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Quarter Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper #1)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  4,594 Ratings  ·  410 Reviews
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 enlist for two years with a deep space commercial freighter. Ishmael, who only
Nook, 282 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Ridan Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
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Infected by Scott SiglerResurrection by Mike  BennettBonded in Blood by Mike  BennettUnderwood and Flinch by Mike  BennettQuarter Share by Nathan Lowell
Best Podcast Novels
5th out of 49 books — 60 voters
Infected by Scott Sigler7th Son by J.C. HutchinsContagious by Scott SiglerHeaven by Mur LaffertyAncestor by Scott Sigler
Books Available as Podcasts
15th out of 42 books — 35 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 14, 2012 Christian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This morning, Saturday, I got up, made coffee in a travel mug, then dressed and walked to the train station, catching the 8.33 service to Birmingham New Street for a pleasant day of shopping in preparation for an upcoming holiday. Whilst on the train, I was annoyed that I'd forgotten to put sugar in my coffee, but pleased that I managed to get a seat with a table.

So, "stuff" did happen to me this morning, but nothing which could be considered a "plot". And so it is with Nathan Lowell's Quarter S
Aug 07, 2011 Lee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ilona Andrews
Jul 06, 2012 Ilona Andrews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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 agricultur
Anthony Eaton
Got this one on my kindle reader from Amazon, 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
Brandon Hill
Jan 20, 2015 Brandon Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
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 ...more
Fred Hughes
Apr 06, 2013 Fred Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 09, 2010 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 sc
Jun 08, 2012 Grant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The way I felt listening to this podiobook was expectant, continuing on to a new episode waiting for something, anything, to happen. "Quarter Share" is primarily the story of a galley boy making coffee, studying for a couple rather unimportant tests and trading a few minor goods. He succeeds wildly at all these endeavors, encountering almost no difficulty in anything he sets his mind to (including dealing with the death of his mother with almost no trouble at all).

Which leads to my second proble
Booth Babcock
I'm slightly embarressed to be reading the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series (even the name of the series is painful to write). But they're cheap via the kindle and strangely relaxing. I'm on the 2nd book ("Half Share") - so far the series follows an adolescent boy who is kicked off his homeworld when he reaches legal age and his mother dies, and lacking other options, signs on to a merchant marine type job on a space freighter. The books lack any particular adventures, there are no aliens ...more
Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated"
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.
Jan 05, 2010 Ridan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy rich settings/characters but not a lot of "action"
What a wonderfully refreshing story. This book is unlike anything I've ever warring planets, aliens, mutants, or the like. It is a simple and yet engrossing tale of a boy coming of age and finding a new life in the depths of space after the untimely death of his mother.

Nathan Lowell's prose is supurb. I found myself "wisked along" and for a first time author displays writing techniques usually only found by experienced masters. Time after time I was caught by simple sentences that reve
Kathryn McCary
This is not shoot-em-up science fiction. No exploding spaceships, no phasers or light-swords, no monsters. The most violent event, apart from the death of the narrator's mother before the book begins, is a mugging, and all characters appear to be direct descendants of Terrans, living spread across the galaxy in a state of profound peace.

This is also not thinky science fiction. No philosophical discursions, no demand that the reader confront distasteful, alarming, or painful ideas. Ishmael (yes,
Feb 19, 2010 Satka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about building, growing, and learning.

All these concepts lead to well described positive situations, where the characters evolve in a world which rules are mainly based on economy (even the economy of space and weight).

I wouldn't describe it as a Science-Fiction novel though. Even if most of the situations take place in space or on space stations, I found myself more often than not thinking the protagonists were aboard an Earthly sea vessel, in a time when trade was an essential p
Paulette Jaxton
I have a soft spot in my reader's heart for the first novels in a series. My favorite Harry Potter book is still Sorcerer's Stone, even though I admit the latter books were better written. There's an innocence to first novels and a sense of wonder in the exploration of new worlds that the following books often lack.

And so it is with Nathan Lowell's Quarter Share. In this book -- the first volume of the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series -- we first meet Ishmael "Ish" Wang. Like many young me
Mark Bylok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 17, 2012 Tom rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
If you've ever wondered why people insist that plots require conflict you should read THIS book, because its plot has no conflict whatsoever. This is a story about a young man called Ishmael Wang who, with no other options, takes a position aboard a space-going freighter. Will this young landlubber be able to learn the ropes and adapt to space-faring life? Will he be accepted by his tougher, more experienced crew mates? Will he be haunted by his mother's death and the father he never knew? And w ...more
This podcast-only novel was something of a space opera, but not quite. It has a lot of space opera-like qualities - there's a lot of intergalactic travel without being too hard sci-fi-ish, some references to old naval traditions, and . What it's lacking, though, is anything particularly operatic. Instead of a grand destiny, or a quest, or anything noble like that, we instead get the story of a guy working on a ship, just kind of doing his thing. He's motivated to go to space mostly because if he ...more
Generally well written, this is in many regards a coming-of-age story. Ishmael Horatio Wang must make his way in life after the tragic passing of his mother. Forced to leave the planet he's grown up on, Wang joins the crew of the Lois McKendrick. The story is about him learning the ways of the ship, being part of the crew, etc.

