"Black Projects, White Knights: The Company Dossiers" is a collection of short stories by Kage Baker, set in the author's "Company" universe. The Company is an immensely powerful corporation that rescues people from death, makes them almost immortal, and sends them on time travel missions to rescue art or extinct life-forms. The stories are an odd combination of historical novel and science fiction, populated by eccentric characters.

Most of the stories in this collection were previously published in the science fiction magazine Asimov's. The exceptions are the introduction "The Hounds of Zeus" (obviously), "The Hotel at Harlan's Landing", "Old Flat Top" and "The Queen in Yellow".

Many of the stories feature characters from the main series of novels. Mendoza, Joseph and Lewis all appear in the collection. New and interesting immortals in the cast are Kiu and Kalugin. Another new and intriguing character is Alec, a not-quite-human boy who appears in a number of the stories and who will (I guess) play a part in the remainder of the series...

It seems like the unpublished stories, barring the introduction, are intended to make a bridge between Kage Baker's last novel "The Graveyard Game", and the next, as yet unpublished, novel in the series. We learn more about the origin of the Enforcer, Preserver and Facilitator classes and about what happens to Joseph between "Mendoza in Hollywood" and "The Graveyard Game".

For completion's sake, here is a list of stories in the collection. Note that the award-winning story "Son, Observe the Time" is sadly missing.

Introduction: The Hounds of Zeus
Noble Mold
Smart Alec
Facts Relating to the Arrest of Dr. Kalugin
Old Flat Top
The Dust Enclosed Here
The Literary Agent
Lemuria Will Rise
The Wreck of the Gladstone
Monster Story
Studio Dick Drowns Near Malibu
The Likely Lad
The Queen in Yellow
The Hotel At Harlan's Landing

Note: It seems that Golden Gryphon Press, already notorious for its small print runs, only printed 3000 copies of this collection, so if you enjoyed the series so far, don't wait too long. :-)

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