The Best Science Fiction Novels About Space Pirates
A lot of pirate myths were born during the 16th and early 18th century, which was the golden age of piracy. The popularity of these myths and legends also ensured that pirates had a prominent role in fiction even years later. Books like Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson remain classics to this day and books like On Stranger Tides by Power were used as inspiration for popular movies, such as Pirates of the Caribbean. However, as the tastes of readers changed and science fiction became more popular it didn't mean that pirates were left behind either. Instead many authors took the swashbucklers and transplanted them to space to continue their reign of terror. Here are some of the best novels to read if you are in the mood for pirates, but prefer your action to be set in more futuristic environments.
by Jamie McFarlane
The protagonist of Junkyard Pirate by Jamie McFarlane is an old Vietnam vet named Albert Jenkins who is in the twilight of his life. Since his wife died all he has left is his junkyard and his drinking habit, but this all changes when he purchases a bunch of missile hulls as salvage. AJ is nearly killed when the rocket parts fall over and crush him, but at the last moment his life is saved by an alien parasite. However, it comes at a cost as AJ has to agree to share his body with the parasite. Initially it's not that bad, but then AJ discovers how alien invaders are after Earth's precious resources and he might be the only one who can stop them.
by Joseph Delmari
In Space Pirates of the Black Nebula by Joseph Delmari the solar system has been colonized and Earth is a paradise. Mega-corporations are in charge of everything, including the Wormhole technology that allows safe travel to the Moreta Galaxy. Corporate security tightly controls the way back and forth between the two galaxies, but there's still plenty of work out there for mercenaries like Darrion Reed and his crew onboard the Freestar. However, a simple and straightforward job from Omega Corp's Director of External Affairs soon spirals out of control when shadowy threats, nefarious space pirates, and dangerous former enemies make an appearance.
by Alastair Reynolds
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds is set in a dark distant future where humanity is thriving in space among the ruins of alien civilizations. Captain Rackamore and his crew ply their trade by searching for worlds with ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies. These worlds are usually hidden away and surrounded by multiple layers of protection, but cracking them open comes with rich rewards. However, not everyone has the same integrity as Rackamore and his crew and it's impossible to be in their line of business without making some enemies along the way. Revenger has all the classic ingredients for a pirate adventure, including buried treasure and vengeance, but with a nice space twist.
by Lindsay Buroker
Shockwave by Lindsay Buroker is the story of Casmir Dabrowski, an accomplished robotics engineer. After some trouble with bullies during his childhood, Casmir has settled into a relatively comfortable life as a respected professor, but this changes when he becomes the target of robot assassins. This forces him to catch the first ship into space in an attempt to buy time while figuring out why he is suddenly a target. However, things become even more complicated when Casmir crosses paths with bounty hunters, mercenaries, and pirates.
by Glynn Stewart
The Terran Privateer by Glynn Stewart is the first novel in his Duchy of Terra series. It is set in a future where the United Earth Space Force is destroyed by an alien armada and Earth is conquered. This event forces Captain Annette Bond to flee into exile with her experimental hyperspace cruiser. It is an act that makes her Terra's only interstellar privateer and she is forced to cozy up to the seedy underbelly of galactic society for survival. With inferior technology, crude maps, and pirates as well as slavers for allies, things are not looking too good for her. Especially not when the lines between what she was sworn to destroy and what she has become begin to blur.
by David Lee Summers
Ellison Firebrandt from Firebrandt's Legacy by David Lee Summers ha a letter of marque to raid ships of Earth's opponents. He does this to ensure that the other systems are not able to compete with the home system. Of course, this also gives him plenty of freedom for adventures, such as rescuing a woman named Suki Mori from a drug lord on the planet Epsilon Indi 2. Suki isn't very keen on living a pirate's life, though, which makes things complicated for Firebrand. He has found a new engine that could make him the most successful pirate of all, but there is just one small hitch. Suki is the only one who can make the engine work, but she doesn't exactly trust him. There's also the small matter of every government in the galaxy hunting the crew of pirates to get the engine back.