A Year in the Life of a Banned Book

A year ago this morning I published a book that changed the world. That’s not an extremely arrogant thing to say, and I admit, it sounds a little pompous. But, every book changes the world. Some a little, and some a whole lot.  I like to think this book fell somewhere in the middle.

And it almost never was.   The publisher tried to ban the book.   Before  anyone gets all liturgical and legalistic on the meaning of “banned” or “blacklisted” or whatever it takes for someone to shut down the production of a book because they philosophically disagree with an idea in the book… This argument was fought and won hands down over a year ago by Michael Bunker when he put paid to any critics who argued the book wasn’t banned or blacklisted in an article he wrote on Samzidat and Traditional Publishing.

A year ago I wrote that blog post. It went viral. I got the attention of some heavy hitters in the publishing industry and a lot of people who thought the country, culture, corporate life and so many other facets of our lives were headed in the wrong direction. One of the biggest literary pundits commenting on Indie publishing, The Passive Voice, picked up my blog and commented. Larry Correia Book Bombed CTRL ALT Revolt and tons of people immediately purchased it out of little more than spite. I’m glad  to say I can report many of them had a good time reading it when they got around to it.  People like Vox Day, John Ringo, and John C. Wright contacted me for no other reason than to provide moral support and congratulate me on taking a stand against the big publishing bullies who’d been marginalizing them and many other fine writers guilty of ThoughtCrime. Also tons of kind readers took a moment to express solidarity amid the SJW Brownshirts who immediately started a clictivism-assault by slamming the book with bogus hate reviews. (Note: Creeepy SJW-types who can write, or get published, love to hide behind the internet and ban or boycott anyone they disagree with while spreading fake news.)

Readers who may never have found me but for the controversy, found me! And here’s the thing: I didn’t write that blog post to accomplish any of that.   Actually I was upset and angry that I’d been violated by big publishing. I didn’t want to let them get away with what they’d done. And… they were about to get away with it scot-free. In the quiet months after Harper Collins fired me, I had readers asking me where my next book had gone. It had been available for preorder on Amazon. Suddenly, it wasn’t. How embarrassing to have to go to your readers and tell them the publisher decided not to publish your book because of the content of your book. Not the quality.  That was never an issue.  I have the emails and voice mail to prove it.  Instead it was because you’d written something that had “deeply offended someone.”

In America.

In that moment of writing that blog post I felt like all the SJW’s in the world were winning and that they always would. I felt that Obama was going to go ahead and get away with all the wrong he was constantly working at to ruin a nation he hated and was supposed to be leading.  I felt like the culture was going to continue to degenerate from a lack of moral compass,  grievance politics, and most importantly: turning away from the God that gave them the rights they once held so dear.  I felt very alone.

Then I published CTRL ALT Revolt and my world changed as I discovered there were many who felt and thought the same way. They were angry. They were tired of being belittled and humiliated by the supposed “brights” of our culture.  They were tired of being lied to by fake newz and told right was wrong, left was right, and up was down. And, they’d simply wanted to be entertained when they read science fiction, or watched a movie or TV. They were tired of being lectured  with boorish sermons on gender, sexuality, and race. They were tired of the self-righteous do-gooder scolds who’d infected every strata of our culture.

I was merely happy that my tribe had found me and that we agreed on the things we agreed upon. But I didn’t think the world is going to change. I thought it was going to continue its heedless, pell-mell decent  into oblivion led by the purple-haired snowflake SJW panzer-grenadiers of the world who desired bathroom equality over making it to Mars and other great endeavors. Every corporation and entertainment giant seemed hellbent on inventing nothing new beyond reinventing everything that was, except that it was now not racist, not gender phobic,  and not any of all the stupid little trigger words they’ve invented to confuse everything and everyone instead of actually inventing something new.

But… things began to change. Trump got elected. Fair and square. Fact. And now I’m beginning to hear rumblings. Beginning to hear that corporate culture is realizing SJW’s do nothing but harm the bottom line. That they don’t add value. And, that they’re almost universally hated by the rest of the culture. The failed schemes of SJW’s have bankrupted them and cost them  customer loyalty. Even Marvel, who’d doubled-down so hard on gender and race politics at the expense of entertainment and story, is beginning to rethink that folly.

