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Life hardly ever turns out the way we expect it to, and for Mykl d’Angelo, skipper and owner of the loderunner Pegasus, it had just taken a bad turn for terrible.

Due a minor misunderstanding, his crew had stolen the ship’s only shuttle, leaving him and two others behind to crew the ailing ship on their own. As if that weren’t bad enough, just a few hours later the rickety old ship’s stardrive exploded in the middle of the middle of nowhere, killing Mykl’s two remaining crewmen.

Marooned alone in deep space, Mykl d’Angelo counted his blessings, offered prayers to any gods who specialized in miracles, and prepared to await (A) seemingly unlikely rescue, or (B) a lingering death…

Rescue takes place, but at a price – as the Antares, a cruiser dispatched to investigate the mysterious silence of a remote starbase crosses paths with a legendary and fearsome Corsair – a man whose name sent shivers down the spines of lesser mortals. Blachart… Blachart the Bloody.

“At times tense, at other times funny, Christina manages to maintain a healthy balance between humour and excitement – producing a first novel that is as easy to read as it is a joy to experience. Truly this is one of the very best sci-fi novels that I have read all year!” – Mark Woods, author of “Time of Tides” and “Fear of the Dark”.

Blachart” is the first title in the Galaxii Series by Christina Engela.


  • Published: Fifth Edition – May 10, 2018 (eBook); December 14, 2019 (paperback)
  • Words: 84,098 (Flowing Text eBook)
  • Pages: 280 (6×9 format paperback)


[Spoiler Alert]

Blachart” is the first title in the Galaxii Series, a saga set in a distant future decades after two great wars – a devastating world war, and the even more cataclysmic Gimp War – have changed the human equation forever. Refugees fleeing Earth in the turmoil at the dawn of the new age of interstellar travel settled on an uninhabited world, broken all ties with Earth, and while Earth went on in the interceding years to recover and build its own thriving colonies, these lost colonists decided that it was easier to take what they needed rather than to barter or to make it themselves… These lost cousins of Earth became so menacing a threat to Terran fringe colonies and trade routes, that Corsairs – the name they chose for themselves – had been hunted over several decades by the Terran Space Fleet – almost to no avail. For as long as the location of their home world remained a closely-guarded secret, the mighty Fleet could do almost nothing against it except to react feebly to seemingly random attacks too difficult to predict…

Blachart” tells the story of a former Space Fleet officer trying to make a living as a private loderunner owner and skipper. Mykl d’Angelo has fallen on hard times – and has just had the worst day of his life in that field. Due a minor misunderstanding, his crew has mutinied and left him and two others behind to crew the ailing loderunner Pegasus – which just happened to literally lose its stardrive in the middle of the middle of nowhere! His two remaining crewmen are killed when the ship’s engine explode, and Mykl d’Angelo is marooned and awaits rescue in deep space.

In the meantime, a Terran starbase has fallen silent, and the only Space Fleet ship close enough to investigate is dispatched. I.S.S. Antares, fondly referred to by her crew as ‘the Ant-arse‘, is not exactly in tip-top condition! Having been in space dock for a refit which is not entirely complete, the Antares is suffering a variety of malfunctions and system failures as she speeds in haste to investigate the sudden silence of Starbase 91. On the way, she receives a distress call from a loderunner in trouble and diverts to intercept. On the bridge, Lieutenant Commander Ripley Jones – the Executive Officer to Captain Falconer, recognizes the name “Mykl d’Angelo”.

I.S.S. Antares

After d’Angelo is rescued, the Antares resumes course and finds that Starbase 91 has indeed been destroyed by Corsairs.

Meanwhile, Lt. Commander Jones and Mykl re-acquaint themselves, having known each other at the Academy years before, discussing their unpleasant history. Captain Falconer reinstates Mykl d’Angelo’s commission as a Commander in the Space Fleet and enlists him in an advisory capacity about Corsairs. Shortly after rescuing one lone survivor and putting the debris to their exhaust nacelles, Antares encounters a mysterious black ship – suspiciously like a typical Corsair raider – and fires a warning shot to get it to stop.

While leading a search party on board the mysterious ship, Captain Falconer, Commander d’Angelo and Lt. Commander Jones and a detail of security marines confront the skipper of the black ship, who it turns out is a Corsair and they have walked right into a trap!

