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Down on the Farm

The Laundry Files

Charles Stross

In Charles Stross's novel The Atrocity Archive and its sequels, the "Laundry" is a secret British agency responsible for keeping dark interdimensional entitities from destroying the cosmos and, not incidentally, the human race. The battles with creatures from beyond time are dangerous; however, it's the subsequent bureaucratic paperwork that actually breaks men's souls. Now, in "Down on the Farm," Laundry veteran Bob Howard must investigate strange doings at another obscure, moth-eaten government agency--evidently a rest home for Laundry agents whose minds have snapped...

Charles Stross is the Hugo-winning author of some of the most acclaimed novels and stories of the last ten years, including Singularity Sky, Accelerando, Halting State, the "Merchant Princes" series beginning with The Family Trade, and the story collections Toast and Wireless. In 2010, his Laundry story "Overtime," published on Tor, is a finalist for science fiction's Hugo Award.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Equoid

The Laundry Files

Charles Stross

Hugo-winning Novella

The "Laundry" is Britain's super-secret agency devoted to protecting the realm from the supernatural horrors that menace it. Now Bob Howard, Laundry agent, must travel to the quiet English countryside to deal with an outbreak of one of the worst horrors imaginable. For, as it turns out, unicorns are real. They're also ravenous killers from beyond spacetime...


Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

Overtime

The Laundry Files

Charles Stross

Introduced to readers in the novels The Atrocity Archive and The Jennifer Morgue, the Laundry is a secret British government agency charged with preventing dark interdimensional entities from destroying the human race. Now, in "Overtime," the Laundry is on a skeleton staff for Christmas--leaving one bureaucrat to be all that stands between the world and annihilation by the Thing That Comes Down Chimneys. Written especially for Tor.com's holiday season, Charles Stross's novelette is a finalist for the 2010 Hugo Award.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Pimpf

The Laundry Files

Charles Stross

This novelette origianally appeared in Jim Baen's Universe, June 2006. It can also be found in the anthology Year's Best Fantasy 7 (2007), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. The story is included as an extra in the novel The Jennifer Morgue (2006).

The Concrete Jungle

The Laundry Files

Charles Stross

Hugo Award winning novella. It was originally published as an extra in the novel The Atrocity Archives (2004). It can also be found in the anthology Best Short Novels: 2005, edited by Jonathan Strahan.

Read the full story for free at the Golden Gryphon website.

The Atrocity Archives

The Laundry Files: Book 1

Charles Stross

Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

In the title piece, Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science, completes his theorem on 'Phase Conjugate Grammars for Extra-dimensional Summoning'. Turing's work paves the way for esoteric mathematical computations that, when carried out, have side effects that leak through a channel underlying the structure of the Cosmos. Out there in the multiverse are 'listeners' who can sometimes be coerced into opening gates.

In 1945, Nazi Germany's Ahnenerbe-SS, in an attempt to escape the Allied onslaught, performs just such a summoning on the souls of more than six million. A gate opens to an alternate universe through which the SS move people and material - to live to fight another day. But their summoning brings forth more than the SS have bargained for - an evil, patiently waiting all this time while learning the ways of humans, now poises to lunch on Earth. Secret intelligence agencies, esoteric theorems, Lovecraftian horrors, Middle East terrorist connections, a damsel in distress, and a final battle on the surface of a dying planet round out this story.

Includes the Hugo-award-winning novella "The Concrete Jungle", which can be read for free here.

The Jennifer Morgue

The Laundry Files: Book 2

Charles Stross

Bob Howard - a T-shirt wearing computer geek and field agent for the super-secret British government agency The Laundry - must save the world from eldritch horrors, codenamed Jennifer Morgue, in this fast-paced spy thriller. Bob's current mission is to stop the evil Ellis Billington from achieving world domination, but he must overcome obstacles including the Gravedust device, which permits communication with the dead; destiny-entanglement protocol; banishment weapons; and Ramona Random, a lethal but beautiful agent for the U.S. counterpart to The Laundry. Billington plans to raise the eldritch horror Jennifer Morgue from the vasty deeps, and communicate with a dead warrior for the purpose of ruling the world.

Blending physics and applied mathematics with the practice of summoning and demonology, this spy-meets-horror novel will keep sci-fi fans on the edge of their seats.

This volume also includes a bonus story, "Pimpf," featuring The Laundry agent Bob Howard in the world of virtual gaming, as well as an afterword entitled "The Golden Age of Spying."

