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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors S - She

Sabatini, Rafael (1875-1950)

The Sea Hawk. M. Secker, 1915. 362 pages

An English renegade who becomes a Barbary corsair and preys on the Spanish -- and others -- in the Elizabethan era.


Captain Blood, his Odyssey. Grosset & Dunlap, 1922. 356 pages

For treating a wounded nobleman who participated in the Monmouth rebellion, Dr. Peter Blood is condemned and sold as a slave in the Carribean. Taking advantage of a Spanish raid on the island on which he is held, Blood captures the Spaniard's ship, and embarks on the carreer of a buccaneer. Good fun.


Captain Blood Returns. Houghton Mifflin, 1931. 296 pages

Short stories about Blood's adventures as a buccaneer captain. Also published under the title: The Chronicles of Captain Blood.


The Black Swan. Houghton Mifflin, 1932. 311 pages

Pirates versus buccaneers in the 17th century Caribbean.


The Fortunes of Captain Blood. Houghton Mifflin, 1936. 240 pages

More short stories about Blood's adventures as a buccaneer captain.


Columbus, a romance. Hutchinson, 1941. 304 pages

Depicts the life of Christopher Columbus at the Spanish court, his voyages across the Atlantic Ocean in which he discovered the Americas and his relationship with the mother of his second son Beatriz Enríquez de Arana, who he never married. Originally a screenplay.


A Century of Sea Stories. Hutchinson, 1935. 1024 pages

Contents: Tempest / Charles Dickens -- Mutiny of the "Speedwell" / R. Austin Freeman -- The sword of Islam -- The treasure ship / Rafael Sabatini -- Captain Belson's mate -- Duty / Albert Richard Wetjen -- The death of the white whale / Herman Melville -- The phantom ship -- Mr. Midshipman easy / Captain Marryat -- The merry men / Robert Louis Stevenson -- A speck on the sea / Thomas Hardy -- Queen of song / James Francis Dwyer -- How Gerard was saved from the wreck / Charles Reade -- The promotion of the admiral -- Jack-all-alone / Morley Roberts -- The story of Matthew Conolly / "Taffrail" -- Dead reckoning / Ralph Stock -- False colours / "Sinbad" -- Smoked skipper / W.W. Jacobs -- The captain's arm -- The murderer / Perceval Gibbon -- The last whale / J.J. Bell -- The golden ball -- The rebel / "Bartimeus" -- His duty -- Tramps / Boyd Cable -- The mermaid / George A. Birmingham -- Being ashore -- Ambitious Jimmy Hicks / John Masefield -- The great armada / Charles Kingsley -- The voyage / H.E. Bates -- Senta / Sir Max Pemberton -- Mr. Harrington's wife / W. Townend -- The tow / Cutcliffe Hyne -- The sealing of Zeebrugge / Sir Archibald Hurd -- The phantom island / Washington Irving -- A descent into the maelstrom / Edgar Allan Poe -- High-water mark / Francis Bret Harte -- Macassar to the Aru Islands / Alfred Russel Wallace -- The "Heart's Desire" / H.M. Tomlinson -- The catch of the season / Stephen Reynolds -- Ninety days / J.F. Wilson -- The innocents abroad / Mark Twain -- The South Pole / Jules Verne -- The landfall / Captain David Bone -- The disappearance of the "'Waratah" / J.G. Lockhart -- An adventure with a derelict / W. Clark Russell -- Boarding masters / Alexander H. Bone -- Engine-room stuff / William McFee -- The secret sharer / Joseph Conrad -- Two years before the mast / R.H. Dana -- Out of the depths / W. Guy Carr -- The coffin ship / F. Tennyson Jesse -- The fringe of calamity / Victor MacClure -- The message / H. de Vere Stacpoole.



Sadler, S. Whitechurch (Samuel Whitchurch) (?-1890)

Adventures of Marshall Vavasour, Midshipman. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1873. 160 pages


The African Cruiser: A midshipman's adventures on the West Coast. Henry S. King, 1873. 197 pages


The Slave-Dealer of the Coanza: A naval story. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1874. 127 pages


Perilous Seas and How Oriana Sailed Them, a naval romance. Marcus Ward, 1875. 298 pages


The Ship of Ice : a strange story of the polar seas. Marcus Ward, 1875. 279 pages


The Last Cruise of the Ariadne and What Befell Her Passenger. Marcus Ward, 1876. 300 pages


The Flag Lieutenant: a Story of the Slave Squadron. Marcus Ward, 1877. 1 volume


Slavers and Cruisers : a tale of the West Coast. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1881. 384 pages

Set during the Anglo-French campaign against slavers in the mid-19th century. Midshipman Claude Sefton, age 18, having two years experience in the Royal Navy, is put in command of a slaving schooner captured on the coast of Angola. Surviving attack by the slavers, sinking, and capture by African slave dealers, he displays courage and resourcefulness in re-capturing a British merchant vessel and rescuing his beautiful sister-in-law who happens to be aboard.


