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Incidentally ...

I'm being quiet because I am:

a) Tired from too much travelling,

b) Dealing with the backlog of everyday administrative work that built up while I was away for a month (French tax forms, last year's accounts, book contracts, etcetera),

c) Working on the copy-edits to THE REVOLUTION BUSINESS (which is due out next April, and said edits are due back in New York at the beginning of September),

d) Working on finishing the novella PALIMPSEST, which is going into the short story collection that's coming out next summer (probably to be titled WIRELESS, but that's in the hands of the marketing folks),

e) Trying to get all of the above nailed down before I fly off to Belfast for Mecon next weekend.

I'm probably going to fail on point (e), but hopefully I won't be running more than a week late by the time I get into September. And then ...

Another novel!



So both you and Mr Mcleod have produced your virtual overlaid world domestic police procedurals, and very good they are... any hints what the next one is about?

It occurs to me to wonder how SF and the recession interact.


REALLY looking forward to The Revolution Business!


Aaah, I had wondered who got to do the taxes for authors whose income occasionally is the product of translations into multiple languages. In your case, I guess you're the lucky man.

Back to the keyboard, feeder-of-addictions! Keep the novels coming, your public demands it! The Hugo ballot demands it! The fate of the world is in your hands! Wait. A step too far there. But only partially.

And as always - the remedy for travel is more travel.


I am about 1/3 of the way through Singularity Sky (yes, I am behind, but in an effort to combat my seeming-natural hermit tendencies, I am joining a local reading group, and have soon to be 1/2 of the way through Anna Karenina, and I have many, many more excuses to offer ...), my first assay of one of your novels (I've encountered some Stross short stories in Dozois anthologies) ...

... and I couldn't help noticing the inclusion of a character named "Ilya Murametz." Immediately I wondered, "okay, so is Charles Stross an MST3K fan, or is he fond of Russo-Finnish fantasy films, or is this a complete accident?"

It doesn't ultimately matter what the answer is, because you have already captured this humble reader, but there it is.


If you were familiar with the Usenet spam fighting scene, you would recognize a couple minor character names as much more familiar, perhaps verging on notorious. Not sure how many other Easter Eggs are in there; Charlie's complained that there are some that nobody ever seems to have copped to.


Charlie, did you get a review copy of Anathem? I can't wait for it to come out and am traveling that week so I'll have to pick it up on the run.


theDAWG: No. On the other hand, I didn't ask for one ...


Charlie, delighted to see that you're coming to Belfast.

I had no idea of the existence of Mecon (just around the corner from my office) until you mentioned it above - but, unfortunately for me, domestic and child-minding duties including my wife's birthday require me to spend the weekend at home...

Hmmm, is a beating with a rolling-pin - or worse - worth it for the chance of buying a pint and getting Saturn's Children signed by the man himself...?

Anyway, on behalf of those of us who will not be in the formal welcoming committee at Queen's, allow me to say 'Welcome to Ireland' - Failte go Beal Feirste!


Okay, I know I shouldn't do this, but following on my comment above ... the hut with chicken feet into which Sister Seventh shoves Burya Rubenstein in Singularity Sky must, I say must be drawn from the same Russo-Finnish well as the character name "Ilya Murametz," since such a hut appears in the film with the English title Jack Frost (original title, Morozko).

Coincidentally (?), this film was also given the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 treatment ...

I was contemplating an essay on the "influence of Aleksandr Ptushko on Charles Stross" until I looked it up and found that Ptushko had nothing to do with Jack Frost.

It thrills me beyond measure that I have "found" an s.f. writer who pulls from wells such as these for injokes and such. Seriously. If I am seeing things, please don't disabuse me ... also, please don't mistake this as a slight on the author's considerable creativity. This book is more fun than I've had in months.


Well, the hut with chicken feet is in one of Miyazaki's movies, too, so you never know what he's been drawing from. (It's a popular one and I can't quite remember the name.)


The house with the chicken feet is much older than the Lumiere brothers. It is the abode of Baba Yaga when she is not out terrorising the Slavs in her mortar (and pestle). It's perfectly sensible that the house is a character in Singularity Sky, the Gingerbread House is equally culturally valid, but its immobility doesn't help the plot along…


When I came to the Hut my first thought was of "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky, movement no.9 'The Hut on Hen�s Legs (Baba-Yaga)'


I'mninterested in Mr. Stross's take on this story, given his expertise in Alternate James Bonds:

Yuri Nosenko, Soviet Spy Who Defected, Dies at 81 By DAVID STOUT Published: August 27, 2008

"Mr. Nosenko’s defection seemed to have been motivated in part by his fondness for Western culture. He also said he needed money to repay some K.G.B. money he had lost in Geneva after a night with a prostitute and a bottle of vodka in 1962."


And speaking of alternate universes and intelligence agency disinformation:

Bookshelf Inquiring Minds Still Want to Know By EDWARD KOSNER August 12, 2008; Page A19 The Godfather of Tabloid By Jack Vitek (University of Kentucky Press, 290 pages, $29.95)

"Pope was the oddball New Yorker who created the National Enquirer, the rag that gave the world headlines like 'Mom Uses Son's Face for an Ashtray' and sold 6.7 million copies in August 1977 with a sneaked cover photo of Elvis Presley laid out in his coffin at Graceland. Pope, who went to the Horace Mann prep school in New York and to MIT and worked in psy-ops for the CIA before starting the National Enquirer in 1952, is the subject of a respectful biography that argues that he belongs in the populist-press pantheon with William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer."

"Maybe not. Still, "The Godfather of Tabloid" is an engaging saga of one man's obsessive devotion to creating an entertaining alternative universe each week for four or five million Americans clutching their quarters at the supermarket check-out racks (which he conveniently owned)."


Golden Gryphon HB version. In the afterword, p 261, para 3. "...alienation overlap in alegory;...." should be allegory.

Same copy, the glossary acronyms are for "The Atrocity Archive" section only. None of the acronyms in the section "The Concrete Jungle" are included in this glossary.

Afterword p 257, para1. Consistency check. You use the US spelling for "civilization" instead of the UK spelling "civilisation" in ".... opposites of industrial civilization." Not a problem although it clashes with the rest of the novel's UK spellings for terms.



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on August 23, 2008 12:03 PM.

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