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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Shi - Sp

Shirreffs, Gordon D. (1914-1996)

Roanoke Raiders. Westminster, 1959. 160 pages

William Barker Cushing fits out a spar torpedoboat to destroy the newly launched Confederate ram ALBEMARLE, lying eight miles up North Carolina's Roanoke River. Based on an actual exploit.


The Gray Sea Raiders. Chilton, 1961. 160 pages

Civil War adventure for young readers.


The Mosquito Fleet. Chilton, 1961. 184 pages

The siege of Vicksburg, for young readers.


Powder Boy of the Monitor. Westminster, 1961. 188 pages

Civil War adventure for young readers.


Torpedoes Away! Westminster, 1967. 206 pages

Bob Dunbar and Gary Lunt get back on board the submarine GRAYFIN just in time for its third patrol in World War II, a special mission in the Java Sea to seek out and destroy enemy ships.


The Killer Sea. Westminster, 1968. 192 pages

Discharged from the Navy after World War II but not yet ready to exchange sea life for college life, two young men join the crew of a salvage tug, and find themselves trying to salvage a Canadian ship taken over by twenty Japanese who do not know the war is over. For young readers.


Captain Cutlass. Fawcett Gold Medal, 1978. 352 pages

Giant pirate battles other pirates, Spanish ships and two women. Somewhat erotic at times.



Shute, Nevil (Nevil Shute Norway) (1899-1960)

Most Secret. W. Morrow, 1945. 310 pages

A flamethrower is fitted to a fishing boat as a secret weapon during WW II.


The Breaking Wave. Morrow, 1955. 282 pages

U.K. title: Requiem for a Wren. Australian veteran of WW II returns home to discover his parent's housekeeper has just died through an overdose of sleeping pills. In attempting to unearth her true identity he discovers that she was his late brother's fiance, a WREN during the War. Much of the novel takes place ashore, but the central events are linked to the sea, whether in harbor or on the English Channel.


The Trustee from the Toolroom. Morrow, 1960. 311 pages

Machinist goes to the South Seas to salvage a yacht and settle an estate.



Sigurðardóttir, Yrsa (1963- )

The Silence of the Sea. Hodder & Stoughton, 2011. 420 pages

Translation of Brakið. A luxury yacht arrives in Reykjavik harbor with nobody on board. What has happened to the crew, and to the family who were on board when it left Lisbon? Series character Þóra Guðmundsdóttir (Thora Gudmundsdottir) is hired by the young father's parents to investigate, and is soon drawn deeper into the mystery.



Silliphant, Stirling (1918-1996)

Steel Tiger. Ballentine, 1983. 318 pages

Our hero, an ex-cop and Vietnam vet, sails off to the South Pacific, smack into a mystery of brutal killings that he has to solve.



Silver, Richard

Captain Shark series:

  1. By Pirates' Blood. Pinnacle, 1975. 158 pages

    Introduces, Sebastian Shark, pirate captain in the dying days of the buccaneers -- who sailed with Morgan to Panama in his youth and now commands various ships, generally named DRACO. He buckles a swash across the Spanish Main in various scrapes and contretemps. Ahrrg, me hearties!

  2. Jaws of Death. Pinnacle, 1975. 184 pages

    Picks up from By Pirates' Blood with Shark escaping from Spanish captivity, embarking on a wide variety of stereotypical buccaneering activities, and finally going in search of Morgan's treasure.



Silverberg, Robert (1935- )

Lord of Darkness. Arbor House, 1983. 558 pages

In the late 16th century a young British seaman is captured by the Portuguese and shipped to Angola, where he's forced to act as pilot for slavers. He gets drawn into African Satanic rites, and confronts the Lord of Darkness.



Simenon, Georges (1903-1989)

Maigret Keeps a Rendezvous. (Margaret Ludwig, translator). Harcort, Brace & Co., 1941. 312 pages

Collection which includes "The Sailors' Rendezvous" (Au rendez-vous des Terre-Neuvas). Inspector Maigret investigates the death of Captain Fallut after the disasterous voyage of the trawler Océan.



