FORGOTTEN BOOKS #609: COSMIC CORSAIRS Edited by Hank Davis & Christopher Ruocchio

The first Space Pirate SF novel I ever read was back in the early 1960s when I read Murray Leinster’s The Pirates of Zan (one half of an ACE Double). Since then, I’ve read a number of Space Pirate stories with some of them ending up in Hank Davis’s latest anthology, Cosmic Corsairs. I’ve read and reviewed about a dozen of Hank Davis’s SF anthologies. I like his choice of stories and Davis provides informative introductions about the stories and the authors who wrote them.

One of the Space Pirate stories I’d read when it was first published in 1966 (in If: Worlds of Science Fiction) is Larry Niven’s “A Relic of Empire.” It may be the best story in this book! And I’d read “Boojam” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette in 2008. After that, the rest of the stories in Cosmic Corsairs were new to me. I’m a big Fritz Leiber fan but I’d never read his “They Never Came Back.”

“Postmark Ganymede” by Robert Silverberg is an early story with plenty of pulp. For fans of James H. Schmitz, there’s “Captives of the Thieve-Star” from a 1951 issue of Planet Stories. If you’re in the mood to don your eye-patch and join the pirate adventures, Cosmic Corsairs is right for you! GRADE: B+


Introduction: Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Oxygen by Hank Davis 1
“Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette (Fast Ships, Black Sails, Night Shade Books, 2008) 5
“A Relic of the Empire” by Larry Niven (If: Worlds of Science Fiction, December 1966) 27
“The Night Captain” by Christopher Ruocchio —  published for the first time 47
“Pirate Chance” by Carysa Locke — published for the first time 77
“They Never Come Back” by Fritz Leiber (Future Fiction, August 1941) 101
“Redeemer” by Gregory Benford (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, April 1980) 147
“Trading Up” by Sarah A. Hoyt and Robert A. Hoyt — published for the first time 161
“Breaking News Regarding Space Pirates” by Brian Trent (Galaxy’s Edge 23, November 2016) 183
“Teen Angel” by R. Garcia y Robertson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, February 2006) 193
“Blackout in Cygni” by James Blish (Planet Stories, July 1951) 229
“Postmark Ganymede” by Robert Silverberg (Amazing Stories, September 1957) 249
“Mystery of the Space Pirates” by Arlan Andrews, Sr. (Pulsar 11, Fall 1988) 259
“Collision Orbit” by Katherine MacLean (Science Fiction Adventures, May 1954) 263
“The Barbary Shore” by James L. Cambias (Shimmer, August 2007) 273
“Captives of the Thieve-Star” by James H. Schmitz (Planet Stories, May 1951) 289

19 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #609: COSMIC CORSAIRS Edited by Hank Davis & Christopher Ruocchio

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    Arr! I see Rick has this one today too. There was a bizarre “Communist” comment there that I didn’t get. The only one I know I’ve read is the Silverberg, but the book is on my list.

  2. Todd Mason

    My vanished comment of about 27 houns ago noted that the Leiber story apparently has never before been reprinted…very early for him…and, almost as surprising, that a book that picks (apparently deftly) from magazines throughout the history of sf, or at least eight decades of sf magazines, pulls two stories each from Jerome Bixby’s PLANET STORIES, and the Leiber from Lowndes’s early days at FUTURE and Columbia Publications (where his last magazines with them would be published in 1960)…and high time for these items, too.

    1. Todd Mason

      Och. Two stories from Bixby’s PLANET, not each (for a second, I was perpetuating an error that had me mistaking one of the SF ADVENTURES (of the three or so magazines that have sported that title) with one of Lowndes’s). Early morning never friendly for my prose. Wish these comments could be corrected (at least Blogger allows one to erase one’s own comments).


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