Saturday, May 29, 2010

Why I Write

An interesting guest post at the Mad Genius Club, prompted this reply.

One can, a la Sigmund Freud, pontificate on one's own childhood and upbringing and rationalize one's own current outlook and motivations. In this, my reply is that I was an only child raised by a workaholic father, which left me with the time, means and necessity by which to entertain myself. Within sight of whatever adult authority figure was appropriated to my "care".

So, I read. Lots. Unlike other (like omg, dude, every) vigorous writer/reader that I know of, I cannot cite great influences. Oh yes, I read Tolkien and Asimov very young, and they linger with me conceptually, in world building and storytelling.

My childhood was also dotted with stage bound performances, acting, and that also remained as a vague theme of something influential (successful performances became validation of self-esteem queries); again, I could not tell you the names of the plays I did.

Back to the question. Why do I write?

In my sin-filled twenties, I was a performing Emcee, a DiscJockey who could sing, dance, tell jokes and run contests. Fame and glory were mine for the taking.

I did not care. I still do not care.

Ladies and gentleman, there is something greater than fame, glory and power (and even slightly better than the women who love the same) - there is satisfaction.

That satisfaction, to this day... let me describe a cheesy scene.

* * *

Winter. Pinellas County, Florida. The Canadian retiree population is there en masse. It is Tuesday evening. Karaoke has started early, with another host, and I have taken over for the night time festivities. The night is still young. The crowd wants to leave, because I am a young kid, and I do not sing doo-wop hits of the 50's. But, I give them a smile, remember their names, encourage them to stay a bit longer.

I am young and full of energy. It pulses. It washes over the crowd like the scent of wildflowers in a midwest meadow. I play music with a heavy bass line and dance like no one is watching. I know they're watching, but that's not why I dance.

I savor their moments with them, I see their little grey heads bob up and down to the tunes of choice. They smile freely, without worry.

The thirty somethings begin to show up. They've worked hard all day. They just need a few drinks to take the edge off. I greet them with a knowing grin.

An hour into a show where people mostly entertain themselves, and I am simply the conductor, the emcee, the host - the energy mingles. The group unwinds. The pulse of energy is contagious, it is a virus of passion, of desire to forget what we think we know.

I see a retiree doing the Electric Slide. Then another. I see the corporate executive loosen his tie and serenade his girlfriend with a horrific rendition of some angsted 90's alternative rock ballad - and the crowd goes wild, and the girl looks about to cry.

One by one, over time, they forget who they think they are, and become something that's okay to be. Unburdened by societal pressures, by the nuances of age. They laugh, dance and smile. One by one, I watch them, encourage them, indulge them, their momentary escapism.

That is my job.

The night lengthens, and reality calls from its faraway corner in the shadows of their mind. Work, responsibilities, budgets. Slowly, some leave. Never without thanking me for this or that. Me, I'm still bouncing around, I'm a jester, a fool without a care in the world as far as they know. But, I drop the mask for just a moment and thank them for stopping by, for allowing me to entertain them.

There is no greater satisfaction in the world, in that single moment of connectivity with an absolute stranger. That I have provided the salve of escapism that soothed the worries of their day, week, life.

* * *

In writing, I can take that one step further. Back to my love of psychology, I can help a reader escape - AND - I can force a reader to think, to consider, to ponder their own what ifs.

In my childhood, that was my benefit from reading. When I read a book, I imagined myself the protagonist, living the world that the author provided, pondering the notions - and for a time, I forgot that I was maybe bored, or lonely or whatever else was on my mind as a son being raised by a workaholic father.

I can do that. I know I can. I can bring the best experiences of my life, the satisfaction I got from seeing that smile; and take it one step further, into unlocking the mind, letting the mind escape.

I create - in writing, in real life - a world where the possibilities are within reach. I provide a window to escape. Sometimes, let's face it, life/living is pure hell. When I see that I have allowed someone to escape their own shackles, I swear there is no greater satisfaction. It is gift given and gift received in one.

