Fan mail, reader reviews, praise and compliments for Christina Engela, South Africa’s most unique and talented female science fiction author!
For many years it’s been my privilege to receive positive feedback for my work in the field of human rights, from various communities it’s been my privilege to mingle with and support in my own small way, and most of all, for my writing!
There’s very little that can compare to the feeling of reading a note or email or review of a book or short story I wrote – it’s a mixture of pride, bashfulness and sheer joy! For a writer, it means someone liked (or dare I say it, loved) something they wrote – that it wasn’t just a shout into the vast empty darkness, it was read, felt – and above all, appreciated!
With that, I invite you to take a seat, pour a glass of your favorite tipple, and share my joy with me.
Above all, keep reading!
Fan mail, reader reviews, praise and compliments
This is listing of assorted fan-mail, good reader reviews and compliments and a selection of other positive comments Christina Engela has received, some for her writing and editing, and some for human rights activism. For book reviews, go here. For older entries, view page 1 or for newer entries, view page 3 or page 4.
December 19, 2019
December 17, 2019
“Obtaining balanced assessment of the Bill rather than relying on public rhetoric and fear mongering” a Pakistani opinion piece appeared about the recent passing of a Bill to extend citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants in Pakistan – and the recent riots in objection to it. The article contained a quote of mine – followed by the explanation “The above quote explains how religious persecution dehumanizes a particular religious group at a societal level” and pressed the point that people should rather consider the broad implications of the Bill instead of allowing themselves be whipped into a frenzy by hearsay and rumor. I’m proud to see my words being used well – and in the right way, in context!
November 27, 2019
On Nov 27, Lee Hall again mentioned one of his fine reviews of another of my books, this time “Loderunner” in part 2 of his recap of 2019’s reviews! “Loderunner by Christina Engela is the 4th book in the ‘Quantum‘ series and this one is a tale of the unexpected. Here at the Hall of Information we like the unexpected, we embraced it for my debut novel but seriously this one is a great read about voyaging through the unknown of space while trying to earn an honest buck. There is also a very important inclusive message (like all of Engela’s works) but this one in particular carries a lot of meaning.”
November 14, 2019
I received a letter from Christina Konyhás, who went on to say: “Let me introduce myself as a great admirer of Yours, who I regard an outstandingly amazing person. Every day, I spend significant amount of time with searching the internet so that I could get more information about the wonderful world we are living in. Reading about sport, art, music, science, technology, the natural world and history itself gives a breath-taking experience to an everyday person, like me. In the course of these adventures, I have met your name and work, which urged me to learn more about your contribution to the field. Learning a lot from your interesting work enriched my life in numerous ways.” – Christina Konyhás, Pusztazámor, Hungary
November 8, 2019
On Nov 8, Lee Hall mentioned his awesome review of “Dead Man’s Hammer” in one of his articles, and of “Black Sunrise” in another recap of his year’s reviews! “Black Sunrise by Christina Engela is not only a fun, quirky and imaginative foray into science fiction, it’s also part 1 of the ‘Quantum‘ series which I have delved into over the past 6 or so months – I still have 2 left to read hopefully before the end of this year. All of Christina Engela’s books promote positive and modern messages about being inclusive while also being fun. Black Sunrise is just the beginning of that and if you like sci fi you will love this!”
October 17, 2019
“Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You” by Christina Engela celebrates the concept of diversity and how precious every child is. This book is about intolerance, diversity, and bullying and encourages readers to accept everyone, irrespective of their differences based on gender, race, and color. The book also emphasizes being compassionate to everyone, regardless of their color, status, and gender. Bullying and intolerance are relevant topics in today’s times and this book is good for read-aloud sessions in classrooms to help children be more tolerant and compassionate towards others. The illustrations lend clarity to the concept and help readers connect with the author’s words. The author’s approach to the subject is unique and different, and she makes the book appealing to children with the help of colorful illustrations. It is a good book to teach children to be kind and compassionate.” – Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite, Oct 17, 2019
October 11, 2019
“‘Demonspawn’ by Christina Engela is a sci-fi horror space story with psychological mystery and suspense throughout. The somewhat damned crew of the I.S.S. Mordrake; a ship seemingly stranded and damaged beyond repair in the furthest reaches of space then stumbles upon another ship, derelict and just floating there…
The story reminded me of films such as Alien and Event Horizon but Demonspawn could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with them. There were many concepts of the sci-fi genre in this book that were original and put together in a way not seen before anywhere else. You can grab yourself a copy here.” – Lee Hall, UK writer & reviewer in “Chilling Book Recommendations For Halloween part 1“.
