In the Company of Thieves

Kage Baker et al.

The employees of Dr. Zeus Incorporated travel through (and meddle with) history in Kage Baker’s final collection of six stories of espionage, capers, and important affairs gone terribly wrong.

The Company, a powerful corporate entity in the twenty-fourth century, has discovered a nearly foolproof recipe for success: combining time travel and immortal employees. They specialize in retrieving extraordinary treasures out of the past, gathered by cybernetically-enhanced workers who pass as ordinary humans. Whether a client wants a jewel worn by Cleopatra, an original Shakespeare folio, or to make a baby with the genes of Socrates and Marilyn Monroe, Dr, Zeus can make dreams come true. But there is one major rule that must not be broken: the recorded particulars of history cannot be changed. The operatives of the Company must function with extreme stealth and caution, since avoiding the curiosity and greed of everyday mortals proves much more difficult—and sometimes ridiculous—than anyone had foreseen.

Included in this exciting collection are four previously uncollected stories, “Mother Aegypt” (a classic tale of Transylvanian intrigue), and one brand new story from a collaboration with Kage Baker’s sister, Kathleen Bartholomew. History awaits, though not quite the one you remember.

“It’s a bittersweet experience, reading posthumous publications of a favorite author written by someone else, and it always leaves me feeling both desperately grateful and bereft. Still, this collection brings Kage Baker’s lyrical style, dark humor, and lovely prose. I adore how her characters come to fully fledged life, no matter what style she uses, and how they stick around, long after I put the book away.”
The Canary

“She’s an edgy, funny, complex, ambitious writer with the mysterious, true gift of story-telling.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin, author of A Wizard of Earthsea

“Her style is infused with a subtle humor that had me chuckling…. She kept turning me in directions that I hadn’t expected.”
—Anne McCaffrey, author of Dragonsinger and Dragonsong

“Eccentric and often very funny…. Baker piles on such delights for anyone who wants more from fantasy than an epic journey to battle evil.”
Denver Post

“Listen closely, and perhaps you will hear the collective sigh of delight from intelligent lovers of fantasy the world over.”

Praise for The Company Series

“If there’s a better time-travel series out there, go find it.”
Kirkus, starred review

“Ms. Baker is the best thing to happen to modern science fiction since Connie Willis or Dan Simmons. She mixes adventure, history and societal concerns in just the right amount, creating an action-packed but thoughtful read.”
Dallas News

“Historical detail and fast-paced action with a good dose of ironic wit and a dollop of bittersweet romance.”
Library Journal

“Another entry… in Baker’s superlative series about Dr. Zeus…. An astonishing and thoroughly satisfying installment. What’s more, Baker’s overall concept and rationale, flawlessly sustained through five books, grows ever more spellbinding and impressive.”
Kirkus, starred review

“Listen closely, and perhaps you will hear the collective sigh of delight from intelligent lovers of fantasy the world over.”

If you’re reading something by Kage Baker, fasten your seat belt — you’re in for a wild ride.”
—Gardner Dozois, editor of The Year’s Best Science Fiction

Praise for The Hotel Under the Sand (Tachyon, 2009)

“In fact – although this is something one should always say with some caution – it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be a classic and went on down the ages along with Alice and Oz and the very few others that have become immortal.”
—Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl’s Moving Castle

“Charming…Baker’s first book for younger readers is a delight.”
Denver Post

“Skillfully written…”
Publishers Weekly

“Kage Baker is already well-known among adult readers for her science fiction series The Company, but her new children’s bookThe Hotel Under the Sand is bound to win her plenty of new readers among the younger set.”
—Amazon (Omnivoracious book blog)

“Refreshingly original…. Although Baker is an established author of science fiction and fantasy for adults, this novel is written so naturally that it is difficult to believe it is her debut for younger readers.”
VOYA library journal

“There are few books that I immediately want to press into the hands of other readers the instant I turn the last page. My copy ofHotel will be one that I hand to my daughter in a few years. First, however, I’m going to force it on everybody I know.”

“It’s exciting to come upon a book that serves not only as a great story to share with your kids, but one that has some undeniably unusual – and geeky – features.”

Kage Baker is a prolific science fiction and fantasy best known for her critically-acclaimed Company series of historically-based time travel novels (In the Garden of Iden,The Anvil of the World). She won the Theodore Sturgeon Award for her novella, The Empress of Mars, and the Nebula Award for her steampunk novella, The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, which was also nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. Baker was passionately involved in the theatre for most of her life as an actor, director, playwright, and teacher of Elizabethan English as a Second Language, which she often used for research in her novels. Baker died from cancer in 2010 at the age of fifty-seven.

Kathleen Bartholomew is Kage Baker’s sister and editor. She has taken over Kage’s unfinished projects after Kage’s untimely death from cancer in 2010.

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