The Good Ship Barbara, a story of two brothers. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1882. 370 pages


Pirate's Creek: A story of treasure-quest. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1883. 318 pages

After the death of his father, a Naval Lieutenant, Harry Treverton sets off for London to seek aid from a relative.


The Adventurous Voyage of the "Polly," and Other Yarns. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1886. 320 pages



Sahin, Ozgur K.

Brethren of the Spanish Main series:

  1. The Wrath of Brotherhood. Amazon Digital, 2014. 414 pages

    First volume in a planned trilogy. After learning of his sister's death at the hands of pirates, successful merchant Captain Roy Toppings sails to the Caribbean on a misguided mission of vengeance against the man who failed to protect her: her Spanish widower, Pablo Francisco. In the climate of the Restoration-era Caribbean colonies, where scheming and stealth could yield a prize as readily as boldness and firepower, Roy's vendetta lands him and his small but talented privateer crew in the middle of political intrigue and a deadly invasion in the West Indies as the nations of Europe struggle to consolidate power in anticipation of new monarchs in England and France.



Sale, Richard (1911-1993)

Is a Ship Burning? Cassell, 1937. 260 pages

John Banion, communications officer aboard a luxury cruise ship, receives a telegraph message from another ship 40 miles away. The other ship sees a glow in the sky and asks if a ship is burning. As the passengers escape the burning vessel, the radio man etches their lives and stories and personalities in swift sketches. Sale later adapted and directed his novel in "Abandon Ship" (1957).


Destination Unknown The World's Work, 1943. 110 pages

On a Dutch freighter, an American ichthyologist, his prehistoric fish fossil, and a beautiful blonde foil a fiendish Nazi plot. Reprinted in 1948 by Popular Library as Death at Sea.



Sanders, Leonard

Act of war : a novel of love and treason. Simon and Schuster, 1982. 396 pages

During World War II, former U-boat captain Walther Von Beck and Rachel, a German Jewess working for the Nazis to save her imprisoned family, carry out a plan to destroy the liner "Normandie" docked in New York.



Savage, Douglas

Incident in Mona Passage. Combined Books, 1994. 432 pages

A US sub conducts a top secret biowar experiment that goes wrong. The sub seeks a solution to the sickness as another sub stalks it.



Savage, Les

Danger Rides the River : a frontier story. Five Star, 2002. 408 pages

Expanded from Silver Street Woman (Hanover House, 1954). Just a few years before the War of 1812, Natchez-Under-the-Hill rang with the cries of hawkers and harlots, the curses of brawling river boatmen and the clank of slave chains. It was a lusty and turbulent time on the mighty Mississippi. Owen Naylor and Charlotte Dumaine are united in their effort to put steam power on the river, an idea that threatens the traditional reign of the keelboats. They must pit their strength and will against the river's treachery and the men who are willing to fight steam with fire, violence and bloodshed. Against this backdrop is the dramatic Battle of New Orleans with the ragtag Americans under the command of Andrew Jackson-a handful of troops standing alone against thousands of British regulars poised to seize the city and control the Mississippi.



Schaill, William S. (1944- )

Cabot Station. Walker, 1990. 243 pages

Once central to the US Navy’s anti-submarine warning network, Cabot Station is now obsolete. Then, a mystery submarine is found abandoned nearby and Cabot’s 70 men and women are plunged into a bloodchilling battle for survival against time and the icy terrors of the merciless deep.


Seaglow. Dorchester, 1998. 360 pages

A Soviet submarine sinks off Puerto Rico during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Years later, Al Madeira is hired by the Russian Federation to salvage the sub because its experimental plutonium reactor is leaking radiation. Madeira finds himself caught between the US and Russian governments, the Russian Mob and Saddam Hussein.


The Wreck of Misericordia. Leisure, 1999. 358 pages

Cuban-American syndicate hires Al Madeira to salvage a rich treasure galleon. The syndicate says the recovered artifacts are for a Cuban Heritage museum but the Cuban government is convinced the treasure will be used to fund dissidents and will stop at nothing to destroy the operation.


MacHugh and the Faithless Pirate. Fireship, 2015. 320 pages

Robert MacHugh is a late 17th century Scots wine merchant and smuggler in New York who finds himself (not totally willingly) chasing pirates, perfidious French persons, angry Native Americans and others as a "favor" for a very powerful London power broker.


