Charles Stross

Charles David George "Charlie" Stross (born 18 October 1964[1]) is a British writer of science fiction, Lovecraftian horror, and fantasy. Stross specialises in hard science fiction and space opera. Between 1994 and 2004, he was also an active writer for the magazine Computer Shopper and was responsible for the monthly Linux column. He stopped writing for the magazine to devote more time to novels. However, he continues to publish freelance articles on the Internet.[3]

Charles Stross
Stross in 2017 at 34c3 in Leipzig, Germany
Stross in 2017 at 34c3 in Leipzig, Germany
Born18 October 1964 (age 54)[1]
Leeds, England
OccupationWriter, former programmer and pharmacist
Alma materUniversity of Bradford[2]
GenreScience fiction, fantasy, horror

Early life and education

Stross was born in Leeds, England.[4] He showed an early interest in writing and wrote his first science fiction story at age 12. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy in 1986 and qualified as a pharmacist in 1987. In 1989, he enrolled at Bradford University for a post-graduate degree in computer science. In 1990, he went to work as a technical author and programmer. In 2000, he began working as a writer full-time, as a technical writer at first, but then became successful as a fiction writer.[5][6]


In the 1970s and 1980s, Stross published some role-playing game articles about Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in White Dwarf magazine. Some of his creatures, such as the death knight, githyanki (the name borrowed from George R. R. Martin's book, Dying of the Light), githzerai, and slaad (a chaotic race of frog-like humanoids) were later published in the Fiend Folio monster compendium.[7]

His first published short story, "The Boys", appeared in Interzone in 1987. A collection of his short stories, Toast: And Other Rusted Futures, was released in 2002; subsequent short stories have been nominated for the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, and other awards. His first novel, Singularity Sky, was published by Ace Books in 2003 and was also nominated for the Hugo Award. His novella "The Concrete Jungle" (published in The Atrocity Archives) won the Hugo award for its category in 2005.[8] His novel Accelerando won the 2006 Locus Award for best science fiction novel, was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel,[9] and was on the final ballot for the Hugo Award in the best novel category.[10] Glasshouse won the 2007 Prometheus Award and was on the final ballot for the Hugo Award in the best novel category; the German translation Glashaus won the 2009 Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis.[11] His novella "Missile Gap" won the 2007 Locus Award for best novella, and most recently he was awarded the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award or Skylark at Boskone 2008.

His novel The Atrocity Archives (2004) focused on a British intelligence agency investigating Mythos-like horrors; using ideas similar to those in the RPG book Delta Green (1996), Stross commented in an afterword to the book: "All I can say in my defence is... I hadn't heard of Delta Green when I wrote The Atrocity Archive... I'll leave it at that except to say that Delta Green has come dangerously close to making me pick up the dice again."[12]:247

"Rogue Farm," his 2003 short story, was adapted into an eponymous animated film that debuted in August 2004.

Stross was one of the Guests of Honour at Orbital 2008,[13] the British National Science Fiction convention (Eastercon), in March 2008. He was the Author Guest of Honour at the Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention (Balticon) in May 2009. He was Author Guest of Honour at Fantasticon (Denmark) in August 2009. He was the Guest of Honor at Boskone 48 in Feb 2011.

Cubicle 7 used their Basic Role-Playing license to create The Laundry (2010), based on Stross' writings, wherein agents must deal with the outer gods and British bureaucracy at the same time.[12]:432

In September 2012, Stross released The Rapture of the Nerds, a novel written in collaboration with Cory Doctorow.[14] The two have also together been involved in the Creative Commons licensing and copyright movement.[15] In December 2017 he gave a talk at 34C3.[16]


Accelerando won the 2006 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.[17] "Missile Gap" won the 2007 Locus Award for best novella.[18] "The Concrete Jungle" (contained in The Atrocity Archives) won the Hugo Award for best novella in 2005;[8] "Palimpsest", included in Wireless, won the same award in 2010,[19] and "Equoid" in 2014.[20] The Apocalypse Codex won the 2013 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.[21] Stross's work has also been nominated for a number of other awards, including the John W. Campbell Memorial Award,[9] Arthur C. Clarke Award,[22] and the Hugo Award for Best Novel,[8][10][23][24] as well as the Japanese Seiun Award.[18]

