Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Equoid Is A Good Novella

Or why you should read Equoid 
by Charles Stross

The Laundry Files is a series of novels about The United Kingdom's ssupernaturalsecret service. The series stars Bob Howard, a very geeky and not particularly coordinated agent, as he combats mind consuming Lovecraftian horrors, navigates the politics and paperwork of the office bureaucracy, and suffers through the hell of providing IT tech support. In Equoid Bob is sent to a quiet rural village, armed with a classified memoir of HP Lovecraft, to investigate the possibility of a unicorn infestation. Which, if it's true, is serious business because unicorns aren't beautiful, enchanted horses, they're eldritch horrors from beyond space time. And if they were to breed, the consequences would be catastrophic.

Equoid is a great medium-small read. It features the Laundry Series trademark mixture of nightmare logic, geekery, yawning cosmic horror, and humour. It is a read that manages to be pretty fucking disturbing (there is some rape-by-cosmic-horror stuff in here that is soul-curdling) but also manages to have a brighter side between the existentially horrific. Whether amusing or soul-curdling, Equoid manages to be a consistently interesting story.

I would recommend this novella to most geekery-friendly readers. It's definitely for mature readers and some potentially upsetting things happen, so you know, be forewarned. Equoid takes place midway through the Laundry Files Series chronology (before The Fuller Memorandum) so if you are a purist and want to read the series in order you should start at the beginning with The Atrocity Archives. That said, Equoid stands alone reasonably well and might be a good introduction to curious readers.  If the mash up of Elder Gods, cosmic horror, British Spies, and work place comedy sounds attractive you should give Equoid or The Laundry Series a try.

The Laundry Files Novels (Novels 1-4)
Accelerando and Glasshouse
Saturn's Children and Neptune's Brood
Halting State and Rule 34
The Merchant Princes Series (Novels 1-6/1-3)
The Rapture of The Nerds

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