Saturday, April 21, 2007

Just Read: Gods and Pawns by Kage Baker

I have now read four books by Baker in the last three months, and am finally caught up (if you don't count Rude Mechanicals...and I'm not, really, because I expect it'll turn up in a bigger collection in a couple of years).

Damn is she prolific these days. She's only been writing for about a decade, and, even with a hiccup while jumping between publishers in the middle, she's still managed to publish an eight-book series (plus two related collections of short fiction), another novel, and two other books of short stories.

Now, don't get the idea that I'm complaining, he said, oddly quoting Al Capone, I like it when authors I like are prolific. It's just some of them can write nearly as fast as I can read...

This is the second official "Company" story collection (after Black Projects, White Knights, but also after The Children of the Company, which is a fix-up of previously published stories with a little bit of new connective tissue), and it collects seven stories -- two of them original to this collection. They're mostly sidebars to the main storyline, as far as I can tell (since the main storyline has a lot of semi-separate threads to it), but the novella "Welcome To Olympus, Mr. Hearst" is pretty important to the big ending in The Sons of Heaven.

As usual with Baker, some of these stories are quite long -- three of the seven are novellas, one of which ("The Angel in the Darkness") was even published as a separate book. If you like lots of short stories that you can get through quickly, Baker is not your writer.

Nobody should start reading the Company books here, but, if you've read the others and are waiting for Sons of Heaven, this is a great way to pass some time.

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