[Nathan Lowell] ☆ Quarter Share [juvenile PDF] Ebook Epub Download ☆ 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.
I don t want to frighten potential readers away by saying something off the wall, but I don t know how to better compliment Nathan but to say that I know of no other author who can devote a whole chapter to making coffee and make it utterly engrossing It s a story I absolutely could not walk away from, and I don t just mean the coffee I ve even listened to the podcast 2 or 3 times In a world with so much media available, it takes something special to elicit a second read listen to say nothing of a third.
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 Got this one on my kindle reader from , and chewed through it in a couple of days I ll start with the good stuff it s certainly an engaging read, which is an accomplishment for a book in which deliberately pretty much nothing happens The author has said that he s wanting to write a book about ordinary people in their day to day lives, and he s managed to do this admirably.
Lots of people have praised the setting and world building in this book, and I d have to concur with them it s a lovely conception of a universe, and a nice change from action or effects driven science fiction writing The engagement in the story is almost fully character driven, which lends it a nice universality.
But and, I m afraid, there is a but it is, to my mind at least, a flawed novel in a few ways Firstly, while I can appreciate the author wanting to avoid a conflict driven narrative and commend him for doing so , he seems to have taken the standpoint that the best way to avoid conflict is to have absolutely nothing bad ever happen to anyone Nobody is ever really depressed Nobody wakes up not wanting to go on shift that morning Every trade works out brilliantly for all involved The ship never seems to develop even a tiny fault which needs fixing In one scene, even the filthy job of cleaning dead algae off the ship s scrubber matrix manages to come across as something of a lark for all involved And for me, this anodyne good karma which pervaded the book also managed to strip it of some of its soul The protagonist is named Ishmael, after the central character in Moby Dick Indeed, the book opens with a direct nod to Herman Melville s classic , but there the parallels with the doomed voyage of the Pequod end By the end of the book, it s closer to a trip aboard the Love Boat Secondly, the writing, which is by no means bad, is also by no means good It s readable, but not for my money at least as polished as I d have liked from a commercially published novel This might well be something to do with the fact that the book and all the others in this series were originally written and released as podcasts, and thus originally construed as audiobooks I can certainly imagine them as effective in that format, but there s a large gap between the way people talk, and the way we read, and my feeling is that the translation from audio file to the page hasn t been entirely successful I kept wanting to grab a red pen and give certain paragraphs a good tightening Which wouldn t have been good for my iPad, if nothing else.
Finally, and this probably relates a little to my first point, the characterisation particularly of the protagonist seems just a little off Sure he s empathetic, interesting, clever and resourceful But he also comes across as something of a robot Case in point His mother dies on the first page of the book sorry for the spoiler, but as that event is also covered in the blurb and marketing material for the book, I figure it s not a huge one We re told he feels disconnected and a sense of loss, and a couple of times later in the book other characters pay lip service to this fact, but and here s my problem in real terms it doesn t really seem to effect him There are none of the stages of grieving no denial, no anger Ish just seems to jump straight to a kind of resigned acceptance, and then promptly moves on with his life And this, for me, didn t ring true right from the outset It also made me regard his relationships with all the other characters with a kind of underlying distrust Overall, then, this is despite everything I ve just said still worth a read It s a nicely conceived idea, and a clever variation on a lot of classic science fiction, in that it takes what are essentially universal human experiences and uses them to drive the story, rather than relying upon clever setting ideas or advanced technology It s engaging and readable, and I have no doubt that at some point I ll work my way through the rest of the books in the series though I m going to wait a while, until they re all available on kindle the second book has had some very lukewarm reviews, and I suspect I m going to want at least one after that to keep my momentum up Worth a look, though I d suggest doing your homework on it first.
I really enjoyed this read No aliens, no military, no angst Just normal people serving on a merchant freighter plying their interstellar wares No real evil corporations taking advantage of all It s kind of strange reading a book without any of the standard tropes of science fiction and space opera But I really enjoyed it The author has an engaging style and manages to educate you without hitting you over the head The characters are fun and the technology seems practical.
A hell of a surprise here One of the best SF novels I ve read in the last year.
No explosions, no space battles, no heroic characters fighting their way through space Just ordinary people on a space freighter moving between the systems for trade.
Sounds dull, right Not in the least Ishmael Horatio Wang is suddenly an orphan at eighteen His mother, a university professor, is killed in a flitter crash with her current boyfriend and the company is suing both estates for damages About to enter school, all privileges are gone and Ishmael has three months to get off the planet or the company will ship wherever they want and he ll be in debt for passage.
He signs on as a quarter share, unskilled labor, on the freighter Lois McKendrick, a lucky opening that comes up at the right time.
The book is his story, along with friends he makes along the way, as he strives to move up to a half share, or beyond.
Starting life as a series of podcasts here www.
podiobooks.
comQuarter Share is the first of five to reach book status, the other four complete being prepared now Mr Lowell is working on a sixth.
The Golden Age Of Sail Has Returned In The Year When 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 RatingARDS AND RECOGNITIONParsec Award Finalist For Best Speculative Fiction For Full SharePodiobooks Founder S Choice Award For Double ShareParsec Award Finalist For Best Speculative Fiction For South CoastPodiobooks Founder S Choice Award For Captain S ShareParsec Award Finalist For Best Speculative Fiction For Double ShareOut Ofbooks On Podiobooks Top Overall Rated By VotesDouble Share,Quarter Share,Full Share,Half Share As Of Jan Out Ofbooks On Podiobooks Top Overall RatingRavenwood,Quarter Share,Double Share,Captain S Share,Full Share,South Coast As Of JanGOLDEN AGE OF THE SOLAR CLIPPER SERIESTrader S TalesQuarter ShareHalf ShareFull ShareDouble ShareCaptain S ShareOwner S Share Shaman TalesSouth CoastCape Grace When I finished this well written book the single perception that I had was that of a feel good story No blood thirsty aliens, no gratuitous violence, no swaggering macho soldiers or warriors, or Earth threatening just good fun and achievement.
The story revolves around one Ishmael Horatio Wang Ish, as his friends call him later in the story, has it made Living on a company world his basic needs are met and with his Mom working at the University he can stick around and get an education, or at least appear to be getting an education, for free.
This well thought out plan, actually it just fell into his lap, comes to a crash when his Mom dies in a flitter accident and the Company gives him 90 days to get a job or get off their planet With no skills to get a job, and no money he soon finds himself on a cargo star ship which gets him off the planet.
Much like the olden days you start out at the bottom job on the ship and have to work your way up.
The Author Nathan Lowell has a way of writing that makes time just fly by as you are absorbed into his imaginary world Ish and the people he runs into help propel the story line along at a quick pace and before you know it you re finished the book Which isn t a bad thing as Lowell has threewaiting for you entitled Half Share, Full Share, and Double Share read the books to understand the significance of the term Share and you to will fall in love with this series.
There are twobooks planned after Double Share that the author has committed to complete in 2013 and I can t wait for those to be released.
can a book be both pulpy and plotless this was just nice people doing nice things while sailing through space and I couldn t put it down.
I really enjoyed this book and I already bought and downloaded Half Share, the second book in the series Short, fast paced, light reading Call the hero Ishmael, really And his middle name is Horatio The author had me at the hero s names I read all the Horatio Hornblower novels as a teenager and loved them to pieces I have re read them many times over the years and still think they are among the best adventure novels I have ever read This books sticks to the feel of those books minus the Napoleonic wars and transplants the seafaring folk into space But space is only a background setting for the actual plot here the life and coming of age of a young man on a ship, how he settles into his new life of duty and faces the challenges he s being confronted with.
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.