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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Wil - Wins

Wilkins, Vaughan (1890-1959)

Being Met Together. Macmillan, 1944. 510 pages

"Even Napoleon didn't believe it--but it was true! The British held Napoleon a prisoner on St. Helena... If only someone could invent a boat that would sail under the sea-- Then the Emperor could be rescued. So someone did! The most unusual escape story of all time." Reprinted under the title Napoleon's Submarine.

 

 

 

 

Willans, Geoffrey (1911-1958)

Admiral on Horseback. Michael Joseph, 1954. 256 pages

In three parts; the middle part has the hero; Stangeways Foxe-Forsyth, (Yes its that sort of book!) as a commander having his ships war damage repaired in the States in 1941. In the first section (1952) he is the admiral in command of a British carrier strike group having trouble with his own government, SHAPE and the Americans. The last part (1952-1954) finds him sharing the Mediterranean with a giant American fleet under his US admiral friend. A story of changing times.

 

 

 

Williams, Ben Ames (1889-1953)

All the Brothers Were Valiant. Macmillan, 1919. 204 pages

A newly appointed captain of a whaling ship sails for the Gilbert Islands in order to discover what happened to his brother, the previous captain of that vessel.


 

 

 

The Strumpet Sea. Houghton Mifflin, 1938. 338 pages

Three men seek one woman aboard the whaler VENTURER in the South Seas.


 

 

 

Thread of Scarlet. Houghton Mifflin, 1939. 374 pages

"Lusty saga of one man against angry sea" during War of 1812.

 

 

 

 

 

Williams, Charles (1909-1975)

The Sailcloth Shroud. Viking, 1960 188 pages

Charter boat skipper finds himself in a fix when one of his crew dies of a heart attack off Central America and the other is murdered in a Texas port. Raymond Chandleresque mystery.


 

 

 

Dead Calm. Viking, 1963. 188 pages

A young couple alone on their honeymoon yacht in mid Pacific rescue another voyager from his sinking yacht after burying his wife and another couple dead from food poisoning, leading to unexpected consequences. This thriller was filmed in 1989.


 

 

 

And the Deep Blue Sea. New American Library, 1971. 191 pages

A shipwrecked sailor is picked up by a mystery cruise ship up to no good.

 

 

 

 

 

Williams, David

Atlantic Convoy. Cassell, 1979. 304 pages

Convoy HX-114 assembles off the east coast to begin its dash to Britain. Aboard one of the Liberty ships the radio operator is a German agent who has on his person the American battle order for Operation Torch (The invasion of North Africa). Meanwhile in London at the Admiralty Tracking Station, from where the Battle of the Atlantic is controlled, the civil service trade union is working to rule because of the introduction of a WREN onto the staff. At the U-boat Operations Centre in Paris an intelligence windfall ensures that a trap will be set.

 

 

 

Williams, Henry

Ensign Pulver. Dell, 1964. 189 pages

Sequel to Mr. Roberts featuring Ensign Pulver. Novelization of the movie by the same name.

 

 

 

 

 

Williams, Jon [pseud. Walter Jon Williams] (1953- )

Privateers and Gentlemen series:

  1. The Privateer. Dell, 1981. 448 pages

    Malachi, Jehu, and Josiah Markham as American privateers in the Revolution. Original title: To Glory Arise.

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  3. The Yankee. Dell, 1981. 368 pages

    Josiah's son Gideon Markham's adventures as a privateer in the ship MALACHI'S REVENGE at the begining of the War of 1812. Original title: The Tern Schooner.

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  5. The Raider. Dell, 1981. 428 pages

    The exploits of Favian Markham -- Jehu Markham's son -- as a lieutenant and officer aboard Decatur's frigate UNITED STATES and commanding the brig EXPERIMENT in British home waters. Original title: Brig of War.

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  7. The Macedonian. Dell, 1984. 253 pages

    Favian Markham, now a captain, USN, takes the MACEDONIAN -- the frigate he helped capture -- on a cruise against the British in 1814.

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  9. Cat Island. Dell, 1984. 333 pages

    Gideon and Favian Markham battle the British at New Orleans and The Gulf of Mexico at the end of the War of 1812. Due to the oversatuation and ensuing collapse of the historical fiction market, the author's planned ten volume series stops here.