Death of a Siren. Chicago Review Press, 2016. 256 pages

In 1938, Frederick Freiman steals Pandora, his Uncle Alf’s boat, and sails away from New York for reasons he can’t tell anyone. Wandering the globe eventually brings him to the Galápagos Islands, where he’s greeted, minutes after making landfall, by the corpse of Baroness Ilsa von Arndt, an ax buried in her head. Frederick investigates her German chums to prove his innocence.



Schenck, Hilbert. (1926-2013)

Wave Rider. Pocket Books, 1980. 237 pages

Collection of speculative nautical stories. Title short story is about a catamaran surfing some extremely high waves. "The Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck": A New England coastal rescue team creates alternative presents. "Three Days at the End of the World": Oceanic survey ship battles to forestall an ecological catastrophe. "Buoyant Ascent": an account of a rescue attempt of a sunken submarine.


At the Eye of the Ocean. Timescape, 1981. 224 pages

A young man in 19th century Cape Cod has an intuitive capacity to understand the inner shape of the ocean Under the Sea, which unveils to him a mystical enlightenment about the shape and outcome of human history. As a result, he and his wife almost become the messiahs of a new age.


A Rose for Armageddon. Timescape, 1982. 175 pages

A long ago love-affair between a mis-matched pair comes to fruition at the morphological heart of a Timeslip in the centre of an Island in the midst of the waters, leading to a form of liberation from (and possibly for) an Ecologically-degraded Near-Future world sliding into chaos.


Chronosequence. TOR, 1988. 314 pages

A small island off Martha's Vinyard contains a mystery from previous centuries whose solution involves the ocean, geography, time-slippage, an Alien presence, and, once again, the potential redemption of the world.



Schoonover, Lawrence L. (1906-1980)

The Gentle Infidel. Macmillan, 1950. 304 pages

The adventures of a Italian lad wrongly drafted into the Ottoman Janissaries during the reign of the sultan immediately before Mohammed the Conqueror. Has some very good descriptive material on the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The story of how the Sultan has his fleet carried over land into the Golden Horn, and why, is worth reading in itself, but there is more on the role of sea power. "...Very well written and an easy read." [LF]


The Revolutionary. Little, Brown, 1958. 495 pages

Yet another fictionalized bio of John Paul Jones.


Central Passage. W. Slone, 1962. 246 pages

Nuclear war blasts Panama to bits, opens a passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific.



Scortia, Thomas N. (1926-1986) and Robinson, Frank M. (1926-2014)

The Gold Crew. Warner, 1980. 435 pages

Psycological experiment (crew is led to believe the USSR has attacked the US) aboard a US Navy SSBN leads to big trouble under the Arctic Ocean.



Scott, Douglas (1926- )

The Burning of the Ships. Secker & Warburg, 1980. 436 pages

A merchant captain, surviving a torpedoing, gets rescued by Vichy forces attempting to recover Italian survivors from a torpedoed liner -- shades of the LACONIA. This gets him involved in a web of intrigue involving Vichy collaboration with the Germans, a sabotage ring burning Allied merchant ships, and a Soviet spy seeking to wreck Anglo-Allied cooperation.


Die for the Queen. Secker & Warburg, 1981. 300 pages

The British Admiralty sends the liner QUEEN ELIZABETH - the world’s then-largest liner - on her secret 1940 maiden voyage from Great Britain to the United States in what turned out to be a successful attempt to elude the German U-boats which were waiting for her.


Chains. Secker & Warburg, 1984. 342 pages

Merchant captain, captured by a German U-Boat crew after his ship is torpedoed and sunk, escapes from a special POW camp in France and finds himself enmeshed in a web of espionage and treachery in the days leading up to Allied invasion of Sicily.


The Albtross Run. Secker & Warburg, 1986. 300 pages

American war correspondent, recuperating from airplane crash injuries in Bombay get swept into the orbit of a hard-bitten, self-taught merchant captain who befriends the correspondent. The captain arranges for the correspondent -- who is trying to get to Sierra Leone -- to travel on his merchantman, which is making an unescorted passage from Bombay to Durban in the face of German and Japanese opposition. The captain faces down a Japanese raider, a typhoon, and a hostile crew, before the correspondent discovers that this hero is being destroyed by personal burdens. Good read.



Scott, J. M. (James Maurice) (1906-1986)

The Devil You Don't. Heinemann, 1967. 243 pages

Three Britons take a 20 ton yawl to South Trinidad Island off Brazil in search of treasure stolen during the Peruvian war of independence.



