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Down on the Farm (Laundry Files, #2.6)
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Down on the Farm (Laundry Files #2.5)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,095 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
In Charles Stross's novel The Atrocity Archive and its sequels, the "Laundry" is a secret British agency responsible for keeping dark interdimensional entitities from destroying the cosmos and, not incidentally, the human race. The battles with creatures from beyond time are dangerous; however, it's the subsequent bureaucratic paperwork that actually breaks men's souls. No ...more
ebook, 32 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Tor Books (first published July 20th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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⊱ Irena ⊰
Down on the Farm is terrifying.
There is humour, as usual.
There is Howard's ingenuity, as usual.
But it all takes place at an asylum. If you thought the common ones are scary and have an irrational fear of being detained there, imagine the one where the Laundry 'takes care of its own'. The Funny Farm even has its own Sisters.
I loved it.
Dec 27, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
Good paranormal short in which Bob is sent to the Laundry's psychiatric in-patient facility to investigate a patient complaint.
Fun. Not as inventive, humorous, or literary as Equoid, but also less upsetting. I think I prefer Laundry Files novellas to novels.
Jan 21, 2015 Brainycat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Laundry Files series
Brainycat's 5 "B"s :
blood: 0
boobs: 0
bombs: 0
bondage: 0
blasphemy: 2
Stars : 3.5
Bechdel Test : FAIL
Deggan's Rule : FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test : FAIL

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.

This is an odd little addition to the Laundry Files canon. It clocks in at 74 ereader screens; it's hardly long enough to get a story going, let
Although I didn't enjoy the first "Laundry" book I read, this shorter piece has completely redeemed the series for me, and made me really excited about reading more of this series!

Laundry agent Bob Howard is sent to check out accusations of abuse at the agency's hospital for agents who have become a danger to the outside world. What he finds within the asylum walls is slightly complicated, but filled with some delightful characters. (I'm hoping we see some of them again.)
Feb 23, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another short story set in the Laundry, like Overtime. In this one, our hero Bob is sent to check on the residents of the Funny Farm - Laundry agents who have gone mad from exposure to thaumaturgical energy. When he gets through enough layers of red tape to enter the most secure wing of the facility, he doesn't find a bunch of crazies... but there is an evil computer. This inspired me to start back at the beginning of the series and read the Atrocity Archives.
Bob is sent to a secret psychiatric facility for Laundry employees. Someone, an inmate, has sent a message complaining of ill-treatment by the staff.

(view spoiler)
Fred Reinheimer
Sep 07, 2014 Fred Reinheimer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Quick Trip to the Laundry

Not formally speaking a "book", but rather a 30 or so page short. Here the reader returns to the shadowy world of "the Laundry", the British secret agency devoted to protecting the world from eldrich threats from -- outside...

The fun occurs in a very special kind of nut-house filled with crazy mathematicians. These guys are dangerous customers in Stross's world of Mathematics and Computer algorithms as magic and spells. Much Steam-punk, Dalekoid fun ensues.

Don't know
Sep 15, 2014 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James Bond meets Lovecraft. What fun!
Chris Gillies
Jun 14, 2014 Chris Gillies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short story rather than a full length book, but nonetheless an excellent extra chapter in the Laundry files. Best read if you are already a fan of the Laundry, otherwise it may seem a little disconnected and there will be far too many things within the story that won't have been explained.

Otherwise, Stross at his best, and a story you can finish in an hour or two if you really focus!
This Laundry story was very representative of the series. It didn't have quite as much humor as the books maybe, but it had a lot of action, it was clever and it was fun. And although it was pretty short, it still had some substance. It would be a good way for new readers to get a taste of what the whole thing is about if they wanted to. It's available for free online at
Ian Cockerill
Jul 10, 2015 Ian Cockerill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Laundry Files short story - about the British Government Department saving the World form the scum of the multiverse, generally scum of a Lovecraftian nature, with too many tentacles.
Another decent story with an insight into the bureaucratic mind at the center of all Government work, whether tentacular preventing or otherwise. I really enjoyed it.
J. Hamlet
Another Bob Howard story. This one seems to take place before the Fuller Memorandum, but the time is not easy to place as this series advances. While there's a brilliant One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets Lovecraft set up here and some great dialogue, the whole piece seems rushed and the ending a little too abrupt. Unlike the meal that Concrete Jungle and Overtime provided as two better Bob Howard stories, this one is more like a tasty but unsatisfying tapa plate. The titular "Funny Farm" is ...more
Dione Basseri
Down on the farm. The funny farm! Haha! Ah...that's really the only joke in this story, and that is just fine with me. The setting is interesting enough! The plot revolves around a British secret agency which works to keep demonic and otherwise otherworldly forces at bay. Quite difficult, when these forces can be summoned by something as simple as written-down mathematics. Or even more basic things.

