Dead Lies Dreaming
The madcap 10th entry in Stross’s Laundry Files series (following The Labyrinth Index
), set in an alternate England where magic is a branch of applied mathematics that coexists alongside technology, finds the country under New Management, as the Elder God who now inhabits 10 Downing Street is referred to. Against this backdrop, the Lost Boys, a gang of superpowered transhuman heisters comprising Imp, the Deliverator, Doc Depression, and Game Boy, use their ill-gotten gains to finance a twisted, outer space–set movie version of Peter Pan
. First opposing, then assisting, them is Wendy Deere, transhuman rent-a-cop for HiveCo Security, who has just been promoted to “thief-taker.” When Imp’s sister, Evelyn Starkey, hires the Lost Boys to steal the Necronomicon, a concordance of spells, for her billionaire boss, the job takes the gang back in time to the mean streets of Whitechapel in 1888. This is like a gonzo riff on Robert A. Heinlein’s Magic, Inc.
, enhanced by imaginative set pieces and plentiful references to classic SFF. Bullets and jokes fly in equal measure, and even if they don’t all find their mark, Stross still hits the bull’s-eye with this fresh take on the caper genre. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Assoc. (Oct.)