The Black Company
|Media type||Print (hardback and paperback)|
The Black Company is a series of dark fantasy books written by American author Glen Cook. The series combines elements of epic fantasy as it follows an elite mercenary unit, the Black Company, through roughly forty years of its approximately four-hundred-year history.
The Books of the North
- The Silver Spike: September 1989 (set after The Books of the North, featuring characters who did not head south)
The Books of the South
The Books of Glittering Stone
- Bleak Seasons: April 1996
- She Is the Darkness: September 1997
- Water Sleeps: March 1999
- Soldiers Live: July 2000
- Port of Shadows: September 2018 (a "lost history" set between The Black Company and Shadows Linger)
- A Pitiless Rain, the conclusion of the series, release date undetermined
Science Fiction Book Club hardcover omnibus editions
- Annals of the Black Company (collects The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose)
- The Black Company Goes South (collects The Silver Spike, Shadow Games, and Dreams of Steel)
- The Black Company: Glittering Stone I (collects Bleak Seasons and She Is the Darkness)
- The Black Company: Glittering Stone II (collects Water Sleeps and Soldiers Live)
Tor Fiction softcover omnibus editions
- The Chronicles of The Black Company (collects The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose) (November 2007)
- The Books of the South (collects Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, and The Silver Spike) (June 2008)
- The Return of The Black Company (collects Bleak Seasons, and She Is The Darkness) (September 2009)
- The Many Deaths of The Black Company (collects Water Sleeps, and Soldiers Live) (January 2010)
On The Long Run
The short stories of the On The Long Run arc all take place within the first 4 years of the 6-year gap between Shadows Linger and The White Rose. They are published out-of-order, as the most recently published stories occur before the earlier three.
- "Shaggy Dog Bridge"—appeared in Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy, edited by Jonathan Strahan, published by Solaris (2013)
- "Bone Eaters"—appeared in Operation Arcana, edited by John Joseph Adams, published by Baen (2015)
- "Chasing Midnight"—appeared in The Best of Glen Cook, published by Night Shade (2019)
- "Cranky Bitch"—appeared in Songs of Valor, published by New Mythology Press (2021)
- "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows"—appeared in Keen Edge of Valor, published by New Mythology Press (2022)
"Shaggy Dog Bridge" and "Bone Eaters" were republished in The Best of Glen Cook, where "Chasing Midnight" first appeared.
Pre-pub novel excerpts
Four other short stories were published but later reappeared as chapters within subsequent novels:
- "Raker"—appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (August 1982). This was a pre-publication excerpt of chapter three from The Black Company, with slight editing differences to make it stand alone as a short story.
- "Tides Elba"—appeared in Swords & Dark Magic, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders, published by Eos (2010).
- "Smelling Danger: A Black Company Story"—appeared in the Subterranean Press anthology Tales of Dark Fantasy 2, edited by William Schafer (2011).
- "Bone Candy"—appeared in Shattered Shields, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt, published by Baen (2014).
"Tides Elba", "Smelling Danger", and "Bone Candy" were collected and reworked into the novel Port of Shadows.
The series follows an elite mercenary unit, The Black Company, last of the Free Companies of Khatovar, through roughly forty years of its approximately four-hundred-year history. Cook mixes fantasy with military fiction in gritty, down-to-earth portrayals of the Company's chief personalities and its struggles.
The main chronology spans nine novels, which can be grouped into three sections: The Books of the North recount the Company's dealings with the Empire of Lady; The Books of the South follow the Company on its journey back to its beginnings in Khatovar; Glittering Stone sees the Company achieve victory over its employer's enemies, and move on to its destiny. A spin-off novel, The Silver Spike, follows events concerning former members of the Company and one of its adversaries. Port of Shadows describes forgotten events which took place between The Black Company and Shadows Linger. And, the short stories of the On The Long Run arc all take place during the first 4 years of the 6-year gap between Shadows Linger and The White Rose.
In other media
In 2017, it was reported that a television show based on the Black Company was under development, with David S. Goyer as executive producer. Eliza Dushku was to produce and play The Lady, with episodes airing on The CW and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television. As of 2022, there have not been further updates on the television show's progress.
- Mead, Donald (January 17, 2005). "Interview: Glen Cook". Strange Horizons. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
- Cook, Glen (2018). "Copyright Acknowledgements". Port of Shadows (First hardcover ed.). New York: Tor Books. p. 5. ISBN 9781250174574.
- Petski, Denise (April 24, 2017). "Eliza Dushku to Star in 'The Black Company' Series Adaptation in Works by IM Global & David Goyer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 30, 2017.