Troubled times have come to the small backwater Terran Colony planet of Deanna – and having amusing names for its sun (Ramalama) and two moons (Ding and Dong) have not made this quaint little world immune to bad things – not even having a small moon famous for falling down occasionally… and bad things are indeed afoot.
After the shocking assassination of a visiting member of the imperial family at a public parade, Sheriff Peggy-Ann Muller’s deputies (SODs for short) are either dead, ‘off the grid’, or just plain missing. With the local government in complete disarray, there is nothing to stand in the way of a bold, sinister plan to take over the colony – and once the fascists are in control of Deanna, the stage is set. War is coming.
Meanwhile, in the offices of that mysterious and clandestine society called The Time Saving Agency, time agent extraordinaire Johnathan Scrooby ponders one of his biggest life decisions yet. To intervene… or not to intervene. And if so, how? Whatever he decides to do, you can bet on the renowned bounty hunter Beck the Badfeller and his fiancée, former Colonial Intelligence agent, Cindy-Mei Winter having a role to play.
“Engela’s latest work is packed with humour, challenging ideas, and science-fiction on a grand scale. It transports readers to a truly original world, filled with bizarre and memorable characters. It tackles social issues while reading like a Terry Pratchett, with some western and sci-fi elements to boot.” – Matthew ‘Sand-Storm’ Fick.
“High Steaks” is the sixth 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.)
Of her characterizations, Sarah Rutledge Fischer of Focus Mid-South Magazine said “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.”
Set after the fifth novel (“Prodigal Sun”) “High Steaks” continues the saga of the ‘third rate’ Terran colony on the planet Deanna, and the diverse characters the reader has no doubt by now become familiar with. Old familiar faces rub elbows with brand new characters in “Prodigal Sun”, some heroes, and some villains. Readers will remember the crotchety old military veterans of the Skegg’s Valley Dynamite Fishing Club, and of course, Fred the Arborian.
Cheers till next time,
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2018.