That is why I write.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Marjorie M Liu Bookcast 2

Live, (okay, so it was edited) from the Great Wall of China. That's just too cool for words. When I grow up and get published, I want to do this - standing in the middle of the mountains with my giant skull axe. (I haven't shown you that, have I? Future post!)

(This is where I omit my looming crush on the author. Shh.)

The rest of the article is here.

Editorial: I realize that many people attend book signings and events and such, in order to meet their favorite artists, etc. That's all good.

But this notion of a bookcast, particularly if the author is even remotely charismatic on video (as Liu), can generate an interest. Interviews are not usually video'd, for starters (except late night TV or Oprah, and this genre does not oft appear on the Daily Show, etc.). Secondly, there's this sense of candor, of sincerity, in simply talking about the book, in an inspiring locale, that can potentially connect an author to new readers, and engage previous readers.

Maybe I'm just a new kid on the genre block and all that, but I find this brilliantly clever. I wish more were being done - at the same time, I applaud Orbit for their ingenuity.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

FTA: What makes a great fictional Villian?

In response to a series over at Magical Words, today I'd like to chat with you about bad guys, particularly in epic fantasy.

I'm not talking about "antagonists", per se, though often these are one and the same.

Let me organize my thoughts for a moment. Undoubtedly this has been bounced around a bazillion times on the internet, so we can skip the redundant.


1) The GREAT EVIL. Taking our cues from Sauron in LoTR, what we have is someone bent on world domination, through the most destructive means possible. Non-sympathetic. Never in the story, do we get the impression that Sauron is misunderstood. (Notably, in Silmarillion, he at least has an interesting backstory, but he was always hungry for power.)

Thoughts: Necessary evil. Generic, in a sense. However, I think they can be written right, given some intelligence, some interesting vulnerabilities (drop the ring in some lava and it's all over!)

Overall, I don't mind reading about an overpowered megalomaniac, but I am not inclined to write about them.

2) The OTHER ONES. They are not us, therefore they are evil and must be destroyed. The Canids in Jim Butcher's Codex Alera, (evil) Saxons in Roman Britain, Spartans vs . (evil) Persians, etc.

Thoughts: This is far more common. The villians are sympathetic, they have followers, people who believe in their philosophies. This becomes a conflict based on economy, on religion, on geography - in short, the history of the world was built on this sort of conflict.

This villian is always in the telling. In my own writing, I prefer to make them understandable, to the point where the conflict lies between a fence as thin as a single strand of diplomacy. The cultural divide between warring nations often - if not predictably - falls upon the head of one despotic character (which again, history confirms). Kingdom of Heaven comes to mind as a movie which shows both sides of the conflict.

3) MAN vs NATURE. Nature as an external force, not internal urges. Even if you believe in creationism, Darwinism has a solid view in that the natural world will seek its own sense of balance. Hurricanes will come, Volcanoes will erupt, and predators will protect their hunting territory.

If you're considering mythological semi-intelligent creatures who follow the laws of nature, this makes for what? Understandably sympathetic aspect? Training, domestication, the fencing in of the natural world - the conflict is built right in to the perceived "correct" actions of the humanoid biological imperatives to thrive and survive.

Where this gets fun, in fantasy, is the usage of semi-intelligent "natural" creatures, who are capable of a degree of civilization - but are still bound by the very balancing laws of nature - versus the more Human nature of taking what is needed. Going back to LoTR, we have Ents.


Ah, there's more. I'll go on all day.

In my current WIP, there is an "evil", but they are not the antagonist of the main story arcs. The fact that there is any major conflict in what is an established paradise, is the issue.

In reading about villians, though, it occurs to me that I will have to go back and make them more sympathetic (More "other" and less "great evil"). The WIP is slightly a bit of a prequel, so the goal is to portray the possible lines of future changes.

My goal, as a writer, is to make all characters sympathetic (eventually). Some will be more interesting than others, and others that are doing the "right" thing will be easy to dislike.

