The Graveyard Game (The Company Series #4)

The Graveyard Game (The Company Series #4)

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by Kage Baker
     
 

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Dedicated to saving the future by preserving the past, the cyborgs of the Company now wonder if they must save themselves.

You wouldn't take Lewis for an immortal cyborg: he looks like a dapper character from a Noel Coward play. And Joseph-short and stocky in his Armani suit, with a neatly trimmed black mustache and beard that give him a cheerfully villainous

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Overview

Dedicated to saving the future by preserving the past, the cyborgs of the Company now wonder if they must save themselves.

You wouldn't take Lewis for an immortal cyborg: he looks like a dapper character from a Noel Coward play. And Joseph-short and stocky in his Armani suit, with a neatly trimmed black mustache and beard that give him a cheerfully villainous look-you'd never guess that his parents drew the Neolithic cave paintings in the Cvennes. But what are these two operatives of the Company doing in an amusement arcade in San Francisco in 1996?

They're looking for Mendoza, fellow cyborg of Dr. Zeus Incorporated who has been banished Back Way Back. They're also trying to solve the mystery of her impossibly reappearing English mortal lover. Soon they will begin uncovering some extremely hush-hush stuff about what the Company has been doing with the cyborgs it no longer wants in the field.

With this fourth book in the Company series, Kage Baker once again takes the reader on a wry, intelligent, and absorbing journey into the future and the past.

About the Author:

Kage Baker was born in 1952 in Hollywood and now lives in Pismo Beach, California. She has been an artist, actor, and director at the Living History Centre and has taught Elizabethan English as a Second Language.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This entertaining romp, the fourth in Baker's the Company series, continues the excellent premise: time traveling, immortal cyborgs who were recruited in the past as mortal children seek to enrich Dr. Zeus's Company by rescuing artifacts, artworks, information, endangered species and more. They've been doing this throughout the centuries, but now they're about to meet up with the year 2355, when their mission will end. Will they be retired with honor and rewarded for their service? Or is there a more macabre fate in store for them? Rumors about their future have abounded for centuries, and now the natty Literature Specialist Lewis and Facilitator Joseph, born in the Neolithic era, are searching for the truth, as well as for their missing friend, the Botanist Mendoza, who has disappeared, perhaps sent hundreds of thousands of years into the past, following her travails in the third book in the series, Mendoza in Hollywood. Readers unfamiliar with that novel (Baker provides a brief summary of the previous books) may wonder at the intensity of their quest, but Mendoza's whereabouts may reveal exactly what the company has in mind for the operatives it no longer wants in the field. Bouncing between centuries and locations (an interlude in San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square in 2276 is especially amusing), Baker's latest stands on its own and will entice newcomers to previous titles in the series. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When the cyborg known as Mendoza disappears out of grief for her murdered lover, fellow operatives Joseph and Lewis begin a search through time for her and discover some unpleasant secrets about their employer--Dr. Zeus Incorporated, otherwise known as The Company. The fourth installment of Baker's popular Company novels (In the Garden of Iden) spans centuries and includes stops in late 20th-century Hollywood and early 21st-century London, among other times and places. For series fans and most sf collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/00.] Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-In the 24th century, time travel is possible; immortality is a gift; chocolate and caffeine are illicit drugs; and, for a price, Dr. Zeus, Inc. can obtain whatever you desire, whether that is an extinct plant, vanished artwork, or your Chumash ancestors. The Company is filled with immortal cyborgs that work in the spaces between recorded history to carry out directives. In this, the fourth novel about Dr. Zeus, operatives Lewis and Joseph seek to discover what happened to the Botanist Mendoza and her mysterious mortal lover. Hints and rumors about the true nature of Dr. Zeus and the coming Silence of 2355 from the previous novels play a major part in the plot as the cyborgs realize that more and more of their fellow operatives are disappearing. Also fueling the paranoia is the discovery of another race of humans, small men who are quite stupid except for a peculiar technical genius. They are hunting Lewis, and the Company has reasons to betray him. As the past and the present come together, Joseph struggles to learn how their human masters will answer the question, "What do you do with a tool you fear and cannot destroy once it becomes obsolete?" The Graveyard Game is not the best place to begin this series, but it is a thrilling addition to a compelling story line composed of a unique blend of history, science fiction, mystery, and touches of humor. Baker has created a world full of intriguing possibilities. -Susan Salpini, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

“Keep your eye on Kage Baker! You never know where she's heading next, but it's always worth going there. She's an edgy, funny, complex, ambitious writer with the mysterious, true gift of story-telling.” —Ursula K. Le Guin

“Fourth entry in Baker's wonderful series. . . . By turns hilarious, terrifying, sad, and provocative, and always utterly intriguing. If there's a better time-travel series out there, go find it.” —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) on The Graveyard Game

