I first met Nick back in the early 1980’s when he was performing the Phil A Delphia radio plays for the Philadelphia in ’86 worldcon bid. I sat through a show and afterwards walked up to him and said “Hi, we have got to do something together.”
Over the years, various “Somethings” included two different improv comedy groups ‘The Gunderson Corporation’ and ‘The Zanti MIsfits’, the first fan-dubbed anime, ‘You Say Yamato’ (as well as it’s spiritual sequel, ‘Dr. Who & the Hunger of the Croutons’), and our mutual first novel sale ‘Illegal Aliens’. Illegal aliens came about because Nick came over to my place one day and said, “I just had this weird dream about a street gang fighting a giant robot.” I believe I said, “Why the hell would they be doing that?” and several thousand words later, we had a book.
In person, NIck was brash, funny and sincere about everything he did. Once he got a published book under his belt, there was no stopping him, and he produced a non-stop stream of genre novels, so many of them that his agent and publishers advised him to use a succession of pen names so that readers wouldn’t get ‘Pollotta Fatigue’. This would be understandable, as Nick produced a lot of stuff very quickly. He would have done very well as a pulp writer, as he seemed to thrive under a regimen of quirky ideas produced under tight deadlines.
Nick was a demon for work. He was pounding away at the keyboard almost constantly, and was never happier then when the ideas were flowing and the keys weren’t sticking.
We had drifted apart over the years, but I was genuinely sorry to hear that he had died. I can only hope that his books stay in print. He’d’ve liked that. Here is a picture of the only time that Nick and I ever fought over money. Better luck next time around, amigo.