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I have a new Book!


I have a new book! Readers (in the UK) report that copies of WIRELESS, my first new short story collection in eight years, are showing up in bookstores and being mailed out from Amazon; the US edition is due out on July 7th, but is probably leaking into shops by now.

Contents include the Locus-award winning novella "Missile Gap", a bunch of other stories including "A Colder War", "Trunk and Disorderly", and "Down on the Farm", a collaborative novelette with Cory Doctorow called "Unwirer" (published in unabridged form for the first time in a hunk o'dead tree), and a wholly new novella I wrote for this collection (and which you won't find anywhere else), "Palimpsest".

(I was also hoping to be able to announce the publication date of the final, limited, signed edition of TOAST, my previous short story collection — to coincide with which I'm going to be giving away the full text under a Creative Commons license — but I gather it's coming along slowly.)



awesome! a colder war is probably my favourite story of yours.


I got mine from Amazon yesterday. Really enjoying it - a colder war feels unpleasantly real as an evocation of how I felt (as a child) in the 70's

to coincide with which I'm going to be giving away the full text under a Creative Commons license

Ooh, thank you! I've got a hardcopy of Toast, but I'd love to have it on my ebook reader, too.


This seems something you like to know, so I can say here that Wireless and Saturn's Children were available in Waterstones in Brussels on Thursday this week.


John: the CC release of TOAST should coincide with the launch of the final edition (as I'm calling it) -- got a bit of work to fit in, tidying it up, before I can release it.


Any thoughts on the cover design. The UK cover looks, as far as I can tell, much more interesting and attention grabbing than the US edition. Unfortunately I will get the US edition, which looks somewhat bland (perhaps I'm not seeing something subtle and interesting in the design)?


Alex, the US cover is embossed and has metallic ink; the JPEG doesn't do it justice.

8: 7 Blimey, really? Want.

I could always import it i suppose, that is a loverly bit of design indeed. Looks like some kind of lovecraftian horror mixed with a futuristic aesthetic. The UK one just looks like a confusing tech abstract. Not fussed.


Charlie, can you give a brief summary of what Palimpsest is about?


Congratulations! I haven't read any of these, but it sounds like you have a lot to be proud of. Is there an Argentine edition of either Wireless or TOAST?


Looking forward to getting my copy. BTW, that blurb by Vernor Vinge? I'm surprised your head hasn't exploded.


Damn. I'm going to spend a couple of weeks looking at this, telling myself I've read most of the stories already, that I really should wait for the paperback... and then buying it.


In to "Forbidden Planet" on Tuesday, then .....


Trey @9: no, not really. (If I could sum it all up I wouldn't have had to write 30,000 words, would I?)

"Palimpsest" was written because I thought "ooh, short story collection -- got to have something new and cool in it to attract the fans, right? What classic themes haven't I already written? Hmm. Alien invasion/first contact -- no, that was Singularity Sky. How about time travel -- no, time patrol ..."

I suddenly realized I hadn't read a time patrol story (in the vein pioneered by, say, Poul Anderson or in YA by Andre Norton) in donkey's years.

It is possible that one day "Palimpsest" will be expanded into a novel. But not for a few years. It hurt my head in a way my head hasn't hurt since I was writing "Accelerando".


I prefer the US cover to the UK one, but to give it some due, the UK one has a lovely feel to it, with a rounded spine.

I'd love to see the coverart for the US version turned into a computer wallpaper or similar.


ITYM "I has new book!"

Kids of today, don't know how to speek proper.


Charlie, Believe it or not, you just convinced me to go look for the book with the 'summary' you sketched. I read SF to jam in interesting new concepts and bend my brain, so that qualifies.


WANT! that is all.


So how embarassingly out of date are the short stories in this book?


I feel that Charles Stross plays an important role in bridging the alleged nerd/cool gap, which is as serious and threatning as the Missile Gap once was.

These online discussions of IT Industry, Science Fiction, Politics, the Space program, and so forth, support claim that the nerd/normal distinction is artificial, misguided, and damaging. Rather than us-versus-them divisions such as C. P. Snow's "The Two Cultures" or the war between Science Fiction and Fantasy, or literature versus television, I believe that we need to build bridges between individuals and groups, rather than provoke attacks.

