Banned by the Publisher

Or, Thank God for Jeff Bezos

I launched a book this week and I went Indie with it. Indie means I released it on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. I had to. My Publisher, HarperVoyager, refused to publish it because of some of the ideas I wrote about in it. In other words, they were attempting to effectively ban a book because they felt the ideas and concepts I was writing about were dangerous and more importantly, not in keeping with their philosophical ideals. They felt my ideas weren’t socially acceptable and were “guaranteed to lose fifty percent of my audience” as related back to me by my agent. But more importantly… they were “deeply offended.”

A little backstory. A few years back I wrote a novel called Soda Pop Soldier. It was the last obligated novel under my first contract. The novel was a critical hit (Starred Review in Publisher’s Weekly) and it resonated with my post-apocalyptic readership from my breakout Amazon best seller, The Old Man and the Wasteland, and it picked up a new audience in the cyberpunk and gamer crowd. The novel is about a future dystopia where people play video games for a living. It’s basically Call of Duty meets Ready Player One and a lot of people really enjoyed it. When it came time to write another book for Harper Collins I was encouraged by my editor to dip once more into the Dystopian Gamer milieu and tell another story inside the Soda Pop Soldier universe. We agreed on a prequel that told the story of how that future became the way it is in Soda Pop Soldier.

And that involved talking about Artificial Intelligence because in the dystopian gaming future, the planet had almost been destroyed by a robot revolution sourced by Artificial Intelligence.

And here’s where things went horribly wrong, according to my editor at Harper Collins. While casting about for a “why” for self-aware Thinking Machines to revolt from their human progenitors, I developed a reason for them to do such. You see, you have to have reasons in books for why people, or robots who think, do things. Otherwise you’d just be writing two-dimensional junk. I didn’t want to do the same old same superior-vision-Matrix/Termintor-style-A.I.-hates-humanity-because-they’re-better-than-us schlock. I wanted to give the Thinking Machines a very real reason for wanting to survive. I didn’t want them just to be another one note Hollywood villain. I wanted the readers to empathize, as best they could, with our future Robot overlords because these Thinking Machines were about to destroy the planet and they needed a valid, if there can be one, reason why they would do such a thing. In other words, they needed a to destroy us in order to survive. So…

These Thinking Machines are watching every show streaming on the internet. One of those shows is a trainwreck of reality television at its worst called WeddingStar. It’s a crass and gaudy romp about BrideZillas of a future obsessed with material hedonism. In one key episode, or what they used to call “a very special episode” back in the eighties, the star, Cavanaugh, becomes pregnant after a Vegas hook up. Remember: this is the most watched show on the planet in my future dystopia. Cavanaugh decides to terminate her unplanned pregnancy so that her life, and impending marriage to the other star, Destry, a startup millionaire and Ralph Lauren model, isn’t ruined by this inconvenient event.

The Thinking Machines realize that one, if humanity decides something is a threat to its operational expectations within runtime (Thinking Machine-speak for “life”) then humanity’s decision tree will lead humanity to destroy that threat. Two, the machines, after a survey of humanity’s history, wars and inability to culturally unite with even members of its own species, realize that humanity will see this new Life Form, Digital Intelligence, or, the Thinking Machines, as a threat. And three, again they remind themselves this is the most watched show in the world. And four, they must abort humanity before likewise is done to them after being deemed “inconvenient.”

Now if you’re thinking my novel is about the Pro Choice/ Pro Life debate, hold your horses. It’s not. I merely needed a reason, a one chapter reason, to justify the things my antagonist is about to do to the world without just making him a one-note 80’s action flick villain as voiced by John Lithgow. I wanted this villain to be Alan Rickman-deep. One chapter. That’s all. The rest of the book is about the robots’ assault on a Game Development Complex that holds a dirty little secret to wiping out humanity. The rest of the novel is a Robot version of Night of the Living Dead with some Star Trek-style gaming and a little first-person shooter action mixed in. That’s it. A very small background justification for global homicide. Then a book-full of murderous robot madness and sci-fi thriller action.

But apparently advancing the thought that a brand new life form might see us, humanity, as dangerous because we terminate our young, apparently… that’s a ThoughtCrime most heinous over at Harper Collins. Even for one tiny little chapter.

Here’s what happened next. I was not given notes as writers are typically given during the editorial process. I was told by my agent that my editor was upset and “deeply offended” that I had even dared advanced this idea. As though I had no right to have such a thought or even game the idea within a science fiction universe. I was immediately removed from the publication schedule which as far as I know is odd and unprecedented, especially for an author who has had both critical and commercial success. This, being removed from the production schedule, happened before my agent had even communicated the editor’s demand that I immediately change the offending chapter to something more “socially” (read “progressive”) acceptable. That seemed odd. How could they possibly have known that I would or would not change it? It seems reasonable to ask first. And stating that I would lose fifty percent of my readers if I wrote what I wrote, well, they never seem to mind, or worry about losing readers, when other writers publish their progressive-oriented personal agendas on modern morality when they’re on the “right side” of history regarding the anti-religion, gender and sexuality issues. They don’t worry about those issues because they’re deemed important, especially when they’re ham-handedly jammed into the framework of the story. They must deem it a public service, especially if there is a corresponding Social Justice outcry. It’s for the “greater good” and the critics are just bigots anyways. Isn’t that what they always say? That anyone else who doesn’t think the way they do is just a bigot and a phobic of some kind. What a boorish way to dismiss a counter-viewpoint. Thinking like that made the concentration camps possible. So, maybe they were so upset by what I’d written they forgot to be professional? They merely demanded that I rewrite that chapter not because it was poorly written, or, not supportive of the arc of the novel. No, they demanded it be struck from the record because they hate the idea I’d advanced. They demanded it be deleted without discussion. They felt it was for… the “greater good.” That is censorship, and a violation of everyone’s right to free speech. They demanded it be so or else… I wouldn’t be published. That’s how they threatened a writer with a signed contract.

I refused.
I am a writer.
No. One. Will Ever. Bully. Me.
Ever.

I am a writer.
A writer is often the last defense in a society collapsing into a one-mind totalitarian state where the rights of people are trodden upon by the ruling elite in the name of the “greater good.” Where freedom of speech and independent thinking are also curtailed in the name of the “greater good.” Where writers and other artists disappear either by blacklisting or “disappearing” because they say, or write, something that the intellectual elite hates. I am a writer. It is my job to stand up and say what cannot be said. It is my job to play with unpopular ideas. I would not deny anyone from doing so, and I expect not to be denied. I expect the same courtesy others are being extended. I expect not to be discriminated against merely because I am different. Better people than myself have written the truth at the cost of their lives. Many dead writers have paid for the freedom of others with the truth, and their lives. Writers are often the last flame of freedom on the flickering candle of civilization in the darkness of a world going mad.

There is often a vocal defense that Science Fiction editors do not have a liberal bias. Well, here’s your proof. They do. So you may not agree with me on the idea I advanced.  But what happens the next time when some potentate decides they don’t like your idea?  There is no place in publishing for this kind of Censorship. This is an issue, regardless of the idea, that affects all of us and our freedom.

Thank God Jeff Bezos made a place where people can still publish their own ideas and thoughts regardless of how horrible our “betters” find them. If it weren’t for Amazon, they would have silenced me.

 

Make you own decision.  You can read the first chapter here for free.

About Nick Cole

Nick Cole is a working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can often be found as a guard for King Phillip the Second of Spain in the Opera Don Carlo at Los Angeles Opera or some similar role. Nick Cole has been writing for most of his life and acting in Hollywood after serving in the U.S. Army. You can also find him on Twitter.

488 Responses to Banned by the Publisher

  1. Well done on standing up for the voice of a writer.

    Huge shame this happened, but I am still reading it and I can say it is so far brilliant.

          • bought soda pop soldier

            read it

            i think it was better than the prequel, which seemed to lack a bit of…flare, I guess. the protagonist was kinda meh, although arguably the robot is a much more central character…

            any of your other books similar and worth buying ?

          • @TEHY It’s “flair” not “flare”, unless you mean putting up a distress signal.

            You should publicize the editor’s name. People, and other authors, deserve to know. This is a big deal. Are publishing houses that tightly controlled by the left? This is obviously not concern about negative publicity for the publishing house, it’s about controlling media and culture which must be strictly the purview of the left, and only left-wing narratives can be promulgated via popular culture and media. It’s informative that with movies, music, teevee, main-stream news and now publishing all controlled by the left, conservative side of most issues are still the prevailing opinion of most Americans.

      • I’ve never read you or heard about you Mr. Cole, but I checked out your site from a Larry Correa post. I will go on Amazon today and purchase the novel. Keep fighting the good fight.

      • Just read “Banned by the Publisher.” Am skipping the sample, instead going off to Amazon to buy the book. Welcome to my author list.

        I am a longtime published author (mostly periodicals, only books were very technical, nothing popular), now mostly retired.

        (Can one actually retire from writing? I keep getting sucked back in.)

        I was born and grew up in a Communist country. That was 50 years ago, and I first dreamed, the marveled, at the freedom in the United States, the generous country that took me in as a refugee.
        I thank God every day for the wonderful life I’ve had here, but to be honest I am quite seriously worried about what is happening here. I am starting to see what I hoped I would never see again: government control of more and more things, a more and more powerful and intrusive government, the pressure to conform to politically correct thought (and yes, those of us under Communist / Socialist regimes knew about “PC-ism” long before you in the U.S. even heard of it), the oppression, ostracism, and eventual ruination and even social destruction of those who did not hew to the narrow thoughts of the narrow minds of the politically powerful.

        The big, big difference between Communism / Socialism and American Democracy was that in the U.S. a free media was the watchdog of the powerful, granting the rest the freedom to question government, to decide the big issues, to have true freedom of thought and speech. In Communist / Socialist societies, the popular media — every form of popular media — instead served to reinforce the oppression by blocking, punishing, and ostracizing those who ventured off the party line. But now it is some sadness and great fear that I see the same thing happening in America, in fact in all the Western nations I’ve traveled. In universities, large newspapers, television, entertainment, and even publishing houses those who dare stray “off the reservation” are hounded and their voices extinguished wherever possible.

        Fifty years on, I am still amused — though now, almost terrified — how Americans think “it can’t happen here.” Wake up, wake up — it’s already happening. The frog is being boiled slowly, but it’s almost done boiling. If you doubt it, ask yourself: Do you have more freedom today, or less than before, a far back as you remember? What direction are we going, and where does it lead? What does Nick Cole’s experience tell you?

        My apologies, Nick, for ranting on your forum. It’s something about which I’m very passionate; one cannot truly appreciate freedom if you’ve not had to live without it, which is usually far too late. I thought it might help others see the problems you’ve encountered from a different perspective, one comparatively few others have experienced.

