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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors C - Ca

Cable, George Washington (1844 -1925)

Gideon's Band. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914. 500 pages

Based on the author's experiences on the Mississippi River. Intriguing rival steamboat owners, and the cholera epidemics of the late 1840s.



Caidin, Martin (1927-1997)

The Last Fathom. Meredith, 1967. 312 pages

Russians plant doomsday bomb in middle of Atlantic to destroy America and Europe, and secret US sub, controlled by only two men, tries to stop it.


Aquarius Mission. Bantam, 1978. 312 pages

US submarine investigates the disappearance of two nuclear subs, discovers a strange world miles deep.



Caillou, Alan

Dead Sea Submarine. Bee-Line, 1971. 188 pages

Arabs are moving a submarine across the desert to the Dead Sea, and commandos are sent to stop it.



Calin, Harold

Black Cargo. Lander, 1969. 206 pages

Sexual tension aboard ship during the darkest days of the slave trade.


Slave Ship. Leisure, 1977. 240 pages

Young idealist from New England ships out on a slaver, learns about the evil trade first hand.



Callison, Brian (1934- )

A Flock of Ships. Putnam, 1970. 255 pages

Deals with the crew of a British merchantman in WW II in the South Atlantic. The ship is carrying new radio codes to other merchant ships, and the Germans want them. U-boats stage a number of distant pyrotechnic displays which spook the freighter's crew, driving them to anchor in the lagoon of a Tristan da Cunha-like island. there they fight it out with the subs, there being no survivors. The story is told as the journal of the freighter's first mate, which is discovered aboard the still-anchored ship by an RN survey ship in the mid-1960's.


A Plague of Sailors. Putman, 1971. 251 pages

Following an earthquake in Israel, an Arab dissident group steals a vial of anthrax bacillus, and attempts to smuggle it into Israel aboard an Egyptian relief ship. British naval special forces that operate out of a dummy steamship line set out to foil the plot. Set approximately 1971-72.


Dawn Attack. Putman, 1972. 287 pages

Fictional account of a British Commando raid on a Norwegian port during WW II, based on a number of actual raids.


A Web of Salvage. Putman, 1973. 190 pages

Battered old salvage tug TACTICIAN is on her final voyage home when a mayday call during a force 10 storm leads them into a dangerous mystery.


A Ship is Dying. Dutton, 1976. 222 pages

The last minutes of a sinking ship, very evocative and very "real-time", and to set it apart from other disaster novels it's not five hundred pages long and is illuminated by the hell-red glow of Callisons wit. Very recommended by JH. Watch out for the parrot!


An Act of War. Dutton, 1977. 206 pages

U.K. title: A Frenzy of Merchantmen. The Soviet Navy in the 1980s blockades the Baltic Sea to British shipping. In retaliation, a Royal Navy ship provokes the Soviets into an act of war. Soon nukes and Nazis are flying around.


The Judas Ship. Dutton, 1978. 192 pages

Merchantman attacked and damaged by German surface raider seeks the shelter of a narrow river harbor in Brazil for repairs, only to discover that the Raider is moored up-river of the ship, repairing damage done to it by the merchantman. The Germans cannot attack the merchantman while it is in the river because the raider would be trapped if the merchantman sank in the channel.<


The Auriga Madness. Collins, 1980. 223 pages

A terrible disease drives a ship's crew mad with disasterous results.


The Sextant. Collins, 1981. 252 pages

In 1941 the MV HIGHLANDER was torpedoed and sunk with all hands. In 1981 the captain's sextant is discovered as part of a thief's loot. The captain's son sets off to find out what really happened forty years ago. This leads him to a small community (in N Scotland?) where the other loot was from. Although the community is close-mouthed, he slowly comes to discovered what happened to his father.


Spearfish. Collins, 1983. 222 pages

Captain Crofts is called on to board and capture a ship full of present-day mercenaries.


