Monday, January 2, 2017

STEN: Links To The Landmark SF Series

THE STEN SERIES
By Allan Cole And Chris Bunch

Bunch & Cole
Left: How we saw ourselves. Right: how others saw us.

*****

STEN #1


Born on Vulcan, a factory planet where human life has less value than the lowliest machine, Sten rebels against The Company following the mysterious death of his parents. He harasses the Company from the mazelike warren of tunnels beneath the planet. He could have been just another "delinq" -- but people like Sten never give up...

STEN #2 - THE WOLF WORLDS

Raised on the factory planet of Vulcan, Sten soon learns about the survival of the toughest. Now he wants more than survival. The Eternal Emperor rules countless worlds across the galaxy. Vast armies and huge fleets await his command. But when the Emperor needs to pacify the Wolf Worlds, the planets of an insignificant cluster that have raised space piracy to a low art, he turns to Mantis Team and its small band of militant problem solvers. Sten's destiny is in his own hands.
*****
Here's where to get the paperback
Here's where to get the e-book
Here's where to get the audiobook

*****

STEN #2.5 STEN AND THE MUTINEERS

MUTINY: In the Eternal Emperor’s service it is forbidden to even speak the word. To join an insurgency is a firing squad offense. So, when the crewmembers of the Flame turn traitor and steal an entire space train of Imperium X – the second most valuable element in the Empire – and threaten to sell it to the Emperor’s enemies he can only make one reply. Send in his best assassin and dirty trickster: Sten.


***** 

STEN #3 - COURT OF A THOUSAND SUNS


Sten had fought his way up from slave labor on a factory world to commander of the Eternal Emperor’s bodyguard, the Imperial Gurkhas. But during his first three months on Prime World, the most dangerous weapons Sten had encountered were the well-phrased lies of Court politicians. It seemed no place for an honest fighting man. But when a bomb destroys a local bar, Sten discovers the danger and corruption behind Court intrigue. Only quick work by Sten, Alex Kilgour, and a tough female detective can keep the Empire together and the Emperor alive.

*****



*****
STEN #4 - FLEET OF THE DAMNED


Sten’s luck seems to have deserted him. Having been assigned a tacdivision in the Fringe Worlds, he soon discovers that the Imperial Officers are more interested in having fun than honing their fighting skills. The enemy Tahn couldn’t have picked a better time or place to launch their long-planned attack against the Empire. Sten and his men are outgunned and outmanned—but Sten isn’t going to give up without a fight.

*****


*****
STEN #5 - REVENGE OF THE DAMNED


Sten had fully expected to die in a blaze of glory, taking his Emperor's greatest foe with him. Instead he was a slave laborer in a POW camp deep in the heart of enemy territory. But sitting out the action had never been Sten's style. And now that the war was building to a climax, the Eternal Emperor needed him more than ever. Not even the toughest prison in the known universe could keep Sten from his mission.

*****

*****

STEN # 6 - THE RETURN OF THE EMPEROR

The Eternal Emperor was dead, and the five members of the Privy Council ruled in his place. But they quickly discovered that their power would collapse around them if they didn't locate the Emperor's secret source of Anti-Matter Two, the economic keystone of the Empire. And so they sent a team of crack commandos to capture Sten, one of their late ruler's few surviving confidantes. But Sten, as usual, had his own agenda. For he knew something about the Eternal Emperor that would shake the Empire to its foundations. And to play his part, all Sten had to do was kill the five most powerful beings in the universe!


