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The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
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The Atrocity Archives (original 2004; edition 2007)

by Charles Stross

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,5811003,357 (3.89)1 / 117
Member:towo
Title:The Atrocity Archives
Authors:Charles Stross
Info:Orbit (2007), Edition: New Ed, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, fantasy, horror, science fiction, nerds, Nazis, zombies, magic, mathematics, spies, intelligence agencies, London, The Laundry

Work details

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross (2004)

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English (99)  French (1)  All languages (100)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
The first novella, The Atrocity Archive, is a solid 4/5 stars. A delightfully nerdy read, basically H.P. Lovecraft reimagined through the lens of cyberpunk. It's liberally-sprinkled with hacker culture in-jokes but manages to roll a saving throw against getting bogged down in its own cleverness, and the plot has plenty of momentum (and tension! and high stakes! and terrifying extradimensional entities who mean us ill!).

However, the second piece, The Concrete Jungle, is utterly skippable. A big letdown after the first one: it's a dull, repetitious and muddled rehash of the same ideas, except replacing the Lovecraftian horrors with interdepartmental politics. Basically don't bother with it. ( )
  wirehead | Sep 3, 2018 |
(My reviews are mostly to help me remember what happened in a book and why I liked/disliked it.)

Soo, the beginning of my favourite Stross series. You know: magic is advanced maths, kinda powerful geeks and really powerful burocracy.

I think it's noticable that Atrocity Archives is an early Stross book. In the first half, the Shibboleth/Shibboleet dropping is sometimes very obvious and a bit annoying. (Redeeming Stross though, he is actually knowledgable enough to actually use all those jokes, tropes and catchphrases, so it's ok.)

Plot: We meet Bob, who wants to join Active Service in the Laundry. Angleton and Andy, his bosses, send him to the USA, where he meets and saves Mo, who then returns to London and moves in with him (after Bob saves her again at her own doorstep).

To draw out their enemies Mo, Bob and secret reinforcements travel to Amsterdam for research, where Mo is promptly abducted to another universe. Bob joins the reconnaissance team. Turns out, in a close parallel universe to our own one, the Nazis finished their arcane project by summoning an Infovore and travelling to that world (some ice giants included). The Infovore sucked the universe dry and is now trying to get all of itself over to Bob's universe. With judicious use of some Hands of Glory and an H-Bomb they manage to save Mo, Bob and about half the crew. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
A re-read, and it still stands up well. A mixture of Civil Service bureaucracy, Cold War spycraft, and the Cthulhu mythos, with a dash of wry humour. ( )
  SChant | Aug 15, 2018 |
A potentially cool idea that Stross just doesn't pull off. The incompetent shrew club muscling in on the old boys club was also pretty tiresome. Especially since it was the basis of much of the underlying plot. And Mo may be smart but she's about as useless as Kira. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
First in The Laundry Files series. I want to refresh my memory before I tackle The Delirium Brief. (For example, Laundry internal security has degraded dramatically. Why?)
  AstonishingChristina | Mar 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Strossprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barth, MechthildTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Condellone, LynneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiore, AnnetteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredrickson, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Halpern, MartyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, KenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montiglio, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my Parents,
David and Cecilie Stross
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Green sky at night; hacker's delight.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441013651, Paperback)

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...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Computer science guru Alan Turning paves the way for esoteric mathematical computations that Nazi Germany uses to perform a summoning, bringing an unexpected evil to Earth through a portal to an alternate universe.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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