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The Atrocity Archives

The first novel in Hugo Award-winning author Charles Stross's witty Laundry Files series.

Bob Howard is a low-level techie working for a super-secret government agency. While his colleagues are out saving the world, Bob's under a desk restoring lost data. His world was dull and safe - but then he went and got Noticed.

Now, Bob is up to his neck in spycraft, parallel universes, dimension-hopping terrorists, monstrous elder gods and the end of the world. Only one thing is certain: it will take more than a full system reboot to sort this mess out . . .
Rezension
"Like his peer Cory Doctorow, Stross has an ironic Generation X sensibility, conditioned, in his case, by time spent in the simultaneously thrilling and boring world of information technology. In The Atrocity Archives, Stross's genius lies in devoting fully as much time to the bureaucratic shenanigans of the Laundry as he does to its thaumaturgic mission." - The Washington Post Book World

"Much of the action is completely nuts, but Stross manages to ground it in believability through his protagonist's deadpan reactions to both insane office politics and supernatural mayhem." - San Francisco Chronicle

"If this keeps up, 'Strossian' is going to become a sci-fi adjective...Charles Stross writes with intelligence and enjoys lifting the rock to show you what's crawling underneath...The clever results will bring a smile to your face." - The Kansas City Star

"It's science fiction's most pleasant surprise of the year." - San Francisco Chronicle
Portrait
Charles Stross, born in 1964, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the author of seven Hugo-nominated novels, including
Accelerando,
Neptune’s Brood,
Saturn’s Children and The Laundry Files series, and winner of three Hugo Awards for best novella. Stross has had his work translated into more than twelve languages. He has worked as a pharmacist, software developer, and tech-industry journalist.
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  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    Authors write, but not in a vacuum. Firstly, I owe a debt of gratitude to the usual suspects-members of my local writers workshop all-who suffered through first-draft reading hell and pointed out numerous headaches that needed fixing. Paul Fraser of Spectrum SF applied far more editorial muscle than I had any right to expect, in preparation for the original magazine serialization; likewise Marty Halpern of Golden Gryphon Press, who made this longer edition possible. Finally, I stand on the shoulders of giants. Three authors in particular made it possible for me to imagine this book and I salute you, H. P. Lovecraft, Neal Stephenson, and Len Deighton.

    Introduction
    CHARLIE'S DEMONS
    "THE ATROCITY ARCHIVE" IS A SCIENCE FICTION novel. Its form is that of a horror thriller with lots of laughs, some of them uneasy. Its basic premise is that mathematics can be magic. Its lesser premise is that if the world contains things that (as Pratchett puts it somewhere) 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. That last phrase isn't ironic; if people suspected for a moment that the only thing Lovecraft got wrong was to underestimate the power and malignity of cosmic evil, life would become unbearable. If the secret got out and (consequently) other things got in, life would become impossible. Whatever then walked the Earth would not be life, let alone human. The horror of this prospect is, in the story, linked to the horrors of real history. As in any good horror story, there are moments when you cannot believe that anyone would dare put on paper the words you are reading. Not, in this case, because the words are gory, but because the history is all too real. To summarise would spoil, and might make the writing appear to make light of the worst of human accomplishments. It does not. Read it and see.

    Charlie has written wisely and well in the Afterword about the uncanny parallels between the Cold War thriller and the horror story. (Think, for a moment, what the following phrase would call to mind if you'd never heard it before: "Secret intelligence.") There is, however, a third side to the story. Imagine a world where speaking or writing words can literally and directly make things happen, where getting one of those words wrong can wreak unbelievable havoc, but where with the right spell you can summon immensely powerful agencies to work your will. Imagine further that this world is administered: there is an extensive division of labour, among the magicians themselves and between the magicians and those who coordinate their activity. It's bureaucratic, and also (therefore) chaotic, and it's full of people at desks muttering curses and writing invocations, all beavering away at a small part of the big picture. The coordinators, because they don't understand what's going on, are easy prey for smooth-talking preachers of bizarre cults that demand arbitrary sacrifices and vanish with large amounts of money. Welcome to the IT department.

    It is Charlie's experience in working in and writing about the Information Technology industry that gives him the necessary hands-on insight into the workings of the Laundry. For programming is a job where Lovecraft meets tradecraft, all the time. The analyst or programmer has to examine documents with an eye at once skeptical and alert, snatching and collating tiny fragments of truth along the way. His or her sources of information all have their own agendas, overtly or covertly pursued. He or she has handlers and superiors, many of whom don't know what really goes on at the sharp end. And the IT worker has to know in their bones that if they make a mistake, things can go horribly wrong. Tension and cynicism are constant companions, along with camaraderie and competitiveness. It's a lot like being a spy, or necromancer. You don't get out much, and when you do it's usually at night.

    Charlie gets out
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 368
Erscheinungsdatum 30.12.2008
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-441-01668-6
Reihe A Laundry Files Novel
Verlag Penguin US
Maße (L/B/H) 16.8/10.4/2.8 cm
Gewicht 170 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 13.90
Fr. 13.90
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