• A Colder War

  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Pat Bottino
  • Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 18-09-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Infinivox
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.3 (19 ratings)


The biggest single threat to NATO may be the Shoggoth Gap. The wild card is Lt. Col. Oliver North, President Reagan's man. Roger Jourgensen, CIA operative, is at the center of this crisis. If all the political wrangling doesn't work out perfectly, there will be hell to pay, or worse - far, far worse. Here is a modern novelette in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos that is rich in detail and frightening in execution. Stross' stunning tale will pull you back into the cold-war era, engendering fear and then magnifying it into non-euclidean infinities. Imagine David Cronenberg directing Dr. Strangelove, based on a script by H. P. Lovecraft. Imagine an alternate history in which nuclear bombs are not the ultimate weapon, but instead are merely a stepping stone to eldritch technologies accessible through certain trans-dimensional forces first encountered in 1920s Antarctica, technologies that neither the United States nor the USSR can quite contain. Stross has admitted that "A Colder War" was directly inspired by Lovecraft's novel At the Mountains of Madness. The amount of research and historical mastery Stross sprinkles throughout the narrative creates the verisimilitude necessary for truly effective alternate history.
©2000 Spectrum SF3; (P)2005 AudioText
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Critic reviews

"Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!" (sffaudio.com)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Toby on 30-04-09

Great Story - Poor Reading

A superb story that mixes 80s military paranoia with Lovecraftian cosmic horror in a world where a nuclear holocaust may be preferable to the other weapons the superpowers can unleash.
Sadly, the reading is rather poor - badly paced, almost monotone at times. Due to the speed at which it is read punctuation is ignored in places. Maybe the idea was to capture a feeling of numbed senses and rising hysteria, if so it failed. Overall, one loses the subtleties of Charles Stross' writing beneath the poor delivery. Such a shame with such a good story.

I hope that Audible will produce the same author's excellent books "The Atrocity Archives" and "The Jennifer Morgue" that re-work and develop some of the themes found in "A Colder War", however, if they are produced I hope more attention will be paid to getting the reading right.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Wibble on 22-05-16

An unnendurable narration...

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

The book might be fine, I just couldn't stick it out long enough to find out.

Would you recommend A Colder War to your friends? Why or why not?

I'd recommend buying the book perhaps, but not the audio book.

Would you be willing to try another one of Pat Bottino’s performances?

Categorically, no. I've heard text-to-speech programmes with more life in them - I'm not sure, but perhaps they decided a rambling, robotic monotone would be more science-fiction-like than a natural human voice? It was like listening to a list being rattled off, not at all easy on the ear.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment once I realised it was going to go straight onto the DELETE pile.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Erich L. Swafford on 05-02-08

Really fun listen

If you love HP Lovecraft, then you'll go crazy for this "modern", tongue-in-cheek alternative history.

I have one phrase for you:

We have a Weakly-God-Like-Entity Gap.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Max Draco on 03-04-08

Good story, Bad narration

The narrator's decision to read this fast and without relaxation makes this a hard to enjoy book (mimics a 1940-50's army/news flick). The story is a nice HP Lovecraft twist, but listen to the sample first before you decide to buy. In fact I've listen to a couple of samples narrated by Pat Bottino and I think his reading style and voice are suitable for only certain characters.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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