Short Stories By Christina Engela
According to modern trends, stories with a word count between 3,500 and 7,500 words fit into the category of ‘the short story’! The category also often includes ‘flash fiction’ (between 53 and 3,499 words) and ‘novelettes’ (between 7,500 and 17,000 words).
Christina Engela has (so far) published the following short fiction items – but it should be noted that some of these have been released as standalone items used for promotional purposes, or incorporated into larger titles as episodes in a longer story (for example in the Panic! Horror In Space series):
Short Stories By Christina Engela:
- Mercury Rising (formerly “The Curse”, 1987, revised 2017) [Promotional item]
- Code Red (1988, revised 2017)
- Dysfunxion (1990)
- The Devils in The Sky (1993)
- A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion (1995)
- Beyond (1998)
- I, Mac (2006)
- Homecoming (2010)
- Little Green Men (2014)
- The Thirteenth Ship (2014)
- Midnight Station (2014)
- Death By Vampire (2015)
- Wiggle Room (2015)
- Through A Dark Glassy (2016, revised 2017)
- Mercury Resurgent (2017)
- Dead Center (2017)
- The Big Rain (2017)
- Miora (2017)
- Lange’s Legacy (2018, formerly “Space Vacation”)
- Good Evening, Mr. Gleeb (2018)
- The Storming Of Area 51 (2019)
- Overkill (2019) [Promotional Item]
- Going Quantum (2019) [Promotional Item]
- Broken Promises (2019) [Promotional Item]
- A Badfeller’s Tale (2019) [Promotional Item]
- A Nine In Time (2019) [Promotional Item]
- Chasing Ghosts (2019) [Promotional Item]
- Escape From Paradise (2019) [Promotional Item]
- The Jug Of Death (2019) [Promotional Item]
- The Ghost And The Machine (2019)
- The Broken-tipped Sword (2020)
- Lifetime (2020)
- The Day The Sun Went Out (2020)
Short Stories By Christina Engela – Synopses:
- Mercury Rising – Aboard the Kilgary, Captain Stuart Flane and his trusty Exo and best friend, Commander Vic Chapman find themselves hip-deep in zombies… and the lurching, drooling undead appear to have the upper hand! While fighting for their lives, the away team discover they have been cut off from communicating with the Mercury, and as their numbers dwindle in a cruel, bloody fashion, the last survivors – Flane and Chapman – realize the true horror of their situation! Stranded on the Kilgary, cornered in an airlock with the undead beating on the inner door – and no escape other than to leap into space, they try to attract the attention of their crewmates visually. It is there that Flane and Vic are faced with the ugly, frightening truth: the Mercury – whose lights they see go off just then – is also in trouble! (Part 1 of “Static”, book 1 of Panic! Horror In Space)
- Code Red – After an unexpected battle in orbit over a strange planet, the crew of the surviving battlecruiser land to repair their damage – and to look for a good spot to plant their flag.
- Dysfunxion – unreleased.
- The Devils in The Sky – On the border of Terran space, a lone starship is on frontier patrol. Suddenly, the I.S.S. Titan is attacked by an unidentified alien ship and suffers heavy damage. They lose weapons and defensive capabilities. Engines are off-line. Life support has failed. They’ve missed supper. Disaster seems inevitable…
- A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion – It’s not that Starbase 14 is unpleasant or anything like that, though it seems a trifle formal to Lance-corporal Thomas O’Blivion. The working environment for a security marine is probably average as starbases go, and he spends hour after hour patrolling dull, boring corridors of the station – and dealing with the occasional upset is a welcome break from the monotony. Something to even look forward to, in point of fact. But Lance-Corporal Thomas O’Blivion – a newbie to the deep space mining station – has no idea how bad his day is about to get. Over and above the usual bar-fights, the local miners have now gone on strike, and things are about to get a lot more interesting!
- Beyond – On the very last moment, Earth’s first mission to ‘go beyond’ – that is, to send a ship to explore a nearby star system – is delayed. Lisa Barnes, the captain of Earth’s very first starship has worked long and hard to get this far in her career – and although it’s a tremendous honor to command the first starship to leave Earth’s home system, it’s an even greater responsibility. A shuttle is on its way to dock – a shuttle bringing an admiral bearing bad news – and she finds her life – and her career – poised on the edge of the PR department’s knife.
- I, Mac – After a business trip to Io Station, Eric Sloane arrives back at his apartment only to find that his estranged, distant and also least-favorite cousin (and childhood bully and nemesis) has moved in… Whatever’s he to do? In the midst of the commission of murder most foul, a dastardly deed (and the second magnum of champers) Eric is paid a visit by a strange and extraordinary alien (who informs him her name is Catisha), and points out the flaws in his plan.
