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The Machine's Child (The Company #7)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  876 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Kage Baker's trademark series of SF adventure continues now in a direct sequel to The Life of the World to Come.

Mendoza was banishedlong ago, to a prison lost in time where rebellious immortals are "dealt with." Now her past lovers: Alec, Nicholas, and Bell-Fairfax,are determined to rescue her, but first they must learn how to live together, because all three happen to be
Mass Market Paperback, 356 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 2006)
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Well, this was the one I was waiting for, but I'm rather sorry it is. . . Plenty of plot happened, characters that had been sidelined got reactivated and moved into position, and there was actually enough time travel that I no longer feel guilty calling this a time travel series. (Though what happened to time travel being horrendously expensive? I guess only making the machines is expensive, because using them certainly didn't seem to be.)

Unfortunately, I absolutely hated Baker's rendition of th
Despite my earlier glowing review of Kage Baker, I've read three of her books in as many weeks, and I have a complaint to lodge.

Kage: you know I love the witty, well-realized worlds you create. The snappy dialogue. The varied, engaging characters. The compelling conflicts. All the ingredients are there; why can you not turn them into a story? Why does basic Aristotelean plot structure so totally elude you? My response to coming to end of each of your books has been "What? Am I missing pages?" Th
This volume took me longer to get through than any of the other Company books because it was rather unfocused and unsatisfying. There didn't seem to be much happening; the characters spent the book transitioning and setting things up for the final showdown with Dr. Zeus.

Mendoza is a shadow of her former self, and I was really annoyed with how she's infantilized here. Nicholas/Edward/Alec taking advantage of her lack of memory just left me feeling ick over and over and over.

I also couldn't figur
Lady Knight
While I love Kage Baker's "The Company" series, this installment is probably my least favorite.

Alec and Captain Morgan (his AI) are back and are on the hunt through time to rescue Mendoza from Options Research. Along for the ride are Nicholas Harpole and Edward Bell-Fairfax who are now integrated into Alec's brain and the three must fight for control of Alec's body. Three, under the guidance of Captain Morgan, soon realize the true horror of the company and swear to bring it to its knees. Step
I started the series greatly enjoying the contrasts between women's roles throughout the eras and the ability to overcome those boundaries, but ended up getting bored with what seemed more like magical flitting back and forth between events without any overarching direction except the desire to rule all the world all the time. The Russian doll concept of the Company ends up being trite, and the battle between the Immortals and the real Company, while I am sure is full of deep symbolism, struck m ...more
It took me a while to figure out that the title is about parent/child relationships: Josephus and Budu's child, Mendoza and Josephus' child, and Alec as the Captain's child. As always, I enjoyed the Captain tremendously, but I do not like Edward or Nicholas, so the relationships with Mendoza got old, fast. In addition, romance with a brain-washed magical woman who is almost programmed to adore her jerk lover is not my thing.
Readable, much lighter tone, though this Company series installment indulges in some of the glib cheekiness that sometimes annoys me with Baker's books. But the story is fairly compelling, even if the seams in the "fix-up" (these later Company books were obviously assembled from short stories previously published in SF magazines) show a bit. Still, very readable as all Baker's Company books have been.
Another very fun entry in Baker's The Company series. More mysteries revealed, characters further developed, crossing plotlines, etc. Also, once again, very funny, like giggling out loud funny, which I always appreciate.

Mendoza is rather helpless and clueless in this one, but then so is the boy, in a different way, so it's all rather funny. Hoping the next book (I believe the last in the series, although there are prequels and novellas and short stories and such) has a satisfactory ending with
Steven Bragg
This book contains a serious downgrade in characterizations from the previous books in the series, and not just with one or two people - the virus appears to have hit all of the major characters. Mendoza has lost her memory, and so is reduced to child status. The three people in one body are largely portrayed as bickering twits, while Joseph's character has been completely altered to that of a one-dimensional seeker of revenge. The only redeeming feature of the book is the highly excellent (but ...more
Amanda Keck
Finally, the series is starting to feel like it's going somewhere. I feel like Baker got off track with the last few installments of the series, and we've finally got back to the meat and potatoes of the story. Still, her pacing is a bit off with a both anticlimactic and non suspenseful ending. Personally the further I get into the series the more I feel like the Company books would have benefited from a strong editorial hand making some essential cuts to move the plot along. I really love the c ...more
a great conceit, but irritating after a while. this is one of those books you flip through for plot alone.
Sep 26, 2010 Bryan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Disclaimer: I have not read nearly enough of this series to do a proper review. The only Kage Baker I've read is what I pick up on impulse at the local library. Years ago I read book 3 (Mendoza in Hollywood), and I've now just finished book 7 (The Machine's Child). I have decided to start at book 1 and reread in order, and hope that I'll find the books more satisfying.

I recall that Mendoza in Hollywood was relatively self-contained, and I hoped that this book would be, too.

And, unfortunately, it

‘The Machine’s Child’ (Tor, $24.95, 551 pages) inexorably advances Kage Baker’s celebrated Company series towards its inevitable conclusion, but that said, this 2005 installment, the sixth in the series, isn’t the best.

‘The Machine’s Child’ does feature Baker’s inescapable talent -- she’s witty and gifted with the ability to turn a wonderful phrase on a deft observation. On the other hand, she’s loaded down ‘The Machine’s Child’ with some very unwieldly burdens, including three characters sharin
Molly G
Sorry, just a moment, please, for me to stop gibbering over the ending.

All right. I'm back.

