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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  2,430 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
The Hugo Award-winning author of such groundbreaking and innovative novels as Accelerando, Halting State, and Saturn's Children delivers a selection of speculative fiction brought together in one collection, showdcasing the limitless imagination of one of the twenty-first century's most daring visionaries.

Missile Gap (2005)
Rogue Farm (2003)
A Colder War (2000)
Paperback, 324 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Ace (first published July 2nd 2009)
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Richard Derus
Oct 05, 2015 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Science fiction guru Charles Stross "sizzles with ideas" (Denver Post) in his first major short story collection.

The Hugo Award-winning author of such groundbreaking and innovative novels as Accelerando, Halting State, and Saturn's Children delivers a rich selection of speculative fiction- including a novella original to this volume- brought together for the first time in one collection, showcasing the limitless imagination of one of the twenty-first century
Dec 28, 2009 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's really hard to give a star rating to a short story collection, especially one by an author who is as hit-and-miss as Charles Stross. I've read two of his novels. I hated one and really enjoyed the other. That's kind of how I feel about the stories in Wireless.

Two of the stories, "Down on the Farm" and "Palimpsest" would have rated 5 stars. I especially liked "Down on the Farm" and will be checking out his novels featuring The Laundry, The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue. "Rogue F
Feb 11, 2011 Bryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
So what rules does Charlie follow to ensure maximum Strossness in his writing?

I think I've sussed out a couple:

1) Introduce at least one new thing every page.
2) Never explain any of these new things.

Let me elaborate on what I mean by these rules.

Ever hear of the van Vogt rule of writing? Referring to A.E. van Vogt, of course. His particular style was to introduce a new idea (or a new detail that helps unravel the plot) every 800 words. Damon Knight called this the "kitchen sink technique", but I
Feb 12, 2011 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WIRELESS is brilliant from cover to cover. The first story/novella, "Missile Gap," is my favorite. The ideas! What if a vast alien intelligence, without our noticing, instantly "peeled the Earth like a grape" and transferred it to a colossal deep space disk large enough to contain a billion Earths? What's on all those other continents that came from somewhere else? Is this real, or is it a simulation? Stross has done some deep thinking here.
Jun 11, 2015 Krbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Odlična zbirka priča ovog stvarno nadarenog autora.

Dobre zbirke nam omogućuju da na brzinu virnemo u stil i način pisanja, a mislim da će raznolikost ideja (SF, fantasy) vještina kojom to Stross radi kao i fina ironija zainteresirati mnoge.

Jedna fina četvorka i preporuka da "onjušite" odgovara li vam.

Steven Cole
Aug 20, 2011 Steven Cole rated it really liked it
Wireless is a quality short-story collection by Stross. Quick reviews:

Missile Gap: This is the story of a late 1950s earth whose crust has been peeled off our globe and stuck on an even larger flat plate, what that means to the people who live there, and how that influences the tensions of the Cold War. It was fascinating, weird, and fun. The concept was oddly original. 4 of 5 stars.

Rogue Farm: A weird concept of extreme body modification (to the extent of creating communes-in-a-body), and the b
Sep 01, 2014 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not too bad a collection, but not the career-defining retrospective that I hoped to read. None of the stories really blew me away. But they were all fairly solid science fiction.

Missile Gap - A bizarre kinda-alternate-history story, with a Big Dumb Object thrown in. Lots of cameos from historical figures, and a weird story-telling structure, make this pretty compelling.

Rogue Farm - A rather funny—and kinda creepy and repulsive—story about baseline humans clashing with post-humans in a strange fu
Dec 07, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All very thought provoking stories. Some of them took me a while to get my mind around, but I did enjoy every word of this book. "Missile Gap" is a particular mind-blower, with the Earth somehow being transported to a flattened disk, outside the Milky Way and in the far future. "A Colder War" has inspired me to put Lovecraft on my "to read" list. I think my favorite was the last, "Palimpsest." A palimpsest is a scroll or book that has had the text scraped off so that it can be reused. In the con ...more
Titus Fortner
Jan 01, 2012 Titus Fortner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Stross mentions that he likes writing short stories as a way to experiment with style and format to see what works. That being said, I think the raw density of Stross' ideas make it difficult for me to get a handle on the story he is telling before it is over.

There are only two stories in this collection that I especially enjoyed.

The first is "A Colder War," which is the only duplicate with Stross' Toast, which I haven't read, and am not sure if it is a priority for me any longer.

