Charles Stross: The Jennifer Morgue

I think The Jennifer Morgue is the most successful of Charles Stross’s novels that I’ve read so far. It’s a mutant melange of genres including xenophobic Lovecraftian horror/fantasy; Dilbert-esque, geek-celebrating cubicle rat satire; modern techno espionage thriller; and old-school shaken-not-stirred James Bondage — all served up with a hefty post-modern literary twist and dark comicContinue reading “Charles Stross: The Jennifer Morgue”

Dennis Wheatley: The Satanist

Dennis Wheatley’s supernatural thriller The Satanist is so ugly and offensive that I often found it unintentionally hilarious. It revolves primarily around the attempts of a special branch of British intelligence to unravel the schemes of a cult of communist Satanists (some of whom are also, no joke, ex-Nazis). The novel was first published inContinue reading “Dennis Wheatley: The Satanist”

Neal Stephenson: Cryptonomicon

Cryptonomicon has several attributes that will be familiar to readers of other Stephenson novels like Snow Crash and The Diamond Age. There’s the crazy see-saw between action that’s basically naturalistic and surreal, exaggerated sequences. If Cryptonomicon were a movie, I feel like most of it would be live action, but many of the scenes featuringContinue reading “Neal Stephenson: Cryptonomicon”

John MacLachlan Gray: The Fiend In Human

I think the first time my friend Marty and I had a conversation about books, he said something like “I read classic literature [which gave us substantial common ground] and thrillers about serial killers.” [which didn’t much increase it] and he expressed a distinct lack of fondness for modern “serious” fiction. We’ve spent plenty ofContinue reading “John MacLachlan Gray: The Fiend In Human”

David Hewson: A Season for the Dead

I’m a longtime fan of the Daedalus Books remainders house. I’ve learned about some of my favorite authors from their chatty, informative catalogs. Every once in a while, though, I follow up a recommendation for a real dud. Hewson’s A Season for the Dead drew many comparisons to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, becauseContinue reading “David Hewson: A Season for the Dead”