What if we sent freighters instead of frigates?
In a universe run by corporations, where profit matters more than life, how can an orphan with no skills, no money, and no prospects survive?
When Ishmael Wang's mother dies in a senseless accident, he's given a choice: leave the planet on his own, or the company will remove him. To avoid deportation Ishmael finds work as a mess deck attendant on an interstellar freighter.
Find out what Ishmael must do to earn his Quarter Share.
©2013 Nathan Lowell (P)2016 Podium Publishing
A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin.
While in search of authors new to me I noticed this one coming up. It’s a rather different approach to science fiction in that it’s really a coming of age story that just happens to be set in the distant future. The futuristic setting provides the framework of the story rather than being the focus. It is a very gentle story, and I found it surprisingly engaging. If you are looking to set your phasers on maximum then you’ll have to set a course elsewhere because this is about a young man making his way in the world or rather galaxy. It is about encountering problems and overcoming them, about making friends and relationships in a new environment. Looking for a direction in life when the one you had always imagined for yourself is ripped away from you unexpectedly.
It’s a warm story and the author clearly has a lot in the way of human empathy. The narration feels right bringing the feel of almost classical fiction to the reader. Personally I like my battles and a good dose of “the engines canna take it” but this story kept me engaged. There is a good amount of detail that has gone into the way that this future universe works and how the trading ships operate which comes through. The characters also have a genuine feel to them.
Even given the premise I have to say I don’t think it’s perfect. I found it a little strange that virtually everyone that Ish, the lead in our story, came directly into contact with was actually genuinely nice. It’s hard to imagine hard-working crews of deep space freighters being quite so friendly across the board. You’d expect at least some kind of harder element to show up. I also have a bit of a beef about the length of the book. Something like an hour of this one is dedicated to a free introduction to the next in the series. Positive is that they are obviously planning to release more of the series for those that will continue with it. Negative, that seems a bit much to me, free previews are nice but some might feel that’s being used to pad this relatively short book into appearing more than it is . . .
That aside, and I’m still not 100% sure why but I enjoyed the maturity from the author of just writing a story set in the future. “The Golden Age” gives a good feeling for the his intentions. So if that appeals this one may well be worth one of your credits. Just put your phaser back in its holster first
Writer, reader, now an avid listener, why hadn't I discovered this before!
When I like someone, I kinda follow them, so when I saw that Jeffrey Kafer posted about a new sci fi. I was like, Oh, yes please!
I did learn that it wasn't the usual kinda sci fi I read or have started to listen to, but that didn't mean I did not enjoy this.
The author Nathan Lowell has really done something different here. This is a very character driven book with people you can soon fall in love with. The main character Ish, has just lost his mum in a tragic accident, and with no parents and no job he's about to be forced off planet, so he takes the first thing offered to him because he's no choice.
The kid finds himself on the Lowis, (sp) and embarks on a very different way of looking at things, something no one on the ship has seen before.
Ish soon makes friends with the people in his department, Cookie and Pip. Even though he shows Pip up, he finds time to actually help the other youngster, and they become not only friends but partners in crime too, getting up to all kinds of trading adventures.
Pip, however, isn't having much fun, after losing everything he had in a trade gone wrong, it's the captain and Ish that help him here, and they begin to form a co-op with the ships best interests at heart.
The narration from Jeffrey is great, he's perfect in first person POV and the inner mind of a youngster finding his feet, not only with the fleet, but amongst other people is interesting and very well done. Jeffrey delivers a lot of emotion with hardly any effort and all the characters come alive. I was especially fond of Bev and Dianne. :) even Francis and Cookie. :)
I do think that there should have been a little more conflict for Ish on the ship. Although he's never been off planet before, the people he meets, all seem a little too nice. Maybe that's because Ish himself is just so nice, he never seems to fire up over much, doesn't really grieve for his mum, and I think I'd really like that, even if it wasn't in the first section of the book, but defo towards the end. The closest we get to that is when he remembers packing up on the planet, and moving to his new quarters, (but I'm not sure if that was actually in the second piece, as there was a few chapters in there for free.)