 

 

 

 

Williams, Naomi J. (1964- )

Landfalls. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. 315 pages

Reimagines the historical Lapérouse expedition, a voyage of exploration that left Brest in 1785 with two frigates, more than two hundred men, and overblown Enlightenment ideals and expectations, in a brave attempt to circumnavigate the globe for science and the glory of France. Each chapter is told from a different point of view and is set in a different part of the world, ranging from London to Tenerife, from Alaska to remote South Pacific islands to Siberia, and eventually back to France.

 

 

 

Williams, Paul

The Shenandoah Affair. Hodder & Stoughton, 1992. 394 pages

A maritime historical romance based on the factual visit of the successful Confederate raider SHENANDOAH (James Waddell) to the port of Melbourne, Australia for repairs during the Civil War. A bodice-ripper complete with embossed title and a purple cover that matches the prose within, featuring a Scarlet O'Hara-like character abducted from one of the Union ships Waddell sinks.

 

 

 

Williams, Walter Jon (1953- )

Quillifer series:

  1. Quillifer. Saga Press 2017. 530 pages

    The picaresque adventures of the eponymous protagonist in a vaguely Elizabethan fantasy universe. There are a few sections covering Quillifer's career as a privateer. First of a planned six book series.

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  3. Quillifer the Knight. Saga Press, 2019. 544 pages

    After a two-year voyage to improve his fortunes, Quillifer returns to court and is plunged immediately into a maelstrom of intrigue that triggers duels, plots, amours, and rollicking adventure. The highlight is a massive reggata between Quillifer and several unsavory aristrocrats.

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  5. Lord Quillifer. Saga Press, 2022. 528 pages

    Continues Quillifer's adventures, featuring a defense of a besieged city from attack by fireships and a pitched naval battle in the tidal shallows.

 

 

 

 

 

Williams, Wirt

The Enemy. Houghton Mifflin, 1951. 314 pages

Four-piper destroyer is assigned to second ASW Hunter-Killer carrier group in the Atlantic during 1943. Told first person from point of view of one officer.

 

 

 

 

Willis, Connie (1945- )

Passage. Bantam, 2001. 594 pages

How the biologcal purpose of near death experiences (NDEs) is just like the sinking of the Titanic.

 

 

 

 

 

Willis, Matthew

Daedalus and the Deep. Fireship Press, 2013. 262 pages

For Midshipman Colyer of the corvette HMS Daedalus, life is a constant struggle: savage pirates in the South China Sea, an erratic Captain, and a First Lieutenant guarding a personal secret. But the voyage of the Daedalus takes a stranger turn when the ship encounters a giant sea-serpent in the South Atlantic, and is plunged into a headlong pursuit of the creature in the name of science, personal glory, and the promise of fortune. But as the quest leads further into the cold wastes of the Southern Ocean, becoming ever more dangerous, Colyer begins to wonder just who is hunting whom? The sea-serpent's purpose could turn out to be more sinister than anyone on board the Daedalus imagined.

 

 

Willock, Colin

The Coast of Loneliness. Deutsch, 1971. 236 pages

Set in 1950. An attempt to board a Second World War freighter aground off the Skeleton Coast of South West Africa to retrieve hidden valuables makes this a nautical novel, although the ship is boarded from the shore by a line attached to the ship, by dropping a grapple from an old Junkers aircraft.

 

 

 

 

Willoughby, Lee Davis (Group pseudonym)

The Whalers. Dell, 1983. 285 pages

Life among New England whalers and whaling families. Making of America no.37.


 

 

 

The Caribbeans. Dell, 1983. 319 pages

Confederate captain and crew of blockade-runner become fugitives at end of the Civil War, flee to the Caribbean for love and adventure. Making of America no.42.


 

 

 

The Raiders. Dell, 1984. 317 pages

Confederate captain aboard steam/sail sloop DELTA DANCER harasses Union shipping, gets pursued by new armored paddlewheeler. Making of America no.52.

 

 

 

 

Wilson, Erle (1898- )

Adams of the Bounty. Criterion, 1958. 316 pages

Another view of the mutiny, from POV of seaman John Adams. Mr. Christian and Captain Bligh portrayed somewhat differently than in other novels.

