Charles Stross
Stross in 2019 at Finncon in Jyväskylä
Stross in 2019 at Finncon in Jyväskylä
Born (1964-10-18) 18 October 1964 (age 59)[1]
Leeds, England
Alma materUniversity of Bradford[2]
GenreScience fiction, fantasy, horror

Charles David George "Charlie" Stross (born 18 October 1964[1]) is a British writer of science fiction and fantasy. Stross specialises in hard science fiction and space opera. Between 1994 and 2004, he was also an active writer for the magazine Computer Shopper and was responsible for its monthly Linux column. He stopped writing for the magazine to devote more time to novels. However, he continues to publish freelance articles on the Internet.[3]

Early life and education

Stross was born in Leeds, England.[4] He showed an early interest in writing and wrote his first science fiction story at age 12. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy in 1986 and qualified as a pharmacist in 1987. In 1989, he enrolled at University of Bradford for a post-graduate degree in computer science. In 1990, he went to work as a technical author and programmer. In 2000, he began working as a writer full-time, as a technical writer at first, but then became successful as a fiction writer.[5][6]


In the 1970s and 1980s, Stross published some role-playing game articles about Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in White Dwarf magazine. Some of his creatures, such as the death knight, githyanki (the name borrowed from George R. R. Martin's 1977 novel, Dying of the Light), githzerai, and slaad (a chaotic race of frog-like humanoids) were later published in the Fiend Folio monster compendium.[7]

His first published short story, "The Boys", appeared in Interzone in 1987. A collection of his short stories, Toast: And Other Rusted Futures, was released in 2002;[8] subsequent short stories have been nominated for the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, and other awards. His first novel, Singularity Sky, was published by Ace Books in 2003 and was also nominated for the Hugo Award. His novella "The Concrete Jungle" (published in The Atrocity Archives) won the Hugo award for its category in 2005.[9] His novel Accelerando won the 2006 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel,[10] and was on the final ballot for the Hugo Award in the best novel category.[11] Glasshouse won the 2007 Prometheus Award and was on the final ballot for the Hugo Award in the best novel category; the German translation Glashaus won the 2009 Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis.[12] His novella "Missile Gap" won the 2007 Locus Award for best novella, and most recently he was awarded the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award or Skylark at Boskone 2008.

His novel The Atrocity Archives (2004) detailed a British intelligence agency tasked with investigating otherworldly horrors; using ideas similar to those in the RPG book Delta Green (1996), Stross wrote in the afterword to the book: "All I can say in my defence is ... I hadn't heard of Delta Green when I wrote The Atrocity Archive ... I'll leave it at that except to say that Delta Green has come dangerously close to making me pick up the dice again."[13]: 247 

"Rogue Farm", his 2003 short story, was adapted into an eponymous animated film that debuted in August 2004.[14]

Stross was one of the Guests of Honour at Orbital 2008,[15] the British National Science Fiction convention (Eastercon), in March 2008. He was the Author Guest of Honour at the Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention (Balticon) in May 2009. He was Author Guest of Honour at Fantasticon (Denmark) in August 2009. He was the Guest of Honor at Boskone 48 in Feb 2011.

Cubicle 7 used their Basic Role-Playing license to create The Laundry (2010), based on Stross' writings, wherein agents must contend with both the outer gods and the bureaucracy of the United Kingdom.[13]: 432 

In September 2012, Stross released The Rapture of the Nerds, a novel written in collaboration with Cory Doctorow.[16] The two have also together been involved in the Creative Commons licensing and copyright movement.[17] In December 2017 he gave a talk at 34C3.[18]