Simmons, Dan (1948- )

The Crook Factory. Morrow, 1999. 448 pages

Fictionalized version of the real life counter-espionage and spy ring, known as the Crook Factory, that was set up by Ernest Hemingway in Cuba during World War II. Here Papa manages to sink a German U-Boat.


The Terror. Little, Brown, 2007. 769 pages

Captain Francis Crozier, searching for the Northwest Passage commands HMS Terror and has to overcome bad food, poor leadership, even poorer subordinates, mutinous sailors, cold, scurvy and a Monster, in order to reconcile himself with the future that he has seen but fails to understand. Adapted for television in 2018.



Simpson, George E. and Burger, Neal R.

Ghostboat. Dell, 1976. 412 pages

Fantasy. US Submarine CANDLEFISH disappears on December 11, 1944 and reappears on October 5, 1974 with everything in perfect working condition - but no crew. A new crew assembles to retrace the last voyage.


Thin Air. Dell, 1978. 318 pages

Shades of The Philadelphia Experiment! A ship disappears during tests, the crew reappear 25 years later. Investigation of Navy coverup of secret weapon tests ensues.



Skouen, Arne (1913-2003)

Stokers' Mess. A.A. Knopf, 1948. 237 pages

Norwegian sailors on Norwegian-flagged cargo ships. Originally published in Norway as Fest i Port des Galets.



Slater, Ian (1941- )

Firespill. Bantam, 1977. 309 pages

An oil spill ignites off the Canadian coast, turns into an inferno.


Deep Chill. Worldwide, 1989. 378 pages

USN submarine is disabled on the bottom of the North Pacific. An oceanographer is sent to help and a Soviet sub is ready to pounce.



Slaughter, Frank G. [pseud. C. V. Terry] (1908-2001)

Buccaneer Surgeon. Hanover House, 1954. 309 pages

Originally published using the pseudonym C.V. Terry. Footloose British-Spanish surgeon's adventures as a spy, adventurer, and ship's captain serving Francis Drake as "El Draco" raids Santo Domingo and Cartegena in the years leading up to the Armada. A Captain Blood knock-off, but not a particularly good one.


Darien Venture. Hanover House, 1955. 286 pages

Originally published using the pseudonym C.V. Terry. English who used his buccaneering income to become a surgeon. Unable to set up a practice is Edinburgh, he gets dragged against his better judgment into a Scots attempt to buccaneer and settle in the Darien coast (Panama). Events take place in 1698-1700.


The Mapmaker : a novel of the days of Prince Henry, the Navigator. Doubleday, 1957. 320 pages

Andrea Bianco escapes from slavery on a Moorish galley to become a navigator in the service of Prince Henry of Portugal. Between fending off the treachery of his half-brother, he discovers the Senegal River and Cuba -- before Columbus. Fun and plausibly told. _Very_ loosely based on the life of a noted cartographer: Andrea Bianco.


The Deadly Lady of Madagascar. Doubleday, 1959. 264 pages

A C. V. Terry book. Bonita, daughter of pirate pirate Red Carter, buckles swashes with the best of them, mesmerizes British captain, and steals gold.


Pilgrims in Paradise. Doubleday, 1960. 319 pages

Puritan expedition to settle Eleuthera in the 1650s. Book pivots around the interaction of the expedition's surgeon, a freethinking doctor, and its leader, the surgeon's bluenosed brother. Action includes plagues and pirates at sea, survey of a coastline, shipwreck, and escape on a raft, a battle against a Spanish ship that attempts to raid the colony, and a witchcraft trial.


The Purple Quest, a novel of seafaring adventure in the ancient world. Doubleday, 1965. 301 pages

The Phonecian merchant-prince Stabon -- who is not a surgeon -- helps Queen Dido establish Carthage, after himself establishing a Phonecian colony in Spain. Sea battles, shipbuilding and ocean voyages a plenty, but as with most Slaughter sea novels, most of the action occurs on shore. Enjoyable read.


Plague Ship. Doubleday, 1976. 254 pages

An archeologist releases an Ebola-like disease from an ancient burial site in Peru. Only the archeologist's brother, a Nobel-winning epidemiologist, and a clapped-out hospital ship with a bad engine, offer a chance to control the virus before it becomes a world-wide epidemic. Then the superstitious population of the port at which the ship is berthed force it out to sea into the path of a Pacific storm. Good medical detective read, but doesn't get to sea for the first 2/3rds of the story.



Smalley, Peter

Hayter-Rennie series:

  1. HMS Expedient. Century, 2005. 402 pages

    In 1786: Captain William Rennie is on the beach and on half pay. Things weren't always so bad for him. So Rennie is amazed when he's given a prime commission: HMS Expedient is a 36 gun frigate; she is to be sent to the South Seas on a scientific expedition. Then a long series of mysterious accidents and setbacks occur as Expedient sails south.

  2. Port Royal. Century, 2006. 386 pages

    It is the year 1788. HMS Expedient has returned from a perilous secret mission to the Pacific Ocean. Her Captain, William Rennie, and First Lieutenant James Hayter should be wealthy men, but their patron has seen that their rewards are meager at best. The most they can hope for is a new commission, and soon Expedient is on her way to Port Royal, Jamaica, to protect the British Colony from possible attack. Finding a society founded on the unimaginable riches of slavery and the plantations, Rennie and Hayter also discover a complex enemy plot taking place at the Governor's residence.

  3. Barbary Coast. Century, 2007. 366 pages

    Lieutenant James Hayter and Captain William Rennie are to sail to the Mediterranean, to assist Britain's ally Rashid Bey of Rabhet. Murky politics, threatened mutiny, desperate sea actions and imprisonment follow on the sweltering North African Coast, where the rules of European warfare no longer apply and the victor will take everything.

  4. The Hawk. Century, 2008. 354 pages

    1790 and England is on the cusp of war with Revolutionary France. The night-time Channel is the scene of intense smuggling activity and the passage of spies from one coast to another. Lieutenant James Hayter has achieved his heart's desire - his first independent command, His Majesty's 'Hawk' cutter, 10 guns.

  5. The Gathering Storm. Century, 2009. 370 pages

    Spring 1791. Though deeply disturbed by a terrible incident during his previous commission, James Hayter is nevertheless on the verge of taking command of HMS Sloop Eglantine as Master and Commander when personal tragedy shatters his life. The twin blows convince Hayter that he is not fit to command and he must turn his back on the sea forever.

  6. The Pursuit. Century, 2010. 366 pages

    Spring 1792. HMS Expedient and her crew have survived their most perilous commission yet: the dead have been buried and the battle scars repaired. Captain James Rennie is anxious to be active again after a year on the beach. And this time he longs for regular service with the Fleet as opposed to the dangerous detached missions. His friend, Lieutenant James Hayter, is haunted by his past and he too longs for the sea. Both will find their escape, but not in the circumstances they would have wished. Once more the summons comes for a secret voyage, in pursuit of a heavily armed neutral vessel. Aboard the ship lies a secret that could change the course of the coming war for Britain, and the loss of which could tip the balance irrevocably in favour of Revolutionary France. Rennie and Hayter must play a deadly game involving sea battles, mutiny and breathtaking deception.

  7. The Marvellous Sea. Amazon Digital, 2014. 374 pages

    The year is 1793 and while England mobilises her navy and looks East across the Channel and into the Mediterranean, a mission is being planned by Mr. Brough Mappin, administrator of the Secret Service Fund. Once again in command of the frigate HMS Expedient (36) Captain William Rennie and his Lieutenant, James Hayter, find themselves under secret orders and with an independent commission steering a course deep into the South Atlantic.



Smith, Arthur Douglas Howden (1887-1945)

Porto Bello Gold. Brentano's, 1924. 330 pages

A prequel to Treasure Island, telling about all the characters and how they became who they were. I starts off with Captain Flint and all the pirates on the WALRUS and how they end up on Treasure Island...Darby, Ben Gunn, Long John Silver are all explained in this book...very well written.



Smith, Bernard K.

Shark. iUniverse, 2000. 232 pages

Captain Peter Van Damm finds himself passed over for the rank of admiral and retires. The Company makes him an offer he can't refuse: command of his old Triton sub, Oregon, and a large sum of money if he will take his old sub out on a shakedown cruise with an untried heavy water power plant. He ends up with a sub half full of women, the other half consists of retired sailors and marines, and everyone trying to sink the sub.



Smith, C. Fox (Cicely Fox) (1882-1954)

Tales of the Clipper Ships. Houghton Mifflin, 1926. 159 pages

Six short novels about adventures aboard clipper ships.



Smith, Derek

The Sentinels. Frederic C. Bell, 2001. 234 pages

In 1864 the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley made naval history--it became the first underwater vessel ever to blow up an enemy ship. Then, in 1994, unsolved murders in Charleston, S.C., involve the U.S. Coast Guard in a search for answers to clues that increasingly point to a ghostly Confederate submarine still fighting more than a century after the Civil War.



Smith, Martin Cruz (1942- )

Polar Star. Random House, 1989. 386 pages

Arkady Renko, formerly a top criminal investigator in Moscow, investigates deaths aboard the Russian fish factory ship on which he is crewman. Set in the Bering Sea in the late 1980s.



Smith, Ron (John Ron) (1925-2008)

Torpedoman. The author, 1993. 195 pages

The book follows an enlisted man training to be a submariner, through the Seal's outfitting, and on through a number of harrowing patrols. The book captures the camaraderie of the sub's crew and the way more experienced submariners looked out for the new sailors and showed them the ropes.



Smith, Wilbur (1933- )

Shout at the Devil. Coward-McCann, 1968. 310 pages

Flynn Patrick O'Flynn, an ivory poacher by profession, lets his hatred of the German East African governer lead him to an assault on a mercantile raider in 1914. He drags Sebastian Oldsmith, an innocent son of English industry, into his schemes. Made into a movie by the same name starring Lee Marvin and Roger Moore.


The Diamond Hunters. Doubleday, 1971. 230 pages

Two men battle for supremacy in the Van Der Byl Diamond Company. Lots of action and adventure from Cape Town to London. The successfull exploration of an offshore diamond field will decide the winner.


Eye of the Tiger. Doubleday, 1976. 300 pages

Attempted salvage of a sunken East Indiaman off the coast of Africa. The title refers to a diamond from the throne of Tipoo Sultan, an indian ruler in the 18th century. Boat chases, diving, shooting, sex, sharks, sunburn and the British Library!


Hungry As The Sea. Doubleday, 1978. 395 pages

Nicholas Berg, forced out of leadership of the Christie Line, starts over with an ocean salvage company, then rebuilds his fortune by salvaging ships from the company he once headed. A business duel with the man who stole his wife and company results, leading to a climactic conclusion when the world's largest tanker breaks down with a load of poisonous oil in a hurricane.


Birds of Prey. St. Martin's, 1997. 554 pages

Action, sex and skullduggery along the African coast as British privateer Francis Courteney and his 14 year old son harass and loot the ships of the Dutch republic.


Monsoon. St. Martin's, 1999. 822 pages

Sequel to: Birds of Prey. Sir Hal Courteney goes back to sea to confront the pirates who are threatening the East India Trading Co.


Those in Peril. St. Martin's, 2011. 385 pages

An adventure set in the violent world of modern piracy and terrorism follows the kidnapping of an oil heiress's daughter for a multi-billion-dollar ransom and the efforts of Cross Bow Security head Hector Cross to secure her release.



Smollett, Tobias (1721-1771)

The Adventures of Roderick Random. J. Osborn, 1748. 2 volumes

The siege of Cartagena and other nautical adventures with his uncle Lt. Tom Bowling. Good descriptions of the conditions aboard British men-of-war of the period. Smollett had been at the siege of Cartagena while serving as a surgeon's mate in the Royal Navy in the 1740s.


The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, in which are included Memoirs of a lady of quality. R. Main, 1751. 3 volumes

Followup to Roderick Random.



Snell, Roy J.

The Flying Sub. Reilly & Lee, 1925. 282 pages

Number five of The Radio-Phone series.



Snow, C. P. (Charles Percy) (1905-1980)

Death Under Sail. W. Heinemann, 1932. 334 pages

Six guests are detained on their murdered host's wherry halfway through a holiday on the Norfolk Broads. One of them has killed Roger Mills, and, as the enigmatic Finbow points out, all of them hated him... A murder mystery of buttonholding tension. Revised in 1959.



Snow, Dave

Raven's Nest. Writers Club Press, 2000. 390 pages

After 27 years of knowing little or nothing about her orphan past, Myria Wyler is surprised to find out who she really is: the daughter of an infamous modern-day pirate, Lightning McFallen, who has used his WWII submarine to plunder the high seas for decades. Lured to a remote Alaskan island by the promise of a lucrative inheritance, Myria is held against her will at McFallen's secret hideaway, Raven's Nest. Meanwhile, her husband, Steven, an ex-navy SEAL still haunted by Vietnam, desperately searches for her.



Solley, George C. (1946- ) and Steinbaugh, Eric (Editors)

Moods of the Sea: masterworks of sea poetry. Naval Institute Press, 1981. 300 pages


Short Stories of the Sea. Naval Institute Press, 1984. 566 pages



Southworth, John Van Duyn (1904-1986)

The Pirate From Rome. Crown, 1965. 376 pages

Young Roman, captured by Mediterranean pirates, and abandoned by his family, who would rather see him dead -- so they can inherit his estate -- joins the Pirate Brotherhood rather than allow himself to be sold into slavery. Shortly after he does so, Rome begins efforts to eradicate the pirates. Features appearances by Julius Caesar and Sparticus.



Spector, Robert M.

Salt Water Guns. H.Z. Walck, 1970. 216 pages

Impetuous and strong-willed youth, who wants to join Washington's Army is instead put on a ship that is running guns and ammunition to the Continental Army. Because he is aboard unwillingly, his attitude and actions threaten the mission until he becomes convinced of its importance.



Sperry, Armstrong (1897-1976)

All Sail Set, a romance of the "Flying Cloud". John C. Winston, 1935. 175 pages

When his father loses his fortune, a boy is taken on by a famous shipbuilder and eventually makes a maiden, record-breaking trip around Cape Horn on the "Flying Cloud."


Lost Lagoon : a Pacific adventure. Doubleday, Doran, 1939. 277 pages

Seventeen-year-old Judd Anders, born and raised in Tahiti by his American parents, unknowingly becomes involved in a scheme to find a fortune in gold which was on a ship sunk in the South Pacific during World War I.


Call it Courage. Macmillan, 1940. 95 pages

Polynesian youth goes into self-imposed exile from his island because of his fear of the sea. During his adventures on the sea and on a taboo island, he overcomes his fears and comes to manhood. For young readers. Newberry Award winner.


Storm Canvas. John C. Winston, 1944. 301 pages

American Jason Cobb learns that his stepfather is a British spy in 1814. To avoid the man's vengence when he discovers Jason's knowledge, Jason flees to the ship commanded by a friend of his birth father, the 32-gun USN frigate THUNDERBOLT. Jason sets sail on the ship for adventures in the Caribbean, including a diplomatic mission to Haiti, and the improbable capture of Admiral Home Popham's flagship -- a 74-gun ship-of-the-line.


Hull-Down For Action. Doubleday, Doran, 1945. 215 pages

Independent sequel to Lost Lagoon. Four young men are stranded on a raft in South Pacific, after a German and Japanese agent on their sailing brig take over the ship on December 7, 1941. Young adult.


Danger to Windward. J. C. Winston, 1947. 241 pages

In 1816, an orphaned teen inherits a whaler from his grandfather, but has to battle his uncle's family -- figuratively and literally -- to keep the prize when they dispute the existence of the will, and go to more direct lengths to eliminate the youth from consideration.


Black Falcon, a story of piracy and Old New Orleans. J. C. Winston, 1949. 216 pages

It is the last year of the War of 1812. Wade Thayer is captured by the British while aboard a merchant ship running the blockade from New Orleans to Havana. Escaping, he joins up with Jean Lafitte, and helps repell the British invation of New Orleans. For young readers.