“If John LeCarre wrote science fiction, it might read like The Graveyard Game.” —The New York Times

“I recommend this without reservation. It's smart, funny, and sardonic: nicely blended portions of each. Crisp, skillful writing and can't-miss characters kept me up until two in the morning. I expect you'll lose sleep, too.” —Harry Turtledove on The Graveyard Game

“Kage Baker has a very good fantasy career in front of her if Anvil is a sample. Here style is infused with a subtle humor that had me chuckling. I liked her hero for being such a practical and unflappable person. She kept me turning in directions that I hadn't expected.” —Anne McCaffrey on Anvil of the World

“Kage Baker is a fresh, audacious, ambitious new voice, wry, jazzy, irreverent, sharp as a razor, full of daring, dash and elan, sometimes surprisingly lyrical. She is also one hell of a storyteller. If you're reading something by Kage Baker, fasten your seat belt--you're in for a wild ride.” —Gardner Dozois on In the Garden of Iden

“An ingenious gambit . . . a great love story and a satire on manor life, all topped off by an auto da fe. A savory if there ever was one. . . .The period detail is delicious. What a treat. A beautiful writer.” —Cecelia Holland on In the Garden of Iden

“Combines historical detail and fast-paced action with a good dose of ironic wit and a dollop of bittersweet romance.” —Library Journal on Mendoza in Hollywood

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151004492
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
01/16/2001
Series:
Company Series, #4
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.33(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt

This is the fourth book in the unofficial history of Dr. Zeus Incorporated.

In the twenty-fourth century, a research and development firm invented a means of time travel. It also discovered the secret of immortality. There were, however, certain limitations that prevented the Company from bestowing these gifts left and right. But since the past could now be looted to increase corporate earnings, the stockholders were happy.

In the Garden of Iden introduced Botanist Mendoza, rescued as a child from the dungeons of the Inquisition in sixteenth-century Spain by a Company operative, Facilitator Joseph. In exchange for being given immortality and a fantastically augmented body and mind, she would work in the past for the future, saving certain plants from extinction.

On her first mission as an adult, Mendoza was sent with Joseph to England, where she fell in love with a mortal, with bitter consequences.

Sky Coyote opened over a century later, as Joseph arrived at the research base at New World One to look up his protégée and inform her they had both been drafted for a Company mission in Alta California. Mendoza said good-bye to the one friend she had made at New World One—Lewis—and went with Joseph.

Near a Chumash Indian village she met a number of the mortal masters from the future, and was appalled to find them bigoted and fearful of their cyborg servants. Joseph learned unsettling facts about the Company that brought to mind a warning he'd been given long ago by Budu, the Enforcer who recruited him.

Why was it that, though the immortal operatives were provided with information and other entertainment from the future, nothing they received was ever dated later than the year 2355?

At the conclusion of the mission, Mendoza remained in the wilderness of the coastal forests, working then alone as a botanist.

Mendoza in Hollywood opened in 1862, as Mendoza journeyed reluctantly to her new posting: a stagecoach inn at a remote spot that one day would be known as Hollywood. There, near the violent little pueblo of Los Angeles (one murder a night, not counting Indians), she was to collect rare plants scheduled to go extinct in the coming drought.

Mendoza found herself now haunted by visions of her mortal lover, and she was giving off Crome's radiation again, the spectral blue fire of paranormal abilities that no cyborg was supposed to possess.

In a local spot known for strangeness, she encountered an anomaly that threw her temporarily into the future. There she glimpsed her friend Lewis, who tried frantically to tell her of an impending disaster.

Into her life came another mortal—Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax, an English spy involved in a plot to grab California for the British Empire. Edward looked enough like Mendoza's first love to have been cloned from him. Mendoza abandoned her post and ran away with Edward.

As they raced for sanctuary on Catalina Island, pursued by American agents and bounty hunters, Edward began to suspect that Mendoza was far more than a coaching-inn servant. Mendoza discovered that Edward too was more than he seemed, in fact was connected to the Company in some way.

But before the lovers could solve their mutual riddle, their luck ran out. Edward was shot to death, and Mendoza went berserk with grief. The Company sent her to a penal station hundreds of millennia in the past—the preferred method of disposing of troublesome immortals . . .

Copyright (c) 2000 by Kage Baker, published by Harcourt, Inc. and reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

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Meet the Author

Kage Baker is best known for her time travel series about The Company, of which this is the fourth volume and, more recently, for her popular fantasy novel The Anvil of the World. Born in Hollywood, California, she has been a graphic artist and mural painter, a playwright, bit player, director, teacher of Elizabethan English for the stage, stage manager and educational program coordinator. She lives in Pismo Beach, CA.

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