Fast Ships, Black Sails

Ann VanderMeer, Editor, Jeff VanderMeer, Editor . Night Shade $14.95 (241p) ISBN 978-1-59780-094-5

Saintly pirates, loony pirates, pirate cooks and talking animal-buccaneers slash and swagger through the Caribbean, the Internet, the perpetually frozen Atlantic and the seas of distant planets in this collection of 18 original stories. The anthology begins strongly with Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette’s “Boojum,” a tale of one space pirate’s self-discovery, and concludes equally well with a gentleman rogue and his magical puppet in Garth Nix’s “Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar-Pirates of Sarsköe.” The levity of “Castor on Troubled Waters,” Rhys Hughes’s playful romp through time and space, and Howard Waldrop’s conflation of fictional pirates, “Avast, Abaft!,” are balanced by “68° 07' 15" N, 31° 36' 44" W,” Conrad Williams’s baffling little chunk of horror. These ingenious variations on a theme deserve to be savored slowly. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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