The Jennifer Morgue
Ace, Jan 2009, $15.00
In 1975 needing something bigger than a marine assault carrier, the CIA with British support borrowed (their definition of the word; others might say eminent domain theft) Howard Hughes's Glomar Explorer to raise a sunken Soviet Golf-II ballistics missile submarine. The K-129 sub contained a special gizmo that enabled the living to communicate with the dead; they failed in their attempt not because of a Russian trawler at the site reminding the agents of international treaty law that the Commies ignore as much as the West when its convenient; they flopped because the Great Old Ones prevented them from taking out the “trash”..
However, their efforts did not go unnoticed. Billionaire Ellis Billington wants the device because he believes the technology combined with his wealth, influence and ruthlessness will enable him to rule the world. He has no compunctions about awakening the Great Old Ones. The British Laundry top secret agency assigns recently promoted from the lowest job of geek Repairman to the lowest managerial job holder Bob Howard whose position is where the sh*t of ethereal mathematics (magic to non bureaucrats) cannot roll down any further. His newest assignment is to prevent Ellis from succeeding. His per diem is limited and the accountants demand receipts for any expense by those truly running the government, the bottom line auditors who understand waste, abuse and fraud as acceptable practices for desk jockeys like top management and accountants; an excess pound or a Euro not preauthorized comes out of the field agent’s pocket.
The sequel to the ATROCITY ARCHIVES is once again Get Smart occurring in a technological paranormal world. Bob battles with Ellis and his human minion, supernatural combatants and worst yet the bureaucracy starting with his Smart transportation issues to get to the location. Fans will enjoy this madcap satirical espionage thriller as Charles Stross pokes fun at inane British government regulations that hamper employees from effectively doing their jobs while costing the taxpayer a lot more in oversight than the actual expense. This is how magically a hammer used to cost several hundred dollars (pre Gore Reinventing Government) in America.