September 12, 2019
The Ending Was Different (“The Thirteenth Ship”)
“Started average, but the ending was different. 4 Stars” – James Jenkins September 12, 2019
August 18, 2019
Surprising Vampire Twist (“The Thirteenth Ship“)
“Surprising vampire twist… Intimate and tender while making use of general stereotypes to propel the story forward. Easy to read, I enjoyed it very much.” – H.G. Emert (via Smashwords).
Excellent Tool (“Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You”)
“Excellent tool to teach children to accept people who are different. I would recommend it to anyone who has children and is against bullying.” 5 stars – Anonymous (via Barnes & Noble).
August 13, 2019
I was quoted by Stephanie C. Odili in an article at Medium.com “The patriarchy longs for the days ‘when men were men’ and women were oppressed, subservient — and they can see no wrong in it. It justifies its former power and lust to hold on to it — and if possible, to regain it…How can oppression and power over another person’s life ever be ‘love’?” ― Christina Engela.
May 13, 2019
April 29, 2019
Left by Tim on “Little Green Men” at Hubpages.com:
“We [our reading group] have read your book called ‘Prodigal Sun’, oh my God it’s awesome…” “I’m really happy that we have a person like you behind us.” “…your books have and will always create a big impact in Uganda’s LGBTI community.” – Name Withheld, 24 February, 2019.
It’s very satisfying to know there are LGBTI people living in Uganda – where it’s not safe for them to be open about who they are, or who they love – who are reading my work. I can’t do much to help alleviate their plight, but I hope I can at least inspire them through my writing!
December 15, 2018
November 08, 2018
Found on Gliphy:
November 08, 2018
Found on “it’s a money thing.com“:
October 25, 2018
Christina was quoted in this article from Mindingtherapy.com:
“Christina Engela, in Inanna Rising: Women Forged in Fire (2015), edited by Amanda M. Lyons:
Voting on things is democratic, yes – but not on deciding on whether or not people should be equal or have human rights. That isn’t democracy, it is mob rule.
Everybody should be equal in a democracy – that is the nature of a democracy.”
July 20, 2018
June 19, 2018
Message from Anya Louw, having read “Dead Beckoning“.
May 23, 2018
“Great imagination!! Great short story. The author describes the scene so you can see the picture in your mind.” – Connie K on ‘Wiggle Room’, Amazon (May 23, 2018)
May 08, 2018
Message from Anya Louw, having read “The Time Saving Agency”.
March 22, 2018
A review left for “Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You”.
March 10, 2018
February 10, 2018
“Christina Engela’s books are full of adventure and funny situations. The sci-fi is not too overly technical and the characters are quite unique. The writing is done with wit and funny repartee. If you are a novice at sci-fi, hers are good series to read. Her short stories left me waiting with bated breath and giddy anticipation for the next one. I thoroughly enjoyed them. Her talent and imagination are quite something to behold!” – Dina Gloss
November 18, 2017
November 15, 2017
Geoff Ryman wrote an article “South African writers I did not interview” on November 15, 2017 which is basically a listing of South African authors he didn’t interview – including me! And no, he still hasn’t! That’s just plain weird.
October 22, 2017
“Roughly about 13% of the way in you have “here” instead of “her”. A little further on you have “or” instead of “for”. Some of the kindle formatting means that some sentences are cut in half and drags you out of the world.
That said, what a fantastic read! I really got engrossed into the characters. The story line kept me hooked and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Your writing “voice” is easy to fall into and the fights scenes easy to follow, you didn’t fall into the sex cliché and built the beginnings of a meaningful relationship. Great job, thank you for your book.” – Verified Purchase Amazon, July 22, 2017.
October 2, 2017
August 18, 2017
Absolutely Refreshing (“Death By Vampire”)
“Absolutely refreshing. Not the same stale story with vampires in it. Loved it!!!! Keep up the great work!” 5 stars – Anonymous (via Barnes & Noble).
A Brilliant Story (“The Thirteenth Ship”)
“A brilliant short story. Full of mystery. I love Christina’s writings!” – 5 stars – Anonymous (via Barnes & Noble).
