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The Best of Kage Baker Hardcover – April 30, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,603,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had never read anything by Ms. Baker until after she was Gu\st of Honor at WesterCon in Las Vegas years ago. What appealed to me later was her emphasis on old California, old Hollywood, etc. I have become a fan posthumously after her SUDDEN and unexpected passing. I like time travel stories anyway
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The loss of Kage Baker in the last few years was a sad thing for fans of her time traveling cyborgs and her politically correct future, totalitarian dystopia. This collection brings together a representative range of Baker's short work focused on the Company and her short work based in the universe of her fantasy trilogy as well as a sampling of individual and original stories from other collections. One of my favorites, Welcome to Olympus Mr. Hearst, which puts the reader inside a house party at San Simeon during the Golden Age of Hollywood complete with company operatives is of course, a stand-out, but the other stories from her collection are of similar quality. Hanuman and Old Flat Top are similar Company stand outs.

It always entrances me that Baker manages to address deep conundrums with a joy and wit that doesn't detract a bit from the seriousness of her subject...for example what it means to be human or what constitutes a moral society. Baker 's immortals are some of the few ever written that express both their human origins and the problems inherent to living forever with an essentially human psyche modified by the fact and experience of their immortality. No centenarians in love with teenage girls here.

In the new material, Are You Afflicted with Dragons is a joyous riff on the Pied Piper. Even Bakers love affair with pirates gets an outing.

The unpublished works are fun too. Usually, when a writer's "trunk" is inventoried after their death and unpublished works see the light of day, it is a mixed blessing as the quality of the unpublished or unfinished works often falls short. Not so with this collection. All of the stories are a joy and put a smile on my face and while not every one was a masterpiece of the level of Mr.
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