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Gods and Pawns (The Company #7.5)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  624 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
In the Company, you're either a God or a Pawn, but sometimes you have to be both. The eight stories, reprinted for the first time in this collection delve further into the history and exploits of the Company and its operatives, including Mendoza, Lewis, and Alec.

The book opens with the novella, "To the Land Beyond the Sunset," starring Lewis and Mendoza, and involving a st
ebook, 336 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Tor Books
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Jul 09, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
February 23, 2008

I've enjoyed the Company series enormously,and I quite like these short stories. I still hate the covers.


February 8, 2015

What I said.I enjoy the stories some of which are emotionally draining, many of which are just plain funny, but I don't find myself thinking about them afterward.

Library copy
MB (What she read)
Comfort re-read 6/11/11. I love this series and am glomming/re-reading it this weekend.

9/1/16 Re-read again, skimming through the stories I hadn't read since last time. I really wish she'd written more about van Drouten (sp?) within the Dr. Zeus saga. I always like her calm competence when she shows up. Kage Baker was so great at short stories. I love them all.

As always, Joseph and Lewis are my favorites.
Jamie Collins
A collection of short stories set in the universe of Dr. Zeus Inc., also known the Company. There are flashes of Baker's wonderful humor, but most of these are rather sad stories.

My two favorites were:

"Standing in his Light" - Facilitator Van Drouten encourages Johannes Vermeer to create extra paintings for the Company to "discover" in the twenty-fourth century. If you're not very familiar with Vermeer's work, it helps to read this while referencing the Wikipedia page about the 34 paintings that
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I had actually read this once before; I can't be sure about the dates. I wanted to re-read the Porfirio story. (He appeared in Mendoza in Hollywood and The Graveyard Game. I suppose it may not be her best short story ever, but to me it's interesting.

I'm also fond of "Standing in His Light," which features the rarely seen facilitator Van Drouten in a behind-the-scenes-of-history role. "Hellfire at Twilight" is okay, and "A Night on the Barbary Coast" is a mildly amusing Joseph and Mendoza story.
Jan 10, 2008 Grillables rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I think I like Baker's short stories more than her novels. The Company series has been going on and on (and on and on), and the focus often seems to be on Mendoza or her lover(s) (which I find tiresome). I'm much more interested in these little vignettes: the background stories, the eerie anomalies, the little swashbuckling adventures that dance between the novels. The "what happens after" thread of the novels keeps me reading the series, but it's a bit of a slog. These stories reminded me of wh ...more
Dec 03, 2014 Tasula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was wonderful to be in the world of the Company again, in these stories. Facilitator Joseph, as well as operatives Lewis and Mendoza (my favorite characters from the Company series) are featured in most of the stories. I especially liked Standing in his Light, about the painter Jan Vermeer.
Catherine Fitzsimmons
I read what I believe is the first of Baker's Company novels - about a future corporation that has patented time travel and immortality and sends its cyborg agents throughout history to seek out and preserve lost antiquities - a few years ago and had been interested in seeking out more since then. After hearing that Ms. Baker passed away earlier in 2010, I'd been on the lookout for them, so when I ran across this collection of short stories about the Company on clearance, I had to have it. Havin ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 9, sf, anthology, 2007
...Gods and Pawns by Kage Baker.

This was another collection of short stories in Baker's Company universe.

I remain impressed by the way Baker has mastered both the short and long fiction forms and can tell a full and satisfying story either way.

I enjoyed all the stories in this volume, although naturally some more than others. I especially enjoyed more Lewis tales as he has very much grown on me as a character. I'm not sure that I can pick a favourite, as each story had things I liked and they we
May 07, 2008 Hirondelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-pieces, sf
I loved this series, 8 novels time travelling immortal cyborgs, conspiracies over milennia, the it was so good for a time. The last novels did not quite live up to my expectations though. These short stories, and those in other anthologies, felt like an extra bonus. I liked them better than the last couple novels, but at the same time, not quite as much as the first anthology of short stories. Maybe I just overdosed by reading them all at one go, but a couple of the stories seemed quite good, th ...more
Mar 03, 2009 Howard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been utterly absorbed by the Company novels and even got my wife, who normally does not read sci-fi, to leap frog ahead of me in reading the series. That said, I approached with trepidation because the book is a series of short stories that fills out character development and plot lines in the ever-growing, complex fabric of the Company epic. Two other books in the series takes this approach, with somewhat mixed results. Boy was I pleasantly surprised to find this one of my favorite compa ...more
Dec 18, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Baker's Company series has dragged a bit lately, so it was a pleasure to read this collection of short stories. Each is an excellent tale on its own, filled with action, mystery and a lot of characterization. I love the cyborg's wry asides and their anachronistic mindsets. This was also the first book in a while that made me truly like Mendoza, Lewis and Joseph again--for too many books they've been running around doing desperate things without any humor to them, and I really appreciated seeing ...more
Michael Griffin
May 04, 2013 Michael Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike The Children of the Company, this book was published as a short story collection. It's not crucial to the overall plot, but it does fill in some details of The Company series. I especially liked "Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst!" which FINALLY explains why the characters keep mentioning William Randolph Hearst in the novels.

