The Jennifer Morgue - Charles Stross Bond. James ... or maybe it's Bob. In the grand tradition of science fiction satire (new genre?), here he is ... password '007'. Well, ok, maybe there's no such genre, and if there were, there are limited entries.

But however others may want to classify this book (Locus nominated it for best fantasy), it's still a hoot! Just hilarious. Stross sends up every fixture of Bond-dom: drop-dead gorgeous femme fatale, exotic locale, and rich but crazy megalomaniac. You can almost hear the Bond theme playing in the background. It's Dr. No (Ursula Andres, Crab Key/Cape Canaveral, Dr. Julian No/SPECTRE), Octopussy (Maud Adams, India/East Germany, Octupus) and Casino Royale (Eva Green, Montenegro, Le Chiffre) all rolled into one.

The Jennifer Morgue (Ramona Random, Caribbean, Ellis Billington), in the attempt to be more than just another spy spoof, weaves in more of the 'scientified' occultism of the Laundry series, where Stross offers the SF artifice of using mathematics as the basis for undead phenomena. This, for me, is where the novel starts to unwind. On a personal note, though the author, perhaps patterning after his own beliefs, defines the main character, Bob Howard, as an atheist, the story does touch on several religious themes such as hell, demons and demonic possession, and the marriage bond (not necessarily in combination). Having dropped all these potential spoilers, I will stop, and move on to the companion short story, pimpf...

... which on further thought I would not like to review. Likewise the essay on Ian Fleming and James Bond. Both of these add-ons left me cold, an enthusiasm damper for sure.