About Steven

Steven A Coulter writes fast paced future-history about the world we are creating by our actions today. He mixes science fiction, young adult, action adventure and politics with a short-horizon focus, near enough to our own time that we can see the connections to the future with characters reflecting the range of human values and sexuality. Steve’s work is enriched by his varied careers—soldier, teacher, journalist, state legislator, corporate executive and library commissioner. He has a BA and MA in Journalism and is a member of the board of Lambda Literary, a national non-profit championing new and diverse voices in literature. He lives in San Francisco with his husband, Greg, and a very special canine.

“O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every
man is free…”
~ Langston Hughes, 1935


  • Review of Book 2-Freedom's Hope

    Both "Chronicles of Spartak" books have been, frankly, a pleasant surprise for me. I say that because my preference in reading is more towards legal thrillers than science fiction. That being said, I just finished reading "Freedom's Hope" and find the series to continue being a fascinating adventure. The main character, Spartak, is a young warrior that has survived kidnaping and slavery. The fact that he is gay adds an interesting dimension to the story, but is really not a major issue. What will capture most readers is Spartak's striving for justice, democracy and peace in a world torn by violence. I should add that Spartak is one very sexy young man and his finding a partner adds a romantic element to the story. The book has elements of politics, romance, heroes, and so much more! Read it!

    C.Cope Amazon Reviewer
  • Review of Book 2-Freedom's Hope

    A bisexual, teenage slave squares off against the combined might of church and state with the help of his rich husband in this sci-fi thriller… This second installment of Coulter’s (Chronicles of Spartak: Rising Son, 2016) series finds 17-year-old Spartak Jones, an Olympic gold medalist gymnast…on a honeymoon in orbit around Earth with his 19-year-old quadrillionaire husband, Zinc McClain, leader of the Twelve Families plutocracy. Zinc is technically Spartak’s owner, per a U.S. Supreme Court decision reinstituting slavery, but their relationship is portrayed as loving and egalitarian. In 2116’s neo-feudal America, where “barronials” lord over oppressed “downers” and democracy has been debased by the philosophies of Ayn Rand and Donald Trump, Spartak is a symbol of liberation to the oppressed masses…a military coup takes over the U.S. government; Dominionist theocrats attack barronials and kidnap Spartak’s siblings; and, most entertainingly, Spartak’s in-laws even sell him to a Marrakesh house of ill repute. Spartak fights back...Coulter pens some lively action scenes. Vigorous supporting characters also add…spice to the story.”

    Kirkus Reviews
  • Review of Book 2 - Freedom's Hope

    Great speculative fiction. I could not put this one down once I started. Swashbuckling adventure in a dystopian 22nd century America. This is not really science fiction as much as speculative fiction, reminding me of Margaret Atwood (Handmaid's Tale) or George Orwell. This is only the second book by this author so i am excited and look forward to see how he grows. Spartak is a teenager who is believable and someone we root for, as well as being sexy, selfless and lethal when needed. The idea that slavery could legally return seems far-fetched but not when you understand how it happened in this storytelling. Is it a gay book because the two main characters are male? Not really. Spartak's sexual orientation, a non-issue by the 22nd century, just gives an added twist in a book full of them! There is a serious political underpinning with action, romance and great characters. And it makes you think--the author talks about the future we are shaping by our actions today. In this era of political division, fake news, social inequality, concentrating wealth and other horrors, this may be the world of our grandchildren. You can read Book 2 (Freedom's Hope) as a standalone but starting with the first book (Rising Son) gives a much richer experience. I highly recommend both books!

    Stargazer Amazon Reviewer
  • Review of Book 2 - Freedom's Hope

    Wow. This is a glorious love story. Spartak and Zinc are the perfect match for one another; they bring out the best in one another, their love giving them strength to face impossible odds. But it is so much more than a love story - it is set in the future, yet the message about freedom and justice and equality reflects what our world needs today. It is emotional and thought provoking. I can't wait for the next book.

