Reckoning For Kings,” hailed by critics as
the “best Vietnam novel ever,” will soon be available in a
new edition. The long out of print work by Allan Cole and his former
writing partner, Chris Bunch, is being republished by Simon &
Schuster, through its Fiction-Wise division.. Publication, both in
trade paperback and all the major e-book formats, is scheduled for
April of 2003. Stay tuned for advance order information.. Set during
the Tet Offensive of 1968. “Reckoning”
tells the tale of one of history’s greatest battles. It was a battle
that America won, but it was also the battle that cost the America the
war. After Tet, the American effort in Vietnam was doomed..
For the first – and only – time in fiction,
tells the tale from both points of view. The book deliberately
invites the reader to make up his or her own mind on whether America’s
participation in the war was just. There are thirty major characters
portrayed in “Reckoning” – a novel that took three full years to
complete. Fifteen of the characters are American,
the other fifteen are America’s enemies - North Vietnamese, or
Viet Cong.. The link between friend and foe is their relative youth.
Wars are fought by young men and
women, in their teens or their early twenties. It was the hope of the authors that readers would focus on the plight of the young soldiers, sent out to work the will of the old men who stayed well behind.
The theme, and title of “Reckoning” comes from
Shakespeare: Henry V, Act IV, Sc. 1:
But if the cause be not
good, the king
No matter what your personal opinion is of the Vietnam
war, or any war for that matter, after you read "Reckoning" you will never
think of combat the same way again.
Here’s how the book was laid out:
THE VIETNAMESE SIDE:
The attack, their long-awaited General Offensive, will
begin during the traditionally peaceful celebration of
Tet, the Vietnamese
New Year . In 1968 it was The Year of the Monkey. Their leader is
General Vo Le Duan, a soldier who knows his patriotic duty, but who also
knows he will never see, in this messy, endless war, the glory he dreams
THE AMERICAN SIDE:
Bloodied and ready, all they need now is an enemy.
Not one that murders from the ditch, or from the darkness of night, but
an enemy in the open. One of the men who must lead the ranks is Major
Dennis Shannon, who discovers vital information that could confound the
enemy – but no one on his side is listening.
Within a span of four short months, during the lightning-quick bloody campaign known as the Tet Offensive, two vastly different cultures and two bitterly opposing armies – the generals, the guerrillas, the grunts, - will clash in an epoch-shattering encounter that will alter the course of the war and change the shape of the world forever.
At long last, all eight books of the Sten series are back in print in the English language. Sten and his heavy-worlder buddy Alex Kilgour had to conquer the entire continent of Europe to accomplish it. Many millions of books were sold in German, Russian, Polish – on and on – but the American publisher allowed the series to fall out of print – despite the anguished e-mails of hundreds of fans and the fact that the books were still more than profitable.. Now, Orbit Books in the U.K. has rushed into the breach, publishing all eight novels of this “landmark science fiction series” in English.
There are a lot of reasons why most decent science
fiction encyclopedias consider Sten a “landmark series.” You have to
read the eight books to find out why and if you are the right sort –
the Sten sort – you’ll be smitten
forever. It takes a special sort of person to enjoy – really
dig into Sten. On the surface, I think you’ll find it is a damned good
page-turning military/science fiction shoot-‘em up. But Sten is more.
Much more. Thanks to Chris Bunch, who knows more about military history
than most university professors have forgotten, and yours truly –
Allan Cole – who will not humble himself before many current political
historians – Sten is a cynical reference within a reference. Read it
and see for yourself.
And don’t look for a political point of view. There is none. Sten is neither right or left. Liberal or conservative. To Sten, gun control is making sure he has the only gun in the room. The Eternal Emperor has no doubt that he knows best and will do anything to assure his own view of being-kind prevails. Alex Kilgour, is just Alex Kilgour. The perfect assassin. As long Sten or the Emperor don’t falter and betray Kilgour’s odd idea of justice, the heavy worlder is with them. If not, he’ll smash them like a bag of haggis.
Allan's first nonfiction book - “A Cop’s Life” has drawn the highest praise of all - the good opinion of police officers themselves. Here are just a few of the comments: "'A Cop's Life'" is a must read by anyone who ever wore the uniform or badge!" - Robert V. Eddie, Recording Secretary Philadelphia Lodge #5 Fraternal Order of Police; "If you like the inside story, if you like dealing with facts and not fluff, then you will love reading 'A Cop's Life!'"- Michael G. Lutz, President, Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police; "I thoroughly enjoyed 'A Cop's Life.'" It was both witty and right on target." - Bill Pawley Inspector, Retired, Philadelphia Police.
Allan coauthored the book with his uncle, Thomas Grubb, a thirty-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police. Here's what the dust jacket says about the book: Christmas, 1953: While the rest of Philadelphia sings "Jingle Bells," Tom Grubb gets his first taste of a cop's life. Before he cashes his first paycheck he encounters: A man gutted by a knife-wielding mugger; A fighting-mad mental case intent on destroying a hospital emergency room; The hushed-up shooting death of an undercover cop. That first week is nothing compared to what lies ahead during the next thirty years. A Cop's Life: The remarkable story of a truly remarkable man.
The old Soviet Union used to ban books and Russian authors used to sneak them out of the country for the ret of the world to read. Apparently, one of Allan Cole’s novels is doomed – at least temporarily – to a similar fate. “Three Against Time” – the first novel-length collaboration between American and Russian authors – was published in Russia by Eksmo Books to critical acclaim and has enjoyed a long life at the top of the hardback and paperback best seller list. It was penned by Allan, who has enjoyed best-seller status in Russia and the rest of Europe for many years, and prominent Russian fantasy author, Nick Perumov. Despite its success abroad, however, American publishers have continually spurned the book. Privately, American editors praise “Three Again Time,” but publicly they turn their back on it. Something is very wrong here. This is something that used to happen in the old Soviet Union! Check out the sample chapters of “Three Against Time” and see what you think. You can also admire the covers of the book, which was split in two parts. Russian readers can buy the novel online at the following sites: www.ozon.ru, www.top-kniga.ru, www.kniga.com.
Last Revised: Saturday, January 29, 2011