What is going on in Scotland? There are too many creative SF writers there. I demand that they be forced to churn out fantasy books until they have lost their edge.
I recently read The Atrocity Archives, by Charles Stross. Following my general theme of SF ignorance, I hadn’t heard of him until I read about him on a blog last week. This book is a high-speed collision between hacker culture, the Cthulhu mythos, and the spy genre. Awesome stuff! Be warned, the “atrocity” bits are pretty atrocious. That sort of thing takes a toll while reading — and based on an experience in a writing group, while writing as well (we all wrote short stories about offensive things… it turns out that I have a deep, dark streak in my imagination).
The hackers in this book are absurdly archetypal. This makes for great reading, but I think I’d hate them in real life. ESR single-handedly turned hackerdom from a genuine culture into something that can only be an affectation: when your culture and attitudes and slang are codified a reference manual, and actually referenced, it is time to mutate and move on.