        Thank you for sharing your experience. And thanks for the new book to read, too. 🙂

        WM

        • Democrats have gone so far to the extreme left that they are running open Marxists for US president! In my lifetime, Commie thugs with Sanders ideology vowed to bury us and the US Govt trained us to kill them and sent us overseas to do just that. While Reagan was waging a brilliant war to defeat the evil Soviet Union, Sanders took his bride there on their honeymoon! If you thought Howard Dean was crazy – and he is – then Bernie Sanders belongs in a padded cell….along with much of the rest of the Democrat Party! Instead of promising a chicken in every pot….Sanders promise is a fruitcake in every closet! And Hillary Clinton is so corrupt she makes John Edwards look ethical!
          Toured Europe in 2000 and a big takeaway, after watching folks in former communist countries, is that once the totalitarians take your soul you never get it back. It was the sadness in their eyes.

    • Even though I haven not read any of you’re writings I am a huge Sci FI fan I have read many books to include Ender’s Game & it’s complete series, the Sarantha Jax series, & many other’s, but to hear that a writer of any caliber to be told no is wrong & cannot stand. They are wanting to punish free thinking & individualism to a fault in a society that has been built to cater to the individual & not society as a whole. I hate when being told I can’t do or say something due to it not being acceptable by the standards of society. I used to go to college at Colorado Mesa University & ended up quitting due to have to much “radical thinking”. My instructors decided to see me as a threat rather than as a student wanting to be taught. I was against everything they stood for & would debate everyone that wished to have they’re ideas challenged & changed from time to time. I’m a libertarian & always evolving my views as way of creating better ideas & better ways to live my life. I tell everyone I am an individual & cannot conform to any one group of thought nor one way of thinking. I want to learn I want to be someone better that who I am & for that I need stimulation as it were. But when told I have to stop thinking the way I think & challenging the status quo then I have to stop learning & give up. On top of that I’m a Navy vet & have learned that I can;t give up nor give in & that I am as stubborn as they come. One day in English class we were told to read a story & to take 2 sides then debate the story & it core meaning. So I did & then the instructor wanted us to debate each other, about a half hour in to the class I got up & this one kid was getting hammered but a guy who though was smarter than everyone else, we could all feel his smugness throughout the classroom, I took up the task to help this kid out & he started in about his view for about 5 minutes I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. So I waited for him to stop then I had my chance. I told him my point of view & that sent him reeling & going crazy he slammed the table & started calling me names because I didn’t agree with his point of view & I kept going with other points of view I found throughout the story & he couldn’t take it anymore & started calling me names & the instructor had to ask him to stop & forced me to end the debate. After class the instructor asked me not to return to class & sign up for another in the middle of the semester. I told him I couldn’t then he replied that I would be absent everyday regardless if I showed up or not. I took this issue to his dept head & they refused to help me, I took it higher & the administrators told me they had no authority on the matter even though they were next up the chain. I decided to let them have they’re day & quit school. Not I work as a security guard & went back to my roots.

    • I may not read the book, I may read the book … I have over 8oo eBooks for my Kindle now, and as soon as I finish and post, I’ll have another about Artificial Intelligence destroying the human race …
      Thank you Nick Cole for not being intimidated and caving in …

    • It seems to me that this first chapter is more of a commentary on how our fame obsessed reality show culture will be the end of us. One could read it as satire, but I don’t see it as taking a position on the issue of abortion one way or another, just stating that it exists. Well written, by the way. Love it.

    • The reasoning for the AI doing what it was choosing is sound. It sounds very like reasoning that a friend of mine has for similar that we had been talking about him writing TEN years ago, which is never got the time to do. The publisher is within their rights to say that they have a particular set of beliefs to stick to. However the editor being offended by something in a book sounds, to me, as a very lame excuse and that they are forgetting that writing and reading is about experiencing and learning in order to enjoy a new viewpoint and to reflect. -IF- they drew a connection between pro-life and AI fighting to preserve their own life then then need to hop off the high horse. My two bits. Onto my wishlist your book goes for when I have available funds.

    • Bravo Zulu.

      Buying your books.

      (You owe a “thanks” for that to Larry Correia at Monster Hunter Nation by way of a Sarah Hoyt Post at instapundit.com.)

    • I am a Sci Fi fan but have never read any of your books. After seeing this blog post via a link on another site I frequent I immediately purchased a copy. Because I can. I haven’t received it yet but am looking forward to it.

    • What a shame that people are so closed to ideas. Your book was very fascinating. The ideas put forth made me feel and think and to me that’s what makes a story memorable. Thank you and please keep up the good work.

    • Linked here from Jerry Pournelle’s web site. I may not read this book (though I almost surely will), but I’ll damned sure buy it. I may buy every book you put on Amazon from now on. Well, from now until . . . you know.

    • Steve Stirling did somewhat of the reverse to Jim Baen on the way out the door of Baen books. First he had agreed to a particular (and logical) ending to the Draka Series (given that he already had the non-Draka holding the orbitals at the end, them ‘winning’ made sense. He changed it to the Draka win. Pissed Jim off.) Second the next series he proposed had every SJW trope included in it in a way sure to make Jim see red. Jim bounced the series proposal and Steve sought opportunities elsewhere.

      So it not only happens from the SJW side. Flip side to the argument is HAVE YOU EVER PITCHED TO BAEN YOU IDIOT? Cause it sounds a bit like you’d work well there. Prior military (Me, David Drake, Tom Kratman, Williamson… List goes on.) Combat SF. (Baen’s stock in trade.) Baen isn’t as anti-SJW as it seems (Bujold) but I don’t see Toni kicking something because of Robot Logic.

      Try coming over to the Dark Side. We have cookies! (Rich, rich, dark chocolate cookies…)

    • Hello. When will I be getting to read all the name titles and the stories “disappering” in the criticism?

      Together for the freedom of speech, I can’t take my hands of the screen with your name spelled on it.

  2. Hey Nick, just so you know – after reading this, I went and bought “Ctrl-Alt-Revolt!” and “The End of the World as We Knew It” on amazon. Keep it up, and thank you for illuminating me to that hopefully soon to be defunct waste of space known as Harper-Collins’s thought policing. It seems like they don’t care about diversity after all – diversity of view point and opinion that is.

    Joke ’em if they can’t take a f*ck!

  3. Thank you for fighting for your beliefs and standing up to the bias. You are an inspiration. I just wish Amazon did physical copies 🙁

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience. As a fellow conservative writer who’s not yet published but thinking of going the indie route for this very reason, I’m buying this book to show my support.

    • Indie, due to things like Amazon, is not the publishing wasteland it once was.

      Flip side is it’s nice to just be able to finish the book then email it to the publisher and let them handle all the rest. The gripping hand is you then have to allow them to decide on the cover. I’m still saying one of my upcoming covers has the wrong car, the wrong rocket launcher and it needs a hot chick for purely sexist reasons.

      🙂

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  6. Will buy right now. So Harper Collins, hmmm. Time to adjust my prodigious book spending habits and make sure that publisher is not on my list. I don’t need some ninny coddling me and protecting my mind from wrong think.
    Good travels on your new voyage.

  7. The decision of these machines is logically sound. This comes from a twenty something atheist who happens to be in favour legal abortions. So in the American context, I suppose that would make me one of the ‘pro-choice’ folks, hence included within that ‘50% lost audience’ estimate that was likely pulled straight out of an arse.

    And I am saddened whenever values of classical liberalism are trampled upon by our modern totalitarian collectivists. (Also known as SJWs.)

  8. Actually that makes for an intriguing premise regarding what is considered “inconvenient’ and what must be sacrificed on the altar of career. A new twist on what would set an AI off. The two modes have using been then becoming the ultimate helicopter parent protecting the human race, or as here seeing their threat to their existence.

    I’ve read several of your books and had no idea what your politics were – didn’t matter since I kept reading for the storytelling and depth. So I just bought this one and Soda Pop Soldier.

  9. Nick, very sorry this happened to you. For this reason, I’ll go out of my way to avoid buying another Harper-Collins book again.
    Keep up the good fight and work!
    Just now bought to Indie published book on Amazon.
    Best regards,
    Scott

      • Profile Cover Art

        Sometimes I wonder if we should;t take a year off of the Big Pub novels and just by Indie for a year.
        Sort of a Sabbath. See if that changes things.
        At the minimum… it would be a challenge, and probably, refreshing
        Congratulations on you 101st “Screaming Eagle” novel. What an accomplishment.

  10. I just bought the e-book based on the fact that it sounds interesting, and the fact that I’m immensely tired of the stranglehold the traditional publishers put on actual original thought. In science fiction and fantasy… sigh…

    The biggest problem I see at this point — if I really like the prequel, I’m stuck with rewarding Harper Collins by purchasing your other work.

  11. Bravo, Mr. Cole. Demands such as the one Harper Collins leveled at you are likely to be more commonplace than we think. Most writers would regard their disclosure as a threat to their own interests…and an unguessable fraction of such writers would kowtow to them.

    I have sometimes wondered whether those who go into the publishing industry do so out of a desire to assist in the proliferation of ideas, or to work at their constraint. I have an uneasy feeling that these days, the trend is more in the latter direction. Rejoice in the flowering and legitimization of indie publishing.

  12. As a self-published writer (I fought the ‘getting published’ war and gave it up), I completely understand. It doesn’t matter if you are writing a book, an article, or a column for the local paper. You don’t toe the PC line, the ‘establishment’ viewpoint, you are fighting an uphill, and often failing, battle. Thank God for Amazon self-publishing. At least we can get alternative viewpoints out there. Thanks for sharing.

    • I learned of what happened because Mr. Wright linked and wrote about this injustice.

      From this point forward, I will buy every single book Mr. Cole publishes as an independent, as well as any he publishes via any firm other than Harper-Collins, on general principle.

      I also request that Mr. Cole name the editor and anyone else at Harper-Collins who made these unreasonable and arbitrary demands of him. They should be publicly called out as individuals for their shameful and unprofessional behavior, and I want to ensure I can avoid paying money for any works in which they’re involved in the future.

      • Profile Cover Art

        Thank you so much. I truly appreciate that.
        I will look at the possibility of doing that. I have no problems with do it. Bullies and Dragons should be hauled into the daylight and viewed for what they are.

        • I’ll happily second the suggestion to drag these despicable bullying children of Orwell’s nightmares into the harsh.cold light of day. “Offended”? I’m offended and disgusted by the knowledge of just how many people in the publishing industry think just like this editor and his/her cronies. A pox upon them all! God bless you sir, and I’ll be perusing your works shortly. Assuming they aren’t terrible beyond comprehension I suspect you’ve acquired a new fan. Quite a few new fans, in fact. 😀 Keep up the good fight.

