Wednesday, March 16, 2016




Of all the wild outposts on the Empire’s frontier, Port Chinen was hands, tentacles, and even claws-down the wildest.

As Alex put it, “It’s like some wee joker turned th’ Empire on its side an’ aw th’ bampots fell out an’ landed here.”

Set upon a barren planet with only rudimentary life forms, the port sat at crossroads that, until only recently, led nowhere.

With the discovery in the Possnet Region of a veritable mother lode of Imperium X, Chinen exploded like the mining boom towns of old. 

It mushroomed out from what had once been a small, unimportant Imperial space fortress set between two rugged peaks, into a chaotic warren of ramshackle buildings and facilities run by the mining companies and independent operators – all crowding around the Imperial site right up to the gates.

And so when Sten and Alex guided their grav car past the last security checkpoint – leaving the relative peace and order of the base – they descended into sheer pandemonium. Huge vehicles lumbered this way and that, with no apparent direction or purpose.

It was as if all laws of traffic and common sense had been abandoned in favor of commerce by suicidal nerve. Massive vehicles lumbered about – using sheer size to impose their will on anything or anyone smaller. Hundreds of beings unfortunate enough, or brave enough, to be on foot took their lives in their hands as they dodged in and out of this deadly melee.

Alex had barely got the nose of their grav car past the gate when they nearly run down by a tanker. Their com unit shrieked unintelligible warnings while the tanker’s enormous robotic arms reached out to literally push them aside – right into the path of a gigantic container sledge.

“Look out!” Sten shouted as Kilgour jerked the stick to the side just in time. He shook his fist at the sledge, shouting, “Hamshanker idjiots!”

Which led them directly into the path of yet another mechanical behemoth. Kilgour narrowly avoided being T-boned and accelerated onward. 
Before they could be tangled in another deadly encounter Sten reached over, pushed Kilgour’s hand aside and punched on the automatic override.

Immediately, things calmed down – relatively speaking. Every few seconds brought on another near disaster, but now all the various onboard computers running the vehicles synced with one another and they were soon speeding in and out of traffic with relative ease.

Especially, now that no sentient beings such as stubborn Scotsmen were involved in guiding the vehicles.

“If we are going to die,“ Sten said, “let’s do it in a sensible shootout with the bad guys. I prefer that to being turned into road grease.”

“We’re lettin’ bot and computers run our bloody lives,” Alex complained. “Besides - ah like to drive.”

“Well, speaking as your beloved first lieutenant,” Sten said, “I’d advise you to stifle that impulse and take up something sane, like bull leaping.”

“Why would a body want tae jump ower a puir bull?” Kilgour asked.

“It’s just a guess,” Sten said, “but I suppose it’s to avoid the horns.”

Kilgour muttered something unintelligible – whether a curse or a compliment, his accent was so thick Sten couldn’t always tell.

Then he said, “Aren’t ye e’en a wee bit leery abit this smuggler bloke we’re supposed tae meet?”

“Sure I am,” Sten said. “But we can’t pass up the chance that the info is golden.”

Kilgour snorted. “Ah’m guessin’ Mahoney said that.”

“He did,” Sten said.

Alex, sighed, “Ah, weel,” he said. “Ah suppose there’s nothin’ fur us tae do but stick uir heads into th’ lion’s gob and see if he’s hungry.”

In a largish nutshell, this is exactly how Sten felt about the upcoming meeting.

Not long after the ship’s bridge debacle, Mk’wolf escorted a strange little creature into their quarters. His eyes were little black beads that were constantly on move on either side of a twisted, beak-like nose. His bald head was ludicrously small and pink and as a human baby’s buttocks.

He had a manner so nervous that his principle tentacles were in constant motion. Flick, flick. Polishing his bald head. Flick, flick. Cleaning out one of the two little orbs on either side of his head that Sten assumed were ears.

Flick, flick. And then the tip of a tentacle was reaching for what Sten presumed was a nostril.

Sten gave the XO a tired look. He said, “This the guy the captain was talking about?”

“In the flesh, or whatever he calls that saggy stuff hanging off his bones,” Mk’wolf replied. “My first thought was to get rid of him as soon as the captain turned her back,” he said. “But then he said something that I thought might be worth your attention.”

“And that something was…”

“A name,” Mk’wolf said. He turned to the little being.

“Tell him, Snilch,” he said. “Tell him the name.”

Snilch spoke up in a high squeaky voice. “The name’s Gregor. That’s what I heard. Bigger’n life. Gregor!”

Sten said, “What makes you think that name is important to us? And by the way, who the clot do you think we are?”

“Who you are…” Snilch said, Flick, flick. “… Why, it ain’t for me to say who you are.” Flick, flick. “You know who you are, matey. And ya’ likes the name Gregor. I can tell. Can’t hide drakh from old Snilch. Ask anybody on Chinen.” Flick, flick.