We don't live in a moral vacuum, you know. That's the thing to remember. How wrong is the man who kills to protect his family, or who steals in order to not starve?

A Great Villian heightens the reader's moral compass, teaches a lesson about the portrayed path of actions and consequences, provides fuel for thought and introspection and self awareness - above and beyond the action/adventure the story portends.

Tell me about your favorite fictional villians, and why you remember them so.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Heard at the Water Cooler: May 25

The "to be continued" implication from yesterday's post (written yesterday, in fact).

We recently mark the 30 year anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. To show my age, I can attest that I do recall seeing it in the theatres, and Star Wars toys were one of my childhood indulgences. You can ask my mother how I impersonated the ... nevermind.

Fun picture!

Harrison Ford spoke about the movie at a fundraising event. He's been historically quiet, so this is mildly newsworthy, moreso if you're a big fan.

* * *

Author stuffs!

Mark Charan Newton commented on his recent signing event at Forbidden Planet.

Moreso, and what caught my attention, was that he dumped on Drum & Bass. Say it ain't so, Mark! More props for "tripleclarke Mieville" for the funky tune that would be his entrance song.

Novelists get entrance songs? They totally should. This has been one of mine,in previous lives.

* * *

Okay, forget about the entrance music for authors at signing appearances. How about, which favorite character would you invite to dinner? Over at Borders Blog, Adrian Tchaikovsky asks just that, with some interesting considerations.

The genuinely good heroes would be insufferable and highlight everyone else’s flaws (c.f. Superman), the dark, brooding heroes would just be waiting for an excuse to kick off (Tisamon). The stiff-backed military types would be stuffy (Temeraire’s Will Laurence), whilst the genius types like Isaac dan der Grimnebulin and Baltazar Casaubon would just get annoyed at how slow everyone else was. Meanwhile the detectives, like George’s Maurice Newbury, would be watching you all the time, and by the end of the meal they’d have a catalogue of absolutely everything you’d ever done wrong.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Heard at the Water Cooler: May 24

Things are busy around here, so you'll pardon my brevity in posting and slowness to respond to comments. I'm not in front of the computer much lately (alas, the writing suffers).

Few things for you today. My last HatWC post was mucho grande, and so I'm going to space these out. If you're busy like me, you don't have an hour to read a single post, sua?

In the "Truth is Stranger Than Fiction" category, this creature was found in Canada, eh.

That's totally a werebear, or a werepig! More information over at Scifiwire.

* * *

Lost! Everyone is talking about it. Never watched it. I won't watch it. Everything I see about it is ridiculous, and confirms my beliefs. Apparently, the final episode is near. Thank goodness.

Oh, Letterman's looking a little rough. Alas.

* * *

A new Daenerys for HBO's A Game of Thrones.

Emilia Clarke. She has some nice features. I hope she can act. Farewell, Tamzin, I felt like we barely got to know each other. *sniff*

The story was exclusive to Maureen Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, but I'm linking you to
Winter Is Coming, because I love that blog.

* * *

Promoting Literacy in Argentina.

Plenty of terrible news in the world. I like the feelgood stuff. Enjoy.

* * *

Speaking of the bad news, apparently someone has created life (Craig Venter). LIFE! CREATED IT. This has gotten a bit of buzz, because essentially, these peoples have either validated or repudiated about a bazillion works of science fiction.

That's not what troubles me. What troubles me is that they created bacteria.

This is undoubtedly the beginning of a horror movie, as noted in the comments at the (easier to digest) story at BoingBoing (Bacteria. Digestion. Get it?!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Power of Woman

So, I'm catching up on my blogroll and stumble upon this post about misogyny in fiction, which was a response to an article on the Ms. Magazine blog.

I will add this to my mental notebook of the numerous posts over the past six months about the roles of females in fiction stories, in that, they are poorly misrepresented by male authors.

Aside, you will find that I review as many female authors as men, as I am interested in the strengths and weaknesses of both sexes. Makes for better storytelling.