It is a key responsibility of research leaders, teachers, and popularizers to be pontifex. Note that this counts Mr. Stross three times.

The current Notices of the ACM reviews two books which provide constructive visions of how Math-philes and Math-phobes can better understand each other, and work together. "An eye for an eye leaves us all blind."

The Time Patrol is doomed unless it also fights the schism between Geeks and Populars. Isn't Steve Jobs both cool and a nerd? Isn't Barack Obama? Wasn't Michael Jackson? Didn't they all try to change the world?


Good. I look forward to my copy arriving. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the autobiographical articles.


John: the CC release of TOAST should coincide with the launch of the final edition (as I'm calling it) -- got a bit of work to fit in, tidying it up, before I can release it.

Sure, understood. Just figured it wasn't too early to say thank you.

Do you know yet what CC terms you'll be using?


Bwahaha! You are indeed correct, Charlie. The street dates, they is teh brokun. My local Borders is the place that does this with reckless consistency when it comes to your books. You must have a fan there, who wants all of us to get a chance to mainline your latest as soon as available. Now to delay the pleasure until I have time to read it all in one large sitting.

Also, : @20 from Jonathan Vos Post: I would recommend we keep Michael Jackson far away from conversations about divisive issues. He isn't the type you want to bring into it. I agree there is a gap, that must be considered and the world would be better off from bridging it. But in my opinion Michael Jackson was, if not a pedophile, far too close for comfort. That a large amount of this was due to a, shall we say, spectacularly abnormal and possibly hideously damaging upbringing does not in fact negate his own later responsibilities.


I've had my order in for this for what seems like months now. Soon, I hope, it will materialise on Canadian shores . . .


Re #23:

Point taken. But, on the one hand, innocent until proven guilty. And, on the other hand, there is reason to consider the late Mr. Jackson a nerd.

Since this thread is much about books as such, and those who read and write them:,0,3364369.story

"...'He loved the poetry section,' Dave Dutton said as Dirk chimed in that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson's favorite. 'I think you would find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics.'"

"Largely an autodidact, Jackson was quite well read, according to Jackson's longtime lawyer. 'We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues,' Bob Sanger told the LA Weekly after the singer's death. 'But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature . . . Freud and Jung -- go down the street and try and find five people who can talk about Freud and Jung.'"

One can also be sad, lonely, damaged, and yet bridge the gap.

I agree that my argument would be more straightforward if I dealt only with purely positive people. But I'm not purely positive myself. I believe that we can acknowledge our imperfections, even major ones, take personal responsibility, and make a sincere lifelong effort to make the world a better place.

My heroes did. Proudly calling onseself a geek or a nerd is to admit some disconnect with some demographics, and, rather than be ashamed, be able to glory in what one loves.

Black pride, gay pride, geek pride... such movements also implicitly seek to bridge the gaps.

Biologically, there is much to the metaphor that all humans are brothers and sisters. Nor are we isolated and distinct from the rest of the ecosystem. The gap between humans and machines, well, that's part of what Computer Scientists are for. And science fiction authors.

Mr. Stross may be younger than I, but he is still one of my heroes. If you're on this blog, you know why.


My UK copy turned up on Saturday. I've happily re-read the old favourites I have in other collections or seen online, and am savouring the ones I haven't read as slowly as I can.


My UK-Hardcover also arrived on saturday, that is from to a customer in Germany. I must say that in contrast to the paperbacks (where the Orbit-books always lack a certain something for me, they are kinda softish and without haptic appeal), the Orbig-Hardcovers are some of the loveliest I know. They are just, and this sounds stupid, I know, very book-like. They just have the exact right size and weight and shutting them makes the right noise and so forth. Whereas US Hardcovers very often fail in that regard (mostly because they're a bit bigger). Even nicer than the Orbit ones are the Golden Gryphon ones.