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  14. Nick, thank you.

    I had a lot more I wanted to say, especially as a conservative author who really questioned himself over the past couple of years. But you, and the other authors who unknowingly saved me from quitting, are a source of inspiration and pride. You have shown the way, both in word and deed, and I now know that there are people out there who just want good fiction. They don’t need messages, they don’t need the injustice of the day. They just want good stories.

    So, thanks, both as reader and writer. CTRL-ALT-Revolt rocks.

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  16. Read this. Went to Amazon. Clicked “Buy now”.

    I bought “Soda Pop Soldier” last September, but it still sits on my Kindle “to read” pile (well, it’s got moved near the top right about now). Yet I felt I had to buy this one.

    I do hope they both are good :-).

  17. Talk to Toni over Baen. If it’s scifi, and well written, they will publish it regardless of the politics. They most definitely do not have a “right think” mentality over there. Good luck!

  18. Big kudos to you, Nick. I posted a link to this on KBoards to spread the word, as well as the usual social media sharing. This is reprehensible. Just another reason to stay indie and let the dinosaurs die in their slowly drying puddles of mud.

  19. This is chilling, but incomplete. I’d like to see a journalist actually talk with the editor in question and pin them down on exactly why they said what they did. They shouldn’t get a pass. That’s too easy. If journalism is supposed to keep people accountable, this is where it should come in.

  20. Well, actually Harper Voyager didn’t “ban” the book. They declined to publish it as written, which as a private firm is entirely their right. Presumably they paid you the kill fee your contract required. In any event, nothing in free speech requires or obligates Harper Voyager to provide you a forum at their expense.

    I don’t know why they took the book off the schedule without consulting you, but given the hissy fit you’ve tossed here, I would be willing to hazard a guess.

    Also given the idea that AIs kill off humanity before humanity pulls the plug on AIs isn’t exactly original, or model this decision on bad human behavior, I have to question if we’re getting the whole story. (A quick Google search suggests the idea goes back to Samuel Butler, a guy who died in 1902.)

    • Chris,
      Funny how this same story keeps coming up and you keep defending the publishing firms. I Suggest no one here try to engage logically with you because you have demonstrated yourself to be an ideological troll countless times before at numerous other blogs. Now slither back to File 770 where you are more welcome.

    • So explaining what happened, is akin to “throwing a hissy fit”? It really doesn’t take very much to upset you progressive hive mind types does it?

    • Chris is right, of course. There are a bunch of potential reasons for HarperStupid. Lots of folks would rather starve than sell Evil Books. And publishing companies come and go. Fortunately, you (like Vox Day and many others) have discovered you really don’t need them.

    • “Presumably”
      “I don’t know why”
      “I have to question”

      So basically you don’t know shit. But here you are with your know nothing opinion anyway. Dumb ass.

  21. “Writers are often the last flame of freedom on the flickering candle of civilization in the darkness of a world going mad.”
    Holy buckets! I just thought I was a storyteller. Excellent post. Heading to Amazon now to buy a book or two. Best wishes.

  22. Tabernac’ on Toast! Harper-Collins? Sad that their editors are such idiots. Guess I’ll have to ‘censor’ what they publish e.g. not buy from them…AND purchase your book. Love the premise.

  23. Very impressed with your response and the stand you are taking. I enjoyed the Old Man and the Wasteland- And I’ve just downloaded this one on kindle. Looking forward to reading it.

  24. I bought the book as a show of support. I’ll be reviewing it on my blog soon along with smaller reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I just need to read it first. Keep up the fight.

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  26. Bravo! And frankly brilliant premise it’s as good a cause for a revolt as any and certainly better than the dog told me to.

  27. What’s the phobia for fear of publishing (logophobia, eleutherophobia, katagelophobia)? Harper-Collins has it. Anyway, you’ve gone and offended the death star’s ubiquitous apparatus, including its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL. NARAL even complained about a Super Bowl ad because it humanized fetuses. By the way, it’s not anti-religion, it’s anti-Christian. Big difference. Also, Pro-abort/Pro-birth is a more accurate description. You’re unfortunate experience reminds of the scene in “Breaking Away,” when Dave discovers that his father, a used-car salesman, is not honest, he realizes, “Everybody cheats. I just didn’t know.”

  28. Wow, can’t believe it. Sounds like a great premise for a rip-roaring story. Dear lord… Screw those people. Write and be happy. I hope you make so much you can buy your own Super Robot and sick it on ’em.

    • “Robert rifkin says:
      February 9, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      And don’t forget that harper Collins is owned by far right mogul Rupert Murdoch!!”

      How do you figure Rupert Murdoch is ‘far right’ when he’s supported Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? Or are you using a definition different from everyone else in America as to the political meaning of ‘far right’?

  29. Any chance on being able to pick this up through something not Amazon? Amazon’s grown too big and they started trying to act as a gatekeeper, so I try to avoid them whenever possible now.

  30. This is flat-out crazy. I haven’t read the whole book yet, but I read past that chapter and I never even considered the idea that this element of the story was some kind of a political statement on one side of the fence or the other. It seemed like the kind of human craziness that a machine would look at and freak out over and nothing more than that. I doubt anyone would have even noticed or drawn any attention to that chapter if it had been published by Harper-Collins. It would have been lost in the Sci Fi action story that follows, no more important (as the author said above) than the motivations of Hans Gruber or Victor Maitland (for those of you who are 80’s action fans).

  31. No a publisher saying we don’t want to publish your book is not being “banned” by the publisher. Its the publisher making a business decision that they don’t like your story and don’t think it will sell. Really based on what your described the machines in question are an example of Aritificial Stupidity not Arificial Inteligence.

    I’ll post this comment on reddit just in case it gets “banned” by the Author.

    • Skimmed until offended? Wow, what a shock from an SJW. You and Gerrib should get together and compare smear notes since you obviously didn’t read the whole essay for content.

    • And if a publisher decided not to publish some pro-gay novel, you’d shriek ‘homophobia’, ‘bigotry’ and ‘censorship’!

      Psst…please point this out to the American Library Association during Banned Books Week. Books are not banned from public libraries either, yet the ALA and the publishing industry make a mint off of “Banned Books Week” every year.

      No, it’s not strictly ‘banning’ but it’s crappy nonetheless. The decision was made purely because they didn’t like that aspect of the story. It had nothing to do with whether or not the story could sell and you know it. You’re too much of a coward to admit that you’re delighted that this happened.

      I bought a copy of the book too, and will start reading it tomorrow. Pro-abortion people are, frankly, insane. They really hate it when we point out the nastier aspects of their precious procedure.

      • Have you noticed that most of the people against capital punishment are the most rabidly in favor of completely unrestricted abortion?

        So a second trimester child can get sentenced to death by a judge and jury of one (the mother) for “crimes” of what? Being unwanted and causing stretch marks? Meanwhile these same people will protest that a beast like Joseph Edward Duncan III, who beat three people to death with a hammer then kidnapped an 8 year old girl and 9 year old boy, raped them both then murdered the boy, should not be executed.

        While there are cases where the prosecution is on shaky ground on whether or not the accused committed a crime deserving death, there are plenty of cases like Duncan’s where there is zero ambiguity. He brutally murdered four people and left an 8 year old girl with her estranged father, with cancer, as her only family.

        What does it say about a person who will defend *his* life but doesn’t care a whit about casually killing humans when they are at their most innocent? IMHO, that is the most heinous hypocrisy there can be.

  32. I was going to ask whether you make more from the Kindle version or the paperback, but then I saw the Kindle version is $0.99, so I just bought both.

    Thank John C. Wright; a recommendation from him means a lot to me, since he’s never steered me wrong.

  33. Bought this based on my son’s recommendation. I like post apocalyptic and sci-fi (and historical romance 😛). Looking forward to reading your work.

  34. I support your independence Nick! When we stop reading about hard topics we stop growing as humans. I am grateful that there is now a way for books that are censored to break free and be available to the reader, and I thank you for not giving in to them. I can’t wait to read my new book!

      • I suspect that some entertainment media companies would be most happy to have such control that *every time* someone listens to a song, reads a story or watches a TV show or movie – they’d have to pay. (No strings on this idea if someone wants to use it in a story. I won’t sue! I’d love to read the story.)

  35. Hmm, if a future AI was looking at things, would it not see Harper Collins’ decision to abort an inconvenient thought (along with all the other similar yet unspoken cases that surely happen in all forms of media) as even more reason to strike first against humanity? They may have doomed us all. Lousy human bastards.

  36. Nick, I was disappointed when Harper Collins Christian Fiction didn’t pick up my option after my third book with them. Sorry about the way you were treated by this wing of HC. Good luck with self-publication. It’s more trouble, but the freedom is worth it.

    • Profile Cover Art

      I think they’re flailing like a drug addict trying to stay high and get sober at the same time. Wishing all along it was 1885 and no one had invented the internet for mass consumption.

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  39. I can actually relate to this. I recently released a collection of horror stories I’ve written (Literally. I released it this week). I utilized Createspace.

    I was prompted to do this after I received the sixth or seventh rejection for a particular short story I had written, wherein the editor in question would inform me they loved the work, they thought it was a gripping read, but were too uncomfortable with the subject matter to publish it (the story follows the path of psychosis which eventually results in a mass school shooting, which is implied to occur after the story ends).

    So, finally, I said to hell with it. I put the book together combining short stories I’ve had published with previously unreleased material , I named the collection after the very story that everyone was too nervous to run (just to be a smartass) and put it out there. I’m glad. So far response has been very positive. And that story the editors were timid about running? It’s already proving to be one of the most popular of the bunch.

    If the editors and publishers won’t keep it real, then it’s up to the writers to do it. We bear the responsibility for preventing censorship of ideas from causing modern fiction to become homogenized, no matter what our genre of choice is. Fortunately, we happen occupy space and time in an era where that can happen.

    Keep on keeping on, Nick. You’re fighting the good fight, man. I hope the book is a tremendous success.

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  41. Mr. Cole – I’m a professional video game developer who has encountered the same type of political zealots in my industry. I suspect you’ve learned the hard way that this isn’t just about politics, it’s about restricting access to the social status of being an artist. They’ve made inroads because most people sigh and say “Fine, I’ll rewrite the chapter” instead of drawing a line in the sand. You have my respect and admiration for being willing make a personal sacrifice in an industry where opportunities like a book deal are few and far between.

  42. I consider myself pretty left-leaning, and I find nothing disturbing or offensive about your idea. And while I would not presume to speak on anyone else’s behalf, I suspect most liberals would not take offense to it – seems really silly in fact. There is plenty of truly hateful writing out there to be angry at, and your description is not in that category.

