The First
"A fresh and true voice that will affect you, disturb you, enrage you, or make you laugh."-Kevin J. Anderson, Dune seriesTHE FIRSTProfessionally formatted by Dellaster Design.A collection of 14 dark fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and science fiction stories from award-winning author Scott Nicholson. These stories visit undiscovered countries and shadowy avenues of the heart, lands and times where night never ends and matter doesn't matter. Features the six-story Aeropagan cycle where time is literally money. Includes an afterword and Nicholson's first-ever published story.Nicholson, a 1999 Writers of the Future award winner, has published 12 novels, including the bestselling Kindle thrillers DISINTEGRATION and the RED CHURCH and the comic books Grave Conditions, Dirt, and Little Shivers. Look for his other collections ASHES, FLOWERS, CURTAINS: MYSTERY STORIES, and MURDERMOUTH: ZOMBIE BITS. If you like science fiction with a pulp horror feel, check out FOREVER NEVER ENDS.-------------------------------------------------"A literary shadow land between Ray Bradbury and Neil Gaiman." --Sharyn McCrumb, the Ballad books"Always surprises and always entertains."--Jonathan Maberry, Patient Zero"Quirky, twisted, finely crafted tales that carry a powerful emotional impact."--David Farland"A very entertaining writer."-- Tim Powers

The First Details

TitleThe First
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2010
PublisherHaunted Computer Books
Rating
GenreHorror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fiction, Short Stories

The First Review

  • Bandit
    January 1, 1970
    Surprise surprise. Yes, Scott Nicholson has really surprised me with this one. So here’s someone I’ve come to think of as a scary story author exclusively. With a distinct Appalachian angle, no less. Up until now all I’ve read from him was in line with that description and frankly not that great, never terrible, but always pretty much reliably average, the Appalachian thing never sang for me and none of the books particularly wowed. And then out of nowhere this random Kindle freebie shows up and Surprise surprise. Yes, Scott Nicholson has really surprised me with this one. So here’s someone I’ve come to think of as a scary story author exclusively. With a distinct Appalachian angle, no less. Up until now all I’ve read from him was in line with that description and frankly not that great, never terrible, but always pretty much reliably average, the Appalachian thing never sang for me and none of the books particularly wowed. And then out of nowhere this random Kindle freebie shows up and lo and behold Nicholson did an entire anthology of science fiction. What? Nice. Just the fact that the dude’s got range is lovely, but also these stories just might feature some of his best writing. And this isn’t because of a genre change up either, I enjoy both. These stories just seemed more imaginative and interesting than his typical fare. Some of them veered into fantasy almost and some appeared to be part of a series set in a dystopian world modeled on Ancient Greece, but mostly all of these were interesting and quite good. The sort of thing that makes you think about giving the author more chances with other writing. Plus the afterword was very nice, not merely informative about the how the stories came to be, but also entertainingly self aware and humble in a way authors aren’t always presenting themselves when they ought to. Something about not taking oneself too seriously while passing the time storytelling is very appealing. So yeah, the name’s apt then, that’s the First, old author new tricks and well done. Made for an entertaining quick read.