The Bone Collectors : a novel of the Atlantic Convoys. Collins, 1984. 253 pages

The name given by U-Boat crews to the ships assigned to pick up seamen who had abandoned ship. It is a novel of ordinary Merchant Navy convoy men seen through the eyes of the chief officer of the OLYMPIAN, one of the Bone Collectors.


A Thunder of Crude. Collins, 1986. 320 pages

The Calauria is a floating powder keg. Add an inquisitive lady reporter and a group of teenagers out to make trouble and the plot thickens.


The Trojan Hearse. Collins, 1990. 224 pages

WW II action as the Germans plot to revenge the St. Nazaire raid. U-boat Captain Reitz gets do do the honours. The plot is a bit stretched but this is more than made up for by Callisons writing -and the pace at which it is forced on.


Ferry Down. HarperCollins, 1998. 311 pages

Passengers on the Orion Venturer have no idea that their ferry has been converted from a casino ship. Vital corners have been cut, and none of her multinational crew know the ship well enough to be of any use in an emergency. It would take one act of folly to initiate a tragedy.


The Stollenberg Legacy. HarperCollins, 2000. 320 pages

At the end of world War II, Nazi war treasure was hidden by British soldiers within the structures of a Russian ship. Fifty years later, the poeple who hid the treasure are trying to recover it, leaving behind them a trail of murders.


Edward Trapp series:

  1. Trapp's War. Dutton, 1974. 192 pages

    Edward Trapp, smuggler and captain of the rust bucket CHARON, the only ship able to sneak in and out through the German blockade of Malta, is called back to active service in the RN, and inveigled into helping relieve the siege of Tobruk during the African campaign in WW II.

  2. Trapp's Peace. Collins, 1980. 189 pages

    The sequel to Trapp's War. Further adventures of Captain Trapp and his merry men. After smuggling illegal immigrants across the English Channel, Trapp gets involved in nefarious activites in the Mediterranean. Was he really being paid to ship used construction equipment from Port Said to Malaga? Or was he expected to scuttle it en route?

  3. Trapp and World War Three. Collins, 1988. 271 pages

    Trapp returns to muddle through another adventure with thieves, psychopaths, armies, navies, and air forces of several nations all adding to the fireworks. Set in the 1980s.

  4. Crocodile Trapp. HarperCollins, 1993. 224 pages

    Trapp and his team must be getting a little long in the tooth by now, considering that Trapp was supposed to be an RN Midshipman in WW I. Whatever, this time they are involved in the usual illegal, dangerous cross and double cross, this time it involves a Chinese triad, mad professors, crocodiles, buried treasure and the jungles of Papua New Guinea.

  5. Trapp's Secret War. Severn House, 2008. 220 pages

    1943. World War Two. A Russian convoy fights its violent, wreckage-strewn course across the Arctic Circle towards Murmansk. Only one ship survives the coffin ship Charon and her complement of misfits, captained by the buccaneering Edward Trapp: professional scoundrel, blackguard without merit. The Charon staggers from one sub-zero crisis to the next in the captains pursuit of ignominy and golden cargo, to the enduring embarrassment of the British and United States Navies.



Cameron, Ian (1924- ) [Pseud. Donald G. Payne]

The Midnight Sea. Hutchinson, 1958. 200 pages

The aircraft carrier HMS VIPER is escorting a convoy to Russia and has to fight the weather and the Germans all the way. The Captain's son joins the ship off Scotland, as batsman (officer in giving directions to aircraft pilots by means of hand-held "bats"). The story matter-of-factly unfolds. The characters do not seem to be fleshed out, the loss of a ship or aircraft takes few words. In spite of this by the end of the book you have the whole picture of the sea war as fought by the Royal Navy and in this particular case the Fleet Air Arm in those inhospitable latitudes. Strangely enough the enormous effort and sacrifice made by the convoy to reach Russia and by the Germans to prevent them doing so is convincingly demonstrated.


