"Manfred's on the road again, making strangers rich."
author with a bent for Post-Cyberpunk
work dealing with posthumanism
and The Singularity
, but who also has a vast array of other fiction out there. Early in his career, he invented several iconic Dungeons & Dragons
monsters, including the Death Knight, githyanki and githzerai, and slaadi. He's also on record
as being responsible for bringing Footnote Fever
Works by Charles Stross with a page on this wiki:
- Accelerando and Glasshouse: Two books (and a third planned) that explore the concept of The Singularity and its aftermath. Despite similarities in setting, not meant to be set in the same universe.
- The Eschaton Series: A far-future series featuring UN weapons inspector Rachel Mansour and Martin Springfield, set in a universe where a godlike AI called the "Eschaton" has spread humanity across the stars.
- The Halting State series: Twenty Minutes into the Future, Everything Is Online, including the criminals and police. A beat cop, an accountant, and a computer game programmer are called in to investigate a bank robbery in a World of Warcraft-esque online game, which quickly proves to be more than it seems. Narrated in the Second Person, in the style of choose-your-own-adventure games.
- The Laundry Series: Also known as The Bob Howard Series, about a special agent for the "Laundry", which is basically MI6 crossed with H.P. Lovecraft.
- The Merchant Princes Series: A journalist discovers she has the ability to travel to an Alternate Universe at will, where her long-lost family are powerful traders.
- Saturn's Children and its sequel Neptune's Brood: The adventures of a Sex Bot in a world where humanity has gone extinct, taking her purpose in life with them.
Other works include:
- "A Colder War", a novella combining the Red Scare with the Cthulhu Mythos with terrifying results.
- "Missile Gap", a novella combining the Cold War and the late Space Age with science and a bit of the fantastic. To say too much about the plot would be to give it away.
Tropes in his other works:
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The ekranoplan aircraft carrier from "Missile Gap" technically counts. (Ekranoplans are ground-effect-vehicles, and thus fly only at very low altitudes.)
- Antiquated Linguistics: The story "Trunk and Disorderly" is set in Modern Times (centuries after the near-collapse of the human race) but is written in the barbaric yet spiffing idiom natural to the early 20th Century master P. G. Wodehouse; enough to drive a cove near to distraction, as Uncle Philpott once remarked. (Additionally, there exists a Dalek.)
- Captured Super Entity: In "A Colder War" by Charles Stross, the Soviet Union does this to friggin' Cthulhu. It doesn't end well.
- Deadly Graduation: The Hugo-winning novella "Palimpsest" has a unique variation: the final test for a time agent is to go back in time and murder yourself.
- Domed Hometown: In the Cthulhu Mythos Alternate History short story, "A Colder War", the last survivors of the human race eke out their existence in XK-Masada, a city on an alien planet built beneath a mile-high dome designed by Buckminster Fuller.