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Beer, Cambridge (MA) — and a book

"The Fuller Memorandum" is officially out in hardcover in the USA tomorrow, Tuesday 6th. Which means if you order it today it'll ship tomorrow. You know you want it ...

In other news: Airline connections permitting, I should be eating/drinking/trying not to die of jet lag in The Cambridge Brewing Company (map here) on Kendall Square tomorrow (Tuesday the 6th) from 6:30pm or thereabouts. I need bright lights and loud noises, to say nothing of food and cask ale, to avoid falling asleep too early: my schedule starts at around 2am EST that day, and experience says that if I can just stay awake until 11pm, I'll be on local time the next morning.

NOTE: We have a tight connection in Paris — 80 minutes to change planes. If our first flight is delayed, we may be some hours late in arriving. If that happens, I will attempt to update this entry accordingly ... but I don't guarantee that (it's contingent on being able to find bandwidth in Paris CDG).

75 Comments

1:

Heh heh! I can never find anything except people with guns at CDG, the place reminds me of one of those snap together hamster habitats done on human scale.

Good luck on the trip.

2:

Why is FM hardback is the US and mass market paper in the UK?
Btw, I like your us of the term 'jesusphone'. Charlie Brooker calls it 'jabscreen' in the Guardian today which is almost as good.

3:

I got the amazon email my copy shipped, along with the Dozois Year's Best. There is a large Amazon warehouse here in Lexington, KY, so I usually get stuff the next day (that was great around winter solstice). I am unemployed from 7/8-18 -- 1st time I've had more than a day off between jobs since 1974 -- so I'll get FM just in time, woo-hoo!

4:

Why is FM hardback is the US and mass market paper in the UK?

You'd have to ask the respective publishers. (Ace, aka Penguin group, in the US, Orbit, aka Hachette group in the UK.)

5:

I live right around the corner. But it all depends on who wins the match. (Shakes fist in southerly direction.) Damn you, Diego, for winning me over!

Then again, Uruguay-Netherlands, not that exciting. I'm still annoyed with Suárez, and don't give me that "by the rules" guff. It's Wednesday's game I care about, where the Furia Roja will present the last chance to stop Germany's march across South Africa.

All right. I now return you to your regularly-scheduled blogging. I merely noticed a decided dearth of soccer-related thread hijacking here, which seemed morally wrong. See you tomorrow, maybe.

By the way, Charlie, how did you erase that post about the last time we met from the internets? It's completely gone, including from my hard drive and my backup, but I can't figure out how you did it. Magic!

6:

I can't drink, but I'll stop by if I can to welcome you to our Cambridge. I have the book on pre-order with delivery to my office, so if the fates are willing, I should have received it by then.

Rich, the sysadmin from Harvard

7:

My email sez, "Your Amazon.com order has shipped Monday, July 5, 2010 8:02 AM" [CST; 13:02 UTC/GMT/Zulu]

That would be on pre-order to 78230, USA.

8:

Kendall Sq dinner - I'll be there, I work a 5 min walk away. (you've met me at a few conventions -- Anticipation, Boskone -- mostly when I've been standing next to René Walling, and I came to the panel about artificial worlds that you were on with Vernor Vinge this last Boskone)

9:

I got home today and found my pre-ordered (from The Book Depository, UK) US hardback in my post box (Finland)! I'm finally ahead on the curve... If only I had the time to start reading it right now...

10:

I got email on 7/2 from Barnes & Noble that my pre-ordered copy of FM was packed and ready for shipment. It looks like it hasn't been picked up yet: the tracking number isn't valid. So I'll have to wait a few more days. I anticipated this and went to the library last week, loading up on books both new and old to get me through the wait.

In particular, I found a copy of Walter Jon WIlliam's collection "The Green Leopard Plague", with an introduction by Charlie. Got to say, I agree with Charlie's enthusiasm about DubJay's writing; I laughed all the way through "TheTang Dynasty Underwater Pyramid". Might be interesting to see what would happen if the Aymara spy organization met up with the Laundry.

11:

Just picked up mine from the shelves of Ye Olde Barnes and Noble.