The second sto
Feb 06, 2010 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stross fans, hard SF/Space Opera types
Recommended to Terence by: AV Club book review
I defer to my GR Friend Sandi's review here:

She pretty much nails it on the head in my own reactions to the stories in this collection.

"Palimpsest" was definitely my favorite (easily 4-5 stars). Finally, a time-travel story that squarely faces up to the "grandfather paradox"! I almost wish Stross could expand it into a novel as his afterward notes. It reminded me of Asimov's The End Of Eternity SFBC 50th Anniversary Collection, another story about a nearl
De Jan
Ovako: Sad mi je dosta!
Prijevod! Je sve!
U ovom slučaju katastrofa!
U nekom djelu, pored pisca, druga važna stavka je prevoditelj.
Nažalost imao sam prilike 5,6 puta susresti (sudariti) se sa prijevodima Marka Fančovića. Iako sam isto toliko puta rekao sam sebi "Nikad više", kad bi vidio njegovo me kao prevoditelja, eto opet njega... A tako sam se radovao Strossu... I pomislih da je čovjek ipak nakon 20 godina svladao koliko-toliko zanat. A ne. Nevjerica, ljutnja, bacanje knjige kroz prozor (skoro)
Jan 29, 2013 Danijel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Britanski autor Charles Stross u ovoj antologiji kratkih priča u integralnom obliku konačno se prikazuje hrvatskoj publici. Bio je dosad objavljivan u Monolithu, kao i Siriusu B (tu sam prvi put naišao na njega s pričom Bit Rot - Propadanje bitova). Autor sam priznaje da ima "nezdravu sklonost Lovecraftu i egzistencijalnom užasu općenito"; a tu je i dašak kafkanijanizma (kukci, birokracija, egzistencijalni užas), te mješavina specifičnog tipa horora i SF-a.

U "Missile gap" ljudi otkrivaju da se
***Dave Hill
Jan 04, 2011 ***Dave Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text
I grew up reading SF short stories, mostly from the Gold and Silver Age. That was the primary form of the medium, then, fostered by a healthy SF periodical biz. Now short stories are a lot more uncommon, with novels (and, more importantly, novel series) the primary medium.

Stross demonstrates why that's unfortunate with this 2009 collection of some of his shorts (and an introduction that analyzes quite nicely why the form is so wonderful). While not every tale is a hit out of the park, it is full
Wonderfully dense introduction to some of Stross's flavors. Loved Trunk and Disorderly (a Jeeves and Woosteresque romp through future from the point of view of a truly dense high society boy who does not understand just why he was sent that butler that day). Quite enjoyed the Lovecraftian fan fiction. Was disturbed by the hard core science fiction.

A recent episode of Geeks Guide to the Galaxy, made the point that much of "realistic" fiction isn't realist
Jan 31, 2014 Boris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Svježe i originalno, puno energije. To mi je bio prvi Stross, ali definitivno ne i zadnji. Moram jedino napomenuti da je prijevod pomalo čudan, rečenice i redoslijed riječi su ostale u duhu engleskog jezika, s te strane štivo nije ugodno za čitanje.
Mar 17, 2015 Elar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Great insight to Stross style and ideas. If you like it , then progress to novels :). I like his mixing of different genres, for example Sci-Fi story with Lovecraft monsters thrown in.
Tim Poston
Jul 21, 2016 Tim Poston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Favourite short quote:

"and my herpetologist is having another sex change,"
Nov 15, 2016 AoC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to be upfront about something – I like anthologies of all sorts. As Stross himself puts it they really are perfect for SF writers when you want to explore ideas but don't really have the time to write a novel about it which could take much longer to complete. Additionally, anthologies make it easy for anyone discussing them to not really go into excruciating detail and analysis because, well, they're collections of stories so you can just give an overall impression and summary of individu ...more
Dec 19, 2016 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, collection
Stross writes engaging SF, and this is a collection of his longer and shorter short SF. A range of sometimes related stories, most of which I would like to see in a novel. Complicated, a second read would be worthwhile just to work through all the permutations. Normally, not a fan of the short story, but willing to make an exception here.
3.5 Stars is my more accurate rating.

This collection of short stories is composed of hits and misses. Palimpset was about time travel and pure delight to read. It show us the dept of the imagination of Stross. MAXOX was a very short story about "space-fraud". It is a recuring theme of Stross and was funny. Down on the Farm is a short story set in the Laundry Files series. It was a first expose to that world and I found it quit humorous and I enjoyed it, even if the end of the story was rather o
Apr 23, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Cthulhu in the Cold War!

