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Half Share Paperback – December 20, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Pandemic by Sonia Shah
"Beacon 23"
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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Editorial Reviews


This is a thoroughly enjoyable coming of age story that had me deciding, three-quarters of the way through, to buy the second book in the series, as I wished to follow Ishmael s journey to becoming a full share (and beyond) crew member aboard a space trader. --Jo (Adelaide, S.A., AU), Amazon.com

For me this book brought up shades of Robert Heinlein to me. The scrappy characters fighting to get ahead make you want to root for them. This is not your typical space aliens conquer the universe book. Nathan Lowell takes a seemingly mundane thing (trade and business) and makes it into something you want to learn about. --Tom Rison, Amazon.com

The story just flows well...I couldn t put the book down until I finished. And then right when I finished (at 1 AM in the morning) I was back on Amazon s site looking for the next book in the series. --Mike Parsons (Wellborn, FL), Amazon.com

About the Author

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 exiled prince), Nathan centers on the people behind the scenes: ordinary men and women trying to make a living in the depths of space. In his novels, there are no bug-eyed monsters, or galactic space battles, instead he paints a richly vivid and realistic world where the hero uses hard work and his own innate talents to improve his station and the lives of those of his community.

Dr. Nathan Lowell holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology with specializations in Distance Education and Instructional Design. He also holds an M.A. in Educational Technology and a BS in Business Administration. He grew up on the south coast of Maine and is strongly rooted in the maritime heritage of the sea-farer. He served in the USCG from 1970 to 1975, seeing duty aboard a cutter on hurricane patrol in the North Atlantic and at a communications station in Kodiak, Alaska. He currently lives in the plains east of the Rocky Mountains with his wife and two daughters.

Awards for Golden Age Series 
2011 Parsec Award Winner for Best Speculative Fiction for Owner's Share
2010 Parsec Award Winner for Best Speculative Fiction for Captain's Share
2009 Parsec Award Finalist for Best Speculative Fiction for Double Share
2009 Podiobooks Founder's Choice Award for Captain's Share
2008 Parsec Award Finalist for Best Speculative Fiction for Full Share
2008 Podiobooks Founder s Choice Award for Double Share
2008 Parsec Award Finalist for Best Speculative Fiction for South Coast

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Ridan Publishing; 1 edition (December 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098251459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982514597
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

About the time I was in sixth grade, back in rural Maine, I remember telling my grandmother, "When I grow up, I wanna have a house underground and that's where I'll keep my computer."

She asked, "What will you do with it?"

"I don't know. It hasn't been built yet."

My grandparents, being wise in the ways of young boys, nodded sagely and changed the subject.

That was 1965.

Now, nearly half a century later, I'm sitting in my cellar--halfway across the country from my roots on the rock-bound coast--typing this on my computer.

I wasn't particularly prescient in my prediction, rather it grew from my love of all things science fiction.

Through all the changes wrought through politics, climate, and age, my love of science fiction literature remained constant. It brought me through wars, storms, sickness, health, marriage, divorce, fatherhood, failure, and success. My love for technology -- which initially grew from the tiny seeds planted by Heinlein and Norton, Bradbury and Asimov, Simak and Pohl -- blossomed with the advent of the internet and found full bloom with the world wide web.

Late in 2004, I discovered podcasting and the community of content creators that this new distribution channel enabled. In 2007, I joined it when I released my first science fiction novel, Quarter Share, at Podiobooks.com. Now--eleven books, over 170 hours of audio, and ten million downloads later--I find myself a full time author, narrator, and podcaster.

Welcome to my world.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After thoroughly enjoying the first book (Quarter Share) I immediately ordered and downloaded the sequel, Half Share, expecting another good book. And initially I wasn't disappointed. However past a certain point (trying to avoid spoilers but it involves Ishmael buying new clothes) the story just vanishes under a really weird sexual fantasy plot. Ishmael, who up to this point had come across as an earnest young man mostly surrounded by wiser, older adults, transforms into some irresistible Adonis, with all the women on the ship suddenly lusting after him while all the men noticing "there was something different about him". I found this transformation in his character unbelievable, slightly icky (mainly due to the age gap) and completely unsupported by what had been previously written.

