Are you a UNIX nerd also into Cthulhu?

I mentioned earlier about liking Charlie Stross’s The Atrocity Archives. I’m reading the sequel right now, The Jennifer Morgue. OMG, I’m laughing my butt off sometimes. Alan Turing discovered that mathematics can do Lovecraft-style magic– hence his subsequent suicide. Now it’s ten years before the “stars are right,” a.k.a. codename GREEN NIGHTMARE, and Capital Laundry Services, the UK’s anti-supernatural government agency, is on the job. The main character is Bob Howard, and hacker who stumbled into the realm of magic and was given a job offer he couldn’t refuse by Capital Laundry. Turns out, his middle names are Oliver Francis. B.O.F.H. Yeah. He’s reading Tanenbaum for fun. And some fun quotes: “Just as it’s possible to write a TCP/IP protocol stack in some utterly inappropriate programming language like ML or Visual Basic, so, too, it’s possible to implement TCP/IP over carrier pigeons, or paper tape, or daemons summoned from the vasty deep.” “…and while I know all the POSIX options to the kill(1) command, doing it with my bare hands is beyond my sphere of competence.” Hah! What a hoot. It’s still worth reading even if you don’t get a lot out of the geek jokes, though. All the Lovecraft mythos is turned on full blast, only in a modern setting. The main plot is very X-Files, with a dash of James Bond (and Kernighan and Ritchie!)


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