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson, Sloan (1920-2003)

Voyage to Somewhere. A.A. Wyn, 1946. 252 pages

Somewhat less than awe-inspiring lieutenant takes command of brand new very small supply ship during WW II. His crew was assigned from the bottom of some alphabetical list; all their names start with "W" except for a couple of the officers. They cruise around the Pacific with assorted unimportant cargoes, never quite catching up with the war. Very good.


 

 

Ice Brothers. Arbor House, 1979. 517 pages

Coast Guard ice trawler on Greenland patrol during WW II.


 

 

 

The Greatest Crime. Arbor House, 1980. 306 pages

Fair-alcoholic charter yacht skipper and his travails.


 

 

 

Pacific Interlude. Arbor House, 1982. 317 pages

Veteran of the Greenland patrol commands gasoline tanker in the South Pacific during WW II.

 

 

 

 

 

Wilton, Robert

Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey series:

  1. The Emperor's Gold. Corvus, 2011. 448 pages

    Reprinted as Treason's Tide. The armies of France have only to sail to England to complete Napoleon's domination over Europe. Britain is militarily weak, politically divided, unsettled by her rioting poor. Into this feverish environment comes a dead man. Pulled half-drowned from a shipwreck, his past erased, Tom Roscarrock is put to work for the Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey, a shadowy Government bureau. He is thrown into a bewildering world of political intrigue and violence. [N.B. The remaining novels in this series are not maritime related]

 

 

 

Wingate, John Allen (1920-2008)

Submariner Sinclair series:

  1. Submariner Sinclair. Newnes, 1959. 255 pages

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  3. Jimmy-the-One : a Submariner Sinclair story. Newnes, 1960. 256 pages

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  5. Sinclair in Command : a Submariner Sinclair story. Newnes, 1961. 256 pages

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  7. Nuclear Captain : the fourth story of Submariner Sinclair. Macdonald, 1962. 224 pages

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  9. Sub-zero : a Submariner Sinclair story. Macdonald, 1963. 184 pages

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  11. Full Fathom Five : a Submariner Sinclair story. Heinemann, 1967. 174 pages

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  13. In the Blood : a Sinclair story. Heinemann, 1973. 147 pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below the Horizon. St. Martin's, 1975. 195 pages

Set in the very near future, this tells the story of the Third Cod War (there have been two real cod wars already). Iceland, having fished itself fishless within its three-mile limit, then its newer twelve-mile limit, has announced that now there is a 50-mile limit around the island and that all foreign trawlers either will be arrested or sunk. British skipper Hooky Walker, an overweight giant, does not recognize the new limit and says the fish beyond the twelve-mile limit are in international waters. He plays cat-and-mouse with the armed gunboat Hekla, sometimes getting a good haul, at others going home with little to show the company. And trawling is expensive. His worries mount. We follow his English Campion through a terrible blow and freak wave that nearly sinks them. On another trip he is fired upon by the Hekla but escapes in a fog. During the disastrous final voyage, a fellow trawler is fired upon and, out of his mind, Hooky rams the gunboat. Both ships sink in icy waters. But the tragedy is as much about the savaging of fish and rape of the world's greatest protein supply as it is about toilers of the sea.


The Sea Above Them. Barker, 1975. 186 pages

A British hunter-killer nuclear sub goes down off Novaya Zemlya on the Russian coast.


 

 

 

Oil Strike. St. Martin's, 1976. 197 pages

Building an oil rig off the coast of Scotland.



 

 

 

 

Cold War Trilogy:

Describes the deterioration of relations between the Soviet and Western blocks in a plausible and comprehensive scenario and spells out in some detail the NATO strategy to contain the Soviet submarine threat and keep open the sea lanes between Europe and the States in the pre-all-out-nuclear stage of the lead up to WW III. The stories concentrate mainly on the vessels named in the titles during the confrontation. The operation and deployment of the weapons systems and the ships performance during the various assignments come across as being realistic. This realism is carried through to the dialogue used by the characters and the makes an interesting comparison to the language used in naval war novels set in WW I and WW II.


  1. Frigate. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980. 216 pages

    A confrontation between a Soviet sub and a NATO exercise brings an end to the Cold War at sea and the beginning of perhaps WW3. Anti-submarine tactics, weapon capabilities and details of naval life give authenticity to the story of the eponymous LEANDER class frigate and her part in containing the Soviet submarine threat in the early stages of the sea war.