The White Ship. Scribner, 1975. 192 pages

A Spanish treasure ship goes aground in the South Shetland Islands in 1818. In 1974 an expedition searching for golden seals finds the treasure ship, and unquiet ghosts that give them more then they bargained for.



Cameron, J. D. [Pseud. Michael Jahn] (1943- ) and David Robbins (1950- )]

Omega Sub Series


  1. Omega Sub. Avon, 1991. 249 pages

    On top secret manuevers beneath the polar ice cap, the USS LIBERATOR surfaces to find the Earth in flames from a global thermonuclear war -- a war so complete that they do not know what started it. The crew then begins seeking out survivors to forge a new future.

  2. Omega Sub: Command Decision. Avon, 1991. 246 pages

    LIBERATOR comes across a Japanese trawler fleet that has survived the war, but had its crew destroyed after the shooting stopped.

  3. Omega Sub: City of Fear. Avon, 1991. 189 pages

    "When you think of a post- apocalyptic setting you think, 'I've seen it before.' But, this book takes that setting and totaly refreshes it. After a few pages you find yourself wondering what's around the next corner and holding your breath as you flip the page. Will it be the irradiated freak white shirts who are spreading like an infection across the radioactive remains of the earth, or will it be an entire island mysteriously desserted by all it's inhabitants?"

  4. Omega Sub: Blood Tide. Avon, 1991. 219 pages

    LIBERATOR cruises the South Pacific saving survivors of the nuclear war from a lunatic and an army of sadistic killers, but bad guys kidnap the captain and demand the sub for ransom.

  5. Omega Sub: Death Dive. Avon, 1992. 214 pages

    On the East Coast of America, the LIBERATOR sails into a savage zombie Hell.

  6. Omega Sub: Raven Rising. Avon, 1992. 214 pages

    Hidden in an underground fortress, the insane U.S. president and his elite corps of stormtroopers, survivors of the nuclear holocaust that has left the world in ruins, make plans to enslave what remains of the human race.



Cameron, Lou (1924-2010)

The Amphorae Pirates. Random House, 1970. 211 pages

Diving for ancient treasures off Greece.



Campbell, Broos

No Quarter. McBooks, 2006. 261 pages

In 1799, the young U.S. Navy faces France in an undeclared Quasi-War for the Caribbean. Matty Graves is caught up in escalating violence as he serves aboard the Rattle-Snake under his drunken cousin, Billy.


The War of Knives. McBooks, 2007. 309 pages

When Matty Graves, acting lieutenant in the newly formed U.S. Navy, agrees to become a spy in the French colony of Saint-Dómingue, he plunges headlong into a brutal world of betrayal and double-cross beyond anything he’s ever known. At first the bloody civil war between former slaves and their mixed-race overseers simply offers a way to test himself and a means to purge his guilt over the death of his former captain.


Peter Wicked. McBooks, 2008. 311 pages

Navy Lieutenant Matty Graves is still recovering from his ordeal during the slave rebellion in the French colony of Saint-Dómingue when he is ordered to Washington to answer questions about the death of his former captain. On home soil he must deal with the mystery and shame surrounding his birth, as well as the attractions of his best friend's sister. But when he's offered a command of his own, he seizes the opportunity to make a name and fortune for himself - even if it means destroying those closest to him.



Campbell, John T.

Raid on Truman. Lyfore, 1991. 290 pages

Crew of nuclear carrier is knocked out by nerve gas and North Korean troops take it over. Small bunch of crew survives, and tries to free ship.


Sub Zero. Avon, 1996. 340 pages

When a heavily armed assault team is dispatched from North Korea and prepares to grab the United States's most devastating military secrets, an undertrained, outgunned band of servicemen, scientists, and civilians becomes the nation's only hope.



