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Doing the Laundry
I have just taken the day off to read, at a single sitting, the third of Charlie Stross's Laundry books, The Fuller Memorandum.

I love these books. Part spy story, part Cthulhu mythos, part humour, part horror, part techie novel, full of in jokes and walk-ons, this book makes me laugh out loud and shudder alternately. It is so damn clever. The other thing is that, much as I like some aspects of Charlie's earlier work (The Fringe, indeed!), I always felt that some of those early books just ran out of steam rather than coming to a well worked through ending. With the 'Laundry' novels/novellas/short stories, the endings are excellent.

For those who have not been introduced to the delights of the 'Laundry' series, the postulate is that part of the Special Operations Executive was, during the war, engaged in an fight against the Cthulhu mythos entities and various occult Nazis and their 'masters' and, when the SOE was disbanded in 1945, the anti-Occult part was expanded. Various secret agencies across the world are battling against the coming apocalypse "when the stars are right." The books also send up various famous spy writers - in order, Len Deighton, Ian Fleming and, in this book, the delightful novels of Anthony Price.

The computer-based magic is logical and hilarious by turns and could only have been written by someone engaged in the computer industry. The narrator of the books (The Atrocity Archives/The Jennifer Morgue/The Fuller Memorandum) is a computer techie with a flip sense of humour and a lifestyle that is instantly recognisable. The puns are... dreadful, which means they are great.

Much love.
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I've just decided to make my next book 'Singularity Sky'. This will be my second Stross. I very much enjoyed Halting State, although as I said in my review, it felt like I was very definitely the target market!


Will definitely read the Laundry books too. Which is the first?

Sorry - just realised you said that The Atrocity Archives is first. That's good because that was one of 30-odd books I bought in one go from Awesome Books earlier this year.

Singularity Sky was, I think, Charlie's first published novel, and there are some really good jokes therein, as well as an interesting take on replicating machines and an economy of plenty. It is, however, one of those books where I'm not sure that he knew how to end it.

Don't know his work, but it sounds interesting.

He has a wicked sense of humour, at front and centre in these particular books.

Read one of these stories in a Year's Best Fantasy collection and *loved* it, so I'm with you even w/out having read the novels.

Also quite liked one of his novels that I read back in 2004, assuming I haven't gotten him mixed up w/someone else. While I forgot the title, I think it's The Singularity Sky that someone referred to.

The one about a planet being 'attacked' by the use of cornucopia machines? That's Singularity Sky.

Cornucopia machines! 'Twas indeed it!

I still chuckle over 'the Festival' and 'the Fringe' but possibly you have to have the Edinburgh festival and its 'Fringe' battered at you year after year on TV and radio to get this immediately.

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