Today I picked up Charles Stross’ 2004 book The Atrocity Archives from the library. So far, I’ve only read the introduction, but I really think I’m going to like this book. Here’s a small bit from Ken McLeod’s intro:

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 [emphasis mine].

Previously, I’ve read Stross’ book Accelerando and liked it. But this book, and the ones that follow it in the “Laundry Files” series, have come up a few times in reading up on some other books I’ve been reading recently.

So, I was really looking forward to this book after reading that intro, and then I saw the book’s subjects in the front pages.

  1. Geeks (Computer enthusiasts)–Fiction. 2. Intelligence service–Fiction. 3. Office politics–Fiction. 4. Great Britain–Fiction. 5. Demonology–Fiction. 6. Monsters–Fiction. 7. Nazis–Fiction.

Yeah, I think this is going to be good.