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Equoid: A Laundry novella: A Tor.Com Original (Laundry Files) by [Stross, Charles]
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Equoid: A Laundry novella: A Tor.Com Original (Laundry Files) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Length: 32 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 583 KB
  • Print Length: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (16 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EWZCTD0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,185 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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My daughter has just brought home a sparkly unicorn, and I am very afraid...

This is a Laundry files short story featuring Bob Howard. In this outing Bob has to deal with a report from a well qualified DEFRA vet who harbours suspicions of a potential outbreak of Equoids. The file Bob is given as briefing contains the letters of one HP Lovecraft that tell of HPL's own experience of contact with an Equoid outbreak.

This is a highly entertaining story that provides a twist on unicorns and gives them an interesting life cycle which is truly horrific. It also has some laugh out loud points too.
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I was bewildered to find Stross had managed to shoehorn in multiple references to my favourite band, Half Man Half Biscuit, to a tale of angler-fish-like unicorns set in the horrid countryside of the Home Counties. East Grinsted is bad enough without eldritch, squamous and rugose horrors. Maybe next he'll have a go at Croydon.

Equoid is set before the fourth Laundry novel (The Fuller Memorandum) and at first it's a funnier piece than the way the Laundry novels have been heading. They started off as lighthearted fun for office inmates surrounded by Lovecraftian beasts, and, as the cycle has gone on, have become progressively doomier. Equoid starts feeling like one of the earlier stories, but it has a dark heart to it, despite all the clever allusions to H.P.Lovecraft, Cold Comfort Farm, Half Man Half Biscuit and everything that I assume went over my head.

For the most part it's fun and entertaining, and then in its final pages it approaches 'proper' horror again, so it's not the lighthearted read one might have expected, but it's still worthwhile.

I did feel it was oversalted with in-jokes though. One Half Man reference is amusing, two feels a little gratuitous. Then again, perhaps for non-aficionados of obscure British indie pop, those references may have passed by unnoticed - I'm not sure what else I've missed. Perhaps a lexicon is going to be required for future reading.
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In this novella, Charles Stross will horrify you - never again will you be able to look at any of the following without at least some kind of heightened level of panic or fear;

Police Horses.
Snail shells.
My Little Pony.

Yes. Charles Stross has taken aim at Unicorns, and your dreams will never be the sane! (not a typo - tremble dear reader at the horrors of a H. P. Lovecraft themed Unicorn story.)

It's awesome!
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By Big Ben TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is our first Kindle purchase - not least because it is DRM-free, thanks to the excellent Charles Stross who is a favourite author and standards activist.
It's a worthy first Kindle purchase - but we are big fans and have enjoyed the all of 'The Laundry' series to date.
Not sure if it would be quite as meaningful to someone entirely new to this series. YMMV!
Others have summarised this series elsewhere, if you are interested - but it might be best to begin it at the beginning in our view.
"The Atrocity Archives" is the first book and gets the series off to a flying start - if you then read through the series then many of the references in Equoid will become clearer.
It is another rattling good tale of dark horrors set in the UK of today, with Bob Howard doing his thing in great style. Fresh characters add to the mix, and there are some beautifully drawn individuals amongst them.
We loved it.
Strongly recommended to "Laundry" fans!
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I really enjoyed this - I'll never look at a unicorn the same way again. Creepy.

I also really enjoyed more rounding out of the laundry universe, could this contain a foreshadow of a future novel. I don't know but it is very exciting.

I'd already read this on tor, then I bought it. This was apparently inspired by a trip to the pub. Buy the man more trips to the pub. Please. For all our sakes.
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As a longtime Stross fan - and particularly a fan of the Laundry series - this was a no-brainer purchase. It's a neat - if somewhat icky - story. Those of a sensitive disposition may wish to give it a miss as there are some quite graphically unpleasant descriptions in there, but that's sort of something which goes with the territory in the Laundry universe. Probably not the best place to start if you're not already familiar with the series, but definitely worth a read.
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You will never look at a Unicorn in the same way again.. Only Charles Stross can combine Unicorn mythology with Lovcraftian story telling...

As well crafted as his other Laundry books, we have another short story for Bob Howard sys-admin and computational demonologist. Something is wrong in ruralshire. Why would a stable for retired police horses need meat? Bob gets called in to find out.
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Stross' writing always sparks with wit and cross references - Dylan Thomas, Cold Comfort Farm, SOE... I enjoy catching some, but I'm sure I miss others.

Worth a re-read then, eh?

The plots are interesting, the monologues delightfully jargonised and the whole thing romps along with a horrifying joie de vie.

Love it.
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