- Homecoming – A romantic vampire tale. Winner of the E-Book Diva Contest, 2010.
- Little Green Men – “Excuse me.” Said the message, “One of our space ships crashed on your planet… Would you mind returning the wreckage and bodies of the crew to us at your soonest convenience?” A diplomatic mission to retrieve the bodies of twenty clowns – yes, actual clowns – who’d landed on the planet Flort by accident a year previously goes hilariously and spectacularly awry.
- The Thirteenth Ship – They called her ‘the Hell Queen’. Cold. Cruel. Savage. She was the epitome of the deep space Corsair – and far more. The rumors said ‘blood drinker’… ‘vampire.’ For Hank MacMillan the perils of deep space travel were a familiar occupational hazard… When she took your ship, it stayed taken.
- Midnight Station – A spellbinding romantic encounter between two vampires who haven’t seen each other in 50 years.
- Death By Vampire – an interplanetary double agent brokering a trade-off of blood-diamonds in return for 100 Terran hostages gets more than he bargained for.
- Wiggle Room – James Booth’s eyes flickered open. The lights were blinding. He remembered the car accident… The dog running into the road ahead of him, swerving, the screeching of brakes, a tree on the side of the road – the awful jarring impact. He couldn’t remember anything after that. Till now. He couldn’t move. Well, he could a little. He could – well, he could wiggle some. And then he heard the footsteps… the feint distant clicking of heels…
- Through A Dark Glassy – Haunted paintings. Possessed dolls. Nightmarish accursed items that leave messy trails of misery, horror and death behind them through the pages of history. Regular folk would run a mile if someone offered them such a terrifying object, so what sort of person would want to actually collect them? More importantly, why would anyone think it was safe to transport these items via a courier service with only a poorly printed paper sign reading “WARNING: ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY DO NOT OPEN” stuck on the box? What if someone did? Even more of interest to Captain Flane of the intrepid starship Mercury, why did it always have to be his ship that drew the short straw? (Part 4 of “Static”, book 1 of Panic! Horror In Space)
- Mercury Resurgent – Commander Vic Chapman and Captain Stuart Flane are in a real tight spot. Trapped in space on the outside of the zombie-infested Kilgary, they take the massive risk of jumping across the empty space between the two ships. Once they get back inside the Mercury, they find a scene eerily like the one they just left – dead bodies everywhere, and without any apparent cause. Now they need to figure out how to take the ship back from the zombies who were their former shipmates… who for some weird reason, seem to be gathering in the ship’s engine room. (Part 2 of “Static“, book 1 of Panic! Horror In Space)
- Dead Center – Some people enjoy watching paranormal TV shows – but not Stuart Flane, captain of the Terran starship Mercury. Having just narrowly missed being a ghost – or worse, himself – after a weird incident involving reanimated corpses and alien nanobots, Flane wanted nothing to do with playing host to a bunch of paranormal investigators for a popular TV show called ‘Specter Adventures’. Neither did he fancy a 12 hour jaunt on Floridia-7, which was described by some as ‘the most haunted abandoned Terran outpost in the galaxy’ – but since he owes Commodore Peters for covering his ass after he lost nearly his entire crew to the zoms, he reluctantly agrees. And that, pretty much, is where things start going off the rails. (Part 3 of “Static“, book 1 of Panic! Horror In Space)
- The Big Rain – For some weird reason, certain people seem to think owning a cursed object suspected of being responsible for the untimely, messy, and unavoidably mysterious deaths of 13 people would be a good idea. Unfortunately for Stuart Flane, Captain of the Terran Space Fleet starship Mercury and his intrepid crew, their latest assignment is to relieve a terraforming plant on Atooin of such a cursed object! Things don’t go without a hitch – but then, the thing is called ‘the Jug of Death’, and obviously with good reason. (Part 3 of “Life Signs“, book 2 of Panic! Horror In Space)
- Miora – After a few hair-raising assignments – and some even more harsh treatment at the hands of his skeptical superiors at Space Fleet Command HQ, Captain Flane and the crew of the Terran starship Mercury are only too happy to be sent on a truly mind-numbingly boring assignment: to survey and catalog every planet, moon, asteroid and speck of space-dust in a previously unexplored star system. There, on a long-dead world scarred by an ancient war of self-annihilation, Flane and his intrepid crew discover a deserted alien ship stranded on the surface, perhaps since the great calamity that ended the burgeoning civilization that once lived there thousands of years ago. The fact that Flane’s best friend and executive officer, Commander Vic Chapman, gets all aflap about detecting life on board that ship, doesn’t make things any easier for Flane – but a boarding party goes down to investigate nonetheless. What they find shocks even the unshockable Stuart Flane to the core. (Part 1 of “Life Signs“, book 2 of Panic! Horror In Space)
