April 18th, 2010

atheist teacher

Defeating Demons - a book review twofer

I finally got around to Charlie Stross' The Atrocity Archives. Not a perfect work, but I really did enjoy it a lot. Secret UK occult spook outfit battles tentacled monstrosities from beyond space and time. Although I think it wants to be a cross of Le Carre and Lovecraft [actually, the afterword makes it Deighton and Lovecraft], the brooding Cold War-esque feel sooner or later (usually sooner) gives way to extravagant action that's more James Bond-y. And not Fleming Bond, but Moonraker-film Bond. Nevertheless, a corking good read [though I thought the tacked on Hugo Award-winning novella "Concrete Jungle" was decidedly inferior].
The afterword is also interesting reading, especially his conceit that Len Deighton was one of the greatest horror writers of the 20th century: shadowy entities dominate the world, threatening annihilation of the human race. And HPL was one of the greatest writers of spy thrillers: scholars of esoterica root through libraries and data, searching for well-protected secrets, ever in danger of death from the agents of the other side.

I skimmed through my yardsale find of Stairway to Hell, published by Chick Publications.
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