Capouya, Emile (1925-2005)

In the Sparrow Hills : Stories. Algonquin Press, 1993. 245 pages

"In the Sparrow Hills", "The Other Rogozhin", "A Parenthesis" and "Staring at the Sun" tie into the author's wartime merchant marine experiences.



Caputo, Philip (1941- )

The Voyage. Knopf, 1999. 415 pages

In June 1900, Cyrus Braithwaite, a gruff Yankee granite magnate, orders his three teenage sons to board the family's beloved schooner, sail away from their imposing Maine summer home, and stay away until September. His sole explanation for this sudden expulsion: "It's a new century, boys." Puzzled, abashed, but also intrigued by the adventure forced upon them, Nathaniel, Eliot, and Andrew leave behind their privileged WASP childhood and head out to sea--bound, they decide more or less on a whim, for the Florida keys.



Carin, Michael (1951- )

Five Hundred Keys. Deneau & Greenberg, 1980. 240 pages

A student tries for a quick buck on a 38' boat carrying drugs from Morocco to Newfoundland with deadly results.



Carlisle, Henry (1926-2011)

Voyage to the First of December. Putman, 1972. 243 pages

U.K. title: The Somers Mutiny. Novel based on the true events surrounding the attempted mutiny on board the USN brig SOMERS in 1842, for which the son of the Secretary of War was hanged.


The Jonah Man. Knopf, 1984. 260 pages

Fictional biography of Capt. George Pollard, commander of the whaleship ESSEX which was sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific, the survivors ate their shipmates to stay alive. Told in his own fictional words.



Carpenter, Scott M. (1925- 2013)

The Steel Albatross. Hardline, 1991. 475 pages

One of the techno-thriller genre. Our Hero is a misfit US Navy pilot who joins the SEALs and is sent to command a new class of submarine -- one that soars in the ocean currents. With his super vessel, he protects the world from the Soviet bad guys.



Carr, Philippa [pseud. Eleanor Hibbert] (1906-1993)

The Lion Triumphant. Putman, 1973. 380 pages

Heroine meets jake the ship captain, is kidnaped by Spanish pirates, and winds up in the Canary Islands just before the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Number 2 in the Daughters of England series.



Carse, Robert (1902-1971)

Deep Six. William Morrow, 1946. 311 pages

A novel of desert adventure, of individual as well as group crises, as the survivors of the Wolston Hill sink their differences to thwart their captors, and under Jerry Duane, veteran of the war in Spain, get across the desert. There are many flashbacks of the lives of these merchant mariners during the 1930s and 1940s.


The Beckoning Waters. Scribner, 1953. 438 pages

A novel of the Great Lakes in the late 19th and early 20th century.


Great Circle. Scribner, 1956. 243 pages

Sweeping, rich and romantic--a story of whaling ships, a hard driving young skipper, and the tropical temptations of a South Sea paradise.


The Fabulous Buccaneer. Dell, 1957. 256 pages

Novel about Alexander Selkirk, the early 18th century privateer whose marooning on Juan Fernandez, off the coast of Chile, was the real-life inspiration for Robinson Crusoe.


Morgan the Pirate. Dell, 1961. 192 pages

Henry Morgan is sold as a slave in Panama, returns as pirate captain to plunder and destroy. Adapted from the motion picture.



Carter, Peter

The Sentinels. Oxford, 1980. 247 pages

HMS SENTINEL tries to snuff out the slave trade on the African coast. Our heroes are midshipman John Spencer and Lyapo, a slave.



Carter, Robert

Armada. Joseph, 1988. 470 pages

This novel, of Elizabethan England locked in a bloody war with Spain, explores the religious and secular conflict as it affects the two nations, and in particular, two very different brothers. All the historical heroes have a role in this rambling saga which covers two continents and two decades.



Casey, John (1939- )

Spartina. Knopf, 1989. 375 pages

Modern novel about a grumpy Rhode Island fisherman struggling to build a fishing boat in his back yard and get ahead.



