Apr 23, 2012

Short Story Monday: Overtime

Inspired by the fantastic children's book called Laundry Day I read last week, this week for Short Story Monday I read a science fiction story written by Charles Stross, about a place called The Laundry.

Overtime is a little bit Torchwood and a little bit Shopaholic. It's a perfect story for Christmas actually, not the story of warm spring days with laundry hanging on poles in the wind I was hoping for.

A nightwatchman who works in the supernatural bureacracy of Britain finds himself the only person who can save his building from a nasty incarnation of Santa. It's the mundanity of his work in the face of such strange otherworldly obstacles that really sell this story, I think. Just going about his day, finding some dirty photocopies after the office Christmas party and unravelling a time travel mystery and defeating an alien invader. All in a night's work.

Not a bad story but a little hard to follow because you get caught up in the normal things like not calling his girlfriend whose mother is poorly and then bam! there's someone who may or may not be from the past. I have trouble sometimes following sci-fi works which is why I don't read many of them despite being a time travel devotee.

Did you read a short story this week?


  1. I have a short story folder in my bookmarks where I stick holiday themed stories to read closer to the date, so I've done just that with this one.

    I've never read Shopaholic books, and have no idea what Torchwood even is, though, so that comparison is lost on me. Still you piqued my curiousity enough!

  2. That's a smart way to organize your bookmarks! I rarely even use them now that I have Pinterest.

    Torchwood is Doctor Who's cooler Welsh version, totally not suitable for kids, but lovely in that they fight aliens on earth in the coolest ways. Highly reccomendations the first 3 seasons! (pretend the last one didn't exist)


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