Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Scalzi interviews Stross, and Occult Spies

Chances are, if you read my blog, you probably read John Scalzi's, but if you don't, you should know that he's just posted a terrific little interview with Charles Stross on his other blog, mostly about Stross's new novel, The Jennifer Morgue.

I just finished the novel this morning, after rereading The Atrocity Archives before Thanksgiving to get back up to speed. My brain's in my head a little sideways at the moment, in that I've been working on the bit in End of the Century about an operative of MI8, a British secret service who deals with matters beyond the ken of regular folks... which is an idea I introduced in a Bonaventure-Carmody story back in the old Clockwork Storybook days, around the same time that Atrocity Archives was being serialized in Spectrum SF, a few years before I had a chance to read it. Problem is, Stross is treading very similar ground to what I'd worked up, but does so in a way that makes me look like a piker.

Admittedly, it's an idea that others have used before -- Kim Newman's Diogenes Club stories spring to mind, and I suppose the BBC is getting some mileage out of it with Torchwood, as well -- but Stross's Laundry and my MI8 are pretty close neighbors, up to and including both having roots in the WWII-era doings of the Special Operations Executive.

I like my own little occult spies too much to cut them loose, though, so they stay in the picture. But I don't kid myself that they're anywhere near as clever as Bob Howard and his crew at the Laundry. I'm reminded of Thomas Pynchon including a note in Gravity's Rainbow exhorting readers to check out Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo if they want to learn about African-American secret societies. I don't think I'd go quite as far as to put a foot note in End of the Century, but trust me when I say that if you want to read about occult secret agents, Charles Stross is the guy to go to.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying, go check out the interview, already!

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by 

Blogger. Isn't yours?