A year ago I keyed the boss’s car on the way out the door. A year ago I published a novel that had been banned and blacklisted by a major publisher.  It was considered unpublishable because it simply suggested that we, as a culture, were monsters when examined by an alien eye because of how we treated our most vulnerable. A year ago I doubted the world would ever change.

A year later…  things are beginning to turn around.  Happy Birthday CTRL ALT Revolt!  A book that was sent to the gulag and won the most important award in Science Fiction.  In 2016, CTRL ALT Revolt won the Dragon Award for Best Post Apocalyptic Novel.  Thank you God.

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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.

34 Responses to A Year in the Life of a Banned Book

  1. Great Job Nick! Way to break through and away from the though police. They sought to send your creation down the memory hole and you said “NO!”

    Thank you for being a voice of reason in a world gone mad! Thank you for being a proponent of truth and freedom! Thank you for not allowing the bullies to continue their bullying in the name of false progress! Without people like you, who choose not to wither before these true fascists, many of us would continue to be lost in their world of intolerance. Thank You!

    Your works have brought sci-fi to a whole new level. I truly appreciate your mind and the amazing worlds it can create.

  2. Thanks for the update. It’s good to know you’re still going strong.

    My next question as an Indie author who has never been published – let alone fired – by a Big House Publisher, is would you still go the indie route today, or are you plotting a return to traditional publishing venues?

    Thanks.

    (oh, and I just finished Soda Pop Soldier. Recommended it to a friend.)

  3. Nick – love your books, and all industries built around ‘supporting’ or otherwise distributing art (music, written, drawn or otherwise) has always gone through that cycle of censorship as they optimize their models to deliver for the biggest bang, and start to worry about sales versus message. It’s not the industry as a whole, but it is. Which is why I also differ on the politics end.. once you lay all the blame for everything on a single person or regime, you’re buying into the same hegemony you’re railing against. Punk rock almost got it right – regardless of the politicians in charge, they’re always against the MAN. But, then they went and excluded anyone not like them.. sell outs even if they’re trying to spread the message. It’s the same thing with the anti-Obama rhetoric. And, well, Trump, well. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the fake news definition. Be careful of becoming what you think you’re fighting against, I guess is what I’m saying. But hey – happy book birthday, and keep up the good fight. This reader’s still buying.

  4. I’m a 58 yo Church Lady who bought your book out of spite. When someone pisses off all the right people, I need to know why. Congratulations on this last eye-opening year.

  5. Yeah, I’ve read all your books as a result.

    They’ve been pumping up the population inversion for a long time. All we needed was a few cultural mirrors to bring us into supportive alignment. Now we’re about to go all laser on they ass.

    Devos today, Sessions tomorrow. Be on the lookout for falling pizza lovers in downtown Babel.

  6. Hey, Nick! Last year I came across the article about a book being dropped by a publisher, and as I am totally against censorship and book burning, I read it. Immediately after, I bought your book just to spite the publisher. Well, then I found out Soda Pop Soldier was written first, so I bought it and read it before the other one. You write very well, kept this veteran on the edge of her seat, and I will be buying more of your stuff. Keep up the good work, bow before no one but the Almighty God. Thank you again!

  7. Happy Birthday to CTRL ALT Revolt and happy anniversary to you Nick. I’m thinking that you are happier now than a year ago.

    I’m one of those who never heard of you before you got the sack. I read of you at Vox Day’s blog and tried a sample of C-A-R. Now I’ve been through most of your books and like them all. I’m waiting impatiently for you to take the Castle the next weird step.

  8. Just like Susan Kaye, I’m a 58-year old woman who bought your book purely because I was outraged at your treatment by HC and wanted to help. Never videogamed in my life (unless you count Candy Crush). Now I’ve bought everything you’ve published and am happily looking forward to more. Good luck and thanks for introducing me to modern Sci-Fi!

  9. You helped launch a revolution is indie publishing. A year ago tomorrow, I turned tbe last page of Ctrl Alt REVOLT and realized that I could do that, too. You proved that we don’t need permisssion from publishers any more. I’m working on my fourth book now, andI am only one of my you inspired to do so.

    Thank you for showing us the way.

  10. Like others here, I found your work as a result of the dust-up surrounding this book (pretty sure Sarah Hoyt turned me on to it). Figured if you were pissing off all the right people, it was worth a read. And it was an utter blast.