Cassell, Stephen

The Final Voyage of the S.S.N. Skate. Windsor, 1989. 383 pages

The "leper" of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, SSN-578 nuclear attack sub Skate should have been reduced to scrap a decade earlier. But America is on the brink of impending disaster at Russian hands and the underwater deathtrap has one final mission to perform, one impossible act of piracy in hostile enemy waters that will pit the obsolete floating dinosaur and its inexperienced crew against the combined might of the Soviet Navy's finest. For Captain Charles Burkhart a successful run could mean a long-awaited command. For CIA "shadow man" Jake Niven it could help exorcise the demons of guilt that haunt his every waking hour. And for the unsuspecting crewmen of the Skate - caught in a deadly Company game of "spooks" and turncoats on Russian's doorstep - it could be the beginning of the end.



Castlemon, Henry (1842-1915) [pseud. Charles Austin Fosdick]

Frank Nelson in the Forecastle, or, the Sportsman's Club Among the Whalers. Porter & Coates, 1876. 332 pages

Boy's adventure novel.



Catherall, Arthur (1906-1980)

Tugboat BULLDOG series

  1. Sea Wolves. Dent, 1959. 160 pages

    The adventures of a seagoing salvage tug, the BULLDOG, owned by 18-year-old Jack Frobisher, and commanded by Husky Hudson, six-foot, tow-headed and tough. A Dutch tanker runs aground in Souruba harbor. When BULLDOG responds to the call before her rivals, one of them attempts to steal the ship aided by the eruption of a volcano long believed to be extinct.

  2. Dangerous Cargo. Dent, 1960. 166 pages

    BULLDOG attempts salvage of the SULU PRINCE, an aged freighter on fire off the Little Laut Islands in the Macassar Straits. Unknown to BULLDOG, the SULU PRINCE is gunrunning for Indonesian rebels, who bribe the BULLDOG's rival salvors to SINK the SULU PRINCE.

  3. China Sea Jigsaw. Dent, 1961. 167 pages

    BULLDOG attempts to salve the 7,000 ton passenger ship TAI LUNG, but Karmey, a rival tugboat captain sends a false report that the TAI LUNG has sunk and BULLDOG was found abandoned. To transform it into an accurate report, and settle the score for past encounters, Karmey rams the TAI LUNG.


Lost With All Hands. Coronet, 1940. 199 pages

The trawler BLACKBALL ANNIE sets out on her maiden voyage in the hope of making a good haul, but her skipper has reckoned without Mark Slane the new cook's assistant. What connections has Slane with the mysterious Viktor Nordt and the gunboat HKLA? What has happened to the four trawlers "lost with all hands..."?


Lost Off the Grand Banks. Criterion, 1962. 160 pages

An English and an American boy try to save themselves and the crew of a Navy submarine trapped under an iceberg.


The Strange Intruder. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1965. 160 pages

First published in Scotland as The Strange Invader. The survivor of a wrecked schooner brings a reign of terror to a remote island off Scotland.


Last Horse on the Sands. Dent, 1972. 117 pages

A brother and sister risk their lives and that of an old cart horse while trying to rescue victims of a plane crash before the tide comes in. For young readers.



Catto, Max (1909-1992)

Murphy's War. Simon and Schuster, 1968. 284 pages

In the final days of WWII in Europe, a U-Boat off the coast of southern Africa torpedos an Australian armed merchant cruiser and the hospital ship it is escorting, machine guns the survivors, then sails up a jungle river to wait out the war's end. A survivor from the AMC, a disreputable petty officer, salvages a Swordfish floatplane from the wreck, and hunts the U-boat with it. Filmed in 1971.



Cave, Peter (1940- ) and Wreddon, Margaret

Pisces Rising. Sidgwick and Jackson, 1978. 189 pages

Marine biologist H. Grossman is working in an underwater city when the marine world strikes back at the dry land. An eco-horror novel.