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3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  89 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
“As long as there is money to be made, there will be Wildcatters” — Dave DuncanThroughout human history wildcatters, the first great explorers and prospectors to lay claim to newly discovered lands, have marched to the beat of a different drummer — motivated by a deep yearning to be the first to walk on uncharted land and benefit from treasures yet to be discovered.In the ...more
Paperback, 151 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Edge
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Nov 12, 2014 Kevin rated it did not like it
This book helped solidify a rule that until now was just kind of half-formed in my head, and that rule is:

Never read sci-fi unless the book has been specifically or deliberately recommended to you by someone whose opinion you trust.

Wildcatter showed up as a Kindle Daily Deal and the description looked interesting and without really thinking about what I was doing I bought it, and I absolutely regret it. By the time I got to the last third of the book I was definitely grudge-reading because that
Aldous Mercer
Jan 13, 2014 Aldous Mercer rated it really liked it
TL;DR version: It's a fantastic adventure story - new worlds to discover, fame and glory and risk and death, unknown pathogens...greedy corporations, sex...

Dave Duncan has a gift for creating planets. He starts with the orbital parameters, and ends with the smell of the place: correct, plausible, yet creative.

Corporate politics, gender politics, biology and pathology - again, plausible, well-constructed. He doesn't *need* to write chapters on backstory, a few well-written sentences do the trick.

3.5 stars

The prospector is the person who actually goes down to the newly discovered planet. Hired on by a thinly-funded company with one ship and one shot at the big time, Seth is the ship's jack-of-all-trades and low man on the totem pole. Traveling with two women, one other man, and two hermaphrodites who regularly shift sex, they find a mystery at journey's end, and it's up to Seth to work it out.

This is an unusual book, in that it feels both dated and up to date. It'
Elijah Kinch Spector
I reviewed this for Bookgasm!

Short version: It feels like two books, and one of them is quite good. I also use the phrase "heternormative gender-bender."
Sean Randall
Oct 06, 2012 Sean Randall rated it it was amazing
"An obstacle course in 1.6 gees with an unknown carnivorous species at the end of it was every boy’s dream."

This is a fabulous little gem of a science fiction story. Duncan's characters are often a little hard to enter, emotionally; a certain coldness pervades sometimes and this is true here. But if you read without needing too much empathy this is really superb: modern, plausible, rollicking stuff.

"You, on the other hand, are Mr. Know-it-all, the universal understudy for the entire crew. Consid
Richard Ward
Jul 10, 2015 Richard Ward rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans.
Space opera set in the far, far future. The novelist used to be a wildcatter, hunting for hidden oilfields. So he made his protagonist here a sci-fi wildcatter, hunting unexplored planets for exotic flora and fauna, especially ingredients that can be made into new medicines. We learn right away that such new medicines have already been made out of the discoveries of wildcatters, such as pills that will cause a person to undergo a sex change without the need for any operation. So our hero finds h ...more
Oct 21, 2014 Meg rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I've been on a bit of a Dave Duncan kick, apparently, with Wildcatter marking the third of his books in a row that I've read. It's very different thematically and in style from anything else I've read by him (Kings Blades, Starfolk) which has been fantasy. Wildcatter feels like some of the classic science fiction I've always loved. It feels, somehow, not dissimilar from Ursula LeGuin or William Gibson in tone, possibly because it explores sexuality and gender relations rather matter-of-factly. I ...more
Josie Boyce
Jul 28, 2015 Josie Boyce rated it really liked it
A light space exploration opera, with the fairly reasonable premise that if humans were to go out and explore space, find planets to land on, they would do so, and grab as much of the natural resources as possible. It had such an old school vibe to it, that i thought it was written in the 80's, but apparently it's fairly recent, 2012. The world building of the alien world is really cool and filled with great techno babble that may or may not be realistic. My only real caveat is from the operatic ...more
Sep 20, 2015 Lauri rated it it was amazing
Ilgelt hea, Duncani äraproovitud kvaliteedis. Sisu iseenesest sarnanes hetke kuuma raamatu "Marslasega", ehk siis ihuüksi võõral vaenuliku kliimaga planeedil viibimist aga Wildcatteris oli ka palju muud. Või no mis palju, 150 lk. on romaani kohta ikka häbiväärselt vähe, eriti kui sündmustikku oleks teistel meestel jagunud vähemalt paari telliskivi jaoks. Mis veel hämmastas olid pidevad seksstseenid, herr Duncan on ikkagi vähemalt 80-aastane kui mitte rohkem. Üldiselt pandi ühele kosmoselaevale k ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Phil rated it liked it
Liked it quite a bit. Leads to unusual discussion with your spouse since a fair bit of the book is about boinking your shipmates on the two year journey through space. Not to mention the interesting fiction of a new third sex "herms" who can change their gender back and forth.
Steve Stanton
Sep 10, 2014 Steve Stanton rated it really liked it
This easy reading space opera by veteran Canadian author Dave Duncan takes the reader on a prospecting journey to an unexplored world in search of alien pharmaceuticals and vast riches. The slim novel features strong planetary science and a believable scenario based on FTL travel via hyperspace jumps. Many dangers face this brave crew of wildcatters on their search for untold wealth, and the ostensible plot is overshadowed somewhat by the sexual activities of the crew on their long journey, two ...more
Michell Plested
Aug 04, 2012 Michell Plested rated it really liked it
Good science fiction should have elements of plausibility and this book has that in spades. Corporations buying rights from the government to explore newly discovered worlds, people becoming wealthy through reality entertainment and space travel that is neither instantaneous nor completely safe; these all ring true to me. There are even several elements that talk about how we, as a species, might evolve through the use of technology and cultural mores.

