A continuing theme of the Great Balticon Readathon is my neglect of mundane duties. Most notably, the laundry has been woefully neglected while I spend my waking hours reading, researching, reading more, writing, and sketching.
You can imagine my family’s delight when I informed them that, at last, I was going to do something about the Laundry.
(I keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means. Let’s let them be happily unaware, shall we?)
Charlie Stross declares on his blog that he has written over one million words in his long-running and award-winning series, The Laundry Files. Disclosure: I have not read all million words. In this world, magic is not only real, it’s a branch of mathematics. Which is how protagonist Bob Howard, computer tech geek, ends up reluctantly enlisted into a British government branch dealing with the arcane and weird. The Laundry Files novels and stories depict his gradual integration into a system that is confronted with everything from mundane snarky office politicking to full-blown Lovecraftian horror. (Trigger warning: the novel I read was quite graphic. If you’re reading along for the Readathon, make sure you scan some detailed reviews before choosing a book or story to enjoy. It’s horror, and despite humorous interludes, Stross isn’t pulling punches.) There’s an overarching plot through the series (CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN) involving the imminent return of Lovecraft’s Elder Gods. The Laundry is out to stop that from happening. At a million plus words, and perhaps another 1 – 3 novels projected, there’s a lot of tentacled mischief afoot.
Stross has written many other works, generally in series. They are published world-wide, and in many languages. He makes several of his fiction pieces available online, and you can find them on his blog.
Oh, before I forget the biography part: Charles Stross writes full-time, despite Margaret Thatcher and the derail into “a steady career”. (Hey, I recognize that derail!) According to his blog, updated 2016, he’s 51 and living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Cat status: he claims a sleepy cat for a co-worker, and pictures of various cats with Stross do exist online.