Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fast Ships, Black Sails” as Want to Read:
Fast Ships, Black Sails
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fast Ships, Black Sails

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  389 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Do you love the sound of a peg leg stomping across a quarterdeck? Or maybe you prefer a parrot on your arm, a strong wind at your back? Adventure, treasure, intrigue, humor, romance, danger — and, yes, plunder! Oh, the Devil does love a pirate — and so do readers everywhere!
Swashbuckling from the past into the future and space itself, Fast Ships, Black Sails, edited by An
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Night Shade Books (first published January 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fast Ships, Black Sails, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fast Ships, Black Sails

Treasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonPeter Pan by J.M. BarrieThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanBloody Jack by L.A. MeyerPirates! by Celia Rees
75th out of 454 books — 608 voters
Night by Elie WieselWhat Papa Told Me by Felice CohenThe Nostradamus Prophecies by Mario ReadingA Night to Remember by Walter LordUnbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Great Non-Fiction to Read
55th out of 127 books — 4 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,516)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 21, 2016 Miriam marked it as to-read

Novik's contribution is available here:

Bear & Monette's is here:

I'll probably get the book eventually as I want to read at least Garth Nix's and Moorcock's stories.

Boojum / Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette -- Castor on troubled waters / Rhys Hughes -- I begyn as I mean to go on / Kage Baker -- Avast, abaft! / Howard Waldrop -- Elegy to Gabrielle, patron saint of healers, whores, and righteous thieves
A collection of pirate stories, ranging from sf to fantasy to a HMS Pinafore/Peter Pan cross-over. The stand-outs were:
"Boojum," by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. A low-level grunt on a living space-ship grows increasingly uneasy about their latest cargo.

"Skillet and Saber," by Justin Howe. Hilarious tale of the cook's apprentice on a pirate ship. So good that I intend to seek out more of Howe's work.

"Pirate Solutions," by Katherine Sparrow. Futuristic coders start drinking bone rum and beco
After slogging through the first story in this collection, I realized that rather than make myself grind through the whole book, I could just read the one story I checked it out from the library for: the one by Naomi Novik, which was excellent. And now, mission accomplished, I can take the book back, guilt-free!

This may seem like a duh thing to most of you, but I feel very adult and proud of this revelation.
Jamie Collins
Aug 27, 2012 Jamie Collins rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I’ve only read a few of these stories so far, and I don’t usually enjoy short stories that aren’t part of a larger series, so don’t put much stock in my rating.

I thought these were well-written:
"Boojum" by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear - a living spaceship run by a pirate crew.

"I Begyn As I Mean To Go On", Kage Baker. She was a hell of a writer and this is a good read, although the opening scene is the best part.

"Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake" by Naomi Novik. Fantasy, cyberpunkish
Mar 14, 2009 Sheila rated it really liked it
The stories I liked I really really liked...particularly "Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake" by Naomi Novik (awesome, awesome heroine) and "A Cold Day in Hell" by Paul Batteiger, where the ocean froze over at the turn of the 17th century and ships catch the wind but slide on skates.

I read Araminta out loud to a friend, and was intrigued by the different way I understood the story, speaking it instead of reading it to myself. It made everything more immediate, since I couldn't stop and lo
Like most short story collections, this one is a decidedly mixed bag. A few are incredible, while the others barely mediocre.

The best of the collection are:

"Boojum" by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette

"Skillet and Saber" by Justin Howe

"Pirate Solutions" by Katherine Sparrow

"Pirates of the Suara Sea" by David Freer and Eric Flint

"Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar Pirates of Sarskoe" by Garth Nix

The rest of the collection I cannot begin to recommend, even as a way to pass the time.
Jul 14, 2016 katnick rated it liked it
Shelves: anthologies
I chose Fast Ships, Black Sails because I love fun Pirates of the Caribbean style swashbuckling and several authors I like (Sarah Monette, Naomi Novik, and Garth Nix) had contributed stories. It was a bit of a slog to get through, especially in the middle, and overall I found it to be a tepid sort of mixed bag – most stories were at least okay but there was nothing I really loved.

Boojum by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette – Space pirates in a living sailfish ship are set upon by brain-harvesting
This collection is a mixed bag. It started fairly well, but after the first story dropped off until about 2/3 of the way through. After that it was strong again, but the drop off was a bit too much to rate this book any higher.

Stories worth a read were from these authors.

Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
David Freer & Eric Flint
Paul Batteiger
Naomi Novik
Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Garth Nix

The rest I didn't find worth the time.
May 29, 2011 Vasha7 rated it liked it
Some of the more notable stories here were "Boojum" by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette; "The Nymph's Child" by Carrie Vaughn; "Araminta, or, the Wreck of the Amphidrake" by Naomi Novik; "The Adventures of Captain Black Heart Wentworth: A Nautical Tail" by Rachel Swirsky; "The Whale Below" by Jayme Lynn Blaschke. On the whole, easily digested and easily forgotten.
Aug 21, 2010 Shauna rated it really liked it
Some traditional pirate stories, some pirate stories with a twist. All fall within the fantasy or sf genre. If you like pirate stories, you'll love this book of short stories.
Aug 27, 2012 Allison rated it really liked it
Really good collection. Favorites were The Boojum, Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar Pirates of Sarsköe, The Whale Below and The Voyage of the Iguana
Chris Jackson
Jul 18, 2016 Chris Jackson rated it really liked it
A great anthology of pirate tales. Quite varied in style and substance. Some I loved, some I only liked...but well worth the read.
Feb 09, 2015 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Like any anthology, this varied in quality according to story. Many were too comic for my tastes. The best by far was "Boojum" by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, which was original, interesting, vivid and engrossing. My second favourite was "Elegy to Gabrielle, Patron Saint of Healers, Whores and Righteous Thieves" by Kelly Barnhill, which also pulled me right into that world and held me there. Third best: "Pirates of the Suara Sea" by David Freer and Eric Flint. I also thought that "Araminta, ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: genre
I'm not a fan of short stories collections. This is really just a fact that can't be overcome. That said, that's mostly because I find it hard to take all the stories together, when in reality they stand alone. I did really enjoy several of those stories (although at least a few of them I definitely did not enjoy). My favorites included. "Ariminta," "Boojum," and "The Nymph's Child." (Perhaps it says something about my tastes that all of those stories have female protagonists. What can I say, I ...more
May 30, 2014 David rated it liked it
I usually avoid mixed short story collections. Even when a single author writes every story in a collection, the results can be mixed. But if you like the author, then you will usually like the overall collection. With a different author contributing each story, the chance for positive results drastically decreases. Fast Ships, Black Sails is a prime example of this.

The good aspect of having so many different authors writing such a wide range of stories is that you're almost guaranteed to find
Barbara Martin
In the VandeMeer Anthology pirates have moved into space and beyond, chartering the vast unknowns while making their livelihood at what they know best. Within these covers is the perfect pirate story for any reader, presenting classic and unique stories of buccaneers sailing the seas of the cosmos.

Boogum by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette – This is about piracy in space with unusual cargo taken from a captured freighter and a semi-sentient spaceship with Captain Black Alice who finds herself ma
Cyn Armistead
May 23, 2009 Cyn Armistead rated it liked it
I meant to write this review with the book in my hands, which is really the only way I can properly review any anthology. Alas, the volume had to be returned to the library before that happened (and before that, Sam was enjoying it). As it is, some stories just didn't register strongly enough for me to remember them.

On the other hand the stories I do recall were really, really good, and if I could rate them on their own they'd get 4s and 5s.

I'd read Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette's "Boojum" on
Dec 01, 2009 le-trombone rated it liked it
An anthology of stories of pirates, in a wide variety of settings. What the best stories seem to have in common is a use of pirates as a background to the story.

“Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. Piracy aboard a living ship.

“Castor on Troubled Waters” by Rhys Hughes A very tall tale of piracy at the local pub.

“I Begyn as I Mean to Go On” by Kage Baker The newest members of a pirate crew follow a truly unlucky pirate captain.

“Avast, Abaft!” by Howard Waldrop The Pirates of Penzan
Feb 28, 2013 Helmut rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pirates
Weltraumpiraten gegen Seedrachen

Die Herausgeber haben Mut: Direkt die erste Geschichte ist eine reinrassige Science-Fiction-Story, und sie setzt die Richtung, in die alle Geschichten dieser Sammlung gehen. Wer auf der Suche nach den klassischen Piraten mit Papagei und Hakenhand ist, muss sich woanders umschauen, denn in "Fast Ships, Black Sails" wird kreativ und mit viel Augenzwinkern mit dem Thema Piraterie umgegangen.

Von der schon erwähnten Auftaktgeschichte "Boojum", die Weltraumpiraten auf i
Alex Telander
Sep 20, 2010 Alex Telander rated it liked it
FAST SHIPS, BLACK SAILS EDITED BY ANN AND JEFF VANDERMEER: While this may not be the first pirate story anthology, Fast Ships, Black Sails doesn’t hold back, with its captivating cover featuring a classic pirate standing proud at the prow of his ship, while small glowing-eye dragons fly around, a tiny dragon skeleton sits on his shoulder, and in the cloudy distance is what appears to be a ghost pirate ship. This collection edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer features a combination of classic swash ...more
May 17, 2009 Res rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff, slash-interest
A collection of speculative pirate stories -- not without flaws, but far better than average.


Naomi Novik's "Araminta, or the Wreck of the Amphidrake," a marvelous age-of-sail-with-sorcery story where the plucky heroine, instead of being rewarded only with a chance to vanish into a stifling marriage with the man she likes rather than the one she hates, actually gets the life you'd wish for her.

