Saturday, 30 July 2011

Wireless by Charles Stross

Science fiction, the Cold War, HP Lovecraft, PG Wodehouse.  King.

I'll just do a quick description of some of my favourite short stories here.

"Missile Gap" sees the cold war of the 60s transported onto a massive flat disc in the Magellanic Cloud.  The Americans and the Soviets try and explore seemingly endless oceans and continents, and have to deal with the physics of living on a flat surface, rather than on a globe.  It also features Yuri Gagarin re-imagined as Captain Kirk, on the bridge of an ekranoplan, which is used to far greater effect than in that awful Bond book.

"A Colder War" sees the cold war of the 60s, 70s and 80s dealing with the Cthulhu mythos.  Features a Shoggoth under tarpaulin at a May Day parade in Moscow, and Colonel Oliver North at the Mountains of Madness.

Lovecraft returns in "Down on the Farm" but on a lighter note.  This is a satire about a branch of British intelligence which deals with magic.  Really fun and creative but with enough of that creeping horror and nameless dread to give it an edge.  Stross has written a few novels in the same world - The Jennifer Morgue and The Atrocity Archives - which I'll be keeping an eye out for.

And "Trunk and Disorderly" is Jeeves and Wooster in the far future.  Features a dwarf mammoth and a drunken dalek.  Nowhere near as terrible as it sounds.

1 comment:

McK said...

I bought this the other day because of what you wrote here, and must agree with its excellence.
It was Colder War that drew me in certainly, I find myself once again on a bit of a Lovecraft jag, but the rest of it was pretty damn excellent too.
I must give additional props to the story "Rogue Farm" which was deliciously bezerk. Any story with a weed smoking dog and a gibberish squealing multi legged farm is always worth a read. Cheers!!