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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors F - For

Fabry, Joseph B. (1909-1999)

Swing shift : Building the Liberty ships. Strawberry Hill, 1982. 238 pages

Fictionalized dialogue reveals the human side of a shipyard gang which built Liberty ships at Permanente Metals Richmond [Calif. ] Shipyard, particularly the ROBERT E. PEARY, built in a record four days in November 1942.



Falkner, John Meade (1858-1932)

Moonfleet. Little, Brown, 1951. 237 pages

Fifteen-year-old orphan gets caught with smugglers in Moonfleet, England, which leads to complications impelling him into a search for the cursed Mohune treasure. For 19th century young readers -- or 20th century adults that don't need sex to enjoy a plotline. Young readers today would probably find it too difficult.



Farnol, Jeffery (1878-1952)

Black Bartlemy's Treasure. Little, Brown, 1920. 368 pages

Martin Conisby, embittered by his five years of slavery on the Spanish galleon Esmeralda, escapes during a sea fight and makes his way back to England, determined to avenge himself on Richard Brandon, who was the cause of his father's death and his own ill- treatment. Broken in body and spirit, he arrives home just in time to save from the hands of robbers a beautiful girl, Lady Joan Brandon, the daughter of the man whom he has sworn to punish. In a tavern he meets a pal, Adam Penfeather, who unfolds to him the story of Black Bartlemy, an infamous pirate, and his treasure buried on an island--treasure of fabuous value that has been the dream and hope of roving adventurers along the Spanish Main for many years.


Martin Conisby's Vengeance. Little, Brown, 1921. 331 pages

A classic pirate tale of the Spanish Main, featuring the female pirate, Captain Jo, this continuation of "Black Bartelmy's Treasure" picks up the plot three years later.



Farrell, F. L.

Surface Raider : The story of the sinking of the Graf Spee. John Spencer, 1957. 162 pages

Routine novel of the pursuit of the German pocket-battleship GRAF SPEE by British cruisers across the South Atlantic to the showdown off Montevideo in December of 1939. Told in the first person by a seaman in the B-turret of HMS AJAX. A Badger Book. Similar to Those Who Serve and Corvette Patrol.



Faulkner, William (1897-1962)

Mosquitoes. Boni and Liveright, 1927. 349 pages

The title refers to the annoying people around whom the novel centers. Most of the story takes place on a short cruise from New Orleans.


Turnabout. Saturday Evening Post, March 5, 1932.

Short story: an American aviator in World War I who befriends a British torpedo-boat pilot and comes to see the war from a perspective that's less remote and abstract than that of the one he had as an aerial bomber. The story was the inspiration for Howard Hawks' 1933 film "Today We Live".



Felsen, Henry Gregor (1916- 1995)

Submarine Sailor. E. P. Dutton, 1943. 208 pages

With a 32 page supplement of submarine photographs.


Some Follow the Sea. E. P. Dutton, 1944. 192 pages

WW II convoy life in the North Atlantic and Murmansk Run. For young readers.



Fenn, George Manville

Sail Ho! or, A boy at sea. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1893. 375 pages

Young Alison Dale's captain was not a pleasant man, and the crew mutiny, led by the half-French Jarette, and take over the ship. Eventually the drunken mutineers accidentally set fire to the vessel, and flee it. But the officers and passengers, previously cast adrift, come back and manage to put the fire out. The mutineers who have not gone far return and in the ensuing battle Jarette is killed.


The ocean cat's-paw : the story of a strange cruise. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1904. 510 pages

The adventures of a young boy on his uncle's ship.



Fenner, Phyllis R. (editor)

Pirates, Pirates, Pirates: Stories of cutlasses and corsairs, buried treasure and buccaneers, ships and swashbucklers. Watts, 1951. 287 pages

For young readers.



Fernald, John

Destroyer from America. J. Cape, 1942. 127 pages

A fictionized account of the voyages of one destroyer taken over by the British, and a vivid picture of what the naval heroes of England, or of any nation, actually experience.



Feuchtwanger, Lion (1884-1958)

Proud Destiny. Viking, 1947. 625 pages

Intrigue, wit and folly involved in getting France to support the American rebels in 1776. Translation of Waffen für Amerika.



Finer, Alex

Deepwater. Doubleday, 1983. 180 pages

Deep diving sub explores an undersea volcano 6 miles down, with the CIA aboard looking for secrets.



Finger, Charles Joseph (1869- 1941)

Cape Horn Snorter : a story of the War of 1812, and of gallant days with Captain Porter of the U. S. frigate, Essex. Houghton Mifflin, 1939. 263 pages

For young readers.



