Kage Baker - The Life of the World to Come

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Genevieve

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Dec 3, 2004, 11:48:10 AM12/3/04
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Am I one of the few who was breathlessly waiting for the newest
Company book? I bought it at five-thirty in the evening, and had
devoured it by about ten-thirty. (I think this might indicate an
addiction. In which case, I don't want any help, thanks.) Because of
this, I'm still processing the whole thing, but overally, I was very
pleased with it. The only thing I object to is the absolutely ugly
cover, especially since the earlier books had much nicer ones.

It's the Alec book, and for anybody who read "Black Projects, White
Knights," the story "Smart Alec" is a major introductory chapter for
Alec Checkerfield and his life. The story of his growing up is
interspersed with that of a group of three men who fancy themselves
modern-day Inklings. Their plotline proves to be the answer to a lot
of questions raised by the early Company novels.

Some slight spoilers...


I'm still processing the ending, which is fairly twisty - it
definitely keeps the momentum of the series moving forward. I
actually am having some slight emotional turmoil over the book,
because I am so very attatched to "In The Garden of Iden," and
Nicholas and Mendoza's relationship in it, and how Nicholas thinks,
that I'm left almost feeling more sorry for him at the position the
ending leaves him in. I like Edward a great deal, but he's much
tougher-minded, and also, it's Nicholas I cherish the most, so I wound
up feeling sort of watchdoggy about him, which was unexpected. Alec
is a nice person, but I do wind up not respecting him all that much
because the life of a Future Child leaves them so...well, childish.

For my own satisfaction, I also wanted the confrontation scene between
the trio and the Modern Inklings to be more of a smackdown, but that's
just my baser instincts getting the better of me.

Genevieve, who will reread with less speed and more thought next time

Rex Gatch

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Dec 3, 2004, 8:48:58 PM12/3/04
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siena...@gmail.com (Genevieve) wrote in message news:<58b1e6da.0412...@posting.google.com>...

Must admit I'm looking forward to reading it myself. My only regret
(apart from the fact that Kage Baker should be selling a hell of a
lot more books) is that we transitioned to the future so fast in the
series. Her future history like all future histories is only as so-so
convincing. Near future history is a bitch you are bound to mention
something that stops existing 5 years later (Enron, the WTC whatever.)
Somehow I felt the series was just more interesting in the past. Plus
I learned a lot of interesting stuff.
Regards
Rex Gatch

Damien Neil

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Dec 9, 2004, 3:08:07 AM12/9/04
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In article <58b1e6da.0412...@posting.google.com>, Genevieve

<siena...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Am I one of the few who was breathlessly waiting for the newest
> Company book? I bought it at five-thirty in the evening, and had
> devoured it by about ten-thirty. (I think this might indicate an
> addiction. In which case, I don't want any help, thanks.) Because of
> this, I'm still processing the whole thing, but overally, I was very
> pleased with it. The only thing I object to is the absolutely ugly
> cover, especially since the earlier books had much nicer ones.

My question: Is anyone going to be republishing the first four books?
I'm missing _Mendoza in Hollywood_ and _The Graveyard Game_, and used
paperbacks are selling in the $15+ range.

- Damien

Andrew Wheeler

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Dec 9, 2004, 9:23:09 PM12/9/04
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Tor is paperbacking one of them, I think _Graveyard_, but my memory also
seems to be telling me that one was *never* in paperback. <checks
Amazon> Yes, _Graveyard_ is coming, in trade paperback, in February.

I suspect they'll do more if the ones they do sell well.

--
Andrew Wheeler
--
No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get
back in jeopardy again. I feel like the maid: "I just cleaned up this
place! Can't you keep it clean for ten minutes!"

frisbie...@yahoo.com

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Dec 11, 2004, 2:02:32 AM12/11/04
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Rex Gatch wrote:
> siena...@gmail.com (Genevieve) wrote in message
news:<58b1e6da.0412...@posting.google.com>...
> Her future history like all future histories is only as so-so
> convincing. Near future history is a bitch you are bound to mention
> something that stops existing 5 years later (Enron, the WTC
whatever.)


