I read this as part of The Time Traveller’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.
This was our second outing with Mendoza and Joseph of the Company. This time they’re on the trail of some lichen in the San Francisco area, around the time California joined the Union.
Not much to say about this one. A nice enough read, perhaps even a bit humorous in places, but nothing massive. Just the pair chasing their tails around San Francisco and ending up with a better answer than they’d been chasing. Not much to say on time travel impact, really. There may have been more had a certain character not died naturally. But other than that, one cannot even really comment on how Mendoza and Joseph clearly do interfere in the status quo. Oh, and we got to know Mendoza and Joseph a little bit more this time, which was nice.
This I will say: Kage Baker’s writing is vivid, and sets you right in the scene. There’s no difficulty getting into the Company stories and they’re a bit of a romp.