Our narrator heads off to the agency's psych ward to investigate a distress letter which should no
Craig Andrews
Jul 08, 2014 Craig Andrews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I didn't enjoy this Laundry Files short as much as I had the first two books. There were cracking elements in it but the clockwork entities didn't quite fit in for me. Having said that I enjoyed it more than I have a lot of other books, hence the high rating :)
Jun 08, 2015 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
I've been reading Charlie Stross Laundry novellas on my phone as pre-bed reading. This is another one of those. I find the premise of the Laundry series fantastic and Stross' writing amusing. This wasn't my favourite but it definitely kept me entertained.
Nicolas Ronvel
Mar 16, 2015 Nicolas Ronvel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, ebook
Une nouvelle dans l'univers de The Laundry, moins percutante que la précédente (qui est en fait la suivante) Equoid. Encore une fois, l'entrée dans l'univers, avec son jargon particulier, n'est pas aisée, mais on rentre ensuite assez rapidement dans l'histoire, qui n'a pas vraiment de montée en tension.

I thought that this ended a little too abruptly and was kind of confusing. I think it could have and should have been longer. But if you're already reading the Laundry series then you will want to read this.
Oct 14, 2014 Cairnraiser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction, humor, ebook
Howard is sent to investigate matters on the institution for ex-Laundry employees who are not quite safe for open care.

Humor and horror in the combination that is quite unique for the Laundry Files series.
Jerry Cornelius

I am a fan and if that is the best you get out of me, draw your own conclusions. Just about everything else is better written and less more independent.
Jul 23, 2015 Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Another cute, short story that I liked quite a bit. I wish it had been longer, there seemed to be many ideas that could have been explored at longer length. Still, very good.
Dec 23, 2014 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny. Smart.

What a good intro into the Laundry Files story... even though it's "2.6" books into the series... 2.6? Really? Weird, but I'll have to check it out now.
May 14, 2014 Dovey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
I think this is my favorite of The Laundry series. Delightful, creepy, Lovecraftian, insane asylum /hospital horror with a sense of humor.
Russ Nickel
May 02, 2016 Russ Nickel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, sci-fi sort of psychological thriller set in a unique insane asylum. Definitely a cool take on this sort of story. Well worth the read!
Jan 04, 2014 Mike rated it liked it
Another of Stross's laundry stories. It wasn't until I started reading it that I realised I had read it before as it appeared in Stross's collection Wireless. Having said that it was still a good re-read and I enjoyed it. I think if you like the series its a good one to try and find. As the title implies our hero Bob visits the farm, but in this case its nothing to do with agriculture, but the funny farm. Normal laundry events follow, so I liked it.
Goodreads has these books listed out of order.
This takes place after Jennifer Morgue/Pimpf & before Equoid.

Asylums are an often used setting in fiction. Sometimes creepy, sometimes satirical, sometimes even serious but rarely more interesting than the asylum where the Laundry sends it's burned out agents in this short story. It's staffed by Dahleks (not really but close enough) and full of scary for Bob who realizes that this may actually be his future. Hijinx ensue when many things aren't e
Kristýna Obrdlíková
Jan 23, 2016 Kristýna Obrdlíková rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifka
Ta lehkost a chytrý humor spojené s překvapivými nápady a sympatickými postavami způsobují, že číst příběh je mi potěšením. Laundry je prostě dobrá.
Miloš Petrik
Interesting plot, less than fantastic ending.
Gevera Bert
May 04, 2015 Gevera Bert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious. Full of win.
Dec 07, 2014 Gregpk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun
Short story, abrupt ending...
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Laundry Files (7 books)
  • The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1)
  • The Jennifer Morgue (Laundry Files, #2)
  • The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files, #3)
  • The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4)
  • The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files, #5)
  • The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6)
  • The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files, #7)

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