    Since then I’ve gobbled up everything by you I can find (I still need to read the short story collections where you are featured). If I were to express the praise for your writing I’m inclined to, I would sound like a simpering fanboi, so I’ll spare you. Suffice it to say, I also discovered Heinlein by accident, in the 4th grade. Got a shelf just for him. Looking like your gonna have your own shelf too.

    Love your work, and I’ll raise a shot of single malt this evening to celebrate the CTRL ALT REVOLT! birthday.

  11. Hey Nick! Happy Birthday To Ctrl Alt Revolt, I found you by way of Jerry Pournelle’s blog and I’m very glad I did. I now have a few of you books and am looking forward to the next WYRD saga. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep enjoying it!

  12. I love CTRL-ALT-REVOLT, and I would have loved it never knowing the history behind it’s publication. It’s simply, objectively, an excellent book. And I’m a Millennial, one of the supposedly SJW generation. (Hint – not an SJW. I’m actually a hardcore libertarian Constitutionalist with strong conservative leanings.)
    I love books from a lot of different science fiction authors, many of whom have deeply different political viewpoints from me. (To be honest, most of the big guns out there are different from me, along with most of my peers.) I am still amazed that your publisher was so willing to toss you aside because of your differing point of view, despite the excellence of your work.

  13. So proud I’m you my friend and honored I can call you my friend. I got to know your heart before your writing having connected to Michael Bunker then you I had not yet read your books. Then my son had a dangerous asthema attack and when I asked for prayers you who I’d never talked to and many of my friends offered prayers, and you followed up with me about his health… You became my brother even before you became one of my authors… The book is brilliant fun and it is a wake up call in many ways. Happy CTRL Alt REVOLT Day!

  14. Congratulations, Nick! I bought C-A-R as soon as I heard about you and really enjoyed it. I’ve bought several of your books and will buy more. I don’t remember if I initially found you on Correia’s site or Vox’s site but I recall that I was on the edge of my seat reading your blog post. I’m a writer too and while I wasn’t able to get any fiction past the gatekeepers, judging from your experience, it wouldn’t have mattered. The popular girls would have kicked me out of the sorority too for my unsafe political views. Plus, I’m from the South – the SJWs already hate my guts and want people like me to roll over and die. I’ve started indie publishing instead.
    I also really enjoy reading your blog posts and am glad to see that you’re at Castalia House these days. Castalia puts out some great books and I’ve enjoyed the heck out the articles on their website, especially the ones on Appendix N, the pulps, and superversive SF – and, of course, the Nick Cole articles. I’m also a big Voxophile (don’t tell Vox I said that – he might make fun of my ranking in the socio-sexual hierarchy. He might even call me a Gamma and write mean posts about me. I’m just kidding. I don’t give a flying damn if he or anybody else thinks I’m an Omicron hemorrhoid or an Epsilon toe fungus. I’ll still admire what that man has done).

    Keep up the great work!

    Deo Vindice

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      Much appreciated, Rob! The gatekeepers a dead they don’t even know it, so publishing indie is the way to go, and, the people I know who are making the most money or Indies. I love blogging over there and thank you for catching my stuff in the books that you purchased! Truly.

  15. I found out about Ctrl, Alt, Revolt on John C. Wright’s blog. I’m really glad I did. I have enjoyed everything I’ve read of yours and tell everyone I think would have even the slightest interest in scifi or zombie stories about you. I think what sets you apart the most, though, is your keen insight into the human condition. I can identify with so many of your characters in one way or another. Holiday comes to mind in particular. . . And the way you set up that moment, the heroic moment, the one that, if it were real, would probably end with a Medal of Honor citation, it’s authentic. I always cry when I read those citations, without fail. Yours pack a punch as well.

    And might I add that the sheer value of your work is unrivaled! I don’t think I get more for my 99 cents anywhere on the face of the planet.

    Thanks for everything, Nick.

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      Thank you, Paul! I identify with Holiday too. A lot. And… I read the Medal of Hobor citations too. Every American should. Especially the ones who never came home.

  16. I’m so glad you went out and published the book on your own, that your tribe found you and that we could all stand up for the Resistance! Happy Book Birthday!

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