Gentle Reader: Today is my birthday. I’m 72. An age I never expected I’d reach. Especially after more than two years of multiple surgeries, chemo therapy and other nasties. To celebrate this hard-won day I’m giving myself - and the legions of Sten fans the world over - the gift of a brand new Sten. As most readers know the Sten series consists of eight novels, written by me and my late partner, Chris Bunch, over a period of ten years. It’s basically a million-word-plus novel, told in eight parts. People have been urging me for years to continue the series and write Sten #9, then probably Sten #10 and Sten #11 and so on. Although I have ideas to do so, I’ve been reluctant. It’s a pretty good book as is, even if I do say so myself. So, to weasel around that decision I’m setting this novella between Sten #2 and Sten #3. Call it, Sten #2.5. I’m pretty sure that Chris, who is probably up there raising Cain in Science Fiction Heaven, would agree. Special thanks go to my wife, and Number One editor, Kathryn, and my good friend and longtime webmaster, Joel Cash, who dropped everything to make this birthday deadline. Stregg Forever… Allan Cole 11/19/15, Boca Raton, Fl.
Mahoney started up the cargo ramp, then stepped aside as two Psaurs loomed out of the swirling nighttime fog, back claws clicking against the ramp, saw-toothed rimmed jaws unhinged in what Mahoney thought might be anger.
But who could tell with the Psaurs? To most beings their natural look was homicidal.
When they reached Mahoney they paused, two pairs of fierce red eyes peering down at him.
The tallest one hiccupped, then slurred, “Lookin’ for th’ Covenanter, cheena?”
The shorter one gave what Mahoney could have sworn was a girlish giggle - as issued through a rusty exhaust pipe - then said, “‘Course he is, Ursie, baby. Can’tcha see that look he’s got? Wants nothing better’n get drunk and take a Joygirl for a grav ride.”
She looked closer at Mahoney. “Or, mebbe a… joyboy?”
Reflexively, Mahoney shook his head. The lady Psaurs shrugged. “Makes no diff’ to us, cheena.”
Mercifully, her companion broke in. Pointed. “Straight up the ramp. Escalator on left. Won’t see it. Too dark. But you can hear it. Bad bearings. Sounds like a stepped on Ceres cat. Head for th’ cat. Then stairs. Careful with stairs.”
He made a zip/splat motion with one broad claw… “Greasy. Slip and fall. Red sign. Mebbe not see in fog. Hail th’ house. Somebody’ll come and getcha.”
Mahoney thanked them and started up the ramp. Behind him, the lady Psaurs called out, “Tell Janiz that Ursie ‘n his mate sentcha. Our Janiz’ll set you right.”
Without those directions he’d never had found the Covenanter. After all, it was at the arse end of Port Soward, the busiest spaceport on Prime World. He had to negotiate a three-level warren of warehouses, tool shops, and repair bays all cloaked in a dense nighttime fog.
At one point he thought he spotted a red light glittering through the fog and pushed on. But he kept losing sight of the glitter, and found himself moving in a circle.
Finally, in total frustration and feeling like a potato-gobbling Irish fool, he raised his head and bellowed:
“Ahoy the house!”
A moment later he sensed a presence and he instinctively reached out to see what it was and then a door opened. Glaring light and loud sound poured over him.
A blur and then out the glare stepped a remarkably beautiful women.
He was momentarily rendered speechless by her presence. Finally, he blurted, “You must be Janiz.”
She smiled becoming even more beautiful. “That’s me,” she said. “Janiz Kerleh. Chief bartender, cook and bottle washer.”
She opened the door wider, stepping aside and motioning for him to enter.
“This way, Sr. Mahoney,” she said. “Engineer Raschid is expecting you.”
NEXT: THE ETERNAL EMPEROR
WHERE TO BUY STEN IN ALL ITS VERSIONS: PAPERBACKS, OMNIBUS EDITIONS, E-BOOKS, AND AUDIOBOOKS ALSO, SAMPLE CHAPTERS AND A RUNDOWN
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: IT'S A BOOK!
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
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 new 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.
Here's where you can buy it worldwide in both paperback and Kindle editions:
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.
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