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  3. Carrier. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1981. 192 pages

    This takes up the story where it was left in FRIGATE, but from the perspective of an ageing British aircraft carrier as it plays its part in trying to keep the sea lanes to the US open and providing the necessary air cover to prevent Soviet subs getting at the convoys taking reinforcements to Europe.

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  5. Submarine. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1982. 212 pages

    The crisis is escalating and Armageddon looks inevitable. A Royal Navy conventional submarine is sent on a mission to decoy a Soviet super sub from its Northern Polar lair to its destruction by a nuclear hunter killer.

 

 

 

 

Go Deep. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1985. 191 pages

An authentic fictional account of the tough 10th Submarine Flotilla that defended Malta in WW II.


 

 

 

The Windship Race. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1987. 206 pages

A somewhat futuristic novel about sail-assisted ships. Illustrated with drawings by the author.

 

 

 

 

 

Wingate, William

Fireplay. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1977. 252 pages

CIA tries to salvage Soviet missile- carrying submarine sunk in 16,600' of water.

 

 

 

 

 

Winkler, Anthony C.

The Great Yacht Race. Kingston, 1992. 321 pages

The book is mostly about Jamaica in the 1950's and secondarily about a holy week yacht race from Lucia to Montego Bay. Interweaves the lives of five Montegonians: Fitzpatrick the barrister, Angwin the magistrate, O'Hara the hotelier, Biddle the reporter - all of whom eventually compete in an annual yacht race - and Father Huck, the American priest who ministers over them and tries his best to understand them, while battling with his own conflicts.

 

 

 

Winston, Michael

Jonathan Kinkaid series:

  1. Independent Action: Kinkaid in the North Atlantic. Createspace, 2012. 310 pages

    Jonathan Kincaid finds himself serving as First Lieutenant aboard the American frigate Randolph of 32 guns, blockaded in the port of Philadelphia during the winter of 1776-77. Tasked with orders to undertake "independent action" in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic against a mighty British convoy, she manages to elude enemy warships long enough to transform her crew-from the crusty boatswain O'Toole to the teenage midshipman Billy Weatherby-into an effective fighting force.

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  3. Uprising: Kinkaid in the West Indies. Createspace, 2012. 368 pages

    Kinkaid is given command of his own ship, Swift, of sixteen guns. His assignment is threefold: to deliver a diplomat bearing a copy of the Declaration of Independence to the Dutch free port of St. Eustatia in the Caribbean, to assist a major of marines with a mysterious assignment that takes them to the jungle island of Dominica, inhabited by cannabalistic Carib Indians, and to gain information of any pirate activity in the Virgin Islands that may interfere with American shipping from St. Eustatia to American shores.

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  5. Hazardous Duty: Kinkaid with the Northern Fleet. Createspace, 2012. 308 pages

    Kinkaid is in command of the 18-gun sloop of war, Ranger, tasked with scouting duties for the Continental Fleet. Braving not only the foul and frigid weather of northern waters, Kinkaid must contend with an inexperienced crew, a badly leaking ship, and personality clashes among senior officers; one of them being the bold and aggressive John Paul Jones, in command of the Frigate Alfred, not to mention trying to evade a strong and powerful British force that hopes to trap and destroy the fleet in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

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  7. Tidings of Victory: Kinkaid in Europe. Createspace, 2012. 316 pages

    Captain Kinkaid and his seagoing patriots take the news of the great victory at Saratoga to Benjamin Franklin in Paris. The newly married Kinkaid wrestles with his own demons as well as enemies of the cause.

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  9. The Treasure Ship: Kinkaid and the Alliance. Createspace, 2013. 306 pages

    Our intrepid captain is given command of America's premier warship, one of the finest ships ever produced during the Revolutionary War, the large and powerful 40-gun frigate Alliance, her mission to deliver 100,000 Spanish milled dollars from the Caribbean port of Havana, Cuba to the coffers of Congress. Needless to say there are many forces that hope to grab this fortune for themselves and others would be just as happy to ensure it never reaches American shores.

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  11. The Lake War: Kinkaid with the Inland Fleet. Createspace, 2013. 222 pages

    Deals with Kinkaid's first assignment as a young officer when he is sent to advise and assist General Benedict Arnold in the building and fighting of an Inland Fleet on Lake Champlain in the summer of 1776 when the war breaks out.

 

 

 


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