Corsair by James L. Cambias
Release Date: 5 May, 2015
In the early 2020s, two young, genius computer hackers, Elizabeth Santiago and David Schwartz, meet at MIT, where Schwartz is sneaking into classes, and have a brief affair. David is amoral and out for himself, and soon disappears. Elizabeth dreams of technology and space travel and takes a military job after graduating. Nearly ten years later, David is setting himself to become a billionaire by working in the shadows under a multiplicity of names for international thieves, and Elizabeth works in intelligence preventing international space piracy. With robotic mining in space becoming a lucrative part of Earth’s economy, shipments from space are dropped down the gravity well into the oceans. David and Elizabeth fight for dominance of the computer systems controlling ore drop placement in international waters. If David can nudge a shipment 500 miles off its target, his employers can get there first and claim it legally in the open sea. Each one intuits that the other is their real competition but can’t prove it. And when Elizabeth loses a major shipment, she leaves government employ to work for a private space company to find a better way to protect shipments. But international piracy has very high stakes and some very evil players. And both Elizabeth and David end up in a world of trouble.
Space pirates and computer hackers . . . James L. Cambias’s Corsair is a thrilling near-future adventure!
The first 100 pages were released on NetGalley as a ‘read now’ preview, and they had me at ‘space pirates’ so I was totally in on this one. The opening paragraph is so dang awesome as well:
‘Captain Black the Space Pirate sat on a king-sized hotel bed in Thailand and watched for his next prize. The name on his real passport was David Schwartz, but it was Captain Black the Space Pirate who had five fansites on the Wed and at least as many highly secure law enforcement sites devoted to tracking him.’
The preview itself is very fun, where we meet Elizabeth and David (and a few other characters), and how their brief time together sets them up for a lifetime of devotion – though not in the romantic sense. This seems like it’ll be a very clever novel – the dialogue is assured and the plot engaging and hard to put down, for sure. I want to know more about Anne, a character we don’t get to see much of 100 pages in, and I want to get more of a grip on David who is utterly infuriating. I can possibly see too much of him in a few people I know, which is slightly worrying.
I’ll certainly be looking out for this book when it comes out in May – I need to know whether Elizabeth manages to get her revenge!