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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  623 ratings  ·  130 reviews
In the early 2020s, two young, genius computer hackers, meet at MIT. One, Elizabeth Santiago, dreams of technology and space travel. The other, David Schwartz, is just looking to make a quick buck.

Nearly ten years later, David is setting himself to become a billionaire by working in the shadows for international thieves, while Elizabeth works in intelligence preventing int
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Tor Books
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  623 ratings  ·  130 reviews

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Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Review from Tenacious Reader:

Corsair is a thrilling and fun adventure full of space pirates and hackers, the kind of book that grabs you and holds you down (willingly) until it is all told. This book is pretty short, but it’s an addictive “page turner” that finished before I knew it. I say “page turner” in quotes because in actuality, I listened to this one as an audiobook so there were no actual pages involved. But I am really happy I did. There are some
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another excellent SF thriller from this author.

It starts with an interesting aerospace engineering arms race and continues into a tightly written thriller dealing with stolen spacecraft, terrorists and organized crime.
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: alcoholic Air Force officers, helium pirates, jihadists who want to bomb the moon
I do fucking love science, but my major was Linguistics, so until I read Charles Stross's rant about Helium 3 mining, I thought that He3 mining on the moon, the trope all the SF authors are using nowadays to justify space mining, sounded plausible.

Well, it isn't (if you believe Charles Stross). But does it really matter? Only to the degree of hardness you demand of your SF. It is kind of a bummer that there really may be no viable economic incentive to actually get us off-planet, but I think SF
Jan 01, 2016 rated it did not like it
I haven't finished this, I just realized I hated it all if a sudden and refused to continue any further. There's basically nothing positive to say about this book, and the audio book narrator's whiny voice for all female characters (they're not infrequent) didn't help...
The final third of this book saved this from being a 1-star read.
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Publisher: Tor

Publishing Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9780765379108

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.0/5

Publisher Description: In the early 2020s, two young, genius computer hackers, Elizabeth Santiago and David Schwartz, meet at MIT, where Schwartz is sneaking into classes, and have a brief affair. David is amoral and out for himself, and soon disappears. Elizabeth dreams of technology and space travel and takes a military job after graduating. Nearly ten years later, David
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fast and enjoyable read. Neither main character was particularly admirable; in fact, David was essentially an arrogant a-hole who hadn't grown up. Took almost dying for him to begin growing up by the end of the book. Elizabeth Santiago was much more complicated; totally obsessive and willing to break all sorts of rules --begs the question: what the heck was she doing in the military?
Liked the diverse cast, and how one of the main protagonists was a woman who wasn't just a yes-sir, no-
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Making things that are interesting...really boring.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Seriously seriously disappointing. Cardboard, cliched characters, obvious “tricks”, plot holes, hackneyed geek wish fulfilment fantasies, unbelievable police processes, naive good & evil, simplistic motivations, etc. etc. etc. That’s twice I’ve read work by Cambias and I should have paid attention to my notes from the first time, and this was worse.
Villain E
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I enjoyed Cambias' first book A Darkling Sea. It wasn't perfect, but it was a unique world with unique aliens, and Cambias has this amazing ability to get into his characters' heads and have different characters interpret the same situation differently. So I had to give his next book a try.

Corsair is a very different premise. In the near future, the moon is being mined for helium. This has opened the door to a new type of crime: space piracy! From the comfort of his lavish hotel room David Schwa
Nov 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Near future/near space thriller. It doesn't exactly have a space pirate, more like a hacker. It's written in that succinct vintage writing style a la John Scalzi, without a lot of over-explaining of what people are thinking or what things and people look like, coming in at a slim 336 pages. It does have some flashbacks though. It has a great beginning, but then goes back in time to set things up. It's got some smart science and plenty of humor and decent characterizations. The standard gunplay I ...more
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This was definitely a solid read. Not as good as his first novel which I loved. The plot worked best for me; the characters were a bit lacking. They just weren't fleshed out in my view, which made it hard to care about what was happening at times. Still a good read with lots of interesting ideas. I liked the space pirates idea. I look forward to more books by Cambias.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One awesome space-pirate (via virtual reality) book. Combined that with good characters, experimental space craft and a mission to the Moon and you've got a winner. Has plenty of action for anyone that is a space opera lover. I will be looking for more books by Cambias in the future.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Remote-control piracy using a video-game metaphor may not sound exciting, but it turns out to be very exciting as Corsair interlaces three lives into a 3D-Chess match of intrigue, revenge, anarchism, terrorism, and more. The prose is crisply written (I am so jealous!) and the climax wasn’t telegraphed in any way. I did anticipate some of the twists in the plot, but I was completely blown away by the way James L. Cambias brought these lives and events together at the conclusion of the story.

It is
Peter Tillman
Software space pirates vs. The Authorities! Eh, pretty good but unmemorable. To the point that I just started (inadvertantly) rereading it (7-2018), only to think, hmm, looks awfully familiar. 2.5 stars, courtesy round-up but don't expect anything path-breaking. But it does have a cracking-good opening! Captain Black the Space Pirate, at the absolute pinnacle of the tekno-badass pyramid! Sadly, it's downhill from there, or so I now recall. Totally anodyne cover-art, too.

The Cambias book to read
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Good ideas abound, and one decently-defined female protagonist. But it is too clearly a space opera version of “Ready Player One,” with more grownups.