Where to begin?

Everyone is Hollywood is attractive. Their job is to make money by entertaining, not to be a societal barometer (we used to have the news for that, alas). Likewise, fiction by its nature, is escapist, which means, yes, they employ exaggerated visually appealing themes, etc.

It comes down to choices.

Feminists suggest that Playboy is misogynistic, because it features naked women. Those poor beautiful women, having no choice ... but to be paid lots of money and live in Hefner's mansion and frolick and play at the pool and wear a swimsuit...

Bar Refaeli, from the cover of Esquire magazine.

This is the thing. Who really has the power here? Is it Hefner with his millions? No, it's the random hot girl who knows that men cannot resist the perfection of her form, and she gets to say, "give me what I want." (money, security, glamorous life, etc).

Hefner's just smart enough to understand the balances involved. Ironically - or suitably, because he is so clever - women of all ages flock to him. Many live and breathe just to get him to take their picture.

NO ONE is being forced. All of those in that situation are happy making other people happy. Escapist entertainment. Everyone wins.

It is not a crime to enjoy visual beauty.

Is modern society to blame for the resurrections of the old fables of the past, where the doomed female must indeed be rescued by the HANDSOME, ROYAL PRINCE Charming? Pretty Woman syndrome. She was a PROSTITUTE (EWWWW)! And he could have had anyone (though I find R Gere a little fruity, chicks like him).

It's about choices.

Women choose. Those ancient stories about rescuing princesses - modern feminists see those tales as making women look weak and frail and incapable.

Wrong. Those stories are about the reality of what is desirable (the perfect woman, a princess) and what lengths a man must be prepared to go to win her (kill Dragons, swim moats, face death). That the woman was captured is subtext on the desirability of a female to begin with.

If a man was captured, would women go rescue him? Heck no. Not unless he was the father of her children (or her child), or somehow could provide for her a parallel to home/nest security; otherwise, he's buggered. Men must face death just for the chance of being chosen.

Where did those come from?

Ancient biological imperatives. The women choose the man who is best suited to give her a strong child and protect the home.

Helen of Troy? Anthony and Cleopatra? History is full of stories displaying to what incredible lengths a man must go in order to win a woman's heart, in order to be chosen. All women had to do was be there.

Like the avians, a male's life is spent achieving and portraying, so that we are chosen by a mate for our brightly colored plumes. Do we want to strut like a peacock? No. We have to.

"Well, women don't wanna be barefoot and pregnant!"

Fine. Don't. The species could go extinct, because men can't get pregnant, can't give birth and (in most cases) cannot breastfeed. There's nothing men could do about it, if women say no. (Don't bring up criminal acts, most people aren't criminals - you don't govern rules by the exceptions.) That is the very gist of our species survival, that women have always decided what is in their best interest to persevere, and men, by biological imperative, must abide.

There's no objectification here. There's women going, "I can make a living by looking hot and sexy and men will give me money and security and so forth."

Because, why, we're basically predictable idiots who are biological slaves to the power of a woman.

Feminists seem to forget that part.

Fables and stories are not essays in the weakness of a woman. They are "how to" lessons for being a man. The knight in shining armor is what a man must, according to biological imperative, rise to, if he ever wants to have a princess.

Ms. Magazine rags on Iron Man. He's a narcissistic womanizer. Men see him and go "Wow, look at all the choices he has."

Ms. says that the lesson is, "It is acceptable to treat women as objects."

That's laughable. The lesson is, "If you want to have more choices of women by which to bear your children, you must be mega rich, mega smart, wear a battle suit made of metal and fight evil - and have enough time in the day to be socially graceful."

Women, stop being offended by the portrayal of a weak heroine who needs a man to rescue her. Those stories are written for men, so that they will become strong, honorable and intelligent in order to be worthy of you making the choice of them over another suitor.

