Despite the radio silence these last two months, I’m excited to have a book coming out in two weeks. Life has been a wonderous mix of craziness, insanity, busy-ness, moving, and emotional roller-coastery. My writing has flagged a lot lately, not from a lack of things to write, or any desire on my part not to write, but more out of necessity. There’s simply been too much else going on, too many emotional highs and lows, and too many “not-enough-sleep-to-survive-without-caffeine” nights for my wife and I.
Recently, my cousin Nicholas James West passed away after battling various forms of cancer over the last two years. Some of
you may know him from the time he came to LTUE with me two years ago. He was a passionate man, full of life, love, vigor, and a thirst for good fiction in all forms, written and visual. Nick was a writer, through and through, though he never got the chance to see much of his work published. He left behind a wife and four children, but more than that, he left behind a legacy, a swath of friends and family who’ll miss him, yet were inspired by him and continue to move forward despite his passing, one day at a time, living their dreams.
It was Nick who first inspired me to write Colonial Prime: Humanity. He was in the process of writing a science fiction novel called “Cancel the Ark” when I first met him. Various drafts of that novel, which eventually became a screenplay, were present at his memorial service with is handwritten notes in the margin. His passion for that novel, for the genre as a whole, made me wonder if I could write a science fiction story. Within a week of meeting Nick, I started writing in a document I tongue-in-cheek named “Whim.” Over the years, I came back to it off and on until I found the voice I was needing for the story to work and finished it last year. I hoped to give Nick a copy when it came out, but his final days came quickly and unexpectedly right after Christmas 2017.
The Nick I knew was all about recognizing inspirations, so the novel is dedicated to him and two others who inspired me to try science fiction and who continue to inspire me each day. I’m proud of how the novel turned out and eternally grateful to have such powerful inspirations in my life. The novel comes out in two weeks (Feb 6th, 2018), but there are pre-order options (kindle only) available now here. In some small part, this novel is part of Nick’s legacy, and I’m glad I got to be a part of it.
His legacy, most importantly, is his small family, which is now without him. They have set up a page in his honor, www.nickwestmemorial.com , where one can donate to the family as they adjust to life without their father and husband, but also to post stories and memories of him so that his young kids can remember him through the memories and experiences of those who interacted with their dad. They need help, which is why I’ll be donating half of all sales proceeds to this fund for as long as sales continue and Nick’s family still needs the help.
Here’s what others are saying about the book:
“Kevin L. Nielsen delivers all the science fiction thrills and wonder without sacrificing any of his characters’ humanity. This is space opera in the best traditions!”
— D.J. Butler, author of WITCHY EYE
“…pulls interest like a red giant gravity well, builds tempo to a rushing end, but leaves enough unanswered questions for a season of adventure.”
— Derick William Dalton, author of Houses of Common
“Colonial Prime: Humanity lets you step into a thrilling and complex world that you won’t want to leave. The ship is fascinating, the characters are engaging, and the conflicts are gripping. Kevin L. Nielsen has written an adventure that will keep you guessing to the last chapter!”
— Josi Russell, author of the best-selling Caretaker series and the LEGACY FLEET novel, Refuge
It’s a good story that I’m proud of and part of Nick’s legacy of inspiring others to do more and be better. Go buy (pre-order) the book, help support Nick’s family, and, as Nick would say, “don’t just chase your dreams, live them.”