- Lange’s Legacy – The disappearance of the Red Star Liner “Demeter” had become one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of commercial deep-space travel – until a military ship on patrol spots an object drifting in space – which turns out to be a shuttle from the long-lost mystery ship… For Captain Stuart Flane of the starship Mercury, it’s a feather in his cap that he and his ship should be associated with the last piece of the puzzle posed by such an enduring mystery of space. Posterity, as it were, was still not quite done with mysteries just yet. A body is found aboard the shuttle, a body clutching a letter – a very, very long letter, and it wasn’t written by the man holding it. Who was he? Was he a survivor of the Demeter? It seems unlikely as he’s only been dead a few years, while the Demeter disappeared decades before. What happened to the man who wrote the letter – and his co-survivors mentioned in it as being aboard the shuttle? The mystery deepens as Flane and Vic try to work out exactly what happened aboard the shuttle – while the intriguing letter, penned long ago by a survivor of the Demeter expounds exactly what happened aboard the lost space liner in graphic detail… a tale of suspicion, hysteria, pestilence and death! Could it be even remotely true? (Part 2 of “Life Signs“, book 2 of Panic! Horror In Space)
- Good Evening, Mr. Gleeb – Things take a turn for the surreal when one of the guest speakers on a midnight talk radio show about “those mysterious crop circles” turns out to be an actual alien wearing a disguise, giving credence to the adage ‘don’t ask questions if you’re not going to like the answers.
- The Storming Of Area 51 – Jake Smeggs sighed. Of all the conspiracy theories he’d entertained throughout his life – the part before he actually made it inside the hangar – THE hangar at Area 51 – he hadn’t expected this! But there was more to come, it seemed. His companion, Corby – ever-curious, reached into the opened crate and snatched out a manila envelope stuck to the large floppy wooden panel that had been the lid, and tore it open. A sheet of paper inside it bore the logo of the C.I.A. and Corby’s eyes hungrily devoured what had been typed on it. “What is it?” Jake asked. “Above Top Secret” Corby read aloud, ignoring the slight tremble in his fingers being transmitted to the yellowed page as his eyes rapidly scanned it. “Project Bulimic Dolphin… Objective: to maintain global public support for the spherical earth theory through public staging of… Oh, my God!” Jake swallowed nervously, glancing over his shoulder. Sure, they’d made it this far – but now that they knew, what were there chances of living to tell their tale?
- Overkill – Who is the mysterious Mykl d’Angelo? Where did he come from? Why was so much of his past before joining the Space Fleet locked away behind secret protocols? “Overkill” provides a glimpse into the life and background of one of the main characters of the Galaxii Series and contains over 15000 words worth of new material not seen in any of the novels!
- Going Quantum – “Going Quantum” is a preview and introduction to the Quantum Series, featuring one of the main characters, former CIA agent Cindy-Mei Winter. The last night of Mei’s journey to Deanna aboard the S.S. Duval, contains over 3000 words of completely new, original material.
- Broken Promises – “Broken Promises” is set just two decades after the Big Nuke, on the eve of the Gimp War, when Earth faced the threat of alien conquest by a horde of invading Ruminarii. Set about a century before “Blachart”, book 1 in the Galaxii Series, “Broken Promises” frames the background for the entire series.
- A Badfeller’s Tale – “A Badfeller’s Tale” provides a glimpse into the life and background of one of the main characters of the Quantum Series – Gary Beck, a.k.a. ‘Beck the Badfeller’ – legendary bounty hunter and the colony Deanna’s most famous son! Set just before “Black Sunrise”, the first book in that series, “A Badfeller’s Tale” is 2550 words of completely new material about Gary Beck that doesn’t appear in any of the novels!
- A Nine In Time – “A Nine In Time” provides a glimpse into the life and background of one of the main characters of the Quantum Series – Johnathan Scrooby, a Time Agent working for that super-secret clandestine organization, the Time Saving Agency. “A Nine In Time” overlaps “Prodigal Sun”, the fifth book in the series!
- Chasing Ghosts – “Specter Adventures” – as a paranormal investigative TV show – was a huge success. It had been Mak Sagan and Neil Gruff’s bread and butter for twelve years, and for the last seven years running the show had received accolades and annual awards… But When Neil was being completely honest with himself, he knew it wasn’t enough. It had become nothing more than a distraction for all of them from the daily horrors of real life. It was a way for Mak to forget the terror of being dragged out of bed by the ankles in the middle of every other night and shaken about by invisible forces. And Neil? Well, Neil… He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had any peaceful sleep either.
