THE STEN ADVENTURES
International best -selling authors and screenwriters Allan Cole and the late Chris Bunch were collaborators for nearly twenty years. Together, and separately, they have published over forty novels and sold more than 150 TV and movie screenplays. See Allan's homepage at http://www.acole.com for details about his life and work. For information about Chris, see his Wikipedia entry. Both authors are also featured in the International Movie Data Base.
FOREWORD TO THE NOVEL SERIES
Hailed as a “landmark science fiction series” the Sten Series has thrilled millions of readers all over the world.
Set three thousand years in the future, the eight Sten novels tell the tale of a tough, street-wise orphan who escapes his fate as factory planet “delinq” to become the strong right-hand of the most powerful man in the Universe – a man hailed by his billons of subjects as “The Eternal Emperor.”
Sten is the ultimate survivor. He's lightning quick, mean streets cunning and blessed with the
twin gifts of hungry intelligence and hard-won common sense. Born on a factory planet where life has less value than the lowliest machine, Sten rebels against The Company that enslaved, then killed his parents. He finds a new family of sorts - and the means for revenge - in the ranks of the Emperor's Imperial Forces.
A series of crucial missions brings him to the attention of the Eternal Emperor himself. Sten's talents and unshakable loyalty are tested in crisis after crisis, brutal warfare, and assassination.
Besides his “black ops” skills, Sten is armed with a weapon of last resort – he carries a small knife made of an undetectable substance in a flesh and muscle “sheath” in his arm. With a blade edge only one molecule thick, the knife can cut through any substance like butter.
Sten rises swiftly until he becomes a confidante and advisor to the Emperor. Through all this Sten never forgets his lowly origins. Self-depreciating humor, friendship and luck in love shield him from Fame's blinding light. If anything his empathy and sense of responsibility for the common folk of the Empire grow with each new honor and badge of rank.
Finally he is asked to make the supreme sacrifice - risking even those he loves - to stand up for the citizens of the Empire. Then, when he succeeds, he turns his back on the greatest honor of all.
Picture the greatest Empire history has known. Its boundaries are the Universe itself, containing more stars, planets and sentient life than could be calculated by the swiftest 21st Century computer. This is a space kingdom where humans live side-by-side with countless alien forms. In fact the word alien itself is offensive and all species are merely called "beings." The planetary systems range from the sophistication of Prime World where the elite gather - to the rough and ready mining and frontier worlds at the Empire's edges.
Ruling over all this is:
THE ETERNAL EMPEROR
As his title implies, the Eternal Emperor is a human who has mastered death through the use of secret cloning techniques and mind transfer. When he’s in his cups, he sometimes boasts that although he’s been the target of hundreds of assassinations, only three were successful.
The Emperor is the ultimate capitalist and when Sten steps onto the stage he has reigned for three thousand years. The source of the Eternal Emperor's power is a mysterious fuel - called Anti-Matter Two (AM2). It drives the star ships that link the Empire and provides the energy for all industry, agriculture and commerce. He alone controls its supply and price. And he alone knows where AM2 is to be found.
The Emperor is no tyrant. He prefers wit to force, negotiation to confrontation. But if all else fails he has enormous military resources to back up his will. His past is a rigorously guarded secret and his future is permanently entwined with the Empire he created.
Despite his vast power the Emperor greatly misses the familiar things of his 21st Century youth. On a bad day he would trade it all in for a good bottle of single malt scotch or the sweet sound of an old, hand-crafted violin. He spends his spare time in his antique-cluttered royal suites, restoring or re-constructing nostalgic objects from his salad days.
The Emperor, who has the looks of a handsome, 35-year-old, is also a consummate cook and spends hours in his Prime World kitchens recreating the recipes of ancient Earth, while hatching elaborate plans to confound his many enemies.
The Eternal Emperor sees a bit of his long ago self in Sten. After all, as he occasionally implies, his roots are as common as Sten's. If their relationship was not by necessity that of ruler and subject they might even have become friends.
Sten admires the Emperor. Perhaps, in a way, he even considers him a father figure. And he has sworn absolute loyalty to the Empire. In the end, however, he will realize that his loyalty is to the idea not the man.
Sten’s world is filled with bizarre and wonderful characters. Among the more important are:
ALEX KILGOUR: Sten’s sidekick and confidant. An incredibly strong heavy-worlder of Scots descent, Kilgour's passion is shaggy-dog stories. All of which are so awful that his mission mates can hardly wait for the bad guys to kick in the door and interrupt him.
IAN MAHONEY: Sten's mentor. A top military man, Mahoney excels at both cloak-and-dagger and more conventional warfare, and prefers to lead from the front. He is totally loyal to Emperor.
DOC: A furry alien with the psionic talent to make people like him. It helps that humans think he's a cute, cuddly teddy-bear. Carnivorous little Doc would just love to tear their throats out for that.
IDA: The brilliant Gypsy operative (and hotrod pilot) whose hobby is making huge amounts on the stock market. She could easily retire, but she loves the challenges and danger of black operations work. Fat, mustached and foul-mouthed, she delights in harassing authority.
And there are many more, including the various beautiful and multi-talented women Sten squires during his adventures. Ranging from a tough Prime World detective, to the princess of a barbaric race of space pirates.
STREGG – THE DRINK: This heart-stopping booze appears first in Book Two: The Wolf Worlds, where a race of Viking-like beings is introduced. Hailing from an ice-planet, their ancestral enemy was the Streggan, a fierce beast that hunted the Bohr almost into annihilation. Finally, they turned the tide and wiped out the beast entirely. They named their favorite drink Stregg, in honor of their ancient enemy. The names were inspired by a boozy session the authors’ had at Harry’ Bar in Century City, California. There they discovered the wonders of Stregga, the Italian liqueur. It means witch. To make Stregg for yourself, mix one part Stregg and one part white tequila. Some prefer a little simple syrup. We did not.
Sten #2 - The Wolf Worlds
Sten #3 - The Court Of A Thousand Suns
Sten #4 - Fleet Of The Damned
Sten #5 - Revenge Of The Damned
Sten #6 - Return Of The Emperor
Sten #7 - Vortex
Sten #8 - Empire's End
The entire 8-novel landmark science fiction series is now being presented in three three giant omnibus editions from Orbit Books. The First - BATTLECRY - features the first three books in the series: Sten #1; Sten #2 -The Wolf Worlds; and Sten #3, The Court Of A Thousand Suns. Next: JUGGERNAUT, which features Sten #4, Fleet Of The Damned; Sten #5, Revenge Of The Damned; and Sten #6, The Return Of The Emperor. Finally, there's DEATHMATCH, which contains Sten #6, Vortex; and Sten #7, End Of Empire. Click on the highlighted titles to buy the books. Plus, if you are a resident of The United Kingdom, you can download Kindle versions of the Omnibus editions. Which is one clot of a deal!
THE STEN COOKBOOK & 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. Click here to tickle your funny bone or sizzle your palate.
|Venice Boardwalk Circa 1969|