Shaman’s Tales

The idea of the whelkies and South Coast shamans is one of the aspects of the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper universe that has captured people’s imaginations.

Whelkies are based on the idea of the Native American Zuni fetishes. I liked the idea of having a similar kind of idea based on the wood and shell available on the beaches along the South Coast of St. Cloud.

In South Coast, the first book of Shaman’s Tales, we meet the boy who will grow up to be Sarah Krugg’s father. I needed to start back that far in order to layout the background of what the shaman practice is like and how it looks. I also wanted to explore the role of the Company on a company owned planet to give some more background on this important aspect of the Universe’s culture. In the Trader’s Tales, we spend a lot of time talking about Company planets, but in South Coast, we actually see one.

In Cape Grace, what I hope will be the second book of Shaman’s Tales, we’ll meet Sarah Krugg and see what happens when the Shaman’s Gift takes an unexpected direction. Watch for Cape Grace in mid-2008 on

[update: 6/5/2010 – I’m more than a little behind on Cape Grace but with the Ridan Publishing deal, I’ve got a solid production schedule with deadlines and everything so this should show up near the end of 2010. – NL]

[update: 5/21/2012 – Yeah. I’m not exactly sure why *anybody* is reading this, but I’ve been told I need to update this post. That plan? It didn’t happen. Cape Grace? In the works. When will it be done? Not a clue. After having had my fingers burned back to my elbows by making predictions that didn’t happen, I’ve stopped predicting when things will be done. When it’s done, I’ll tell ya. Until then, I’m not making any predictions.]

38 Responses to Shaman’s Tales

  1. osmia says:

    Cape Grace, yet another, to look forward too. Yay!

  2. SynapticJam says:

    All I can say, is that I’m extremely impressed by your ability to “spin a yarn”. Your vocalizations are very well done too. Extremely entertaining. Thanks again for all the hours of listening, and from the sounds of it, there will be many more to come. Perhaps some fanfic in the “age”?

  3. Manny says:

    Great job Mr lowell these novels were some of the best I have ever listened to. I trully became engaged with all of the characters. You are a novelist and story teller. Keep up the good work much lusk to you with the next book.

  4. Chris says:

    Hi Nathan,
    I have listened to all the books – they are so enjoyable! I have been Sci-Fi fan for 50+ years – you have captured the style from the golden years so well – so much more about people and relationships than hi-tech wizardry. I also love your narration – you have a very pleasant voice – which greatly enhances the story – because you are so welcoming and easy on the ear. I look forward to each new book as it becomes available.

  5. Pete says:

    In the middle, and I like it.

    Just one thing. In the first chapter are you replying too much on stereotypes to set the scence. Evil Jewish law firm? Italian mob muscle (denials by the muscle aside)?

    I have a friend who stopped listening after the law firm was named. He didn’t want to hear you dig that hole deeper.

    I’m still listening, but I’m uneasy about what new stereotypes with appear.

    Not good to insult members of the audience.

  6. Nate says:

    Interesting and thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    I hadn’t made the connection with “evil Jewish law firm” … Shylock is a Shakespearean reference to a money lender, not a lawyer altho — yes — Jewish. I wasn’t aware that “shyster” had an etymology that related it to “Jewish lawyer.” The definitions I’m aware of relate it “pettifogger” and “unscrupulous politician” without reference to any religious affiliation. I picked that particular collection of terms because it was the most likely set I could think of that would be a derogatory diminutive of the firm’s actual name – “Simon, Stevens, and Sylvester.” If your friend stopped listening before chapter 14, s/he probably never heard that name at all.

    And as far as the mob – with all the attention given to the Soprano’s I felt like I needed to address the issue by making sure listeners understood that they weren’t Da Mob. Yes, I *could* have picked some other name so it wasn’t two Italian guys talking in the office and then the whole idea of “we’re not the mob” wouldn’t have even come up but I’m not sure that ‘s really any better.

    You’re right. It’s not good to insult members of the audience, but it’s also inevitable that — one way or another — you will. Thanks for pointing these instances out to me, tho. I really wasn’t aware that “shyster” carried a religious overtone. Had I known, I might have picked a different set of names. Maybe Dewey, Cheatam, and Howe.

