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    Review of BLACK PROJECTS, WHITE KNIGHTS by Kage Baker


    Golden Gryphon Press, September 2002

    The 'Company' sends its immortal cyborg operatives throughout time digging up extinct life forms, destroyed artworks, and lost writings--which it then sells at a handsome profit. BLACK PROJECTS, WHITE KNIGHTS is a collection of short stories about these cyborgs and about Alex, an alien lifeform that passes as human in the 25th century.

    Author Kage Baker (see more reviews of novels by Baker) delves into the thought processes and 'emotions' of her cyborgs bringing a fresh imagination to the 'lives' of these once-human creatures. Reflecting Baker's California upbringing, a majority of the stories take place in the Pismo Beach area--from the days of Spanish rule through the gold rush and the 1930s up into the future.

    Baker's future view, most clearly seen in the connected series of stories about young 'Alec' are of overly protective social urges gone dystopic--meat, cheese, alcohol, flour, and refined sugar are all banned to protect the innocent 'consumers.' Alec becomes a pirate of sorts, yet without the extreme self-justification and self-importance of, say, an ATLAS SHRUGGED. Among the cyborg stories, those hinting at conflict within the company are highly intriguing. After all, powerful immortals without equally powerful opposition hardly make for a competitive field.

    Baker's writing is engaging and her ability to detail insights into contemporary humans by her glimpses into the 'lives' of immortal cyborgs located in our past is outstanding.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 2/04/03

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