Katherine Sparrow's "Pirate Solutions," in which a bunch of geek programmers are transformed
I resisted buying this for a long time, because I am really not a short story person and thus don't usually get along well with anthologies, but eventually I broke down and bought it. It turned out to be rather a mixed bag: some really good stuff, especially near the beginning and the end, but some I was less enthralled by (and a couple I frankly skipped, after reading a page or two and not being hooked).

I really liked Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette's "Boojum", about a living spaceship and one
Jul 11, 2014 KiplingKat rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable collection of modern-penned pirate tales (short stories) of all kinds, from straight up, genre cross overs with SciFi and Fantasy, the dramatic, the action packed, and the hilarious. Great stuff.

The only quibble I have as someone who has actually sailed a tall ship, in one story the use of nautical terms is unintentionally, embarrassingly uninformed. If you don't know the lingo, you shouldn't try to write it.

But that is the only quibble I have, otherwise I loved this colle
Margaret Fisk
Jul 08, 2015 Margaret Fisk rated it really liked it
Fast Ships, Black Sails is a pirate-focused anthology that has some wonderful tales in it. This anthology spans the range of the past, future, and even pirates with fur over more than their chins. I could not name a favorite as I almost always found the next story as captivating as the previous, and only one story did not resonate with me at all, but it may very well be the favorite for someone else. The stories were sweet, creepy, thoughtful, and just down right strange, held together by a love ...more
May 20, 2010 Maura rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This was a mixed bag for me. I liked the stories by the authors I already knew I liked: Garth Nix, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear & Naomi Novik. There were a few other ones that stuck in my brain, many more that were forgettable and some that I still don't think i really understood. I mean, I appreciate that pirates can be in many time periods and planetary systems and possibly parallel universes. But I really don't do well with narratives that parcel out information bit by bit because isn't the ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Apr 14, 2011 DeAnna Knippling rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I really did. But I just didn't.

I felt like the book was filled with what the editors considered shining, irresistible jewels - that had nothing in common. From slapstick in-jokes to steam punk. I started to skip stories. I dreaded coming to the ends of stories, because then I'd have to start something completely different. It was like the editors picked the most original stories, the ones that took the biggest risks - but didn't make sure those were the stories whos
Apr 26, 2016 Lil rated it liked it
Reviewing short stories is hard. Some were quite enjoyable - Naomi Novik's gender swapping pirate princess is a gem and I would give it 5 stars on it own, and the Elizabeth Bear/Sarah Monette "Boojam" was excellent--but too many others were meh and dragged the collection down.
Sep 19, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing
Yar! I am now convinced that I will develop a time machine. When I do, I will go back in time a couple of years and tell the editors of this collection exactly what they need to include to make me the most happy. That's the most likely explanation for the sheer awesome contained in these pages.

There are sky pirates, space pirates, computer pirates, and ship pirates. There are people hunting them, people using them, and people becoming them. The stories are consistently well-written and delightf
Medrith Nuttle
Jun 02, 2013 Medrith Nuttle rated it liked it
Science fiction/fantasy pirate stories, huzzah! Several of these stories were truly fine, some just ok, some didn't work for me at all. I bought the book for the Kage Baker story "I Begyn as I Mean to Go On", which is an excellent straight-out pirate story. Kage is, alas, gone (although her sister Kathleen Bartholomew is doing a great job of carrying on her work). There are a lot of her stories out there that I don't have yet, so I take every opportunity to buy another. There's plenty of other g ...more
An anthology of short stories about pirates past, present and elsewhen. Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette’s story “Boojum” takes place on a living pirate space ship. “Skillet and Saber” by Justin Howe is about the cook's mate on a pirate ship. “The Nymph’s Child” by Carrie Vaughn is about a woman pirate who pleads her belly to save her neck, but must give up her grown daughter so she can now sail the seas. “Araminta, Or the Wreck of the Amphidrake” by Naomi Novik is dragon-free, but has as a ti ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 50 51 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Great stories in the book, Rhys Hughes' was best 1 13 Apr 12, 2009 10:04AM  
  • Wings of Fire
  • Sails & Sorcery: Tales of Nautical Fantasy
  • Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy
  • Somewhere Beneath Those Waves
  • Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy
  • Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West
  • The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases
  • Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology
  • Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories
  • Crime Spells
  • The New Space Opera 2: All-new stories of science fiction adventure
  • The Secret History of Fantasy
  • Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology
  • Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural

Share This Book

“Araminta had generally considered the laws of etiquette as the rules of the chase, and divided them into categories: those which everyone broke, all the time; those which one could not break without being frowned at; and those which caused one to be quietly and permanently left out of every future invitation to the field.” 1 likes
More quotes…