Action! Adventure! LGBT heroes!
Life out on the frontier isn’t easy, and neither is living on Deanna – a third-rate Terran colony on the edge of sanity as much as on the edge of civilization! The Quantum Series by Christina Engela, now standing at six titles, is sci-fi with a dash of fantasy, featuring a host of heroes, heroines, villains, aliens, and unusual and often humorous situations.
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About The Quantum Series by Christina Engela
The Quantum Series by Christina Engela is sci-fi with a dash of fantasy, featuring a host of regular characters including heroes, heroines, villains, aliens, and unusual and often humorous situations.
The Quantum Series is mostly set on Deanna, a backwater Terran colony on the fringes of known space, which has something of a reputation – and not always a good one. Known as a bit of a space oddity, Deanna orbits a star named Ramalama – and has two mad little moons of its own named Ding and Dong. This often forms the basis of local jokes – especially whenever the smaller moon Ding gets knocked out of orbit by a passing space craft and crashes on the surface of Deanna – which often feature insurance, craters, the Tourism Office, and space tugs.
Life out on the frontier isn’t always easy, and there are various things that make living on Deanna a mite more interesting than on more civilized Human colonies – including the unique local wildlife such as crabby-grass, strato-penguins and ranches full of awkward semi-bovine creatures called red-horned wildebeest.
Although Deanna is a Human colony, there are also some aliens living among them, and the most visible of these are the Jim-waians – who are mostly refugees who fled their home world to get away from an oppressive religious fanatic society there. Jim-waians tend to run little tailor shops, corner cafe’s and restaurants, and keep mostly to themselves.
The Quantum Series is sci-fi, but instead of focusing too strongly on tech, Christina focuses more on her characters, creating believable and very realistic people, fleshing them out with her own broad range of experiences and creative interpretation. Tech and how it works is less important to her than the people who live in those times and use it, and their own stories and experiences.
Here are a few of the more prominent characters in the series, namely:
- Cindy-Mei Winter – a former CIA agent and transwoman who comes to Deanna on holiday seeking a fresh start – gets bombed (but not in the way you might think) and decides to stay.
- Beck the Badfeller (aka Gary Beck) a regular sort of guy who’s a very popular local bounty hunter – known especially for always getting his man… except for that one time where his man turned out to be a woman.
- Fred the Arborian – who’s really an alien walking, talking plant that tends to cause some interesting situations where people stare and walk into things or closely examine their beverage labels.
- Timaset Skooch, a former cop and private investigator who turns to running cargo on a decrepit old space freighter to make ends meet.
- Peg – the Sheriff of Atro City, a diamond in the rough who makes sure everyone knows she’s ‘the law ’round here’.
- Johnathan Scrooby – an agent for the super-secret time-policing organization called The Time Saving Agency, with a reputation for using ‘advanced gibberish’ about the mechanics of time travel to give Gary Beck headaches.
There are many more wonderful characters in the series of course, and from time to time, the regulars are brought to the fore and given an opportunity to shine on their own. Christina enjoys her characters and has been known on occasion to reflect that doing something bad to a character in the run of a story – such as killing someone off – hurts her like hurting a real living person she’s quite fond of.
Of her story and characterizations, Christina’s writing has been described as follows:
“Engela’s eye for the quirky humor of even the darkest situations sets her writing apart from the masses. Her fiction combines oddball humor, in the tradition of writers like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, with the best of traditional science fiction. A government agency regulates time and its manipulation against the efforts of a brilliant scoundrel. A retired space cop turned bounty hunter grumbles and grunts like a classic pulp noir detective. A glamorous retired intelligence agent moves to a new planet in the hopes of escaping the mystery and mayhem of her former life. And tucked inside her stories, like a kind of stealth activism, lurks a beast almost never seen in either mainstream or science fiction: fully fleshed out LGBT characters.
Like many of us, Engela has been frustrated with the representation of LGBT characters in mainstream fiction, where gay characters are often nothing more than superficially portrayed plot devices or worse, the object of satire and ridicule. Engela’s work breaks the trend. In her stories, a gay man may be the anti-hero or villain, but not because he is gay. A transwoman may fall in love with a cisgender straight man, and their relationship doesn’t revolve around her gender identity. LGBT characters, in Engela’s work, follow narrative arcs that occasionally intersect with their sexual or gender identity, but are more often driven by the human characteristics shared by all people—hope, fear, ambition, humor, and love.” – Focus Mid-South Magazine (USA) on Feb 13,2017.
“Engela’s latest work is packed with humour, challenging ideas, and science-fiction on a grand scale. It transports readers to a truly original world, filled with bizarre and memorable characters. It tackles social issues while reading like a Terry Pratchett, with some western and sci-fi elements to boot.” – Matthew ‘Sand-Storm’ Fick.
The setting of Deanna is unique in the context of the Quantum Series. You see, Deanna has a reputation for being rather on the weird side – after all, it’s advertised in the Galactic Tourist Guide as the planet that plays ping-pong with one of its own moons – when it falls down occasionally, and gets put back again by the Tourism Office. On the planet, people have given unusual names to various things – such as Atro City, the capital city of the colony and main setting of our stories, and its neighbor – San Fedora, where all the local hat factories are based.
Obsidian crows are native bird-like creatures that are very heavy, armored and walk everywhere from A to B in a straight line. They frequently cross roads disregarding all traffic, and get run over – which often costs the driver a new tire on his jeepo – before the tough critters climb out of the shallow crater they made, squawk, and shuffle off again on their way. Cocka-snoek are local fish that play havoc with local fishermen and are the favorite prey of the Skeggs Valley Dynamite Fishing Club. Strato-penguins have some kind of natural jet propulsion system, and occasionally when one flies a little too high in the Deannan atmosphere, provides a rather pretty – if not messy – fireworks display.
Ranchers farm with red-horned wildebeest – strange rectangular creatures far more suited to life in the lab environment they were bred in, than in the strangely uneven world – where they tend to fall over quite a lot.
A shopkeeper sells hot-dogs and cold-cats, and a very strong volatile kind of coffee called ‘hot-stuff blend’ – and puts on a fake Italian accent for his customers because he thinks it makes his business and brand more interesting and appealing – and when odd things happen, as they always do, he completely forgets it.
While the rest of the galaxy is apparently immune to it, in the middle of all this apparent Deannan insanity, the characters get on with the business of daily life – and get drawn into all sorts of adventures – and misadventures.
The Quantum Series by Christina Engela currently consists of six complete books. There are another two in the works with more to follow.
The Quantum Series by Christina Engela:
CHRISTINA WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! A few nice words go a long way! Please leave your REVIEWS on Anobii, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Bol, Book Depository, eBookMall, FictionDB, Fnac, Foyles, Goodreads, !Indigo, Kobo , Lulu, Lybrary, Nook, Smashwords, Takealot, 24 Symbols – or wherever you see Christina’s books – or just send her an email via the Contact form!