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Fast Ships, Black Sails Paperback – October 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
In the opening story, "Boojum" from Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette - possibly the best in the collection - we are in space, and the mighty spaceships are living entities that grow and change and have mouths; they are biomechanical. The authors do an excellent job of creating an interesting world that leaves the reader wanting more. In Naomi Novik's -- author of the successful Temeraire series - "Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake," the daughter of a very important noble is kidnapped by pirates and thought murdered, but Araminta is a special woman with some unique powers allowing her to outwit the pirates who have taken her hostage. In Michael Moorcock's too short story "Ironface," there are pirates in space and Ironface is the most feared in the solar system, who makes the trip to Venus to accept the expensive bribe that he collects each decade, then his ship, Pain, floats back out into the dark realms of space.
Fast Ships, Black Sails has the perfect pirate story for any reader, as it presents both the classic and the unusual stories of privateers and buccaneers sailing the high seas, as well as the dark matter clouds of the cosmos.
Find more reviews, as well as a selection of my writing, and a link to the book review podcast BookBanter at [...]
You don't have a pirate section? I can't be the only one who does.
I think my favorite stories are "Boojum" by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, "The Nymph's Child" by Carrie Vaughn, and "Pirate Solutions" by Katherine Sparrow. "Boojum" is the aforementioned space pirate story, narrated by Black Alice, a junior engineer on a living ship. Boojums are strange space creatures that allow humans to use them as transports; they will allow their crew to pillage ships as long as the boojum gets to devour the ship itself-and whatever crew is left on board. Alice develops a bond with the ship, and when they're attacked by the vicious Mi-Go (yes, that is a Lovecraft reference), Black Alice must do something desperate to survive. This is a very strange story, but it is incredibly imaginative and very well-written.
"The Nymph's Child," written by Carrie Vaughn of the Kitty Norville series, is about a woman who had sailed with pirates disguised as a man. When they are captured, the captain-who is her lover-tells the Marshal that Gregory Lark es actually Grace Lark and is with child. Years later and Grace keeps a tavern and has a proud teenage daughter who seems desperate for adventure. When an old face shows up and asks the secret to crossing the Strait of the Iron Teeth, where a dragon is rumored to dwell, Grace must face up to her past and come to terms with her daughter's desires.Read more ›
An anthology like this can serve a couple of purposes - not just enjoyment for itself but also as a taster of various authors' work. I've found a couple of new ones to follow up, so that's good.
There is such diversity that it doesn't necessarily read well story after story, but as a dipper, one story at a time rather than several in a row.
It's an engaging and varied collection of bonbons, pirates in all sorts of times and places, not all involving peglegs and parrots. But the one I've read over again, the one that will stay with me, is Boojum.
Pirates of all types are found in this collection: space pirates, ice pirates, supernatural pirates, pirate pirates, and last but by no means least, rat pirates.
Boojum, the opening tale by Bear and Monette is one of the best in the book, but I also found Garth Nix and Naomi Novik did sterling work also. Suara Sea by Flint and Freer was fun, but my favourite story was "A cold day in hell" by Paul Batteiger. The imagery conjured up by that tale was superb and its setting unique: to call it Pirates on Ice is not to spoil the story but hopefully to intrigue. The world found in that story could support a whole novel, if not a series of them.
The nonsense tale "The Adventures of Captain Black Heart Wentworth" by Rachel Swirsky was also great fun, but sadly unfilmable, save by Pixar. Thats not to say a story should be filmable to be a success, but I challenge the reader not to regret being unable to see that tale on the big screen.
For the price, there are books of uniformly higher quality available, but as far as anthologies go, this is a solid one, assuming you like pirates (and if you don't, you should).
A great gift for talk like a pirate day, or to any Pastafarians who hold pirates in reverance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The stories in 'Fast Ships, Black Sails' - while sometimes of very disparate genres - were all quite good examples of different methods of piracy. Read morePublished on March 4, 2010 by Steven Warfield
On the whole, I enjoyed the stories in this book, but only a few were memorable or even satisfying. A great idea, with less than perfect execution.Published on November 21, 2009 by L. G. Lewis
Compilations always include something you don't like, but you won't know til you have read the book right through. Read morePublished on August 20, 2009 by casualreader