Review of Catherine Lundoff, ed., Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space), (Queen of Swords Press, 2018) — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.
When my sister and I were children, our Lego collections were strictly demarcated. She had the knights and castles, I had the pirates. While my interests have shifted from the piratical to the chivalric, I still hold a soft spot for pirates and all the wonderful stories I enacted with my ships and forbidden treasure and lost islands on my parents’ dining room table. I also am always At Home for feel-good stories that allow me to escape my daily cares and wind down at the end of the day — which basically describes every story in this anthology. Reading this collection was just good fun. There were Viking pirates, ancient Greek pirates, women pirates, queer pirates, space pirates, feminist pirates, and everything in between. The pirate prizes range from treasure to slaves to simply freedom to live and love another day. And while the basic premise of the stories were all the same (those activities which count as piratical are actually rather constrained!), the reading of the stories was in no way monotonous or repetitive. Quite the contrary — these stories are like candies, you can’t stop at just one, you have to pop an entire handful!
One of the things I enjoyed about this collection was the number of new authors it introduced me to; the only one I was familiar with in advance was Lundoff herself. As is usual, we will review each story in turn, and link the reviews back here as they are published:
- “Treasured Island” by Ginn Hale
- “The Seafarer” by Ashley Deng
- “Saints and Bodhisattvas” by Joyce Chng
- “The Doomed Amulet of Erum Vahl” by Ed Grabianowski
- “Serpent’s Tail” by Mharie West
- “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by Megan Arkenberg
- “Andromache’s War” by Elliott Dunstan
- “Rib of Man” by Geonn Cannon
- “A Smuggler’s Pact” by Su Haddrell
- “The Dead Pirate’s Cave” by Soumya Sundar Mukherjee
- “Rosa, The Dimension Pirate” by Matisse Mozer
- “A Crooked Road Home” by Caroline Sciriha
- “After the Deluge” by Peter Golubock
- “Tenari” by Michael Merriam
- “Search for the Heart of the Oceans” by A. J. Fitzwater
If there is one negative note that I would raise, it is that many of the stories ended right when I felt like they were just getting started; they seemed episodic rather than full and complete. Such stories always made me a little disappointed, because they ended and left me wanting more.