Nick Nightmare

Nick Nightmare, Private Eye, Public Fist continues to roll out his escapades and since the publication of his first collection in 2014, a number of new stories have become available, are due for publication, or are in the works. See below for a detailed update.

The latest yarn to see daylight is DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU, in Occult Detective Quarterly, no 1 (US) and it's gleaned a couple of good reviews.

Fantasy Con 15 Award

2015 was an exciting year for the Private Eye Public Fist. Not least because NICK NIGHTMARE INVESTIGATES, his first collection (Alchemy Press, UK) picked up the Year's British Fantasy Society's Award for Best Collection of 2014. The picture is of Adrian receiving the Award at Fantasycon from GOH Juliet Mckenna. A very emotional and proud moment, Adrian's first ever award.

Alchemy Press have released the above video clip advertising NICK NIGHTMARE INVESTIGATES. Alchemy Press will not now be publishing the paperback version in 2016 as originally planned, but instead this is under consideration by a new publisher.

Nick Nightmare

The first arc of the Nick Nightmare stories, NICK NIGHTMARE INVESTIGATES, was launched at Fantasycon in September 2014 in York. This beautiful first edition is a limited (200 copies) de-luxe hardback and is the product of a top award-winning team:

great wraparound cover from Cthulhu Mythos specialist, Bob Eggleton, with interior colour endpapers by Jim Pitts, who also provided the black and white interior illos;

a distinctive Nick Nightmare logo by Michael Marshall Smith;

with a crossover story, featuring Damien Paladin, written in conjunction with award nominee Mike Chinn;

the overall production overseen by Stephen Jones.

This first arc of stories involves the redoubtable Private Eye, Public Fist in various hair-raising exploits with the minions of Cthulhu, Dagon et al and contains some reprints, but mostly new material. Alchemy Press, publishers of the book, were winners of the 2014 British Fantasy Award for the Best Small Press.

Reviews for the book have been very favourable:

"...the writing is SUPERB!...highly recommended..." - Goodreads

"...well-written...solid...recommended..." - The Dunwich Review

"...tremendously enjoyable...terrific stuff..." - John Llewellyn Probert, House of Mortal Cinema


The second arc of stories, NIGHTMARE COCKTAILS, has as its theme the supernatural and satanism.

The stories in this proposed new collection are –

WAIT FOR THE RICOCHET, a novella which pits Nick and the redoubtable Ariadne Carnadine against the forces of Satan and their devious plan to snatch a dangerous weapon of power, the formidable Dancers of Ruin has now been published in the collection, TOUGH GUYS, from Parallel Universe Publications (UK);

GIVE ME THE DAGGERS, in which Nick meets the extraordinary Henry Maclean and his incredible Green Submarine and joins forces to battle one of the dreadful Angels of Malice – published in the newly revived Weirdbook (issue 31, autumn 2015). This was included in the US Tangent Online 2015 Recommended Reading List as one of the year's best novelettes;

YOU'LL LAUGH WHEN I TELL YOU, a tale of a monster in more ways than one - published in the anthology, Legends of New Pulp Fiction (Airship 27) winter 2015;

IN THE COURT OF THE PUMPKIN KING, another novella and probably the weirdest Nick Nightmare adventure yet, when he battles the obnoxious Pumpkin King and his Boneless Men, aided again by Ariadne and also the slightly unusual witch, Scathach - published in the anthology NOT YOUR AVERAGE MONSTER from Bloodshot Books (US) autumn 2015;

TRAIN TO NOWHERE, which has Nick and an artistic colleague, Japetus, caught up in a plan to foil the mad machinations of the evil Carmella Carnadine, servant of darkness - published in Weirdbook (issue 33, autumn 2016). This was also included in the US Tangent Online 2016 Recommended Reading List as one of the year's best novelettes, with a top 3 star rating;

THE PULLULATIONS OF THE TRIBE, in which Nick and Henry Maclean use a bizarre object of power to do battle with some old enemies - to be published in Weirdbook 35 in Fall issue 2017;

AT MIDNIGHT ALL THE AGENTS, a long story in which Nick again meets the Mire Beast (from NIGHT OF THE HEROES) and once more has to combat Satanic forces, not the least of which is the Lord of the Crows. This is a 3 parter and negotiations are under way to have this one serialized in a magazine - watch this space!

THE THIRD MOVEMENT, a peripheral story, centreing around the book of absolute power, the Malleus Tenebrarum. This is to be published in TALES FROM THE MISKATONIC LIBRARY (PS Publishing, UK) later this year.

Nick Nightmare Logo

Inspired by the pulp era and by such worthies as Mike Hammer, Lemmy Caution, Philip Marlowe and others like them, Nick Nightmare is a shoot-‘em-up, no-holds-barred private dick who spends a lot of his time locking horns (and indeed, tentacles) with the minions of Cthulhu and visits many locales reminiscent of Innsmouth and such like. Designed to be written in the grand old spirit of the pulps, the stories are gathering a following – watch this space for developments!

The first story in the series, YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW,  was published in the third anthology set in and about Innsmouth edited by Stephen Jones, Weirder Shadows over Innsmouth, from Fedogan and Bremer ( autumn 2013).

THE VOGUE PRINCE was published in the Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes (autumn 2012) edited by Mike Chinn.

Jim Mcleod, reviewing for GINGER NUTS OF HORROR, had this to say of the collection:

“...a spectacularly brilliant read...prepare to be entertained to the max...The Vogue Prince is perhaps my favourite story in this excellent collection, with shades of Dr Strange, The Shadow, and Sam Spade. Cole’s story...captures the true essence of pulp, shady streets, shady gangsters, and the supernatural all mix together to create a truly satisfying read...”

Jon Harvey’s recently revived Spectre Press, has published a special Nick Nightmare booklet (in both hardback and paperback editions) NIGHTMARE ON MAD GULL ISLAND, a 10,000 word story that embroils our man with minions of the Deep Ones, hungry sharks and, yes, psychotic seagulls. Artwork by award winning artist Jim Pitts. The hardback booklet also includes a short article by Adrian, ME AND MY NIGHTMARES, which provides some background information on the stories and an outline of future plans.

Alchemy Press has published their Book of Pulp Heroes 2 (September '13) and this includes KISS THE DAY GOODBYE.

All four of these stories are reprinted (with some minor revisions) in NICK NIGHTMARE INVESTIGATES, which includes an author's introduction to the stories, PULP AND CIRCUMSTANCE.

Adrian Cole, Stephen Jones & Jim Pitts

Adrian, Stephen Jones and Jim Pitts at Fantasycon 2014 in York, launching the special edition of NICK NIGHTMARE INVESTIGATES.