About the Golden Age

The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper grew from my long time fascination with space opera. From Lois McMaster Bujold to Iain Banks, from David Weber’s Honor-verse, to Piers Anthony’s “Bio of a Space Tyrant” series to Heinlein and Bradbury, and all the rest. I (mis)spent much of my youth lost in the galaxies both far, far away and closer to home.

One of the things that always bugged me about these stories was the larger-than-life hero. Every stinking one of them is some rich, powerful, or otherwise advantaged individual and, almost inevitably, it’s their money, position, or power that either saves them, or dooms them to follow whatever path the story takes. That’s all well and good. The powerful hero — even the “lost prince” Luke Skywalker type — is an enduring archetype. It’s great escapist fun to put yourself into the shoes of the great and powerful, but I’ve always wanted a hero that was more like me. Kinda slow, self-doubting, and, above all, fallible in ways that are closer to “toilet paper stuck to my shoe” than “unable to coordinate galactic take-overs with star-crossed romance.”

So, for once, the hero isn’t the Captain of the ship. He’s not even an officer. He’s a broke, uneducated, orphan from a backwater planet at the edge of no-where. He’s not a “hidden prince” and he wasn’t adopted. He’s just an average Joe trying to make it in the universe when his mother is killed in a mindless accident and he’s suddenly left to his own devices.

Please don’t get too hung up on the physics. I know there’s a lot of “then magic happens” in terms of the Solar Clipper’s technology. Humor me. The story isn’t about the string theory behind the gravity keel or the precise application of blue-green algae in the air scrubbers. It’s about the people who spend months at a time sailing between the stars, not on a warship doing heroic battle with enemies foreign and fearsome, but on a freighter just trying to make a living.

So, think of this as a kind of Billy Budd meets the Vorkosigans and gets a job on one of their ships. I hope you’ll find it an interesting voyage.

The Author as a Young DogNathan Lowell
February, 2007

206 Responses to About the Golden Age

  1. J. Lowen says:

    I’m a big fan of Weber’s Honorverse. Very happy to have found the Golden Age of Sail It’s a excellent change of pace from space military. Ordered my first one from Amazon and I read in in one day. Before going to bed I ordered every title in paperback I found on their site. Looking forward to reading the rest. I prefer books to E reading & have not bought a Kindle/Nook.

  2. The Captain says:

    Most people reading ebooks haven’t purchased a Kindle or Nook, so you’re in good company.

    The rest of the series should be out in paper by year end.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the reads :)

  3. Beryl Gray says:

    Just started Quarter Share, and I’m enjoying it a lot. Its beginning reminds me of Heinlein’s Starman Jones.

    I followed a link to the Amazon Kindle page from Glenn Reynold’s “Instapundit.com” site.

    I do hope that this series holds up to the start. I’m always looking for the next good yarn.

  4. BigJack says:

    Loving the trader tales … I got Quarter Share for my Kindle and after reading it, I immediately purchased all the rest of the books in the series.

  5. Frank Gerlach says:

    I have enjoyed everyone of the Solar Clipper stories and hope you have many more tales of all the characters to tell us. Seriously I don’t remember when I a have read a better series. I’m sorry that I can’t read them again as I did when I first found your series. You know how it feels when you’re getting to the end of a really great story, how you’re sorry that end of the book is close and you’re wishing you were at the beginning-well that’s how I’m feeling having read the whole series and wishing I was just starting to read the first book. Please if it’s at all possible let us have more. Could we have some more please Mr Dickens? I bought the first kindle-wait I take that back I bought the first kindle but I wasn’t fast enough with my order so had to be on the waiting list until more were produced. I haven’t read any other way with the exception of one book that wasn’t made available for the kindle until the hard copy was published. I couldn’t wait as it was the last book in the series and the author had died. I’m speaking of the,”Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan, finished by Brandon Sanderson and nicely done. Whether it was as good as Mr. Jordan would have done, I’ll leave that to other more knowledgeable readers but I feel Mr. Sanderson finished it well with all the different story lines answered(I think). There was a lot going on with that story.

  6. Frank Gerlach says:

    I forgot to tell you that I enjoyed your Tanyth Fairport Adventures as much as the Solar Clipper books, well maybe not as much but close enough that I would not want to choose one over the other. I enjoy fantasy as much as the”harder” science fiction.

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