Reading Rampage

Since , and despite having gone back to work (a hard thing to do when you sleep in slices of three or four hours a night), I’ve tried to cuddle my brain back to a baseline degree of performance by digging through my bookcase. I’m in somewhat of a Charles Stross mood (I tend to methodically go through every title from writers that strike my fancy), so today I’m publishing a short review of two of his titles and a little something extra:

“The Atrocity Archives”:ISBN:1841495697 “Glasshouse”:ISBN:1841493937 “Stealing Light”:ISBN:0330445960
★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
This is a rather different style than what I’m used to (it falls somewhere in the broad spectrum of fantasy horror, but with some humorous twists), but I found it enjoyable nonetheless because of Stross’ style and prose, which paint the Laundry – possibly the oddest fictional branch of British civil service ever – in colorful and witty tones. I’m somewhat biased against the genre, though, and it lacks the smooth polish of his other books, so I rate it slightly lower than the rest. In literally the other end of the spectrum, “Glasshouse”:ISBN:1841493937 is a play on anachronism and human behavior set somewhere in the manifold beyond the Singularity, when a bunch of post-humans agree to take part in an experiment that is (superficially) a facsimile of the 20th century. Solid writing and the way characters are (quite literally) pieced together as the story moves along makes it an enjoyable read, although you’ll need to keep paying attention to the details. (not easy when you’re reading it in 30 minute slots like me). Gary Gibson has been on my radar for a bit, since this (his first title on a story arch that spans three books, two of them already published) had garnered a number of good reviews, and I’m pleased to say that it was an original and refreshing look into a consistent (if violent) universe, leaving me wanting that extra bit more that the sequels are surely meant to provide.

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