I have not abandoned the book log for last year, but I’m going to get caught up with this month’s while I can still remember them.
Cthulhu Christmas-themed novelette set in the Laundryverse, a couple of books into the series timeline. There’s just about enough backstory that I think someone completely new to the Laundryverse could enjoy this, but you’ll get a lot more fun out of it if you already know at least a little about the world it’s set in.
Bob Howard works for a branch of the British secret service which is devoted to putting off for as long as possible the forthcoming invasion of our universe by the eldritch horrors from beyond time and space. Except it’s still the civil service, with all that implies about audit trails and HR…
Being confined to a hospital bed by your last field assignment is no excuse for not putting in your annual leave request on time, so Bob’s left minding the office phone over Christmas as Duty Officer. The upside is triple pay. The downside — sometimes you have to earn that triple pay. It’s Christmas Eve, and the Bringer of Gifts will be visiting all the boys and girls, even the ones at work. And especially the ones who work in the Laundry.
Lovely satire of the office Christmas party and life in the civil service under austerity measures, with a large helping of geeky jokes, and good fun to read. It was a Hugo nominee for good reason.
Originally published and still available as a free read at Tor.com, but also now available formatted as a cheap DRM-free ebook.