The Eternal Emperor had returned at last from the dead, to pick up the pieces of his crumbling Empire. But even that great leader could not halt the Empire’s decline alone. And so Sten — master spy, military strategist, and assassin — found himself appointed Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the Altaic Cluster, where a brewing civil war threatened the stability of the Empire itself. Quelling a civil war is nothing new for Sten, but as the war intensifies, he begins to suspect that he is up against more than a mere local disturbance. Someone — operating in deep–cover and seemingly backed by the highest authorities — is working behind the scenes to manipulate events and escalate disaster. And that someone wants nothing more than to see Sten dead…

STEN #8 - END OF EMPIRE


The Empire is in chaos. The once–great Imperial Navy has been shattered in battle and lies burning in space, riven by a civil war that threatens to engulf humanity’s future. For the revered Eternal Emperor is not the man his subjects thought him to be. And it is Sten — Imperial bodyguard, spy, assassin, renegade — who now leads humanity’s fight for survival. Taking command of the last rebel fleet, he sets out on a desperate quest to seek and destroy the dark source of his former master’s power. Denounced as a traitor, hunted by forces loyal to the Emperor, Sten must risk everything to annihilate the Empire he vowed to protect.



*****
STEN OMNIBUS TRILOGY
MAKES ITS AMERICAN DEBUT

Ever since my British publisher put all eight novels in the Sten series in three omnibus editions, American readers have been clamoring for equal treatment. 

Well, my American publisher – Wildside Books – was listening has issued all three omnibus volumes on this side of the Atlantic. Here are the links to buy the books:
THE STEN COOKBOOK + The KILGOUR JOKEBOOK



Two new companion editions to the international best-selling Sten series. In the first, learn the Emperor's most closely held  cooking secrets. In the other, Sten unleashes his shaggy-dog joke cracking sidekick, Alex Kilgour. Both available as trade paperbacks or in all major e-book flavors. 


The Cookbook:
Paperback + Kindle
Audiobook

The Jokebook:
Paperback
Kindle
Audio


*****
*****

BASED ON THE CLASSIC STEN SERIES by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch: Fresh from their mission to pacify the Wolf Worlds, Sten and his Mantis Team encounter a mysterious ship that has been lost among the stars for thousands of years. At first, everyone aboard appears to be long dead. Then a strange Being beckons, pleading for help. More disturbing: the presence of AM2, a strategically vital fuel tightly controlled by their boss - The Eternal Emperor. They are ordered to retrieve the remaining AM2 "at all costs." But once Sten and his heavy worlder sidekick, Alex Kilgour, board the ship they must dare an out of control defense system that attacks without warning as they move through dark warrens filled with unimaginable horrors. When they reach their goal they find that in the midst of all that death are the "seeds" of a lost civilization. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

CHAPTER ELEVEN - EPISODE 44


*****
Meanwhile, for readers who have been faithfully
Following the weekly episodes all these months
Here is the FINAL EPISODE!  The Grand Finale.
After you read this, please jump over to Amazon.com and
Tell other readers how much you enjoyed the story. 

*****
AN IMPERIAL DECREE

When Mahoney entered the Eternal Emperor’s study, he didn’t quite know what to expect.

The young Gurkha officer who’d come to fetch him gave no hint, but only stood, impatiently shifting from foot to foot as Mahoney climbed laboriously out of the sack.

Mahoney checked the time. Snorted. It was the middle of the clottin’ night. Oh, well. This wouldn’t be the first time his boss and interrupted his sleep. And it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

He donned his uniform, thought about stalling long enough to grab a Go Cup of caff, but took a look at the long kukri dangling from the little Gurkha’s belt and decided against it. He had been told they could lop of a bullock’s head with one stroke. Mahoney added this to the fact that the young officer looked as just sleepy and cranky as Mahoney felt and decided this was probably not the best time to test the claim.

The Emperor’s study was lit only by a large holoimager at the far side of the room—against a shelf of leather-bound books that only someone like his boss could afford.

As he came closer, he could see that the image was that of the Possnet Sector and what a glorious, but frightening sight it was. Utter desolation amidst a shatter of flaming comets, dying suns and great fiery clouds of rock and ice and dust.

In the center of all this chaos was a large area of relative calm. Objects maintaining sensible orbits. Blips of light showing vessels in transit. Flashing red blips where fighting ships and missiles were kept. And a dozen or more planetoids that had been turned into habitats. This was the Himmenops Colony, where Venatora’s women lived.