Selected bibliography

Merchant Princes series

  • The Family Trade (2004)
  • The Hidden Family (2005)
  • The Clan Corporate (2006)
  • The Merchants' War (2007)
  • The Revolution Business (2009)
  • The Trade of Queens (2010)
  • Empire Games (2017)
  • Dark State (2018)
  • Invisible Sun (forthcoming, July 2019-Oct 2019)[25]

The Laundry Files

  • The Atrocity Archives (2004)
  • The Jennifer Morgue (2006)
  • Down on the Farm (2008 novelette)
  • Overtime (2009 novelette)
  • The Fuller Memorandum (2010)
  • The Apocalypse Codex (2012)
  • Equoid (2013 novelette)
  • The Rhesus Chart (2014)
  • The Annihilation Score (2015)
  • The Nightmare Stacks (2016)
  • The Delirium Brief (2017)
  • The Labyrinth Index (2018)[26]

Halting State series


  1. ^ a b "Summary Bibliography: Charles Stross". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  2. ^ "How I got here in the end – my non-writing careers". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  3. ^ Stross, Charles. "Linux in Computer Shopper".
  4. ^
  5. ^ Charles Stross: Fast Forward, 2005, retrieved 14 October 2015
  6. ^ Charles Stross Archived 9 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, (accessed 29 May 2013)
  7. ^ "The Kyngdoms Interview". Kyngdoms. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  8. ^ a b c "2005 Hugo Awards: Best Novella: The Concrete Jungle; Best Novel Nominee: Iron Sunrise". Official Site of The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011.
  9. ^ a b "John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists". Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, University of Kansas.
  10. ^ a b "2006 Hugo Awards: Accelerando (Nominee)". Official Site of The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011.
  11. ^ Website for 2009 KLP results (in German)
  12. ^ a b Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  13. ^ "Conventions 2008". Locus Publications. 2008. Retrieved 15 Feb 2017.
  14. ^ "Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross' Rapture of The Nerds cover art and summary reveal". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  15. ^ Evens, Arthur (2010). The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. Wesleyan University Press. p. 727.
  16. ^ Charles Stross (2017-12-27). "Dude, you broke the Future!". 34C3 (video). YouTube RmIgJ64z6Y4.
  17. ^ "2006 Locus Awards". Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  18. ^ a b "Stross, Charles". Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013.
  19. ^ Locus Publications (5 September 2010). "Locus Online News " 2010 Hugo Awards Winners". Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  20. ^ "2014 Hugo Award Winners". 17 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  21. ^ "Locus Award Winners". Retrieved 13 Dec 2014.
  22. ^ "Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlists". Arthur C. Clarke Award. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "2008 Hugo Award Nominees". The Hugo Awards. 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
  24. ^ "2009 Hugo Award Nominations: Saturn's Children". Official Site of The Hugo Awards. March 2003.
  25. ^ Stross, Charles (23 Dec 2018). "Fiction by Charles Stross". Charlie's Diary. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  26. ^ "a book review by Annette Lapointe: The Labyrinth Index (Laundry Files)". Retrieved 2018-12-13.

External links

A Colder War

"A Colder War" is an alternate history novelette by Charles Stross written c. 1997 and originally published in 2000. The story fuses the Cold War and the Cthulhu Mythos.

The story is set in the early 1980s and explores the consequences of the Pabodie expedition in H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. Although the story has similarity to the later Stross novel The Atrocity Archives, they are set in different universes. Teresa Nielsen Hayden describes the story on Making Light as, "the Oliver North/Guns for Hostages scandal, seen from the viewpoint of a CIA bureaucrat, in a universe in which the entire Cthulhu Mythos is real."It was one of Locus Online's 2000 'Recommended Reading' novelettes.


Accelerando is a 2005 science fiction novel consisting of a series of interconnected short stories written by British author Charles Stross. As well as normal hardback and paperback editions, it was released as a free e-book under the CC BY-NC-ND license. Accelerando won the Locus Award in 2006, and was nominated for several other awards in 2005 and 2006, including the Hugo, Campbell, Clarke, and British Science Fiction Association Awards.

Charles Stross bibliography

This is a list of books by British hard science fiction, Lovecraftian horror, and space opera author Charles Stross.

