Podcast #54: South Coast

Title: South Coast
Author: Nathan Lowell
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 7 December 2007 – 21 December 2007
Located: Podibooks, iTunes, Author’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast only (soon to be dead tree from Ridan Publishing)
Rating: PG/R

November. The month of November is important for many reasons. My favorite reason is because it is the month my beloved was born in. My second favorite reason is that it is the month when NaNoWriMo takes place. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, if you choose to participate, you must write a novel of at least 50,000 words. No small feat, but one that is routinely attempted by many and won by a dedicated, smaller percentage.

One winner I choose to dub the Master of NaNoWriMo, and that writer is Nathan Lowell. His writing exploits have made him legendary in my circle of friends on Twitter. Nobilis Reed even coined the term “a Lowell” meaning to complete a word count of 10,000 in a single day. As recently as last year, Mr. Lowell (if I remember the story correctly) completed Ravenwood, a story of roughly 100,000+ words, in fifteen days. I believe during the same period he joined U2 on stage in 17 different countries, delivered babies on all 7 continents and became a master of dragon style kung fu AND single handedly defeated Chuck Norris in a game of Parcheesi.

Having so solidly defeated NaNoWriMo, Mr. Lowell has chosen to sit this year out in the hopes that others will benefit in his absence and pick up the gauntlet he has left lying on the ground.

After having discussed these Herculean feats with Katharina Maimer (@kmlaw) I realized I wanted to celebrate NaNoWriMo by publishing a series of reviews (for the remainder of November) on Mr. Lowell’s stories as he prepares to deliver the last chapter in the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series, Owner’s Share. [ed. note: last chapter? *sob*]

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: A Shaman’s Tale from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper : Volume 1

Otto is Richard Krugg’s only son and heir to the Shaman’s gift. The only problem is Otto doesn’t want it. He wants to be a fisherman. When company policies force unwelcome changes onto his life and threaten even the security of the village, Otto discovers that being a shaman isn’t optional.Jimmy Pirano is caught between the devil and the deep green sea when new production quotas are handed down from corporate headquarters. Locked into a century of existing practice, Jimmy is forced to find new ways to fish and new places to do it in or face the very real possibility that Pirano Fisheries will lose the St. Cloud franchise.Join Otto, Richard, and Rachel Krugg as they struggle with what it means to be the son of a shaman. Cast off with Jimmy, Tony, and Casey as they navigate the shoals and shallows of corporate fishery along the South Coast. (stolen from Podiobooks site)

Production: Mr. Lowell’s production style is remarkably consistent. A piece of music is used to open and close a story, separated by a reading that is perhaps the single best example of a straight read that exists. Mr. Lowell’s publisher, Ridan Press, has realized the treasure they have here and he has recently begun podcasting the books of Michael Sullivan, also a Ridan Press author.

A

Cast: Nathan Lowell. Enough Said.

A

Story: South Coast is NOT a Golden Age of the Solar Clipper story. It does reside in the same universe, but Ishmael will not be serving you coffee as you listen to this tale. There is a tie in, but it is very easy to almost forget the stories have any connection. South Coast is much more a spiritual journey on the part of Otto, the main character, and of Richard, his father who is also the village shaman.

A-

Verdict: South Coast is an excellent story and I would really like to hear more about the Krugg family. It took me quite a while to wrestle why this story seemed so different form the Solar Clipper stories and yet remain so similar in other ways. The obvious answer is the content, but eventually I realized it was because this one is written in third person, while Ish’s tales are all written in first. The only problem I had with South Coast is it seemed to me to be a bit short. I could easily have used another 10-20,000 words getting to know the Krugg family.

Disclosure: Since I first tweeted something along the lines of “Is this Nathan Lowell guy stories really any good?” to my circle and I got an immediate return tweet of “I like them” from Mr. Lowell, I’ve followed him on Twitter. During times of intense business, Mr. Lowell tends to stay fairly quiet on Twitter, but be warned, like Santa and Chuck Norris, he knows when you’ve been good, and he knows when you’ve been naughty. Naughty boys and girls won’t get Owner’s Share in their feeds.

