Review of Noble Mold by Kage Baker

18586183This was an interesting story. It is about two immortals in western America before the Yankees arrive. One is posing as a padre at the local Roman Catholic church, while the other has been based in the mountains roundabout. She, Mendoza, receives a new assignment: to sample all the grape vines growing in the area.

What ensues is a debacle over a grape vine that ends in the immortals deceiving a local Indian family in order to get what they want. This attitude towards present-time locals by immortals or time travellers appears to be prevalent among this type of science fiction story: what matters is the goal of the visitor, not the local. More often than not, at least.

The story is very well written, with vivid imagery of the setting and characters. I cannot say that I enjoyed reading it, but I did appreciate that Father Joseph at least considered the feelings and sensibilities of the locals and tried to do things without going against their worldview and superstition. Mendoza? Not so much. She was clearly far more intent on gaining her prize so that she could reap the benefits of it.

4/5 rating

My fellow time travelling readers are:

Timothy C. Ward (on hiatus)
H.M. Jones
DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

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About Laurel C Kriegler

A born and bred South African, I was educated at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where I graduated with an Honours Degree (post-graduate) in Economics at the end of 2001. After spending several years gaining work experience in the UK, I returned to South Africa to get married. It was during the ensuing period that my pursuits of writing and editing took hold.
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5 Responses to Review of Noble Mold by Kage Baker

  1. aleshaescobar says:

    Interesting! I’ve also caught that underlying theme recurring throughout several of the stories we’ve read in TTA (re: the goal of the visitor).

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  2. Hannah Jones says:

    I agree. There’s this undertone of who comes and how they see those from other times. There’s a very interesting commentary going on in this anthology, I think.

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  3. I really enjoyed the contrasting personalities of Joseph and Mendoza, and their complete opposite approaches when it came to dealing with the locals.

    I know I’ve only read 3 of the stories in this section, but this one is clear leader so far. I highly doubt (and hope) it will still be at the end, but it’s the only one that I’ve enjoyed reading for the whole story.

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