Life out on the frontier isn’t always easy, and there are things that make living on Deanna a mite more interesting than on more civilized Human colonies – including the unique locals, the weird wildlife – and diverse alien tourists, immigrants and refugees.
The Quantum Series is sci-fi, with a dash of fantasy and a pinch of thriller thrown in, set on Deanna, a backwater Terran colony on the fringes of known space – which orbits a star named Ramalama, and has two mad little moons named Ding and Dong (this is a local joke).
A cast of recurring characters must overcome diabolical schemes, sinister villains, invading aliens – Human nature – and whatever daunting obstacles they encounter in their adventures together.
Quantum fits firmly into the science fiction genre, falling somewhere in the scope of “space opera” and “adventure” sub-genres. Like much of Christina Engela’s writing, it’s characterized by her unique (and often strange) sense of humor – but also features elements like time travel and, from time to time, more unexpected items such as vampires!
Quantum is set in the same ‘universe’ or timeline as the Galaxii Series, but takes place considerably later than those stories – and centers around an entirely new cast of characters and settings.
There are currently 6 titles in the Quantum Series, with several more in the pipeline, so readers hoping for the release of new titles shouldn’t despair! View Coming Soon to see new titles still in the pipeline!
Below is a brief overview of the books and stories of the series:
Book 1: Black Sunrise
Action! Adventure! Gender Dysphoria!
Cindy-Mei Winter had until recently been ‘Agent’ Winter, C.I.A. – that’s Colonial Intelligence Agency – and one of their best agents… that is, until they threw her out for coming to work in a dress.
After that disappointing and sudden end to what had been a promising career, Mei rewarded herself with a long relaxing vacation in the outblack to celebrate her gender reassignment and her new start in life. The first stop on her journey turned out to be a little backwater planet called Deanna…
As a third-rate colony in the Terran Empire, Deanna had more than its fair share of dull moments… Dull – but also definitely weird… Deanna orbited a star called Ramalama – and if you think that’s funny, Deannas’ two moons were called Ding and Dong, respectively. (This was a local joke.)
Then the unexpected happened: A single Ruminarii Hammerhead – the first seen by Humans in over eighty years, arrived to invade the small backwater Terran colony! Mei had hoped to put her violent and somehow depressing past behind her, but now it seemed her new beginning (and her holiday) were going to have to wait! The Gimp were back, and this was no time to be a sissy! She faced seemingly insurmountable odds in the midst of panic, hysteria – falling sherry – and people hiding under furniture! What would she do?
Thankfully, with the assistance of an alien walking, talking plant called Fred, a local bounty hunter called Beck the Badfeller – and the Skeggs Valley Dynamite Fishing Club, she wouldn’t have to find out alone!
Book 2: The Time Saving Agency
Action! Adventure! Time Travel!
The Time Saving Agency liked having fresh agents on the job, who had a clear mind and steady hand. After all, time travel wasn’t for the faint of heart. The pay was good enough, but as Johnathan Scrooby decided long ago – even if he didn’t get paid for it, the thrill alone was payment enough! Then again, the TSA realized they couldn’t afford to have disgruntled employees with the power of God at their fingertips, so the pay was very, very good indeed!
Scrooby was extremely tense. His job at the Time Saving Agency was a tough one – gazillions of lives depended on him not screwing up. Once, he’d screwed up in only a small way, and people wore those little yellow smiley faces on T-shirts for decades afterwards… And that was only a small screw up!
Things happened at a certain time in a certain way, which in a sense, is what Life was all about. If they didn’t, then things would be completely different – which was why, a week ago, the American War of Independence was fought in Mexico. Yesterday Napoleon managed to dig a tunnel across the English Channel, invaded London – and everybody at the Agency ended up speaking French for a while. Sorting that out had been… well, challenging… Mon dieu.
Something smelled funny in the Anals of History! Things were not as they were supposed to be. Someone somewhere was tinkering with the works, and it was up to Time Agent Scrooby – with a little help – to go back and fix it, or who knew what might happen next!
Book 3: Dead Man’s Hammer
Action! Adventure! Assassins!
Deanna was just another third-rate colony in the Terran Empire, and it was pretty much as boring a lump of rock as could be expected. Boring, that is, until Gary Beck – aka Beck the Badfeller, Deanna’s most famous bounty hunter – ran over an obsidian crow with his jeepo on the highway to San Fedora one Saturday morning and didn’t have a spare tire. Things pretty much went downhill from there.