The Fuller Memorandum

The Laundry Files: Book 3

Charles Stross

Computational demonologist Bob Howard is taking a much-needed break from the field to catch up on his filing in The Laundry's archives when a top secret dossier known as The Fuller Memorandum vanishes - along with his boss, who the agency's executives believe stole the file.

Determined to discover exactly what the memorandum contained (and perhaps clear his boss), Bob runs afoul of Russian agents, ancient demons, and the apostles of a hideous faith, who have plans to raise a very unpleasant undead entity known as the Eater of Souls.

Now Bob must use all of his skills to learn the secret of the Fuller Memorandum in order to save the world - and avoid becoming an item on the Eater of Souls' dinner menu...

The Apocalypse Codex

The Laundry Files: Book 4

Charles Stross

Bob Howard may be humanity's last hope.

Start praying...

For outstanding heroism in the field (despite himself), computational demonologist Bob Howard is on the fast-track for promotion to management within The Laundry, the super-secret British government agency tasked with defending the realm from occult threats. Assigned to "External Assets," Bob discovers the company-unofficially-employs freelance agents to deal with sensitive situations that may embarrass Queen and Country.

So when Ray Schiller-an American televangelist with the uncanny ability to miraculously heal the ill-becomes uncomfortably close to the Prime Minister, External Assets dispatches the brilliant, beautiful, and entirely unpredictable Persephone Hazard to infiltrate the Golden Promise Ministry and discover why the preacher is so interested in British politics. And it's Bob's job to make sure Persephone doesn't cause an international incident.

But it's a supernatural incident that Bob needs to worry about-a global threat even The Laundry may be unable to clean up...

The Rhesus Chart

The Laundry Files: Book 5

Charles Stross

As a newly appointed junior manager within the Laundry-the clandestine organization responsible for protecting Britain against supernatural threats-Bob Howard is expected to show some initiative to help the agency battle the forces of darkness. But shining a light on things best left in the shadows is the last thing Bob wants to do-especially when those shadows hide an occult parasite spreading a deadly virus.

Traders employed by a merchant bank in London are showing signs of infection-an array of unusual symptoms such as superstrength and -speed, an uncanny talent for mind control, an extreme allergic reaction to sunlight, and an unquenchable thirst for blood. While his department is tangled up in bureaucratic red tape (and Buffy reruns), debating how to stop the rash of vampirism, Bob digs deeper into the bank's history-only to uncover a bloodcurdling conspiracy between men and monsters...

The Annihilation Score

The Laundry Files: Book 6

Charles Stross

NOBODY DOES IT BETTER...

Dr Mo O'Brien is an intelligence agent at the top secret government agency known as 'the Laundry'. When occult powers threaten the realm, they'll be there to clean up the mess and deal with the witnesses.

But the Laundry is recovering from a devastating attack and when average citizens all over the country start to develop supernatural powers, the police are called in to help. Mo is appointed as official police liaison, but in between dealing with police bureaucracy, superpowered members of the public and disgruntled politicians, Mo discovers to her horror that she can no longer rely on her marriage, nor on the weapon that has been at her side for eight years of undercover work, the possessed violin known as 'Lecter'.

If this wasn't bad enough, a mysterious figure known as Dr Freudstein is committing heists and sending increasingly threatening messages to the police. Who is Freudstein and what is he planning?

The Nightmare Stacks

The Laundry Files: Book 7

Charles Stross

After stumbling upon the algorithm that turned him and his fellow merchant bankers into vampires, Alex Schwartz was drafted by The Laundry, Britain's secret counter-occult agency that's humanity's first line of defense against the forces of darkness. Dependent on his new employers for his continued existence -- as Alex has no stomach for predatory bloodsucking -- he has little choice but to accept his new role as an operative-in-training.

Dispatched to Leeds, Alex's first assignment is to help assess the costs of renovating a 1950s Cold War bunker into The Laundry's new headquarters. Unfortunately, Leeds is Alex's hometown, and the thought of breaking the news to his parents that he's left banking for civil service, while hiding his undead condition, is causing more anxiety than learning how to live as a vampire secret agent preparing to confront multiple apocalypses.

Alex's only saving grace is Cassie Brewer, a drama student appearing in the local Goth Festival who is inexplicably attracted to him despite his awkward personality and massive amounts of sunblock.

But Cassie has secrets of her own -- secrets that make Alex's night life behaviors seem positively normal...

