The Atrocity Archives (The Laundry Files, #1)
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The Atrocity Archives

by Charles Stross
Release date: 2004
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, horror

In the title piece, Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science, completes his theorem on "Phase Conjugate Grammars for Extra-dimensional Summoning". Turing's work paves the way for esoteric mathematical computations that, when carried out, have side effects that leak through a channel underlying the structure of the Cosmos. Out there in the multiverse are "listeners" who can sometimes be coerced into opening gates.

In 1945, Nazi Germany's Ahnenerbe-SS, in an attempt to escape the Allied onslaught, performs just such a summoning on the souls of more than six million. A gate opens to an alternate universe through which the SS move people and material – to live to fight another day. But their summoning brings forth more than the SS have bargained for – an evil, patiently waiting all this time while learning the ways of humans, now poises to lunch on Earth.

Secret intelligence agencies, esoteric theorems, Lovecraftian horrors, Middle East terrorist connections, a damsel in distress, and a final battle on the surface of a dying planet round out this story.

(updated 2011-09-13)

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