Sunday, December 13, 2009
Fast Ships, Black Sails - Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (ed)
buy - (one of the) editor site
The Deal: At this point in time, due to an RSI, I can only type for 10 minutes at a time. What you see below is what is hammered out before the timer goes off- and nothing more.
Arr. Arrr. Arr. I think my opinion of pirates has already been well established. Namely, ninjas are better.
This particular theme lends itself to fun, not just for the reader, but for the writer, which is apparent in quite a few of the stories. The pop culture connotations surrounding pirates are hard to fend off, and there isn't always a need to.
I was particularly enamoured of 'Boojum' by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, which, just, my goodness. It's the first story in the collection, and I had to put the book away when I'd read it because it affected me so much. Some great aching loneliness that can only be triggered when considering the distances involved in space. A gorgeous, powerful, somewhat terrifying and yet comforting tale.
Conrad Williams's '68° 07’ 15"N, 31° 36’ 44"W' was the antithesis of all the fun and jolly mayhem. Horrible, wretched, helpless and hopeless and singularly alarming. But, you know, Conrad Williams, I'm biased. (Which doesn't actually make my opinion invalid. Awesome story.)
Quite fond of 'Pirate Solutions' by Katherine Sparrow (dealing with modern day pirates finding their roots) and 'Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake' by Naomi Novik ('cause girl pirates do it better).
A solid collection of miscreants. I'd say worth the price alone just for 'Boojum' and '68° 07’ 15"N, 31° 36’ 44"W'.
Verdict: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I rob to pay tithe to my ninja overlord.
Miss Apricot does not wish to witness Shark Puppet giving the pirate on the cover a pegleg.