The opposite problem can be even worse. A friend of mine wrote a song
in 1997 that predicted the WTC disaster. This is now considered
offensive so he had to withdraw it from the market.

rexg...@yahoo.co.uk

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Dec 12, 2004, 8:29:15 PM12/12/04
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Finally got my copy from B&N. Found it merely a placeholder in the
series. If you've read "Black Projects, White Knights" a lot of the
book is redundant
Regards
Rex Gatch

David Bilek

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Dec 12, 2004, 10:12:09 PM12/12/04
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Good thing I barely remember it, then.

I fear Baker has written herself into a corner. She jumped ahead
through time so quickly that she has little left to write about except
the blackout point or whatever in the future. And she doesn't want to
wind up the series yet...

-David

sienamystic

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Dec 13, 2004, 1:23:39 PM12/13/04
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Well, there are two books left, one coming out in 2005, and then the
conclusion. So she had to start answering the questions she was posing
in the earlier books while still maintaining momentum into the final
books.

LofWTC answered the one of the big questions - who is Alec, and what is
his relationship to his two dopplegangers, Nicholas and Edward? It
also looks at the role of Enforcers like Budu from the point of view of
his creators. We also get a better idea of the nature of the people
who work for the Company, and the texture of the future they inhabit.
I think her future worldbuilding is fairly successful, in that it is
plausible, discomfiting, and is a good mix of the familiar and the
unexpected.

Genevieve

rexg...@yahoo.co.uk

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Dec 14, 2004, 10:27:17 PM12/14/04
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I think I missed the rest of the Company characters and that soured me
a little. I hope you are right - I want Good Kage Baker books
Regards
Rex Gatch

sienamystic

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Dec 16, 2004, 10:19:14 AM12/16/04
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I saw this today in the Washington Post (subscription required, or go
to bugmenot.com) and wondered if Baker could work it in to her Grand
Unified Catalina Island Hypothesis. It's got everything she needs -
it's a weird story with a tie to the golden age of Hollywood!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3225-2004Dec15.html
AVALON, Calif., Dec. 15 -- Like so many settlers of this state, they
came from sturdy midwestern stock, not really meant for the sun and
salt air but lured out here by the silver screen.

They never became stars, of course. Once Hollywood was done with them,
they were stranded, with no way home. But surprisingly, they managed to
eke out a new life for themselves here. In fact, they thrived all too
well -- all over the verdant slopes, delicate shores and winding
roadways of Santa Catalina Island.

Fourteen buffalo that were shipped here about 80 years ago to play bit
parts in a silent film spawned a herd that quickly grew to as many as
500 at one point.

Genevieve

Ha

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Dec 16, 2004, 1:49:06 PM12/16/04
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More spoilers

I'm assuming Options Research is in the hands of the 3rd race, so, if
Mendoza manages to get clear with Alec, I'm wondering what happened to
Lewis?

I really like this series. I didn't read it as soon as it came out
because I had to finish my re-read first. I really want _Children of
the Company_ to come out NOW!

I agree. Alec was pretty childish and I didn't like Edward very much.
It's very interesting, though, about their Seductive talents. I
wonder, was this really what caused Mendoza to fall in love with
Nicholas as Alec thinks?

jack tingle

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Dec 27, 2004, 10:55:51 AM12/27/04
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I got mine the 25th (Merry Xmas) and read it the 26th. Not quite up to
your reading pace. I freely admit my addiction. As I've said before,
when Baker publishes "Laundry, Shopping, and Errand Lists - 1975-1989:
Annotated Version with Concordance", I'll buy a copy.

LotWtC is a nice ... summation volume. It makes some of the short
stories in the Company series redundant (though no less interesting),
and ties up a lot of threads to allow the whole thing to come to a
head. All-in-all, a very satisfying read. Now we know why Mendoza,
Nicholas, Edward, and Alec are important, and why the Company didn't
just deactivate Mendoza, instead of leaving her hanging around in the
Back Way Back.

Now we need the next two, hopefully tying in Joseph and Lewis, who were
left somewhat hanging at the end of "Graveyard Game".
Regards,
Jack Tingle

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