Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Plus Free Sten Short Story
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A few hours later Sten and Alex finished interviewing a dozen or more crew members. The whole exercise was depressing to the extreme. They heard one tale of woe after another.

And Gregor was at the black-hearted core of every tale.

They ranged from the petty - One crew member had – in his words – “cut a stinky pratt” in the control room in Gregor’s presence and got a month in the brig for his offense; to the more serious – another crew member was forced to hand over her pay directly to Gregor for a solid year for accidentally queering a black market deal; to outright cruelty – a crewmember who wasn’t moving fast enough during an exercise lost her eyesight when Gregor failed to close a valve controlling a fluorine feed on time. Everyone believed the act was deliberate.

Sten, who had lost his family in incident involving fluorine, was particularly angered by the last.

The final person they interviewed was Shaklin, who told them every damning detail about the death of his lover, Pegatha, brought about by Gregor’s malfeasance.

They sat in his cabin while he told the tale as manfully as possible, eyes brimming, voice shaking, beaded dreadlocks atremble, but he never shed a tear. And when he was done the three sat in silence for long minutes.

Finally, Shaklin asked: “Tell me the truth. Will he really face a court martial.”

“He will,” Sten said.

“But, what about his father?” Shaklin pressed. “He’s an important man. A rich man. With rich and powerful friends. Gregor says his father is tight with the Emperor.”

Sten made a derisive noise. He said, “The Emperor would like nothing more than to see Gregor and his old man skinned alive. This whole thing has been an incredible embarrassment to him and he wants it shut down as quickly as possible before the embarrassment becomes public knowledge.”

Shaklin sighed. “That’s sounds too good to be true,” he said. “In my whole life I’ve never known real justice.”

“Well, this time you are going to get it,” Sten said. He paused, then added, “But we’re we’ll need your help to bring it off.”

Shaklin’s eyebrows rose. “Help?”

Sten said, “After meeting them, Zheng and Rual appear to be about as mentally stable as a pair of Xypacas on a starvation diet.”

“That’s no understatement,” Shaklin said.

“With them running things,” Sten said, “a sneeze could send this whole enterprise off the rails… If that happens the Emperor will send Mantis teams to track down you, your people, and everyone else aboard the Flame.”

Sten shook his head. “No one will ever see the inside of a courtroom. Clot, they won’t even find themselves in marked graves. We’re talking cut throats all around and bodies shunted into space.”

Shaklin shuddered. “I’ve heard of things like that,” he said. “But I thought they were just tales.”

“They’re not tales,” Sten said. “The point is, the last thing you want is to get on the Eternal Emperor’s enemies list. Someone once told me that if someone really drakhs him off, he’ll set aside five minutes every day to think about that shitepoke until he seals his fate.”

“In other words, lad,” Kilgour said, “if it’s justice yer wantin’ for wee Pegatha yer gonna hae to help us.”

Shaklin took a deep breath. Then nodded. “How?” he asked.

Sten produced a small clear plas box and handed it over. “Here’s a com unit,” he said. “A direct link to us. It’s shielded from all other com units on the ship, so it can’t be interfered with by outside sources.”

Shaklin tucked the box away.

Sten said, “If things look like they are going to go sideways, give us shout. And we’ll do the same for you.”

“Got it,” Shaklin said.

Sten added, “The main thing is, you have to keep Gregor safe long enough for us to get our hands on him. Without Gregor there can be no court martial. And without a court martial there will be no justice because the blame will fall squarely on you and your shipmates.”

Alex put a sympathetic hand on his shoulder. “Tis the onliest way ye’ll get yer revenge, laddie,” he said. “And th’ onliest way you and yer mates’ll be safe.”

Shaklin wiped moisture from his eyes, made a grim smile, then he led them back to the control room where Zheng and the others waited.


The atmosphere was tense. The crewmembers were gathered in small muttering groups. Zheng was sprawled in a gravchair, toadish face flushed with drink. Rual stood behind the chair, toying with her long knife.

They all looked up when Sten, Alex and Shaklin entered.

“Took your clottin’ time,” Rual snarled, waving the knife about.

“Patient long enough, ve haf been,” Zheng said, swinging around to plant his feet on the floor.

He started to rise, thought better of it, and sank woozily back into his seat.

“And a protest, I must make,” he continued. “Everyone you speak to about Gregor – except us.” He indicated Rual and himself. “Complaints we have as well. A criminal, that man is.”

“We have more than enough for a proper court martial without your input,” Sten said.

“Still. Insist, I must,” Zheng said.

“Yeah,” Rual put in. “We clottin’ insist.”

“Insist all you like,” Sten said. “But I’m afraid any testimony you two gave would do more harm to your cause, than good.”

“Harm? Vat is this harm, you speak of?” demanded Zheng.

“Both of you have extensive criminal records,” Sten said. “Kidnapping. Fraud. Theft. Violence. Possible murders, even.”

