Cosmic Corsairs (Baen, August 4, 2020). Cover by Tom Kidd
I was minding my own business at Barnes and Noble last week, picking up random books and opening them to the Acknowledgements page, as one does. And what should I find in Hank Davis and Christopher Ruocchio’s new Cosmic Corsairs anthology?
For help and advice, many thanks to John O’Neil and his Black Gate webzine, R.K. Robinson, Jason McGregor, Chris Willrich, Rich Horton, Marie Bilodeau, and others I’m unforgivably forgetting.
I was very touched. Yeah, they misspelled my name slightly, but I wasn’t the source of good advice anyway. As Hank and Chris note, it was really you, the readers of Black Gate, who chipped in with great suggestions when we sent out a call for suggestions here last year:
Hank has been a friend of BG for many years, and we’re huge fans of his. His most excellent anthologies for Baen include The Baen Big Book of Monsters (2014), Worst Contact (2016), Things from Outer Space (2016), The Best of Gordon R. Dickson, Volume 1 (2017), and Space Pioneers, with Christopher Ruocchio (2018).
I know what you’re thinking… ‘Arrgh, me hearties! This looks like a fine volume ‘o pirate tales! But how many of our suggestions did the the editors actually use?’ (Come on, you know that was close.) Here’s the final table of contents.
Introduction: Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Oxygen by Hank Davis
“Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette (Fast Ships, Black Sails, Night Shade Books, 2008)
“A Relic of the Empire” by Larry Niven (If: Worlds of Science Fiction, December 1966)
“The Night Captain” by Christopher Ruocchio — published for the first time
“Pirate Chance” by Carysa Locke — published for the first time
“They Never Come Back” by Fritz Leiber (Future Fiction, August 1941)
“Redeemer” by Gregory Benford (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, April 1980)
“Trading Up” by Sarah A. Hoyt and Robert A. Hoyt — published for the first time
“Breaking News Regarding Space Pirates” by Brian Trent (Galaxy’s Edge 23, November 2016)
“Teen Angel” by R. Garcia y Robertson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, February 2006)
“Blackout in Cygni” by James Blish (Planet Stories, July 1951)
“Postmark Ganymede” by Robert Silverberg (Amazing Stories, September 1957)
“Mystery of the Space Pirates” by Arlan Andrews, Sr. (Pulsar 11, Fall 1988)
“Collision Orbit” by Katherine MacLean (Science Fiction Adventures, May 1954)
“The Barbary Shore” by James L. Cambias (Shimmer, August 2007)
“Captives of the Thieve-Star” by James H. Schmitz (Planet Stories, May 1951)
Hank Davis has been keeping classic science fiction alive in paperback on store shelves for years, and recently he’s been joined in this noble endeavor by Christopher Ruocchio. If you’re a fan of short genre fiction, you have a lot to be thankful to them both for, including:
The Human Edge by Gordon R Dickson (2003)
We the Underpeople by Cordwainer Smith (2008)
The Best of the Bolos: Their Finest Hour (2010)
A Cosmic Christmas (2012)
A Cosmic Christmas 2 You (2013)
In Space No One Can Hear You Scream (2013)
The Baen Big Book of Monsters (2014)
As Time Goes By (2015)
Future Wars … and Other Punchlines (2015)
Worst Contact (2016)
Things from Outer Space (2016)
If This Goes Wrong… (2016)
The Best of Gordon R. Dickson, Volume 1 (2017)
Space Pioneers, edited by Hank Davis and Christopher Ruocchio (2018)
Explore the Outer Rim with Space Pioneers, edited by Hank Davis and Christopher Ruocchio
Help Hank Davis fill a Space Pirate Anthology (2019)
Overruled edited by Hank Davis and Christopher Ruocchio (2019)
Cosmic Corsairs was published by Baen Books on August 4, 2020. It is 321 pages, priced at $16 in trade paperback and $8.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Tom Kidd. Read a generous excerpt, including the introductions and the first story, at the Baen website.
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