The Delirium Brief

The Laundry Files: Book 8

Charles Stross

Bob Howard's career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from unspeakable horrors from beyond spacetime, has entailed high combat, brilliant hacking, ancient magic, and combat with indescribably repellent creatures of pure evil. It has also involved a wearying amount of paperwork and office politics, and his expense reports are still a mess.

Now, following the invasion of Yorkshire by the Host of Air and Darkness, the Laundry's existence has become public, and Bob is being trotted out on TV to answer pointed questions about elven asylum seekers. What neither Bob nor his managers have foreseen is that their organization has earned the attention of a horror far more terrifying than any demon: a British government looking for public services to privatize. There's a lot of potential shareholder value in the Laundry's "knowledge assets."

Inch by inch, Bob Howard and his managers are forced to consider the truly unthinkable: a coup against the British government itself.

The Labyrinth Index

The Laundry Files: Book 9

Charles Stross

The arrival of vast, alien, inhuman intelligences reshaped the landscape for human affairs across the world, and the United Kingdom is no exception. Things have changed in Britain since the dread elder god Nyarlathotep ascended to the rank of Prime Minister. Mhari Murphy, recently elevated to the House of Lords and head of the Lords Select Committee on Sanguinary Affairs (think vampires), finds herself in direct consultation with the creeping chaos, who directs her to lead a team of disgraced Laundry personnel into the dark heart of America. It seems the Creeping Chaos is concerned about foreign relations.

A thousand-mile-wild storm system has blanketed the midwest, and the President is nowhere to be found. In fact, for reasons unknown the people of America are forgetting that the executive branch ever existed. The government has been infiltrated by the shadowy Black Chamber, and the Pentagon and NASA have been refocused on the problem of summoning Cthulhu.

Somewhere, the Secret Service battle to stay awake, to remind the President who he is, and to stay one step ahead of the vampiric dragnet that's searching for him.

Dead Lies Dreaming

The Laundry Files: Book 10

Charles Stross

When magic and superpowers emerge in the masses, Wendy Deere is contracted by the government to bag and snag supervillains.

As Wendy hunts down Imp – the cyberpunk head of a band calling themselves "The Lost Boys" – she is dragged into the schemes of louche billionaire Rupert de Montfort Bigge. Rupert has discovered that the sole surviving copy of the long-lost concordance to the one true Necronomicon is up for underground auction in London. He hires Imp's sister, Eve, to procure it by any means necessary, and in the process, he encounters Wendy Deere.

In a tale of corruption, assassination, thievery, and magic, Wendy Deere must navigate rotting mansions that lead to distant pasts, evil tycoons, corrupt government officials, lethal curses, and her own moral qualms in order to make it out of this chase alive.

Quantum of Nightmares

The Laundry Files: Book 11

Charles Stross

It's a brave new Britain under the New Management. The avuncular Prime Minister is an ancient eldritch god of unimaginable power. Crime is plummeting as almost every offense is punishable by death. And everywhere you look, there are people with strange powers, some of which they can control, and some, not so much.

Hyperorganized and formidable, Eve Starkey defeated her boss, the louche magical adept and billionaire Rupert de Montfort Bigge, in a supernatural duel to the death. Now she's in charge of the Bigge Corporation?just in time to discover the lethal trap Rupert set for her long ago.

Wendy Deere's transhuman abilities have gotten her through many a scrape. Now she's gainfully employed investigating unauthorized supernatural shenanigans. She swore to herself she wouldn't again get entangled with Eve Starkey's bohemian brother Imp and his crew of transhuman misfits. Yeah, right.

Mary Macandless has powers of her own. Right now she's pretending to be a nanny in order to kidnap the children of a pair of famous, Government-authorized superheroes. These children have powers of their own, and Mary Macandless is in way over her head.

Amanda Sullivan is the HR manager of a minor grocery chain, much oppressed by her glossy blonde boss?who is cooking up an appalling, extralegal scheme literally involving human flesh.

All of these stories will come together, with world-bending results...

Escape From Yokai Land

The Laundry Files: Book 12

Charles Stross

Bob's been assigned to work with the Miyamoto Group, checking the wards that lock down Japan's warded sites?a task previously handled by his predecessor Dr. Angleton, the Eater of Souls. This mostly involves policing yokai: traditional magical beings, increasingly grown more annoying and energetic.

But then Bob's simple trip turns into a deadly confrontation with the ultimate yokai. It's massively powerful. It's pink. And it says "Hello."