"Kage Baker's Black Projects, White Knights is perfectly balanced between light and dark, humor and seriousness. The moral and ethical questions raised have bite without being didactic. In the more comedic stories, Baker's sense of timing is perfect, certain set pieces the match of P. G. Wodehouse. Like Iain M. Banks in his Culture novels, Baker displays an adroit sense of style and a stunning imagination."
— Jeff VanderMeer, author of City of Saints & Madmen
"Black Projects, White Knights . . . is a barnstorming book of adventurous tales by science fiction's newest master of space opera."
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Is it possible to interfere with History in a moral way, especially if profit is the primary motivation for doing so? In fact, is it possible to sustain any ethical standards at all when handed what amounts to unlimited power?
These and other shadowy questions are raised in Black Projects, White Knights, Kage Baker's Unofficial History of Dr. Zeus, Inc. — known to its employees simply as the Company. This collection brings together the early Company stories in one volume for the first time. Also included here are new stories, three of which are previously unpublished — and one of these, "The Queen in Yellow," written exclusively for this book.
Follow the secret activities of the Company's field agents — once Human, now centuries-old time-traveling immortal cyborgs: Botanist Mendoza's search for the rare hallucinogenic Black Elysium grape in 1844 Spanish-held Santa Barbara, California ("Noble Mold"); Facilitator Joseph's dreamlike solicitation of the ill-of-health Robert Louis Stevenson in 1879 ("The Literary Agent"); Marine Salvage Specialist Kalugin's recovery of an invaluable Eugène Delacroix painting from a sunken yacht off the coast of Los Angeles in 1894 ("The Wreck of the Gladstone"); and Literature Preservationist Lewis's retrieval of priceless literary artifacts, in 1914 Egypt, from the mummy case of Princess Sit-Hathor-Yunet ("The Queen in Yellow"). This collection also includes the first four Alec Checkerfield stories — and the alert reader should be able to piece together the mystery of Alec's life: Who created this little superman, and to what purpose?
Cover art by J. K. Potter.
". . . at least one of [Black Projects, White Knights's] original entries, 'The Queen in Yellow' — a hilarious Egyptological comedy of errors — should be a strong competitor on the Year's Best anthology market."
— Nick Gevers, Locus, November 2002
Trade Paperback Reprint, ISBN 1-930846-30-4
Out of Print!
Note — All reviews refer to the original hardcover edition:
Read the starred Publishers Weekly review
Read the "Best of 2002" review in January Magazine on-line (scroll down)
Read the Booklist review
Read the Locus Magazine review
Read the Kage Baker interview by Nick Gevers on SF Site
Read the SF Site review
Read the SciFi Weekly review
Read the Geek Speak Weekly review
Read the Interzone review
Read the review in SFRA Review
Read the Kage Baker interview conducted by Cat Eldridge in The Green Man Review
Read the complete text of the short story "The Dust Enclosed Here"