12:

Any idea when the book will be out in Australia, Charlie?

13:

The Hardback is listed on www.whitcoulls.co.nz.
BTW, they have nothing from Our Esteemed Host in ebook (i.e. Kobo).

14:

Hi Charlie

Apple iBookstore and Amazon's Kindle both have ebook versions available now... Just got mine downloaded to my iPad a few mins ago!

15:

Charlie, I am *stoked* for the Memorandum. Stoked like this is a release or show by one of my favorite bands, or like a positive experimental result from the LHC I can actually comprehend, or like..I'll stop. Why, I'm such a big fan of the Laundry, I'm going to show up at B&N tomorrow, waiting outside for them to open, dressed like Bob. But then I live in Seattle, so I kinda already do?

16:

You will have to try the Spring Training IPA. CBC makes some great beer. Not sure if I can make it there tonight, but I will be at Readercon all weekend.

17:

Have fun at K Square - I live on the other side of the country now ;) Probably no spoilers below but if you've not read TFM, you may want to skip.

Picked up TFM in the UK, read it on the way back last night.

Jesus Charlie you're a cheerful bugger ;) It's much bleaker than pretty much anything else you've read (with the exception of a Colder War). I did like it a lot, but it's not exactly sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, is it...

Good fun, especially the origins bit - did see it coming a mile off, but as I am useless at that, I'm sure it was intentional.

Can we have more happy smiley stuff about CNG in the next one? OTOH, thinking more about it, it's probably not a happy smiley occurrence.

Chris

18:

just got my copy from the kindle store, boo to the price. i am surprised to see that there are as yet no reviews... if your publisher had any sense they would have provided me a copy a few days ago so there would be at least one five star review up already (i hope, anyway).

is the next one out yet?

19:

I read it yesterday, enjoyed it.

Are there any signs of any people who take the Laundryverse seriously, as in think it is a thinly disguised take on reality and act accordingly?

20:

I have it preordered. With any luck it'll appear in my family snailmailbox today.

21:

"i am surprised to see that there are as yet no reviews..."

There's one now!

22:

Hey Charles,

I'll be dropping by tonight with a friend from the Media Lab, hope to see you there.

Best regards,

Carl

23:

FYI, it was added to the Sony E-book store today. So they release it either on the release day, or the Tuesday after. Not sure which since this was both.

24:

and a long one, too! it looked great, but i'm going to wait until i am done reading the book before i read your review.

25:

Just got my nice hard-bound dead-tree edition from Amazon today. Finding it hard to concentrate on work. Productivity down to nill. I suspect Stross is an agent of some unspeakable (probably tentacled) horror that's hell-bent on inflicting economic warfare on us American-geeks.

26:

Hey Charlie,

How do DEEP SEVEN and BLUE HADES view the oncoming CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN? In classical Lovecraftian terms, they're both servants/allies of the Elder Gods, and should welcome the coming apocalypse and act against humanity, but the Laundry's reality is clearly a bit different. As you've set things up, either race could destroy all of humanity very, very easily.

If I was a human strategic planner, I'd be looking for allies either underground or under the sea (preferably under the sea, given previous semi-successful encounters) because without at least one ally among the elder races, we're probably screwed. Or maybe we're not worth talking to until we've proved we can survive the convergence on our own..

Can you drop us a hint? Inquiring minds want to know.

Alex

27:

@12: I just bought the hardback version this very day from Galaxy Bookstore in Sydney. (Who assure me that our illustrious host will be signing there before this years Worldcon in Melbourne.)

As for the book itself, It looks like another all night reading session from Stross, because it seems to have bound itself in an open position to my hand

28:

Alex R #25 - given there is another laundry book or two in the pipeline, I for one wish no speculation or hints about said books approach to CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN from Charlie. You can speceulate away however. Personally I'm wondering what the black chamber makes of it all.

29:

"nill. I suspect Stross is an agent of some unspeakable (probably tentacled) horror that's hell-bent on inflicting economic warfare on us American-geeks."

