Dead Man’s Hammer

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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. That is, until Gary Beck, aka Beck the Badfeller ran over an obsidian crow with his jeepo on the highway to San Fedora and didn’t have a spare tire. Things pretty much went down hill 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 was absolutely terrifying, she took pride in her work, enjoyed what she did for a living – and above all, she was bloody good at it – and this time unfortunately, it was absolutely 100 percent personal.

Beck the Badfeller – Deanna’s most famous bounty hunter, was dead – and it was up to Cindy-Mei Winter, Sheriff Peg, Deputy Mike, Fred the Arborian – and Gary Beck himself – to solve it.

“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.

“Dead Man’s Hammer” is the third title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.


  • Published: March 16, 2019
  • Words: 50,028.

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‘Dead Man’s Hammer’ is the third 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.)

Set after the second book (“The Time Saving Agency“), “Dead Man’s Hammer” shows just how easily things can go horribly wrong – and not even in a nice way. Cindy-Mei Winter is a former Colonial Intelligence Agency agent now residing on the charming Terran colony world called Deanna, populated by a unique blend of western-esque characters and alien life-forms – including the ubiquitous crabby-grass.


“Dead Man’s Hammer” sees the re-introduction of Fred, the unique Arborian character from “Black Sunrise“. For those of you new to this series, Fred is a walking, talking plant life-form from a distant planet called Arboria – perhaps the only planet known for having forests that migrate with the seasons. Far from being a mere curiosity or a comedy- prop, Fred’s ability to blend into his surroundings is uncanny –  almost legendary in fact, and he is not above being an instrument of justice – and occasionally, vengeance.


Gary Beck, a.k.a. Beck the Badfeller.

“Dead Man’s Hammer” is a darker story than the previous two, and the story begins with the death of Cindy-Mei’s beau, Beck the Badfeller, at the hands of an incredibly dangerous and highly skilled assassin (whose most likely name is Villainessa Tittel) who has a yen to kill Cindy-Mei Winter – over and above the contract she has with the former CIA agent’s name on it. Meanwhile, Mei – who is all but crippled by the grief of losing Gary Beck, the love of her life, in so cruel a manner – goes dark, retreating deep into herself in order to bring Tittel’s macabre and bloody romp through Atro City to a speedy end – even if it kills her.

Sheriff Peggy-Ann Muller, a long-time friend and associate of Gary’s, does what she can to catch the killer, to support the grieving Mei – while also striving to keep her out of trouble! Tittel, meanwhile, seems set on making the most of her advantage.

As the story progresses however, it becomes clear that the vaunted Gary Beck (aka Beck the Badfeller) has not been killed after all. Well, that is to say, he was – but since Gary Beck had made the acquaintance of Johnathan Scrooby, nothing seemed seriously set in stone anymore, and even death seemed to be no more than a temporary inconvenience. Scrooby’s intervention makes it possible for Beck and Scrooby to brainstorm (over Triple Brainscrew Skullhammers at the Time Saving Agency canteen) how to save Mei, dispose of the assassin, and make Deanna a safe place again. When he returns to the timeline, it is – well, just in time. For Scrooby this is an act of friendship and the repayment of a debt. For Beck, it’s an eye-opener to be able to come so close to death – and then to be able to return to his life and his loved-ones.


Reader’s Comments:

Left Me Begging For More

“Dark humor and some blood and guts sprinkled with light-hearted fun! Left me begging for more at the end!”- Angie Pote.

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