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  • Brett Grossmann
    January 1, 1970
    Solid short story book. Definitely worth a read
  • Alazzar
    January 1, 1970
    I first discovered Scott Nicholson by picking up his free horror anthology Ashes on Kindle. Being the cheapo I am, I’d decided there was nothing better than a free book. (Of course, my thoughts on the matter quickly changed the moment I read Dan Dillard’s short story “Unlucky in Death.” More like, “Unlucky For Stumbling Upon This and Wasting Precious Minutes of My Life That Could Have Been Spent Jabbing Bamboo Shards Into the Softest Parts of My Body.”)Where was I?Right—Nicholson. With Ashes, I I first discovered Scott Nicholson by picking up his free horror anthology Ashes on Kindle. Being the cheapo I am, I’d decided there was nothing better than a free book. (Of course, my thoughts on the matter quickly changed the moment I read Dan Dillard’s short story “Unlucky in Death.” More like, “Unlucky For Stumbling Upon This and Wasting Precious Minutes of My Life That Could Have Been Spent Jabbing Bamboo Shards Into the Softest Parts of My Body.”)Where was I?Right—Nicholson. With Ashes, I wasn’t overly intrigued by the story concepts or characters, but I positively loved Nicholson’s prose. I’m not sure if he’s really good or if I just had low expectations for someone who was giving away their writing for free. In either case, I decided he’d earned a purchase from me, so I bought The First, thinking its content might be more to my liking, since it was supposedly full of fantasy stuff.As it turns out, my review of Nicholson remains about the same: a bunch of plotlines and characters I don’t much care about, wrapped up in great prose.Nicholson does a great job of painting a picture. One little writing tip I’ve picked up from reading his stuff is a trick he uses to get multiple descriptions in very few words: often times he’ll describe a character’s features (or thoughts, or actions, or whatever) as being like [something nearby]. I don’t have any real examples off the top of my head, but he might say something like, “Her hair swayed liked the golden grasses in the fields to the east.” That’s awesome: previously, I hadn’t yet learned what the landscape was like outside this girl’s hut. Now I know not only what her hair is like, but about the fields outside as well. All in one sentence! Brilliant!However, at the end of the day, when I finished the book there wasn’t a single story that stood out in my mind. If you’d asked me which my favorite from this collection was, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. None of them had a lasting effect on me. None of them had some unique concept that could entice a reader with a one-line hook. As an example of what I mean, consider Roger Zelazny’s “Unicorn Variation,” where a man with a sasquatch for a game-coach plays a round of chess against a unicorn in an abandoned tavern for the fate of mankind.I don’t know about you, but that description makes me want to read that story—just a one-line hook, and I’m there.With Nicholson, we get hooks like, “Some kids decide they want to break the window of a church in a dystopian setting.” Uh . . . okay? I mean, the story has potential to be good (as most stories do), but it’s not the type of thing that makes me say, “Wow, that’s a cool idea.”So I’m really not sure how I feel about reading one of Scott Nicholson’s novels. On the one hand, with a longer work he might be able to create a concept that better interests me. On the other hand, if he doesn’t create a more interesting concept, I don’t want to be stuck reading 300 page of an uninspired plotline, even if the prose is awesome.Three stars for The First. Great visuals, great descriptions, concepts that didn’t much intrigue me.
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  • Monster
    January 1, 1970
    The First is a short story collection by Scott Nicholson, containing stories written in the first ten years of his writing career. There are stories of the weird and fantastic and stories of how the mind can play tricks on us—or how maybe the mind knows more than we think it does. There are stories of a future dystopian world, where the universe is controlled from afar by a totalitarian committee that has banished religion in the name of science. All of the stories are well-written and will lea The First is a short story collection by Scott Nicholson, containing stories written in the first ten years of his writing career. There are stories of the weird and fantastic and stories of how the mind can play tricks on us—or how maybe the mind knows more than we think it does. There are stories of a future dystopian world, where the universe is controlled from afar by a totalitarian committee that has banished religion in the name of science. All of the stories are well-written and will leave you wanting more, so check out Scott Nicholson’s other two collections. Easily my favorite stories are the four Areopagan tales. In a future world reminiscent of 1984, Blade Runner, and Farenheit 451 Nicholson introduces us to a society controlled by a distant group of autocrats, where time is a commodity that has replaced money, and religion has been outlawed in favor of all things scientific. Space flight is routine and other worlds have fallen for the good of the “whole”. "Tellers" is about how time has become a form of payment and emotion a drug to get high from. "Angelorum Orbis" tells about the dominant role of science in this society, which seeks to assimilate all peoples and their knowledge while eliminating any hint of spirituality. "The Shaping" tells of an "Akademeia" where children learn the performing arts but are destroyed if their work is not considered perfection. Finally, in "Socketful of Blather",poetry and beauty have been banned, but even the machines are starting to rebel against the elimination of what makes us human. Other stories include "Beggar's Velvet", about a young woman who sees her nightmare manifesting itself out of the dust bunnies under the bed; "Heal Thyself", about past life regression therapy; "Dumb Luck", which looks at what really happens when you ignore those chain letters in the mail; "When You Wear These Shoes", which tells about a unique pair of shoes bought in a thrift store; and "Must See to Appreciate" about a man trying to sell a house that is haunted, but with an amazing twist. There is also some great bonus material here, including an essay on writing and a short story, "The Shifting Sands of Memory". This is a great collection from Scott Nicholson that I would recommend to anyone, along with Ashes and Flowers.Contains: Minor Violence Review by Colleen Wanglund
