by Helen Hollick
Having previously read and reviewed Sea Witch by Helen Hollick, I was looking forward to checking out its sequel, Pirate Code, which seems to begin mere moments after Sea Witch concluded. We immediately join up with the tale’s protagonists, pirate Jesemiah Acorne and his – well, girlfriend I suppose (being as they’re so devoted to one another, girlfriend seems too weak a term. But since she’s married to another, she really can’t be otherwise), the witch Tiola. Tiola and Jesemiah are well occupied dealing with the difficulties of Tiola’s husband, who refuses to grant a divorce – but this distraction is soon eclipsed by the larger issue of England going to war with Spain, followed by Governor Woodes Rogers’ revocation of pirate amnesties for the purpose of pressing all able seamen into service. Continue reading
It’s exceedingly hard to explain the plot of 1980’s The Island without it sounding silly. In a few words, it’s the modern-day story of a reporter and his son being kidnapped and held captive by a crew of inbred pirates who’ve managed to stay under the radar of modern society for 300 years. See? Silly. And yet, not even remotely. Based on a book by the same bloke that wrote Jaws, this is a well crafted story and a decent pirate flick to boot.
The basic deal is this – the famous buccaneer l’Ollonais apparently didn’t die as most historical accounts state (being torn apart alive and eaten by native cannibals), but rather he founded his own society of pirates. His children, grand-children, and great grand-children have continued to raid passing ships by means of acquiring the necessities of life. They honor their past, follow a code, and basically live the “good life”, with the tiny exception that their limited gene pool has begun to bottom out. But never fear – these crafty pirates have learned the key to their salvation. Rather than simply stealing booty, it’s time to start stealing children as well. See? Problem solved. Continue reading
Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth
by J.V. Hart
I loved this book. I freakin’ loved this book.
I’ll be honest – I’ve rarely given Captain Hook much thought. I’m not a particular fan of the Peter Pan story, and most depictions of its famous villain have left me rather indifferent. Jason Isaac’s incredible 2005 portrayal was a notable exception – but exactly that, an exception. So Hook in general? Meh.
All this has changed due to Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth. This is the story of Hook before he was hook – back when he was merely James Matthew, the bastard child of a British Lord, and a new student at Eton. Continue reading
GeekDad has just posted a preview of the upcoming pirate short-story anthology, Fast Ships, Black Sails. Catch a sneak peak at one of the entries, Boojum, as well as a promotional video.
Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder
by Edward Chupack
Silver is a fictional autobiography as penned by none other than Long John himself. Starting with his roots as a back-alley thief and working up through common pirate to eventual captain, it traces his entire life in shameless detail. Long John delights in every crime, every murder, every maneuver for advantage against his adversaries and allies alike.
The first thing a reader needs to understand is that this is not the Long John of Treasure Island – Disney or otherwise. Rather, it’s a new perspective of this same character – more sinister, more murderous. Throughout, many important details of this account won’t quite match with John Hawkins’ own famous telling – this is intentional, as the author states his purpose to create a new story inspired by the Long John Silver, rather than a mere prequel limited by the exact characters and events of Treasure Island. This is important to note, because otherwise a reader might go nuts over several apparent discrepancies (Long John’s missing leg, the origins of the treasure, the role of Hawkins, etc.) Continue reading
Quelch’s Gold: Piracy, Greed, and Betrayal in Colonial New England
by Clifford Beal
It was the golden age of Piracy – a privateer out of New England went “freelance”, violating his letter of marque and plundering a fortune in Portuguese gold. Upon his return home, he was tried and sentenced amongst a deafening uproar of injustice in a region only recently recovering from the Salem Witch Trials. To this day, folks still seek the gold these pirates left behind, while living in a nation founded partly on sparks generated by this very pirate’s conviction. And odds are, you don’t have a clue who I’m talking about.
John Quelch was in many ways the very embodiment of a 1704 pirate. Beginning as a legal privateer, he followed much in the footsteps of his more famous predecessor Captain Kidd as he abandoned the terms of his commission in favor of hunting more lucrative prey. The evidence is pretty clear, and quite damning. That Quelch and his men, armed with a Letter of Marque to hunt the French in the Northern Atlantic instead headed south to Brazil to plunder Portuguese gold is pretty much beyond question. And yet, in the eyes of history this is far from an open-and-shut case, leaving many questions. Continue reading