Finney, Jack (1911-1995)

Assault on a Queen. Simon and Schuster, 1959. 244 pages

Six adventurers raise a WW I German U-Boat in the 50's, refurbish it, and use it to conduct an armed robbery of the QUEEN MARY. Made into a movie during the 60's.



Fisher, Leonard Everett

Death of the Evening Star: The diary of a young New England Whaler. Doubleday, 1972. 125 pages

For young readers. Boy goes on whaling cruise in the Atlantic during 1840s, is sole survivor of shipwreck.



Fisher, Philip M. (1891-1973)

Vanishing Ships. M. S, Mill, 1943. 250 pages

Originally serialized in Holland’s Magazine as "The Radio Wreckers" (November 1925 - April 1926). This rewritten version changes the baddies to Nazis and the Japanese Empire. Pulp about ships captured using a radio wave that disrupts normal marine wireless transmissions.



Fisher, William (1780-1852)

The Petrel: A Tale of the Sea. H. Colburn, 1850. 3 volumes

The Petrel is dispatched to search the Mozambique Channel, and the archipelgo to the north of it, for pirates. Originally published as "by a Naval Officer".



Fitchett, William Henry (1841- 1928)

The Commander of the Hirondelle: A Tale of the Great Blockade. Smith, Elder, 1904. 390 pages

Lieutenant Harry Gaunt is given the task of capuring the Hirondelle. Having succeeded he is given command and the ship is variously employed, including being present at the Battle of Cape St Vincent.



Fitzgerald, F. Scott (1896- 1940)

The Rough Crossing. The Saturday Evening Post, June 8, 1929

Short story.



Fitzgerald, Penelope (1916- 2000)

Offshore. H. Holt, 1979. 141 pages

The story of a community living on converted barges and boats at a wharf in Battersea in the 1960s. The people are like the boats - 1/2/ and 1/2, neither truly of the land or the sea. Winner of the 1979 Booker Prize.



Flanagan, Thomas

The Year of the French. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1978. 516 pages

A story of the Irish rebellion of 1798, the one Wolfe Tone was involved in, and the attempt by the French to support that rebellion with an invasion force.



Flannery, Sean [pseud. David Hagberg] (1942- )

Winner Take All. Forge, 1994. 378 pages

To mark the end of the Cold War, Russia and the U. S. plan a massive war game while hidden conspirators connive to sabotage the operation. When a sabotaged U. S. spy sub is supposedly sunk by the Russians, only National Security Agency spy Bill Lane can defuse the crisis.


Kilo Option. Forge, 1996. 383 pages

National Security Agency spy Bill Lane races to avert a nuclear war in the Middle East. He has uncovered a plot to annihilate Tel Aviv by terrorists using a stolen Iranian submarine, armed with nuclear missiles.



Fleming, Thomas J.

Time and tide. Simon and Schuster, 1987. 754 pages

US cruiser JEFFERSON CITY flees disaster at the battle of Savo Island, but makes up for it in adventures across the Pacific in this WW II novel.



Fletcher, Inglis (Clark), (1879-1969)

Lusty Wind for Carolina. Bobbs-Merrill, 1944. 509 pages

Captain Woodes Rogers fights pirates in the early 18th century Carolina colonies.


Bennett's Welcome. Bobbs-Merrill, 1950. 451 pages

Effect of a period of great change in England on the Colonists in Virginia and North Carolina in 1651.


Men of Albemarle. Bobbs-Merrill, 1942. 566 pages


Raleigh's Eden. Bobbs-Merrill, 1940. 662 pages


Roanoke Hundred. Bobbs-Merrill, 1948. 492 pages


Toil of the Brave. Bobbs-Merrill, 1946. 547 pages


Cormorant's Brood. Lippincott, 1959. 345 pages

Romance, adventure and intrigue in early 18th century North Carolina.


Rogue's Harbor. Bobbs-Merrill, 1964. 242 pages

Colonists in 17th century North Carolina try to practice free trade and evade taxes. One family's son joins a merchant captain, another is captured by pirates.



Follansbee, Joe

Bet: Stowaway Daughter. Fyddeye Media, 2011. 227 pages

Lisbet "Bet" Lindstrom is the 13- year-old daughter of a sea captain convicted of theft and sent to prison. Bet is convinced her father is innocent, but she has no way to prove it. Desperate to free her father, she visits his old fishing boat, and spots a horribly scarred sailor who might know the truth about the crime. Ignoring the warnings of her friends, she secretly jumps aboard the ship and sails to Alaska. She braves huge storms, performs daring rescues, and faces the man who threatens everything she loves.



Follet, James (1939- )

The Wotan Warhead. Stein and Day, 1979. 201 pages

The skipper of a WW II U-boat carrying a torpedo with a deadly warhead is pursued by the British as he tries to carry out a secret mission. Also published as U700.


