Ship life is an awful drudge, and the big lug throws his poems into the sea, losing all hope. He has nothing to live for -- until the ship is beset by pirates. The peaceful, morose giant doesn't want to fight, but after he is wounded, he flies into a rage and single-handedly beats off the pirates. He is made third mate for his bravery, and gradually, he find camaraderie and identity among the sailors.
As his love for life is rekindled, so is his dream of writing poetry. Through an artful montage, we see him grow older and wiser, see him return to his poetry, but he is more experienced now -- and it shows in his poems.
Weing draws in an elaborate, crosshatched style that's half Popeye, half Maakies, and it meshes brilliantly with the subject matter and the storytelling. Set to Sea is so lovely in places that I found myself exclaiming aloud -- it's got a naive-but-self-conscious grace that is impossible to describe and that few have ever mastered. This one is highly recommended.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.