A satirical combination of geekiness, spy craft and Lovecraftian horror, the Laundry tales by Charles Stross are fast-paced and entertaining reads.

The wonderful Tor.com has posted a Christmas flavoured Laundry tale: Overtime.

All bureaucracies obey certain iron laws, and one of the oldest is this: get your seasonal leave booked early, lest you be trampled in the rush.

I broke the rule this year, and now I’m paying the price. It’s not my fault I failed to book my Christmas leave in time—I was in hospital and heavily sedated. But the ruthless cut and thrust of office politics makes no allowance for those who fall in the line of battle: “You should have foreseen your hospitalization and planned around it” said the memo from HR when I complained. They’re quite right, and I’ve made a note to book in advance next time I’m about to be abducted by murderous cultists or enemy spies.

Read on and be amused!

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