Privateers in Space

This week I’ve been working on two new stories featuring my crew of space privateers led by the intrepid Captain Ellison Firebrandt aboard the Legacy. This crew has been with me for some time. I first created them in 1988 for a short story that ultimately became the first chapter of The Pirates of Sufiro. As it turns out, I crashed them on a planet and told the story about the colony world that grew up there. In the last few years, I’ve gone back and written some stories that tell about their adventures before they were stranded. So far these stories have appeared in the following anthologies. (Clicking the covers will take you to Amazon for more info):

As you can tell, several of these stories—but not all— have appeared in Flying Pen Press’s Full-Throttle Space Tales anthologies. Those anthologies have been a good home for these stories simply because they’re meant to be good action-adventure fun. The one exception so far was the story I wrote for Carol Hightshoe’s anthology, A Taste of Armageddon, which explores the question of whether warfare can become too clean.

What’s special to me about the stories I’ve been working on this week is that if they’re accepted, they’ll appear during the 25th anniversary year of Captain Firebrandt’s creation. I’ll keep you posted as I know more about the fate of the stories.

I can tell you that one of the stories I’m writing is for Hadrosaur’s forthcoming anthology A Kepler’s Dozen, which I’m co-editing with Dr. Steve Howell. It would be fair to ask how there’s a doubt that the story will be published if I’m co-editing the anthology. Simply put, my co-editor will reject the story if it isn’t up to the standards of the book—or can’t be brought up to the standards of the book through revisions.

Thing is, even Space Pirates, which doesn’t list a co-editor, worked much the same way. In the case of my story for that anthology, I submitted the story to the publisher and he worked with me to make sure my submission was right for the book.

What’s been fun for me about these stories is that I’ve been able to go back and get to know the crew of the Legacy. In The Pirates of Sufiro, only Firebrandt, his first mate Roberts, his lover Suki, and the enigmatic Computer appear. The rest of the crew was taken prisoner or killed in a trap set by an admiral from Alpha Coma Berenices. Writing these stories, I’ve gotten to know such characters as Kheir el-Din, the Legacy’s fearsome helmsman, Nicole Lowry, the ship’s resourceful quartermaster and Juan de Largo, the ship’s cook and sometimes doctor. Even though I’ve known Roberts and Suki for many years, I’ve gotten to know them much better.

Now that I’ve written several of these stories featuring this crew of space privateers, I’ve been thinking about collecting them up in a single volume. I still have a few more to write before then. In the meantime, I hope you take a moment and check out one or two of the anthologies that currently feature these characters. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know the pirates better and you’re bound to find some great stories by the other authors in the books as well.

2 comments on “Privateers in Space

  1. Your blog post is inspiring! I have a world I’ve been working on for a decade now….I hope I can turn it into stories that are as succesful as your Space Pirates!

    • Thank you, Melinda! Wishing you all the best with the world you’ve created. If you have any stand alone short stories in that world, feel free to submit to Tales of the Talisman when we reopen to submissions next month.

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