Honestly, I think people should read this book before any of the novels. The stories do a good job of presenting the basic premise of the series while leaving out the o
Feb 26, 2008 Julian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

In all seriousness: Brilliant, imaginative, horrifying short stories in the Company universe. The kind where you find yourself thinking not only "How did she even come up with that??!" but are in awe of how well she pulls off these truly bizarre concepts. Example: An inbred family who believes they are gods and lives on piles of shit in pre-colonial Amazon regions. How do you write that
Deb Oestreicher
Jul 16, 2012 Deb Oestreicher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of stories and novellas take place in Kage Baker's "The Company" universe, but they are not particularly sequential--you can read them anywhere after the first novel and before the last. They're great if you can't get enough of the Company characters and universe; however, there's nothing in them that's absolutely necessary to understanding the novels, except perhaps one piece that explains how Hearst ended up becoming immortal. Well written and interesting, like most of Baker's ...more
Feb 12, 2013 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A re-read of these tangential stories reminding me how much I enjoyed the series the first time through. The time-travel trope allowed Baker to write about pretty much anything she pleased, from William Randolph Hearst to the Eleusinian mysteries to liver flukes, compost, and what to ask for in return for marrying your daughter to the god of the dead. Now I want to buy all the old mass market paperbacks so I can read them through in order in light of how it all comes out.
This has been my week to pig out on Kage Baker stories. Gods and Pawns is another collection of her short stories set in The Company universe. The stories are an interesting mix of history, time travel, and adventure. She continues to carry forward the themes of The Company while providing enjoyable reads. I particularly liked the story featuring William Hearst. You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy her stories but it certainly helps.
May 01, 2009 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
holy moley, kage's writing riveted me from page 1. i've been roller-coasting around the entire company series over the last few weeks, since. out-of-order is just as fun, if not more.

she's at the top of her game, a gifted wordsmith and artist. and she delightully jumps from one character's voice to the next, with beautiful skill and finesse. loving everything i can get my hands on by her!

thank you, public library system!
Nov 23, 2013 Lauri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Päris hea. Kaks lugu, "The Catch" ja "Welcome to Olympus Mr. Hearst" on lausa enneolematult head, ülejäänud lihtsalt head. The Company-fännidele kohustuslik kraam, ülejäänutel pol emõtet vaeva näha - ilma romaanidest pärit taustata jäävad lood arvatavasti arusaamatuks, hüplikeks ja ülimalt segasteks.
The first story in this collection of shorts/novellas is my least favorite, but then I'm not a big Mendoza fan. I like her better when people are talking about her than when she's actually a character. But it gets much better from there. And now I really want to visit Hearst Castle!
To the Land Beyond the Sunset
The Catch re-read 8/2/2015
The Angel in the Darkness (was a stand-alone novella) 6/13/2006
Standing in His Light
A Night on the Barbary Coast
Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst
Hellfire at Twilight
Stuart Dean
Jul 03, 2016 Stuart Dean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories related to the Company. Includes "Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst" which is critical to the overall storyline and explains the origin of William Randolph Hearst and his involvement with Dr. Zeus. Well written and enjoyable.
Ray Duncan
Original premises mostly blurred beyond recognition. Deus ex machina ending with too much Nicolas/Edward/Alec soap opera mixed in. Did not think it was a very satisfying ending to the series.
Dec 24, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of Company short stories, mostly focusing on Joseph or Lewis or both, with a little bit of Van Drouten and Mendoza. Probably best read after reading the main Company novels.
Jun 21, 2010 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, Baker's short story collections just aren't as good.
Nov 07, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
One of the short stories explains William Randolph Hearst, which is nice because that revelation came out of nowhere.
Oct 30, 2007 Keri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, sci-fi, anthology
Another collection of wonderfully crafted short stories in the Company universe. "The Catch" is especially brilliant, and very creepy. "Wooooow."
Susan Mazur Stommen
I loved Kage Baker's The Company series, although I kind of felt it feel down at the every end. But now I think I like her writing in short story form/novellas best.
Jul 15, 2010 Jerrod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, my-library
Great compilation of short stories about 'The Company.'
Dealing around themes of history, time travel and immortality... truly fascinating fiction.
Jun 01, 2014 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
Once I realized each chapter is a story unto it's self set in this world, it made a lot more sense to me.
May 08, 2008 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Another anthology of short stories in Baker's The Company series.
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Born June 10, 1952, in Hollywood, California, and grew up there and in Pismo Beach, present home. Spent 12 years in assorted navy blue uniforms obtaining a good parochial school education and numerous emotional scars. Rapier wit developed as defense mechanism to deflect rage of larger and more powerful children who took offense at abrasive, condescending and arrogant personality in a sickly eight- ...more
More about Kage Baker...

Other Books in the Series

The Company (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • In the Garden of Iden (The Company, #1)
  • Sky Coyote (The Company, #2)
  • Mendoza in Hollywood (The Company, #3)
  • The Graveyard Game (The Company, #4)
  • The Life of the World to Come (The Company, #5)
  • The Children of the Company (The Company, #6)
  • The Machine's Child (The Company, #7)
  • The Sons of Heaven (The Company, #8)
  • The Empress of Mars
  • Not Less Than Gods

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