"The climactic scenes of 'The Atrocity Archive' — battles in the snow beneath a galaxy of dying red suns — form one of the most compelling and intellectually engaging narrative sequences in the SF canon, the logics of demonology and physics in astounding tandem."
— Nick Gevers, Locus, August 2002
"Like his peer Cory Doctorow, Stross has an ironic Generation X sensibility conditioned, in his case, by time spent in the simultaneously thrilling and boring world of information technology. In The Atrocity Archives, Stross's genius lies in devoting fully as much time to the bureaucratic shenanigans of the Laundry as he does to its thaumaturgic mission. What with all the persnickety time-charts and useless meetings Howard has to deal with, it's a wonder the world gets saved at all.
— Paul Di Filippo, The Washington Post Book World, Sunday, July 11, 2004
"If this keeps up, 'Strossian' is going to become a sci-fi adjective . . ."
— Robert Folsom, The Kansas City Star
In Charles Stross's world of "The Atrocity Archive," Alan Turing, the Father of Modern Computer Science, did in fact complete his theorem on "Phase Conjugate Grammars for Extra-dimensional Summoning." Turing's work paved the way for esoteric mathematical computations that, when carried out, had side effects that would leak through some kind of channel underlying the structure of the Cosmos. And out there in the multiverse were "listeners" — and sometimes these listeners could be coerced into opening gates: Small gates through which minds could be transferred and, occasionally, large gates through which objects could be moved.
In 1945, Nazi Germany's Ahnenerbe-SS, in an attempt to escape the Allied onslaught, performed just such a summoning on the souls of more than ten million. A gate was opened to an alternate universe through which the SS moved men and matériel — to live to fight another day, as it were. But their summoning brought forth more than the SS had bargained for: an Evil, patiently waiting all this time while learning the ways of humans, now poised to lunch on our galaxy, on our very own Earth.
Secret intelligence agencies, esoteric theorems, Lovecraftian horrors, Mid East terrorist connections, a damsel in distress, and a final battle on the surface of a dying planet — in "The Atrocity Archive," Charles Stross has written a high-octane thriller, and readers need to buckle up and hold on with both hands!
"The Atrocity Archive" is a 78,000 word novel previously serialized in the U.K. magazine Spectrum SF, and now published for the first time in an archival-quality hardcover. This volume also contains a new, previously unpublished novella, "The Concrete Jungle," that features the further adventures of Bob Howard, the reluctant hero in "The Atrocity Archive" — a wisecracking, occasionally insubordinate, computer-hacker desk jockey, whose just itching for some field ops. Bob works for "The Laundry," a British ultra-secret intelligence organization — and in "The Concrete Jungle," a power struggle erupts between management, and Bob is unavoidably caught in the middle.
With an Introduction by noted British SF author Ken MacLeod, and an Afterword by Charles Stross in which he explores the distinction between the spy thriller and the horror story.
Cover art by Steve Montiglio.
More praise for novel "The Atrocity Archive":
"Another Hugo nominee this year, Stross has gene-spliced H. P. Lovecraft and Len Deighton to produce an SF thriller that is both witty and unsettling."
— Andrew Wilson, The Scotsman, Roundup of the Best SF of 2002
Read the complete text of "The Concrete Jungle":
Winner of the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Novella of the Year!
"The Concrete Jungle" PDF
"The Concrete Jungle" HTML
The Atrocity Archives is now in its second printing!
First printings are still available direct from Golden Gryphon Press.
Cloth, ISBN: 1-930846-25-8
Out of Print!
Reviews of the original serialized version of "The Atrocity Archive":
Read Nick Gevers's Locus Magazine review
Read Rich Horton's Locus Online review
Read the review in The New York Review of Science Fiction
Reviews of The Atrocity Archives from Golden Gryphon Press:
Read Rick Kleffel's review in The Agony Column
Read Peter Heck's review in Asimov's Science Fiction
Read Nick Gevers's review in Locus Magazine
Read yet another Locus Magazine review by Gary K. Wolfe
Read Cheryl Morgan's review on Emerald City
Read the Interzone review
Read Claude Lalumière's review in the Montreal Gazette
Read Cat Eldridge's feature article/review in The Green Man Review
Read the mini-review in the Kansas City Star
Read the Library Journal review
Read the NESFA.org review by Mark L. Olson
Read the Publishers Weekly review
Read Rick Klaw's review on Revolution SF
Read the San Francisco Chronicle review
Read the review on SFRevu
Read the SF Site review
Read Paul Di Filippo's review in the Washington Post Book World
Read the MarsDust.com review (scroll down)
Read the MarsDust.com Charles Stross interview
Read the Charles Stross interview with Nick Gevers on SciFi Weekly
Read Paula Guran's review in Cemetary Dance
Read the review in Vector — The Critical Journal of the BSFA
Read the review in Ireland's Albedo One magazine
Reviews of the reprint trade paperback edition of The Atrocity Archives from Ace Books:
Read Lynne Rhys-Jones's review on SciFiDimensions.
Read the review in Information Week's "Digital Life Weblog," posted by Mitch Wagner on July 17, 2007
Read an excerpt from "The Atrocity Archive"
Order the U. K. e-book edition of The Atrocity Archives direct from W. H. Smith
View the wraparound dust jacket art by Steve Montiglio