Free Novel by Nick Cole

Nick Cole is an actor and writer, who lost his publisher over the excellent novel CTRL, ALT, Revolt! last year. (We reviewed it here in one of our capsule-review roundups).

At the time (21 October, it says here –>), we also bought another Nick Cole novel, The Red King. It’s a strange apocalyptic tale that merges the we-got-nuked category of apocalypse with the omigawd-zombies category. While we suppose that’s not entirely original (weren’t Godzilla and The Great Behemoth products of nuclear bombs raising scary creatures?), Nick’s play on the book is original.

We forget what we paid for it, probably $2.99, but it was well spent, and now we want to share with you the fact that Nick has made it free for some time (I dunno how long, it’s Nick’s call) on Nick explains it:

I just wanted to start out 2017 with a Free Book for anyone who wants to get lost in an adventure and take a break from all this end of the world doom and gloom.  It’s a book about the end of the World!!!!  Except fun!  Think Lost meets The Walking Dead.

Of course, Nick has a couple of sequels out now, in what he’s calling the Wyrd series, and surely he hopes people like Your Humble Blogger who read and enjoyed The Red King, buy his other books and enjoy them, too.

And he wants you to get hooked on this kind of apocapopcorn crack, too. So go for it!

We do say that we found his characters… interesting. The protagonist, Holiday, is not especially likable, but you wind up rooting for him anyway. (Joe Finder has done this, too, given readers an unpleasant protagonist who still wins your sympathy and support, even if you are glad all your friends and family members are better people).

Most people who read The Red King will probably like the action scenes best, but Nick has a good ear for dialogue. Maybe that comes from his acting chops, maybe not. Here’s an example, in which Holiday is given some harsh if oblique criticism by Frank, a Vietnam vet:

“Fun guys are for Saturday night,” began Frank anew. “But you see, all this end of the world jazz… this ain’t Saturday night anymore. This is survival now. End of the world type stuff. Back in ‘Nam we didn’t have room for fun. That was for the college kids burning their draft cards and smoking marijuana. Calling us baby-killers so they could make their professors proud of ‘em. In ‘Nam it was serious. Every day for thirteen months and sixteen days. I knew guys that got it early and guys that got it at the end. Taking it seriously made a difference. At least sometimes.”

A bat flapped overhead in the dark, its leathery wings beating at the stillness and heat of the night.

“Other times,” continued Frank after drawing on his cigar. “Someone else got it because another guy didn’t do his part. Usually because he was too busy goofing off. All because he just wanted to have some fun. And that’s where we are now, kid.”

Cole, Nick (2015-12-23). The Red King (Kindle Locations 3135-3142). Nick Cole. Kindle Edition.

Nick provides this shortened link:

Which enlongenates to:

Amazon has it listed under Science Fiction, but there’s no droids or phasers here, just a post-nuclear, zombie-filled LA. Kind of like Rodney King Riots that never end.

We hope you enjoy The Red King as much as we did.

13 thoughts on “Free Novel by Nick Cole

  1. Sabrina Chase

    Thanks for the splendid and worthwhile alert! CTRL ALT REVOLT is great fun, and I also enjoyed Soda Pop Soldier. Just like it is impossible to have too much ammunition, it is impossible to have too many good books.

    1. Hognose Post author

      It figures a starving author needs free books… (grin). By the way, I did like Substandards quite a bit and keep meaning to put it in a capsule review roundup. I will do one this month or die trying!

      1. Sabrina Chase

        Nonono, Hognose! Not the hill to die on! :-) Your services as the font of gun-related esoterica and snark are too valuable to lose. Think of Small Dog Mk II!

        I like free, but I do support fellow authors when I can. Pursuant to the fight against grey goo and SJWs everywhere, my purchase of Soda Pop Soldier was not only for the dead tree edition, I purchased it whilst in the dark heart of progressive Portland (in deep cover, of course). I figured it would heap fiery coals upon the heads of Mr. Cole’s *former* publishers, not to mention vexing the minions of Powell’s. Which is a great bookstore, if you remember to bring oxygen gear to deal with the choking clouds of smugness….

        1. Hognose Post author

          On a visit to the PNW maybe 10 years ago a former SF buddy introduced me to Powell’s. I believe he said, “This is the best bookstore in North America. Don’t be put off by the hipster salespeople, who smell of hemp and unmarketable degrees. You will spend hundreds here today.” He was right on every count.

          I was up there to give the right wing militia (aka the Washington and Oregon Army National Guard) a briefing on Afghanistan before their first tours there. They were a good bunch of people.

          1. W. Fleetwood

            Oh lord, Powells, up in Portland.

            Yes. 1970-71, two or three of us would trek up I-5 and spend thirty minutes trying to find a parking space. Then up to the top floor and the Military History-Used shelves. Treasures. “The Jungle is Neutral” by Spencer Chapman. “Modern Warfare” by Rodger Trinquier. An original copy of Life magazine, with a David Douglas Duncan photo essay in it. In those days there were no sales folk available, hipster or otherwise. You pretty much had to hunt somebody down and demand that they take your money, but then you’d have an itemized, hand written receipt, proving that these books were yours! Yes. Powells must take at least some small part of the credit / blame for how I spent the rest of my life.

            Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.

  2. Josey Wales

    Thanks for the alert/recommendation, picked up this one as well as CTRL ALT REVOLT.

  3. Poobie

    I’ve enjoyed all his stuff. Pretty sure I’ve got all of it at this point. I like the direction he’s taking the Wyrd series, for sure.

  4. Keith

    It looks interesting. Reminds me of Black Tide Rising. Can’t download it so enjoy if you can.

  5. John Spears

    Hognose, yours was one of the most rewarding recommendations I’ve taken advantage of and like other readers it lead me to Sodapop Soldier and his other books. I think someday we’ll be saying we all knew him from his first works. It’s great to support a fellow vet, but supporting a vet who’s work is also great….priceless.

  6. mondonico

    Thanks for the tip–looks good. Also, for those of you whose jobs require long periods of windshield time, Amazon will sell you the audiobook for only $1.99 when you download the digital copy.

  7. Simon

    not free on, but the 99 cents will not kill me. Looks like I will have to finish work earlier today.

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