Meanwhile the original story just kind of putters along behind. We get some crumbs of the excellent universe building from the first book and a new character joins the ship (if in a slightly annoying and patronising to women sort of way). But nothing really happens, with no real challenges presented or overcome by any of the characters. There is no conflict between characters and all their plans pretty mush work out as they hope. The various trading plots get very samey, which unfortunately draw attention to just how shaky and silly some of it is. You can only read how they land on a planet, make a fortune, Ishmael notices something which they buy to sell with vast profit on the next planet, so many times before it becomes ludicrous.

My worst condemnation is that by the end I felt I was reading fanfiction. The authors main character had to be great at everything, always win and get all the ladies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wrote a much longer review of "quarter share", to summarize:
--Pollyana universe, the protag is perfect, everyone acknowledges this without quibble and without envy. If you graphed his successes, it would look like Bernie Madoff's quarterly reports.
--The series should be for young adults, at the oldest, except there's some soft-core sex in this one.
--No conflict, so no resolution and no real character growth beyond a fast-forward sexual awakening after a really good suit is purchased. Seriously.
--No space, aliens, or ship description beyond the galley and living quarters, and every station is the same unremarkable commercial build out, no flavor at all. You might as well have gone to a Howard Johnson's and booked the conference room for a power-point presentation, that's how exotic this book gets.

It's 350 years in the future and yet somehow the protagonist gets an extreme makeover from the best tailor in the sector... Denim jeans, pink oxford, a leather jacket and a belt that says "boy toy". It is stunning. How do we know it is stunning? Because the protagonist goes shopping with the 3 hottest of hotties (They make the protagonist's ears burn, so there!) and they literally drool, gasp, and, yes, whimper as he tries on this outfit. Me, I don't see it so much, but what do I know; I stopped dressing from the preppie handbook in 1986, it must be very retro chic in 2352.

Enough said, skip it all and read Jack Vance's "Ports of Call", or better yet, "The Demon Princes" (sci-fi despite the name).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this installment of the series. The major theme of the critiques I have read for "Half Share" concern the "shopping scene" and Ish becoming "sexually aware" in what many folks consider in sudden and deserting fashion. I have no issues with this.

Lets see, Ish is young, overly protected from society by his mother, on his own for the first ever, been trapped in the ship with common berthing for months and the young man hormones are raging. Lets add to the mix that no one on the ship has sexual relations with each other. And last but not least IMHO the most important is he (and the crew) have to do a lot of living while in port. Just go to a Military base after a Ship returns home or goes into port or see a Army base after a major deployment and see how much living those young people pack in 24 or 48 hours.

Another part that seemed real was the old salts (all babes in Ish's case) take care of the younger troops that they deem worthy of their time. Were some of his behaviors cocky, sure, but show me an 18 year old that is not. NL has great grasp of reality of what a young man and crew go through and writes in such a way that I cannot put the book down once I start reading. NL is on my list of great writers because he sucks me into the world that he creates so quickly. Not many writers have that affect on me.

I wish the next book was Kindle available, already!! I looked for this one everyday in Nov and Dec until it showed up two days ago. I was my Christmas present to myself. LOL Buy this book it will not disappoint.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quarter Share was an interesting start to a sci-fi series. While most sci-fi focuses on the technology this series seemed to be avoiding the big picture and instead focused on the little guys doing day-to-day tasks. It was brief but well paced and enjoyable. As a primer I enjoyed it and was looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Half Share, unfortunately, doesn't seem to have gone beyond that primer. What makes a work of fiction believeable to me is conflict and what makes characters interesting is depth. Whether conflict is between personalities, worlds, races, or something else it is what allows character and plot development. In Half Share everyone gets along, no one but the main character (Ish) has any personal ambitions, real faults, or signs of discontentment. The depth of the characters, which I'd hoped we'd start to see, seems almost nonexistent. Everyone is nearly perfect on the outside and shallow inside.

While that lack of conlict and depth can be forgiven in the first book I don't think I can ignore it in this one. Numerous other reviews go into detail about the story arc in the second half of the book that takes place outside of the ship. I thought that it wasn't very interesting and just made the characters seem more shallow than they did on the ship. Even beyond the night club and tailor portions of the book the flea market trading is getting entirely too predictable. There seems to be one trader on each station that has such unique, quality goods that only Ish can recognize. Somehow the ship mates involved in the coop can always sell everything they've made or bought at previous ports. And no one from the ship or the flea market seems to want to take advantage of each other.
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