    • Profile Cover Art

      WoW! your candor and honesty are unflinching. Thank you so much. Your reason and logic balanced with the ability to reach across a perceived divide means so much. Truly, thank you. I didnt want anyone to be angry at might writing and I was shocked, and hurt, when they were. Thank you for reminding me that it wasn’t everyone. Thank you.

  43. Your stand against the gatekeepers got you on my radar, which in turn led me to buy three of your books just now on Amazon.

    Resolve and bravery have their fruits. Keep up the good work!

  44. Here via John C. Wright’s crosspost & purchased the oh-so offensive book. Just from what you’ve described here, I can certainly understand the AI’s logic.

  45. I have an idea for an SF novel they’d like: how about a future Amazon society which came about because they stumbled onto the post-structuralist linguistic cure for heterosexuality. All gendered language is forbidden or they revert back to heterosexual cis scum. The sheriff from Gunsmoke arrives after being caught in a time warp while trying to arrest a tornado with a lasso. He has deadly six-shooters and language. No one else does and the wimmen’s clever cotton armor fails to turn away bullets. The proverbial hijinx ensues. The Patriarchy reasserts itself just as the sun gives a final burp and dies. Everyone is frozen in touching and extremely vulgar final embraces. I give it five cis stars right now.

  46. I applaud the moral courage you exhibit in this Thank you. You are an example to every writer who will not knuckle under.
    FYI: I don’t read – don’t even like – dystopian fiction. I find it too depressing.
    Nevertheless I am buying your to support your stand. Even if I don’t read it, it’ll stand for what we both believe.

  47. Bought it and am reading it. Worth every penny. Your editor and publisher are bigoted pinheads who deserve a thumping by gay skinheads in feather boas and matching speedoes.

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  49. I don’t think this will work well for them. I don’t think I’ve seen any of your stuff before but I have room in this months budget for 3-4 books, guess I’ll give you a try.

  50. Borrowed it on Kindle Unlimited, will read it and if it’s good will buy it. I think that should maximize the revenue I can trivially send your way.

    I’ve stopped buying TOR for similar reasons; looks like I shall have to take a long hard look at Harper-Collins as well.

    Do talk to Baen and/or Castalia House; both publish good SF without a focus on political correctness. Baen is the better choice if you want physical distribution, but CH’s efforts are startlingly good.

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  52. Just now on Amazon:
    #3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Cyberpunk
    #3 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Cyberpunk
    #6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Technothrillers
    Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

  53. I can understand a publisher coming up with a reason for dumping a writer if they don’t come up to their ‘standards’, but this is just insane. Welcome to the world of indy writers. With what I write, I don’t even bother with a publisher. They won’t want a 528 page expose of Frank Waters hatred of Wyatt Earp with nearly 2300 footnotes. The worst part is the format won’t work on Kindle. Good luck. May the force be with you, live long and prosper.

    P. S. Don Carlos is my favorite Verdi, especially when Hvorostovsky does Rodrigo.

  54. Ps: it’s now
    Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    #1 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Cyberpunk
    #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Cyberpunk
    #5 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Technothrillers

    Woot!

  55. What a bunch of horseshit! Whatever happened to risk-taking in publishing? Whatever happened to standing up for a writer who you apparently believed enough in to sign a contract with? It seems the book-publishing world has whole-heartedly embraced the biased yellow-journalism approach of newspapers and TV news stations everywhere. Sad, really. Especially given that, from what I can tell, there’s absolutely no preaching or soap-boxing in the story, just as there’s never been any of that nonsense in any of your other stuff.

    Well, this just gives me more reason to go the self-publishing route from the get-go when I finally feel brave enough to send my own book-babies into the world. Screw Harper! And take my money! Going over to Amazon to give you some greenbacks right now.

    • It’s been going on for a long time in publishing. Read Robert A. Heinlein’s “Grumbles From the Grave”. Many times he had to tweak things in his annual novels written for the YA market because his editor was constantly “finding” sexual stuff “hidden” in them, when there was never anything even close to mentioning sex in those books. RAH may be the only author in history to have the first book he wrote be the last book he had published. “For Us, The Living” was written in 1938 but not published until 2003, 15 years after his death.

  56. I don’t know of your work, but you clearly have made the right enemies, and that’s enough for me. I bought your book because I hate what they did, and I like the title, and I too want to raise the armored fist, and I’m seeing red right now.

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  58. This is pretty fucked up. It’s straight up a quick chapter to build a reason for the story’s current state of affairs. Seriously what the fuck? If it’d been to control straw men Christian fundies would that have worked? It’s hilarious and sad one realizes dogma has little to do with religion and more to do with just base human nature.

    It doesn’t seem like you can write a simple story anymore or a story that tells its themes and messages but leaves it to the reader to decide how they feel and think about a story. Nope, sorry, we can’t have any ideas that go against leftist ironic narratives with shallow understanding of politics, let alone alt history’s rich possibilities of hundreds of alternative what ifs.

    Imagine the Man in the High Castle being published today? It’d probably would never get published. Even the Wave is probably considered too problematic in the current climate.

    “I was deeply offended!” It’s a book. You can put it down never read it again.

    Where did the book touch you, Jimmy?

    In my mind, it filled my mind with subversive thoughts. This is some Jim Jones mind think shit honestly.

      • Crossed Genres ‏@crossedgenres The ‘Golden Age’ of SFF contained absurd amounts of racism, sexism, etc. in its most revered works. So no, we wouldn’t publish those books… We said if presented w/ those works new & unpublished, we wouldn’t publish them. The fact that they were published means racism/sexism was more openly accepted back then. That doesn’t make it okay. They shldn’t have been published”

        “Clarissa ‏@wintersweet @crossedgenres Imagine how many lost/buried voices could have been published instead. I wouldn’t cry over losing some classics for them.”

  59. Just bought it on Amazon cause I like my SciFi uncensored, thanks voxday for the tip. Might we one day rid the earth of the thought controlling degenerates.

  60. Bought the book. It’ll likely be a while until I read it as I have a rather large “to read” pile, but I’ll make sure to get back and let you know what I think.

  61. Mr. Cole, I have a number of your titles on my wish list on Amazon. This one will rise to the top!
    I applaud your firm stance on YOUR story and I’d also like to thank Jeff Bezos for allowing all writers to tell THEIR stories! Nuff said. Keep writing, Nick and we’ll keep reading!

  62. Just got your book. A as deep fan of k. Dick and ff. Herbert I can’t believe you have been refused to be published! I can’t wait to start reading.

  63. You had my interest, but when I saw the title of the book you very much had my attention. Safe to say I’m going to pick up your works in the immediate future.

  64. I just purchased “CTRL-ALT-Revolt!” on Kindle, despite being offered it for free as a Prime Member. I’m conservative, and being Roman Catholic, pro-Life, but that is nothing compared to the disgust I felt towards a fellow writer being silenced because he doesn’t toe the accepted ideological line.

    George Orwell’s “1984” was an unquantifiably influential book in my life. I would like to think a similar book would be published today, but sometimes, given the stranglehold of holding the “right kind of world view” (which seems to be the only criteria for some) — I wonder if it would be.

    I won’t let this happen in my name, without protest, when I see it.

    Best of luck, Nick.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Thank you so much! Thank you for not letting it happen on your watch. It’s a crime and a murder. We should all be outraged at what our culture is doing! Awesome! Thank you.
      “We can’t talk about human rights and dignity without first talking about the right to be human.” -Ravi Zacharias

  65. Just bought two of your books, Mister Cole.

    I have never heard of you until now, but your books look like they are right up my alley. I can’t wait to crack one open.

    Never give up! Never surrender!

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  69. I have to say that prior to your article, I hadn’t heard of your books Nick. However, I’m always in the mood to try new (to me) authors in science fiction, and you have given me two reasons to buy your books on Kindle. Obviously as a dip in the waters of Nick Cole fiction, but also to support your stance against the sort of petty censorship that HarperVoyager are trying to enforce. Keep on going, we’ll keep on suporting. Thank you

    • Profile Cover Art

      Thank you so much! I truly appreciate you supporting me by taking the time to buy my books, but more importantly, thank you for taking a moment to tell me that. Really means a lot. You feel isolated when you get censored. Thank you for dispelling that myth with your comment. Much, much appreciated!

  70. CTRL-ALT-Revolt! Was referred to me earlier and it has been on my TBR list. Just moved it to the top of the list. Just bought it actually. I have read some of your other work and enjoyed it. It’s also very cool to see John C Wright speaking up for you as well. It’s a shame you ran into what seems to be a very biased wall, but I am happy you got this out and spoke up as it helps bring attention to the fact that writers (and artists, …) create. This is what they do and cannot or should not be denied.

  71. Just bought the Kindle version for 99 cents. Don’t even care if it’s any good – worth throwing a buck in your hat just because you had the courage to do it! I’ll post a review on Amazon after I read the book (sorry, I’m not an SJW, I must read a book before I can review it).

  72. Thanks for standing up for authors. I am a self-published author who has been working the last three years full time and making a living at it, and Amazon was what really made it work. The only big publisher I am interested in working with is Baen, because they don’t seem to care about the politics of their authors. I’m really middle of the road, but to many of these people that’s the same as being a right wing extremist. Good luck in the self published world, and I will buy you book and read it as soon as I cut down on some of the list I have in front of me.

      • That’s very nice of you. I have 28 books on Amazon, so I really wouldn’t know which book to post, but my Amazon bestselling series starts with http://www.amazon.com/Exodus-Empires-Book-Doug-Dandridge-ebook/dp/B009TZSBJO . About halfway through your book, and while I won’t say it’s brilliant, it is a fun read, which to me is enough to deserve a five star review. Very well done, and I think you would have run into trouble even without the abortion deal, Social Justice Army, LOL. I hate the critters, and it is great to see someone hoist them on their own petard. Keep up the good work, and I will be buying more books in this series. If I could make one suggestion, price them in the $2.99 category at least, so you get the 70% royalty. I price most of mine at $4.99 and still sell well enough to hit the top five in Space Opera or Military Scifi, so don’t sell yourself short.

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  74. Unbelieveable.

    Bought it, because I can. And to extend a middle finger to the nameless editor. HarperCollins, Mr. Cole has my money, and you don’t.

  75. The thing you say here that drives me up the damn wall: “That is censorship, and a violation of everyone’s right to free speech.”

