I have been under the weather these past couple of days, and such I was on the look out for a good book to read. On a recommendation from Vaguely Piratical I decided to pick up the book Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell. I’ve since read it and quickly moved on to the other books in the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series.
Despite this being a sci-fi book I greatly enjoyed it. I’ve always been a fan of science fiction in principle but in practice I’ve very rarely ever been compelled by the stories. I think the problem I have is sci-fi tends towards the space opera and a large epic where small things like character development get left to the way side. We do not encounter that at all in Quarter Share.
In the novel there are no space based dog fights or alien creatures trying to wipe out humanity, instead The vast majority of the book takes place on a space-faring clipper ship. We experience living within the spaceship as it travels through the cosmos on trading missions, and Mr. Lowell does a tremendous job of setting the feeling of living onboard this ship. The act of working on a spaceship doesn’t seem that foreign from the idea of working on a 1700s sailing vessel. Throughout the book there are several allusions to Melville’s Moby Dick and Forester’s Hornblower books, which makes it clear that the author has certainly gone through some effort to understand sailing life and how it has to compare to spacer life.
I will admit that at times we got a little too bogged down in the ideas behind trading and how profits work, but other than that I have no complaints what so ever about these books.
This is all around a great story for anyone who loves the idea of space travel or loves a good seafaring yarn.