Down on the Farm

Down on the Farm 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 inci

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  • Title: Down on the Farm
  • Author: Charles Stross
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 275
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 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 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 Now, in Down on the Farm, Laundry veteran Bob Howard must investigate strange doings at another obscure, moth eaten government agency evidently a rest home for Laundry agents whose minds have snapped Charles Stross is the Hugo winning author of some of the most acclaimed novels and stories of the last ten years, including Singularity Sky, Accelerando, Halting State, the Merchant Princes series beginning with The Family Trade, and the story collections Toast and Wireless In 2010, his Laundry story Overtime, published on Tor, is a finalist for science fiction s Hugo Award.

    One thought on “Down on the Farm”

    1. Re-read 2/23/18I'm upping the stars on this to a full 5 because it means much more to the later novels, especially with the V. :) It's more humorous as a re-read, too. It just gets better and better. Let's go say hi to the old folks on the farm, shall we? Mad magicians, all! :)Original review:I've said it before, but I'll say it again: the juxtapositions are delightful. This time we've got a smidge of Doctor Who, a smudge of Cthulhu, spy fiction, and humorous red tape. Second time reading is sti [...]

    2. 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.

    3. BWAHAHAHAHAHA. This was a delightful little excursion between novels.Bob is sent to The Farm, a retirement home for Laundry agents that finally got their souls crushed by all the bureaucracy they had to deal with (because demonology has nothing on bureaucracy).The story is short, but full of wonderfully quiry characters - from the gents inserted for an investigation decades ago to a carnivorous sofa and, of course, the nurses and Matron.The author was narrating this audio version himself, which [...]

    4. Good paranormal short in which Bob is sent to the Laundry's psychiatric in-patient facility to investigate a patient complaint.

    5. 4.5 StarsAwesome science fiction thriller / horror / mystery. I loved the start of this series it is tailor made to my likes. This is my first Stross novel even though he has been on my to read list for a very long time.Great characters.Great world.Great science fiction.Lovecraft!Gadgets.And more.I really liked it.This is a cool novella that features chess!

    6. 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.)

    7. 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.

    8. Fun. Not as inventive, humorous, or literary as Equoid, but also less upsetting. I think I prefer Laundry Files novellas to novels.

    9. Three Tales From the Laundry Files continues the story of a British counter terrorism unit that fights supernatural and alien threats told through the eyes of an employee, Bob Howard. The three novella/short stories are “Down on the Farm (Laundry Files #2.5),” “Equoid (Laundry Files #2.9),” and “Overtime (Laundry Files #3.5).” Two of the stories are in the field and the third is set at HQ with a Christmas theme. Each starts slow, but they all get better the further in you get. All of [...]

    10. Love this novella as a continuation of the Laundry Series - very clever examination of what they do with the paranormal spies when they have suffered catastrophic injuries on the job and the price you can pay when Higher Math is the source of summoning demons and you solve an equation in your head! Very clever play on the sad affliction of Alzheimer's, wrapped very carefully in the subtext of the story on how we so easily hospitalise people who we cannot help. Does not need to be read in order ( [...]

    11. Quick but fun readThis was classic Bob, loved it. To bad it was so quick to read. I'm excited to read the next on the series.

    12. Nice short, snappy Laundry Files novella. very self-contained, one story, one arc, one set of variables to remember, beginning to end. Quite nice.

    13. A good short story for the Laundry series. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who hasn't already read at least one book in the series. You need to know the background to appreciate it. It has the feel of the early works in the series before stuff happened. So if you're a fan of the earlier books in this series, you'll like this one.

    14. Charles Stross has taken up the standard of Lovecraftian horror dropped by H.P. Lovecraft and run with it.(with out the horrible bigotry)Stross has an incredible ability to capture normal people confrontedby eldritch horrors.And has the skill to turn it into humor by placing it within the confines of the British bureaucracy.All at once funny and frighteningStross is a modren master.

    15. Brainycat's 5 "B"s:blood: 0boobs: 0bombs: 0bondage: 0blasphemy: 2Stars: 3.5Bechdel Test: FAILDeggan's Rule: FAILGay Bechdel Test: FAILPlease 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 alone devel [...]

    16. Short story which starts by Bob getting assigned to take a look at the "Funny Farm", where the burned out and crazy laundry employees end up. It's an institution as insulated from the real world as possible so that no accidents will happen.

    17. Down on the farm. The funny farm! Haha! Ahat'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 not hav [...]

    18. 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)[The place turns out to be an ultra-secret think tank where the inhabitants are working on ultra-dangerous theoretical research that is far above Bob's security clearance. The "nurses" are robot perimeter guards who patrol the hospital, ensuring no unauthorized personnel gets in, and if in, won't get out. They are animated by an extra- [...]

    19. 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 [...]

    20. A Quick Trip to the LaundryNot 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 -- outsideThe 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 how [...]

    21. 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 exactly wha [...]

    22. Having completed several of The Laundry Files novels, and knowing how dark they are becoming, it was pure fun to go back to an intermediary story that falls between two of the early books. I loved revisiting Bob Howard in his quirky early years at The Laundry, complete with snide humor and everyman angst with the job. The story itself was a nice aside, which was self contained while also shedding light on aspects of the overall arc of the novels. Very well done! Highly recommended!

    23. There was a lot of potential with this story line, and it seemed to rush to a tidy conclusion. Without revealing any spoilers, I loved the core concept, but it would have been better as a fully fleshed novel: for such a seemingly important set of characters that could have an impact on the main story line, I expected more character development and differentiation, and more development of the idea that any Turing complete device (pretty much anything) can be used to perform magic

    24. 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.

    25. 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!

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