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  • Jordi Balcells
    January 1, 1970
    Conjunto de relatos cortos de "dark fiction", que vienen a ser relatos con mala baba. Lo de "vivieron felices y comieron felices" no tiene cabida aquí y en ciertos casos las cosas acaban muy feas. Como todo relato corto que se precie, tiene un buen giro argumental que te hace despertarte del sopor en el que caes leyendo la historia.Quizá sea porque es la primera vez que leo ficción oscura, pero este libro no me ha convencido en absoluto. Algunos relatos no los entendía en absoluto, era como si n Conjunto de relatos cortos de "dark fiction", que vienen a ser relatos con mala baba. Lo de "vivieron felices y comieron felices" no tiene cabida aquí y en ciertos casos las cosas acaban muy feas. Como todo relato corto que se precie, tiene un buen giro argumental que te hace despertarte del sopor en el que caes leyendo la historia.Quizá sea porque es la primera vez que leo ficción oscura, pero este libro no me ha convencido en absoluto. Algunos relatos no los entendía en absoluto, era como si no me contaran todo lo necesario para meterme en el ambiente, mientras que con otros me daba exactamente igual lo que pasara. El único relato que me ha gustado era uno sobre viajes en el tiempo, uno que casualmente no tenía nada de "oscuro".Algunas historias tenían relación entre sí, contando la historia de diferentes planetas en distintos momentos de la historia, pero siempre dominados por unos tiranos que se apoyan en la tecnología para dominar por completo al ser humano.El libro se cierra con el primer relato publicado del autor, que él mismo reconoce que no es para tirar cohetes, y tiene toda la razón. De momento no repetiré con la ficción oscura esta y menos todavía con el autor.
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  • John Cress
    January 1, 1970
    This is a short story collection and like most collections, there are stories that I like and those that I don't. Nicholson does have a style that makes one what to see what is next but the pace is not too fast or rushed. One has time to think as they are awaiting the next event. I could have done without the Christianity bashing that some of the characters did. I realize this is the cool thing to do these days and is why I skipped a couple stories. I've read a couple of Nicholsons short story c This is a short story collection and like most collections, there are stories that I like and those that I don't. Nicholson does have a style that makes one what to see what is next but the pace is not too fast or rushed. One has time to think as they are awaiting the next event. I could have done without the Christianity bashing that some of the characters did. I realize this is the cool thing to do these days and is why I skipped a couple stories. I've read a couple of Nicholsons short story collections and may have to try a full length novel.
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  • Lavonne
    January 1, 1970
    Original, thought-provoking stories. The second set of stories are dystopian lit, of which I am a big fan. I enjoyed these stories because they were about the same dystopian society. However, each story was from a different perspective, which certainly gave you a more rounded view of the society itself.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, this book was a bit of departure for me, not my usual style at all. I didnt dislike the book, far from it, but its perhaps not a style i would pick up easily again. Maybe its the short story part of it that i couldnt get to grips with as there is a lot to cram into a small space. Having said all that I would try more short stories, but perhaps not this genre.
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  • Catherine
    January 1, 1970
    Mostly "Not My Kind of Sci-Fi, Dear." A few stories got my interest, but many left me faintly queasy, or irked me with their attempts at A Clockwork Orange-y future-slang. This author is apparently well-known for his ghost stories; I'm interested, but with this kind of first impression, not sure I will try them.
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  • Mateo
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this collection of speculative fiction. I actually kindled up some more of his short story collections based on how much I enjoyed these stories.Scott Nicholson lives in the Appalachian mountains here in NC and I really love the way even the sci-fi comes across a little southern MOUNTAIN gothic.
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  • Lauralynn Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    I generally don't give short stories five stars. They always leave me wanting. But most of the stories in this collection are brilliant. And many are very disturbing. Scott Nicholson has quite an imagination! A great read.
  • Shanna
    January 1, 1970
    His writing is amazing. I only gave it four stars just because of personal preference really. I wasn't real into the futuristic aspects of these short stories.
  • Jan Giezentanner
    January 1, 1970
    I guess I am a simpleton!This book was a complete waste of time. I must of missed whatever I should of read first to make this gobbledygook make any sense!
  • Jason
    January 1, 1970
    some were really good, others didnt grab me.
  • Harim
    January 1, 1970
    The first couple of stories were really good then it went all downhill.
  • John
    January 1, 1970
    Just didn't grab my attention.
  • Tyson
    January 1, 1970
    My review here.
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