I am really interested in seeing what the gang does now though with their trading empire. I wonder what can go wrong, and what other relationships are going to form. It seemed Ish was starting to become attracted to some of his female friends on a different level, he kinda doesn't mention that from the planet. about his other friends, or any potential girlfriends.
Thanks for an awesome new series to follow, and I look forward to more! :)
Something a little different. This is a series with a slow burn. It is not my usual listen and I had anticipated after a short time into the book that I would finish the book and leave it there.
However, not so. It is a story, to put it very simplistically, about housekeeping! It starts of with a young lad, whose mother has died, having to fend for himself, so he signs on as a deck hand, more or less.
The story gradually unfolds and although not full of battles and fighting, it is a gentle tale of what goes on onboard ship within the crew which have become, more or less, like a family.
I am now hooked and about to start the second book.
"Nathan vs Jeffrey"
I downloaded these stories some time ago directly from Nathan's page. They were free, so I gave them a chance and was pleasantly surprised at how the story carried forward.
*** This is not a cut at Jeffrey. His performance was nicely done. However, Nathan's reading was exceptional. I was surprised to find that you hadn't used his.
I have no personal experience with the civilian side of nautical service, but think this might be a good rendition of the merchant marine concept taken to space faring. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"Good But Not Nathan Lowell"
I adore these stories. I've listened to them for years and I own the hard copies! The overall story line would have to be what I love most.
Ishmael is the main character but I have always loved Cookie.
Like I said, I love these books. However, I feel that Audible/Jeffrey Kafer dropped the ball a bit on the recording details. I have listed to Nathan Lowell's performance of these books and Mr. Kafer is mispronouncing many of the names and descriptive words. I would have hoped that the performer would have talked to the author of the book to see how to pronounce the "odd ball" items. It kills me to be expecting "Roo-by-a" and hear "Roob".
"An Easy Listen"
I am a big fan of all of the Tale's from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, and Quarter Share was my introduction to this universe. This was the first time I've seen a slice of life style story set in a sci-fi world. Normally, if there are spaceships there are either aliens, and/or war. And those stories have a place in my heart, but until I first listened to Quarter Share, I had no idea I even WANTED a story about the day to day life of a furturistic merchant marine. Now I've looked for others, but have yet to find one that compares to this series.There is something timeless about the story, so that, if not for the occasional tech, and science talk, Ish's story feels like it could take place in any time or place, be it today, or 200 years ago.Also, the further the series goes along, the more you feel like your looking at the early years of some great and important figure, and learning how he found his ideals and beliefs.
I like the timelessness of the story. I also like the spirit of cooperation this story inspires. Ish doesn't set out to change the spacer culture, or to make Pip a better crewman. He just wants to learn, and to make things better for everyone, and it's recognized by others, and people generally respond to it positively.
When Ish and Pip begin private trading, and ultimately organize the co-op.
Our Journey Through The Deep Dark
"a coming of age in space story"
this books ranks in the top 10 percent as far as books that I have read
my favorite character is pip the reason why is I have a hard time identifying with the main character Ishmael but Pip is me in many ways. this is a coming of age story and the struggles this secondary character goes through are the same types of struggles I would have,. pip also has my sense of humor and reacts to problems in the same way I would react.
Jeffery kafer does a good job. I have listened to before reading The empires Corp series by Christopher gnutella.
I first listened to this book six years ago. the author had released it free on the internet and actually read the book himself. I am excited to see it on audible and in print because it truly is science fiction of a different type and does not fit the stereotypical science fiction story, there is no climatic battle or life changing story in fact you will spend most the story waiting for the story to start unable to put it down because the book begs you to continue reading till you get to the end and realize you want to hear more of this authors work.
"The delightful start to an enjoyable journey"
Quarter Share is the first of Nathan Lowell's Trader's Tales, detailing the journey of Ishmael Horatio Wang ("call me Ishmael") from a raw, quarter-share, green newbie on the Solar Clipper Lois McKendrick, to the owner of a trading ship himself.
Quarter Share is not high adventure, but quiet pleasure. No one is in great peril, no wars or murders or shoot-em-ups happen. So if your tastes run to MilSF, this probably isn't for you.