More like a pathetic, cute, 'Hello Squid' Japanese kid's toy, compared to the multitentacled horrors that our own elites are.

30:

Is Canada off limits for the new Laundry book for some reason? Chapters isn't selling it anywhere and the international ebook sites won't let us Canadians buy it yet.

31:

Got my copy in the mail from Amazon.com today. Can't wait to dig into it tonight.

32:

@27 curses! I was at Abbey's in York St. yesterday, I could have been reading Stross all night if I'd taken those several dozen steps down the road.

So just this second I downloaded it to my iPhone (I'll buy the hardback, too - it's easier to read a book when you're wearing two cats).

I'm supposed to be leaving my contract today and doing a handover of the documentation, but nobody's here. I think the entire project may have been taken out the back and shot.

It's a great day to read a new Laudry book!

33:

@32 ...ahem... "Laundry book". I must have read through that 3 times and still missed it...

34:

Still in Cambridge? The right side won, and the wife and I are in an expansive mood.

35:

Have a beer for me in my old stomping grounds!

36:

I did ask Charlie more or less this question by email, but he preserved a dignified silence. Probably best :-)

37:

Just finished TFM and it was great. I especially liked the explanation of why paperclip audits are so important...

38:

Am off to Burlington for Readercon, but will be back to Boston/Cambridge on Monday. More beer will ensue ...

39:

Charlie,

Outstanding! Hopefully it will not be as hot next week as it was this week... Oiy!

Had a great time meeting you, Cthulhu and Karen. Got my copy of Fuller Memorandum and planning on diving in this weekend.

40:

@27: Curse you Mardonius! My wallet is thin enough already!

Must...keep..control...

41:

> CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN

As I understand The Canon, CNG was supposed (originally?) to happen in September, 2007. And The Jennifer Morgue was published on Sep 6, 2007, no? And the Israelis bombed something that is supposed to have been a covert nuclear reactor in a wadi way out in Nowhere, Syria on Sep 6, 2007. After which the Israelis and the Syrians and the Americans acted really, really weirdly about it for most of a year, until the US gave a roll-out that left as many questions as answers.

Is there a plot, possibly self-referential, here?

See, BTW and ahem, the following for details.

http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2008/04/resources_on.html

and

http://www.fas.org/man/eprint/syria.pdf

42:

Grump! The tracking number on my shipment from Burned & Nobbled finally went active, and I find it was picked up two days ago and only this morning did it leave New Jersey☬. And DHL can't be bothered with an estimated delivery date. Screw this for a game of marketeers! Next time I'll just go into Powell's and get the book on release day.

☬ Speaking of eldritch regions beyond our time and space.

43:

My copy of The Fuller Memorandum (pre-ordered months ago) arrived yesterday afternoon to much excitement on my part.

44:

We got our copy of TFM yesterday here in oz. $21.99 from Angus and Robertson. It is the Orbit softcover and we had it on order for 2 months. Hooooray!

45:

Got my pre-ordered copy this morning. Finished it in the bathtub this evening.

It's great. I like it. But christfuck it's turning grim.

The changes of viewpoint character felt a little strange especially the Bob First Person to Mo Third Person. What effect were you trying to achieve?

46:

I have a suspicion that the Case Nightmare Green date is a worst case prediction. And the dates of the books may not be the dates of the contents.

Predicting the End of the World is notoriously unreliable.

In some senses, CNG is a little like the expectation of nuclear war. It affects how you think about the future. Would there have been a Swinging Sixties without The Bomb? From the point of view of a story-teller, what sort of story can you tell if you let it happen. I don't think the concept has room for something like On The Beach. If Bob Howard is, very slightly, in the position of Mad Max, there doesn't look to be room for anything like the sequel movies.

(Sorry, Charlie, but I'm now thinking of Chicken Run)

47:

The changes of viewpoint are that the novel is Bob's memoirs, as ordered by Angleton, and that he fills in what's happening when he's not around to complete the story - I think he explicitly says that the first time he needs to do it.

Absolutely super novel - I liked it as much as _The Atrocity Archive_ and rather more than _The Jennifer Morgue_. I'm glad of the little hints that the Laundryverse is not our universe though, otherwise I'd be having trouble sleeping at night.

