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Light blogging alert

I've been blogging heavily in the past week because I've been (a) consciously slacking (to get over a chest infection) and (b) between jobs. But I've just started work on the next novel, so I'm likely to post a little less in the near future. (Working title "419"; it's the sequel to "Halting State", set five years later. Just in case you were wondering.)

Update (March 4th): And just as I thought I was going to get a clean run at chapter 1 of "419", I get editorial feedback on a different novel, and hear that I can expect more feedback on yet another one within the 4-6 week time frame. Edits ahoy!



Ooooooooh! A "Halting State" sequel. Shiny! (Hope the chest infection is done having its way with you.)


Sorry for bothering you, you must ve had it with this question--when is Fuller Memo scheduled to be available? And does Nightmare Stack (not sure if title is right) belong to Laundry line?


Pls. disregard #2. Saw the FAQ, thanks.


MX: Fuller Memorandum is due in either summer 2010 or summer 2011. (It was originally scheduled for 2011, and I was supposed to write 419 first. Instead I'm writing them the wrong way round, and the schedule may need to be amended. Oops.)

"The Nightmare Stacks" as originally conceived is cancelled -- it was going to be the final book in the Laundry trilogy, but (a) the key scene in it is no longer possible, and (b) it's not a trilogy any more, it's a series. I may reuse the title.

Currently the running order looks like:

  • The Atrocity Archives
  • The Jennifer Morgue
  • The Fuller Memorandum
  • The Apocalypse Codex (pending) ...
  • The Nightmare Stacks (grand finale)

The HALTING STATE sequel is kinda-sorta a sequel -- set five years later, involving a couple of the minor characters from the first book in something very weird indeed, starting with a murder in a posh part of Edinburgh.


Is the protagonist in 419 the same as it was in Halting State? That is to say, the reader?


Ben: I'm not sure yet. (I'm only 1% of the way into the first draft. Have mercy on me!)


A sequel to Halting State? Nice!


Five is always better than three! mmm... nice. Thanks.


419...Now that seems like a major hint at the plot!


Neat! Looking forward to it Charlie.




Well, thank goodness all that doom-n-gloom prognosticfication is going to a good cause. I thought you were working up to something rather more serious then getting into the right space for the 419 novel.

Now, stop slouching by the coffee station -- there's work to be done. ;)


For fun I just ran your blog through typealyzer. Its results seem pretty accurate to me.

The analysis indicates that the author is of the type:

INTP - The Thinkers The logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.


Just finished Saturn's Children so am definitely hungry for more Stross. Will pretend patience for as long as I can . . .


HS is (currently) my favorite Stross re-read. So I'm quite looking fwd to 419! (Really really can't wait for FM though!!)


Cool, a sequel.


Yum. And the last web page I was reading makes me think "419 for your soul". And then I realise that in some of the more witchcraft-laden parts of Africa, that might be a usable scam.


Currently the running order looks like:

  • The Atrocity Archives
  • The Jennifer Morgue
  • The Fuller Memorandum
  • The Apocalypse Codex (pending) ...
  • The Nightmare Stacks (grand finale)

Five? Excellent. So "The Atrocity Archives" was the Len Deighton one, and "The Jennifer Morgue" was the Ian Fleming one, and "The Fuller Memorandum" is going to be the Anthony Price one. Have you decided what the other two are going to draw on? IIRC you've already ruled out Le Carré?


The Apocalypse Codex is going to be the Peter O'Donnell (Modesty Blaise) book.

The rest ... well, as of "The Fuller Memorandum" the series has acquired an identity and feel of its own; there are only small doses of Anthony Price in it. From #5 onwards, I guess the pastiche element is going to take a back seat to the story arc.

(I'm not touching Le Carre any more than I'm going near Graham Greene, because (a) I can't match their style, and (b) they have specific quirks that bring me out in hives. Anglo-Catholicism is not part of my personal background and I suspect I'd find it no easier to write myself into the head of such a protagonist than to do the same for a member of the Taliban.)


We love the blog, but we love throwing money at you for books more, so feel free to disappear into WriterZone. grin


I've been looking forward to "The Fuller Memorandum"... but now I'll be looking forward to "The Apocalypse Codex" even more! Now go write. Please.


Given that "419" was going to be fraud, but before the era of Madoff and the billions, is it a case of going over the notes and s/billion/trillion/g ?

Time to redesign calculators. Accountants as well as engineers need 'scientific notation', and as for imaginary numbers, they've been using them for years.


Alastair: I'm keeping "419" as the working title for now, but suffice to say, I threw the old plot out the day after the Madoff business came out. It's not going to primarily be about fraud any more -- rather, if "Halting State" was about MMOs and virtual reality, "419" (or whatever it ends up being called) is going to be about social networks (specifically, SNs that don't do what the participants think they do).


Charlie I'm glad the Price pastiche is taking a back seat but not because I don't like his work. I reread one of his books recently - I didn't know I had it but with 2,000+ books kicking about I have lots I've bought, read and forgotten about. It was a great little spy thriller (nice length, just right to read in one long sitting) but I wouldn't know enough about his style to 'get' it anyway. I'm sure many of your fans are in the same position.


And now I'm wondering if the key scene isn't possible because it's actually dated in the past or if merely the technology it relied on is now only available in the past..?



@24. Sounds good. Hope reality doesn't scoop you again. Or maybe I do...


Let me add my voice to the chorus that is eagerly anticipating a sequel to Halting State. Damn, that was a great book. (Disappointed that it didn't win the Hugo, though Vinge's was magnificent too.)

One thing, though: I saw you read from it in San Francisco, where you said that you told your publisher you HAD to write it now, because it would be obsolete in a year. (And, honestly, I think you were right.) Does that cramp your style now, when you're trying to predict what would happen to that world five years hence?



Brian @27: I'm not treating the same topics in the new book that I focussed "Halting State" on. I'm looking at different, new ideas -- and while I don't have quite the same sense of urgency about this one, there's still stuff that I think will obsolesce if I don't get it out promptly.


Alastair: It's time for accounts to go beyond imaginary numnbers and step up to surreal numbers*.

  • Note the titles of sections 3 & 4 of the linked article :-}

Alistair @ 22:

Paltry imaginary numbers? It's time for the financial sector to step up to surreal numbers!


Sorry for the double post; Firefox crashed while trying to post the first one, and I didn't see that it had succeeded.


Bruce @30:

Thanks. I wasn't aware Dn Knuth had ever written fiction (see the wikipedia article); the field of mathematical fiction is relatively small.

There are problems with overloading names such as "surreal numbers"; they should just go back to latin-greek for their neologisms. I wonder how many managers, on hearing their quants (ex-scientists doing finance) were using complex mathematics didn't realize that complex is not a synonym for complicated ?


Alistair: I always thought the collaboration of Knuth and Conway to create something called "surreal numbers" was, well, surreal. Knuth has a very dry, very geeky, almost unnoticeable wit in his writing; in person he's the most boring speaker I've ever seen. Conway on the other hand is an imp with a world-wide reputation for bad puns and funny ideas. To see what others see in him, check out "John Horned Conway" near the bottom of the page.


I forgot to mention: I have a copy of that book, Surreal Numbers. After I posted about the concept, I went down to my office and dug it out of the Groaning Bookcases™. Glancing through it I see I remember very little of it, so I've put it on the current reading stack. It ended up underneath Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, Geometric Algebra for Physicists, and vol. 3 of Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan. I'm trying to figure out if there's a theme here.


great minds think alike?



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on March 2, 2009 7:20 PM.

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