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The Best of Kage Baker Hardcover – April 30, 2012

17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean; Deluxe Hardcover Edition edition (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596064420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596064423
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,716,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Kat Hooper VINE VOICE on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The more I read Kage Baker, the more I love Kage Baker. Of the hundreds of speculative fiction authors I've read, I rank Kage Baker in the top ten. Maybe top five. She's that amazing. I love her clever imagination and her style which is unembellished, straightforward, and full of wit and charm. Which is why I was jumping up and down when the nearly 500-page story collection called The Best of Kage Baker showed up on my doorstep.

This collection, published by Subterranean Press, contains 20 excellent stories; nine have been published in five previous collections and eleven are uncollected. Several are set in the world of Baker's most famous creation: THE COMPANY. Here are the stories you'll find in The Best of Kage Baker:

1. "Noble Mold" -- (1997, Asimov's Science Fiction) Mendoza, the Company botanist, is sent to collect an important vine from an Indian mission in California, but the Indians refuse to give it up. Joseph, acting as a Roman Catholic priest, has to play a trick on them to get the precious vine out of their hands.

2. "Old Flat Top" -- (2002, Black Projects, White Knights) A Cro-Magnon boy climbs a mountain searching for God. It turns out that God is a Company Enforcer.

3. "Hanuman" -- (2002, Asimov's Science Fiction) When Mendoza meets a pre-human hominid at a Company R&R facility and hears his story about how he visited his chimpanzee surrogate mother, Mendoza must consider her own feelings about being human.

4. "Son Observe The Time" -- (1999, Asimov's Science Fiction, Hugo nominee) Before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a group of Company operatives is sent on a mission to preserve the city's important relics before they are destroyed.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stefan VINE VOICE on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.

Some of the short stories written in those years eventually found their way into the various collections Kage would go on to release, and others appeared elsewhere, in various anthologies or as standalone novellas, making them harder (and pricier) to track down nowadays.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Campbell on July 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kage Baker is known only to a relatively small but rabid fan base. This book contains a few of her wonderful "Company Series" stories and then others written in her own unique style & genre. I almost hesitate to call this the "Best" of Kage Baker, because everything she wrote in her tragically short career & life, was wonderful.
Even though I savored each story, I too quickly came to the last one, "The Carpet Beds of Sutro Park." You have to read all the other `Company' stories in the book, I think, to fully get The Carpet Beds, which ends the book on a sweet/sad/hopeful note.
Kage was a superb artist, and this is a good introduction for new fans...Read it, get hooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W Jordin on September 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Best of Kage Baker (2012) is a SF/Fantasy collection. It contains twenty stories, of which nine were previously published in her works.

Company Tales:

- "Noble Mold" (Black Projects, White Knights, 2002) finds Mendoza coveting a mutated grape vine.

- "Old Flat Top" (Black Projects, White Knights, 2002) takes a young Cro-Magnon up a mountain to find god, but he discovers an Enforcer instead.

- "Hanuman" (Black Projects, White Knights, 2002) introduces Mendoza to an augmented Australopithecus afarensis.

- "Son, Observe the Time" (Children of the Company, 2005) puts Victor in San Francisco before the Fire.

- "Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst" (Gods and Pawns, 2007) gives Lewis a job in the movies.

- "The Catch" (Gods and Pawns, 2007) exposes a Company mistake in 1958 and consequences thereof.

- "Leaving All His Cares Behind" (Mother Aegypt, 2006) is a tale in the Anvil milieu. Lord Ermenwyr -- broke and rejected -- returns home to his family.

- "What the Tyger Told Her" (Mother Aegypt, 2006) discloses the advice of a tiger to a young girl.

- "Catamari Curls" (Dark Mondays, 2008) moves a diner owner to hire a local shaman.

Previously Uncollected Tales:

- "Maelstrom" (New Space Opera, 2008) is a tale in the Company universe. It follows an Eccentric on Mars.

- "Speed, Speed the Cable" (Extraordinary Engines, 2008) is a tale in the Company universe. It details the laying of the first transatlantic cable using a steampunk submarine.

- "Caverns of Mystery" (Tales of Dark Fantasy, 2008) takes a prescient young girl on a summer vacation.

- "Are You Afflicted With Dragons" (Dragon Book, 2009) is a tale in the Anvil milieu. Mr.
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