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Literature: The Company Novels
The Company sequence of novels and short fiction takes place in a Science Fiction universe created by Kage Baker. They involve Time Traveling agents in the employ of Dr. Zeus Inc., and the various political maneuvers and conspiracies surrounding them.

Dr. Zeus Inc., known to its employees simply as The Company, operates out of the 24th century, using time travel and specially engineered immortal cyborg operatives to collect and preserve artifacts from the past, ranging from pottery shards from Neanderthal times to entire species of plants and animals rendered extinct in the past. Since living things cannot (in theory) be safely sent forward in time, these items are kept safe in various underground bunkers to be "discovered" in the 24th century.

Novels in the main series
  • In The Garden of Iden (1997)
  • Sky Coyote (1999)
  • Mendoza in Hollywood (2000) (British title: And the Edge of the West)
  • The Graveyard Game (2001)
  • The Life of the World to Come (2004)
  • The Children of the Company (2005)
  • The Machine's Child (2006)
  • The Sons of Heaven (2007)

Collections, novellas published as chapbooks and novels outside of the main sequence
  • Black Projects, White Knights: The Company Dossiers (collection, 2002)
  • "The Angel in the Darkness" (limited edition chapbook, 2003)
  • Mother Ægypt and Other Stories (collection, 2004) (title story features the Company)
  • "Rude Mechanicals" (limited edition chapbook, 2007)
  • Gods and Pawns (collection, 2007)
  • "The Empress of Mars" (novella version, 2009)
  • The Women of Nell Gwynne's (collection, 2009)
  • Not Less Than Gods (novel, 2010)
  • "Nell Gwynne's Scarlet Spy" (novella, 2010)
  • The Empress of Mars (expansion of the novella of the same name, 2010)
  • "Nell Gwynne's at Land and at Sea" (novella left unfinished at Kage Baker's death and completed by her sister Kathleen Bartholomew, 2012)
  • In the Company of Thieves (collection, 2013)