What Nathan Lowell gives us is a a _good story_. One we can listen to and enjoy. Jeffrey Kafer's narration is good, with no over-dramatization and good pacing -- much in the style of the author's own reading of the book earlier as a podcast. Highly recommended, and I can't wait for the rest of the series.
"This book is a great start to a great series."
This book reminded me of Robert Heinlein's earlier works. Not a bunch of blood, or violence. Just a good old fashioned adventure that kept you reading.
The main characters were well written and fun.
We ended up buying the whole series and it was all fun to listen to.
"A review of the series:Bildungsroman - IN SPAAACE"
I bought this book because I enjoyed Jeffrey Kafer's performance in the Starship's Mage series (which I highly recommend if you like the Solar Clipper books, by the way).
I have now listened to every book available in this series, and I recommend it to anyone who likes creative fiction, coming-of-age (Bildungsroman), romance, space opera, naval stories, sci-fi, well I guess anyone really.
I disagree with those who think Jeffrey Kafer's narration isn't enthusiastic enough. He presents everyone in a believable matter. He doesn't ham it up. I mean, the stories take place on ships that have an air of formality that is almost military in nature. Given the adaptability of the protagonist, it's not surprising that he adopts a deliberate way of speaking.
Okay, now I really have to say something in particular after listening to every Solar Clipper book. I sometimes feel like the series should really be called "An Amateur Food and Coffee Connoisseur's Tale from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper; Also People Eating." Seriously, I have never encountered a book series that had so much plot revolving around meals and coffee. If Nathan Lowell didn't make sure the protagonist had a jogging fixation (and later Tai Chi), he would be 300kg by the end of the first book.
The protagonist, Ishmael Wang, really is very likable, even if he is a borderline Mary Sue (Gary Stu?). Nonetheless, you will still find yourself rooting for his successes. I'm impressed with how the author is able to convey modesty so compellingly through a character who is rather naturally talented. The series so far follows Ishmael's life from the age of 18 to 40, which isn't at all middle age in this medically advanced future. The character ages well and in a believable manner. Almost all of the characters have real depth. Moreover, the author should be applauded for their gender and sexuality awareness.
I appreciate how the advanced science, technology, and engineering is portrayed. The author doesn't get too hung up on it, and he finds a way to describe these elements within the framework of the plot. I believe that this really helps the reader understand the concepts even better than most alternatives. You will find yourself having no trouble orientating yourself in this theoretical future. The only thing I wish we know more about is the planets. Unsurprisingly, most of the story takes place on ships or in orbitals. It isn't until the next series that the author even hints at what's going on planet-side in most cases. Earth is only mentioned in passing as Old Earth. It isn't encountered at all. We have no idea where it is in relation to the star systems visited. This is a bit reminiscent of Hyperion.
Give the book a shot. If you end up liking it, you'll be in for a nice long ride.
Thank you Mr. Lowell for your efforts in creating this universe. I look forward to the next edition.
"Coffe making and university course selection. In space. Bah"
It's 300 years in the future and the best thing the main character can do is make coffee, chat about what school courses he's going to take, and get pats on the back from no less then 10 superior officers. And doing all this exciting stuff TAKES THE FIRST 3 HOURS OF THE BOOK. Sorry but life is short and this guy needs to hire a better editor.
"Nice easy story without drama"
It's a pleasant listen. Nothing ever goes wrong and everyone is nice to each other. I can only imagine that this is because it should really be the first part of a larger book.
What really bothers me is that the book is advertised as over 7 hours long, but when you check the chapters you'll notice the last one is 1 hour by itself. Turns out that's the preview for the next book. That just feel underhanded and scammy. I like the story but am not sure I want to support this practice by buying the rest of the series.
"A buy low/sell high in the 24st century novel"
The thing is, both the author's writing and the narrator's recital were very good and, yes, there were some sections where it was very entertaining but there was absolutely no intrigue and no significant conflicts so it was predominantly about bootstrapping a trading enterprise.
Even so, I found myself often backspacing over sections where they were discussing mercantile tradescraft of various details needing addressing, not wanting to miss the thrust of those particular discussions.
It was good and often entertaining but not enough for me to continue the series.
It was better than a straight 3 star but not enough to rate a 4.
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