If you are looking for action space opera, don't look here. Lowell's tale is noted for its lack of traditional action, its focus on characters and the day-to-day life aboa
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
I read this and it immidiately reminded me of how life felt when I was stationed aboard ship with the U.S. Navy. What life is like underway, out of port or any sight of land with the hour to hour day by day grind of just doing your job, is something that has to be experiened to be understood.

I wish something had blown up or been shot at, but, this is the Merchant fleet right? A good light read, enjoyable, uncomplicated but not challenging. I'd classify it as a good space opera.
Mar 16, 2011 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
It was a pleasant listen, but the book has no tension whatsoever. It flows like someone's diary when they only talk about good things. The science fiction equivalent of watching a closed circuit camera feed of an office cube farm.
Sep 08, 2015 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is your basics Space Navy story, but with a twist: nothing happens.

We follow a guy who has to leave home and signs up with an interstellar trader and from there on out it's Kitchen in Space. He learns how to make an omelet.

He studies for qualifications which are apparently all high school level courses in between serving meals.

Then they figure out how do do a poor impression of EVE Online and start trading some stuff, apparently this universe lacks any insight into basic supply and demand s
Mary Catelli
Apr 02, 2016 Mary Catelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-interstellar
A tale of a star-faring merchant ship in the far future. . . .

A bildungsroman rather than a space opera. Ishmael's mother dies abruptly in an accident on a company planet where she had worked for ht university, and there's no unskilled jobs available. Ishmael has 90 days before he's deported as his own expense. He tries for a berth on a merchant ship, and is told that none of the ships are looking for a quarter share position, all he's eligible for. (That is, he would get a fourth of a normal sh
Dec 03, 2012 D.w. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Way back in the day, when RPG (Role Playing Games) first appeared, the 70s, the first popular Science Fiction game was GDW's Traveller. A game that had a very good merchant system to make us all Nicholas van Rijns.

This is a subject matter, in Quarter Share that appeals to me. The trader going around and starting with nothing and making a fortune. We see this also in some of the work of Miller and Lee, which at present is very popular. Heinlein explored this as well in the Juveniles.

Lowell howeve
Dec 28, 2010 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2011 BigJohn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BigJohn by: Kali Mura
Shelves: audio-books
What a pleasant book! This came highly recommended, and I can see why. I had the pleasure to listen to the audiobook, along with the dulcet tones of author Nathan Lowell. This guy's voice is so smooth, he could talk me into driving off a cliff after convincing me to steal a car. (Disclaimer: Nathan Lowell has not been known to use his powers for evil, as of yet).

Quarter Share was not only an interesting read, but it was surreptitiously educational as well! I was so engrossed in the narrative and
Sue Baiman
Dec 04, 2011 Sue Baiman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Millions of books are published every year. Many are worth your time. Some are great stories. Few have characters that become a part of you; characters you genuinely care about; characters you wish you knew in real life. Ishmael Horatio Wang (rhymes with gong) is one of those characters.

The books in this series, by Nathan Lowell--and thankfully there are six, though I still wish there were more--are Quarter Share, Half Share, Full Share, Double Share, Captain's Share, and Owner's Share. A share
Jul 09, 2012 dameolga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Yay! I'm glad Ilona Andrews mentioned this series in her blog.

How the heck does a story about trade--and trading belts, coffee, and mushrooms for that matter--turn out to actually be entertaining? It's a remarkable achievement.

Quarter Share, most definitely a science fiction book (podiobook actually), features no explosions, murder, or intrigue, much less aliens and war. Indeed, what it does feature are the details of eighteen-year-old Ishmael Wang's daily life after he acquires a quarter share
Adam Collings
Aug 26, 2013 Adam Collings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I began listening to this in audio book form, not really knowing what to expect. I got hooked pretty quickly. You can't help but feel for the protagonist - Ishmael. The tragic loss of his mother begins an unfair set of circumstances that force him to make a new life on a trader ship. The first-person narrative helped me to identify closely with the character. Listening to the audio, it was as if an older Ish was telling me the story of his youth.

The setting was well developed with this book. The
Sep 27, 2011 Phil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. The premise is superb: a young pre-university man suddenly loses his mom (his sole parent) in a tragic accident. The corporate owned planet where he has virtually lived his entire life boots him offworld because they have no jobs for someone with his lack of skills and the corporation has no interest in funding his education. Therefore, our protagonist is left with two options: join the military; or sign up as an unskilled worker, at quarter share, on an interplanetar ...more
Oct 28, 2013 Pancha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction
Overall, these are pretty fun tall ships in space stories. But the narrator is kind of hard to bear at times. We discover that he is an almost-18 year old who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life, hasn't really excelled at school, has no friends, only really connects to his mom, and gets kicked off the company planet when she dies because he has no job prospects. But then as soon as he gets on a ship he suddenly is super awesome at everything he tries, passes all the ranking tests with ...more
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Nathan Lowell has been a writer for more than forty years, and first entered the literary world by podcasting his novels. His sci-fi series, The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper grew from his long time fascination with space opera and his own experiences shipboard in the United States Coast Guard. Unlike most works which focus on a larger-than-life hero (prophesized savior, charismatic captain, or ...more
More about Nathan Lowell...

Other Books in the Series

Golden Age of the Solar Clipper (6 books)
  • Half Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #2)
  • Full Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #3)
  • Double Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #4)
  • Captain's Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #5)
  • Owner's Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #6)

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