There were gasps of surprise from the crewmembers. Obviously, Zheng and Rual had kept them in the dark about their backgrounds.”

“What’s this, Zheng?” someone shouted. “You didn’t tell us you had a record.”

There were other shouts and protests. Zheng struggled to his feet and turned on them.

“Lies,” he cried. “All lies.” He pointed at Sten. “He vants to turn you against us. Discord, he vants to sow.”

Rual waved her knife at the group. “Watch yer tongues,” she said. “Or, I’ll cut them out.”

Sten raised a hand. “Shipmates!” he called out. “Calm yourselves. We’re here to talk about more important things than who is a criminal and who is not.”

There were a few more angry retorts, but gradually everyone calmed down – except for Rual, who was so agitated Sten wondered if maybe they’d all get lucky and a blood vessel would burst in her teeny brain.

“Remember my purpose,” Sten said. “I’m here to make an offer for the return of the Emperor’s goods.”

That got him the silence he needed.

“First off, I’m going to start with the issue of amnesty. I’m sure that is uppermost in your minds.”

“Money, that’s all I clotting care about,” Rual said. “The rest is drakh.”

But from the comments of the crewmembers, her view was far from universally shared.

“From the facts Lt. Kilgour and I have gathered,” Sten said, “we have more than enough evidence for a court martial to return a guilty verdict against Captain Gregor.”

The reaction from the crew was loud and decidedly positive. Except for Zheng and Rual. The looks they exchanged were murderous to the extreme.

“In fact,” Sten went on, “There are several charges that are firing squad offenses.”

The roar of approval shook the control room. Crewmembers were embracing and pounding one another on the back.

Only Zheng and Rual looked unhappy. Sten was wondering when one of them might act on their displeasure when he saw Rual tip the nod to two beefy mutineers. They were definitely knuckle draggers, of the inbred human variety, with beetled brows, fist-scarred faces and eyes so close together you could put them out with one finger.

Without warning, the two men charged. They were swinging heavy, two-foot long wrenches and the other crewmembers scrambled out of the way as the thugs closed in on Sten and Alex.

Sten easily slipped the blow of the first man, stepping aside to let him stumble past. He grabbed the thug’s wrist as he went, twisting and half-dropping to one knee.

There was an audible crack! and a howl of pain as the man’s wrist snapped and he flopped to the floor, groaning and cradling his wrist.

“You broke it,” he blubbered like a wronged schoolboy.

Meanwhile, Alex didn’t bother dodging the blow that was aimed at him. Instead, he caught the heavy wrench in midswing and plucked it away as if from a child. The force of the swing carried the big man toward Alex.

The heavy worlder grabbed him by the elbow, spun him around, and booted him in the arse – sending him flying at Rual.

The kick lifted the thug from the deck and he crashed headfirst at Rual’s feet, where he remained, groaning in pain.

Rual peered down at the man, clearly disgusted. She spit on him, then looked up at Sten, eyes burning with hatred.

The command room was dead silent. Everyone stared at Sten and Alex, wondering what was going to happen next.

Sten brushed his hands together, as if wiping away dirt.

“Now, let’s talk money,” Sten said, as if nothing untoward had occurred.

Tension immediately drained away and the crew looked at him expectantly.

Sten named a figure.

The reaction was such that he knew he’d topped whatever Venatora had offered by a wide margin.

He waited until the uproar died down, then said, “Lt. Kilgour and I will return to our ship and let you discuss the terms without interference from us. If you have any questions before you take your final vote, you only to call.”

He turned, nodding to Shaklin got lead them back to their lighter.

Sten paused at the door and turned back long enough to add, “Just make sure you don’t take too long to decide.”

Zheng spoke up. “And if more time, we need, what then?” The little toad would be defiant to the last.

“Yeah,” Rual said. “What about it?”

Sten stared at both Rual and Zheng long and hard. He said, “Don’t test me. You won’t like how it turns out.

Then he was gone and Zheng was bitterly cursing his name.

The man on the floor tried to sit up and Rual kicked him in the ribs.



NOTE FROM ALLAN: My multi-talented brother, Drew Cole, has just released a marvelous new album of original songs – “Let Me Off The Hook.” Some of the songs will make you cry, some will tickle your irony bone, and all of them will take you back to moments in your life, both painful or joyful, that will never be forgotten. The songs are free, but you can feed the kitty if you like them. Click on this link and hear for yourself. 


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 beginning today Volume One in the three volume omnibus series is available all over America. The omnibus includes, Sten #1, Sten #2 – The Wolf Worlds, and Sten #3 – The Court Of A Thousand Suns. Isn’t this a wonderful country? And isn’t Wildside a wonderful publisher? Stay tuned for when the others will be available. Kathryn and I will start reading proof on Sten Omnibus #2 by week’s end.


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.

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