- Escape From Paradise – Newly promoted, Captain Joe Lofflin (“Demonspawn” – book 2 in the Galaxii Series) and his crew are on shore leave recuperating from their harrowing experiences while marooned in deep space – and their chance encounter with the alien derelict vessel and its sole homicidal resident, the Akx. Meanwhile, the Terran colony of Tremaine plays host to them, and it does so far too efficiently: Joe Lofflin suffers from boredom and wanderlust while awaiting the Mordrake’s eventual reactivation. Eager to leave the terribly ‘perfect hell’ that is Tremaine, Lofflin passes the time immersed in social pursuits with his boyfriend Dellon – who is also a junior member of his crew – and is introduced to his new Exo at the starship Mordrake’s rededication ceremony. The ship is due to leave on their first assignment soon, the first under Lofflin as Captain… and considering what they’d been through before, the gods only knew what awaited them in the black, mysterious depths of the Omegan Quadrant. “Escape From Paradise” leads into “Dead Beckoning” (book 3).
- The Jug Of Death – Unfortunately for Stuart Flane – Captain of the Terran starship Mercury – and his intrepid crew, their latest assignment did not go without a hitch …but then, the thing was called ‘the Jug of Death‘, and obviously with good reason. “It’s a funny old ‘verse,” Flane thought. Most people who found out a cursed object was responsible for the untimely messy – and unavoidably mysterious deaths of 13 people, would steer the hell clear of it… but for some weird reason, some people seemed to think that owning such a thing was a smart investment – or that it would somehow end well for them!
- The Ghost And The Machine – Terror results when the inventor of a new experimental matter transmitter doesn’t take EVERYTHING into account.
- The Broken-tipped Sword – An alien race that doesn’t communicate or negotiate suddenly attacks Earth without any warning. Earth has survived the Third World War and beaten its swords into ploughshares – and must now do the reverse to face the onslaught.
- Lifetime – A couple find themselves separated when one of them is apparently lost in a business trip into deep space. The other spares no effort in an attempt to find her.
- The Day The Sun Went Out – One day the world wakes up to the startling realization that the Sun has set, and didn’t rise again. Where did it go? And what can they do to stop the world from freezing up in one giant extinction level event?
Short Stories By Christina Engela – Publishing History:
Short Story Collections (by Christina Engela herself):
“The Devils in The Sky”, “A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion”, “Beyond”, and “I, Mac” appeared in a collection of sci-fi works by Christina Engela titled “Space Sux” released by Christina Engela in 2006 (First Edition, out of print).
“The Devils in The Sky”, “A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion”, “Beyond”, “I, Mac”, “Little Green Men”, “The Thirteenth Ship”, “Midnight Station” and “Death By Vampire” appear in “Space Sucks!” (Second Edition) a collection of short stories by Christina Engela in May 2016.
“Wiggle Room”, “The Thirteenth Ship” and “Mercury Rising” appear in “Malice!” (2019).
“Little Green Men”, “Good Evening, Mr. Gleeb”, “The Storming Of Area 51”, “Midnight Station”, “The Broken-tipped Sword” and “The Ghost And The Machine” appear in “Space Sucks Too!” (2020).
“Lifetime” was released by Moon Books Publishing as a novella and audiobook (2020).
Short Story Anthologies (Christina Engela as contributing author):
“Homecoming” (the EBook Diva writing contest winner in 2010) appeared in “Autumn Burning: Dreadtime Stories For The Wicked Soul” (JEA) – a Halloween anthology by various authors, published in October 2014. “Homecoming” also appeared in Horror Anthology IV in 2018.
“The Thirteenth Ship” appeared in “Inanna Rising” (JEA) – an anthology of short stories published in February 2015.
“Beyond” appeared in “For Love of Leelah” (JEA) an anthology in February 2015.
“Space Vacation” (later reworked into “Life Signs”) appeared in “Fearotica” in 2015.
“Midnight Station” appeared in “All That Remains” (JEA) – an anthology of short stories published in August 2015.
“Wiggle Room” appeared in “M v F: Death Personified” (JEA) – an anthology of short stories published in February 2016, and also in volume #5 of Phantasmagoria magazine (UK, June 2018).
“I, Mac” was selected by a panel of judges in 2015 to appear in “The #Coinage Book: Journal Of New South African Writing“, published in October 2016.
“The Storming of Area 51” appeared in “SEE THEM ALIENS!: An anthology of what waits during the Area 51 Raid” published by Moon Books Publishing, September 20, 2019.
“Wiggle Room” appeared in Phantasmagoria Magazine Issue #5 in June 2018.
“The Ghost And The Machine” appeared in “Christina Engela’s Strangely Compelling Science Fiction Anthology: Book 1” on December 26, 2019.
“The Day The Sun Went Out” appeared in “Axevictims” as “When You Wish Upon A Star” on December 04, 2020.
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2021.