Does anyone care to explain to me why the pirate genre is so underserved?? According to those of us that read and loved Nicole Castroman’s Blackhearts and Blacksouls, we really don’t see enough buccaneering out in the world. Thankfully, Blackhearts and Blacksouls are featured reads until April 24th, so you can catch up on Teach’s rise to infamy. Plus, Nicole Castroman shared her favorite fictional pirates with us. But for those of us that need MORE pirates in our lives, here are some of my favorite sources of pirate-y entertainment!

For the purists…


There are quite a few pirate movies out there to pick from but Pirates of the Caribbean brought the genre back to the mainstream in all its campy eccentricities, along with an epic soundtrack. There is no other movie-based-on-a-theme-park-ride I will ever enjoy this much. I don’t think the sequels didn’t live up to the original, but that won’t stop me from being first in line to see Dead Men Tell No Tales, especially now that Orlando Bloom is back!

For the feminists…

PIRATES! by Cecilia Rees


All the swashbuckling can’t be left to the boys! Two girls with very different upbringings find freedom, adventure, and love in this fun, fast read. Celia Rees takes on sexism and racism of the era within their historical contexts without divorcing the story from its time period.

For the kid in all of us…


Muppet Treasure Island

Pirates of the Caribbean was incredibly important in putting pirates back on the map, but like other pirate movies, it was missing one crucial element: show tunes! Thankfully, Jim Henson’s team saw a need, and fulfilled it to its greatest potential. Aside from this being a fairly accurate and artful retelling of a classic seafaring adventure, Tim Curry gave the performance of his life as Long John Silver. Move over, Penzance! Fozzie and Gonzo totally have you beat.

For the ’80’s lover…



The 80’s were a magical time that produced a SLEW of classic movies. The Pirate Movie…was not one of them. Its wikipedia page even says “The film performed far below expectations when first released and is generally reviewed very poorly.” Yet….there is still something special about it! Loosely based on The Pirates of Penzance, introverted Mabel (played by Kristy McNichol) is thrown overboard in a sudden storm, only to wash up on beach as a confident, assertive young damsel in what turns out to be a musical, pirate-filled dream sequence. It’s SUPER campy, won several Razzie Awards, and has a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes so it’s definitely not for everyone, but even so, it holds a special place in my heart.

For the history nerds…

UNDER THE BLACK FLAG by David Cordingly

under the black flag

It’s nice to give the romance of the open seas some historical context. This non-fiction gives a pretty good overview of what blockbusters tend to leave out. There were a lot of different kinds of sea dogs, and you can finally separate the truth from the legends that surround Blackbeard and other notorious pirates.

For the gamers…


While this video game precedes ACIII’s timeline, it has a much larger worldscape to explore—sea forts, Mayan ruins, and underwater shipwrecks to name a few. While caught in this centuries-old struggle between the Assassins and Templars, you have a choice between land and naval travel, where you’ll meet notorious pirates Calico Jack, Mary Read, and an all-grown-up Teach. Or y’know, Blackbeard.

For the schemers…


Black Sails

Starz just aired its final season that follows the events that lead up to Treasure Island. While the pirates are decidedly filthier and thirstier for blood and gold, this binge-worthy series totally encapsulates all the best of the pirate genre. There are hunky dudes for all tastes and types (keep your eye on Silver’s facial hair around Season Three—glorious), but the diverse group of badass ladies, including historic pirate Anne Bonny, are what kept me watching. The show takes place on New Providence Island, a pirate port that threatened Britain’s upstanding mercantile ventures (slaving and colonization). The political scheming on the many different sides of this messy port town would make even Tyrion Lannister’s head spin. There’s a good mix of history with fiction, romance and action, gold and guts. And with over forty hours to watch, James Flint might take the top slot on your Favorite Pirates list…