The Company Novels contain examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: Since Immortals can't die, this is used to get rid of them instead.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Immortality Process only works if the subject starts at a very young age, which is why it's only used on Company employees. A less effective (but more widely applicable) variation is marketed as geriatric medicine.
  • Bad Future: 2355. (Or at least an enigmatic, and thus worrisome, point in time.)
  • Battle Butler: Sir Henry Morgan
  • Been There, Shaped History: Dr Zeus either causes or directly profits by a number of major historical events.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: William Randolph Hearst.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mendoza is a quiet botanist who keeps to herself (except for when her love life gets dramatic). Kill her boyfriend, however, and suddenly she's throwing human heads around.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Mendoza knows exactly what the gondolier is saying about her, and tells him what he can do with his pole.
  • Brain Uploading: The Company does this to some historical figures. And for Adonai "brothers.
  • The Caligula: Labienus became one when he was put in charge of organizing the tribes of Mesopotamia into a nation.
  • Cloak & Dagger: Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax
  • Combo Platter Powers: Company cyborgs are The Ageless, can heal From a Single Cell, have Super Strength and Super Speed, have modified brains that grant them Photographic Memory and the capacity to become Instant Experts, and are equipped with a variety of Super Senses.
  • Compelling Voice: Edward Alec and Nicholas too, since they're clones finds out that he has this ability in Not Less Than Gods, and how he woos women has something to do with this. He can even talk his boss into finding maraschino booze (which he hates) really tasty.
  • Contemporary Caveman: The Company made several neanderthals into immortals, and they serve admin roles (but because of their appearance, don't really go into the open much). Joseph, one of the main protagonists, is also a former caveman- in fact, his father was the artist who did some now famous cave art in Basque Country and got killed for it, and Joseph would have as well, had he not been rescued by the Company.
  • Cool Boat: A futuristic time-traveling one designed by a pirate enthusiast!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Any Company employee with a rank higher than Facilitator. And some of the Facilitators are pretty sleazy, too.
  • Courier: the guy is literally named this. He's brain-damaged and goes berserk if he spends the night in the same place twice, hence his job.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Labienus, the series' Big Bad, falls in love with a man at the beginning of Children of the Company, and later sleeps with one of his female co-conspirators.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Company operatives have access to tranmissions from all parts of history... except after a specific date in 2355...
  • Evil Jesuit: Played around with in the case of Joseph. He spent a significant period as a Jesuit (and rescued Mendoza from the Inquisition in this role), and has the perfect personality for it, being a sly covert operative. However, he feels bad about having to do evil things while in this role (i.e. allowing many others to be sent to their deaths) and likes the occasions when he can play a heroic role.
  • Fatal Attractor: Mendoza, only in her case they're all the same guy with different upbringings.
  • Fiction 500: The Company pretty much owns the world by the mid-24th century, thanks to their Time Travel for Fun and Profit.
  • From a Single Cell: The cyborgs are laced with nanomachines that can clone any body parts they lose. As long as their brains (which are sealed in a Nigh Invulnerable brain case) are protected, they can heal from anything.
  • Gambit Pileup: 2355, many of the events leading up to it, and really Dr. Zeus operations in general. Played with in the fact that most of it seems predestined anyway.
    • Specifically, everybody knows the exact date in 2355 that marks the unknown future. So they all plan their coups and purges and revolutions to take place on that date.
  • God Guise: Executives who run Company bases located in primitive eras style themselves as gods. Some of them start to believe their own hype.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: The official philosophy of the Company operatives, who blame fanatics who believe in Black and White Morality for much of humanity's suffering. The novels themselves are a good example, contrasting: a.) the normal company operatives, who are programmed for self-presevation and can't intervene to change history; b.) Budu and his cohorts, who will mercilessly execute you if and only if you're violent; and c.) Nicholas' various incarnations, who all have complicated plans to help humanity that tend to back-fire spectacularly. Once Labienus shows up, this turns into Black and Gray Morality.
  • The Hedonist: Houbert, the Executive Facilitator of New World One.
  • The Heretic: Nicholas Harpole. Why yes, he died via Kill It with Fire, too.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Labienus and a large group of other villains are taken down by a modified version of one of the diseases he created.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Lewis is initially hopeful to start a relationship with Mendoza, but realizes that he'll never be able to compete with Dead Nicholas.
  • I Have Many Names: The Company. Most of its name follow a Greek mythology theme.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy - Lewis and Victor.
  • Idiot Savant: Most, if not all, of the people who designed the Company's technology. The homo umbratilis take this to extremes: the main class can produce technological marvels when commanded, but is totally incapable of original thought.
  • The Illuminati: Dr. Zeus, Inc. is described thusly in "The Hounds of Zeus":
    "[A] secret fraternity made up of scientists and businessmen, the secret fraternity for which all other so-called secret fraternities are merely decoys. Its members rule the world. They have unlimited power."
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty
  • Immortal Procreation Clause subverted later on with Mendoza in a very strange way.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Latif and Sarai, Hearst and Tiara.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Mandatory Motherhood: Roger Checkerfield got a vasectomy, and his wife was similarly inclined to not have children. This didn't stop the Company from forcing them to adopt a kid, which they hated and avoided as much as possible.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: It's noted that Mendoza's relationships were going to turn out with the partner dead one way or another. She manages to get them back, though.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future: without San Dimas Time.
  • Mega Corp.: Doctor Zeus, Inc.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: The cyborgs in the Plague Club consider mortals to be pests to be exterminated.
  • My Grandson Myself: Porfirio (when convenient) and Hearst
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Alec inadvertently gets so many people killed at one point that he tries to kill himself when he sees the result. Also, Dr. Zeus the AI relies on the threat of this to preserve himself after his period of omniscience comes to an end. It doesn't work.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: The text indicates that a 'coercive sex' scene in The Sons Of Heaven is definitely not rape because of the act itself was done tenderly.
  • Oedipus Complex: happens to Nicholas and Alec for good reason, when your girlfriend becomes your mother, and your romantic rival is the one responsible for that particular wacky happening. And the guys remember from the getgo what Mendoza was to them before they got reborn.
  • Only One Name
  • Pineal Weirdness: The hormone that makes the cyborgs eternally youthful is called "Pineal Tribrantine 3."
  • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Alec Checkerfield
  • Plague Master: The Big Bad is trying to exterminate humanity through a series of devasting plagues.
  • Polyamory: how Mendoza resolves her man problems.
  • Psychic Powers: Crome's radiation, supposedly.
  • Real Person Fic: Lewis writes a terrible thousand-page epic about Edward Alton-Bell Fairfax.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After Victor kills Labienus and his cronies with their own bio-engineered plague, he choses to die rather than live with the knowledge of the morally dubious things he's done. Considering he's immortal, that takes some effort on his part.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Alec Checkerfield
  • Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: An anglophilic character a few centuries in the future has memorized the names of all three-hundred-and-some actors to play the Doctor.
  • Second-Person Narration: "The Hounds of Zeus" in Black Projects, White Nights.
  • Send in the Clones: the Adonai project
  • Shrouded in Myth: Not even the Company's inner cabal knows all its secrets.
  • The Slow Path: Back Way Back
  • Super Mode: The cyborgs can go into a "fight mode," in which they sprout Wolverine Claws and long, sharp teeth, protective coverings slide over their eyes, and their skin turns bone white.
  • Time Abyss: Several of the Executives are tens of thousands of years old. The Enforcers are even older.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Pretty much all of the Executive-ranked cyborgs are plotting against the Company's human owners (who are plotting against them right back).
  • The Spanish Inquisition: Mendoza's backstory
  • Spy Couple: Edward and Mendoza later, Edward/Alec/Nicholas and Mendoza
  • Stable Time Loop
  • Timey-Wimey Ball
  • Villain Episode: The Children of the Company
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Mendoza.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Super?: The majority of Immortals can be divided between those who view Muggles as slaves to be ruled and those who view them as vermin to be wiped out. Those who actually like ordinary humans are few and far between.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Several of the cyborgs.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Stated as a rule and used at numerous points.

Commonwealth SagaScience Fiction LiteratureCompetitors
Cold MountainLiterature of the 1990sConfessions of an Ugly Stepsister

alternative title(s): The Company Novels
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