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A Colder War | [Charles Stross]

A Colder War

Here is a modern novelette in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Imagine David Cronenberg directing Dr. Strangelove, based on a script by H. P. Lovecraft. Imagine an alternate history in which nuclear bombs are not the ultimate weapon, but instead are merely a stepping stone to eldritch technologies accessible through certain trans-dimensional forces first encountered in 1920s Antarctica, technologies that neither the United States nor the USSR can quite contain.
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Publisher's Summary

The biggest single threat to NATO may be the Shoggoth Gap. The wild card is Lt. Col. Oliver North, President Reagan's man. Roger Jourgensen, CIA operative, is at the center of this crisis. If all the political wrangling doesn't work out perfectly, there will be hell to pay, or worse - far, far worse.

Here is a modern novelette in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos that is rich in detail and frightening in execution. Stross' stunning tale will pull you back into the cold-war era, engendering fear and then magnifying it into non-euclidean infinities. Imagine David Cronenberg directing Dr. Strangelove, based on a script by H. P. Lovecraft. Imagine an alternate history in which nuclear bombs are not the ultimate weapon, but instead are merely a stepping stone to eldritch technologies accessible through certain trans-dimensional forces first encountered in 1920s Antarctica, technologies that neither the United States nor the USSR can quite contain.

Stross has admitted that "A Colder War" was directly inspired by Lovecraft's novel At the Mountains of Madness. The amount of research and historical mastery Stross sprinkles throughout the narrative creates the verisimilitude necessary for truly effective alternate history.

©2000 Spectrum SF3; (P)2005 AudioText

What the Critics Say

"Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!" (sffaudio.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (43 )
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4.2 (20 )
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Story
3.1 (19 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Max Draco 04-03-08
    Max Draco 04-03-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    5
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    Overall
    "Good story, Bad narration"

    The narrator's decision to read this fast and without relaxation makes this a hard to enjoy book (mimics a 1940-50's army/news flick). The story is a nice HP Lovecraft twist, but listen to the sample first before you decide to buy. In fact I've listen to a couple of samples narrated by Pat Bottino and I think his reading style and voice are suitable for only certain characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erich Sheppard A F B, TX, USA 02-05-08
    Erich Sheppard A F B, TX, USA 02-05-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Really fun listen"

    If you love HP Lovecraft, then you'll go crazy for this "modern", tongue-in-cheek alternative history.

    I have one phrase for you:

    We have a Weakly-God-Like-Entity Gap.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Mesa, AZ, United States 02-23-12
    Craig Mesa, AZ, United States 02-23-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    22
    7
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    0
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    Overall
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    Story
    "Great Story... Marginal Narration"
    What did you love best about A Colder War?

    It's a Laundry Files universe story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The particular plot of this story


    What didn’t you like about Pat Bottino’s performance?

    Sounds too much like a fast talking film noir detective.I kept waiting for him to say


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Atkinson CA United States 07-07-10
    E. Atkinson CA United States 07-07-10 Member Since 2005

    xdaedalusx

    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
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    126
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    Overall
    "Well written take on HP Lovecraft"

    The story itself was very well written and entertaining in a very creepy way. Especially for anyone who lived through some fo the cold war, or enjoys HP Lovecraft.
    The Narration absolutely killed the entire story for me. I had to go and read the story to get the emotion of what was going on.
    Good story, Really poor narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Capitola, CA, USA 10-04-08
    Roger Capitola, CA, USA 10-04-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    "One of best sci fi/horror stories of recent years."

    I read this originally in his collection, Toast, I think. So good I paid again to hear it read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • Jerry
    1/31/08
    Overall
    "Excellent Story."

    Absolutely excellent story that combines significant elements of the Cthulhu Mythos and 1980's Ronnie Raygun Military-Industrial complex black-ops. Stross later developed the 'horror-spy' theme in 'The Atrocity Archives,' and 'The Jennifer Morgue' - alas neither available on Audible, yet.

    Historical events of the Reagan era are seamlessly woven into the story culminating in events Lovecraft (and Reagan) never envisaged.

    The only downside is the slightly odd way the in which the story is narrated. Overall though well worth buying.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Toby
    Frome, United Kingdom
    4/30/09
    Overall
    "Great Story - Poor Reading"

    A superb story that mixes 80s military paranoia with Lovecraftian cosmic horror in a world where a nuclear holocaust may be preferable to the other weapons the superpowers can unleash.
    Sadly, the reading is rather poor - badly paced, almost monotone at times. Due to the speed at which it is read punctuation is ignored in places. Maybe the idea was to capture a feeling of numbed senses and rising hysteria, if so it failed. Overall, one loses the subtleties of Charles Stross' writing beneath the poor delivery. Such a shame with such a good story.

    I hope that Audible will produce the same author's excellent books "The Atrocity Archives" and "The Jennifer Morgue" that re-work and develop some of the themes found in "A Colder War", however, if they are produced I hope more attention will be paid to getting the reading right.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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