Stefan's Reviews > The Best of Kage Baker

The Best of Kage Baker by Kage Baker
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's review
Dec 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, science-fiction, short-story-collection, advance-reading-copy, far-beyond-reality-review
Read from January 11 to March 19, 2012 — I own a copy

Kage Baker left us far too soon. Her untimely death in 2010, at age 57, was an immense loss for the science fiction and fantasy world, but she’s sure to pop up on recommended reading lists for many years to come thanks to the treasure trove of genre fiction she left us, spread across about a dozen novels and several short story collections.

The Best of Kage Baker is a brand new collection from Subterranean Press containing twenty examples of her brilliant short fiction as well as a set of beautiful, eerie illustrations by J.K. Potter.

Baker will probably always be best known for her historical time travel science fiction series about the Company, starting with her memorable debut novel In the Garden of Iden. The first four novels in the series were originally published by Harcourt and, for the mass market paperback editions, the Avon Books SF imprint Eos. After The Graveyard Game, the series ended up in limbo for years until Tor picked it up. During that period, Golden Gryphon released a beautiful (but at the time somewhat confusing) collection of stories called Black Projects, White Knights: The Company Dossiers. After this, dedicated fans could occasionally find new Company short stories online and in magazines, but it took some work to get your Company fix and, mostly, it was a frustrating waiting game. Thank goodness Tor finally re-released the out-of-print early books and published the long-awaited concluding volumes.

Read the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality!

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Reading Progress

01/11/2012 page 27
5.0% "Noble Mold - a charming Company story about Mendoza and Joseph in 19th century California, collecting a rare grape vine."
01/13/2012 page 47
9.0% ""Old Flat Top" - a historical Company piece summing up the origin of the Enforcer and Facilitator classes and most of the prehistorical period of the Company. Basically a big info-dump in the form of a short story. Interesting, but not Kage's best work."
01/13/2012 page 69
14.0% ""Hanuman" - Mendoza recovers from an accident and is forced to confront her true nature. This one is set right before the start of "Mendoza in Hollywood" (the 3rd Company novel) and is a perfect snapshot of Mendoza."
01/16/2012 page 127
26.0% ""Son Observe the Time" - Victor, Lewis, Labienus and Budu feature in one of the best Company novellas, ostensibly about a salvage operation before the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 but also containing important pieces of the Company story arc. Brilliant novella."
01/17/2012 page 191
39.0% ""Welcome to Olympos, Mr. Hearst" - Joseph and Lewis visit W.R. Hearst. A story that works as an entertaining stand-alone intro to the series, and as a vital part of the series for people who are familiar with it."
01/17/2012 page 241
49.0% ""The Catch" - Porfirio features in a story about an early attempt to create a Company operative gone wrong "Leaving His Cares Behind" - a light, fun story about Ermenwyr that serves as a good intro to Kage's main fantasy universe but is otherwise not that interesting."
02/23/2012 page 261
53.0% ""What the Tyger Told Her" - a perfect, chilling look at a Victorian family intrigue through the eyes of a child. One of her best stories ever."
03/14/2012 page 275
55.0% ""Calamari Curls" - the California beach town with dark secrets... Another great story that's instantly recognizable as a Kage Baker one."
03/16/2012 page 305
61.0% ""Maelstrom" - this story is connected to The Empress of Mars"
03/17/2012 page 331
67.0% ""Speed, Speed the Cable" - a story of the Gentlemen's Speculative Society, similar to her novel "Not Less Than Gods""
03/17/2012 page 349
70.0% ""Caverns of Mystery" - a masterful ghost story"
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Comments (showing 1-2)

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Stefan I've read most of these stories already, but it's still a pleasure to go through them again and check out the ones I haven't read yet. I miss Kage Baker - she must have had many more stories to tell.

Kat  Hooper Yes, it's a HUGE loss, isn't it? She was brilliant. I'm thoroughly enjoying this collection.

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