In the ensuing fire-fight on the Corsair vessel, chaos erupts! Outnumbered and outgunned, the marines are quickly decimated and the survivors captured. Ripley escapes back to the Antares, while d’Angelo is captured by the Corsair captain known through myth and legend as the formidable “Blachart the Bloody”. Staging a daring escape, Mykl unleashes guerrilla warfare on Blachart’s Corsair crew and creates enough of a diversion for Ripley to return with reinforcements and take the ship.

The story is far from over by this point however, since on his return to Antares, bringing the sad news of the death of Captain Falconer, Commander d’Angelo is appointed by an Admiral of the Space Fleet as the new Captain! In a complete reversal of fortune, Mykl has gone from broken down space-bum to Captain of an imperial starship in only a matter of days! The fact that he now has a new chance at rekindling a romance with ‘the one that got away’ is an added bonus!

His appointment as Captain doesn’t come free however, and Captain d’Angelo’s first task is to lead a daring mission into Corsair space to discover their base world – and take a team of Terran operatives down for a reconnaissance run. His goal is to lead the Terran fleet right up to the Corsair’s front door – so that the Corsair menace can be ended once and for all!

The only obstacle is, to do this successfully, he needs the assistance of the man occupying a cell in the brig of the Antares, the lone Corsair survivor, Blachart the Bloody himself! Reluctantly, Mykl accepts that he has to convince Blachart to co-operate, which he eventually does – in exchange for a deal in which Blachart receives a full pardon IF he acts as a guide to Mykl and his team. In a curious set of circumstances, Mykl and his team of volunteers find themselves deep behind enemy lines on the Corsair planet called Meradinis – often called “Turtle Island”, facing a choice of whether or not to trust him – with all their lives hanging in the balance if they do not.

The History of “Blachart”

I’ve been writing stories basically since I could hold a wax crayon, and this book is in that respect a milestone for me. Why? Well, you may ask that question, but the answer isn’t a simple one.

I started working on the foundations of what would become this story when I started high school in 1986. Back then, it was called “The Red Star”, and it featured the some of the same characters, and the story plot was unrecognizable. By 1988, the basic plot had evolved into the story of a starship Captain rescued from being marooned in space, and the introduction of the formidable Corsairs – and a character then called Black Heart. By the time I’d finished high school in 1991, and been drafted into the army, in January 1992, I had a rough idea where I wanted the story to lead. But life was hectic, and tended to get in the way.

Eventually, in February 1998, I finished the last rough draft, then still in hand-written form! And then it lay fallow for some time longer, while a lot of other things unfolded in my personal life, in terms of gender identity, self-discovery, and career. In 2003 I finally typed and edited that draft on a PC, and launched into the modern way of writing novels. It was far easier and faster to type and edit on a PC than doing rewrites of my books by hand!

In 2005, after years of struggling to find a publisher to take on “Blachart“, I first self-published the book in its original, most basic form on, and then ran several updates over the intervening years in content and cover. In the meantime, I’d also published several of its sequels.

The first cover for Blachart, 2005.

One of the original covers, this one also from 2005.

In 2007 I created new covers for the Galaxii Series.

When I was picked up by a so-called ‘traditional publisher’ in 2014, “Blachart” was the first book they re-released with a new cover created by one of their staff. By the time it was released in 2014, “Blachart” was around 49,600 words long! Apparently that’s not very long by today’s standards, but to put it into perspective, most novels by the great Terry Pratchett are only around 50,000 words long – and I always felt that if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for me! That aside, if a story can be told well in whatever space of words, then that should be good enough too.

But as I do so often, I digress; Since 2016, when I went indie again, I’d been working on later books and new projects. Since finishing editing and publishing of most of my parent’s works in early 2018, I took a look at the channels through which my books have been distributed – and decided that I should also place my titles at Smashwords to gain access to their distribution network also.

Smashwords have different publishing formatting requirements to Lulu, and and so I discovered that I had to reformat the entire manuscript to meet their annoyingly pedantic list of technical specifications! It looked daunting at first, but I’m a quick study and in the end it wasn’t as hard as I initially thought!

While I was at it (the most dangerous words known to humanity) I spotted a couple of editing errors left over from my “traditional” publishing days, and set off to check the whole manuscript for more. This sparked off another edit, and then I added a little bit here, and a little bit there… and before I realized it, a drastic complete rewrite was underway!

