Review: “Corsair” by James L. Cambias

James L. Cambias
★★★ ½
Tor, 2015.

James L. Cambias follows up his acclaimed debut, A Darkling Sea, with this brisk techno-thriller about piracy — in cyberspace and in real space. There’s even a little Jimmy Buffet style middle-aged piracy thrown in for good measure.

Corsair follows hacker and anarchist David Schwartz, the dread “Captain Black the Spacer Pirate.” Using his computer skills from tropical resort hideouts, he is able to commandeer satellites to hijack deliveries of Helium being sent from the moon to power fusion reactors.

But his ex-girlfriend, Elizabeth Santiago, is on his trail. An Air Force captain obsessed with Captain Black, Santiago ends up destroying an expensive spaceship in a futile attempt to catch Black, and gets reassigned to an experimental satellite development project.

The third character is Ann Rogers, a middle-aged Okie who is fulfilling her father’s dream of sailing. With her yacht she is tooling around the Mediterranean wherever the winds and whims take her, enjoying the changes in latitudes and changes in attitudes as well as the tropical cocktails.

When Schwartz takes the biggest job he’s ever been offered by a mysterious Middle-Eastern colonel, however, their three lives become inextricably linked as the bodies start piling up and double and triple-crosses abound.

It’s more Carl Hiaasen than William Gibson, but this tale of “Space Pirates of the Caribbean” is still a thrilling cyber-caper.

Read my full review at “The Nameless Zine”.

—Michael Senft

Buy Corsair.

About Michael Senft

I am a freelance writer and critic from Phoenix Arizona. I spent 10 years covering music, the arts and pop culture for the “Arizona Republic” before life circumstances took me away from newspaper. But I never lost my joy at writing. Or reading.
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