Brilliant! (“Black Sunrise“)
“Brilliant!!! Absolutely unique story-line and characters! I am a huge fan of Christina Engela’s books!!!” – 5 stars – Anonymous (via Barnes & Noble).
July 13, 2017
“I am looking forward to reading all of Christina’s books. I really enjoy her unique imagination , she is a terrific author!” Amazon Customer (“The Peed Off Peasant”), July 13, 2017
“Even though this book was short it still provides the reader with an awesome story. I really enjoyed reading this!” Amazon Customer (“The Thirteenth Ship”), July 13, 2017
July 12, 2017
July 11, 2017
Good Short Story
“Really liked this short vampire story. The author has great imagination. Why read a super long book when you can read a nice little story in no time!” – Michelle on Goodreads
April 13, 18, 24, 2017
March 23, 2017
“I loved the suspense and thrill of Mercury Rising; I felt like any moment was going to break into horror. Zombies in space on a small, dead ship in the middle of nowhere is an utterly terrifying thought. I felt claustrophobic, like I was in that derelict with them.
The scene of Flane and Vic walking the hull was brilliant in reference to the title. That brief moment of hope before the characters’ devastating disappointment is cunning. I liked that you didn’t put too much emphasis on the hope aspect; it felt like a natural hope from what you’d expect out of the perspective of two exhausted people going through an adrenaline crash.
I thoroughly enjoyed the contact scenes; full of action and anxiety. The ending was a blanket of dread that fell over me. My heart sank to my stomach. I suspected the Mercury was infected but I wasn’t fully prepared for the confirmation.
I have questions; like what the contagion is, how it spreads, how it affects lifeforms, but they’re best left to my imagination I think. So the vague clues were well placed. I felt like there should be more after the S.O.S, though I can’t think of a better way to end it. The unhappy ending is beautiful! So much despair.
I’m really looking forward to reading your other stories! It’s refreshing to read some old-school action sci-fi that works more on the story than the plausibility of the sciences in it.
Thank-you for letting me read Mercury Rising! I’m probably going to dream about it now.” – Anike Kirsten, author of “Of Beasts And Men”.
March 5, 2017
February 13, 2017
“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 Pratchet 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.” – Sarah Rutledge Fischer, Focus Mid-South Magazine.
February 01, 2017
I received the following email about a bit of activism I did some years ago – seems it finally paid some dividends, with the villain in the case being taken down after a lengthy investigation in the UK. Getting feedback like this really makes me feel like I did some good, and that my life’s work isn’t just hollow hammering on a keyboard that disappears into the ether without having any impact on the real world! I’m honored and most pleased to have helped even as much as one wounded person find some closure and healing.
January 26, 2017
Life and Living with Cerebral Palsy quoted Christina Engela:
January 24, 2017
January 15, 2017
“Too short. Good story though. I enjoyed this story. I wasn’t expecting vampires. I want to read more of her works. I will be looking for more works like this.” – Carl Gordon Allison on ‘The Thirteenth Ship’ on Amazon and rated it “It was amazing” on Goodreads.
January 01, 2017
“Absolutely brilliant as always. Witty and immersive story line. The characters are vivid and jump off the page at you. I have read all her books and want more and more!” – W.G. on ‘Blachart’, Kobo.
“Space does actually suck! Loved this story. Really enjoyed reading it. A refreshing view on space travel 🙂 with a twist!” – W.G. on ‘Space Sucks!’, Kobo.
“Yet again a brilliant book. This author is a master at telling dark and humorous tales in space. Was not a sci fi fan until I started reading her books :)” – W.G. on ‘Dead Beckoning’, Kobo.
“Another fantastic short story by Christina Engela.” – W.G. on ‘Wiggle Room’, Kobo.
December 31, 2016
“One word: Awesome! I loved it! Keep it up you are reaaaalllyy a great writer! More pleeeease!” – Cheryl-Ann Desai Fisasi on ‘Wiggle Room’ (Afrikaans version).
December 30, 2016
The Free Hugs Project shared a quote of mine in their video on their YouTube channel!
“Wow I love it! You use of the language is very proficient and I love the style of writing! Great things ahead for you! Thank you for allowing me to read for you!” – Cheryl-Ann Desai Fisasi on ‘The Thirteenth Ship’ (Afrikaans version).
