The novella A Colder War by Charles Stross seems thematically quite similar to his Laundry series (cold war + Cthulhu and Lovecraftian spy thriller, respectively). Are they supposed to belong to the same universe? Alternate histories of the same universe? Or are they independent? The ending of A Colder War seems to suggest that some or all of what has happened is

A simulation created by Cthulhu to torment the protagonist.

Which leaves the state of the world ambiguous, especially as to its compatibility with the Laundry novels.

1 Answer 1


Charles Stross's afterword to the story in his collection Wireless states that 'A Colder War' was written well before 'The Atrocity Archive', which is unrelated, but explores similar themes:

A couple of years later, some of the questions raised by this story came back to haunt me in a different context as I began writing “The Atrocity Archive.” But I can’t maintain that level of existential bleakness at greater length (which is probably a good thing) …

A recent interview in Lightspeed magazine goes into much more detail regarding the development of 'A Colder War' and the adaption of the themes for the Laundry series.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.