Scott, Justin

The Shipkiller. Dial, 1978. 340pages

The story of a man whose sailboat was rammed by the largest tanker in the world. He lost his wife and swears that he is going to sink the ship. Will he make it? The story takes you all over the world. A well documented fiction but not far from reality.


Normandie Triangle. Arbor House, 1981. 475 pages

German saboteur who sank the NORMANDIE plans an encore by sinking the QUEEN MARY in New York harbor with 12,000 soldiers aboard. A naval architect working on salvaging the Normandie discovers the plot.



Scott, Michael (1789-1835)

Tom Cringle's Log. T. Cadell, 1833. 2 volumes

First published as a series of sketches in Blackwood's Magazine 1829-33. Scott puts Tom in the Royal Navy in the years 1805-1812. Tom has many nautical adventures though the book is as much a travelogue as a nautical log. In some ways the book is reminiscent of Marryat and in other respects a precursor of O'Brian.



Scott, Sir Walter (1771-1832)

The Pirate. Constable, 1822. 3 volumes

Makes the list due to some fifteen pages of shipboard activity and the fact that Scott's inaccurate picture of ocean life inspired James Fenimore Cooper to write THE PILOT (q.v.) as a corrective.



Scott, William Ralph (psued. Weldon Hill)

Onionhead. D. McKey, 1957. 378 pages

A fictionalisation of the author's WW II experiences in the US Coast Guard. Released as a motion picture in 1958.



Searls, Hank (1922- )

The Hero Ship. World, 1969. 302 pages

A retired mustang USN Captain seeks to block the CNO appointment of an officer that served under him during WW II because of an act of cowardice committed by the CNO candidate during a raid on Japan where their carrier gets hit by multiple kamikazes. The captain had backed off punishing the officer in 1945 because he was the only witness, and the officer had had an affair with the captain's wife while a midshipman at Annapolis.


Overboard. Norton, 1977. 283 pages

Yachtsman sailing the Pacific wakes up to discover that his wife has fallen overboard. Seventy miles from Tahiti he searches for her along the yacht's path.


Sounding. Random House, 1982. 214 pages

A sperm whale that wants to communicate with humans encounters a sonar officer in a Soviet nuclear submarine stranded on the ocean's bottom. Object: survival.



Sellwood, A. V.

Stand By to Die! White Lion, 1961. 128 pages

Extremely improbable novel about a Royal Navy river gunboat, built for China service but withdrawn to Singapore in 1940, that is trapped behind Japanese lines when Singapore falls. The crew attempts to escape to Australia, but encounters a Japanese invasion fleet in Indonesia, and goes down in a blaze of glory, with the survivors then continuing their efforts in small boats and with native assistance.



Senseney, Dan

Scanlon of the Sub Service. Doubleday, 1963. 142 pages

Teen joins the Navy, following family tradition by striking for submarines, experiences submarine training, and is posted on a nuclear sub heading for the North Pole. For young Readers.



Sepetys, Ruta

Salt to the Sea. Philomel, 2016. 391 pages

Young adult novel about four refugee teenagers attempting to flee Germany aboard the doomed Wilhelm Gustloff.



Setlowe, Richard

The Black Sea. Ticknor & Fields, 1991. 413 pages

The Soviet luxury liner BLACK SEA is highjacked by Moslem fundamentalist pirates in the Singapore Strait, who then hide her up an uncharted jungle river. A US destroyer captain tries his darndest to find and rescue the hostages. A thriller about the new world order.



Severin, Tim

The Pirate Adventures of Hector Lynch:

  1. Corsair. Macmillan, 2007. 256 pages

    1677, on a late summer’s evening two ships lurk off the coast of southwest Ireland. They are Barbary corsairs from North Africa, slave catchers. In the village, seventeen-year-old Hector Lynch wakes to the sound of a pistol shot. Moments later he and his sister Elizabeth are taken prisoner. From then on Hector’s life plunges into a turbulent and lawless world that is full of surprises.

  2. Buccaneer. Macmillan, 2008. 352 pages

    Sailing across the Caribbean Hector Lynch falls into the hands of the notorious buccaneer, Captain John Coxon. Coxon delivers Hector to Sir Henry Morgan, a bitter enemy of Governor Lynch. The captain is expecting to curry favour with Henry Morgan but is publicly humiliated at a Christmas ball From then on, Coxon seeks to revenge himself on Hector and the young seafarer finds himself on the run again.