Accelerando won the 2006 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.[19] "Missile Gap" won the 2007 Locus Award for best novella.[20] "The Concrete Jungle" (contained in The Atrocity Archives) won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 2005;[9] "Palimpsest", included in Wireless, won the same award in 2010,[21] and "Equoid" in 2014.[22] Glasshouse won the 2009 Prometheus Award for Best Novel; Stross was a Best Novel finalist in 2009 for Saturn's Children and has been nominated four other times for Iron Sunrise (in 2005), Accelerando (2006), The Revolution Business (2010) and Annihilation Score (2016).[23] The Apocalypse Codex won the 2013 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.[24] Stross's work has also been nominated for a number of other awards, including the John W. Campbell Memorial Award,[10] Arthur C. Clarke Award,[25] and the Hugo Award for Best Novel,[9][11][26][27] as well as the Japanese Seiun Award.[20]

Personal life

Stross believes himself to be autistic, but does not intend to seek a professional diagnosis.[28]

Selected bibliography

Main article: Charles Stross bibliography

The Merchant Princes series

Main article: The Merchant Princes

The Laundry Files universe

The Laundry Files

Main article: The Laundry Files

Tales of the New Management

Halting State series

Eschaton series

Standalone work


  1. ^ a b "Summary Bibliography: Charles Stross". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  2. ^ "How I got here in the end – my non-writing careers". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  3. ^ Stross, Charles. "Linux in Computer Shopper".
  4. ^ "Charles Stross interviewed - infinity plus non-fiction".
  5. ^ Charles Stross: Fast Forward, 2005, retrieved 14 October 2015
  6. ^ Charles Stross Archived 9 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, (accessed 29 May 2013)
  7. ^ "The Kyngdoms Interview". Kyngdoms. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  8. ^ "SFE: Stross, Charles".
  9. ^ a b c "2005 Hugo Awards: Best Novella: The Concrete Jungle; Best Novel Nominee: Iron Sunrise". Official Site of The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011.
  10. ^ a b "John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists". Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, University of Kansas. Archived from the original on 30 August 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  11. ^ a b "2006 Hugo Awards: Accelerando (Nominee)". Official Site of The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011.
  12. ^ "KLP 2009 Bestes ausländisches Werk". Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  13. ^ a b Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  14. ^ Evens, Arthur (2010). The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. p. 728.
  15. ^ "Conventions 2008". Locus Publications. 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross' Rapture of The Nerds cover art and summary reveal". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Evens, Arthur (2010). The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. Wesleyan University Press. p. 727.
  18. ^ Charles Stross (27 December 2017). "Dude, you broke the Future!". 34C3 (video). YouTube RmIgJ64z6Y4.
  19. ^ "2006 Locus Awards". Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  20. ^ a b "Stross, Charles". Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013.
  21. ^ Locus Publications (5 September 2010). "Locus Online News " 2010 Hugo Awards Winners". Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  22. ^ "2014 Hugo Award Winners". 17 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  23. ^ "Libertarian Futurist Society".
  24. ^ "Locus Award Winners". 30 June 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  25. ^ "Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlists". Arthur C. Clarke Award. Archived from the original on 4 November 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  26. ^ "2008 Hugo Award Nominees". The Hugo Awards. 21 March 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  27. ^ "2009 Hugo Award Nominations: Saturn's Children". Official Site of The Hugo Awards. March 2003.
  28. ^ Stross, Charles [@cstross] (3 April 2022). "I spent my childhood and teens not understanding the arbitrary and irrational rules. Imagine my relief on discovering in my 50s that I'm probably autistic. (There's no point seeking formal diagnosis now: I've had 50 years to develop coping strategies. But it explains a lot.)" (Tweet). Retrieved 28 February 2023 – via Twitter.
  29. ^ "Invisible Sun, Empire Games (Volume 3)". Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  30. ^ Lapointe, Annette. "A book review by Annette Lapointe: The Labyrinth Index (Laundry Files)". New York Journal of Books. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  31. ^ "Escape from Puroland". Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  32. ^ "Escape from Yokai Land". Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  33. ^ "Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming - Charlie's Diary".
  34. ^ "The Laundry Files: an updated chronology". Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  35. ^ "Quantum of Nightmares". Macmillan. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  36. ^ "Season of Skulls". Tor Publishing. Retrieved 22 March 2023.