Wealhtheow's Reviews > Fast Ships, Black Sails

Fast Ships, Black Sails by Ann VanderMeer
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Oct 16, 09

liked it
bookshelves: feypunk, fantasy, sci-fi, mannerpunk, queer-characters
Read in October, 2009

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 become old-fashioned pirates--but they hack instead of sail. I was initially wary of this premise, but Sparrow makes it work.

"Pirates of the Suara sea," by David Freer and Eric Flint. A female sea-captain (reminiscent of Malcolm Reynolds) does some clever dancing to defeat the pirates who overtake her ship. Good world-building (particularly rare in a short story) and characterization.

"The Adventures of Captain Black Heart Wentworth: A Nautical Tail," by Rachel Swirsky. Two crazed rats are the last of their pirate ship--and when one of them falls in love with a mercenary cat, it could be the last of them, as well. Funny, whimsical, but probably not everyone's cup of tea.

And my personal favorite of the collection:
"Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake," by Naomi Novik. Very funny, a fascinating world (I want a whole series about it!), and a memorable main character. Captures the spirit of freedom, light morals, and bloody-mindedness of the best pirate yarns.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan I have been wanting to find a copy of this for a while.

Wealhtheow Whoever finds it first wins a prize!
...the prize is, uh, they get to read it. Soooo, yeah.

message 3: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan Ha! I didn't realize that I had already commented on this months ago. But now that I've read your review I couldn't resist mentioning that my name was *almost* Araminta. No joke, I'll tell you the story sometime.

message 4: by Wealhtheow (last edited Oct 18, 2009 03:11PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Wealhtheow Woah, I did not realize Araminta was an actual, real-world name. I thought it was a fantasy name, just missing excess "y"s and apostrophes. (A'ramynta?)

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