An assassin had come to Atro City, an assassin with a score to settle. She was refined and pretty – but as poets might say, beauty can be deceiving – and the same poets who described Helen of Troy as the face that launched a thousand ships, might have written about Villainessa Tittle as the bitch that sank them.
As an assassin, she was the worst kind: she took pride in her work, enjoyed what she did for a living, was bloody good at it, and above all, she was absolutely terrifying. She’d come to Deanna on business, and this time, unfortunately, it was absolutely 100 percent personal.
Book 4: Loderunner
Action, Adventure, Disorganized Crime!
Returning from an evening spent in Mars City visiting relatives he didn’t know he had, Timaset Skooch arrived at the local space port to find the loderunner Celeste, his new acquisition, stolen. A few minutes later, the crew of his slightly run-down (and missing) ship, returned from a nearby pub, blind drunk, puzzled, and now unemployed as well.
Ever since he’d decided to quit being a P.I. and to try his hand at running cargo across the Outblack instead, things had just blown up in Skoochs’ face one day at a time (Florpavian Flamebirds tended to do that occasionally). Between the labor disputes and accidental deaths among the crew (who believed in settling disputes internally) Tim had developed a headache worse than the ones he used to get from getting kicked in the head. Things had way more complicated than he’d expected, and now the he and the odd-ball crew of the slightly run-down loderunner found themselves in the middle of a kind of cat and mouse game with some cloaks and daggers thrown in for good measure.
He was sure it had something to do with the 10,000 credits he’d been offered to transport two passengers to an asteroid in the rings of – um, Jupiter (as soon as possible, no questions asked) by a middle-man with no neck and a tendency to smile a lot. Trouble was, now the Martian Mob – or someone – seemed to be out to kill them all – and he was beginning to really regret winning that card game…
Book 5: Prodigal Sun
Action, Adventure, Skinheads!
The third-rate Terran colony of Deanna suddenly found itself hip-deep in strange events. Well… stranger than usual. And by quite a margin.
Deanna was a melting-pot of races, species and all manner of creeds and cultures, and always had been – but something very fundamental had changed. Without being noticed, hate had come to Deanna and had built a nest there. Something sinister had stirred in the shadows on the remote, usually idyllic (if slightly weird) little backwater colony – something… disturbing. And where had all these damn neo-Nazi skinheads suddenly come from?
In the final weeks before the greatly anticipated royal visit of Prince Justin, Sheriff Peggy-Ann Muller, stretched thin by work pressure and the daily, frenetic meetings at the Governor’s office in Atro City, Peg had little time to invest in sideshows. It was unavoidable that certain finer details would slip past her… like the sudden, puzzling increase in crime. A type of crime that had not been seen in some time. Hate crime.
Peg resolved to look into it – just as soon as her schedule would allow. But could it wait?
Something terrible was about to hatch! And when it did, the quirky residents of the third-rate colony would face a challenge unlike any they had seen before.
Book 6: High Steaks
Action, Adventure, Uncivil War!
Troubled times had come to the Terran Colony planet of Deanna, and unfortunately, having amusing names for its sun (Ramalama) and two moons (Ding and Dong) hadn’t made this quaint little world immune to bad things. Right now, things were looking pretty darned bleak.
A shock public assassination has just taken place in Lupini Square, and the popular Prince Justin – a young man with a rock star following, lies dead. The Jack and the Crow, Deanna’s two flags, are torn down outside the Governor’s Palace, and replaced with the red banners of the Deannan Service League. The three largest cities on Deanna are quickly and methodically overrun by the armed forces of a well-organized para-military group nobody on Deanna appeared to even know existed. The D.S.L. expects to make the most of the time it has before the remote Terran Empire’s government can formulate a response.
Deannan society is cut off from the outside, and completely paralyzed by martial law. People deemed ‘undesirable’ begin to vanish almost overnight. In the midst of all this, the local government goes into hiding, and volunteers secretly begin to rally and form the Loyalist Army, the stage is soon set. War is on its way. The quirky little colony is about to be enveloped in a destructive un-civil war…
Only… just not quite yet.
As Cindy-Mei Winter and her beau Gary Beck quickly discover, neither they nor Deanna are as alone as they think.
Book 7: Underground Movement
Action! Adventure! Space Opera!
