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Arrr! And indeed, because it’s also Halloween, Aaaaargh!

First there was BristolCon, which was a Thing That Happened and that I will blog about later when I have spoons. For the moment, I need to talk to you about Pirates.

Yes, Pirates! Our fair city of Bristol is infested with Pirates, and the only way to control them is to immortalise them in fiction. Which is what we’re going to do. The wonderful Cheryl Morgan of Wizard’s Tower, home of Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion, is hoping to launch a new anthology, and she needs your support to make it happen, so turn out yer pockets before I make ye walk that there plank!

I’ll let Cheryl tell you a bit about the project in her own words.


Three hundred years ago, a Bristol man called Edward Teach was the terror of the Caribbean. Better known as Blackbeard, he was the most notorious and successful pirate of his day. Teach’s criminal career came to a sticky end in 1718, but he was by no means the only Bristol sailor involved in piracy… .

A few years ago Wizard’s Tower produced Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion, an anthology of steampunk stories set in and around Bristol, and written by local authors. It did very well, so I wanted to do something similar for the local writing community. When I began to think of a follow-up, pirates immediately came to mind. Everyone loves them, and there is a strong Bristol connection.

However, in thinking about the book it became obvious to me that it could not just be about Bristol. Our pirates didn’t ply their trade in the city; they did so far away across the sea. Most famously they did so in the Caribbean. Any book about pirates, therefore, should not just be about Bristol, but about the Caribbean too, and should involve people from the Caribbean.

Fortunately I happen to know quite a few excellent Caribbean writers of speculative fiction. Some of them have kindly agreed to write for this book. I’m hoping to work with them, and with my colleagues at Ujima Radio, to reach out to budding writers from the Caribbean, and to writers of Caribbean descent living in Bristol.

Given the nature of speculative fiction writers, I am sure that people’s imaginations will rove far and wide. The book will contain stories about pirates, but some of them may ply their trade in the South China Sea, or in deep space, or with the help of a friendly dragon. All that we ask is that the stories should be about piracy, and that either the story or the writer should have some connection to Bristol and/or the Caribbean….

As for you readers, splice the mainbrace! Or have something non-alcoholic if you prefer. Then patch your eye, map your treasure and buckle on your parrot (dead or alive). It is time to take the Seven Seas, no matter where in space and time they might be found.



If this sounds like your tot of rum (being sure pirates don’t drink tea), then you should head directly over to the Kickstarter Page and hand over your dubloons and pieces-of-eight before Cheryl sets her parrot on you (you can also watch her being adorable in her Kickstarter video 🙂 ).

All going well, the project will be edited by myself and my eternal comrade-in-mischief Roz Clarke, the team behind Airship Shape, Colinthology and Fight Like A Girl. Authors already signed up for the project include Stephanie Saulter, Karen Lord, Gareth L Powell and Jonathan L Howard, so it already sounds like it’s going to be brilliant.

So please, dig deep, like and share widely and together we can create something fabul- arrrrs!