The Cthulhu Mythos surfaces again in my top SF books, much like Cthulhu himself, rising writhing from R'lyeh. Charles Stross is probably better known for his use of the Lovecraftian horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos in his Laundry series, in which extradimensional entities of evil serve as the backdrop of a secret history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, espionage and government bureaucracy - all combined in the British spy agency known as the Laundry. Magic
Lesley Battler
Aug 18, 2012 Lesley Battler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper
I can get pretty sick of my little box of pseudo-reality. When I read a book I want to be challenged; go somewhere I have never travelled, marvel over ideas and concepts I would never find on my own. Charles Stross takes me to those places and this collection is a great sample of his work.

Most of the stories are long, dense and crammed with humour, despair, science, information technology, horror, spy tropes, alternate histories. One could argue that shorter more focused stories could better sho
Matthew Royal
Sep 24, 2016 Matthew Royal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wireless is less a collection of Stross's short stories, and more a story knitter's basket of Works in Progress that someday may become multi volume universes in their own right. Great content, almost all of it new to me.
Mar 27, 2011 Raj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
This is a very enjoyable collection of shorts from Stross, a writer I usually enjoy anyway. Of the two longer pieces in the book, Missile Gap and Palimpsest, I probably enjoyed the latter more than the former, with its rather interesting ideas of time travel which seemed to resonate at times with Asimov's 'Eternity' (as in The End of Eternity). Mind you, the Big Dumb Object of the former (a vast disc in space upon which the Earth was 'peeled' and deposited by unknown aliens) was pretty mind-blow ...more
If you haven't read any Charles Stross yet, you must. The two best places to start are either Accelerando or Wireless - this short-story collection.

Not all the stories are a hit for me, as not all of Stross's books are, since he has such a widely varied repertoire.

A few are great, though:

The first story, Missile Gap (a Locus Award–winner), is my favorite for the great Cold War setting that is really pretty well executed. It's about the US-USSR conflict transported from boring old Earth onto a di
Aaron Adamson
Apr 27, 2015 Aaron Adamson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally enjoyed these stories, although more than one of them will throw you for an existential loop after forcing you to contemplate the far, far out future of the human race (we're talking the end of the universe, here).

So don't go to this book for a pick-me-up. Do go to this book if you want to think of the universe in new ways, imagine realities you've never before considered, and be grateful to live in comparatively uninteresting times.

Palimpsest is really the stand-out piece for me, and
Nov 05, 2011 Landon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book at random at a clearance store, not recognizing the author (yes, I'm kind of out of the loop). The first few lines of the introduction I decided were entertaining enough to risk spending the three dollars on a book of short stories. I have to say I am not at all disappointed, and Charles Stross is now a name I will remember. This collection has a pretty wide variety of stories in it, especially considering it's length. There's a little science fiction, horror, alternate his ...more
May 06, 2013 Ugh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
More struggling with short stories on my part. Actually I'm struggling with all fiction at the moment. Of the ten books I read before Wireless, only 1 was fiction, and that was a holiday read.

I finished Wireless impressed with Stross, but not particularly impressed with the collection. I've now read a few of Stross's blog posts and I'm currently following him on Twitter, and I like the guy. He's clearly very smart, and that's evident from the stories themselves too. But I didn't get much out of
Aug 30, 2015 Michel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ik was al Stross aan het lezen, en ik heb nog altijd last van mijn DFW-indigestie, dus dacht ik: een bundel van zeer tot minder kortverhalen, dat kan er wel door.

Wel: amixed bag. Om te beginnen: zeer content van het hele boek, ik voelde mij direct dertig jaar jonger. Er zaten een aantal verhalen in die ik bijzonder graag las, hier en daar dingen die ik maar ho-hum vond, en één verhaal dat ik absoluut haatte.

In de doos met het etiket "goed tot uitstekend":

* Missile Gap, de hele mensheid uit de K
Joel Neff
Aug 30, 2012 Joel Neff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's always interesting to read single author story collections. As a reader, you can see themes and ideas as they form and interbreed across stories. In fact, that seems to be the point of this collection:

Two of the stories collected here show the origins of Stross' popular Laundry novels. "Colder War" and "Missile Gap" are variations on the ideas of Cthulu, Cold War, alternate history, and ways in which we're all doomed and don't even know it, and how they might all interact in the confines of
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Charles David George "Charlie" Stross is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His works range from science fiction and Lovecraftian horror to fantasy.

Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams and Richard Morgan.

More about Charles Stross...

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