“That’s her fortress,” he heard the Emperor say.

Mahoney came closer and found the Emperor sprawled in a long leather couch set in front of the holoimager. He had a shot glass in one hand, which he drained as Mahoney approached.

“Where, sir?” Mahoney asked. “I didn’t see where you were pointing.

The Emperor gestured at a dirty gray planetoid at lower edge of the Colony. Mahoney caught it.

“Ah,” he said.

“Get yourself a drink, Ian,” the Emperor said.

Mahoney nodded. He knew where to go and what to do, which included bringing a bottle back with him. He was guessing stregg.

To his relief the Emperor nodded when he saw the bottle and held out his glass. At this hour, Mahoney’s innards weren’t ready for Scotch.

Without being asked, he sat on the other end of the couch. Took a honk of his drink. Shudder. God, it was early! Another hit. No. Not yet. Downed the rest. Better now.

Easing back, he refilled his glass and looked over at his boss, hoping he was semi up to his boss’ speed.

He said, “I’m supposing she’s why you wanted me to have young Sten hang around the Possnet Sector a little longer.”

“You supposed right, Ian,” the Emperor said. “He’s going to have to kill her for me.”

“Yessir,” Mahoney said. He suppressed a sigh. There had been so much killing of late.

“I know what you’re thinking, Ian,” the Emperor said. “And I don’t like it, either.”

“I just wish we had more discretion,” Mahoney said. “Some of Gregor’s crew were just kids. Didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.”

“Couldn’t agree more,” the Emperor said.

“And then there’s Gregor—who caused the whole thing,” Mahoney added. “And his old man who took it right up to Treason’s door and blasted on through it.”

“Yep. Looks like they’re getting away with everything, doesn’t it?” the Emperor said.

“Sometimes it seems like there’s no justice to be had,” Mahoney said.

“I’m with you, brother,” the Emperor said.

He emptied his shot glass and held it out for more. Mahoney complied, not forgetting himself. The fiery Bhor drink had a way settling the world about you. No matter how crazy it was.

“So, instead of putting father and son in front of a firing squad,” Mahoney said, “we make them both emissaries to the Tahn. Month or so from now they’ll be swilling champagne and noshing finger sandwiches in the finest hotel rooms on Heath.”

The Emperor snorted. “You ever been to Heath, Ian?”

Mahoney allowed that he hadn’t.

“The Tahn think they are the Spartans reborn,” the Emperor said. “Or, closer still, the ancient Samurai. There are no luxuries, much less champagne and finger sandwiches, anywhere near their capital city.”

Mahoney made a rude noise. “Wichman’s a billionaire,” he said. “Probably build one of his resorts on Heath just for himself.”

“Wouldn’t doubt it,” the Emperor said.

Mahoney thought on it for minute or two. Then he said, “I suppose you’ll want Sten to kill them too,” he said.

“You astound me, Ian,” the Emperor said. “Once again, you have supposed correctly.”

Mahoney started to chug his stregg, then paused.

“Uh, one other suppose, boss?”

“You have the floor,” the Emperor said.

“I’m supposing you want them all gone at the same time. In the same operation. Wichman. Gregor. And Venatora.”

“That would be the best way to go,” the Emperor said. He paused, then added, “Maybe with fewer casualties this time around. If Sten can manage it, that is. Bloody trails draw suspicious eyes.”

“And we don’t want the Tahn to catch on, right boss?” Mahoney said.

“That would be my fondest hope,” the Emperor said. “But, if he can’t, he can’t. Don’t want to make the job too impossible for him.”

“So, killing people is fine, just not too many if he can help it. Are those to be my orders, sir?”

“Exactly so,” the Emperor said. “Gregor and his old man shouldn’t be too hard a task. Relatively speaking. Sheer clotting greed will no doubt be the end of them.”