Edward E. Smith Memorial Award

The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction, or "Skylark", annually recognizes someone for lifetime contributions to science fiction, "both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late "Doc" Smith well-loved by those who knew him." It is presented by the New England Science Fiction Association at its annual convention, Boskone, to someone chosen by a vote of NESFA members. The trophy is a large lens mounted on a simple plinth.The award was inaugurated in 1966, the year after Smith's death. Fifty-one people have been honored in 49 years to 2015 (Hal Clement received the award twice, in 1969 and 1997).

Skylark recipients


Elector may refer to:

Prince-elector or elector, a member of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Holy Roman Emperors

Elector, a member of an electoral college

Confederate elector, a member of the Electoral College (Confederate States), which elected the President Jefferson Davis, and Vice President Alexander H. Stephens

U.S. Presidential and Vice Presidential elector, a member of the Electoral College (United States), which formally chooses the President and Vice President of the United States

Elector, a science fiction novella by Charles Stross, incorporated into Accelerando (novel)

Halting State

Halting State is a novel by Charles Stross, published in the United States on 2 October 2007 and in the United Kingdom in January 2008. Stross has said that it is "a thriller set in the software houses that write multiplayer games". The plot centres on a bank robbery in a virtual world. It features speculative technologies, including Specs and virtual server networks over mobile phones. The book is on its second printing in the United States. The novel was nominated for both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 2008.The main story is split between three main protagonists, Sue, Elaine, and Jack, respectively, whose sections are always in the second person, with italicised thoughts in first person during each character's respective chapter. Each chapter is followed in sequential trilogies (Sue, Elaine, Jack) for the duration of the novel. This pattern excepts only the prologue and epilogue of the novel, which both contain faux email to supporting characters.

A sequel to Halting State entitled Rule 34 (previously '419') was released in mid-2011.

Iron Sunrise

Iron Sunrise is a 2004 hard science fiction novel by author Charles Stross, which follows the events in Singularity Sky. The book was nominated for both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 2005.Singularity Sky depicts a future where human societies have been involuntarily taken from Earth and widely distributed across the Milky Way galaxy, seemingly at random, in the wake of a technological singularity which has led to the onset of strong AI, in the form of the Eschaton.

The events in both novels take place consecutively some time after the immediate aftermath of the singularity.

Midnight Rose

Midnight Rose was a name taken by a group of United Kingdom science fiction and fantasy writers for a series of shared world anthologies published by the Penguin Books imprint Roc. The group's "core members" were Alex Stewart, Roz Kaveney, Neil Gaiman and Mary Gentle. Contributors to individual anthologies included Marcus Rowland, Storm Constantine, Kim Newman, Charles Stross, Stephen Baxter, Colin Greenland, Graham Higgins, Paul Cornell and David Langford, among others.

The anthologies were:


Two volumes of superhero pastiches, set in a world where the United Kingdom and European Union demand registry of superhuman talents, whereupon the Talented are expected to be permanently "on call" as part-time superheroes, in exchange for a stipend. The popular perception of the British Civil Service is played up, with registering as a "Temp" being strangely similar to applying for Jobseeker's Allowance or other benefits. The two books were Temps (1991) and EuroTemps (1992).The Weerde

The concept behind The Weerde was that shapeshifting creatures had been living alongside humanity for millennia, mostly concealing themselves, but occasionally giving rise to legends of supernatural monsters. The books in this series were The Weerde Book One (1992) and The Weerde Book Two: Book of the Ancients (1993).Villains!

Villains! (1992) was a parody of heroic fantasy. Like Gentle's later Grunts, it looked at the typical fantasy world from the point of view of the villains.Several of the stories from these anthologies have subsequently appeared in other collections, or have been put on line by their authors:

Roz Kaveney: "A Lonely Impulse" (Temps), "A Wolf To Man" (The Weerde Book One), "Bellringer's Overtime" (Villains!), "Totally Trashed" (EuroTemps), "Ignorance of Perfect Reason" (The Weerde Book Two)

David Langford: "Leaks" (Temps), "The Arts of the Enemy" (Villains!), "If Looks Could Kill" (EuroTemps), "The Lions in the Desert" (The Weerde Book Two)

Marcus Rowland: "Frog Day Afternoon" (Temps), "Playing Safe" (EuroTemps), "The Missing Martian" (The Weerde Book Two)

Charles Stross: "Examination Night" (Villains!), "Ancient Of Days" (The Weerde Book One), "Red, Hot and Dark" (The Weerde Book Two)

Missile Gap

"Missile Gap" is a 2006 English language science fiction novella, originally published in the anthology One Million A.D. by British author Charles Stross. It won the Locus Award for best novella of 2006. The novella was republished in Stross's short-story collection Wireless in 2009.

