ç Quarter Share ä Download by ↠´ Nathan Lowell THE GOLDEN AGE OF SAIL HAS RETURNED IN THE YEARWhen His Mother Dies In A Flitter Crash, Eighteen Year Old Ishmael Horatio Wang Must Find A Job With The Planet Company Or Leave The System And NerisCo Isn T Hiring With Credits Running Low, And Prospects Limited, He Has Just One Hopeto Enlist For Two Years With A Deep Space Commercial Freighter Ishmael, Who Only Rarely Visited The Neris Orbital, And Has Never Been Off Planet Alone Before, Finds Himself Part Of An Eclectic Crew Sailing A Deep Space Leviathan Between The Stars Join The Crew Of The SC Lois McKendrick, A Manchester Built Clipper As She Sets Solar Sails In Search Of Profit For Her Company And A Crew Each Entitled To A Share Equal To Their Rating
The various main characters are charming and vivid, the humour is light hearted and all in all it s a feel good book that I found hard to put down.
This morning, Saturday, I got up, made coffee in a travel mug, then dressed and walked to the train station, catching the 8.
33 service to Birmingham New Street for a pleasant day of shopping in preparation for an upcoming holiday Whilst on the train, I was annoyed that I d forgotten to put sugar in my coffee, but pleased that I managed to get a seat with a table.
So, stuff did happen to me this morning, but nothing which could be considered a plot And so it is with Nathan Lowell s Quarter Share its narrative arc is shallow enough to be invisible to all but the most sensitive literary radars Our story opens with Ishmael Horatio Wang, the protagonist, in his late teens and about to start university, living on Neris, a Company Planet On page one his only relative dies and within a handfulpages Wang signs up as a galley steward on a space freighter.
And that s it Really THAT S IT He makes coffee, helps the chef, and studies for exams to improve his rating onboard Hipster space zombies do not attack, the cargo container in Hold 3 does not contain a time machine and the forced intimacies of close quarter living do not reveal greater truths about the human condition.
This then is very much a novel of the mundane still can t believe I forgot the sugar was I THAT hungover , populated by a cast of stock characters the enigmatic Captain, the gruff but ultimately warm senior noncom etc, etc The World Building is competent, though as this is essentially the US Merchant Fleet in space, there s not a vast amount to do.
A few chapters in, I thought I d cracked the case it s a God Squad book good wholesome entertainment for those who demand their fiction sans cussing or bedroom gymnastics, but no, a cursory Google deep sixed that theory.
In the final third, Quarter Share s mundanity reaches new levels of Magnolia with endless discussions about the rental of trestle tables for a flea market booth but, and here s the thing I KEPT READING Why I have no idea, except the dawning realisation that, as I read Quarter Share, the novel had spun a cocoon of multi layered bubble wrap around me that I m mildly ashamed to say I quite, you now, LIKED it s just a calm, even, decent novel which puts Tab A into Slot B and cruises along until the last page.
So, I can t bring myself to stick a cheap, tawdry, critic s shiv into this one there s an essential humanity and warmth to its world view decent people, getting along, and doing the right thing by each other I m amazed this has spun out into a multi part series but hey, it takes all sorts.
Thrusting, libertarian types always like to distill human expansion, conquest and ambition back to the first stone age cave woman man person who raised her his eyes to the hill on the horizon and thought I wonder what s on the other side of that Well, Quarter Share is arguably a novel which raised its eyes to the same hill and instead thought I quite like it here.
In the comments to my whiny post, JohnP and Karen were kind enough to recommend I try Nathan Lowell s Solar Clipper series The story was originally a podcast, but I grabbed an ebook instead, just to check it out.
I ve inhaled the first book yesterday in a space of a couple of hours.
Quarter Share is a story of eighteen year old Ishmael Horatio Wang, whose mother, a professor of literature, had a funny sense of humor He and his mother live on a corporate owned planet Neris Neris is an agricultural planet, the main product of which is a granapples, and as the son of an employee, Ish is all set to enroll into a company run university and major in plant biology He wasn t too wild about the idea, but it seemed as good as any They re not well off, but they have a nice, comfortable life.
Then Ish s mother dies in a flitter crash Suddenly he s completely alone His mother s estate is tiny, barely enough to pay for his expenses for the next couple of months Because he s no longer a child of an employee, he can t attend the university, and the company has no openings for unskilled laborers He must find a way off planet or in ninety days they will deport him to the closest planet without any means of support Ish would prefer to leave Neris on his own terms, but he has no money.
The man in Ish s position has only two ways to get passage off planet he can enlist in the Navy, and Ish was never much for the whole killing and dying thing, or he can become a merchant marine It s not a career choice Ish ever considered, but beggars can t be choosers He signs his name on the dotted line and boards solar clipper Lois McKendrick as a deck hand.
There are no space battles Civilization is not in peril Nobody gets shot, no space anomalies disturb the passage of the clipper, and no aliens, of either incredible ugliness or incredible hotness, invade the vessel It s just a story of an orphan deckhand, who comes aboard the ship with nothing It is the most addicting SF book I ve read in a long, long time.
I ve become personally invested in the small problems and triumph of Ish and his friends If I had my way, I would be reading the next book instead of working or writing this.
From the technical standpoint, Quarter Share is a spiritual successor to those great novels of the nineteenth century, the stories by Jules Verne, Thomas Mayne Reid, Jack London, and Herman Melville, but rather Melville of TAIPI than Melville of MOBY DICK, despite the voyage element and hero s name of the later They were adventure stories, but also the stories of human perseverance and intelligence, stories where the inquisitive nature and spirit of humanity were celebrated, and the characters, who often started with nothing, succeed through their own efforts.
Unlike those works, Quarter Share doesn t offer page long asides on the different types of algae It s a well paced, modern narrative, but you can t help but learn along with Ish about different regulations and specialization on the ship Sometimes Ish fails and sometimes he succeeds, and it s the journey itself that is uniquely compelling It s a story of a regular person, in the way THESSALONICA was a story of an ordinary man whose city happened to be attacked.
I m going to read the second one tonight, as soon as I can fight free of the dreaded STEEL S EDGE edits I kind of wish I could have written something like this instead Sadly this isn t something that I could do well I m kind of stuck in the high drama breathless battle world of UF and PNR and I know my limitations Fortunately Nathan Lowell has already written several novels in the series, so thank you JohnP and Karen for their awesome recommendation Next order of business is to tempt Gordon with it I think he would really enjoy it.
To learnabout the Golden Age of Voyage series, click here.
So have this one on the Android phone from Kindle It allows me to swap over from Erikson when my brain needs a rest It is really looking like a space opera, very light and easy to read Only a quarter a way in, but nothing yet has happened that would envisage me buying the second in the series although I will keep going as the author has spent a fiar bit of time building up the character, so I am going to continue on.
Update omg Is anything ever going to happen When I wanted a light book to read at the traffic lights, I didnt want a journal of a coffee maker GET ON WITH IT ALREADY