December 13, 2016
“This is a short story (‘Wiggle Room’) that is very well written and has a clear ending. The characterizations were good too! I really like it a lot.” – By Jakob (Amazon, 4 stars)
November 20, 2016
November 15, 2016
“This short story is hauntingly brilliant. A great introduction to Christina’s style of writing :)” – Wendy Gloss, on ‘Wiggle Room’, Lybrary.
October 20, 2016
“It’s good to see new SGM (Sexual and Gender Minority) content being produced rather than established media either being altered or removed due to whatever complaint is issued. There’s no need for hand-me-down characters to change when you can create new ones, so good on this author! Good luck!” – FreeHomeBrew @FreeHomeBrew on Minds.com, Oct 19, 2016, in reply to an article I posted.
October 12, 2016
“I thought ‘Prodigal Sun’ was a brilliant read. The story is tasteful and humorous in a style that reminds me of Pratchett. Christina Engela sets the scene for “Prodigal Sun” on the quirky little planet called Deanna under it’s mad little moons Ding and Dong, bringing back all the characters I’ve grown to love from her previous books in the Quantum series.
The first installment of this gripping story unfolds, telling the emotive and sometimes disturbing tale of events as they unfold in Atro City. She captures the darkness of hatred and fear as she details the dangers of encroaching fascism, the daunting struggles facing her characters, and the true horror found in the segregation of various minorities at the hands of purists. She deals with these topics sensitively and intelligently, with certain familiar characters being on-hand to balance the darkness out with injections of wit and humor – and to administer required doses of karma and justice!
As this first part of the story ends, the stage is set for an epic battle on a grand scale – and as the first person to read ‘Prodigal Sun’, I was left begging for more!
I can’t wait to see how my favorite characters overcome the odds in the next installment!” – Wendy Keran Gloss
September 06, 2016
“Just finished it, C, really enjoyed it. Definitely up there with Terry Pratchett in my opinion. Thanks again :)” – Mandy Botha, Giveaway Contest Winner [Black Sunrise], Christina Engela Author group.
May 26, 2016
“Christina Engela is that rarest of authors – able to seamlessly blend together elements of dark horror and sci-fi to create stories that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.” – Mark Woods, author of Time of Tides and Fear of the Dark.
May 26, 2016
“I’d like to offer my congratulations to Christina Engela for showing great resourcefulness in the quickest recovery from losing a publisher I’ve ever seen. It’s a tribute to her ingenuity that she doesn’t waste time belaboring her losses, but simply moves ahead.” – Alex S. Johnson, author of ‘The Doom Hippies’.
April 10, 2016
“Both books [‘Blachart’ and ‘Demonspawn’ ] were awesome and incredible reads. I couldn’t put them down. They were fantastic and I was able to get vivid mental images of the scenes as I was reading them. That’s the sign of a great author. Congratulations Christina. Your writing truly ROCKS!” – Scott M. Darrah, reader.
February 24, 2016
“Engrossing space story. [Demonspawn] A crew faces imminent death due to a poor decision to battle a ready foe. Just when they think they’ve found salvation in the form of a salvage ship they hope to use for parts – things go from bad to worse. The best part about the story was the quality writing. Excellent description. Good pacing. Recommend.” – B. Mishler.
January 05, 2016
“Thank you so much Christina Engela for being a TRUE activist.Very rare to find an activist that actually walk the talk so to speak as many just talk with no helping hand..many can learn from you.Much respect!” – Zenja Collins, activist, Zen Entertainment.
November 10, 2015
“Christina is a wonderful sci-fi author and she was one of the first authors we asked to take part once the idea was formed. ‘Beyond’ is the story of an officer asked to betray his friend and former partner when her past comes into question, it’s a very powerful story and shows the impact one person can have on another by only a few simple acts. Christina also wrote our opening essay which beautifully captured the message we wished to convey with ‘For Love of Leelah‘.” – Amanda M. Lyons.
November 10, 2015
“This [‘Beyond’] was such a good Sci-Fi story!! Loved it. When I got to it in the anthology, and read the opening, I was like OOOOH Sci-Fi… and then came all the twists. For a short story, it packed a wonderful punch with modern issues being addressed.” – Corinne Kilgore, reader, ‘For Love of Leelah‘.
September 06, 2015
“Really enjoyed reading this one [Demonspawn]. I had a hard time putting it down. Every page leaves you with a burning desire to find out what happens next. The way she writes this book makes it so easy to picture the entire story in your head. Its more like watching a movie than reading a book!!” – 5 stars – Mzyla, reader.