48:

Despite that genetic engineering mess of 2019, made worse by the Media Lab VR-bot on haptic social networks, I love the Cambridge/Boston area, my father having been cum laude in Harvard in English Lit, my brother having married there, and all the hours I hung out at the AI Lab. I hope that you gathered notes for MIT's role in some eldritch future.

49:


I'm glad of the little hints that the Laundryverse is not our universe though, otherwise I'd be having trouble sleeping at night.

- Roy (Post 47)

I dunno, one of the reasons I like the Laundry series is that I get the creepy feeling it has some remote plausibility.

While it may be inspired by the threat of Cold War era nuclear extinction, linking Lovecraftian horrors to higher math and computer science feels lots like what Singularity doomsayers claim. Intellects vast, alien, and completely indifferent to our existence and well-being can conceivably pop out of our computers someday. Given the growth of ubiquitous computing, it'll seem like these things are from beyond space time, being everywhere and nowhere. They can even be in our bodies and minds if networked devices continue to shrink and integrate with our persons. Cthulhu brought to you by an OS update of embedded systems.

On that happy note, back to the book...

50:

Keep us posted. I mean, we're right around the corner, quite literally.

51:

Loving the book so far. One minor nitpick C&A withdrew from the UK 10 years ago.

52:

I picked up the paperback on 08/07/10 in Australia. Does Bob Howard really read Jim Butcher novels on the train?

53:

>Cthulhu brought to you by an OS update of embedded systems.

And here I thought it was going to be caused by a future release of yet another Microsoft operating system. (There was that very old joke about Windows CE, ME, and NT...CEMENT.)

54:

just have to wait for the next intel chip- codenamed 'Dagon'

55:

Hoping you do more beer on Monday or Tuesday in the Cambridge area How does grabbing a pint at The Asgard or Miracle of Science sound?

56:

Re the C&A reference, I noticed that Ken MacLeod's also recently published "The Restoration Game" has a similar reference to Woolworths, another ex-chainstore. And both books make a point of referring to Katy Perry. Clearly, something odd is going on...

57:

It's great. I like it. But christfuck it's turning grim.

Eeeeeexcellent. That's exactly what i want it to be and what i think it should be. There's still plenty of humour like the first one and while i enjoyed Jennifer a lot, i felt it to be a bit too light-hearted. I missed the sense of creeping dread i had from Atrocity and so far (about 140 pages in) this is looking promising. Bring on the "Lovecraftian singularity" i say... all your souls are belong to us.

58:

If it wasn't that SFBC first turned me on to your books I would be mad. I pre-ordered TFM from them months ago. It finally shipped from Pennsylvania Wednesday to Illinois (I'm one state over in Indiana). USPS tracking says it went to Chicago Friday. Hopefully I'll get it Monday.

59:

My copy (from SFBC) arrived Thursday or Friday (with the label glue melted and the label partway off the box).

Here's Amazon US ranking right now:

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#10 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Adventure
#40 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror
#5 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > High Tech

And all four reviews are five stars.

60:

The amazon.com sales ranks have gone to shit as a guideline for how well books are selling -- especially in the SF/F categories, where urban fantasy titles are mashed into the same bestseller list as SF -- resulting in a top 20 dominated by Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse et al. i'll just have to wait for actual word from my publishers (and/or a paperback edition, which might just sell a little faster than the hardcover).

NB: am very busy being guest of honour at Readercon for about another 12 hours. Normal blogging will hopefully resume in another day or so ...

61:

Damn you, Charles Stross! Damn you! I just got finished inhaling The Fuller Memorandum and I want more. Do you hear me! MORE! What do you do, put a Level 5 MUNCHIE spell on these things (you know, the one where you can't eat just one)? There's got to be a ward around here somewhere that will protect me for the interregnum.

Maybe I'll take up drinking or onanism.

62:

Martin #51- you don't actually think we live in a Lovecraftian universe with soul eaters waiting for you to carry out the wrong mathematical activities?