  7. Pingback: Time Well Wasted » Blog Archive » South Coast

  8. Joan says:

    Hi Nathan! Just wanted to send general good wishes and thoughts of encouragement while you are busy creating “Double Share” and “Cape Grace”. You have spoiled us badly, Nathan, with your speedy output and excellent writing! I am so looking forward to your next book. It is a great credit to you, that while we wait, we relisten to the earlier novels and keep on enjoying them! I’ll keep checking in and wishing good things for you, especially that you the book deal you deserve. BTW – I had my mother (aged 78) listen to “South Coast” and she enjoyed it as much as we did. You really do have a wide appeal (12 to 78 in our family!). Take care, Joan

  9. Nate says:

    Thanks, Joan.

    I know that these books aren’t for everybody, but I’m glad to know that so far, I’m writing stuff that people enjoy hearing.

    I’m really anxious to get the Share series finished by the end of the summer so that I can have November’s National Novel Writing Month to do Cape Grace. It’s not as much as I ‘d hoped for this year, but if I manage to do it, it’ll be 8 novels in two years.

    It’s do-able, but .. I need to get back to it 🙂

    Thanks again for the comment.

  10. David Randall says:

    Damn you Nathan Lowell! I just spent the better part of the day listening to South Coast. Why do you have to write so well? Now I understand you intend to keep writing. Well fine, apparently my time is of no concern to you. Go ahead and write. You know I’ll find time to listen!

    Keep up the excellent work! Dave

  11. Nate says:

    You’re welcome.


  12. Dan says:

    In response to the Mob and Jew Idea: Gee, can’t a couple of guys talk loosely among themselves?
    If you don’t want to hear why they are saying then stop eavesdropping on them while they talk between themselves… I think it illustrates good character development that among themselves, they illustrate the subconscious and semi-conscious us-vs-them approach that many people take in some part of their conversations with another when passionately defending themselves and their group of “underdogs”. Did you notice the shift was total when they were suddenly in the loop and there was no more reaching to speculation. Suddenly, the language and relationships change. It can be that quick in life too.
    I appreciate you keeping up the entertainment, Nate. I admit, I was skeptical that your voice could hold my attention like a good book can, but you did it. The vocal variations are just right and bring me back/forward to another time. There are times when you are truely, storytelling, and others where I can hear you reading, but the latter times are very rare indeed.
    I think I have become more interested in Nautical stuff just to keep up in your stories and admit to feeling just a bit addicted. Thanks again

  13. Dan says:

    PS: I thought shyster was a German word for conman.

  14. Nate says:

    I went back and looked again at the etymology of “shyster” and it’s apparently a corruption of the German word meaning “one who defecates” … I can’t spell the German correctly but Anglicized it would be “scheisser”

    And thanks!! I’m glad you like the stories.

  15. brian hunt says:

    I never really made the connection with Shyster or Shylock to be negative towards people of the Jewish faith. I always thought they were Yiddish in nature(like tuckus) but had never considered them not to pertain specificaly to Jews . Either way it was a great book but I was hoping to see what could have conspired to have caused Sarah’s horrid state in Half share

  16. Cheryl says:

    Wow! Fantastic stuff. My husband tried to get me to listen to Quarter Share for months and finally, I said “oh, okay, I will give it a listen” – over the next few days all I did was listen, listen, listen. I have now listened to everything you have out, so far….. including Double Share, just could not stop listening, great voice, great story, can’t wait for my next “fix”!

  17. Ron says:

    My wife and I have listened to most of the series as entertainment on road trips. This summer she will catch up with me by listening to “Double Share” during our summer vacation. Great Stories, and great presentation! Thanks for the excellent work. Have you ever thought about self-publishing the text as e-novels on Amazon’s Kindle store?

  18. Kristina says:

    i can’t wait.

  19. TerminusVox says:

    Meeting Otto Krug in ‘South Coast’ makes it hard to believe anyone could bully him (as Sarah describes in ‘Half Share’). He just seems too alien for anyone to get much of a handle on him. Meeting the townfolk of Calem’s Cove make it difficult to believe that such tomfoolery would be tolerated. I’m envisioning a watery accident or unexplained disappearance. But still, if Lois is to have her Shaman the events that lead her there must be in her history. I’m looking forward to ‘Cape Grace’ to see how this occurs. I’m not exactly looking forward to wading through the uglier side of human nature but I have faith in your ability to get us through it.

  20. larksilver says:

    The term “shyster” is so commonly associated with “lawyer” that it has, by now, surely lost any religious or ethnic overtone it may have originally carried. I certainly never thought anything of it. Based upon the gentle nature so apparent in these writings, I cannot imagine that any insult was intended. Perhaps the ones taking insult went looking for it? Just my two credits’ worth.

