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text 2016-08-13 23:00
Black Sails and Piracy

So I got to watching Starz's Black Sails recently and although I was hesitant at first, expecting it to be kind of corny, it soon grew on me and I've been binge watching it. The show has grown through the second season and I particularly like Toby Stephens as Captain Flint. (RLS' Treasure Island Captain Flint). I like how they have blended fictional characters in with the romanticized real life ones such as Blackbeard & Charles Vane.

 

Anyway all of this led me to start thinking about the history of the Caribbean and in particular piracy. From my initial wikipedia searches I found that information seems sparse, which is understandable, given that we're talking about 400 year old history, but I knew there would be someone out there that has written a solid, engaging history. 

 

And so I'm now at the point where I've just purchased 3 books from Amazon based on recommendations from varying places. David Cordingly's name kept popping up with his history Under the black Flag and his more recent Spanish Gold. Finally I stumbled upon Carrie Gibson's Empire's Crossroads. 

 

To be honest I'm sat here now and I'm thinking to myself, how have I left it so long to delve into piracy. Perhaps it's because it's typically romanticized for children, who can pretend to be adventurous, marauding captains with their plastic sword, pirate hat play set from the local toy shop.

 

Maybe because of this glamorizing of piracy in modern day society and the lack of reliable evidence available it's hard differentiate between what is legend or fantasy and what was real. Hopefully my three purchases will help enlighten me. 

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text 2014-03-14 22:17
Anyone watching this?

Black Sails on Starz

 

http://www.starz.com/originals/blacksails/videos/video/16

 

I have watched 4 episodes (there is only 8 in the first season) and think right now I am making myself like it.  I understand there needs to be story building and such but, meh, for a time period I love, this is not doing it for me.  I was so excited too!  Maybe it gets better?

 

Meantime, I'm going to congratulate myself on keeping the old VCR and pop in The Black Swan.

Take me away Jamieboy..........

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review 2009-10-16 00:00
Fast Ships, Black Sails - Garth Nix,Eric Flint,Dave Freer,Carrie Vaughn,Howard Waldrop,Michael Moorcock,Jeff VanderMeer,Brendan Connell,Kage Baker,Sarah Monette,Conrad Williams,Elizabeth Bear,Steve Aylett,Rhys Hughes,Jayme Lynn Blaschke,Rachel Swirsky,Kelly Barnhill,Scott Altmann, 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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review 2009-07-01 00:00
Fast Ships, Black Sails
Fast Ships, Black Sails - Garth Nix,Eric Flint,Dave Freer,Carrie Vaughn,Howard Waldrop,Michael Moorcock,Jeff VanderMeer,Brendan Connell,Kage Baker,Sarah Monette,Conrad Williams,Elizabeth Bear,Steve Aylett,Rhys Hughes,Jayme Lynn Blaschke,Rachel Swirsky,Kelly Barnhill,Scott Altmann, Some of the more notable stories here were "Boojum" by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette; "The Nymph's Child" by Carrie Vaughn; "Araminta, or, the Wreck of the Amphidrake" by Naomi Novik; "The Adventures of Captain Black Heart Wentworth: A Nautical Tail" by Rachel Swirsky; "The Whale Below" by Jayme Lynn Blaschke. On the whole, easily digested and easily forgotten.
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