I had a printer like this once…perhaps not quite so chock full of human bits, but cursed with ghosts of ten thousand mangled print jobs. When I bought the new printer I kicked the old one out of a second story window. It just felt right.

Things have been weird. I’m about to slam into a book deadline at the end of next month and have just fixed a problem that improves the entire thing…it also means an almost total rewrite. Such things make me sad in a way I find hard to quantify. Is there a unit of self inflicted sadness? Measure in millilitres of tears perhaps? Or in their own unit. Face palms? Face palms are a good unit. I am sad to a degree of five face palms and three and a quarter head-desks.

I just finished Charles Stross’ latest book in the Laundry Files The Rhesus Chart. While on the surface it’s about vampires, the fact that it’s a Laundry Files book means that it is taken from a distinctly Lovecraftian point of view. The usual warnings about Stross’ Laundry Novels apply: many acronyms, rampant computer science and math geekiness and massive trauma to characters you’ve come to love. With that said I feel like this is the best of the series so far. I didn’t feel that way at the start, in fact for the first three chapters I was worried that Stross had lost interest in his characters, in the Laundry universe but it seems he was just getting necessary background out of the way. This is very much a ‘wham episode’* and Stross really ramps up the stakes for all involved. The final scene in particular sets the stage for things to come, and they are looking bleak. The Rhesus Chart isn’t as funny as previous entries, but the one liners are still there lurking in the darkness of the narrative.

All in all I highly recommend it, although you might want to start with The Atrocity Archives first if you’re new to the Laundryverse.

I should say that this week’s strip leads into a tentative toe dip into the horror haunted waters of continuity. We’ll see where it goes.

May all your enemies grow second heads that hate them,

 

 

Andrew

 

* WARNING! That link take you to TV Tropes. Kiss the rest of your day’s productivity goodbye.