Synopses & Reviews
Bob Howard may be humanity’s last hope.
For outstanding heroism in the field (despite himself), computational demonologist Bob Howard is on the fast-track for promotion to management within The Laundry, the super-secret British government agency tasked with defending the realm from occult threats. Assigned to “External Assets,” Bob discovers the company—unofficially—employs freelance agents to deal with sensitive situations that may embarrass Queen and Country.
So when Ray Schiller—an American televangelist with the uncanny ability to miraculously heal the ill—becomes uncomfortably close to the Prime Minister, External Assets dispatches the brilliant, beautiful, and entirely unpredictable Persephone Hazard to infiltrate the Golden Promise Ministry and discover why the preacher is so interested in British politics. And it’s Bob’s job to make sure Persephone doesn’t cause an international incident.
But it’s a supernatural incident that Bob needs to worry about—a global threat even The Laundry may be unable to clean up…
"Stross gives his readers a British super spy with a long-term girlfriend, no fashion sense and an aversion to martinis."
"Bond and Bourne never faced the adversaries Howard confronts."
“The act of creation seems to come easily to Charles Stross…[He] is peerless at dreaming up devices that could conceivably exist in 6, 60 or 600 years’ time.”
The New York Times
“One of the most intelligently and philosophically detailed near futures ever conceived. Dazzling, chilling, and brilliant.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“A savvy, funny, viciously inventive science fiction novel.” Cory Doctorow, author of For The Win
"Entertaining and propulsive storytelling." Locus
“Witty, smart, and more relevant than youd expect, this is a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi mind-expander from one of the genres most reliable imaginations.”—SFX
“A wonderful bouquet of ideas.”—Boing Boing
“The fun part comes from the way Stross devises his robotkind to act as humanitys successor species—to imagine them not as intellects vast, cool, and unsympathetic but as very much like us, writ not large but as merely durable.”—Locus
“Agreeable characters, a fascinating backdrop and brilliant plotting, with a further outlook of lengthy grins and occasional guffaws.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The most spectacular science fiction writer of recent years" (Vernor Vinge, author of Rainbows End) presents a near-future thriller.
Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh is head of the Rule 34 Squad, monitoring the Internet to determine whether people are engaging in harmless fantasies or illegal activities. Three ex-con spammers have been murdered, and Liz must uncover the link between them before these homicides go viral.
Meet Edinburgh Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh, head of the Innovative Crimes Investigation Unit, otherwise known as the Rule 34 Squad. They monitor the Internet for potential criminal activity, analyzing trends in the extreme fringes of explicit content. And occasionally, even more disturbing patterns arise…
Three ex-cons have been murdered in Germany, Italy, and Scotland. The only things they had in common were arrests for spamming—and a taste for unorthodox entertainment. As the first officer on the scene of the most recent death, Liz finds herself sucked into an international investigation that isn’t so much asking who the killer is, but what—and if she doesn't find the answer soon, the homicides could go viral.
The year is AD 7000. The human species is nearly extinctfor the fourth timedue to its fragile nature.
Krina Alizond-114 is metahuman, descended from the robots that once served humanity. Shes on a journey to the water world of Shin-Tethys to find her sister Ana. But her trip is interrupted when pirates capture her ship. Their leader, the enigmatic Count Rudi, believes that theres more to Krinas search than meets the eye.
Hes correct: Krina and Ana each possess half of the fabled Atlantis Carnet, a lost financial instrument of unbelievable valuecapable of bringing down entire civilizations. Krina doesnt know that Count Rudi suspects her motives, so she accepts his offer to get her to Shin-Tethys in exchange for an introduction to Ana.
And what neither of them suspects is that a ruthless body-double assassin has stalked Krina across the galaxy, ready to take the carnet once it is wholeand leave no witnesses alive to tell the tale
About the Author
Charles Stross is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 Hugo Award for best novella (The Concrete Jungle”), Stross has had his work translated into more than twelve languages. His books include Singularity Sky, Iron Sunrise, Accelerando, Halting State, Glasshouse, Saturn's Children, Wireless, Rule 34, and The Laundry Files (The Atrocity Archives, The Jennifer Morgue, The Fuller Memorandum, The Apocalypse Codex, and The Rhesus Chart).