The Jennifer Morgue
by Charles Stross
Cover Artist: Mark Fredrickson
Review by Ernest Lilley
Ace Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441016716
Date: 06 January 2009 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
[NOTE: We're rerunning Ernest Lilley's review from our February 2007 issue.}
What do you do when you discover you're stuck in a spy novel channeling James Bond...and the villain is writing the script even as you dodge bullets, dance with beautiful damsels, and generally piss off your girlfriend? Oh, yes, and naturally nothing less than saving the world is at stake. All that pretty much sums up the plight of computer geek/magic maven British intel agency operative Bob Howard. He works for an agency know as The Laundry, whose mission is to keep other worlds in the metaverse from leaking into ours, creating generally bad results and the appearance of magic in our universe. Coding, it turns out, is a lot like incantation, and mathematics is the root of all magic, so the last line of defense for our world is, well, geeks like us. This volume also includes a nifty short story "Pimpf" with Bob saving a new hire from the clutches of an insidious computer game, as well as a nice essay on "The Golden Age of Spying."From official release/information:
Product Description: Ruthless software billionaire Ellis Billington has unearthed a device that will enable him to raise an eldritch horror, code-named "Jennifer Morgue," from the ocean's depth for the purpose of ruling the world.
Thwarting his devious plan is a job for the Laundry. And since James Bond doesn't work for the Laundry, it's up to Bob Howard, geekish demonology hacker extraordinaire. His mission is to inveigle his way aboard Billington's yacht and stop him, while fending off the beautiful and deadly Ramona Random, an American agent with her own agenda...