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The Angel in the Darkness
Kage Baker
Golden Gryphon Press, 76 pages

The Angel in the Darkness
Kage Baker
Kage Baker was born in 1952 in Hollywood, California. She grew up there and in Pismo Beach, where she now resides. She has worked as a graphic artist, mural painter and assorted roles in the theatre. Many years of total immersion research in Elizabethan as well as other historical periods has left her with a working knowledge of period speech and details evident in her writing.

Kage Baker Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Anvil of the World
SF Site Review: Black Projects, White Knights
SF Site Review: The Graveyard Game
SF Site Review: Sky Coyote
SF Site Review: Mendoza in Hollywood
SF Site Review: Sky Coyote
SF Site Review: In the Garden of Iden

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Margo MacDonald

It's an interesting contemplation. Many people who decide to have children feel that in having offspring, a part of themselves becomes immortal. But what if you already are truly immortal and can't have offspring? What if you lived forever watching generation after generation of your kin be born, grow, and die? How far would you go to protect them? What would you risk to be near them and to keep them out of harm's way?

This idea is the central theme behind Kage Baker's The Angel in the Darkness. This is a novella set in the same world as her "Company" novels and focusing in particular on the character of Porfirio. If you haven't read at least one of the books in that fabulous series, but preferably all, (In the Garden of Iden, Sky Coyote, Mendoza in Hollywood and Graveyard Game) then this novella won't mean much to you. In fact its greatest charm is that it lets you glimpse into the private world of Porfirio, one of the most intriguing characters in The Company novels (though he makes a late appearance in the series).

It is in fact a very simple story, with a simple plot and unexceptional writing (from a writer who can write exceptionally well when she wants to), but for people like myself who are fans of the series, it is an irresistible read. The story follows one of two sisters (who reads like an urban, mortal version of Mendoza) who is apparently being stalked by some kind of psychopath. The psychopath does nasty things and leaves cryptic messages like: "Wouldn't it be useful to live forever? Think of the things you could save." Happily, her long lost uncle (Porfirio) arrives to help her just as you are figuring out that the psychopath really comes from the disgruntled underbelly of The Company and that his real target is Porfirio...

This volume is the third limited edition (signed and numbered) chapbook to be offered by Golden Gryphon and they've done a lovely job. There is beautiful and intriguing cover art and nice little etched mandalas scattered throughout. The font is clean and easy to read (unlike some chapbooks I've seen) and the whole package very pleasing.

By the way, this book is only available directly from Golden Gryphon so don't go looking for it on your bookstore shelves, which is rather too bad, really. It would be nice to see these little labours of love reaching a wider audience.

Copyright © 2004 by Margo MacDonald

Margo has always been drawn toward fantasy and, at the age of 5, decided to fill her life with it by pursuing a career as a professional actress. Aside from theatre (and her husband), Margo's passion has been for books. Her interests are diverse and eclectic, but the bulk fall within the realm of speculative fiction. She tells us that her backlog has reached 200 books and she's ready to win the lottery and retire.

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