Monthly Archives: August 2013

Going On The Account: That Kind of Pirate, But Not That Kind of Party…

If we’ve come to any sort of consensus here over the last few years, it’s that pirates can be defined as those individuals who challenge the status quo and seek to enrich themselves by not playing the game by the rules.

Bend the rules, maybe; if one considers conformity to be de facto and not dotting all the Ts and crossing all the Is to be an act of rebellion, then we could assume that there be a lot more successors to the spirit of the Brethren of the Coast than we assumed.

Which is why word of the Young Pirates of Europe needs to be heeded.

The idea of a “Pirate Party” may be derisive to people who hear of it for the first time; the assumption that we’re looking at a group that goes to RenFairs to scare the kids and play off the movies based on the rides is probably the first thought going through most folks’ heads when they hear of them.  But the deeper one goes below decks, one sees how close to the original spirit of the rovers of old these folks get, especially their adherence to “the Hacker’s Ethics” in the face of major copyright and patent law consolidation as we roll forth headlong into the Information Age.

If knowledge is power, and major commercial concerns are handling knowledge the way the old crowns of Europe use to handle their economies during the Mercantilist Age, then no wonder we have all these pirates about us…

That the movement has a youth arm now needs to be taken seriously.  With a long list of countries founding Pirate Parties, including one in the United States (and one in New York, which is surprisingly moribund considering how much IP passes through here like it was gold being loaded onto the Plate Fleet), this is not a movement to ignore.  The same way pirates with licenses become part of the system as privateers, we could see some interesting changes happen as more people who want to get into politics decide to hoist their digital Jolly Rogers as they navigate the political process.

Whether it leads where it wants to, who can say?  The buccaneers who plied the waters of the Caribbean probably did not expect their spirit to feed the American Revolution; who knows what changes the Pirate Party may have wrought come the end of this century…?

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Going On The Account: Well, NOW I’ve Done It…

Now we’re getting into some new territory here, at least process-wise.

 

I’m happy to share with you that my side pilot project now has something to show for itself.

 

Behold, my first venture into bigger self-publishing:

It’s a monograph, a nonfiction title regarding the role pirates played in the history of New York.  It’s also my first experience with Kindle Direct Publishing, getting a feel for the process and knowing the ins and outs of how this works, which means we could see reprints of the two novels being made available through this service.

 

Maybe, down the road if this floats, some original content as well…

Follow this link to The Pirates of New York, available through Amazon.

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Going On The Account: Following A Trend, or The Dirty Dozen

News spread quickly since the end of July about Reddit’s two sentence tales of terror.

 

Hey, I’m all into short fiction and all, but this was a bit of a shock.  It was like going from a thirty second ad to a BlipVert.

(Kids, ask your parents…)

 

But, once you get used to the idea, it actually looks like it might be fun to try.  And so, I present here, my own efforts.

 

Which, because of branding issues and my natural inclinations, fit well with the themes and tropes of my other two longer works

 

I:

John always dreamed about someday meeting pirates.  Right up to the day his ship was boarded…

 

II:

Stephen learned that no, pirates do not make you walk the plank.  He’d rather not have learned about the alternative, keel hauling, first hand in the process…

 

III:

Henry never knew what “blow the man down” really meant.  It made perfect sense in those last minutes in an alley in Tortuga…

 

IV:

Elysse didn’t know why the other working girls in Port Royale refused business from pirates with hook hands.  When she found out why, she could never show her face in the light again…

 

V:

He stopped feeling anything when they poured the hot tar over his body.  It made the next two years in the gibbet waiting to die maddening …

 

VI:

Edward Teach got away with it, and it made him a legend.  I keep telling myself that as my flaming beard continues to burn my face off…

 

VII:

Samuel thought his Letter of Marque from the King of Spain would excuse his actions at sea.  Unfortunately, the Inquisition did not recognize the King’s authority…

 

VIII:

Henryk wondered what the difference was between grape shot and chain shot.  He found out first hand as the blood of the rest of his crew spattered his face when they were under fire from both…

 

IX:

Mary heard the captain of her ship explain the sailing term “in irons” and thought this was a good description of trying to sail into the wind.  It was her last thought right before the pirates chasing her opened fire, knocked her cold, and introduced her to the other use of the phrase…

 

X:

Miles tried to hide his constant need for rum amidst a crew of teetotalers on the account.  Why they were all sick as dogs and hung over during his benders, he could not explain…

 

XI:

The Spanish fleet that surprised them had fifty galleons, each with over eighty guns apiece ready to fire on them.  The crew of the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser had no time to consider why before the engagement…

 

XII:

When she died and went to Heaven, she was handed a cutlass and an eye patch.  God told her, “Didn’t you know Mark Twain had the right answer all along?”…

 

 

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