Hardcover art by Michael Koelsch; paperback cover art by Tom Canty; Tor cover by Paul Youll

MORE NICE NOTICES

"Ms. Baker is the best thing to happen to modern science fiction since Connie Willis or Dan Simmons. She mixes adventure, history and societal concerns in just the right amount, creating an action-packed but thoughtful read."
-The Dallas News

"... Another superbly witty and intelligent book ... Kage Baker delivers a
terrific story and worthy sequel with Sky Coyote
-Therese Littleton, amazon.com

"An agreeably subversive, sometimes hilarious entry ..."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Baker's characterizations are humorous and engaging, with a lyrical depth that makes
the protagonist not only an independent being, but also a significant part of the greater
whole of history. Sky Coyote is a fine addition to an already daring and
intriguing world of possiblities in the Company series."
-Tom Piccirilli,barnesandnoble.com


ky Coyote takes a closer look at the inner workings of Dr. Zeus Incorporated with all its scummy politics, and gives a first glimpse of the 24th-century mortals who issue orders to their immortal operatives. Joseph, Facilitator Extraordinaire, takes center stage here; more operatives are introduced, including the dapper Lewis and Junior Executive-in-Training Latif; and Mendoza finds Nirvana and relief from memories of Nicholas in Big Sur. Or does she? ... Pay close attention to the last couple pages of the book, kids ...
ky Coyote arose in part from irritation about certain stereotypes of Native Americans cherished by non-Native Americans. This habit of assuming they're all dead and gone, for example ... which means that non-Native Americans can pay lip service to how noble and spiritually advanced and ecologically responsible they were (remember those commercials with the weeping Indian riding through a polluted landscape?) without actually having to do anything about them, like give back their land; because, sadly, they Are No More.

ut it's interesting to watch what happens when the sentimental stereotype gets down off the pedestal and actually comes to inconvenient life. Schools in Southern California are having a difficulty with the latest wave of immigrants fleeing political repression in South America. The problem is Language: these children are Mayan, they speak Mayan, and the Spanish-speaking teachers have no way of communicating with them. Archaeologists and linguists are being hastily consulted; somehow this eventuality was never forseen, probably because most people in North America believe the Mayans were all wiped out by the Conquistadors. Surprise! They weren't. They're still around, and so are a lot of other indigenous peoples, with human rights and cultures that don't necessarily harmonize with the mainstream.

t's further interesting to watch the reactions of reviewers, now that SKY COYOTE has been out a while. Some have assumed that I made the Chumash up from whole cloth. I didn't; ask Ursula K. LeGuin, whose father, A. L. Kroeber, was an anthropologist and authority on the Chumash. They are very much alive and well, and while they did indeed suffer terribly at the hands of the Spanish and later the Yankees, they have survived with dignity and even a fair amount of success. They are good neighbors, self-sufficient community members, and quite competent at taking care of themselves, thank you very much. They run a casino that provides them with a source of revenue enabling them to do things like build schools and hospitals and stay off welfare. It isn't quite the equal of the trading empire they had prior to 1750, but times change.

hey don't speak like Tonto, incidentally. Nor do they speak in poetic or Biblical meters. They are capable of speaking in perfectly lucid vernacular English, like most people, and for this reason I have rendered their speech in SKY COYOTE as ordinary vernacular. Their own speech, in their own time, would have sounded straightforward and literate to them, so why shouldn't you, O Reader, hear it that way?.

h, and by the way... I didn't make up Chinigchinix, either. Yes, folks, Native Americans discovered monotheism too, quite without European influence. There was a prophet, born on Catalina Island evidently (hmmmm) who operated primarily out of the future site of Los Angeles (big surprise-- move over, Sister Aimee) and preached that all other religions were evil and had to go. In particular he demonized Coyote, the relatively benevolent Promethean figure up until that time, making him out to be the Evil One. The new religion spread widely through the southwest. Funny how history repeats itself, doesn't it? I note with interest that certain New Age faiths, despite being fairly mellow about most things, are almost unanimous in their tendency to demonize Christianity and (as the Christians did before them) distort history to suit their own world picture. Well, so it goes... I'm more of an old-fashioned animist, myself. Look after us, Uncle Coyote...



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  • My thanks to Faye Wilder for the little star-tossing coyote!

  • Copyright@Faelyn Wylder 1998