Cover image for Black projects, white knights : the company dossiers
Black projects, white knights : the company dossiers
Baker, Kage.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Urbana, IL : Golden Gryphon Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xv, 288 pages ; 22 cm
Noble mold -- Smart Alec -- Facts relating to the arrest of Dr. Kalugin -- Old flat top -- The dust enclosed here -- The literary agent -- Lemuria will rise! -- The wreck of the Gladstone -- Monster story -- Hanuman -- Studio dick drowns near Malibu -- The likely lad -- The queen in yellow -- The hotel at Harlan's Landing.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Is it possible to interfere with history in a moral way, especially if profit is the primary motivation for doing so? Is it possible to sustain any ethical standards at all when handed what amounts to unlimited power? These and other shadowy questions are raised in this book, the unofficial history of Dr Zeus, Inc -- known to its employees simply as the Company. This collection brings together the early Company stories in one volume for the first time. Also included are new stories, three previously unpublished, and one, 'The Queen in Yellow' written exclusively for this book. Science-fiction fans will follow the secret activities of the Company's field agents -- once human, now centuries-old time-travelling immortal cyborgs: Botanist Mendoza's search for the rare hallucinogenic Black Elysium grape in 1844 Spanish-held Santa Barbara, California; Facilitator Joseph's dreamlike solicitation of the ailing Robert Louis Stevenson in 1879; Marine Salvage Specialist Kalugin's recovering of an invaluable Eug#65533;ne Delacroix painting from a sunken yacht off the coast of Los Angeles in 1894; and Literature Preservationist Lewis's retrieval of priceless literary artefacts, in 1914 Egypt, from the mummy case of Princess Sit-Hathor-Yunet.

Author Notes

Kage Baker was born in Hollywood, California on June 10, 1952. Her first novel, In the Garden of Iden, was published in 1997. She was a science fiction and fantasy writer, who was best known for The Company series. Her other works included Mendoza in Hollywood (2000), House of the Stag (2009), and the short story Caverns of Mystery (2009). The Empress of Mars (2003) won the Theodore Sturgeon Award. She died from uterine cancer on January 31, 2010.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

What could be better than a new novel of the Company? A collection of the Company's mysterious, powerful operatives' highly entertaining adventures--that's what. Plucked from their lives in times ranging from neolithic California to the twenty-fourth century, those cybernetically enhanced agents are dispatched to later eras to discover (i.e., steal) rare plants, art treasures, and literary masterpieces. In "Old Flat Top," an enterprising Cro-Magnon boy finds the hermit atop a mountain much older and less peaceful than anyone suspected. In "The Literary Agent," casually hip Joseph negotiates with feverish Robert Louis Stevenson to develop an adventure flick to be produced hundreds of years later. Particularly appealing in several stories is young Alex, born, or at least delivered, to wealthy, dissolute parents in the highly regimented twenty-fourth century. His brain isn't quite like other children's, and his gift for rewiring computer systems is astonishing. His liberating encounter with the dispirited hologram of Shakespeare in "The Dust Enclosed Here" will satisfy every lover of the bard. Funny, poignant, thought-provoking, altogether excellent stories. --Roberta Johnson

Publisher's Weekly Review

This excellent collection brings together 14 of Baker's short stories about "The Company," three of them unpublished. Select humans have been plucked from various epochs and turned into enhanced, immortal, time-traveling cyborgs, programmed to do the shadowy bidding of the profit-loving Company. Unable to fight their own programming, the best of them try to fulfill the Company's directives while being kind to the mortal "sheep" they live among ("Noble Mold" and "Studio Dick Drowns Near Malibu"). Their jobs and lives are complicated by warring Company factions ("Old Flat Top"), which certain mortals see as heavenly battles ("The Hotel at Harlan's Landing"). Also included are the first four tales about the mysterious, genetically enhanced Alec Checkerfield ("Smart Alec," "The Dust Enclosed Here," "Monster Story" and "The Likely Lad"), as well as two other stories ("The Literary Agent" and "The Wreck of the Gladstone") that obliquely pertain to his origins and influences. Baker shows greater range with these stories than she does in her novels (In the Garden of Eden, etc.), and has more fun with her characters, letting them play at being pirates, dig up mummies or interact with Shakespeare and Robert Louis Stevenson. Though the collection brings up troubling ethical questions about the nature of the author's future history (since Alec is referred to as Adonai, does that mean he is God?), Baker masterfully handles characters and plots. These stories rank among the finest recent work in the field. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved