Cable, George Washington (1844
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914.
Based on the author's experiences on
Mississippi River. Intriguing rival steamboat owners, and the cholera
epidemics of the late 1840s.
Caidin, Martin (1927-1997)
The Last Fathom.
Meredith, 1967. 312
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.
Bantam, 1978. 312
US submarine investigates the
two nuclear subs, discovers a strange world miles
Dead Sea Submarine.
Bee-Line, 1971. 188
Arabs are moving a submarine across
to the Dead Sea, and commandos are sent to stop
Lander, 1969. 206
Sexual tension aboard ship during
the darkest days of
the slave trade.
Leisure, 1977. 240
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
Deals with the crew of a British
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
A Plague of Sailors.
Putman, 1971. 251
Following an earthquake in Israel,
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.
Putman, 1972. 287
Fictional account of a British
Commando raid on a
Norwegian port during WW II, based on a number of actual
A Web of Salvage.
Putman, 1973. 190
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
The last minutes of a sinking ship,
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
An Act of War.
Dutton, 1977. 206
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
Merchantman attacked and damaged by
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
The Auriga Madness.
Collins, 1980. 223
A terrible disease drives a ship's
with disasterous results.
Collins, 1981. 252
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
Collins, 1983. 222
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
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
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
WW II action as the Germans plot to
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
HarperCollins, 1998. 311
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
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, 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.
The sequel to Trapp's War. Further
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?
Trapp returns to muddle through
with thieves, psychopaths, armies, navies, and air forces of several
nations all adding to the fireworks. Set in the
Trapp and his team must be getting a
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.
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
The aircraft carrier HMS VIPER is
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
The White Ship.
Scribner, 1975. 192
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
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
LIBERATOR comes across a
Japanese trawler fleet that has survived the war, but had its crew
destroyed after the shooting stopped.
"When you think of a post-
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
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
On the East Coast of America, the
LIBERATOR sails into a savage zombie Hell.
Hidden in an underground fortress,
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
Diving for ancient treasures off
McBooks, 2006. 261
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
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
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.
Raid on Truman.
Lyfore, 1991. 290
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.
Avon, 1996. 340
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
Capouya, Emile (1925-2005)
In the Sparrow Hills : Stories.
Algonquin Press, 1993. 245
"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- )
Knopf, 1999. 415
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
A student tries for a quick buck on
a 38' boat
carrying drugs from Morocco to Newfoundland with deadly
Carlisle, Henry (1926-2011)
Voyage to the First of December.
Putman, 1972. 243
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
The Jonah Man.
Knopf, 1984. 260
Fictional biography of Capt. George
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-
The Steel Albatross.
Hardline, 1991. 475
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
Carr, Philippa [pseud. Eleanor
The Lion Triumphant.
Putman, 1973. 380
Heroine meets jake the ship captain,
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)
William Morrow, 1946. 311
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
The Beckoning Waters.
Scribner, 1953. 438
A novel of the Great Lakes in the
and early 20th century.
Scribner, 1956. 243
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
Novel about Alexander Selkirk, the
18th century privateer whose marooning on Juan Fernandez, off the coast
of Chile, was the real-life inspiration for Robinson
Morgan the Pirate.
Dell, 1961. 192
Henry Morgan is sold as a slave in
returns as pirate captain to plunder and destroy. Adapted from the
Oxford, 1980. 247
HMS SENTINEL tries to snuff out the
slave trade on
the African coast. Our heroes are midshipman John Spencer and Lyapo, a
Joseph, 1988. 470
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- )
Knopf, 1989. 375
Modern novel about a grumpy Rhode
struggling to build a fishing boat in his back yard and get
The Final Voyage of the S.S.N. Skate.
Windsor, 1989. 383
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
Catherall, Arthur (1906-1980)
Tugboat BULLDOG series
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
BULLDOG attempts salvage of the SULU
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
BULLDOG attempts to salve the 7,000
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
Lost With All Hands.
Coronet, 1940. 199
The trawler BLACKBALL ANNIE sets out
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
An English and an American boy try
to save themselves and the crew of a Navy submarine trapped under an
The Strange Intruder.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1965.
First published in Scotland as The Strange Invader. The survivor
of a wrecked schooner brings a reign of terror to a remote island off
Last Horse on the Sands.
Dent, 1972. 117
A brother and sister risk their
that of an old cart horse while trying to rescue victims of a plane
crash before the tide comes in. For young
Catto, Max (1909-1992)
Simon and Schuster, 1968. 284
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
Cave, Peter (1940- ) and
Sidgwick and Jackson, 1978. 189
Marine biologist H. Grossman is
working in an
underwater city when the marine world strikes back at the dry land. An