cover image The Best of Kage Baker

The Best of Kage Baker

Kage Baker. Subterranean (, $40 (496p) ISBN 978-1-59606-442-3

This miscellany of 20 stories by the late Baker (1952–2010) doesn’t quite earn its title—some of her most lauded stories are missing—but it handily deepens the backgrounds of her novels (the Company series, the Anvil of the World trilogy, etc.). The strongest works show her evident interest in her home state of California: paying homage to its famous tragedies, like the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (“Son Observe the Time”); its infamous personalities (“Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst”); and its timeless legends, like the weeping mother, La Llorona (“Caverns of Mystery”), while poking fun at its desire to gentrify its downscale locales (“Calamari Curls”). Readers new to Baker may be bewildered by her densely built universes, but will also be rewarded by her visits to “those places where the jagged edges of the world showed.” Agent: Linn Prentis Literary. (May)