“Anybody at all.”

He heard Doc mutter something like “classic,” and assumed the blood-thirsty Blyrchynaus – who looked like nothing more than a cuddly Teddy bear - was scratching about for the proper nut box to put Snilch in.

Sten looked at Mk’wolf for help.

“It’s like this, lieutenant,” Mk’wolf said. “Snilch here was babbling on like crazy, like he’s doing now, and just as we were ready to space him he says this name, ‘Gregor’.

“Now everybody knows that Captain Gregor came through Chinen with a whole spacetrain of Imperium X. As a matter of fact, he took on some supplies here. I think it was their last stop.

“Anyway, Captain Gregor’s long gone.” He jabbed a thumb at Snilch. “Then suddenly this little bit of filth is talking about needing supplies for Captain Gregor… And The Flame.”

Sten turned to Snilch. “Tell me,” he said.

Snilch tiny eyes swept over Sten’s face, then back again. Tentacles going Flick, flick. The head. Ear. The beak. Flick, flick. Sten imagined it was the longest the little thief had gone without talking in whatever life span his DNA had decreed.

Finally, he said, “It’s like this, Cheena old matey.” Flick, flick. “I have, what you call... yeah, a reputation, Cheena. A reputation. My information is always sweet. And true.”

Put a tentacle to his thin lips and kissed it.

“Sweet,” he said.

“How much?” Sten said.

Snilch raised a tentacle. “Wait up, Cheena. What’s the hurry? Say… if you’re in such a hurry, maybe we ought to take that into…” Flick, flick… “what’ca call… consideration.” Flick, flick. “Yeah, matey. Let’s consider the consideration.” Flick, flick.

Sten said, “Here’s what you need to understand – matey. You may have useful information for us. On the other hand, you may not. So there is no worth we can put on it. Tell me. And then we’ll decide its value.”

“That’s not how old Snilch does business, Cheena,” Snilch said. “Not how I do business at all. Ask anybody. They’ll tell you. I gets me price or I gets to me feet.”

With that he rose from his chair. Then squeaked as Alex put a massive hand on his bald pate and pushed him down so hard the bottom of the chair bowed.

Ida said, “You know, boys, it just came to me that this could be a very profitable situation. I can make our baksheesh budget as big or small as I please.”

“Nobody can fiddle th’ books bettern’you, my bonny gypsy lass,” Alex said.

“But where is the profit?” Doc wanted to know.

She pointed at Snilch. “He talks for free. But in the report I say we paid him a couple of hundred grand.” She grinned at Snilch. “I’m sure you’d be happy to sign a receipt, won’t you honey?”

Snilch gobbled. “Free? Snilch does not do free.” Flick, flick. “He would not do free for his mother, curse her soul, she was an old bitch anyway.” Flick, flick. “No, no. Free is not happening. You pay… two hundred thousand is too little, I think… you pay… I talk. Everybody happy.”

Ida looked at Mk’wolf. “We’ll split it five ways,” she said, as if not hearing a word of Snipe’s counter. “So you’ll get your fair share. After all, you’ve made all this possible.”

The XO grinned. “That’s very generous of you, ma’am.”

Eyes aglow, Ida patted his handsome face. “It’s my nature,” she said. “Generosity is my middle name.”

Doc motioned to Alex. “Fetch my tools, would you sergeant?”

Alex opened an overhead bin and took out a large black box. He set it beside Doc who beamed with pleasure.

“Oh, my toys,” he said. “My wonderful, wonderful toys. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to play with them.”

He opened the box, revealing gleaming instruments, all sharp and pointed and nasty looking. There were trays of vials and catheters and tubing. Compartments with bone saws and pincers.

“Hello, boys,” he said fondly, stroking the instruments. He looked up at the others. “They’re old fashioned,” he said, “but you know me. I prefer the old tried and true methods of eliciting information.”

“In some circles it’s called torture,” Ida told Mk’wolf, who nodded with interest. “And legally it’s forbidden to torture a prisoner. But, you know, there are laws and there are laws.”

“I’m just guessing,” Mk’wolf said, “but I’ll bet those laws don’t apply to people like you.”

“Exactly,” Ida said. “They don’t apply to people like us. There are some very artful loopholes.”

“Who are you guys?” Snilch shrieked. “Torture? What’s this torture? You can’t torture-“

He swallowed whatever he was going to say next when Doc lifted the bone saw off its hook. He smiled at Snilch whose tentacles were going, flick, flick.

“I know that tentacles are mostly cartilage,” Doc said. “But the muscle can be rather thick and stringy.”

He raised up the saw, light dancing its serrated steel surface. “However this little darling should do the trick admirably.”

Snilch talked.



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.


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


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.



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,



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.)


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. 



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.

No comments:

Post a Comment