The power of your choices perseveres to this very day. Fiction dramatizes, exaggerates and encapsulates the ideology, but the core values are a biological imperative that are hardwired into the human brain.

You can emasculate men and overempower women in fiction, but it would not sell, because it would not connect to the reader. Why deny the imperatives? Centuries of story telling have successfully carried forward the core truths of human relationships.

Does that mean there should be no extraordinary female characters? Absolutely not. It does mean, however, that somewhere, somehow, there will be a similarly extraordinary male for her to choose when she faces biological imperatives. There'd still be a story to tell.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Heard at the Water Cooler

Oye. Grab a coffee for this one.

I've been in "research mode" since the Crohn's let up. I tend to read non-fiction much slower than fiction (absorption factor), and it tends to take me out of the creative writing frame of mind; hence, no writing updates lately. I am moving at the end of the month; my mother is coming to visit a week later, and Raine is coming to visit immediately after that - so I might be a little quiet over here.

Be that as it may, I have overheard some interesting things, so I thought I'd share.

FANFIC - Big buzz this past week. I even wrote a post about it. It was more of a rant, and I think that I'll pass on ranting at you just yet on this blog.

I will summarize my thoughts as so: I have been at least a decade in creating characters and lands, they are very much alive in my head, I am very much emotionally invested in the concepts and as such I am extremely protective of them.

As a writer, I would prefer to inspire you to do your own, as I was inspired. The thought that someone else thinks they could write my characters, or my universe, better than me - well, it's not flattering to me. At worst, if it's not flat out plagiarism, it is insulting.


Book Porn - I've been buying antique books on a whim these past 6 weeks, while picking up some inexpensive paperbacks to add to my library. Anyone interested in seeing those finds? Just curious.

And yes, Raine, I know your thoughts on this. ;-)


Ewok Karaoke. My last little holdover from Star Wars Day last week.

Missed Star Wars? Here's the fastest version ever told.


Orbit Books and Marjorie M Liu.

Over the next three months, Orbit will be releasing the entire Hunter Kiss series, starting with The Iron Hunt. To celebrate, I’ve been asked to do a series of video “Bookcasts” about the novels, and what it was like writing them.

Say! That's pretty cool. I must say, Liu is .. uh, she's kinda hot. And the Great Wall of China? Double sexy cool points in my book.


Wait, there's more! Do you think that kids might find reading more interesting, if there were more toys like this?

Full article on

I. Love. It.


Interesting news from Cherie Priest:

Likewise, this winter — namely the end of January, 2011 — you can also expect my debut foray into urban fantasy – Bloodshot. You may recall me recording my progress here, calling it my “fabulous urban fantasy adventure about a neurotic vampire/thief and her wealthy blind client, now with Bonus! Cuban drag queen and military intrigue.”

Apparently this cover is an anomaly because it doesn't feature a "demonic tramp stamp." (I like 'em, but I'm a man. This cover is still pretty sharp, though.) Read the rest here.


I wasn't cool enough to warrant an official press release. (Now look. I like my anonymity. This is the stuff we get to joke about when I get published and so forth. Indulge me.)

However, a couple years ago, I was introduced to Pat's Fantasy Hotlist through George R.R. Martin's blog. He's there on the blogroll, so if you watch those (do you?), you'll see the announcement in multiple locations.

Anyway, Pat has been working for some time on editing an anthology. It's finally all set. Most importantly, a portion of the proceeds will benefit breast cancer research, so I am inclined to make sure you know about it.


Let's see. There's a blog meme floating about (I'll pass on this one).

Some new cover art (should see the latest Vincent Chong, wow).

Adrian Tchaikovsky doesn't believe in Superman. (Great post.)

Tyra Banks is going to write a novel.

Tad Williams finished his 4th book (last in the current series). I just picked up one of his books, will be reading that soon.

Angry Robot label was purchased by Osprey in the UK.

Conan is on TBS (old news) and visited Google (funny as hell).

Some folks are trying to raise money to save Legend of the Seeker.