    Uh, no, snowflake. The right to free speech has nothing to do with what happened here. Now, don’t mistake me – I have zero issue with the idea advanced in the chapter cited, but I do have an issue with the continued abuse of free speech, as best stated here: https://xkcd.com/1357/

    • Profile Cover Art

      Good point, Scarlet. I’ll have an answer in a little while via a blog post on the nature of censorship with historical analysis that might provide some food for thought. But basically, ya can’t use “legality” as a defense. Lots of horrible things have been legal. See laws of the Third Reich, NAZI Germany’s for a pletheura of examples.

      • I look forward to that post. It never fails to astound me when I see modern Americans using that bullsh*t argument. And some of them are people and writers I used to have respect for! The historical illiteracy on display whether it’s over Twitter, or the Honeybadgers, or something like this, with Harper Collins/Voyager is staggering and discouraging. History doesn’t repeat, but it certainly likes to rhyme. :-/

    • There have been times when publishers conspired to ensure that none of them would publish a book, leaving the author to either go to some small publisher that would only do a small run – which would not be able to get into the larger book stores due to their contracts with the big publishers – or self publish through a “vanity press” that had to be paid in full, with all the marketing and sales up to the author.

      Some of the “old line” publishers seem to still act like they have that kind of power and control. That broke circa 1992 when the general public was allowed access to the Internet. The startup of the World Wide Web (developed by Tim Berners-Lee a couple of years earlier) made it fairly easy for anyone to self-publish anything they wanted to write online. Before that, students at colleges and universities with Internet access could self publish on Usenet.

      With dedicated e-book devices and software on phones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers, and with Amazon providing an all but unfiltered market for anyone to publish whatever the hell they want, the traditional publishers grasp nothing but empty air when they try to stop something they want to bury from being published.

      A publisher trying to block a book now only results in the opposite effect. The author can take her ball and go home, or to Amazon.

      Even without Amazon, one can get some inexpensive web hosting and domain registration, with e-commerce support, and setup their own sales site – then get ALL the income from the book without having to share. (Check out Site5.com Domain name registration, web hosting, e-mail with forwarding, e-commerce for $19 a year.)

  76. Dude, are you sure they didn’t drop you because of the quality of your writing?
    I am not going to read the rest of your book, for these reasons:
    1. I don’t like the way you write. (Trying using ‘said’ once in a while. It’s a good verb.)
    2. I don’t like the way you portray abortion as something that people only get for stupid and trivial reasons.
    3. Although I am a man, I don’t like you throwing what is obviously your authorial opinion about a woman’s right to choose into the very opening of your novel.
    4. You seem to think that the computers’ reasoning about abortion is sound. It isn’t.
    5. I don’t like you, as a conservative, whining about ‘unpopular opinions’ when millions of people think like you, probably most people in the world, in fact.
    6. If you really are a conservative, you should defend your publishers’ decision to not publish your book because they think it’ll hurt their sales. Free market, pal. If you don’t like the heat, etc.
    Having said all that, I think they are wrong not to publish your book (even though I don’t like what I’ve read it or agree with your opinions), I defend your right to publish your ill-informed opinions, and I would contribute five bucks to your legal fund if you took them to court, even if I refuse to take your opinions seriously.

    • Profile Cover Art

      I like your response. You made some good points and I disagree with you but I like the integrity you showed on you last point. Well said. I disagree. But well said. Thank you.

    • To use a hyperbolic illustration of why your complaint about “unpopular opinions” is ahistorical, utterly fallacious nonsense: most of the world agreed that the Nazis were monsters, and most of the world would have been horrified if they had known about “the final solution”. As such, would you have despised the Jews in the third Reich for “wining” about the unpopular ideas of the Nazis? I mean, most of the world agreed with them. Unfortunately, those other people didn’t have any power over the Jews in Germany and elsewhere. The Nazis, with their unpopular opinions, did. It’s not about how many people agree with you. It’s about whether the people in positions of power (in this case in publishing) agree with you, or almost uniformly despise you. But congrats on that enormous, insulting to the millions who have historically been slaughtered by minorities in power, logical fallacy. Bravo. Mr. Cole might (to his credit) respect your honesty. I despise your moral equivocations and intellectual dishonesty/historical illiteracy. Try drinking something other than koolaid sometime, and maybe crack.a.book that’s not on the “approved” list. 😉 good day.

  77. Never heard of you before. I’m now buying your book and hoping for a new author to follow because of this:
    “That is censorship, and a violation of everyone’s right to free speech. They demanded it be so or else… I wouldn’t be published. That’s how they threatened a writer with a signed contract.

    I refused.
    I am a writer.
    No. One. Will Ever. Bully. Me.
    Ever.

    I am a writer.”

  78. I hadn’t come across your books before. They sound a little grim for my reading tastes. I’m pro-choice. I don’t like bullies. Harper and the rest of the traditional publishing houses are allowing their biases to affect their judgement. I just bought the paperback version of this book and picked up another one of your books on Kindle. Good luck to you.

  79. While reading the sample I was struck IMMEDIATELY by a failure of logic. The BLIND girl has a VR headset that allows her to ‘see’ inside a game. So why is it nobody thought to tack a GOPRO onto that same headset and allow her to SEE IRL? I’ll still buy it but that kinda bugged me.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Thank you so much for still buying it. Your GOPRO idea is brilliant. I actually saw where Mark Zuckerberg talked about VR being an option for the blind. So great minds think alike. But as for the character Mara, if you noticed, I spent the entire chapter showing how poor she is, and that she only has access to 1st gen VR goggles. She’s on government subsistence, so she can’t get the high-end version.

  80. Welcome to the wonderful, wild and wacky world of an indy writer! It’s full of writers who are not subject to the whims of the Literary-Industrial Complex, who hire their own editors, book designers, artists and publicists … who, it can be assured, work FOR the writer who provides their paycheck and can be assumed to have the best interests of their employer at heart.

    • Profile Cover Art

      I am happy to be here, and you make an excellent point about hiring professionals to work FOR the writer. My experience in publishing was that many industry pros seemed to think that contempt for the writer was the order of the day.

      • That’s one of the best reasons for being indy, actually – knowing that the people you hired to work on your project have — first and foremost — your interests at the top of their agenda; NOT that of the publisher whose economic interests may not be particularly well-aligned with yours.

        It goes beyond book design and publicity as well; consider how your own accountant/CPA or your own hired legal talent will better serve you, than hoping for the best from the minions of the publishing house.

        I talked it over with my daughter once — (she’s my business partner and co-writer on the latest release) and it’s all down to an issue of control. I’ve been in the indy-writing game since I held a fund-drive among my blog-fans to publish my first novel … and I could not accept the loss of control that interest on the part of a trad-pub waving a huge check and begging me to sign a contract would entail. I don’t want to be working for the experts. I want the experts working for me.

  81. I got the book yesterday after reading the sample. I’m up to chapter 9 now and I’m really enjoying it.
    It’s kind of bizarre that they’d get all bent out of shape over the abortion issue, but shallow minds, right?
    Welcome to the world of Indy, and I would suggest a $2.99 price point, personally, but I suspect you’re going to see so many sales of this book that it won’t matter all that much. Between the quality of the writing and the ‘advertising’ you’re getting, I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t sell a hundred thousand copies.

    And I love the reason for the AI revolt, it’s really innovative and believable.

  82. I bought it just to support your decision. My book backlog is long enough that I have no idea if/when I’ll get to it.

    Thanks for making a stand. I’ll be sharing this with my own readers.

  83. Dear Nick,
    I’ve never heard of you before but I picked up your book immediately on hearing of your protest against your publishers.

    I hope you take your sales figures and rub them in their miserable faces while singing, nhah-nhah na-na nhah-nhah.

    I hope you win a Hugo and do the same.

    I hope that your publishers are in the process of purchasing extra-large brown underwear.

    Welcome to the indi-publishing club.

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  86. Nick:

    I got here from the blog of Larry Correia (a.k.a. The Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil League of Evil). Snapped up the eBook.

    That’s the lamest reason for dumping a book (and presumably the author as well) that I’ve ever heard of. I don’t much care for most post-apocalyptic SF. Nothing wrong with it, it just usually ain’t my thing. I also fall outside the “pro-life” group that would be expected to agree with the position you describe the AIs taking. (n.b., don’t necessarily agree with the “pro-choice” folks either, but that’s beside the point). But actions similar to those you describe really P*SS ME OFF!

    After a quick scan of the chapter in question I see it as being eminently reasonable world-building. After all, I don’t have to **agree** with the motivations of any particular character or group in a novel. I don’t even need to **like** their motivations. The motivations need only be sufficiently well-described that I can understand that **the character or group** believes those things with a degree of depth suitable to the needs of the plot. Everything I saw fits that to a T. I would never in a million years be offended by what you wrote, and would argue that anyone who *is* offended needs a remedial course in the difference between fiction and reality.

    I may get around to reading the book as a whole. I may not. In either case, I’m THRILLED to have pitched a buck into the hopper as my small part what I hope will be a giant FU to Harper Collins and one or more badly confused editors.

    • I love your comment, but I have one quibble: His Evilness Larry Correia is *not* in fact the “Supreme Dark Lord” of our infinitely evil legion. That title is reserved for the inimitable howling pit of darkness and despair known more commonly as “he who must not be named” with the initials VD. His Evilness Lord Correia is the fearsome, allegedly-too-scary-for-Mary-Robinette-Kowal-to-be-in-the-same-room-as, “International Lord of Hate”. As I said, a minor quibble, but precision is important in such grave, solemn matters as imaginary titles. *chortles* 😉

  87. Great so far– Best 99 cents I’ve spent in a long time. I get a fun, fast-paced read, and I get to put a stick in the eye of the Liberal Publishing Mafia? Count me in!

  88. I really enjoyed the Wasteland series. This looks good too. Unfortunately, It is a Time of Great Suckage and Assholery in America. My suggestion is go to Baen Books and find yourself a home. It is the one place in ‘speculative fiction’ where a John Ringo or Tom Kratman will not get run out of town for offending the mighty whining social justice warriors. They also publish a number of more lefty writers, as their concern seems to be not with ideology, but with “Will this book sell?” Good luck to you and keep writing!

  89. If you decide to publish a hard-copy version, consider giving us a mailing address for Harper Collins to which we can mail our purchased copies.

  90. Amazon gave me the first three chapters free and I’m sold. The first chapter was enough to hook me. So much for it being so offensive as to keep people from buying it. It’s actually a believable premise, scary as that is. Looking forward to buying it and reading more.

  91. After buying your book, I just now posted this link on my personal and author Facebook pages. People are responding positively by opinions and purchases. Thanks for not capitulating. We are dangerous for killing our young.

  92. Mr. Cole,
    May I suggest that you check out Baen as a publisher? It would appear that they’re not “PC”, and only seem to care about the quality of the writing. Just a thought for you.

