RIP: Kage Baker 1952-2010

Kage Baker has passed away this morning after a fierce struggle with cancer. She was best known for her Company novels, including In the Garden of Iden. For months, she had fought the uterine cancer privately, but the tumor spread to her brain.

The Green Man review posted this letter from her sister, Kathleen.

She died at 1:15 this morning. She had begun to have difficulty breathing early this evening; I gave her  atropine and morphine for the breathing problems and the pain, but by about 8 PM she slipped into unconsciousness. The last thing she requested was to have her pillows adjusted – she said she was more comfortable, and after that she said nothing else. She became unresponsive very shortly thereafter, and by her own request, no heroic efforts were made.

Her sister Anne and nieces Kate and Emma were up this weekend, and watched with me for most of the evening.  At about 1 AM her breathing got louder and lighter and more urgent, though her pupils were not responsive to light; there was a rush of bile from her mouth, and then she passed away very quietly in our arms.

Kage’s body will go to MedCure, a body donation program working on training surgery students. They will cremate it and return the ashes to me in about 3 weeks. Her ashes will then be scattered half from Catalina Island and half from Plaskett Creek beach near Big Sur.

For a beautiful appreciation of her, please visit Marty Halpern’s site to read “In the Company of Kage Baker”

Kage’s family and friends have our deepest sympathy. Science fiction has lost a brilliant light.

23 Responses

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  6. Rina Weisman

    in tears upon hearing this…just so damned unfair. I’m sitting her reading the obituary, and looking at the books of hers on the library table, thinking it can’t be true, her books are right there and I just read them… Our condolences to her family.

  7. Jackie Kashian

    She was a great writer and had so many more stories to tell. My sincere condolences to her family and friends on their loss, which is so much more than to fans of her work. Peace and Love.

  8. Tom Barclay

    Condolences to Kate, the rest of the family, the Fair Folk, other friends, readers and acquaintances. This is a terrible loss.

  9. Rudy Rucker

    What a shock to hear of Kage’s passing. “Death thou comest when I had thee least in mind.” She was an intense, witty writer. Her tales blossomed like little movies in the mind, with the creaking of wagons, the hubbub of crowds, the canny villains, the resourceful heroines, and the intriguing folk who were in between. My clearest memory of her is a rainy November day a couple of years ago when we did a shared reading at an art gallery in the North Beach party of San Francisco. She’d been working on a Dickens Faire set-up, and the larger-than-life sense of a classical Holiday entered the room with her and her retinue. I’ll miss you, Kage.

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  13. Jeannine Klein

    I came late to this information and am both shocked and saddened by it; trying hard not to tear up at work. Kage was always a lovely person (much nicer than Mendoza), both generous and witty, who wrote incredible books. We are all diminished by her passing.

  14. gen kazdin

    Saddened by this loss. I had not read this before today. Thank you, Kage, and I wish you peace.

  15. Ann Marie Y.

    I just found out by accident, browsing at Amazon. I am shocked. So sad, I feel like I lost a friend. What a wonderful mind, besides being witty, fun, and such a good writer. She really took it all on and tried to make sense of what it is to be human.