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The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
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The Atrocity Archives (original 2004; edition 2008)

by Charles Stross

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,276892,809 (3.92)1 / 101
Member:crazybatcow
Title:The Atrocity Archives
Authors:Charles Stross
Info:Ace (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Audiobooks
Rating:***
Tags:audiobook, sci-fi, 12 in 12

Work details

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross (2004)

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English (88)  French (1)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
I think if you are exactly the right audience (and I am), you'll find this stuff hilarious in the way that people who were teenagers or in their 20's in the 80's find Ready Player One hilarious. And if you're not, you'll be rather mystified if not a little miffed by the fact you know there's a ton of jokes you're missing, exactly the way my kids feel about Ready Player One. So four stars from me, but this is definitely a love it or hate it experience, so check the sample first.
Full review @Booklikes ( )
  krazykiwi | Aug 22, 2016 |
3.5

The Atrocity Archives consists of two stories connected only by the main character Bob Howard and his weird job. It is more of an introduction to this series than anything else.
And I liked it.
I admit that the mathematical-engineering-scientific stuff mostly went right over my head, but the way Lovecraftian themes are used is enough for me to continue the series. ( )
  Aneris | Aug 12, 2016 |
I really enjoy the world Stross has built in this series -- a mix of high tech and dark magic. The first story starts out slow, with a bit too much focus on our snarky protagonist's miserable office life, but once it gets going it's a lot of fun. There are competent women characters; I hope they turn up again in later books. I'm looking forward to reading more of this series. ( )
  lavaturtle | May 1, 2016 |
Bob got a little too inventive and clever for his own good, and was forced to join the Laundry Files, a secret government organization pledged to defending the universe against eldritch horrors and alien incursions. I really like the concepts of this series, but the writing of this particular book drove me up the wall. Bob is one of those incredibly annoying pedants who pride themselves on being the sysadmin from hell. The female characters all need Bob to explain stuff to them, or they're shrews who worship bureaucracy. Everyone talks in a long-winded, circumlocutory style full of nerd references that is clearly supposed to be clever but mostly just dampens the narrative tension. Even worse is the fact that the info dumps NEVER END. Every single page there's another paragraph of science and sf in an unholy mixture plopped smack dab in the middle of a conversation or action bit. Frankly, the never-ending interjections drove me near to insanity.

"There's a weird smell in the kitchen and something that's, er, squamous and rugose"--a household catch-phrase, and we all have to make the obligatory Cthulhu-waggling-tentacles-on-chin gesture with our hands--"and yellow tried to eat my shoe. What's up?"
Brains stands up: "Behold"--he hiccups--"I am in the process of disproving a law of nature; to wit, that it is impossible to make an omelette without breaking eggs! I have a punning clan--"

If you're the type to enjoy writing that sounds like this on every page, even when fighting Nazi-summoned demons, then this might be the book for you. For the rest of us, it might be best to just stay away. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Pratchett states that if the world contains things that even the dark is afraid of, then you can bet that there'll be a secret government agency covering them up for our own good. Such is the premise behind "The Atrocity Archives." The Laundry is the British organization tasked with keeping their country safe from paranormal phenomenon and extra terrestrial uglies.

The Laundry is a rogue intelligence agency battling to prevent infestations of extradimensional horrors. Bob Howard is our hero, a computer geek working in the IT department who is drafted into field duty. However, while Bob is out saving the world from who knows what horrors, his boss in the IT department is constantly on his case for everything from missing meetings to not filling out his time sheet. This struck me as humorous and all to real when considering a government institution. The Laundry brings to mind the spy world of "Get Smart" as the facility itself is accessed through a toilet stall.

"The Atrocity Archives" is the most unusual spy novel I believe I have ever read, and the Laundry the most unusual organization. Guardians of the dark secrets that threaten to drown us in nightmare, the lips of the Laundry employees are sealed as tight as their archives. To get even the vaguest outline of their activities takes a privileged hacker like Bob, nosy enough to worm his way in where he isn't supposed to and smart enough to explain his way out of trouble.

Bob Howard is about as far away from the James Bond stereotype as he can get. He is, at heart, a geek. He is not suave, debonair, or particularly charismatic. He is not a ladies man, and in fact is trying to get rid of his psycho ex-girlfriend. But Bob does have his strengths, most notably his intellect, and is able to handle himself ably enough in the field. If the ultimate grade of a spy is results, then Bob Howard represents his craft well. ( )
  NPJacobsen | Jan 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Strossprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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