Churchill's Gold. Houghton Mifflin, 1980. 218 pages

In 1941 a German spy discovers an attempt to secretly move British gold reserves from South Africa to the United States via a merchantman, leading to a Nazi attempt to capture the ship on the high seas.


Those in Peril. Heinemann, 1994. 344 pages

The Royal Navy has dealt a massive blow to Hitler's campaign. But for Ernst Kessler, commander of U-395, their success creates a near impossible situation as he attempts to bring his crew home.



Forbes, Colin

Target Five. Signet, 1973. 256 pages

American Arctic expert obtains a secret list of Soviet submarine stations and attempts to escape with it without being captured.



Forbes, George (1849-1936)

Adventures In Southern Seas : A Tale of the Sixteenth Century. Dodd, Mead, 1920. 287 pages

A fictionalized and illustrated account of the voyages of Dirk Hartog, sixteenth century Dutch explorer of the Antipodes. The account has everything; giant sea spiders (octopus), hopping creatures (kangaroos), and so on.



Forbes, Stephen K.

Neptune's Lance. Signet, 1992. 430 pages

Brothers Drew and Coy Murdock must find a missing American nuclear submarine, hidden somewhere in the Persian Gulf, and discover who is behind the theft.



Forester, Cecil Scott (1899- 1966)

Brown on Resolution. John Lane, 1929. 272 pages

U. S. title: Single-Handed. Marooned British sailor takes on WW I German raider single-handed, filmed as "Sailor of the King".


The African Queen. P. F. Collier, 1935. 275 pages

In the early days of World War I, a steam launch on African river attempts to sink a German cruiser.


To the Indies. Little, Brown, 1940. 298 pages

U. K. title: The Earthly Paradise. Historical fiction about the tragic story of Christopher Columbus's last expedition to the new world.


The Captain From Connecticut. Little, Brown, 1941. 344 pages

In the second year of the War of 1812, Captain Peabody's mission is to break the British blockade. A blizzard has cut visibility to yards. Who would expect a Yankee frigate to be in the Long Island Sound at night and under such conditions?


The Ship. Little, Brown, 1943. 281 pages

An account of a fictitious engagement between British light cruisers and a far more powerful Italian force during WW II. Inspired by the 2nd Battle of Sirte, which occurred March 22, 1942 when 4 light cruisers and 11 destroyers successfully defended a Malta-bound convoy against an Italian task force composed of the modern battleship Littorio, 2 heavy cruisers and 4 light cruisers by actually attacking the Italians under cover of smoke. Follows the course of the battle from the perspectives of several different members of the crew of the fictitious cruiser HMS ARTEMIS, of the same class as HMS PENELOPE, which participated in the actual battle and to whose crew the book is dedicated. As a war-time novel, THE SHIP is somewhat propagandistic in tone, but nevertheless provides the reader with a good sense of the diverse nature of the crew and its interaction in battle, the tactics employed against such seemingly hopeless odds, and of the battle itself. Although quite readable, The Ship is not as well-written as another of Forester's WW II novels, The Good Shepherd, nor is the characterization as vivid.


The Good Shepherd. Little, Brown, 1955. 310 pages

US destroyer escorts North Atlantic convoys during WW II. Although an experienced officer, with many years of seniority, this is Commodore Krause's first wartime mission. The captains of the other escort vessels are junior to him, and much younger, but they have been at war for over two years. His relative inexperience troubles him.


The Man in the Yellow Raft. Little, Brown, 1969. 190 pages

WW II stories: The Man in the Yellow Raft; Triumph of the Boon; The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck; Dr. Blanke's First Command; Counterpunch; USS Cornucopia; December 6th; Rendezvous.


Gold from Crete : Ten Stories. Little, Brown, 1970. 263 pages

WW II stories: Gold from Crete; Dawn Attack; Depth Charge; Night Stalk; Intelligence; Eagle Squadron; An Egg for the Major; "You are Welcome"; The Dumb Dutchman; If Hitler had Invaded England.


The Horatio Hornblower Saga:

  1. Mr. Midshipman Hornblower. Little, Brown, 1950. 310 pages

    June 1794 - April 1798. Midshipman Hornblower, new to his ship and the Royal Navy, stands up to a bully, loses his first command, and becomes a prisoner with a duchess under his care, but surprises continue.

  2. Lieutenant Hornblower. Little, Brown, 1952. 306 pages

    May 1800 - April 1803. Hornblower must deal with poverty, a near-mutiny, a mad captain, hand-to-hand combat, command, and perhaps the most difficult, his landlady's daughter, Maria. Told from the point of view of his friend Bush.