I continue to like Cambias’s work, and will read his next one.
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
A rollicking good SF adventure story set in the very near future.

When I saw that this involved Space Piracy, I had visions of space battles, landing teams shooting things out with scrappy defenders, and so on. But, pardon the pun, this is more grounded. On earth, a team of hackers and engineers take over satellites. While not as intrinsically exciting, it's a lot easier to wrap your head around (and a little less standard fare).

Instead, the action comes from two fronts: 1. on Earth, with guns, e
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Stuck in a waiting room? While everyone else is watching looped infomercials on invisalign braces or high blood pressure, grab a copy of Corsair and enjoy a fun read that will make you forget where you are. No, it's not deep - but it has great action, multi-level intrigue, cat and mouse wars, and near future scenarios (2020-2032)that keep the imagination alive and the desire to see-what's-next turning the pages. The future still has McDonalds, Westinghouse, Coca-Cola and Lockheed Martin - but al ...more
Jeff Raymond
Jun 17, 2015 marked it as unfinished-reads
Considering how much I love Firefly, I'm not at all sure why I continue to struggle with books about space pirates. Some of it might just be my generally not liking stories along those lines, but this, while well-written and well-paced, failed to grab me. Just not my cup of tea.
Cyndy Aleo
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, sci-fi, rt-review
Reviewed for RT Book Reviews May 2015 issue:
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
It’s the early 2020 and people are starting to harvest helium from the moon, we follow a series of characters, one of them is a space pirate and the other is determined to capture the space pirate. I picked this up at a book sale and thought the premise was interesting. I was really excited to read this, I went in expecting epic fight scenes, witty remarks, fantastic world building but unfortunately, I was met with none of those.

There were a few problems that stopped me from fully enjoying this
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I have unresolved feelings regarding piracy which Cambias agitated.
I did an intensive study of piracy at the university: it impacts international commerce even to this day (20 Nov., 2018), which is a little further in the future.
My interest was not directly in liquor or import/export of guns or prescription medication, just to see how this story ran! By the way, the link for shipping internationally here is available here.
I must have given away the pirated animanga that I had in the past, due
Alex Austin
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was about two computer hacker that meet each other at a school called MIT.

A girl named Elizabeth Santiage is a person who dreams of technology and and travelling in space, another person named David Schwartz is just looking to make a lot of money. Few years have pass by and David is getting closer and closer to become a billionaire by working for a low profile organisation called International Thieves. Elizabeth is a hard worker and she is working up toward to prevent international spa
Michael O'Donnell
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
A light easy read.

It is near now science fiction so that nothing is actually very new or exotic.

The characters were well drawn but very inconsistent. A wannabe pirate that is just playing at it. An Air Force gal that is just playing at it. Mostly just geek hacking and jihadists.

Having said that it was a page turner. The action and story carried it along at pace. It got too neat at the end but who cared.

Would have given it 3 stars but I did not want to give people the impression that it was r
Dare Talvitie
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful surprise. A near-future techno-thriller with a light touch of steel-hard sci-fi, Corsair feels like it's written by Tom Clancy's mischievous, anarchist kid sister or brother. This is a compliment, by the way. Whereas Clancy's characters would be stodgy and politically unpleasant, Cambias' are cheerfully amoral and chaotic, and the story is at its heart one of cops and robbers. Even when things get serious and nasty - and they do - the book never quite loses the feel of a dy ...more
Lisa Lee
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Corsair by James L. Cambias is so awesomely badass. The book involves with the future, science, space, spacecraft, hacking, a little touch of romance and so many more interesting things. It has been a while since I read a si-fi book and this one was over the mountains. I am shocked how the author packed so much details towards the last couple of pages. I really enjoyed how everything that happened, happened for a reason. Overall, Corsair just kept getting better each time I read it.
May 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, sf
There’s something... off about it. The characters hint at depth but lack it. The plot hints at complexity but it’s not really that much going on. And there’s totally unnecessary flashes of homophobia and transphobia that surprised me in a book published in 2015 and blurbed by John Scalzi. Disappointing.
J.C. Crumpton
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as his first one. Cambias spoiled me with his new take on aliens and culture in his first book. I felt this one, though it was especially exciting in the second half, was too simple and did not have the same sense of adventure into the unknown.

I am still looking forward to his next book.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was a quick read even though for the first 2/3 or so the plot moved slowly. The last 1/3 sped up a lot...almost too much? Some character relationships felt forced. The writing was good and it kept my interest enough to finish it, but I don't need to read it ever again.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic ride, from first page to last. Fast paced action cover to cover!
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I grew up in New Orleans, was educated at Chicago, and currently live in New England.
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“He shrugged. “When I was younger, I tried to make a good impression on dates. I’d take girls out dancing, bribe the bouncers to get us into trendy clubs, follow all the rules on the pickup artist sites. And one day about five years ago, I realized something: I suck at dancing, I hate trendy clubs, and the women who fall for the standard pickup techniques are airheads. So now I do stuff I like to do anyway. If my date doesn’t like it, then we’re probably not compatible anyway.” 0 likes
“Damn you, Captain Black!” she yelled into the twilight. “This isn’t over yet! From hell’s heart, I stab at thee!” 0 likes
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