Neptune's Brood

Neptune's Brood is a science fiction novel by British author Charles Stross, set in the same universe as Saturn's Children, but thousands of years later and with all new characters.The novel was shortlisted for the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

New Republic

New Republic may refer to:

The New Republic, an American politics and culture magazine

New Republic (Brazil), the restored civilian government of Brazil since 1985

New Republic (Romania), a political party in Romania

New Republic (Santarem), district in the city of Santarém, Pará

New Republic (South Africa) (Afrikaans: Nieuwe Republiek, 1884–1888), a short-lived country in 1880s South Africa

New Republic Party (South Africa), a defunct political party in South Africa

New Republic, California, former name of Santa Rita, Monterey County, California

The New Republic (novel), an 1878 satirical novel by William Hurrell Mallock

New Republic (Star Wars), a fictional government from Star Wars

New Republic (Singularity Sky), a fictional polity in the 2004 novel Singularity Sky by Charles Stross

Palimpsest (novella)

Palimpsest is a 2009 science fiction novella by Charles Stross, exploring the conjunction of time travel and deep time. Originally published in Stross's 2009 collection Wireless, it won the 2010 Hugo Award for best novella.Subterranean Press has announced that they will be reprinting the novella separately in 2011.

Rule 34

Rule 34 may refer to:

Rule 34 (Internet meme), which states, "If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions."

Rule 34 (novel), by Charles Stross, named after the internet meme

Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs requests for production of documents

The Wolfram code for a particular elementary cellular automaton

Rule 34 (novel)

Rule 34 is a near-future science fiction novel by Charles Stross. It is a loose sequel to Halting State, and was released on 5 July 2011 (US) and 7 July 2011 (UK). The title is a reference to Rule 34 of the Internet, which states that "If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions." Rule 34 was nominated for the 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 2012 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

Saturn's Children (novel)

Saturn's Children is a 2008 science fiction novel by British author Charles Stross. Stross called it "a space opera and late-period [Robert A.] Heinlein tribute", specifically to Heinlein's 1982 novel Friday.The novel was nominated for the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 2009 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and was a finalist for the 2009 Prometheus Award. An audiobook version narrated by Bianca Amato was released in 2009.

The Laundry Files

The Laundry Files is a series of novels by Charles Stross. They mix the genres of Lovecraftian horror, spy thriller, science fiction, and workplace humour. Their main character for the first five novels is "Bob Howard" (a pseudonym taken for security purposes), a one-time I.T. consultant turned occult field agent. Howard is recruited to work for the Q-Division of SOE, otherwise known as "the Laundry", the British government agency which deals with occult threats. "Magic" is described as being a branch of applied computation (mathematics), therefore computers and equations are just as useful, and perhaps more potent, than classic spellbooks, pentagrams, and sigils for the purpose of influencing ancient powers and opening gates to other dimensions. These occult struggles happen largely out of view of the public, as the Laundry seeks to keep the methods for contacting such powers under wraps. There are also elements of dry humour and satirisation of bureaucracy.

While the stories are partially inspired by the Cthulhu mythos universe created by H. P. Lovecraft and others, they are not set in Lovecraft's universe. Stross also decides that in a world where "magic" works, surely the greatest magicians would be scientists who closely study the phenomena; thus his work is replete with a secret history of how various acclaimed researchers of the past also dabbled or stumbled upon occult uses of their work.

The Concrete Jungle and Equoid both won the Hugo Award for Best Novella, and Overtime was a nominee for best novelette.

The Rapture of the Nerds

The Rapture of the Nerds is a 2012 novel by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross. It was released on September 4, 2012 through Tor Books and as an ebook, DRM free, under the CC BY-NC-ND. The book can also be downloaded for free.

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