N.K. Jemisin at Wiscon 2010.

Exclusive interview with recent Arthur Clarke award winner China Mieville has people talking (he's going to do a space opera).

Happy Belated Birthday, Sam Sykes.

Last, but not least, Rest in Peace Frank Frazetta.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May the Fourth Be with You.

So in case you didn't know it, May 4th is (was) Star Wars Day.

Seriously! I figured it would be all over the web, so I didn't bother posting about it.

Check out this story on ABC News, which noted...

German news TV channel N24 mistranslated George Lucas in an 2005 interview, interpreting his famous line, "May the Force be with you," as "Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen" (We are with you on May 4). Thus a holiday was born.

Maybe it's just old "duh" news. After all, there is a Wikipedia page.

Anyway, along those lines - wouldn't your GPS be so awesome, incredible and geekworthy, if it had Darth Vader's voice?

Hell yes! Check it out:

P.S. If you're up late tonight (or super early tomorrow), have a wish ready. Falling stars, Aquarid meteors, what's the difference, eh? ;-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Movie: The Hunt for Gollum

While I was poking around the internet, I stumbled across these posts over at Speculative Horizons, about an independent, non-profit film, "The Hunt for Gollum."

Intended fan-fic as a prequel to the LOTR movies, it was apparently made with a L3000 budget.

I won't give it a proper review, as it's not a commercial enterprise. It's an interesting bit of storytelling, acting and editing. If you're a fan of Tolkien's trilogy, I think you'll enjoy it.

Here, you can watch the trailers or watch the whole 40 minute flick.

I do have to offer kudos to the folks who put it together. Some nice ideas and clever edits made for a well produced piece, all things considered.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

FTA: Pirates

Fantasy Trope Analysis: Pirates

Drunken Pirate pic from Halloween 2005.

Today, boys and girls (gentle readers!), we're going to talk about pirates.

Pirates, in my observation, are a fairly common occurrence in the fantasy stories I've read (and space pirates, in sci-fi, too). Are they a legitimate trope?

Should pirates exist in any fantasy story involving ocean voyaging and distant ports-of-call, that has the naval technology, i.e., boats that could support an aggressive sea warrior crew while also having enough cargo room to carry booty long enough to be sold (can't raid with canoes or rafts, eh)?

Are they overused? Should there be more pirate perspectives, more stories? Is it better to include them as part of the world events, but not build a story around them?

I assume that they are a common element in stories, one way or the other, because they are actually a historically based profession. So, let me share some of what I learned with you. (I'll provide a list of links that I plagiarized and used and such at the bottom, no worries.)

The earliest documented instances of piracy occurred in/around the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas, as early as the 13th Century BC, during the Bronze Age.

These first pirates were categorized by the Egyptians as Sea Peoples, and they were made up of migratory tribes who formed (relatively undocumented) groups that sought to harass and deter the growing Egyptian empire.

In Classical Times, Illyrians and Tyrrhenians were known as pirates, as well as the Thracians, very resistant to Greek influence. The Phoenicians sometimes resorted to piracy, specializing in such to obtain slaves. Plutarch is said to have given the first definition of piracy as -'an illegal attack on a ship or coastal town, that was not of a warring nature, but for plunder of monetary gain alone'.

The Illyrian raids were detrimental to the Roman Republic, until they were defeated in 168 BC. By the 1st century BC, several pirate states along the Anatolian coast continued to plague the Romans. Julius Caesar was kidnapped by Cilician pirates in 75 BC, and held prisoner. They opted to ransom him for 20 talents of gold - and he insisted he was worth 50; the pirates conceded. Afterwards, Caesar raised a fleet, found the pirates, and put them to death.

As the Roman Empire expanded north into Europe, Frankish and Saxon pirates raided the coasts of Armorica and Belgic Gaul. The word we know today as 'pirate' or 'pyrate' comes from the Roman historian Polybius around the mid 100 BC era, who used the word 'periato' to describe sea marauders.


