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Quarter Share Paperback – April 20, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"Incredibly realistic. You would swear Mr. Lowell was writing a personal history of his youth on a deep space cargo ship. Stunningly eloquent and crisp prose takes you on a journey of discovery reminiciant of Dana s classic Two Years Before The Mast. Only Dana had the advantage of taking such a voyage, Lowell will just make you believe he did, and with this book, he invites you to go with him." --Michael J. Sullivan, author of The Riyria Revelations

"Quarter Share is a love letter to science fiction, an authentic coming-of-age celebration of blue collar lower decks folk. Nathan Lowell tells a tale so real, you can practically smell the spaceship galley s coffee -- and almost see the engine oil beneath your fingernails. Hero Ishmael is clearly destined for great things. Thankfully for readers, so is Nathan Lowell." --J.C. Hutchins, author of 7th Son: Descent and Personal Effects: Dark Art

"This is a marvelous story, I like coming of age stories and this is a mesmerizing one. It is also a nice change to have an everyday story about a young boy learning the ropes in the mercantile fleet in the 24th century during the golden age of the solar clippers...The characters are at center in story, they are detailed, warm and easy to love. I wouldn t mind at all working on the SC McKendrick it seems a nice place to be in much like the company I work at myself...Quarter Share is a mesmerizing tale of a young man coming of age and finding his place as a crewman aboard a solar clipper...Make sure you have free time and download the book is my recommendation." --Cybermage, Reading & Watching Science Fiction

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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Ridan Publishing; 1 edition (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982514549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982514542
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (484 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,176 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--ten books, over 170 hours of audio, and five million downloads later--I find myself a full time author, narrator, and podcaster.

Welcome to my world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

150 of 172 people found the following review helpful By Scott Pond on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally "read" Quarter Share, by Nathan Lowell, in the original podiobook format. I, like many of Nathan's fans, are eagerly awaiting the print release of his fantastic story (and the rest of the 'Golden Age of the Solar Clipper' series) so that I (we) can delve into his fantastic story again (and again).

If I can give you my quick and dirty recommendation: GIVE THIS ONE A TRY NOW!

It is a fantastic story that will resonate with you long after you have read the last word. It is a refreshing break from mainstream, "shoot-em-up and save the galaxy in time for dinner" science fiction, showing us the real, human side of our potentially bright future. If you like classic Heinlein (such as the Rolling Stones, Farmer in the Sky, Citizen of the Galaxy), then this one is definitely up your alley.

Here's my longer, more detailed recommendation:

Quarter Share is not your typical futuristic sci-fi story. It is not a story based on waring nations or individuals bent on conquest or domination, so it does not easily fit into the mold of what many of us have come to expect from the sci-fi genre. Instead, it breaks the mold by concentrating on the life and experiences of what Nathan refers to as the "common man". Truthfully, as I started listening to this, at first I was very sceptical of this type of sci-fi story for the first couple chapters and was very unsure of where it was going. Then without really realizing it, I was fully immersed in the story and found that I was very interested in where Ish (the main character) was going to end up in his life, or at least where he was going to be by the end of the story... and I couldn't stop listening.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gallagher HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This was my original review of the Ridan version of this book. Now that Mr. Lowell has republished this under his own imprint, I am also posting it here as this is a good book and series:

This isn't your typical space science fiction novel with shoot ups and conflicts against other races or civilizations, but it focuses in on the life of a few lower-level characters as they travel through space. It has some charm and appeal, with good interplay between the characters. If you're looking for the space battles and conflicts that are typically in the best selling ranks fo the science fiction category, you will be disappointed. However, if you are looking for a good tale to read, this one should be on your reading list. I'm off to buy the second one in the series.

As a follow-up to the original review:

I have read each book in the series. If you like a coming of age tale under a science fiction banner, I highly recommend you starting with this one and reading them all!
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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Gamblin on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a long time, science fiction has been the home to epic space battles, evil villains, princesses and lasers. These are great things, and fun, but you have to wonder- There are other stories, right? There are people out there who live real lives, have normal problems, and conquer their own obstacles.

Nathan Lowell fills a gap that I didn't know existed in Sci-Fi. He makes the world seem believable by showing the people who truly live in it. They have alarm clocks and deadlines. They make the engines turn, and make the food for the ship. They make the ship a home, and they make the reader feel like one of the family.

Lowell's writing is clean, clear, and approachable. His characters are likeable, flawed, and well developed. The world is carefully planned and built so that all the elements come together to make the whole story feel . . . true.

For years we've seen the explosive climax of epic Sci-Fi battles. This new form of sci-fi, low key and realistic, may be the next step in sci-fi's evolution. And after reading the book, I sincerely hope this is what the future has in store.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Cary on June 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I finally gave up reading it, awaiting something to happen, anything the least bit interesting, with 20-30 pages left in the book. Not even sure why this is Science Fiction this could take place anywhere. The entire book is Man/boy joins mercantile fleet, gets qualified in some stuff, sells and buys other stuff. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! Lived half of it in the Navy, (minus the buying and selling stuff) its not that thrilling.
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55 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Lundquist on November 21, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The most important thing to know about Quarter Share is that nothing ever happens. I started this book with high expectations based on the reviews it received here on Amazon, and was sorely disappointed. Mr. Lowell is without a doubt a technically accomplished writer as his prose is well written and easy to read, but he has no imagination. The story, if you can call it that, starts with a cliche; poor Ishmael's mother is killed in a flitter crash and the poor orphan waif is suddenly left to his own devices, thrown out into the cruel universe to sink or swim. Desperate and broke, he signs on as crew on a space freighter and becomes the cook's helper. It goes downhill from there. The entire book is nothing more than Ishmael's daily routine; scrubbing coffee pots and helping to make meals for the crew. As a matter of fact, Mr. Lowell uses an astounding number of words describing the process of scrubbing and operating said coffee pots. In between pots of coffee Ishmael studies for his rating exams and helps his co-worker, another of the ship's cooks, work out a mind-numbing detailed scheme for trading commodities between ports-of-call for profit. That's it. Nothing interesting ever happens. There are no aliens, no space-pirates, no accidents or daring rescues, no emergencies, no conflict. The characters are flat and uninteresting. I don't think it should even rightfully be called science fiction, as there's nothing remotely SF about it beyond the presumed setting on a spacecraft that could just as easily be a factory cafeteria from 1970. I forced myself to finish it, convinced that somewhere soon, just around the next page, something exciting or at least mildly interesting would happen. But I was wrong.Read more ›
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