Book Review: The Atrocity Archives

by Charles Stross.

I highly recommend this for anyone who likes Cthulu and who has ever worked in a cube farm.

So there’s this guy who knows more about computer programming than he should.  When he accidentally writes an algorithm that threatens to destroy his neighborhood, a division of the British Intelligence rips him out of his old life and forces him to take a menial sys admin job for them for the rest of his life  – or death!  (Tough choice.)  The guy manages to use his love of programming and dark magic to earn himself a tough, adventurous job as an agent for the division.

There are two stories in the book, the novel-length “Atrocity Archives” and the novella “The Concrete Jungle.”

The stories start out with depressing verisimilitude, with a bad supervisor who makes the guy’s life miserable, stupid users, and getting written up for coming in late to a meeting after an all-nighter.  The guy’s home life, with two ubergeek roommates and a psycho on-off girlfriend, is a mess.  As the story progresses, our guy transforms himself into a hero, gets a new girlfriend, gets promoted and [SPOILER] ends up having to kill his supervisor, who is attempting to destroy the world!!!11!!

Not terribly realistic.  But deeply satisfying.  Geed FTW.

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