Kage Baker is an American author who was born in 1952 and died in 2010. A native of Hollywood, California, Kage wrote science fiction and fantasy, and sometimes went so far as to blend the two.
Order of The Company Series
|1||In the Garden of Iden||1997||Description / Buy|
|2||Sky Coyote||1999||Description / Buy|
|3||Mendoza in Hollywood||2000||Description / Buy|
|4||The Graveyard Game||2001||Description / Buy|
|5||Black Projects, White Knights||2002||Description / Buy|
|6||The Life of the World to Come||2004||Description / Buy|
|7||The Children of the Company||2005||Description / Buy|
|8||The Machine's Child||2006||Description / Buy|
|9||Gods and Pawns||2007||Description / Buy|
|10||Rude Mechanicals (Short Story)||2007||Description / Buy|
|11||The Sons of Heaven||2007||Description / Buy|
|12||The Empress of Mars||2009||Description / Buy|
|13||Not Less Than Gods||2009||Description / Buy|
|14||In the Company of Thieves||2013||Description / Buy|
Order of Lord Ermenwyr Series
|1||The Anvil of the World||2003||Description / Buy|
|2||The House of the Stag||2008||Description / Buy|
|3||The Bird of the River||2010||Description / Buy|
Order of Nell Gwynne Series
|1||The Women of Nell Gwynne's (Short Story)||2009||Description / Buy|
|2||Nell Gwynne's Scarlet Spy||2010||Description / Buy|
|3||Nell Gwynne's On Land and At Sea||2012||Description / Buy|
Order of Kage Baker Standalone Novels
|1||Where the Golden Apples Grow (Short Story)||2006||Description / Buy|
|2||Or Else My Lady Keeps the Key||2008||Description / Buy|
|3||The Hotel Under the Sand||2009||Description / Buy|
|4||The Books (Short Story)||2012||Description / Buy|
Order of Kage Baker Short Story Collections
Kage could trace her love for the arts all the way back to her days learning and then teaching Elizabethan English. Kage Baker’s approach to combining her love for fantasy with her curiosity in science fiction was to tell stories about time travel. Before she wrote In the Garden of Iden in 1997, her very first novel, fans of the author were accustomed to seeing her stories in a magazine called Asimov’s Science Fiction.
It is worth noting that Kage Baker’s decision to blend science fiction with fantasy had a tendency to attract criticisms from fans of both genres who thought that her work often diluted the concepts of science fiction and fantasy, leaving readers unsatisfied with the final product.
Science fiction readers, in particular, thought that Kage’s books were too soft on the science fiction aspects, only using the elements of time travel to take readers to historical periods and then relegating these universe bending concepts to the background for the sake of pushing the romance and adventure.
Kage Baker’s death was unexpected. It wasn’t until 2010 that her fans learned that she was seriously ill with cancer. A few weeks later, she was reported to have died from uterine cancer.
Most of Kage Baker’s work takes place in The Company universe. The Company are a collection of cyborgs who mine the past for antiquities because of their nature, books in the Company universe take place throughout multiple places in time and feature a series of diverse stories. There are twelve novels in the Company series as well as numerous short stories and novellas set in the same universe.
In addition to writing her full length novels, Baker wrote many short stories which were considered her calling card. Her short fiction won the Norton award which was given to the author who showed extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constrains of paltry reason. While her other works have been nominated for the Nebula and Hugo awards.
Kage Baker Awards
The year that Kage Baker died saw her receive a Hugo Award Nomination for The Women of Nell Gwynne’s. She also received a World Fantasy Award nomination. This was after she won a Nebula Award the year before for Best Novella.
The author went on to win a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. She was also lucky enough to get a John W. Campbell Prize nomination for her very first book.
Best Kage Baker Books
By the time Kage Baker died, she had produced a wealth of short stories and novels delving into her love for fantasy, science fiction and history, with some of the best books in her bibliography including:
In the Garden of Iden: The company exists to earn a profit from the preservation of rare art and extinct life forms. To carry out its purposes, the company reaches into the past and finds orphans who it renders immortal and then deploys them were they are needed. And Mendoza is one such orphan.
Mendoza didn’t think that her trip to Elizabethan England would change her life. Her goal was to collect samples from Sir Walter Iden garden. Then she met and fell for Nicholas Harpole, and began a journey that would change everything.
Kage Baker’s first novel dives right into the insanity of her imagination. The book introduces the company, an organization that takes the poor and desperate and transforms them into Cyborgs.
Not only are they rendered immortal but they are granted additional powers, such as super speed and enhanced strength. These operatives are then tasked with saving rare specimens, be they works of art or biological entities. These are specimens that no longer exist in the future and are, thus, highly sought after.
Mendoza was rescued by a Spanish Surgeon and that led her to become an operative for the company. This novel finds Mendoza tasked with acquiring samples of plants that could save myriads of lives in the future.
What starts out a science fiction epic quickly turns into a Period Drama when Mendoza falls for a mortal and finds that there might be more meaning to her life than she realized.
Mendoza in Hollywood: In a world where an organization simply known as The Company rescues orphans from the past, turns them into cyborgs and uses them to secure extinct life forms and rare works of art, Mendoza is a Company operative who was sent to the past to retrieve plant specimens and then fell in love with a mortal.
With Mendoza’s lover dead, Mendoza is forced to struggle through heartbreak over the centuries. She encounters many notable figures over time and participates in a number of significant events.
The third book from Kage Baker takes place in the 1850s. It finds Mendoza in Los Angeles as she watches the foundations of what will become Hollywood fall into place. As a result of the setting of Mendoza’s story, a considerable portion of the book is spent delving into details about early movies.
Mother Aegypt and Other Stories is a collection of some of Baker’s best short fiction. Highlights of the book include “What the Tyger Told Her” and “Desolation Rose”. In the first story, the Tyger teaches a young girl what lurks beneath the surface of her high-society family and the negative effects of gred. The story also illustrates the role of young women in a male-dominated world.
While “Desolation Rose” tells a redemption story for Lord Ermenwyr where he finds that romance isn’t the solution to all of life’s problems like some believe. Ermenwyr ends up doing the right thing in the the end, but he doesn’t quite go all the way with it as is true to his character.
When Does The Next Kage Baker book come out?
Kage Baker doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Where the Golden Apples Grow and was released on May, 29th 2013.