Black Sunrise


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Action! Comedy! LGBT Heroes!

Cindy-Mei, who until recently had 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 outback 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, Deanna’s two moons were called Ding and Dong, respectively. (This was a local joke.)

When a single Ruminarii Hammerhead – the first seen by Humans in over eighty years, arrived to invade the small backwater Terran colony of Deanna, rather than cowering in their basements or running away, the ordinary people of Atro City headed to the spaceport to meet the aliens when they landed – and grabbed anything remotely resembling a weapon on the way out the door!

As bombs fell on Atro City, Cindy-Mei found herself in exactly the right place at the right time – but what should she do? She’d 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.

“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!” – Mark Woods, author of Time of Tides and Fear of the Dark.

Black Sunrise” is the first title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.

Details:

  • Published: February 20, 2019 (4th Edition)
  • Words: 58,968

Synopsis:

[Spoiler Alert]

Black Sunrise” is the first title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela – a writer described as ‘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‘). Her writing in the sci-fi genre has been described as ‘one of the most unique and captivating styles I’ve encountered in science fiction.’ (Alex S. Johnson, author of The Doom Hippies.)

Black Sunrise“, being sci-fi, is set in a distant possible future on a Terran colony world called Deanna, which has a charm all its own.

navigational-symbols-deanna

Cindy-Mei Winter, a former agent for the CIA (that’s Colonial Intelligence Agency) comes to Deanna to try to forget her male past and looking for a fresh start. The rest of the universe however, seems determined to get in her way. Just hours after her arrival, a single warship belonging to Humanity’s long-absent alien foe – the Ruminarii – attacks the colony.

The ‘Black Sunrise’ – a Ruminarii Hammerhead

The residents of Deanna’s capital, Atro City, are a pretty unique sort, and meet the invaders at the local space port with open arms. With the colony in the grips of confusion and thrown into disarray, the former Agent dons a black outfit, retrieves her blaster from her luggage, and jumps back into action. She enlists the aid of Deanna’s most famous son – the legendary bounty hunter Beck the Badfeller… who, legend has it, is so good at his job that he could find the missing day in a leap year. Together they set out to find the last surviving alien invader to escape the space port, and meet a few very interesting people along the way, including an alien plant called Fred the Arborian, who talks and walks about while carrying his own pot. Gary Beck is a lot nicer than his name gives away – and despite his reputation for always getting his man… will he get his girl this time?

Christina Engela – a transwoman herself – has poured her very soul into the creation of this unique and special tale and characters! Readers need not fear that the transgender topic is put forward ‘too heavily’ as the setting of Engela’s stories – the planet Deanna, and Atro City itself – is big enough to get completely lost in!

The History of “Black Sunrise”

When I first started writing Quantum, I wrote the original first three books in the same year! No, it wasn’t deliberate… I mean, what kind of lunatic sits down one bright sunny day and thinks, “Yes, I think I feel like writing three books simultaneously”? It just worked out that way!

To explain it simply, I started out writing “Black Sunrise“, and it just got longer, and longer, and more complex, and midway through I decided to split it down the middle and turn the next part into book 2 “The Time Saving Agency”… and another part, which became “Dead Man’s Hammer”… and then I worked on them all simultaneously! Yes, it was taxing just getting those first three drafts together, but over the years they’ve been refined really well!

Around 2005, I published the first version of “Black Sunrise” on Lulu, and updated and refined it and its cover again in 2007.

One of the earliest surviving covers of Black Sunrise, 2007.

In 2014, I got picked up by a small press, which contracted me for all my titles, and to comply I took everything down from Lulu and waited for the publisher to hold up its end of the bargain. It was a long wait for a train that never came; and by May 2016 the company essentially frog-marched every one of their authors who weren’t “pure horror writers” out the door of their stable, leaving me back at Square One with my head spinning.

Upon my immediate return to self-publishing in May 2016, I re-released the then complete four titles in Quantum, starting with “Black Sunrise“.  I made good use of the opportunity to edit, format and to create new covers.

The 2016 cover for Black Sunrise, paperback and eBook.

An experimental never-released cover from 2017.

