May 9, 2012

The Fuller Memorandum

by Charles Stross

This is the latest installment in the saga of The Laundry – a branch of Her Majesty’s Secret Service that is dedicated to securing Britain against paranormal phenomena and the eldritch horrors of the Elder Gods – that began with the wonderful stories of The Atrocity Archives. Doomsday approaches, the sleeper threatens to wake, and management wants to audit paper clips again.

The book includes a detailed and excellent description of the clandestine use of an operable Memex.

At times, the layers of irony here seem intolerably rich. Yes, we all miss Douglas Adams terribly, and yes, the long dark teatime of the soul still demands reflection. But ironic SF is hard: if you ever drop the ball, the whole thing collapses. Stross loves to walk right up to the line.