Quote from Laundry Files 2—Jennifer Morgue

James Bond was a creature of the Cold War: a strange period of shadow-boxing that stretched from late 1945 to the winter of 1991, forty-six years of paranoia, fear, and the creepy sensation that our lives were in thrall to forces beyond our comprehension. It’s almost impossible to explain the Cold War to anyone who was born after 1980; the sense of looming doom, the long shadows cast by the two eyeball-to-eyeball superpowers, each possessing vast powers of destruction, ready and able to bring about that destruction on a planetary scale in pursuit of their recondite ideologies. It was, to use the appropriate adjective, a truly Lovecraftian age, dominated by the cold reality that our lives could be interrupted by torment and death at virtually any time; normal existence was conducted in a soap-bubble universe sustained only by our determination to shut out awareness of the true horrors lurking in the darkness outside it an abyss presided over by chilly alien warriors devoted to death-cult ideologies and dreams of Mutually Assured Destruction. Decades of distance have bought us some relief, thickening the wall of the bubble — memories misting over with the comforting illusion that the Cold War wasn’t really as bad as it seemed at the time — but who do we think we’re kidding? The Cold War wasn’t about us. It was about the Spies, and the Secret Masters, and the Hidden Knowledge.