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io9 Book Club Meeting Is In Session: Kage Baker's "Sky Coyote"

In the seventeenth century, immortal cyborgs try to rescue the New World from Europeans. This week we'll be discussing the book Sky Coyote, by Kage Baker, in io9's book club meeting. Going on right now in comments!

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I think the thing that struck me about this book, like many of Baker's books, is her penchant for mixing savvy historical and political details with flat-out Monty Python goofiness. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. What did you guys think of it?

We'll be talking about the book in comments for the next few days, so feel free to join in any time before Friday.

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The io9 book club meets every month to talk about a book we've read together - often the author comes to speak to us as well, but sadly Baker passed away a few months ago. If you liked this novel, though, you're in luck: Baker wrote several more books in the Company Series so you have a lot more ahead of you to enjoy!

If you'd like to get started on next month's book, we'll be reading David Louis Edelman's Infoquake. We'll be meeting April 27.

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

I'm going to go ahead and get this off my chest right from the start. The book didn't work for me and neither did the first one. The characters are petty and boring. The most appropriate line comes from "In the Garden of Iden" when Mendoza says something like "who would have thought immortals could be so boring." Just when you wonder how these characters could be any less worthy of immortality, Baker introduces us to the people from the future that created them - a bunch of sniveling nothings that make the immortals look good by comparison.

I really felt that the flippant nature was just too much. It was like bad Connie Willis, but without the heart. Instead of laughing, I found myself rolling my eyes. The worst point was after the earthquake when Joseph races back to do damage control with some mystical explanation and the natives just say "Really, we thought earthquakes were a natural occurrence. They make the mountains taller, you know."

I also didn't buy it when a faction of immortals suddenly appears and claims they can't contaminate the infiltrating proselytizer while they are interviewing him. Huh. OK, but showing your pet Indians Road Runner cartoons? Right. By the way Baker really seems to hate religion.

I realize this was a satire of the "noble savage" routine which is out of vogue after "Avatar" but do you have to make them proto-Californians with nascent labor unions, exploitation of labor, flower children and a modern world view that religion is just a series of metaphors?

Lastly, I don't like the set up for the big revolution coming in 2355. How many of these books do I have to read before I get through the trivial stuff and get more than a glimpse of the big picture?

Sorry, really didn't like either of these books.