Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Fuller Memorandum The Fuller Memorandum
by Charles Stross

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The Fuller Memorandum is the third book by Charles Stross to feature Bob Howard secret agent for Her Majesty’s Intelligence Service (occult division) a.k.a. The Laundry, and arguably his most successful so far in the series. The Fuller Memorandum can be read without reference to either The Atrocity Archives or The Jennifer Morgue (although they do provide detailed back story if needed) which are the two earlier works.

For those unfamiliar with the series this is H P Lovecraft meets Terry Pratchett, or for those not up with literary fads: horror meets satire. The horrors and frights of H P Lovecraft exist but the summoning rituals all involve abstruse higher mathematics – best done on computers, which is where Bob Howard comes in as he was a computer geek and sort of mathematician. The Laundry exists to stop any malicious or accidental summoning.

In The Fuller Memorandum Bob’s boss has gone missing and the expected end of the world has moved from being nigh to a bit sooner than that, like maybe next week. Bob’s job is to prevent the end of the world happening, find the office mole and not come to the attention of the Auditors (because they’re really scary), which he makes harder by getting captured by the occultists seeking to end the world.

I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable novel and possibly his best work to date. The horror elements were finely drawn and the satire was appropriately leavened with grue (if you die working for The Laundry your working career is not necessarily over, as you could continue on as a residual human resource or zombie). An added touch for me was the how Mr Stross was able to bring the cut and thrust of office politics and modern management in to the mix in an unaffected way. This is a series the author has grown into and repays that growth to the reader with interest.

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