  21. Nate says:

    Apparently “shyster” is less a problem than “shylock.” I’ve had several comments — public and private — about my cultural insensitivity in using the term. I had *no* idea that this was such a problematic word. I’m not a member of the culture that finds it offensive and had no way of knowing. *I* thought it was a Shakespearean reference.

    I’ll be changing that when I revise the book for print.

  22. Kat says:

    THANK YOU!!! I My partner and I have just spent the last couple of weeks listening to the Golden age series (I listen to audio books all day at work as I have repetitive job). Your works reminds me of Heinlein. I Literally just finished Captains share and want more – I’m downloading Ravenwood and South coast at I type. I’m just wondering what has happened to Cape Grace it doesn’t appear to be on podiobooks? Thank you so much again – oh when I donate does it make any difference to you if I do it all on one book or should I donate for each book individually?

  23. Nate says:

    thanks, Kat.

    Cape Grace is still on the drawing board, but it keeps getting pushed back by newer projects.

    And it doesn’t matter one bit where/how you donate. many people toss a few dollars in the kitty at the end. some have been very reliable about contributing to each book in turn. In the end, it all goes to support my work. Thank you however you do it.

    Even just spreading the word is a big help! 😀

  24. Heather says:

    Having a blast with Owner’s Share, but still looking forward to Cape Grace. Do we have an ETA?

  25. Nate says:

    @heather – I’m thinking I want to try Cape Grace next .. It’ll be sometime this year certainly but the print edits need to have priority after I get this monster out. Tanyth gave me some insight into how to write Cape Grace and reading Crown Conspiracy for Mike Sullivan gave me some more. I’m really looking forward to this project.

  26. anthony says:

    omg nate i have listened to all your books and actually found from chapter 1 of the first traders tale to the last chapter of the shaman’s tale i not only couldnt stop listening but had to have the next book on my iphone ready to go because the withdrawl is just too much to bear. with that said NATEEEEEEE I AM JONEZING FOR THE NEXT BOOK

  27. Memline says:

    @Anthony Join the crowd. twitch, twitch, tic, toc, twitch, twitch.

    PS Only hint, start over—-

  28. Ken says:

    Nate where to start I have listened to every book you have out and I still go to sleep thInking about your books I heard a year ago. I just can’t wait till Cape Grace is released. I am still waiting for the hard do covers to come out . Is there another book on tanyth Fairport?
    Nate keep up the great work

  29. Nate says:

    Thanks, Ken.

    Yes, there’s more Tanyth Fairport in our futures.

    The hard covers are still in limbo.

    Quarter Share and Half Share are both available in paperback, but so far, only QS is available in hardcover. The rest will be as soon as I can manage it.

  30. Christopher says:

    I have read/listined to all of the books of clipper tales up to and including owners share and was wondering if owners share was the final book in that series? Personally, I don’t approve of leaving the hero heart broken and the villan still on the loose. Cant he get a break, mabey win the lotto or something?

    Wonderful series, by the way.

  31. The Captain says:

    Christopher, Not the end.

    There’s another trilogy (at least) coming next year.

  32. Shawn says:

    Nathan, thank you so much for the hours and hours of entertainment. I still listen to the original podcasts of the Share books and South Coast and Ravenwood. I also have A Light in the Dark and Zhepheria’s Call. I wish you all the best and anxiously await the next gem from the imagination of Nathan.

  33. Ryan says:

    Nathan I hope more people discover your amazing works. I applaud you sir. Your characters and story telling are superb. I hope you have many mores stores take is into the deep dark

  34. Shiny says:

    So, I consumed Trader tales non-stop in a sort of a two week trance, and now enjoying Shaman’s tales just as much. Any plans to add something more to the sollar clipper series?

  35. The Captain says:

    Six more solar clipper books on the drawing board at the moment.

  36. Dallas says:

    Mr. Lowell(Captain)

    I cannot put into words how much I truly enjoy your work. I can’t wait to see what happens next to Ish and Otto.

    Thank you!

  37. Rae says:

    I’ve read them all– over and over– but I especially like the Solar Clipper series! The literary remarks by Ish are especially fun. I laughed out loud at Cadet Udan’s replay to “Lay on McDuff”. How many people would catch that response? Loved it! I am anxiously awaiting more about Ish and Pip (Who’d have guessed he would turn copper?), as I’ve read the others so many times I can almost quote dialogue.
    Please, please keep up the good work!! And write faster.
    Thanks for all those hours of entertainment!

  38. Nguvie says:

    These are still my favorite books on podiobooks, thanks for many hours of enjoyment and I hope you revisit the series sometime soon. Until then, fair winds

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