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Wildcatter

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  21 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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(showing 1-29 of 120)
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Kevin
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
...more
Aldous Mercer
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.
...more
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
"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
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Meg
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
Phil
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
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
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
...more
Julie
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
...more
SFReader
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
Paul
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
...more
Paper Droids
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
...more
Angie
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.
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.
Mitchell
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.
Topher
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.
Liisa
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
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.
Biffbolt
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
Loved this book. Short and snappy but with a very good ending!
Edwin Downward
An entertaining and vivid adventure.
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