  3. Sea Robber. Macmillan, 2009. 336 pages

    Hector Lynch follows his quest for the young Spanish woman, Maria, with whom he has fallen in love. His search takes him and his friends on a nightmare passage around Cape Horn where they come across a small warship entombed on an icefloe, her only crew two skeletons - the captain frozen to death in his cabin and a dog.

  4. Privateer. Macmillan, 2014. 400 pages

    Hector Lynch and his companions are in the Caribbean, diving to plunder a wreck on the notorious Vipers reef, when they are spotted by a passing Spanish ship. To prevent news of their activities getting out, they cripple the Spanish vessel by burning her sails - an act of piracy - and then head for their base in Tortuga. But a chance encounter at sea means that Hector and his comrades run afoul of Laurens de Graff - renowned swashbuckling mercenary captain - now in command of a royal French frigate.

  5. Freebooter. Macmillan, 2017. 320 pages

    Hector Lynch, wanted by the authorities in London for piracy, has come to St Mary's Island, near Madagascar, on his search for the elusive Libertalia - a settlement where it is said that all are allowed to live freely. Here, he meets Captain Henry Avery, captain of the freebooter Fancy, which is sailing north through the Indian Ocean in search of a huge haul of gold.



Shannon, Dell [pseud. Elizabeth Linington] (1921-1988)

The Scalpel and the Sword. Morrow, 1987. 392 pages

Irish surgeon moves to London in 1803 to improve his fortune, then does a stint as a Royal Navy surgeon. He serves in the Mediterranean, and sees action at Trafalgar.



Shay, Edith Foley (1893-1961) and Smith, Katherine Foster (1896-1947)

The Private Adventure of Captain Shaw. Houghton Mifflin, 1945. 255 pages

Cape Cod captain's curious adventure in 1790s France leads to a prosperous voyage. Katherine Smith was the wife of John Dos Passos.



Shea, Philip

The Devil's Captain. Windsor, 1992. 318 pages

Bartholemew Roberts, forced to become a pirate when captured by them, becomes captain Black Bart Roberts, scourge of the Atlantic. Improbable but fun pirate adventure set during War of Jenkins' Ear.



Sheckley, Robert (1928-2005)

The Man in the Water : a novel of great tension. Regency, 1961. 158 pages

Two men struggle for possession of a small boat alone on the wasteland of the Sargasso Sea.



Sheldon, Charlie

The Boomerang Heist. Writer's Showcase, 2003. 286 pages

An investigative reporter is forced to take a voyage on a container ship crossing the Pacific to Seattle. A promotional cargo container, the Boomerang Box, which has been traveling the world as a high school project, will arrive in Seattle aboard that same ship and will be met by the President and seventeen other heads of state. Two hours after leaving Kobe, Japan, the ship is hijacked by terrorists.



Shellabarger, Samuel (1888-1954)

Lord Vanity. Little, Brown, 1953. 367 pages

From galley slave to the most dangerous swordsman in Europe in the 1750s.



Shelley, Sidney (1921- )

The Bowmanville Break. Delacorte, 1968. 242 pages

German prisoners of war are plotting a daring escape, and it's up to a brash Allied officer to stop them. The novel recounts the elaborate escape strategies used by the prisoners and the tactics the prison camp officials employed to track the escapees to the U-boats that were to carry them back to Germany. Filmed and reprinted as The McKenzie Break.



Shepard, Lucius (1943-2014)

Viator Plus. PS Publishing, 2009. 355 pages

Hoping a salvage job on VIATOR, an abandoned ship off the coast of Alaska, will be a springboard to a new life, Thomas Wilander is disturbed to find that his four workmates are behaving erratically, perhaps suffering from mental instability. With the help of Arlene, a woman in the nearby town of Kaliaska, Wilander investigates VIATOR's past and the origins of the mysterious man who hired him, eventually learning that some of the answers may lie in his own dreams, which seem to be coming true. The text in this collection is the author's perfered version. Also available as an e-book.



Shepherd, Peter

The Saturn Experiment. W. H. Allen, 1988. 192 pages

NATO nuclear submarine "Saturn" and the Soviet battleship "Kharkov" face-off in Soviet waters--in a battle that could mean not only the lives of the crewmen aboard but the loss of world freedom.



Shepperd, Stephen

For All the Tea in China. Tudor, 1988. 477 pages

Two rogue captains are challenged to sail the tea route from China to England in a race against a steamship. The Winner makes a fortune, gets the girl, and keeps his ship.



Sherlock, John (1932-2002) and Westheimer, David (1917-2005)

The Amindra Gamble. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1982. 319 pages

Cargo ship smuggles England's gold reserves to the Canada in fall 1940 struggles to avoid capture by Germans.