From there, we get into Vikings, which is a whole new discussion. Vikings attacked as far as the Baltic Sea, Persia, the coast of North Africa and even Italy.

Muslim pirates were common in the Mediterranean Sea towards the end of the 9th century.

Piracy seemed to rise in the orient at the time China was enduring great political change in their central power beginning at the end of the 13th century. During the Ming Dynasty(1368-1668) Chinese pirates ruled the China Sea. Pirates using huge ships that could carry over 300 men pillaged the China coastal cities for several centuries.

The Dutch East India Company tried to recruit Chinese pirates as privateers to help them control the Asian market trade. The European traders created a base in Jakarta and enlisted the Chinese pirates to help them expand their interests. Eventually the Chinese pirates, who were always out for their own self interests, formed their own trade companies and made double the money on their looted goods.

The 15th century and forward contains the gist of what is considered the pirate trope, by modern day standards. The time between 1519 and 1780 was known as the Golden Age of Piracy.

Pic of CBS cast of "Pirate Master", from this link.

A few descriptions:

Pirate: A pirate is really a robber who steals from other ships out at sea.

Privateer: A privateer was a captain of a ship that attacked and captured other ships and stole valuable items from them. A privateer was not considered to be a true pirate because they were given special licenses called a Letter of Marque from a nations government. Of course they were hunted down and punished as pirates by the countries who they stole from. Many of these captains who were sent out to capture pirates soon became pirates themselves. They saw how much money a pirate made and could not resist the chance of getting rich.

Corsair: A corsair is a French seaman or privateer who sailed mostly in the South Mediterranean Sea.

Sea robbers:These pirates roamed the open seas and were not loyal to any particular government, but only wanted to capture riches for themselves.

Ruthless robbers:Most pirates who earned this nickname were very cruel and did not care if they killed their victims. They just wanted to be rich and tried to get rich by stealing as much as they could and left no witnesses.

Buccaneers: These pirates were made up of a group of men from Holland, England, France, and another group of pirates called the Barbary corsairs who were chased out of the Barbary Coast when merchant captains from France and England got tired of being captured and robbed by the French Corsairs. They went to the island of Hispaniola and lived with the Indians there. The Indians used special knives called "boucans" The pirates began to sail the Caribbean Sea and used the boucan knife as a weapon. It became the favorite weapon of these pirates of the Caribbean and they were eventually given the name of buccaneer. The Caribbean Sea became known as the Spanish Main.
Despite the mythology, pirates did not actually “bury their treasure” or make others “walk the plank” and they actually stayed within a very regimented code of conduct. They were paid a daily wage, and that wage was dependent upon their participation in raids and conflicts.

A few Pirates of note:
Sir Henry Morgan - sacked the city of Panama in 1671.
Barbary Corsairs - Privateers authorized by the Ottoman Empire
Sir Francis Drake - Privateer authorized by Queen Elizabeth I

Blackbeard - Edward Teach - Caribbean Pirate - he was caught in NC, so I have to share:

In November 1718, Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia, knowing that Blackbeard and his men had continued taking ships long after the period of amnesty had expired, sent a Royal Navy contingent to North Carolina, where Blackbeard was killed in a bloody battle at Ocracoke Inlet on November 22, 1718.

During the action, Blackbeard received a reported five musketball wounds and more than 20 sword lacerations before dying. Blackbeard had captured over 50 ships during his piratical career, and his death virtually represented the end of an era in the history of piracy in the New World.


In conclusion, pirates have a rich and sordid history in modern culture.

Have you seen them well portrayed in print or media? Poorly portrayed? And the questions I asked at the beginning, what do you think: Should they be a part of any story involving oceans - should they be a main perspective, or perhaps simply an aspect of the world building?

Hot XXX Pirates. Why not?

Links used in research or because they're interesting:
Wikipedia Article
Associated Content
Neatorama Pirate Lore
Pirate Flags

Talk Like A Pirate!
WikiHow - Talk Like A Pirate