“I feel bad about the woman,” Mahoney said. “I was starting to grow fond of her.”

“So is Sten,” the Emperor said. “At least, that’s what Rykor said.”

“It’s a pity she has to die,” Ian said. “To cut all that talent and beauty short.”

“So it is, Ian,” the Emperor said. “So it is.”

He knocked back his stregg, took a long breath, then added: “Look at it this way, Ian. The moment she was born, she was old enough to die.”

“Sure, boss,” Mahoney said. “Sure.”

But what he thought was: Except for you, boss. Except for you.

And he poured them both another drink.

THE END

****

COMING SOON:

STEN & THE PIRATE QUEEN

*****

NEXT: 

THE RETURN OF MY HOLLYWOOD MISADVENTURES!

By popular demand we're bringing back the blog that entertained more than 300,000 readers in its first incarnation.  These are tales, sometimes tall, but certifiably true of my years in Hollywood with my late partner, Chris Bunch. See how a naked lady almost became our first agent. How we survived La-La Land with only the loss of half our brain cells. How Bunch & Cole became the ultimate Fix-It Boys. How an alleged Mafia Don was very, very good to us. The guy who cornered the market on movie rocks. Andy Warhol's Fire Extinguisher. The Real Stars Of Hollywood. Why they don't make million dollar movies. See The Seven Pi$$ing Dwarfs. Learn: how to kill a "difficult" actor… And much, much more.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 23, 2016
MY HOLLYWOOD MISADVENTURES 
BE THERE, OR BE SQUARE

 *****

STEN OMNIBUS TRILOGY
MAKES ITS AMERICAN DEBUT

Ever since my British publisher put all eight novels in the Sten series in three omnibus editions, American readers have been clamoring for equal treatment. 

Well, my American publisher – Wildside Books – was listening and is issuing all three omnibus omnibus volumes on this side of the Atlantic. Sten Omnibus #1 was published 
last month. Sten Omnibus #2 debuts this week. Stay tuned for the publication for Volume Three. 


THE TIMURA TRILOGY: When The Gods Slept, Wolves Of The Gods and The Gods Awaken. This best selling fantasy series now available as trade paperbacks, e-books (in all varieties) and as audiobooks. Visit The Timura Trilogy page for links to all the editions. 

NEWLY REVISED KINDLE EDITIONS OF THE TIMURA TRILOGY NOW AVAILABLE. (1) When The Gods Slept;(2) Wolves Of The Gods; (3) The Gods Awaken.

*****
Can't wait to read the blog each week? No problem. Click the following link and buy the book. 


Tales Sometimes Tall, but always true, of Allan Cole's years in Hollywood with his late partner, Chris Bunch. How a naked lady almost became our first agent. How we survived La-La Land with only the loss of half our brain cells. How Bunch & Cole became the ultimate Fix-It Boys. How an alleged Mafia Don was very, very good to us. The guy who cornered the market on movie rocks. Andy Warhol's Fire Extinguisher. The Real Stars Of Hollywood. Why they don't make million dollar movies. See The Seven Pi$$ing Dwarfs. Learn: how to kill a "difficult" actor… And much, much more.

Here's where you can buy it worldwide in both paperback and Kindle editions:

U.S. .............................................France
United Kingdom ...........................Spain
Canada ........................................ Italy
Germany ..................................... Japan
Brazil .......................................... India


WANT A REAL TREAT?
Hear voice artist Colin Hussey's 
Bring all the stories and people 
To life in the audiobook version
Of My Hollywood MisAdventures.

CLICK HERE TO

*****






A NATION AT WAR WITH ITSELF: In Book Three Of The Shannon Trilogy, young Patrick Shannon is the heir-apparent to the Shannon fortune, but murder and betrayal at a family gathering send him fleeing into the American frontier, with only the last words of a wise old woman to arm him against what would come. And when the outbreak of the Civil War comes he finds himself fighting on the opposite side of those he loves the most. In The Wars Of The Shannons we see the conflict, both on the battlefield and the homefront, through the eyes of Patrick and the members of his extended Irish-American family as they struggle to survive the conflict that ripped the new nation apart, and yet, offered a dim beacon of hope.

