This one is available for free, now, here! Thanks, Tor!
Spoilers behind the link:
Well, for starters, I didn't plan to read both of Charles Stross' nominated works at the same time. Oops! That does say something, though, that I had no hint that they were by the same author. Although.... I suppose they do both have "lots and lots of exposition" in common. In Equoid, the exposition just mostly takes the form of "Lovecraft letters."
So... I wanted to read this one through. I got about a third of the way through, and it's just too gross. I may come back to it. And I really actually might - I almost put his novel down about a third of the way through as well, and I'm glad that I didn't.
This is a horror story written in a somewhat silly manner. It feels like the author is trying to be Douglas Adams-esque in his humorous way of writing, but it just feels forced.
The story is sprinkled with "letters" from H.P. Lovecraft. Which I'm told are fairly silly too - I'm not very familiar with Lovecraft. The times I've tried to read Lovecraft, I just nod off. So the "Lovecraft letters" in this story were a turn-off. And almost a nod-off, until they got to be too gross.
I did get to the part of the story where we found out how unicorns are made, which is quite clever. And let's not forget, gross. :)
I'm very, very much not a fan of Lots of Horror (especially Lots of Horror for Horror's Sake) in my science fiction / fantasy. I don't like the (what feels to me like) pointless gore and horror and grossness. So, I'm putting this story down and moving on. For now.
Though I'm not a fan of the writing style or the content, no, I know I could not do better myself.
I do have a favorite quote from this novella, though:
Listen, I know what you're thinking. You're probably thinking WHAT THE HELL, H.P. LOVECRAFT?Yes. Yes I am. :-)
Up or down ballot (note for myself): DOWN. Couldn't finish it. And I really don't like sci-fi/fantasy that is primarily horror.