I normally start a review by talking about the cover, but this time I am going to step back and mention the format. Fox Spirit are marketing this as the first of their Fox Pockets. Unsurprisingly it is pocket sized. It easily fits in to a cargo pants pocket or a handbag or in my case a man bag (handbags don’t have Captain Caveman on them). It is a great size and length of story for a tea break read. A nice cup of Earl Grey and a piece of short form fiction is always a good thing.
I love the cover by Sarah Anne Langton, I’ve seen a picture of the next few covers in this series. They look like a series and will look great on a shelf. Being a small cover the hard-hitting simplicity of this cover really works. Reading this book on a coach the over day at least a couple of people asked to see the whole cover. It really is that striking. The only thing I don’t like about the cover is the lack of any identification of the book on the spine.
The title of this anthology is Piracy and although they all have a common connection through the title there is a huge array of different styles and genres represented in this book. From steampunk to cyberpunk, and from fantasy to science fiction. Every story is different and enjoyable in a different way. My favourite part in the whole book is when the space pirates start singing. It was hilarious. I was giggling away to myself at that point. More importantly it means that like several of the other authors in this book that I’d not heard of before I will be looking for something else to read by Asher Wismer.
As I’d expect from a Fox book there is a definite feminist touch without making anything seem overly feminine. If you are a traditionalist who believes all stories about pirates should be about men and rape then you should probably read this book. It shows you how powerful people can be without taking the shortcut of using rape as a trope. This book has strong characters of both genders portrayed in a manner that demeans neither. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next one.
At the request of Vincent Holland-Keen here is a picture on the man bag mentioned above.