Hit me with quotes.
I finally got around to reading The Laundry Files and I'm loving it.
Book three, The Fuller Memorandum, opens up with
- “I wish I was still an atheist. Believing I was born into a harsh, uncaring cosmos – in which my existence was a random roll of the dice and I was destined to die and rot and then be gone forever – was infinitely more comforting than the truth. Because the truth is that my God is coming back. When he arrives I’ll be waiting for him with a shotgun. And I’m keeping the last shell for myself.”
It's super new-atheist-edgy at first, totally admitting that. However it also connects to this sub-theme of a lot of other urban fantasy taps into in different ways, the idea that there are incomprehensibly powerful, negative forces at play in the world and there is real bravery in opposing them with every possible resource. In The Dresden Files this comes across as Dresden's cheek and wise-cracking even in the face of titanic magical opposition like Faerie Queens, literal fallen angels and dark hoary old gods, as well as their literal conflict. Butcher plays this off as just a character quirk but it's a great piece of characterization (That worked really well for Spiderman) that serves to give an extra layer of meaning to the various challenges that Dresden overcomes.
Bob Howard of The Laundry Files is damn close to British Harry Dresden. There is even a scene in The Fuller Memorandum where Bob is having a contemplative moment on a train after finishing a book that is blatantly described as being about a wizard private eye in Chicago, so this whole thing is very self-aware. Charles Stross knows his audience and caters heavily to the 'geek' crowd in that way. In fact there has been a case made that a lot of urban fantasy is essentially a power fantasy for kids who grew up reading Harry Potter.
Anyways, post your quotes. If you've read Dresden or The Laundry recently I'm happy to discuss. I'm starting The Apocalypse Codex today.