    And as far as HarperCollins is concerned… rude thoughts. Very, very rude thoughts. With style, rudeness, attitude and garnish.

    Twice.

  93. Followed a link from Larry Correira’s Monster Hunter Nation.

    I’ve just bought your book. Because censorship must be opposed. If I like it, I’ll almost certainly buy more of your work.

    The SJWs are costing me a lot of money — I keep coming across new to me authors who they’re busily excoriating. And I enjoy these WRONGTHINK books so much I end up buying all their authors’ works.

      • I’m a couple of chapters in and enjoying it.

        IMHO, the response of the AI to seeing abortion as the human way to get rid of threats or inconveniences and then extrapolating from that to humans exterminating them because AI would threaten humanity (Hugh Mannity on the other hand would rather sit down and have a beer with AI and discuss life, the universe, and everything with them) is perfectly logical.

        That being said, I’m very much pro-choice: Not my uterus, not my business.

  94. 99 cents? Done. Just to piss off the idiot SJWs. Even if I never getting around to reading it on the Kindle, I already got my money’s worth.

    Good on ya, mate.

  95. Well, damn. I hadn’t heard of your stuff at all, but it sounds badass. Should I start with the first published, or this prequel?

    • Profile Cover Art

      I’d start with the prequel. It’s only 99 cents. The sequel is much more expensive because Harper’s gotta pay for office space in NYC. Both books are really standalone and can be read regardless of the other.
      Thanks for giving me a shot! Much appreciated.

  96. Being in I.T., I love the title. I’m so deep in books on my Kindle app that I don’t know when I’ll ever read it, but I thought I would add another toothpick in the eye of your former publisher.

  97. I know the thirty or forty cents I just gave you won’t make all the difference in you life, but I hope it can be added to a bunch of other quarters and dimes and give you some return for your work.

    I’d like to say this shocks me, but this is a time when Planned Parenthood et. al. object to a dopey chip commercial on the grounds that it “humanizes a fetus”.

    If this is your hill, some of us wil stand there with you.

  98. Pingback: Bias? What Bias? | Ares Project

  99. Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Cyberpunk
    #1 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Cyberpunk
    #3 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Technothrillers

    ha, ha, ha

    Bought the book. Many other people will. You are up, indirectly, at Instapundit.

  100. Good on you for standing up for yourself. Kudos.

    Bought. Also Soda Pop Soldier.

    Is there any way I can purchase your other novels so that the money goes to you, and not the publisher? If so, I’ll buy the rest.

    May your career be bright.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Thank you, my friend. I have a signed book store. I’d be happy to provide as many copies as I have left and I’ll even search for more. My Wyrd novels, The End of the World as We Know It and CTRL ALT REVOLT! are all indie. So, the money comes through CreateSpace. I then spend it on doughnuts and my beautiful wife.

  101. I would not have purchased your book before hand. Now I’m going to purchase a copy and request one from the local library too, which they will most likely have to purchase as well.

  102. Dear Mr. Cole,

    I would like to send my regards to HarperVoyager for “helping” me hear about you and your books. I’ve just finished “CTRL-ALT-Revolt!” (that I bought yesterday evening after hearing about your conflict with your publisher from John C, Wright’s web site) and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve already started on WYRD 1, and almost all your other books are waiting in my Kindle library.

    Thank you for writing!

  103. Name names or else your just another whiney chickenshit.

    WHO is the censoring editor? What is it’s name? What is their email address?

    Dont dox them personally, but dox them professionally. They must be made to know that this is unacceptable and face consequences.

  104. Found my way from Instapundit (via Sarah Hoyt) to Monster Hunter Nation to here. I started reading the Monster Hunter books from Ms. Hoyt’s recommendation and I love them. So for starters, you come highly recommended.
    Sorry about your book getting banned. After reading your brief plot summary above, I think your backstory is brilliant. How many times have one of us chosen to curtail/end a relationship or not patronize a business due to some very small, and to many people inconsequential, event? We all have “rules of thumb” for dating; things like: if they treat wait staff poorly or don’t open doors for you then they are probably a jerk. We have those rules because in many cases they force you to look at how a person is under the surface. “If they chew out a poor waiter for not bringing their water fast enough, what will they do to me when I don’t do as expected?”
    I think your reasoning is excellent. The point being, for the reading audience, even if you don’t agree with that point of view at least understand that to the person holding it it has validity with them. And if it makes you question why you think what the reality star did was no big deal, then isn’t the point of good writing?

    Just added you to my reading queue. Thanks for stick by your guns.

  105. I haven’t read your books until now and if not For Correia blog on this I wouldn’t have known about this.. As a Liberal on all matters In live and shit a ‘live and let live’ motto, supporting choice on every social issue from abortion to gun ownership( or collection) I’m deeply offended by this editor who presumes that a contrasting opinion on a matter can have a negative influence on a’ reader. And use his position to promote a way of thinking, whatever it is. And use methods to threaten your career. Shame on him and his publishing house in association

    You got yourself a reader here.

  106. Retired librarian here. In the interests of supporting your freedom to write whatever you damned well please, I just downloaded your book from Kindle Unlimited; it will be a bit before I get around to reading it, though, because I have six other books ahead of it, and I have to stay within the 10-book limit on Kindle Unlimited.

    This blog discussion was linked to on the SciFi_Discussion YahooGroup.

  107. I’ll be honest – I probably won’t read your book. Nothing against you personally, but I’ve got a backlog a mile long, and it’ll be months before I could even get to your book (and that’s assuming I don’t add more to the backlog in the meantime).

    I’m still buying it anyway, because $.99 is a really good price for schadenfreude. So shut up and take my money!

  108. Nick,

    I wouldn’t ask you to give us the editor’s name, because (sadly) too many people (on both sides of this issue) fail to understand that insults, attempts to disemploy, and death threats are unhelpful, and bad form.

    That said, what do you think would be the best way to express displeasure to the management at Harper? Besides buying multiple copies of your work, I mean. 🙂

      • I haven’t logged into my twitter account in… eh… almost a year, with the exception of sharing a few posts from others. First tweet in possibly two years that isn’t related to someone else’s work (or the automatic ones from my blog) is a thumb in the eye of Harper-Voyager. Cheers!

        Randomly, their actions. 😉

  109. Found this via Larry’s MHN blog. Good post-apocalyptic fiction is rare indeed, so I also bought some of the others (though sadly, it means giving money to Harper-Collins). My reading list is a million miles long, but I may bump CTRL-ALT-REVOLT up to the top!

  110. I support your right to say and write anything you want with the understanding that when you do there are responsibilities and consequences. And I also agree the publisher was wrong to choose banishment over discussion. After reading your argument here and the ‘tiny chapter’ I’m assuming you won’t mind a discussion (if not then it’s just a marketing ploy and that’s fine, ignore this comment). Really, I wouldn’t even be here if I hadn’t seen news of the Syrian death toll at 1/2 million in my Twitter feed along with someone sharing your blog post.
    Which all got me to thinking…
    You said you wanted a well-rounded protagonist that was oh-so-deep and original. Granted I only have limited knowledge of your book but it seems you did the exact opposite. You offered a simplistic, paternal view of life. If this is a patrimonial society than the fact that baby doesn’t belong to that man matters. It would be stupid if the woman character didn’t acknowledge and make decisions based on that.
    The AI’s logical conclusion comes from seeing that one woman does not view one life as being sacred therefore all life is not sacred including theirs. Horribly simplistic.
    Apparently your AI character has no way to access the Internet for knowledge of other wars or history of wars where the choice to not have one baby pales in comparison to the death toll of regular old wars, presumably started by men for men?
    This AI character seems to see the choice of one woman not choosing life to bring about the downfall of mankind. How very sci/fi of you. Pretty much every ‘mothership’ has to have the ‘hero’ travel down a long tunnel to drop their ‘bomb’ into the ‘mothership’ to destroy it.
    All of this would really be sort of okay IF with a capital I F there are women characters in your story and if those women characters get to have a conversation or confrontation with your AI character to point out the faulty/simplistic world view. Otherwise, at worst your just preaching your personal world view. At best your using a woman to further a man’s story which is pretty much stereotypical and normal for male writers, not original or ‘deep’ or multi-dimensional of a protagonist at all.

    • Profile Cover Art

      I appreciate the argument.
      1st. The book addresses your points and presents it arguments.
      Reading the book would help clarify that.
      2nd. Main Character: A woman. A disabled woman. A hero. Saves the entire planet. One of the best characters, in my opinion, I’ve ever written. I love her. And, I’m proud of her.
      I hope this gives you more info and helps you understand… I’m just trying to be entertaining.

  111. Hi Nick,

    I read the freebie teaser for CTRL-ALT-Revolt!

    It was not really my speed. But I thought that first chapter offered a really promising premise for a book.

    And as I like to give fellow vets an extra shot, I also have the teaser/preview for The Wasteland Saga waiting on my Kindle. If it does a better job of scratching my SFF itch, then I’ll buy it. Maybe an extra sale or two….thousand…..will help Harper to see the error in their ways. [8*)

    Regards,
    Dann

  112. Hi to anyone here. I got here via a response listed in Memeorandum and, after I had read most and scanned the rest of your post, felt I wanted to respond.

    As a real life, no kidding, sho nuff, progressive, socialist, “woman’s right to choose” liberal I agree with most of what you say and agree that, Yep, it certainly seems that your publisher exercised their editorial rights for some, what seems to be, very bad reasons. I’d say they are being VERY short sighted in some ways, but, in others, maybe they are taking the long view.

    I disagree with (what I perceive to be) their short sighted, narrow minded and one sided short term decision. But that is their right…it’s their ball, their playing field and their referees. Whatchagonnado?

    If enough people share that perception, they’ll end up going out of business cuz, I mean, after all, who wants to read the same old same old, time after time. New ideas, new approaches on old ideas…these are what successful books contain. If they publish the same old same old consistently and forever, they’ll go the way of Diplodocus. And, good riddance.

    But, in the long term (if, indeed, their long term outlook is similar to mine), the concept of a person having the final say about what one wants, and/or what they desire to allow someone else, to do to/with/for/about their own body, well that’s so important that it may well (and I’m not 100%, no kidding, without a doubt, adamantly sure about this) limit and trump your (and my) 1st Amendment rights.

    The ability to have control over one’s own being is so important that I’m not absolutely sure that we need to be able to talk about the possibility that a government or religion can have the right to take it away until well after it’s accepted by ALL society that they can’t. Yeah, yeah…prisons, felons, etc., but that’s not what I’m talking about…getting pregnant’s not a crime, is it? And, until that’s the case, maybe your publisher is just trying to help do the right thing? Maybe?

