Queen of Swords Press is releasing a brand new anthology focused on swashbuckling pirates who not only sail the high seas, but also the starry skies, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). Now not only are these pirates from tremendously diverse worlds, they also happen to be a bit different than your average high seas adventurer. These characters are all part of the LGBTQ+ umbrella. While not all of the characters specifically discuss their identities each story focuses on minority characters. While the anthology doesn’t come out until December of this year I had the opportunity to sail with these pirates a bit early and wanted to share my thoughts with all of you.
As I previously mentioned Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) contains a variety of pirates and really has a story that is fit for any reader. There are more traditional pirate stories set on the high seas, but there are also stories focused on pirates traveling through time, space, or even time and space. You can also find Grecian myths, post apocalyptic worlds, and even a world with humanoid animals. Whether you are a fan of fantasy, sci-fi, or adventure stories this anthology is perfect for you. While it is tremendously hard to pick favorites I wanted to highlight three of the stories that I enjoyed within the anthology to give you a bit of an idea of what you can find inside. “Saints and Bodhisattvas” by Joyce Chng introduces us to a character who falls within the gender fluid or non-binary spectrum. The captain of this particular ship was born of both land and sea and while they present slightly feminine and allow their crew to sometimes refer to them by female pronouns they prefer to be presented as male. When a young woman hires this particular captain to help her find her father’s killer a romance begins to blossom that neither one of them expected. This story has such great dialogue and I loved the dynamic between the captain and the woman who hires the crew.
The next story I want to highlight also involves a captain rescuing a young woman, though this time the captain is very definitely female and her crew is very sure that she has only rescued this woman because she is desperately seeking a bed companion. While she jokes along with her crew, the captain in “The Doomed Amulet of Erum Vahl” finds herself battling evil to protect the woman she has rescued in order to stop the world from ending. “Rib of Man” had perhaps my favorite character as the lead in this particular high seas story. Captain Henriette Talmadge leads the crew of the Rib of Man. She is a bold woman who speaks her mind and when she boards another ship she always gives a speech about why her crew is primarily women and why she chose the name she chose for her ship. I was delighted by her and her command of the situation, as well as her enduring kindness. While my favorite stories all come from the realm of traditional pirate tales this should not dissuade you in the event you are more of a sci-fi fan. “Rosa, the Dimension Pirate” involves alternate realities and “After the Deluge” involves a sunken New York, destroyed by climate change. Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) might not be available until December, but you can pre-order it today.
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