Even if I haven't read all the great sci fi, I'm pretty up on at least having heard of it. And I simply have no idea why I hadn't heard of the Company series much, much earlier.* No idea why it isn't better known and why Baker isn't right alongside Le Guin and Heinlein and Atwood and Card and Niven and Stephenson and others as genre staples/members of the pantheon. (Maybe not at Founding Father level like
Ward Bond
From Publishers Weekly

In Baker's fast-paced new Company novel, the sequel to The Life of the World to Come (2004), Alec Checkerfield shares his cyborg body uncomfortably with the Recombinant personalities of 19th-century spy Edward Bell-Fairfax and 16th-century scholar Nicholas Harpole. Each man, in his own time, worked for—and was betrayed by—Dr. Zeus Inc. (aka the Company), which uses time travel to recover and hoard important historical artifacts. In their quest to destroy the Company, Chec

Althea Ann
I've been working my way through this series slowly. (No rush now, since there's no more to come... :-( )
The last few entries into the series have been wildly divergent, focusing on different characters, times, and places - but with 'The Machine's Child,' the different strands of this time-travel story rejoin.

The botanist Mendoza's three true loves: the 23rd-century aristo Alec Checkerfield, the Elizabethan religious zealot Nicholas, and the Victorian assassin Edward, are all stuck in one body,
he latest in a long line of Company novels, this book brings us onto the cusp of the Great Silence of 2355, when presumably something of cataclysmic proportions happens to either the Company cyborgs, or their devious masters at Dr. Zeus. The novel mostly concerns Alec’s uneasy truce with his two past selves, who now share his body, and his life with an amnesiac Mendoza . Mendoza and Alec have fallen in love four times now, but this is the first time that Mendoza did not have the upper hand. Alwa ...more
Loved it. The series kicks over into serious goofiness, if you will, with three bickering lovers-of-Mendoza inhabiting a single body. Full-on robot screwball. With pontificating.
Kyle Pennekamp
The second-to-last book in the 8-book-plus-2-collections-of-short-stories series. The series has had its ups and downs, quality-wise, and I have to say this is the low point thus far. There's little to no plot to speak of, the multiple-personality business with Alec that started in #6 gets tiresome by page 10, and the infantilization of Mendoza, the character that's taken us through this series, also grinds on your nerves. Outside of the concentration-camp-esque Bureau of Punitive Science and it ...more
The penultimate book of The Company series.

In all practicalities, "The Machine's Child" is not the direct sequel of "The Children of the Company", as this book continues the story that last ended in "The Life of the World to Come." And as such, it bring this series back to the immediate story of Alex/Nicholas/Edward and Mendoza as The Silence of 2355 approaches and the The Company prepares for the inevitable chaos that is to follow. For the most part, this book deals with the various players an
You can't kill an immortal cyborg, but you can spend eternity trying. This time Mendoza has been sentenced to Options Research, where they do just that. When her triune lover Nicholas/Edward/Alec rescue her and discover what has been done to her, they plot vengeance on the company--and their own incarnations--come the Silence of 2355. Meanwhile, Mendoza's father-figure Joseph is on a similar quest of his own--one that brings him into conflict with Alec. Very good, although for much of this book ...more
Matt Kelly
Really didn't like the whole "three men trapped in one body" storyline.
Company-sarja eelviimane (romaanides voolav) osa. Terve raamatu vältel tahtsin kolm punkti max. anda, lõpus aga kuidagi keeras neljaks ära.
Ei siin pole muud kui tuleb ka viimane osa kätte võtta et teada saada mis Armageddon siis 2355. aastal lahti läheb...
I really enjoyed the earlier installments of this series, but this book was a bit of a bore for me. I am not much on romance, and half the book is Mendoza and Alec frolicking about time blissfully love-making, with Alec and his two clone souls trying desperately to keep Mendoza in the dark about the holes in her memory. Sure, I understand the motivation given they are covering up tremendous torture, etc., but it is sort of disappointing to see Mendoza just be a dull love interest. If it didn't t ...more
D.L. Morrese
This direct sequel to “The Life of the World to Come” picks up seamlessly from that previous novel. In this book, Alec Checkerfield, the genetically modified human and his technically dead genetic twins who now share his body, continue their search for the cyborg Mendoza in order to rescue her from the Company’s version of the Inquisition. The three “brothers” do not always get along but they are seemingly united in their love of Mendoza and their desire to take down the Company. The “internal” ...more
Jeremy Preacher
The series has moved beyond historical scifi at this point, although there is still some time-hopping. I liked this pretty well, and definitely appreciate the forward motion towards the overall resolution, but I found the multiple-personality thing really unsatisfying. I ended up liking none of the characters, because they're all such petty whiners with each other.

It felt a touch bloated - probably because I found all of the Alec/Edward/Nicholas scenes so tedious - but at least it moved things a
I love the Kage Baker Company series, but this book was a bit frustrating. Mendoza's power is diminished and she's reduced to something of a prop in a love story, which is a complete turnabout from the strong, sometimes callous but always interesting character I have come to admire. The continuation of the rest of the threads of story from this series is fine, and I'm holding great hope for the book after this, the final in the company sequence.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I think this is the next to last installment in the Company stories. Can't say I love the cover illustration, but the interweaving stories were fun. Alec is a crazy mess and poor Mendoza kind of sleep-walked (slept-walked) through most of it. There were some nightmarish bits and some funny bits, as usual. (October 15, 2006)
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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 (10 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 Sons of Heaven (The Company, #8)
  • The Empress of Mars
  • Nell Gwynne's On Land and At Sea
In the Garden of Iden (The Company, #1) Sky Coyote (The Company, #2) Mendoza in Hollywood (The Company, #3) The Anvil of the World The Graveyard Game (The Company, #4)

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