The story follows the crew of an exploration
I enjoyed aspects of the book and felt it to be both very creative and odd world the author created.

One of the major issues I had with the book was that while there was a lot of interesting and unique aspects to this world, there wasn't a lot of details or explanation to what everything is, how it's tied together. Things are mentioned, but only slightly touched on and then the author moves on to the next part of the book. Nothing, including the characters, were properly fleshed out. As a reader
Sep 02, 2013 SFReader rated it really liked it
In the universe of Wildcatter, interstellar travel is too expensive, too slow, and too unreliable due to variable time slip (dilation) to generate much trade in things. Most exploration and exploitation are in information. The life on new worlds generates new drugs and other useful chemicals. This effort is dominated by "multinational" giants such as Galactic, but small "wildcatters" also jump in. A lot of money, and some lives, can go down the drain on an unsuccessful trip, but a successful one ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Throughout history, there have always been people willing to risk large amounts of money looking for something lucrative in places where no one else is looking. Wildcatters are best known in the oil drilling industry. In the future, there is a different kind of wildcatter.

Mankind is starting to explore the galaxy, but not for the usual reasons. When unmanned probes report the discovery of a suitable planet, the race is on. There are corporations that specialize in visiting alien planets and look
Paper Droids
Dec 30, 2012 Paper Droids rated it really liked it
How does flying off into the Big Nothing to plunder exoplanets for heaps of money sound? What if it meant risking your life to do it? Would you still go?

Seth Broderick would, in a heartbeat. And he’s not the only one. In Dave Duncan’s short novel, Wildcatter, prospectors and the companies that employ them ply light speed to seek out undiscovered worlds, in the hopes of striking it filthy rich. Prospectors and their crews never know where they’ll find the next big thing to bring back to Earth: ne
Feb 03, 2015 Adam rated it liked it
I like this title, but feel it could have been more of a novel and less of a novella. Worth a read, worth loaning to friends.
Apr 12, 2013 Angie rated it it was amazing
Loved it! It was a good, quick read about space travel and exploring unknown planets. Dave Duncan has a very witty manner in his writing and had me giggling more often than not. The shipside culture was interesting in that promiscuity was encouraged and things were made even more interesting with the introduction of the third hermaphroditic gender to the story. And, of course, the addition of the corporate influence to the story and what that means for the characters. All in all a very satisfyin ...more
Kris R.
Jun 21, 2013 Kris R. rated it liked it
Pretty good, as far as one-off sci fi adventure stories go.
I just wish, I really wish, because I love his writing otherwise... that Duncan could write a story where characters had traits that were the result of their individual personalities, and not because of their gender. And that the all lady characters were not slotted into: doing the hero/secretly wanting to do the hero/frigid bitch who won't do the hero/too old to do the hero.

I've kinda given up expecting it to ever happen though.
Oct 25, 2015 Mitchell rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good quick read. Dave Duncan is an author I read only for the Endeavour Award. This is the first of his books that I actually liked. Its basically a classic planet surveyor tale - but it has some good twists and interesting enough characters. And as a short novel it just kind of works.
Nov 17, 2012 Topher rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A sci-fi take on wildcatting. An interesting quasi-robinson crusoe story. It was both relatively short for a novel (~150 pages), and a quick read, so it was a nice appetizer of hard sci-fi in a diet consisting mostly of cotton candy urban fantasy.
Mar 04, 2013 Liisa rated it really liked it
Always love Dave Duncan's books. This was a delightful easy read and kept my attention on a long flight from Vancouver to Toronto that didn't have TVs...perish the thought. Anyway light but thoroughly enjoyable.
Nicole Luiken
Sep 17, 2012 Nicole Luiken rated it really liked it
Shelves: sfantasy
A fast read and a fun adventure, wildcatting on a newly discovered planet with horrendous weather. Well-drawn characters and world-building. The plot had some nice twists and turns and a satisfying ending.
Feb 07, 2013 Biffbolt rated it liked it
A strong work of hard-ish SF from Dave Duncan. My only beef is the relative shortness of the work. Certainly I would be up to reading more books set in the same universe or following the same characters.
Steve Markham
Sep 30, 2012 Steve Markham rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Short and snappy but with a very good ending!
Edwin Downward
Mar 05, 2014 Edwin Downward rated it really liked it
An entertaining and vivid adventure.
Thomas Fox
Thomas Fox marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2016
Matt added it
Jun 20, 2016
Dave Johnson
Dave Johnson rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2016
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