In 2017, I went completely bonkers and thought it might be nice to do covers similar to the great Josh Kirby’s for the Quantum Series… I mean, I’m good at art and cover design – but clearly not that good! I only ever finished one, and you can probably see why I felt less than inspired by the result! So I went back to the drawing board.

The current 2019 series cover.

In 2019, I revised all the Quantum Series books and redesigned all the covers so they all looked like part of the same series – and unique from Galaxii! At any rate, I feel the current series of covers does the story justice!

     

Reviews:

Black Sunrise by Christina Engela – Review

“A fun and enjoyable quirky multi-character story that carries an important message…

Black Sunrise is about a lot of different things and the author has done a great job of linking them all together by way of a story that is not only funny, it’s also strange in a good way and carries a positive message. The diverse array of characters range from a bounty hunter to a talking plant called ‘Fred’ who in some senses stole the show considering this ‘Arborian’ seemed to be more of a secondary character.

Set mostly on the planet of Deanna; this holiday destination see’s the arrival of an alien spaceship helmed by the ‘Ruminarii’ a race of hostile lizard type aliens looking to send a message. Along the way we see the story from many different points of view; including these aliens who (spoiler alert) fail in a sense to send said message.

Cindy Mei Winter; a former government agent is trying to put the past behind her and provides the important message this story carries. What first appears as a suggested undertone comes center stage in the latter part of the story as Cindy is revealed to be transgender; something that is portrayed in a positive and modern way. In fact there are two transgender characters in this story. This message extends to many of the other characters who are all different in their own way questioning the concept of what an alien really is.

Overall I found this story enjoyable with a positive message that puts the ‘conscience over paycheck’ concept into practice. There are some parts I found to be genuinely funny while in other moments it was thought provoking.

Seeing as this book is a part of the wider ‘Quantum’ series I will be sure to check out the others.

5 Stars” – by Lee Hall, UK writer and playwright.

Another awesome sci-fi adventure

“Black Sunrise is another awesome sci-fi novel written by the hideously under-rated transgender author, Christina Engela. Most people will never have heard of this author (I myself stumbled over her by accident) and this is a crying shame as her work is brilliantly good sci-fi!

Black Sunrise depicts events that happened a mere two months before those that occur in The Time Saving Agency and hence first introduces us to some of the inhabitants on the planet Deanna whom fans may already be acquainted with. Marsh’k is a Ruminarii obsessed with furthering his career. Already as high up on the promotion ladder as he wants to be, and determined to keep himself there (Ruminarii are normally only promoted after assassinating their predecessors!), he decides to launch an attack against a seemingly easy target: Deanna.

A couple of centuries ago, Rumanarii invading forces were repelled by humanity in an infamous conflict called The Gimp War. Time has passed but old rivalries run deep and Marsh’k sees this as a way of bringing back some old fashioned honour to his people especially as Deanna has no official Military presence!

Unfortunately, he doesn’t factor into the equation the determination of an angry mob (who resent having their capital city bombed), an ex Colonial Intelligence Agent who is on an extended vacation after changing her gender, a passionate Bounty Hunter whose moniker is The Bad-Feller (and not for the reasons you might be thinking!) or a sentient shrubbery and a case of expensive sherry?!?

Once again, this is a great novel that has been brilliantly conceived. The theme of prejudice against transgender people lifts its ugly head and is casually thrown into the mix but never forced down your throat giving you an exciting sci-fi adventure that comes complete with something a little different; a moral message.

I loved this and thought it one of the best books in her series, my only upset is that I only have a couple more to read and then there are no more! This is a crying shame because Christina has a real flair for storytelling and it would be great to read a few more tales set in the same universe!

Summary: Christina Engela does it again with another great novel!” – Mark Woods.

Reader’s Comments:

I’m A Fan For Life!

“Hi there. So I just finished Black Sunrise. And I am obsessed!! I felt such strong relations towards both Danny and Mei. I enjoyed it so much and I can’t wait to read everything. Thanks for sharing your wonderful work with me. I’m a fan for life!” – Angelina Monroe

Definitely Up There With Terry Pratchett

“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.

Up there with Pratchett.png

I Laughed

“I laughed, I giggled, I blew Coke all over the monitor!” – Angie Pote.

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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 christinaengela@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.

 

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