Comment Pages

There are 12 Comments to "Podcast #54: South Coast"

  • O.K. Odin may be exaggerating a little bit. I think the weather conditions didn’t allow Nathan to get to Antarctica until a couple of days after finishing Ravenwood … 😉 *hehe*

    We Nathan Lowell fans craft the legend to honor the man and author. When one looks at the podcast novels Nathan has produced, even the lowest on the list is the envy of many a writer and a joy to Nathan’s listeners. It is a feat few writers attain and we truly appreciate what he does. Now if his books can sell enough to make him independently wealthy and spread the awesome of his works to all the lands … then we fans of Lowell will be truly content 🙂

    One of the things I appreciate about South Coast is how it expands on spiritual themes that are briefly touched on in the Solar Clipper novels. It is not “preachy” nor does he push any particular ideology in the novel, it really is spiritual without getting religious – a rarity in itself. Like his other novels, the characters and relationships are written well and the plot gives purpose to those characters.

    Special thanks to Odin for getting this post out, he managed to get this one in under the wire. It is no easy feat to get these reviews out every Monday (in addition to other posts he manages in between at time) & I know this one was more time pressed than most. I think I speak for all us readers in saying that while we appreciate his consistency, we will understand when there are times where the routine has to be broken occasionally. 🙂

    • odin1eye says:

      Hi Richard and thanks for the rapid comment! I will definitely try to keep rolling them out on schedule, but someday, if I miss, it is nice to know I have a forgiving audience. Thanks!

      As far as Nathan and South Coast goes? You nailed it. Thanks as always for making my review better. I really do mean it. Your insight is always appreciated.

  • Nate says:

    Some minor factual corrections.

    I did South Coast for NaNoWriMo 2007 and podcast it complete before Christmas. It was the fourth book that year — a feat I’ve never been able to match. At 114,000 words it was a fun challenge. It was a Parsec Award Finalist that year, along with Full Share.

    Last year’s work for NaNoWriMo was Ravenwood (which you’ve already reviewed — thanks so much!).

    And it was Scrabble, not Parcheesi.

    Seriously.

    Thanks for the support and column space, Odin. And thanks to all the fans from around the world who have enjoyed my books for the last 3 1/2 years.

    I’m being quiet these days as we count down to the text release of Half Share and the revision to Owner’s …

    Ok, back to work for me.

  • TerminusVox says:

    I like South Coast quite a bit and not least for the light it casts on the Krug family the first of whom, Sarah, we meet onboard the Lois McKendrick. Otto is Sarah’s father as it turns out and South Coast gives us some depth into the Shaman’s gift. I love to hear Nathan Lowell tell me stories. Though a ‘straight read’ I never doubt which character is speaking.

    • odin1eye says:

      No one does a straight read better than Nathan Lowell. No one. I enjoyed South Coast initially because of the tie in you mentioned, but soon I realized I was focusing too much on trying to figure how it was going to tie in and needed to personally quit hypothesizing and just enjoy the story. Of course, I’m just weird that way.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Michael says:

    Nat is my inspiration… He hooked me to podiobooks along with Scott Siggler…

    And inspired me to finish a story1

    I don’t know how many times I have listened to the Solar Clipper series now….

  • Thomas says:

    Confession time. My first read (listen) of this book, i
    quit after 3 episode. It moved too slow for me and i didn’t like
    the direction it apparently was heading. After i got caught up with
    the Share books (I got a late start on them), i gave it a second
    try. With that said. This is my all time favorite book (print or
    otherwise) ’nuff said

    • odin1eye says:

      Favorite ever? Wow. Strong endorsement indeed. I’m not ready to go that far, but I did enjoy it. Very much.

      • Thomas says:

        it spoke to me on a personal level. Much like Pat Conroy’s
        writings, Lowell’s books effect me in a similar manner. South Coast
        was the right book at the right time.

  • Doc Coleman says:

    I find it interesting that everyone seems to compare Nathan to Chuck Norris…

    Doc

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