I evaluated each sentence. I added a stack of more material… back-stories and extras that would enrich and enhance the overall experience of what I had envisioned as the Galaxii Series! Two weeks later, at over 84000 words, the Fifth Edition of “Blachart” was finished!

To complete the metamorphosis, I designed a fantastic new cover which would also form the basis of a template for the entire Galaxii Series, and which I also modified for my other series, Quantum and Panic! Again, in 2019 I revised all the covers to refine the brand and their look!



New Release: “Blachart”, Book 1 in the Galaxii Series – 2018


Why are space Pirates so mean? Because they arrrrrrrrrr

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 not that far.

d’Angelo is already having a very bad day when he is picked up by Imperial Starfleet. 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 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 is a potential future, modern example of the classic sci-fi space opera genre that amuses and entertains from the minute you turn the first page. Having read many of the other books in the series already, it is great to start experiencing this series again from the beginning and I can only wish Christina every success, because with writing like this she really deserves it!

At times tense, at other times funny, Christina manages to maintain a healthy balance between humour and excitement – producing a first novel that is as easy to read as it is a joy to experience.

Truly this is one of the very best sci-fi novels that I have read all year!” – Mark Woods, author of “Time of Tides” and “Fear of the Dark”.

Reader’s Comments:

Crackin’ read

“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.

Awesome And Incredible Reads

Scott books

“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, April 10, 2016.

Great Book

“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, August 21, 2015.

Wonderful Read

“I loved this story! [Blachart] Christina writes well, with humour and vivid descriptions, and develops a plausible tale of futuristic adventures.” –  J. Pietersen, June 16, 2015.

A Mind Blowing Sci-fi Novel

“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, May 12, 2015.

Five Stars

“I love Christina’s novels. Blachart gets 5 stars from me.” – Dorian, March 21, 2015.

I Wasn’t A Fan, This Book Changed That

“I wasn’t a fan of the genre, this book [Blachart] changed that. Sci-fi gained a fan because of you!” – Anonymous, March 17, 2015.

Great Sci-fi From A Highly Under-Rated Author!

“A great read from start to finish! Blachart is another great sci-fi story from the transgender author Christina Engela and set in the same universe as her other books.

This time around the action focuses around Mykl D’Angelo, a Space trader having a VERY bad week! First, most of his crew abandon him during shore leave at his last destination, then his Engineer and Helmsman are both killed in a fatal accident when a couple of crossed wires during routine repairs cause a pulse-wave! Left drifting in space, his only hope of rescue comes when he receives communication from an Imperial Ship patrolling the area.

But when he boards the ship, he discovers that his week is only about to get worse! Communications have been lost from a local Starport and, with the strong suspicion that Corsairs are responsible, the ISS Antares has been dispatched to investigate! Not only that but a certain remember of the crew is someone he once cared about deeply and finds he has feelings for again!

When the Commander discovers Mykl is ex Space Fleet, Mykl is asked to re-enlist and help in the mission and when things go pear-shaped, it is Mykl who saves the day. This results in Mykl being asked to lead the team back on a suicide mission: namely to infiltrate the Corsair home-world, gather reconnaissance and prepare the way for a  Space Fleet retaliation. This would be fine and all well and good but he is forced to bring the notorious Blachart The Bloody along with him; a former Corsair and the scourge of the known galaxy, can Blachart REALLY be trusted to do the right thing?

This is another great adventure from a little known writer who definitely deserves more recognition! Though The Time-Saving Agency may have felt a little flawed, Blachart is far more polished and a far more enjoyable romp! The humour from the previous book is still here in droves and yet the sci-fi itself is still dealt with maturely and responsibly. In fact, this has all the ingredients of a very clever Space epic that sows the seeds for many more tales to come. It is important to note that Blachart is set long before The Time-Saving Agency and features characters and events briefly mentioned at the beginning of that book but you don’t need to have read anything else by Christina to enjoy this!

In fact, if this is your first experience of Christina Engela my best advice would be to sit back and enjoy!

Summary: A Space Trader in trouble finds his life taking an unexpected turn…..” – Mark Woods, February 14, 2015. 

Further Reading:




If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.


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