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Solar Clipper Series by Nathan Lowell

1 rating: 1.0
Free audiobook series claiming to be science fiction

   All of Lowell's novels so far are set in a science fiction universe he calls the "Golden Age of the Solar Clipper". The "... Share" novels follow the adventures of Ishmael Wang, a young man who becomes orphaned at … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Science Fiction Books, Audio Books, Nathan Lowell
1 review about Solar Clipper Series by Nathan Lowell

Not quite Sci-fi (at least to us stuck up snobs)

  • Sep 2, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+1

And now for something completely different.  This is a "so called" science fiction series that is available for free in audio book form at podiobooks.  The first book is Quarter Share.

What caught my interest was that the star rating for the first book, Quarter Share, on Amazon is: 39 5-stars, 3 4-stars, 2 3-stars and a 2-star and 1-star.  That is a very sharp distribution.  With 39 5-stars I would expect a lot more 4-stars.  Sometimes the 4-stars are greater than the 5s.  

http://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Share-Nathan-L...d=1283386969&sr=1-1

So I decided to download and listen to the MP3s.  I would call it a pleasant story.  I would not really call it science fiction.  For people that insist that it is sci-fi since it has space ships then it is VERY BLAND science fiction.  If I had to actually READ it I would never finish.  Listening is a lot easier than reading.

This is a story of an 18 year old kid that has to leave a company planet because his college professor mother is killed in a flying accident.  The company won't let him stay on the planet and the only way off under his on steam is joining the crew of a solar clipper ship.  That is the bland thing about this story.  This tale could basically be retold in the old days of sail clipper ships.  The science and technology don't really make this story happen.

According to Theodore Sturgeon, "A good science fiction story as one that could not happen at all without its science content."  The Solar Clipper Series does not really make the grade.  The individual that gave the series 1-star pretty much said that.  It wasn't me.

The spacer certification method in the story just involves passing tests and apparently this character, Ishmael, is a wiz at memorizing and passing tests so he is able to qualify for many spacer jobs quickly.  He is also a secret computer wiz which turns up in the 3rd story.

Of the five stories Double Share is the best.  It begins after Ish has graduated from spacer college and becomes a third mate.  He is assigned to a ship with serious social problems and Ishmael is the unwitting sacrificial lamb.  This story at least has some conflict to raise it above the bland boredom of others in the series.  Full Share and Captain's Share are the next best stories but Quarter Share and Half Share are in the stagnant doldrums.  They just can't catch a breeze.   I don't understand how it got 39 5-star ratings.  They aren't even as good as the Star Trek novels that I usually avoid.  But then some people like Harry Potter.

Nathan Lowell is a good reader and there is some nice Irish music in the MP3 files.  But these things are recorded at 128 Kbps so one audiobook takes up about 500 megabytes.  I use Audacity to convert them to 32 Kbps and increase the speed 20% so they play faster and only use up 100 megabytes.  I rip CDs at 320 Kbps for better sounding music but mere speech hardly sounds any better at 128K compared to 32K.  It's just a waste of space.

Here are the podiobooks links:

http://www.podiobooks.com/title/quarter-share
http://www.podiobooks.com/title/half-share
http://www.podiobooks.com/title/full-share
http://www.podiobooks.com/title/double-share
http://www.podiobooks.com/title/captains-share

But I would suggest looking for something better.
.

Not quite Sci-fi (at least to us stuck up snobs)

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