is what you need to do this week. The only reason why I’m not calling it Pratchett’s best book is because sussing out which is Terry Pratchett’s best book isn’t something that you do lightly.

Jul
07
2015
2

In the Mail: ‘The Annihilation Score.’

Part of Charlie Stross’s Laundry series, which is one of the few series that I will religiously buy in hardcover and sight unseen.  This one is supposed to be about the Mythos, government bureaucracy, and superheroes: should be a hoot. Especially since this series is apparently leaving the realm of Secret History for good. Or bad. Or squamous…

Jun
28
2015
3

Book of the Week: “The Annihilation Score.”

This one I am anticipating: The Annihilation Score (A Laundry Files Novel) will not be out for another week and a half, and I don’t think that I’m going luck out with this one and find a copy at a Borders bookstore that had unaccountably been put out early (which is what happened to me with another book in this series).  Mostly because Borders doesn’t exist anymore, of course.  Anyway, this is going to be the latest book in Charlie Stross’s Lovecraft-meets-spy-novels-meets-computer-math series, and it’s been a pretty nifty series so far. Hopefully, Charlie can keep a handle on his increasing tendency to conspiracy crank before the Great Old Ones come to finish the series by eating everybody’s souls – which is a selling point for this series, actually. It’s Lovecraftian cosmic horror. You know everybody’s gonna die. The author promised. (more…)

Jul
01
2014
6

In the Mail: Charles Stross’s The Rhesus Chart.

Part of his Laundry Files series.  Lovecraft meets spy novels, etc. etc. etc. Looking forward to reading it.

Oct
13
2013
2

“Equoid.” (I said that unicorns were bad! I totally SAID.)

New Laundry novella from Charles Stross:

And of interest is this passage from the blurb:

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Mar
02
2011
4

Just got my copy of the Laundry RPG…

…it’s very nifty. For those wondering: The Laundry is a roleplaying game based on the Laundry Files series by Charles Stross, which is itself a horror/espionage series about computational power meets the Great Old Ones. Nice layout, decent writing, and the game is more or less mechanics-compatible with both Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green.

Good times, good times.

Jun
29
2010
--

Odd thing about the Fuller Memorandum.

It would seem that The Fuller Memorandum – which is, of course, the latest volume in the Cthulhu-meets-mathematics-meets-spy-fiction series by Charles Stross – is not supposed to be out until July 6th.  But, of course, that doesn’t mean that the book magically pops into our reality on that date: it has to be printed ahead of time, which means that it has a tangible physical existence.

And that means that it has to be shipped to bookstores before the official publication date.

And sometimes they screw up, and put one copy in the relevant genre section.

And sometimes a person is walking through the relevant genre section in that magic golden hour between somebody screwing up, and somebody noticing the screw-up.  On the off chance that something like this could happen.

And sometimes that person notices the book, grabs it without breaking stride, and heads for the register.

And sometimes that person buys the book, and gets away clean.

Not that I’d know anything about that, of course.

Moe Lane

Jun
27
2010
1

Book of the Week: The Fuller Memorandum.

Ten days to go until The Fuller Memorandum, which is the latest in the spy-meet-Cthulhu-meets-mathematics genre that Charlie Stross makes look absurdly easy.

Ten. Freaking. Whole. Days.

And so, back into the shadows with Out of the Dark.

Moe Lane

Mar
14
2010
--

Book of the Week: The Trade of Queens.

Because I broke down and eventually read The Revolution Business; gratuitous bashing of the last administration aside (I had Charlie Stross figured as being too smart to auto-date his books like that), it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The Trade of Queens finishes it all up, which is probably all to the good.

And so, farewell to The Cat in the Hat.

Jun
28
2009
3

Book of the Week: The Jennifer Morgue.

In one of my odder switches, I’m replacing You Can Do Anything, Daddy with The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross. From robot gorilla pirates from Mars to Cthulhu meets Bond meets the British civil service meets computer culture.

That’s a lot of meeting there, really.

Jun
27
2009
3

See, this is why I don’t mind funding the National Endowment of the Arts.

You can watch the video below only if you promise to read David Thompson’s post on it first.  It’s important that you do that: it’s not fair for me to reproduce it in full here, and it’s just too good to miss.

OK, you did that?  Excellent.  Here’s the video:

OK, see why I don’t mind funding the NEA?

Precisely: if we let somebody like Teixeira just wander around loose to try to find his own food, clothing and shelter, chances are excellent that when he finally autodarwinates* he’d accidentally take somebody with a net positive use to society with him.

So, it’s not so much a government subsidy as it is life insurance.

Moe Lane

*Thank you, Charlie Stross. But for the love of God, give up the grudge, OK? They’re out of office and it’s turning out that they got it right anyway. Drop the series as a bad job and just write the next Bob Howard novel.

…oh. Right. Should have checked first. Never mind…

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