*****

 LUCKY IN CYPRUS:

A True Story About A Boy,
A Teacher, And Earthquake,
Some Terrorists And The CIA


LUCKY IN CYPRUS is a coming-of-age story set in the Middle East during the height of the Cold War. An American teenager – son of a CIA operative – is inspired by grand events and a Greek Cypriot teacher. 

He witnesses earthquakes and riots and terrorist attacks, but in the end it is his teacher’s gentle lessons that keep him whole.

Here's where to get the paperback & Kindle editions worldwide: 


Here's what readers say about Lucky In Cyprus:
  • "Bravo, Allan! When I finished Lucky In Cyprus I wept." - Julie Mitchell, Hot Springs, Texas
  • "Lucky In Cyprus brought back many memories... A wonderful book. So many shadows blown away!" - Freddy & Maureen Smart, Episkopi,Cyprus. 
  • "... (Reading) Lucky In Cyprus has been a humbling, haunting, sobering and enlightening experience..." - J.A. Locke, Bookloons.com
*****

NEW: THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION OF

THE HATE PARALLAX


What if the Cold War never ended -- but continued for a thousand years? Best-selling authors Allan Cole (an American) and Nick Perumov (a Russian) spin a mesmerizing "what if?" tale set a thousand years in the future, as an American and a Russian super-soldier -- together with a beautiful American detective working for the United Worlds Police -- must combine forces to defeat a secret cabal ... and prevent a galactic disaster! This is the first - and only - collaboration between American and Russian novelists. Narrated by John Hough. Click the title links below for the trade paperback and kindle editions. (Also available at iTunes.)

*****
THE SPYMASTER'S DAUGHTER:

A novel by Allan and his daughter, Susan


After laboring as a Doctors Without Borders physician in the teaming refugee camps and minefields of South Asia, Dr. Ann Donovan thought she'd seen Hell as close up as you can get. And as a fifth generation CIA brat, she thought she knew all there was to know about corruption and betrayal. But then her father - a legendary spymaster - shows up, with a ten-year-old boy in tow. A brother she never knew existed. Then in a few violent hours, her whole world is shattered, her father killed and she and her kid brother are one the run with hell hounds on their heels. They finally corner her in a clinic in Hawaii and then all the lies and treachery are revealed on one terrible, bloody storm- ravaged night.



BASED ON THE CLASSIC STEN SERIES by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch: Fresh from their mission to pacify the Wolf Worlds, Sten and his Mantis Team encounter a mysterious ship that has been lost among the stars for thousands of years. At first, everyone aboard appears to be long dead. Then a strange Being beckons, pleading for help. More disturbing: the presence of AM2, a strategically vital fuel tightly controlled by their boss - The Eternal Emperor. They are ordered to retrieve the remaining AM2 "at all costs." But once Sten and his heavy worlder sidekick, Alex Kilgour, board the ship they must dare an out of control defense system that attacks without warning as they move through dark warrens filled with unimaginable horrors. When they reach their goal they find that in the midst of all that death are the "seeds" of a lost civilization. 

*****

TALES OF THE BLUE MEANIE
NOW AN AUDIOBOOK!

Venice Boardwalk Circa 1969
In the depths of the Sixties and The Days Of Rage, a young newsman, accompanied by his pregnant wife and orphaned teenage brother, creates a Paradise of sorts in a sprawling Venice Beach community of apartments, populated by students, artists, budding scientists and engineers lifeguards, poets, bikers with  a few junkies thrown in for good measure. The inhabitants come to call the place “Pepperland,” after the Beatles movie, “Yellow Submarine.” Threatening this paradise is  "The Blue Meanie,"  a crazy giant of a man so frightening that he eventually even scares himself.