The full cover art to the UK edition of The Delirium Brief. Image: Orbit.

Charles Stross’ Laundry Files is one of the best and best-loved scifi series running (and a personal favorite). His upcoming installment, The Delirium Brief, not only begins with the titular secret occult-protection organization being dragged into the public eye—spoiler: everyone is very upset—but brings back beloved narrator/protagonist/unwilling executive/Eater of Souls Bob Howard back, too!

We talked to the author in 2015 about how The Laundry Files world would change when an extradimensional invasion caused destruction so massive that the mostly secret government department would stop being secret, forcing the Laundry to face a fate worse than vampires, sorcerers, or threats from beyond—more bureaucracy. In The Rhesus Chart, the increasingly powerful and increasingly unwillingly promoted Bob returns for one of his most unpleasant jobs to date: being interviewed on TV.


I’m pretty nerdily excited to be able to host not just a preview, but the entire first chapter of the book, coming July 11. It’s not a short read, but it’s absolutely a good one. First, the cover:

Left, US cover: Publishing. Right, final UK cover: Orbit

And now, The Delirium Brief chapter one, “The Prodigal’s Return.” Feel free to read it here, or download it for your convenience!


Excerpted from The Delirium Brief, copyright © 2017 by Charles Stross.

The Delirium Brief will be available on July 11, published by Orbit in the UK and around the rest of the world.


Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.

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