A glossary of terms used in Paolo Bacigalupi's novels Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities:

  • Black Ling: A fortifying premium hard liquor
  • City killer: A hurricane; a storm that can destroy a city.
  • Rust Saint: The scavenge god, the deity that scavengers pray to.
  • Half men: Aka "Dog faces," an engineered species, half-dog, half-man. Monstrous in appearance, physically strong and intelligent, half-men are often used as bodyguards to the powerful, or as killers in war.
  • Harvesters: Medical buyers of body parts
  • Life Cult: A religious cult that operates on blood offerings.
  • Swank: Something rich, costly, precious. Or, a person of the wealthy classes.
  • Scavenge: Anything that can be broken up and salvaged for profit.