63:

Thank you for the "Ask Dr. Mike"!!! I heard his swooping voice, saw those eyebrows, and it was grand, because I've missed him, too. (Hee. "...the scholars of night".) And you made me remember I still have many an Anthony Price to hunt up.

Plus, the book was six different kinds of awesome. Loved. It. Madly recommending it to everyone I know.

64:

Hey, Charlie! You get into town yet? If you're having a beer in Cambridge tonight I might stop by with a friend or two. Viva la furia roja!

I am still astounded that there's been no other soccer interjections on your blog.

65:

I enjoyed TFM a lot. Looks like Laundry is my favorite series from you. Special thanks for giving a part to Mad Baron ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Ungern_von_Sternberg ) - a fascinating madman, I am not sure all of TFM readers realize that he was a real person.

(BTW, some Russian sentences in this book need minor stylistic corrections.)

66:

Finished it last night, great read.

Typo hunt - Page 252, 3 Paragraph, 7th line, A quote opens for "Why did you abduct me ... and the quote is never closed.

67:

Noel: see new blog entry (as in: beer, Cambridge Brewing Company, tomorrow -- Tuesday.) Tonight's booked for a different event (doing an interview).

68:

As I understand The Canon, CNG was supposed (originally?) to happen in September, 2007. And The Jennifer Morgue was published on Sep 6, 2007, no? And the Israelis bombed something that is supposed to have been a covert nuclear reactor in a wadi way out in Nowhere, Syria on Sep 6, 2007.

A few months earlier, we managed to get rid of Tony Blair as prime minister (considered a Double-Top security risk by the Laundry - look into the eyes, through a really good filter). For some reason, Gordon Brown chose not to call an election in September, 2007, when the polls put him well ahead. The rest is squamous, rugose, and eldritch.

69:

Just awesome so far (only about a quarter of the way in, but it's great:) Your "Laundry" stories got me hooked on your writing. I've never like Lovecraftian worlds so much as the way you represent them sir. Nice work!

70:

I just recently realised there's no short story in the back. I assumed that Overtime would have been in there but instead there's a sampler from some other author. I bear him no ill will of course but y'know, i did buy a Stross work...

71:

Finally recieved it, read it and liked it, but I'll second( third?) the grimness comments. One of the things I liked about the earlier Laundry novels was Bob's "whistling past the graveyard" mentality. Sure he was dealing with mindbreaking lovecraftian horrors, but he was still able to be mordantly witty and find humor in the civil service and humor in the absurdity of the situation. In this one it felt like the darkness was overwhelming him -- not that isn't realistic and well done, it just felt more oppressive and hopeless than the rest of the series and as such was the least smooth going down, perhaps time an a reread will soften my impression....

72:

Thankyou, I enjoyed the Fuller Memorandum a lot. A little depressing towards the end, but the characterization was spot on.

In case you are keeping track if such things, minor administrivia:
The Kindle version I read was not able to display what I assume from context was Cyrillic script for a couple of Russian phrases.
This occurs in two places at e-book locations 877-85 & 3662-69.
The text in question just appears as a set of boxes with little question marks in them, which actually suited their use within the novel perfectly well.
This was the US Kindle edition, read on a Kindle 2 running software version 2.5.3

73:

I haven't read the rest of the comments, because I'm only halfway through and don't want to risk spoilers, but I just wanted to say I loved the Mike Ford cameo. I noticed the name immediately, thought "Oh, that's nice, I hope that's not a coincidence", and then chortled with glee when he had an on-page appearance complete with trains on his desk (and the sly Scholars of Night hat-tip!)

74:

2 things come to mind.: SCORPION STARE would be a wonderful non-polluting power source
: and our Bob is going to be a little harder to kill / possess from now on

75:

There's an implication (or I inferred) that using SCORPION STARE too much would be... bad. Specifically, Bob points out that the energy has to come from somewhere, and we have it stated over and over again that thinning the boundaries between dimensions leads to Very Bad Things.

So using it for an energy source would probably hasten CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN. And, in fact, using it during CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN might end up making it worse.

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