Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by DurzoBlint, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. DurzoBlint

    DurzoBlint http://tinyurl.com/363ogv

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    Any one taken a chance and tried this one? Its on Amazon for the Kindle for under $4 so I am thinking about taking the plunge.


    The Golden Age of Sail has Returned -- in the Year 2352
    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 hope...to 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.
     
  2. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    Someone mentioned them here before as audiobooks.

    What caught my interest was that the star rating for the first book, Quarter Share, on Amazon is: 39 5-stars, 3 4-stars, 2 3-stars and a 2-star and 1-star. That is a very sharp distribution. With 39 5-stars I would expect a lot more 4-stars. Quite often the 4-stars are greater than the 5s.

    http://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Share...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283386969&sr=1-1

    So I decided to download and listen to the MP3s. I would call it a pleasant story. I would not really call it science fiction. For people that insist that it is sci-fi since it has space ships then it is VERY BLAND science fiction. If I had to actually READ it I would never finish. Listening is a lot easier than reading.

    This is a story of an 18 year old kid that has to leave a company planet because his college professor mother is killed in a flying accident. The company won’t let him stay on the planet and the only way off under his on steam is joining the crew of a solar clipper ship. That is the bland thing about this story. This tale could basically be retold in the old days of sail clipper ships. The science and technology don’t really make this story happen.

    According to Theodore Sturgeon, “A good science fiction story as one that could not happen at all without its science content.” The Solar Clipper Series does not really make the grade. The individual that gave the series 1-star pretty much said that. It wasn’t me.

    The spacer certification method in the story just involves passing tests and apparently this character, Ishmael, is a wiz at memorizing and passing tests so he is able to qualify for many spacer jobs quickly. He is also a secret computer wiz which turns up in the 3rd story.

    Of the five stories Double Share is the best. It begins after Ish has graduated from spacer college and becomes a third mate. He is assigned to a ship with serious social problems and Ishmael is the unwitting sacrificial lamb. This story at least has some conflict to raise it above the bland boredom of others in the series. Full Share and Captain’s Share are the next best stories but Quarter Share and Half Share are in the stagnant doldrums. They just can’t catch a breeze. I don’t understand how it got 39 5-star ratings. They aren’t even as good as the Star Trek novels that I usually avoid. But then some people like Harry Potter.

    Nathan Lowell is a good reader and there is some nice Irish music in the MP3 files. But these things are recorded at 128 Kbps so one audiobook takes up about 500 megabytes. I use Audacity to convert them to 32 Kbps and increase the speed 20% so they play faster and only use up 100 megabytes. I rip CDs at 320 Kbps for better sounding music but mere speech hardly sounds any better at 128K compared to 32K. It’s just a waste of space.

    Here are the podiobooks links:

    http://www.podiobooks.com/title/quarter-share
    http://www.podiobooks.com/title/half-share
    http://www.podiobooks.com/title/full-share
    http://www.podiobooks.com/title/double-share
    http://www.podiobooks.com/title/captains-share

    But I would suggest looking for something better.

    psik
     
  3. DurzoBlint

    DurzoBlint http://tinyurl.com/363ogv

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    Appreciate the quick reply and the synopsis. I will pass on this one. It was just a recommendation on amazon and I thought I would ask first before taking the plunge. Glad I did, thanks again.
     
  4. Seli

    Seli Registered User

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    Thanks psy, your summary reminded me. I checked one of the podcasted books a while ago (I think Captain's share) and it never caught me.
     
  5. Zillarian

    Zillarian militaryscifi.com

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    I thoroughly enjoyed this series but I have to agree, reading it would be tough. I listened to these as a podiobook and in audio format the series is quite entertaining. However, if your looking for SciFi then there is little to recommend in this series. It could take place on a 18th century sailing ship with little alteration. In audio form the series is pleasant and compelling, I spent 30 minutes listening to a description of coffee being made... and it kept my attention.

    If your looking for any sort of hard core Science Fiction or ANY sort of action then this series isn't for you. But if your looking for a pleasant, character driven piece that is entertaining then check out the audio book.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  6. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    ROFL

    Double Share is the best story in the series and making coffee is part of that too. Since I don't drink coffee I found this incredibly funny on a certain level.

    In the future starships run on coffee. :D

    psik
     
  7. Zillarian

    Zillarian militaryscifi.com

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    apparently that is a ship thing. My father is ex-navy and coffee was VERY important to the crew of the carrier he was on. It does seem that Nathan Lowell does have a particular fascination for coffee though.
     
  8. Majuss

    Majuss Registered User

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    A very gifted storyteller

    I resurrect this thread rather than starting a new one on Lowell. I have read everything Nathan Lowell have published on Amazon. In my mind he is a very gifted storyteller.

    Contrary to what some have expressed here, I found it very hard to put down the books when reading them. Half way through the first book (Quarter Share) I did not at all understand why I liked it, and I had a nagging feeling that I really shouldn't. :confused: However after having read all available books I find that I genuinely like his stories.

    I mean he even makes making coffee and cleaning the galley sound interesting :D
     
  9. Steven L Jordan

    Steven L Jordan I like SF. SF is cool.

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    I can only describe Quarter Share as almost tedious. Unlike others here, the descriptions of things like making coffee and selling goods came off as dry and uninteresting. I felt like I was reading the account of a kid who'd gotten a job at Starbucks. To be sure, the detail of life in space is nice, but the story really didn't seem to get anywhere. In fact, after maybe a year since reading it, I couldn't tell you how it ended if you put a gun to my head.
     
  10. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    This is why we need categories for readers and books for those readers. A particular kind of book can be great for some readers and terrible for others. So people need to learn what kind of reader they are. We need some stories selected as archetypes so everyone can learn where they fit. Personally I think overall that would be a good thing for book publishing because there is no telling how many alienated potential readers there are.

    These are better:

    http://m.fanfiction.net/s/8389384/2/
    http://m.fanfiction.net/s/5795796/1/

    At least in my rarely humble opinion. The Share books are listenable as audiobooks but I doubt that I could ever read one.

    psik
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012