Author Charles Stross says that several of the stories in his recently published collection, “Wireless” were influenced by growing up during the Cold War and reading stories set in the universe of Cthulhu.
“I grew up in the UK during the latter stages of the Cold War,” Stross told SciFi Wire. “Britain is relatively compact, and much closer to the borders of the USSR than anywhere in North America. Orwell satirized the UK as ‘Airstrip One’ in 1984 for a reason—much of its role during the upheavals of the 20th century has been to provide a giant, unsinkable aircraft carrier for the US military, moored off the coast of Europe. The Soviets knew this well, and had planned accordingly: from about 1960 onwards, in event of a world war the UK’s destiny was to be pulverized by short-range nuclear weapons. (The government virtually gave up on civil defense in the mid-1970s, when their casualty estimates exceeded 90%.)
“As it is, I have never lived more than five miles from ground zero of a major strategic target. With that kind of background, it’s very easy to see yourself as a small, frightened human being living in the shadow of great beings who are engaged in a titanic, existential struggle for control of the universe… and who can destroy you and yours in an instant for reasons you may never understand. And if that isn’t a dead ringer for the Lovecraftian experience (never mind the Cold War thriller), what is?”
The new collection of stories has just hit bookstores. And Stross’ latest novel (and current Hugo nominee) “Saturn’s Children” has just been released in mass market paperback.
If you’re looking for some great summer reading, these two books are definitely worth picking up.