Found in Scourge of the Seas of Time (And Space), “Rib of Man” reads like the start of an adventure, and while it did make me wish there was more, that’s not meant to be a criticism. We meet a pirate captain heading her crew back to port after what has been a successful streak, and then a ship is spotted on the horizon. Is it worth a gamble to take on one more battle?
She decides it is, and the story unfolds from there, though it’s more about revealing two characters, and a potential than one of action or adventure.
The turns of phrase, the captain’s speech, and a few choice details from the past paint a fulfilling picture of the captain herself, and her crew, though painted in far less detailed strokes, come together to form a whole that had me happily aboard. I do wish there was more—like many of these tales, I’m hoping the characters will sail again in other works by their authors—but the conclusion of just what the treasure might be was, at least, satisfying enough for a short fiction.