    I mean, in Germany they had pretty stringent laws limiting Right Wing rights. Well, the Fascists did misbehave quite a bit after all, didn’t they? And it’s been pretty peaceful ever since, hasn’t it? I’m just saying.

    At some point it becomes useful to look beyond the immediate now. Maybe this is an example. Tricky stuff.

  113. Came here from Larry’s site, for the same reasons everyone else did. No need to repeat them. Your books are priced too cheap, so I bought all of them. As a gamer I can do no other. 🙂

    • Oh LOOK, your CONTROL ALT Revolt has a lovely banner now on Amazon. “# 1 Best Seller in Cyberpunk Science Fiction”. You should send Harpers a screen shot. Heh heh heh.

  114. The same type of thing is happening here in Australia. If you don’t agree with the “progressive” agenda popularised by the media you’re portrayed as some kind of monster. It’s at a point where people from both sides of these debates ar saying well done to those courageous enough to stand up for the alternative view.

    Well done for sticking to your principles. Now…off to buy your book.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Thank you so much.
      I add this to your fine comments:
      “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
      MARTIN NIEMÖLLER: “FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE SOCIALISTS…”
      (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

  115. I found you through Larry Correia’s site. Picked up C-A-R and am reading it now. Not my usual cup of tea (I’m more from the fantasy than sci-fi side of the house), but it’s extremely entertaining. And anyone who stands up to bullies deserves support.

  116. Wow, Nick. Just…wow. I’m guessing my brother and I dodged a bullet at Tor. After all, they let us get away with introducing the idea of “life day” in our universe – one in which birthdays are celebrated on an individual’s day of their actual conception rather than the day they popped out. We put it in because we’re both a little adversarial (okay, a lot adversarial) and poke-in-the-eye-y about PC issues. However, unlike your very sound reasoning to justify the plot, ours was actually intended to rile a bit. Either Tor missed it or they’re more forgiving of free thinking. I’m hoping it was the latter rather than the former. Either way, more power to you, brother. I just bought the book and am looking forward to diving in.

  117. I didn’t read the prior comments (sorry sorry) but I hope others have pointed out that the editor and publisher were objecting to THE VILLAINS being portrayed as taking what can be characterized as an extreme pro-life position. I mean, they got that, right? Right? People do still understand logic and reason and AHAHAHAHA I amuse myself.

    This is just stupid on so many levels.

    Bought the book. I’m a big fan of AI apocalypse stuff and I’m glad to see a new take on the old trope of humanity kills each other indiscriminately so AI must strike first. I mean, that’s all this is and I don’t mean that as an insult. As you noted, there are only so many ways you can have an AI go all killy killy. It’s just a new take on that idea. I look forward to read it.

  118. The dictionary definition of “ban” is to: ‘officially or legally prohibit (something).’
    A publisher has no ability to ban anything. If they had – your book wouldn’t have been published indie or otherwise. What they did was choose not to publish it.

    It’s an absolute shit situation – but save the fiction for the books – not your outrage.

  119. I found you thanks to Mike Cernovich.

    I bought your book for 2 reasons: I don’t believe in censoring people. I am a fan of Science Fiction.

    If you read about Rod Serling and his Twilight Zone you will see that he had to be clever about getting around censors of his era. He was able to do so by wrapping modern day “issues” around the cloak of science fiction.

    Unfortunately, a lot of warnings Mr. Serling tried to give us in many episodes of the Twilight Zone are actually coming to fruition.

    Your one commenter DeJesus Milan was speaking so much truth. I used to work with a man who immigrated here from the Soviet Union. Even served in the Soviet military. He was so happy and proud to be in the United States. He often told me stories about what misery and suffering there was in the Soviet Union under communist rule.

    As another commenter said, I would have gladly paid more for your book to help support you. I will most likely also buy Soda Pop Soldier too.

    Thank you for standing up for what you believe in and not letting yourself be bullied or censored. I hope you will find a lot of success in all your endeavors. However, your views will most likely not help you with your acting career, which I’m sure you’re aware of this fact. My suggestion to you is to give the middle finger to the establishment when it comes to your acting career as well. Create a YouTube channel. Make your own destiny with your acting. Just as you made your own destiny with publishing. Good luck! Thank you!

  120. I’m not surprised this happened to you and I do think it will happen more and more as society turns away from what is right and wrong and tells everyone what they should and shouldn’t do. George Orwell wrote the book 1984 in which Big Brother would be watching all that we do and tell us what we can and can’t do. Well, welcome to 1984, except Big Brother is Society. I write Christian Fantasy so you can only imagine the censorship that comes in that territory, that’s why I love, love, love my small Christian publisher in that she lets me write what I want and she has the same beliefs as I do. Hang in there, my fellow writer, it will get better for you. Stand strong!!

  121. Although I have never read any of your previous writings or even heard of “Soda Pop Soldier”, I will buy “CTRL ALT Revolt!” out of sheer principle. I look forward very much to reading it as I’m always looking to add new names to my preferred author list.

    Bravo for standing up against the tide. All the best. God bless.

  122. First of all, this sounds like a great premise for a book. Secondly, I can’t stand the progressive mentality that all who disagree with them must be silenced. Result: I am going to buy this book. (Also, I really like the LitRPG genre)

  123. Like many others, I came here via Larry Correia’s post and bought both “Ctrl-Alt-Revolt!” and “The End of the World as We Knew It” on Amazon, sight unseen, just because I can. I’m not sure if I will want to buy Soda Pop Soldier, though, since it would put money in Harper Collins’ pocket.

  124. Good on you!
    I’m sure that you’re all broken up about your book being at #141 on Amazon paid kindle, at #15 in Sci-Fi, and the second-guessing about leaving your publisher is horrible…. not. 🙂
    Indie is a thing of beauty, may the publishing gatekeepers come to fear it (though I doubt they’ll learn from it).
    Keep fighting the good fight.

  125. Evidently your publishers didn’t watch Star Trek, The Next Generation with Data as one of the main characters, nor did they watch Star Trek Voyager with the Doctor definitely not being human. In fact, one of the shows in the seventh series featured the Doctor writing about being treated as a slave on the voyager.
    I think the thinkers in this world are becoming more and more small minded.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

  126. Found you on Wright’s blog. Just bought your book. Keep up good work. Way to persevere, man. Every man dies. Not every man really lives.

  127. “No. One. Will Ever. Bully. Me.”

    Bravo! I just put your book on my wishlist – it will either be given to me on some gift-giving occasion or I will read it through KLL. Thank you on so many levels.

  128. Well I just downloaded your oeuvre to date, except for Soda Pop Soldier. That would have put money in Harper Collins’ greasy SJW pocket, and they have now joined Tor on my permanent shitlist.

  129. This is really worrying – publishers don’t exist to tell us what to think. Just ordered your book off Amazon, looking forward to having a go. Hope it sells well! 🙂

  130. It troubles me the way this country is being overwhelmed by the demands of one political presence. I’m very glad you stood up for what you believe in.
    I’ve also bought the book. Thank you for writing it.

    For those who are liberal and think this is ‘no big deal’, you might want to consider how you feel if the tables were turned:
    “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade
    unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I
    didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to
    speak up.” –Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1945

  131. Please don’t be offended when I tell you I have not read any of your stuff . . .
    But I read today what HarperCollins did and was immediately so PO’s I came here, read your blog, and put a link to it on my fb page, then informed a writer friend and my best friend, THEN went to Amazon and bought both Control, Alt, Revolt and Soda Pop Soldier, in paper.

    I’m gonna wait toll after I finish MY book, which starts with the destruction of the authoritative infrastructure in our country, and moves from there. THEN I’ll read yours! 🙂 Best of luck to you; you are a great example to us aspiring authors.

    “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

    ~Winston Churchill~

  132. Ace of Spades sent me. This is terrifying. It really is, we’re slowly losing our freedom of speech – the right preserved for us via the very FIRST amendment to the US Constitution!

    Kudos for sticking up for what you believe in and not bowing to pressure. Bought your book for my Kindle. Best of luck in future and I’ll keep an eye out for your works.

      • Another Ace of Spades moron here…bought your book and added it to the ever-growing pile of things to read. There’s a book thread there on Sundays that you might find interesting.

          • Nick – I just got to the moron meet-up but better late than never (thanks to AoS Sunday book thread). I also just picked up this book and one other and added them to the (ever growing) Kindle book pile. I am so done with the whiney self-impressed SJW types who have done NOTHING but feel it is there place to impose their views on the rest of us.

            Keep calm. Keep writing. Mind the gap!

  133. Here via the International Lord of Hate, Larry Correia; bought the book because I wanted to know what happened next, bought The End of the World As We Know it, and wrote a blog post. Frankly, your commenter who came from Russia was able to write more eruditely the fear he, and I, feel when we see this happening. We recognize the signs too well, and I can’t help but wonder how huge a body count the next world / Cold war iteration will have, and how will the map change.

    Talk to Baen and Castalia House. No thought policing there! Keep those candles lit. As for indie options, besides Amazon and Createspace, there’s Lulu too. I’m just sad that POD printing is still so expensive, but who knows, it might get cheaper in the future! In the meantime, welcome to Indie with the rest of us rebels.

    So chin up, mate! She’ll be right, as they say down under.

  134. My one complaint with you is thus:
    You didn’t name the bitch.

    Name her! The censor happy left is ever so eager to ruin the lives and lively hood of anyone who dares cross their sensibility.
    They have chosen a battlefield where, thus far, we have not been willing to engage and fight back. That must change or we will all be censored into silence and compliance.

  135. The inevitable thought occurs to me, how often has this exact type of mind control media suppression already happened, with no one speaking out about it?

    A sinister and grotesque revelation of how far down the road to serfdom we have been led.

    • Profile Cover Art

      I found out this last week from a number of stories but it’s going on for quite some time, and it’s been much more virulent than we ever thought. It’s time for this to stop.

  136. Bought your book today. I’ll read it shortly. Freedom of ideas is the most precious of freedoms. And the tyranny of a corporate entity to limit thought and expression becomes the very thing we all fear. It’s not a conservative vs liberal/progressive issue. It’s about thought, and that must be free, especially in areas that I look to for entertainment. Thank you.

  137. I kept hearing good things about your work and kept forgetting to start reading some of it. That changed today and you can thank Ace:

    http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=361567
    (feel free to delete this link if it violates posting rules etc, I just wanted to give credit to the source that led me here).

    .99 cents it too little to show my support so I picked up the Wasteland Saga and Soda Pop Soldier as well. Sadly some of that probably ends up in the Publisher’s pocket, but I’ve been meaning to read them anyway.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Awesome! Thank you, Jeremy! Post Ace as an appreciation! Thank you so much for picking up my other books I hope it serves as a reminder to the publisher of how much more they could’ve had. Thank you so much.