August 21, 2015
“Good read, very good story!! [Blachart] Definitely should give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed. Keeps you on the edge of your seat.” – Verified Purchase, reader.
June 16, 2015
“I loved this story! [Blachart] Christina writes well, with humour and vivid descriptions, and develops a plausible tale of futuristic adventures.” – J. Pietersen, reader.
May 17, 2015
“Engela proves she is the newest, best voice in sci-fi with this [Demonspawn] second volume in her Galaxii series set in the furthest reaches of deep space.
On an Imperial ship, damaged in a battle with corsairs and now floating adrift, tensions begin to rise as the crew slowly begin to realise that they are all about to die. The captain, unable to accept that the current situation they find themselves in is all his fault, sits in his cabin getting drunk when he is confronted by a killer.
And it is in this moment that a small sliver of hope appears.
An alien ship, abandoned in an asteroid field, provides their only hope of salvation but going aboard, the crew soon discover there is a reason why the ship is empty.
Everyone onboard has been slaughtered.
With no other choice, the crew begin the slow process of cannibalising the alien ship for parts, all the time only too aware that there is not just a killer in their midst but also on this abandoned alien ship as well.
As more and more people begin to die, it becomes a race against time – can the crew get the parts they need and get out of there before it is too late? And even if they do, will they still be safe even then?
This book is an awesome read and one that comes across as a mash-up of such films as Alien, Hardware, and Event Horizon.
If this makes the book sound like it is derivative, fear not!
Christina Engela has a unique and brilliant voice that helps make this story her own as she slowly builds the tension to a shocking and tense climax.
Quite simply, Christina Engela is one of the best voices in sci-fi right now and to not read her work would be to miss a treat!
If you like classic space opera with an ultra-modern twist, you should check her out.
Having read previews of her forthcoming work, I can guarantee you the best is yet to come…” – Mark Woods, reader.
May 12, 2015
“Christina Engela’s debut novel, Blachart is a fantastically written sci-fi novel filled with intrigue, suspense and nail biting action. From the first paragraph to the last, I was captivated by her ability to bring her characters to life. Blachart kept me on the edge of my seat! I highly recommend this read. You will not be disappointed!” – Stephanie Bothma, reader.
May 11, 2015
“They say in space no one can hear you scream. In Demonspawn: Galaxii Series Book 2, there are plenty of screams as a creature rips its way through the inhabitants of a spaceship. A crew member, Kaine, tries to take the creature down in one last desperate move.
Reminiscent of Alien, where a helpless crew face an alien terror, the story drew me in and I could feel that same claustrophobic feel I got when watching the movie.
I felt the characters were well developed and the story moved along at a good pace.
Sci-fi fans will love this book.” – S. Gregory, reader.
March 21, 2015
“I love Christina’s novels. Blachart gets 5 stars from me.” – Dorian, reader.
March 17, 2015
“The author is brilliant and her writing technique is quite captivating. This book is worthy of an award! I wasn’t a fan of the genre, this book [Blachart] changed that. Sci-fi gained a fan because of you! A series is born. Excellent writing skills. The characters come to life. Well done Christina Engela! A well deserved 5 stars. Inspiring!” – Stephanie.
March 08, 2015
“After having read all your books, I can say you deserve recognition as a great author. Please can you write some more :)” – Robin Ellis.
February 14, 2015
“Blachart is the debut novel from Christina Engela and the first part of an ongoing series of intelligent and well constructed sci-fi adventures set in the not too distant future in a galaxy far, far away, but actually not that far.
d’Angelo is already having a very bad day when he is picked up by Imperial Space Fleet. His crew are all dead and he has been left floating, stranded in deep space when Starfleet hear his distress call.
But his rescue does not come without a price…
Soon former Space Marine, d’Angelo, finds himself neck deep in space Pirates, after being re-recruited by Starfleet to investigate a colony that has gone ‘dark’. Teamed up with his former lover and he infamous former corsair, Blachart The Bloody, d’Angelo ends up going undercover on the Pirates own homeworld, but can he complete his mission and escape with his life, or is his day about to get even worse?
Blachart has the potential to be a future, modern classic piece of sci-fi space opera and both amuses and entertains from the very first minute you turn the page. Having read many of the other books in the series already, it is great to re-read this series again from the beginning and I can only wish Christina every success, because with writing like this she really, truly deserves it! Seriously, if you love good sci-fi, you should totally check her out!” – Mark Woods, reader.