OVERTIME, a new Charlie Stross James Bond/Cthulhu thriller

Tor.com's got a new Charlie Stross "Laundry" story, part of his series of stories wherein Cthulhu meets James Bond, as part of its Cthulhu month -- there's also a podcast of the story!

All bureaucracies obey certain iron laws, and one of the oldest is this: get your seasonal leave booked early, lest you be trampled in the rush.

I broke the rule this year, and now I'm paying the price. It's not my fault I failed to book my Christmas leave in time--I was in hospital and heavily sedated. But the ruthless cut and thrust of office politics makes no allowance for those who fall in the line of battle: "You should have foreseen your hospitalization and planned around it" said the memo from HR when I complained. They're quite right, and I've made a note to book in advance next time I'm about to be abducted by murderous cultists or enemy spies.

I briefly considered pulling an extended sickie, but Brenda from Admin has a heart of gold; she pointed out that if I volunteered as Night Duty Officer over the seasonal period I could not only claim triple pay and time off in lieu, I'd also be working three grades above my assigned role. For purposes of gaining experience points in the fast-track promotion game they've steering me onto, that's hard to beat. So here I am, in the office on Christmas Eve, playing bureaucratic Pokémon as the chilly rain drums on the roof.


Podcast MP3



  1. Excellent. Stross is one of the few writers who has a good grasp on Lovecraft and writing his own. (I’ve ploughed a of Lovecraftian anthologies and most are at best poor, with a few exceptions.
    Stross’ The Atrocity Archives was fantastic. The Jennifer Morgue started well but wasn’t able to sustain the Bond/Lovecraft conceit for the entire book. Still, I’m an immediate purchasers of any new Stross/Lovecraft work.

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