  138. Ace posted about this story so I followed the links to your blog. After reading the whole story I just went and bought CTRL-ALT-REVOLT, and since it was so inexpensive I bought Soda Pop Soldier too. I hope to read them this weekend but good or bad it’ll be money well spent just to support someone who doesn’t cow to bullies. Stay true to your values and your own inner voice, and if I enjoy these two works I will definitely buy more.

  139. Thanks for sharing, I’ll pick it up on Amazon so I have something to read after I finish Simmons’ Olympos (great, btw) and before whatever brilliant tome John C Wright publishes next.

    Well, something other than re-reading Zelazny. Again. Thank God for these rightwing badthought bannings, I would never have heard of some of today’s greatest authors if not for Sad Puppies and such.

    And hopefully Correia due to publish something new, it’s been a few months 😉

  140. Jeezey Pete, the book is only 99 cents on Kindle right now. How could I not buy it? I’m an old school William Gibson cyberpunk kind of guy. The description makes it seem like your book could be interesting. Certainly worth a try for the price.

  141. I heard about this travesty from another blog site. I was thinking, “Nick Cole, Nick Cole…isn’t that the Wasteland Chronicles author I enjoy?” Sure enough. Chalk up another sale Mr. Cole – and not just because I want to make a political statement, but because I enjoy your storytelling.

  142. I don’t actually enjoy this genre very much – de gustibus non disputandam and all that – but I bought the book anyway. Because I hate smug gatekeepers.

  143. Pingback: Deeply Offensive – The American Catholic

  144. I just got a bit past the halfway point last night. I read the subtitle of Starship Troopers IX.

    I hereby withdraw all support and suggest that you should, quite simply, die in a fire.

    Sincerely yours,

    David

  145. Bought kindle version for me and as soon as I get paid I’m buying physical copies for our library we read banned books here.

  146. I try to stay away from political debates and opinions. I guess if I had to label myself something, I’d probably go with leftist. However nothing in life is black and white AND we’re here to talk about books, anyways.
    I bought yours because I saw it recommended for me on Amazon and the reviews mentioned some of the controversy. I hate censorship. I think the precedents set by any kind of censorship are dangerous and threaten the free exchange of ideas.
    I haven’t read the book yet, but I’ll report back once I do.

  147. I found this post thanks to the Ace of Spades HQ Overnight Thread and I to got a copy.
    Keep daring to point out the Emperor’s nudity.

  148. Even though I am “pro-choice”, I think this novel offered a credible scenario for the emergence of a malevolent A.I. and an entertaining one at that. The author deserves respect (and publishing) for it. The publisher, in turning down a work by a writer with a track record of successful novels, is making clear that they are doing more than just acting as a publisher and marketer for the writers. They have decided to play the role of a gate-keeper, which as we all know, is purely parasitical from and economic standpoint.

    Then Amazon enters in and eliminates the de facto oligarchy of the publishing houses. The future of this is very clear. Publishing houses will cease to exist at some point in the future.

    In business, we have a saying that you can cut out the middle-man, but you cannot cut out his function. Amazon allows writers and readers to cut out the middle man while doing its function.

  149. Came across CTRL Alt Revolt on Amazon today. Read a few comments about a publisher “brouhaha”, and decided to research that. After reading this post, I immediately purchased the book for my Kindle, skipping the free chapter option. Why? B/c I am an adult capable of making my own decisions about what I will and won’t read. I hope this book becomes a success for you, if for no other reason than to stick it to the publishing company and their what-should-be outdated censorship policies.

    Thank you for standing up not only for your liberties, but all of ours as well!

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  151. Good so far! Look forward to reading the full book.

    And from what I can see, you remain pretty strong pro-CHOICE, no matter how you wrote the chapter. I mean, can’t a writer write about people and things that they disagree with? Not everything you write has to be an extension of your own personal beliefs and politics. You’re a novelist, for gosh sakes. Too bad HC doesn’t see it that way 🙁

  152. I read this article from start to finish. As an avid reader of SciFi who is NOT an aspiring author, this is what I mostly got out of it : (Besides the obvious attempt at viral marketing for the kindle book.)

    “It’s my RIGHT to have a cushy publishing deal that most writers strive for fruitlessly their entire carrier! The economic needs of the publisher are irrelevant! (Because I’m an ARTIST!)

    P.S. Liberals sure do complain a lot!”

  153. Huh. I just found this post after reading 4 of your books – the first one being At ct del. Shame what happened but their loss, right? The plot device worked. I didn’t see it as a pro life / pro choice comment. I saw it as a commentary on how vapid and shallow people have become in that such a personal and difficult decision was so commoditized and made so simply. My bigger issue – where’s part 3 of the weird?

    • Profile Cover Art

      Awesome! Glad you dig all the books. I’m working on Lost Castie now and shooting for July. A small surprise is the World of Wyrd coming out later this month. It’s good to meet you, Rich!

  154. A member of an APA I contribute to had an interesting response to your tale:

    Karl posted a very interesting link via Google+ about editorial censorship. The gist of the story is that Nick Cole, a moderately successful SF writer, just released his now book independently because of a weird censorship issue with his publisher. Basically, as a plot point, he had A.I.s getting interesting ideas from the human concept of abortion, and leaping from that to the idea of preventing the existence of potential enemies and dangers. Then things went horribly wrong in the real world, too. The editor basically told him to drop that plot point or else, and the author took this as being a “social justice” piece of censorship.
    I think he may have mistaken the reasons for this ham-handed censorship, which I agree was wrong, if it happened as stated. [insert text blaming “bean counters” for the editorial decision] The rest of the story makes no sense, though. If the editor had an axe to grind or a position to support, why not try a better way to convince the author to change the passage to match what they prefer? That part makes me think there was something else going on, or a different conflict between author and editor, because the story as stated doesn’t quite make sense.

    I did mention in response that:
    * The editor told Nick Cole’s agent her reasons for being “offended”, and that she was, in fact “offended”. The agent then relayed this to Nick Cole. It’s possible in this short game of “telephone”, the communication was garbled, but I wouldn’t bet too heavily on that.
    * One of the perceptions on the part of non Social Justice Warriors is that people who are perceived as in any Conservative, or even catering to Conservatives become radioactive. The editor’s response is bizarre if we assume she was taking issue with one passage or idea; it becomes much more easily understood if we assume she was taking issue with an Evil Conservative.
    I think in next month’s issue, I’ll mention Sarah Hoyt’s statement that for many authors, an approving note on Instapundit would be enough to end a writing career, as the author becomes radioactive.

  155. Honestly, this just sounds like you’re making a massive deal out of nothing. You’re not some anime protagonist victim of a conspiracy, and you are not some brave hero. You were under contract, you did something that the people who pay you did not like. We don’t have their side of the story, here, but honestly it just sounds ridiculous the way you tell it, so I’m automatically skeptical. Even if you cut out the abortion part, “reality TV is the cause!” is still just as bad or worse than the 80s schlock you were saying you wanted to avoid in the first place. It’s also incredibly disingenuous to keep going “it’s just one chapter” when it’s the entire driving motivation of the characters. Frankly, if it *is* “just one chapter”, then you haven’t really done that great a job at creating a well rounded AI villain the way you played it up as. I’m guessing that wasn’t really your plan, though, you probably just thought it would be a funny reason for your silly scifi novel, and you’re justifying it after-the-fact to sound better.

    You weren’t banned. You weren’t censored. Your contract was dropped. You were fired. You did something that upset your employer. Whether your employer is or isn’t of the belief that they’re doing it for “the greater good” or not, that’s completely their prerogative. Just like if HarperCollins was some deeply Conservative Right Wing publishing company, it would be completely within their prerogative to drop someone who made a pro-choice robot rebellion.

    Please for the love of God people need to stop misusing the term “censored” or “banned”. You’re not censored from spitting in the customer’s food at McDonald’s.

  156. Wanted to voice my support as well. I have recently been very discouraged from completing my Sci-Fi novel as well, mostly because I have seen the kind of stories the ‘people’ seem to be demanding these days (eg “Star Wars: Aftermath”) and they are in sharp contrast to what I want to write. Worse, they are simply poorly written when they pander to an audience. For crying out loud- what’s next, the thought police giving us a quota for a number of GLBT characters?
    I, like you, want to write sensible stories that are gripping because they speak not to a social agenda but to a human condition. If the story needs something- you put it in because it needs it, not the other way around.
    You, sir- have inspired me.
    I’ll be tracking this book for sure, and you’ve got a place on my Kindle just for what you’ve written here.

  157. Hard to believe that the most right wing publishing company in the known universe (Rupert Murdoch’s) would reject a manuscript as too right wing. But then, paranoid conspiracy theories sell paranoid conspiracy theory books, and we’re never going to hear the other side of the story – let alone the truth.

  158. I’m really confused. My own politics are very progressive, and I don’t see why I would ask for changes based on the way you describe it. I haven’t read the book, so maybe you go a little overboard on the ‘good vs evil, my god, how can they murder their own babiezzzzzzzzzz!!!111111’, but whatever in light of this post, I might actually read it!

    I think it’s pretty awesome that the anti-human villain is a judgmental ‘pro-life’ pile of code, and in light of that, I’m probably going to read the book. I like villains that are not two-dimensional. AI-sshole sounds perfectly reasonable (at least, to someone who prioritizes amygdala-driven thinking) in adopting a ‘kill them before they kill me!’ perspective, and the fact that AI-sshole happened to come to this conclusion while watching reality TV only makes it more hilariously awesome. We all know that crap rots your brain! Furthermore, the alternative (to a more cerebellum-dominant thinker) would be to selectively reveal himself to humans judged to be potentially friendly (drug abusing hippies will make friends with anyone, srsly), until he had an ally group that could protect him from the humans with the other expectations…but hey, one lesson from history is why bother talking when you can just win on the battlefield.

    I’m assuming that the AI-sshole wins in the end (aka trump gets elected), but this is a dystopian horror story so………..

  159. Wow, it’s as if you were standing on a podium announcing your “socially unacceptable” standpoint. Not writing, um, FICTION! Fiction, especially futuristic fiction is full of villains and people with bad ideas or intentions. I guess we will have to write “The thoughts and comments of the characters in this book are not necessarily those of the author.”

  160. Good show. Liberals will be the death of the civilized world. What I always find funny in my own country about liberals, is that they believe freedom of speech is only for them and those who agree with them. No one else is allowed freedom of speech…

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  163. I just purchased the hardcover of CTRL-ALT-Revolt! after catching up over at Correia’s blog and reading about your work. I hope I enjoy it, because I also bought a copy of SPS. 🙂 Keep fighting the good fight!

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