Deanna, a small backwater Terran colony generally known as an idyllic tourist-magnet (if watching birds blow up if they flew too high were your kind of thing) had just hit a speed-bump on the highway of Life called the Deannan Un-civil War.
With someone at the Time Saving Agency helping Gary Beck and Cindy-Mei Winter pull a few of the right strings, everything according to the Anals of History (not a typo) was still unfolding more or less as it should – just a bit quicker. Either way, Deanna – the spotted cow of the galaxy, was still in a lot of trouble.
A fascist army was in charge, rounding up undesirables and sending them to a concentration camp called Xanadu, while contemporaneously, a loyalist militia rapidly fomented in the Grauffis family’s den. But while the numerous volunteers and veterans of every war fought by the Terran Empire for the last century trained and got back into the swing of things, that was not enough.
Deanna needed a resistance movement – badly. In the face of this terror, the daunting task of starting a resistance movement from scratch fell to one Marla De Bris – who despite looking unusually youthful, healthy (and alive) for someone who had nigh on 200 years experience in being a secret vampire – didn’t have terribly much experience in this sort of thing. Guerrilla warfare had never been one of her interests – but oh well, someone had to do it… Someone had to buy time for the Militia to prepare to take on the formidable Deannan Repulican Army – and to get as many people as possible out of harms’ way before the war really got going. It might as well be her.
Book 8: Xanadu
Action! Adventure! Space Opera!
Deanna – the spotted cow of the galaxy, was in trouble. This was all beyond having a funny moon that fell down occasionally, or having jet-propelled birds that exploded if they flew too high; this was serious. An army of fascists had seized power and started rebuilding Deanna as a eugenic utopia – without all the messy inconvenience caused by diversity and dissent. They simply excised it from Deannan society, rounding up undesirables and sending them to Xanadu, a concentration camp in the Wilds between the three largest cities of Deanna: Atro City, San Fedora and Fortitude. Out of sight and out of mind. An energy field set up by the fascists now isolated Deanna from the outside universe – and prevented Terran ships from reaching them to unseat the enemy. After having their hands tied by Terran policy for so many generations, the religious right wing had both hands free – and was working on its swing. On the prairie, Xanadu was a hell-hole where prisoners were locked up and forgotten, without food, water or shelter – where they only way out was a rapid decline and death. And death suited the architects of Xanadu. But it didn’t suit Danielle Grauffis. Caught up in the fascist’s net by pure chance, she’d been sent there to die. She watched as people around her grew weaker from starvation and died from thirst and exposure. But she wasn’t ready to give up yet, she’d do anything to hold out until rescue came. Anything. Meanwhile, a resistance movement had risen to unseat the fascists, and their challenge was to defeat them militarily – to free Deanna from their yoke, and most importantly, to free the prisoners incarcerated at Xanadu. Before it was too late.
Book 9: The Last Hurrah
Action! Adventure! Space Opera!
Whoever said ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ had obviously never encountered high-powered energy weapons. The Deannan Uncivil war was in full swing and the fascists appeared to hold all the aces. All that stood in their way was the Loyalist Militia: a lot of angry locals who wanted their abducted friends and relatives back, didn’t like to be told how to live their lives, and most importantly – could handle a blaster a little. Among them, were retired military veterans who’d seen action in nearly every Terran military conflict over the last half-century – men and women who’d already tried to forget most of the things the young, well-equipped and smartly drilled fascists had yet to learn for themselves. As well as being the Chair of the Skeggs Valley Dynamite Fishing Club, the elderly General Albert McIntyre-Smythe (recently un-retired) had been put in charge of the Militia on Deanna. Fortunately, the Militia was not alone in the fight – together with the Vampire Underground – consisting of real, actual vampires – the Resistance, Deanna’s criminal underworld, and the unique loderunner Celeste and its eccentric crew, Deanna stood fairly united against the fascist menace. Even so, Smythe harbored no doubts that civil war was an ugly business – it was in essence, a family feud with blasters – and there was no question that Deanna wasn’t going to be torn to shreds in the process. The only question left was: could it be put back together again?
- Quantum Characters & Plot Devices
- Quantum Spice – The Story Behind The Series
- The Quantum Series: Coming Soon!
- A Little More About The Coming New Titles In The Quantum Series
View these guides to find out more about the tech, settings and ships used in this series: