The Sten Chronicles

The Sten Chronicles are a series of eight military science fiction novels by Chris Bunch and Allan Cole. The series was originally published by Del Rey and then re-released by Orbit. Also called Sten Adventures.

Plot overview

The books follow Sten, a young man born and raised on a dangerous factory world and saved from life as an outlaw by the head of Imperial Intelligence, Ian Mahoney. Mahoney takes Sten from the terrible world of his birth and enlists him in the military. Sten is thrust into a world of espionage, covert military actions, and galactic politics. His original training is in the super-secret covert ops group known as Mantis. The missions and actions taken are usually known only to a select few. However, a series of crucial missions ensures that Sten rises swiftly in rank until he becomes a troubleshooter and friend to the Emperor himself.

The series of 8 books are set three thousand years in the future. A vast empire, limited only by the universe itself, is ruled by the Eternal Emperor, a man who appears to be in his thirties but is in fact thousands of years old. He has mastered death in a way no one has guessed since the beginning of his rule. The source of his power is a powerful fuel called Anti-Matter Two (AM2). It is what fuels everything from the star ships that link the Empire, to industrial factories, to camping heaters. Only he controls its supply and price. And only he knows where to find it. It is only for this reason that he is able to rule.


*"" (September 1982)
*"" (March 1984)
*"" (January 1985)
*"" (April 1988)
*"" (February 1989)
*"" (November 1990)
*"" (June 1992)
*"" (March 1993)

Alex Kilgour's Jokes

Alex Kilgour is Sten's right-hand partner in serving the Eternal Enperor. Alex is from a high-gee world (and thus very strong) and has a distinctive Scottish accent as well as a propensity to tell truly horrendous jokes.

Marcus and Flavius, "The Court of a Thousand Suns", pp. 132-135 (1985 publishing)

“Ah’m tellin’t a story aboot Old Earth. Before e’en the Emperor. Back when we Scots ran free an’ bare-leggit on a wee green island. But e’en then, afore the Emperor, there was an Empire. Romans, they were call’t. An because they were sore afrait a’ the wee Scots, they built this braw great wall across the island. Wi’ us on one side, an’ them on the other.Hadrian’s Wall, it was namit. But e’en then, bus’ness was bus’ness. So a’ course, tha’ were gates in th’ wall, for folks to go backit an’ forth. A’ course there were guard on th’ gate. On th’ evenin’ in question, there wa’ two guards on th’ wall, Marcus and Flavius … … Now here’s Marcus, who’s been on the wee isle for years an’ years. But puir Flavius, he’s only been there for a month or so. An’ the puir lad’s scarit solid. He dinna like th’ food, he dinna like ht’ weather, an’ most a’ all, he’s messin’ his tunic aboot th’ Scots. ‘Dinna Fash,’ Marcus tells him. ‘Aboot nine a’ th’ evenin’t, y’ll be hearin’t a braw whoopin’t an’ hollerin’t an’ carryin’t on. ‘Tha’ll just be the Scots comin’t oot a’ th’ grogshops. But y’ll noo have to worry.’ But Flavius is worrin’t … … So noo it’s nigh nine, and sure enow, there’s whoopin’t an hollerin’t an’ carryin’t on. And aye, doon the street toward our wee Romans comit this braw great cluster a’ Scots. An’ they’re hairy an’ dirty an’ wearin’t bearskins and carryin’t great axes a’ claymores. And Flavius knows he’s gone to die, here on this barren isle light-years from his own’t beautiful Rome. So he’s shakin’t an’ shiverin’t. But Marcus, he’s got this braw smile on his face a’ this horrible horde comit staggerin’t up. ‘Evenin’,’ he says. ‘Clottin’ Romans,’ comit th’ growl, an’ somebody unlimbers a sword. ‘You’re lookin’t good a’ this night,’ Marcus goes on. ‘Clottin’ Romans,’ is the solo thing he gets back, an’ th’ Scots are e’en closer, an’ Flavius can smell their stinki’t breath, an’ he’s a dead mon. ‘Nice night tonight,’ Marcus keeps goin’t. ‘Clottin’ Romans,’ comes again. Flavius hae his wee eyes shut, not wantin’ t’ see the blade tha’ rips his guts out an’ all. But nae happen’t. All th’ braw hairy killer monskers pass through the gate. An Flavius is still alive. He relaxes then. Takit twa deep breaths, grins a’ Marcus, an’ says, ‘Y’re right. Tha Scots na be so bad.’ ‘Aye, lad. You’re learnin,’ Marcus comes back. ‘But in another hour, when their men get done drinkin’t, p’raps there’ll be a wee spot a’ trouble.’ As usual when Alex finished one of his stories, there was uncomprehending silence.”

External links

* [ Allan Cole: The Sten Chronicles] —the co-author's official page, including sample chapters and "The Sten Cookbook".
* [ The Sten Chronicles] —from Allan Cole's bibliography.

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