The Atrocity Archives Quotes

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The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1) The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
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“Gene police! You! Out of the pool, now!”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
tags: humor
“Idiots emit bogons, causing machinery to malfunction in their presence. System administrators absorb bogons, letting machinery work again.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“That was what we call in the trade an Unscheduled Reality Excursion, usually abbreviated to ‘Oh fuck.’ ”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“The male ego is a curious thing. It’s about the size of a small continent but it’s extremely brittle.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“I spent six hours becoming one with a shrubbery last night. There were three cloudbursts and a rain of small and very confused frogs”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“My computer terminal whistles at me: YOU HAVE MAIL. No shit, Sherlock, I always have mail. It's an existential thing: if I don't have mail it would mean that something is very wrong with the world”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“programming is a job where Lovecraft meets tradecraft, all the time.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“They never tell you how heavy a corpse is in training school.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“Because, you see, everything you know about the way this universe works is correct—except for the little problem that this isn’t the only universe we have to worry about. Information can leak between one universe and another. And in a vanishingly small number of the other universes there are things that listen, and talk back—see Al-Hazred, Nietzsche, Lovecraft, Poe, et cetera. The many-angled ones, as they say, live at the bottom of the Mandelbrot set, except when a suitable incantation in the platonic realm of mathematics—computerised or otherwise—draws them forth. (And you thought running that fractal screen-saver was good for your computer?)”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“For programming is a job where Lovecraft meets tradecraft, all the time.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“you young ones . . .” ‘Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country has ever done for you?”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“Gene police! You! Out of the pool, now!” “It’s”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“I try not to notice the exploded eyeballs or the ruptured tongue bursting through the blackened lips. This job is quite gross enough as it is without adding my own dry heaves to the mess.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“But, as Andy pointed out, if being a smart-arse was an offence, the Laundry would not exist in the first place.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“This has serveral consequences, starting with screwing over most cryptography algorithms--translation: all your bank account are belong to us--”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“Just solving certain theorems makes waves in the Platonic over-space. Pump lots of power through a grid tuned carefully in accordance with the right parameters—which fall naturally out of the geometry curve I mentioned, which in turn falls easily out of the Turing theorem—and you can actually amplify these waves, until they rip honking great holes in spacetime and let congruent segments of otherwise-separate universes merge. You really don’t want to be standing at ground zero when that happens.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“friend of mine who was turned down”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“They’ll like it even less if I hear any words from them,” I said. You have to be firm with colonial troops: they have only as much backbone as their commanding officer.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“the stacks keeps you on your toes. Besides which, there are rumours of ape-men living down here; I don’t know how the rumours got started, but this place is more than somewhat creepy when you’re on your own late at night.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“(I’m a child of the wired generation, unlike some of the suits hereabouts who have their secretaries print everything out and dictate their replies for an audio-typist to send.)”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“There are good ways and bad ways to get my attention. Whacking on my ego with a crowbar will get my attention, sure, but it's not going to leave me well disposed to the messenger.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“It was one of ours originally, but no human being can sprint around a building with their helmet off and backpack missing in a fimbulwinter cold enough to freeze liquid oxygen.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“We remain convinced that this is the best defensive posture to adopt in order to minimize casualties when the Great Old Ones return from beyond the stars to eat our brains.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“This document describes progress to date in establishing a defensive network capable of repelling wide-scale incursions by reconfiguring the national closed-circuit television surveillance network as a software-controlled look-to-kill multiheaded basilisk. To”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“Horror fiction allows us to confront and sublimate our fears of an uncontrollable universe, but the threat verges on the overwhelming and may indeed carry the protagonists away. Spy fiction in contrast allows us to believe for a while that the little people can, by obtaining secret knowledge, acquire some leverage over the overwhelming threats that permeate their universe.”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“reach into my travel bag and pull out my hacked Palm computer,”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“Imagine a world where speaking or writing words can literally or directly make things happen, where getting one of those words wrong can wreak unbelievable havoc, but where the right spell you can summon immensely powerful agencies to work your will. Imagine further that this world is administered: there is an extensive division of labour, among the magicians themselves and between the magicians and those who coordinate their activity. It's bureaucratic, and also (therefore) chaotic, and it's full of people at desks muttering curses and writing invocations, all beavering away at a small part of the big picture. The coordinators, because they don't understand what's going on, are easy prey for smooth-talking preachers of bizarre cults that demand arbitrary sacrifices and vanish with large amounts of money. Welcome to the IT department.”
Ken MacLeod, The Atrocity Archives
“I know just how devoted to this organisation you are. Draftees back in my day used to understand what they’d got themselves into, but you young ones . . .” ‘Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country has ever done for you?’ I raise an eyebrow at him. He”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“Very good, Mr. Howard. They were the ones who didn’t try to second-guess their commanding officer. Can I suggest that in future you take a leaf from their book and refrain from poking your nose into things you have been told do not concern you? Or at least learn not to be so predictable about it.” “Ah—” “Go away before I mock you,” he says, sounding distantly amused. I”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives
“The food’s very good,” I offer defensively. “It’s not that”—she gazes past my shoulder—“it’s the culture. It’s very Californian. I wasn’t expecting the rot to have reached London yet.” “We are Bay Aryans from Berkeley: prepare to be reengineered in an attractive range of colour schemes for your safety and comfort!” “Something like that.” A waitron”
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives

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