"Then I could not help wondering what the watching gods thought of us, with our clever masks and our jokes. What we think of crickets, perhaps, whose singing we hear with pleasure, though some of us smash them with our heels when they venture into sight." —Gene Wolfe
Chapter one: Aces High
The only laws out in the black are the ones you make.
Chapter two: You Keep What You Kill
Pride goeth before a fall, but you can always try to take a few of 'em with you when you go.
Chapter three: One For Sorrow, Two For Joy
It's bad luck to have a ship without a name.
Chapter four: Stop or You'll Go Blind
Hunting ain't easy, but it certainly is profitable.
Chapter five: Why Does Rice Play Texas?
We are explorers—but why do we explore?
Chapter six: Call of Booty
There are dangers in the deep, and they'll try to take what's yours.
Chapter seven: It's a Kind of Magic
Politicians play for power, but at what cost to the pilots who bleed and die?
Chapter eight: Home, Home on the Fence
Some ports prohibit what you can sell on their markets. Some pilots don't care.
Chapter nine: Luck be a Lady Tonight
At times Lady Luck has a most un-ladylike way of running out.
Chapter ten: The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree
They are coming.
"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth." —Zora Neale Hurston
2.1: The Devil and the Astronaut
Facing the void is easier with a copilot.
2.2: High Untrespassed Sanctity
There’s a vast and wondrous universe out there—but what is that, compared to love?
2.3: Now, and Now, and Now
As things begin to crack, you should become aware of all you’ve taken for granted.
2.4: Broken Bottles, Old Gloves
Sitting in the darkness with open eyes, and catching a glimpse of the future.
2.5: Come Not Single Spies
You can’t hide from your problems when your problems are following you.
2.6: The Lightning in the Collied Night
So quick bright things come to confusion.
Epilogue: Past the Wit of Man
The truth, and all points thereafter.
"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." —Han Solo
"As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." —Herman Melville