  3. Hornblower and the Hotspur. Little, Brown, 1962. 344 pages

    April 1803 - July 1805. Commander Hornblower marries Maria and blockades the French in the sloop HOTSPUR.

  4. Hornblower During the Crisis. Little, Brown, 1966. 162 pages

    1805. Unfinished at Forester's death. Includes two short stories bookending Horatio's career "Honeblower's Temptation" and "The Last Encounter"

  5. Hornblower and the Atropos. Little, Brown, 1953. 325 pages

    December 1805 - January 1808. Our hero takes part in Lord Nelson's funeral and goes treasure hunting in the Levant, among other adventures.

  6. Beat to Quarters. New York : Grosset & Dunlap, 1937. 324 pages

    June 1808 - October 1808. U. K. title: The Happy Return, In the UK. Captain Hornblower must deal with the tin-pot Central American dictator El Supremo and the romantic temptation of Lady Barbara. The first book in the series to be published.

  7. Ship of the Line. Little, Brown, 1939. 323 pages

    May 1810 - October 1810. Commanding the ship of the line SUNDERLAND, our hero is captured by the French when his ship is overwhelmed by a superior force after a series of daring raids along the Spanish coast.

  8. Flying Colours. Little, Brown, 1939. 292 pages

    November 1810 - June 1811. The French want to execute Hornblower as a spy, but he and the crippled Bush, along with his coxswain Brown, manage to escape and make their way down the Loire river.

  9. Commodore Hornblower. Little, Brown, 1945. 313 pages

    May 1812 - October 1812. Hornblower leads a squadron in the Baltic trying to protect trade and stop Napoleon's advance.

  10. Lord Hornblower. Little, Brown, 1946. 318 pages

    October 1813 - May 1814. Hornblower must rescue a known tyrant from the mutiny of his crew.

  11. Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies. Little, Brown, 1958. 329 pages

    May 1821 - October 1823. Admiral Hornblower struggles to impose order in the Caribbean following the Napoleonic Wars, surviving pirates, revolutionaries and a hurricane.


Short stories:

The Hand of Destiny. COLLIERS November 23, 1940

Hornblower's Charitable Offering. ARGOSY (UK) May 1941

Hornblower and His Majesty. COLLIERS March 1941


The Cadet Hornblowers:

A four-volume abridgement of eight Hornblower novels tailored for young audiences.


  1. Hornblower Goes To Sea. Queen's House, 1948. 191 pages

    Excerpts from Mr. Midshipman Hornblower and Lieutenant Hornblower.

  2. Hornblower Takes Command. Little, Brown, 1953. 223 pages

    Excerpts from Hornblower and the Atropos and Beat to Quarters.

  3. Hornblower in Captivity. Little, Brown, 1939. 224 pages

    Excerpts from Ship of the Line and Flying Colours.

  4. Hornblower's Triumph. Little, Brown, 1946. 223 pages

    Excerpts from Commodore Hornblower and Lord Hornblower.



Forrest, Anthony [pseud. Norman MacKenzie (1915-2004) and Anthony Brown (1946- )]

John Justice series:


  1. Captain Justice. Hill & Wang, 1981. 307 pages

    John Justice is sent on a secret mission to France to determine the fate of a British spy.

  2. The Pandora Secret. Hill & Wang, 1982. 296 pages

    Justice charged with protecting a submarine which Fulton was building for the Royal Navy from French agents. Note: has historical basis -- Robert Fulton did try to sell a submarine to the Royal Navy.

  3. A Balance of Dangers. Hill & Wang, 1983. 231 pages

    Captain Justice from the Board of Beacons, Bells, Buoys and Mercantile Messengers is sent to Holland by a friend to investigate a timber brig seen there that supposedly had sunk. He discovers a French plot to get Denmark to enter the war on the French side and sweep the Royal Navy from the oceans with the Danish fleet (fat chance). He heads to Copenhagen for intelligence and triggers the 1807 raid on Copenhagen -- led by Arthur Wellesley, who gets a horse from Justice.



Forrester, Larry

Battle of the April Storm. Harrap, 1969. 223 pages

Based on the true story of HMS GLOWWORM, a British destroyer that fought through a German destroyer screen to engage and finally ram the heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER. GLOWWORM's skipper was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, on the recommendation of the German commander.



Forsyth, Frederick (1938- )

The Devil's Alternative. Viking, 1979. 432 pages

The plot is fairly involved, but part of it involves the hi-jacking of the world's biggest tanker by terrorists who threaten to open the manifolds and start the pumps, polluting the whole North Sea. Not mainly a nautical novel, but the hi-jacking of the VLCC is enough to get it included here.