Pick My Next Project!

I’ve been offered a regular serial in a new pulp magazine that’s launching in a couple of months.

I have 3 ideas.

Tell me which one you like, and maybe I’ll do that one.  Also add any ideas, thoughts  you have.

Idea #1

Its a mashup of the First Alien film and The Thing.  Except the monster’s not biologic… it’s A.I.  So a super-freighter, the La Callisto, gets a distress message and shows up to rescue two survivors off a planet with mysterious ruins.  One of the survivors is The Thing.  And it starts destroying the crew.

Idea # 2

A Retelling of Conan from the Howard novels.  Except he’s a terminator/cyborg in a brutal post apocalyptic future.  He comes from Thinking Machine enclave called NoMan’s Land (Cimeria).  Now he’s entered the civilized lands of man on a quest to understand and find other AIs.



Idea #3

Two survivalist Treasure hunters risk the remains of a Quarantined/Nuked LA to obtain wealth beyond imagining.  Other hunters, secrets and danger stand in their way.

Let me know what you think and what’d you’d like to read.

Also, make sure you’re on my email list.  Later TODAY I’ll be giving everyone on the list a FREE NOVELLA that won’t be available on Amazon.  It’s just for my list.  Sign up here.


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.

30 Responses to Pick My Next Project!

  1. I’m gonna’ have to go with the Treasure Hunt, myself. There are so many sources of humor along with danger, drama and everything else. Imagine the value of a ‘cherry’ “Dora the Explorer” backpack… =]

  2. Definitely #2. But be sure to skip the origin story / background motivating thing and dive straight into “dude doing stuff because dude” thing you see in everything from REH’s Conan stories to Clint Eastwood’s The Man with No Name. Just please don’t do this: “When Helen died, I lost everything. Until that dog arrived on my doorstep… A final gift from my wife… In that moment, I received some semblance of hope… an opportunity to grieve alone… And your son… took that from me.”

    Oh… and be sure to put in some freaky Brian Aldiss style Gamma World weirdness. (But I don’t have to tell *you* that.)

  3. Oh man, that’s a tough choice,(choose, but choose wisely) but as much as I’d love to read more of your space sci fi, and as intriguing as the treasure hunt sounds (post apocalyptic Indiana Jones? (will there be Nazis and ancient relics?)), from what I’ve read of Howard, and I’ve read most everything of his, I think the A.I. Conan would make most sense as an episodic serial, not only Conan, but Solomon Kane, and especially Steve Costigan come to mind; they all work well in a serial with repeating characters and so one. I’d really like to see what you do with this terminator that is self aware. Will there be wizards? Will there be monsters? The Terminator Conan option also gives you the ability to pursue story arcs from the other two choices as well i.e. treasure hunting, and monsters battles. Plus, I’m thinking that there has to be some areas of civilization peppered throughout your world, mostly tribal, and maybe a few larger cities as well where there is some sort of law and order, and that is going to be good reading to see your Terminator Conan get in and out of trouble in those places. So that’s my pick, and whichever one you end up writing, I hope you pursue the other ideas as well in some form or another.

    Looking forward to the novella.

  4. I’m with Jeffro. Option #2 please. Just dive right in to skull cracking because reasons. Would love to see such a reimagining of REH. He’s one of my all time favorite writers.

  5. Short answer = #2.

    Choice #1 is not inherently bad, but you’ve indicated this is to be a serial. Basic premise is folks caught in a locked room (ship) with Bad Thing. Each episode might devolve into which crew/red shirt gets eaten/chopped/ripped asunder this week. (remember the Highlander TV series formula – Bad guy finds Good guy. Good guy chops Bad guy’s head off. Good guy gets laid. Rinse, Repeat. sigh)

    #3 sounds very cool, if you can make it fit a serial format. Is there a new MacGuffin each episode? Joined with perhaps an overarching MacGuffin?

    #2 could be a winner. While diving into the action (as suggested by others) is always a great way to grab the reader, I would put in my vote for weaving in some origin/background. If the Cyborg/A.I. is gutting humans, why is he/she/it doing so? What does it want? Another A.I. to have coffee and doughnuts with? Why is it on the loose now (Post Apoc) instead of earlier? Is this A.I. capable of evolving/developing compassion (of a sort) in addition to bashing skulls? Or are the motivations of this type of critter so opaque to human understanding (See Greg Benford’s Great Sky River) that the most humans can do is try to hide?

    So yeah. #2 has a rich field to mine for goodies.

    My two ducats.

  6. I have to admit Conan on the La Callisto crashing into a nuked post-apocalyptic Los Angeles who does his best AI Indiana Jones to discover the secret to humanity 300 years in the past by examining what he believes to be alien life…How can that go wrong?!

  7. I read it quickly, and immediately wanted #1.

    Then I looked back over it, and realized this was for a serial. If it’s a serial… #2 feels best. But my knee-jerk was #1.

  8. #2 – Conan > I always listen to the soundtrack to steal a part of Conan’s motivation.
    I hope there’ll be a part for Subotai in the civilized jungle of AI future and for Crom.

  9. I’m going with number 3. I was attracted to the idea of what could be “wealth beyond imagining” in a nuked apocalyptic LA.

  10. I like idea #2 for the three part serial. Meets several AIs – mobile or stationary (built into facility or trapped by loss of network bandwidth). I like the wide range of environments and characters possible with a “Cyborean Age” wanderer.

    What about a Cyborean tale for one of the AIs, recounting the young human and companion animal who protected a damaged truck (bringing in trade goods: chips, refined Si, rare metals) from raiders or rogue AI? “That youngling and his companion, they computed future fates and chose the highest value outcome though it cost their plasmic lives! Honor and reason to them!”

  11. Gimme the Gamma World riff. I do like the other two, but I don’t think anyone’s doing that right now, and Conan is still Conan no matter where/when he is; there are others doing that.

  12. So with No. 2, The Cyborg Conan, will I end of rooting for the non-human against the humans? How will you prevent it from sounding like so many of the modern, man-hating liberal stories (which of themselves are queer because liberals start out as humanists)?

  13. Do a travelogue through the great American wasteland. Kind of like kung-fu with mutants and killer robots. Kwai-Chang Caine goes from one seriously messed up situation to the next and there’s nothing he can’t make more dangerous or hopeless!

    Rapper cannibals, hillbilly mutants, deranged robots, Amazon tribes who kidnap their mates, intelligent animals that don’t know what a human is or do know but just don’t know our Caine is a human because they’ve never seen a live one. Lots of pa fun.

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