Oddjobs – Heide Goody & Iain Grant

Here’s another one that Amazon told me I might enjoy. I wasn’t entirely sure, so I took the option of using the free “borrow” feature that comes with my Prime subscription. It’s more fun and games with extra-dimensional entities sufficiently powerful that calling them “gods” is close enough.

The entities in question are known as the Venislarn, and it’s clear that at some undefined point in the near future, they’re going to consume the Earth and all human life will be absorbed in a particularly unpleasant manner involving eternal torment, and all that kind of thing.

Governments, being well aware of What’s Really Going On, have departments set up to deal with all this kind of thing. Not to combat it, because that’s impossible, but to, well, manage it. With more bureaucracy than Charlie Stross’s Bob Howard would care to deal with. At least Bob just had to deal with HR, and was never subjected to to the horrors of brainstorming. On the other hand, he didn’t get to play Buzzword Bingo in meetings, so it all works out. Sort of.

Anyway, that’s enough digression, and on with the story. The action takes place in Birmingham, something of an Eldritch Horror in itself, and features some very silly fishy people, giant starfish from space, strange neighbours and enough geeky gags to put off less geeky readers, such as this topical bit:

CCTV footage of a section of corridor, a slight figure in trailing clothes running away and off screen. Rod dialled it back. “Is that a knitted scarf?” “And a big flappy coat.” “We’ve had a break-in by Doctor Who.” “Looks like a woman.” “They were going to get around to gender-free casting eventually.”

and someone with their priorities right

“What? They cordon off and evacuate the bloody Sea Life Centre but not the Children’s Hospital. I mean, I like penguins but I wouldn’t have said they’re more important than kids… Well, I would, but that’s a personal thing.”

…and a nod to David Langford’s basilisks[1], which is always a Good Thing.

Loads of fun, well worth a read, and I’ll be checking out the sequel once I’ve caught up with some other books that are currently filling my Kindle.

[1] Google it ?

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