This seems like a reasonable place to note that my Amazon UK pre-ordered copy of Saturn's Children in paperback turned up over the weekend, so if anybody was waiting for that...available now :D

I notice they (and Blackwells) give a publication date of 2nd July 2009, so thought you might like to know it's definitely out.


Why the hell do the UK editions always look cooler than the American editions?


just ordered Wireless and Saturn's Children from Amazon! Any of the shorts similar to the main plots in Singularity Sky or Accelerando? Need more matrioshka brains..


My copy arrived.
It is a nice book.

I'll read it now. I like the first page of the author addressing the public.


I just ordered mine from my favourite Canberra indy bookstore via email a few hours ago.


Will this be available in an ebook format anywhere? I'm trying to cut down on the physical things that I'm buying in part because I've run out of space in my loft to stuff all the other books I've bought...


Tom: I have no idea. (Ebook rights belong to the publishers, etc.) At a guess: try haunting or


@25, Jonathan Vos Post: Fair enough, I don't know if he qualifies in the sense most of the people of my generation uses it, but he could be considered a nerd. I just think he's an unfortunate soul, all else aside.

I like the rest of your viewpoint - that being proud and open about yourself helps bridge the gaps.


Annoyingly Amazon UK shipped mine on Friday (Next day delivery) and it still hasn't arrived.

Curse the Royal Mail. I curse thee.


Re: the Long March of the Nerds. Anyone who appreciates Mr. Stross victorian steampunk vibe (i.e. as showcased in Singularity Sky etc.) could do worse than take a look at Girl Genius comic. The eponymous heroine is both deeply nerdish and deeply cool. Anyway, have a look at,


For your information, Fictionwise do have it from the 7th of July - which means I'll be getting it on that date.

(Waterstones, in continuing their policy of having very little of any quality in the way of ebooks, doesn't have it)


Oh - except, of course, that's only in America.

Damn you local rights, I want to give you my MONEY!

(Sometimes I feel like giving up over ebooks, it's the same with Stephenson's Baroque cycle, Americans not wanting my money)


Tom, here is a hint: when checking to see if they are allowed to sell you an ebook, Fictionwise check the postal address they have on file in your profile. When billing your credit card for the ebook, they don't seem to check what country the issuing bank is located in.

You might want to update your user profile ...



Just finished reading Wireless - and liked it a lot. Had read two of the short stories in it before, the others were great.

I enjoyed Palimpsest a lot. It did remind me of Asimov's End of Eternity, which has always been one of my favs.



Missile Gap is really a great story. Uchronia & post-human: an astounding mix! Will we ever see anything else like that?


love Toadsworth (no deep seated cultural memory there then) :)

Does the Vatican Hilton do a 'fiddling while Rome burns' cabaret?

as @ 42 I'm sure you'd make E. O. Wilson a very happy man Charlie

all the best M


There is a certain inevitability to English upper-class twit Daleks, isn't there ...?


@43: 3rd point, but then how big does a bug infestation have to get before you do anything about it? or does an 'infinite fondness' extend to any creature of the same class?


Wireless is a good read, then again I haven't come across anything mr stross has written that wasn't! I like a colder war as well.

form wickipedia "A Colder War" is an English language alternate history novelette by Charles Stross. It follows a "What If" scenario where the follow-up expedition in Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness has occurred, and inexorably fuses the Cold War and Cthulhu Mythos.

I got the lovecraft story but I couldn't see it myself.... I was suprised to find that the nuclear ramjet was real. They had a real deathwish back then....

But it would make a cracking alternative to 2nd life!


Just finished 'Palimpsest'. I'm about to go back and read it again, immediately, something I do only with the best of the best.

I'll be quite surprised if it doesn't pull a Hugo nomination for Novella next year. It might even be the one that breaks your streak.



"Palimpsest" should come with warning stickers. I'm also expecting it to turn up in lots of nomination lists. BTW, Charlie already has a Hugo (for the Novella "The Concrete Jungle"), just not in the Novel category.



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on June 27, 2009 3:13 PM.

How I got here in the end, part eight: the third startup death march begins was the previous entry in this blog.

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