    Lisa Marie Davis Amazon Reviewer
  • Review of Book 2 - Freedom's Hope

    ... Now with the second installment -SPARTAK: FREEDOM’S HOPE – he has once again selected a cover of a fine young male model to draw the audience into the continuation of his drama. ... (Full Review)

    Grady Harp Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer
  • Review of Book 2 - Freedom's Hope

    A little over a year ago, I received a copy of Steven Coulter’s “Chronicles of Spartak: Rising Son” and I was a bit dismayed on how to approach it. By and large, I do not read science fiction and thought this might hinder how I feel about the book. On the other hand, I know how much work goes into writing a book and I believe that our literature must be read and spoken about. The surprise came in how much I enjoyed the read even though my mind was conditioned to not like it. ... (Full Review)

    Amos Lassen
  • The Chronicles of Spartak is a groundbreaking young adult novel. Can a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore, athlete, warrior, musician—sold into slavery—save America AND be bisexual? Yes! Oh, YES!

    Dr Barbara O’Connor Institute of Politics & Media, California State University, Sacramento
  • The protagonist is a young and renowned athlete in a society that tolerates him for its entertainment. The writing is literate, direct, and a pleasure to read. There is a fascinating plot point—the return of slavery to the United States of America.

    Dennis Myers Reno News & Review
  • ... A multitalented, bisexual, teenage slave becomes a symbol of freedom in this debut sci-fi saga. ... The narrative does move along at a brisk pace … with energetic action scenes and sharply drawn characters, and the result is a vigorous tale. ... (Full review)

    Kirkus Review
  • We are so lucky to have writers that are producing books for the young and especially with this superhero, we have someone that everyone can be proud of and with whom sexuality is a non-issue. There is lots of action, suspense and tension and this keeps us reading but even more than that is the fact that adults can also appreciate the references to politics, religion and extremism that in many cases reflect what we are seeing in the world today. I found this to be totally absorbing and entertaining—so much so that I stopped everything else and read the book (all 300 plus pages) to completion in one sitting. The future we read about here is the result of the present that we are experiencing now. ... (Full review)

    Amos Lassen Blogger
  • One of the many aspects of this novel SPARTAK RISING SON [that is] unique (it [is] also a fine LGBT story that weaves science fiction, fantasy, and a hunky hero) is his placing the story in the near future (no apocalypse tale, this) by projecting the realities of now into the permutations of the extremes of today’s devices and behaviors. Premonitions/prophecies? Perhaps, but the case he builds makes solid sense, like it or not… Steven has this new genre (‘new’ because it avoids all the usual trappings of sci-fi novels and focuses on striving to make the future a better place rather then simply a rubble pile filled with odd creatures) down pat. If he continues this direction of writing he will be not only entertaining us with creative stories brilliantly written but also creating superheroes of substance – and very fine attributes! ... (Full review)

    Grady Harp Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer
  • Highly imaginative and creative, action packed, with a fascinating young protagonist who combines the physical and moral attributes of both Spiderman and Superman in his remarkable body and psyche. The pace never flags, the story holds suspense and tension in every scene. With its extrapolation of the politics and extremism of today, religious and political, The Chronicles of Spartak is a thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining achievement.

    Katherine V Forrest Author of the Kate Delafield mystery series
  • ... It makes you think about the world today and if it’s possible for some of the things that happen in the book’s 2115 to happen in our future… Spartak is a compelling protagonist… This book definitely makes you think and gives you a lot of moral questions… The book is really intellectual, fast paced, has a lot of action, good characters, and I really appreciated the way a young queer athlete and a slave becomes a symbol for a revolution. ... (Full review)

  • If you love The Hunger Games, and you want a bit more of a gritty and adult feel, you may love Rising Son. ... (Full review)

    BA Brock Queer Sci Fi
  • Whether you’re headed to the beach, the pool or the Pride Parade, it doesn’t hurt to have a book with you to pass the time.

    Gregg Shapiro Wisconsin Gazette
  • An adorable hero, lots of action, and a vision of the future eerily extrapolated from today’s political reality adding a dystopian dimension to the novel.

    MP Goodreads
  • A riveting story with a powerful underlying political narrative-Chronicles of Spartak will have an appeal across generations.

    David Kirp New York Times Contributing Writer

Author Musings