FAQ’s Answered #6: What’s So Scary About “Panic!” Anyway?

Today in a series of replies to FAQ (frequently asked questions) sent to me by fans (and sometimes not so much), I answer the question “What’s So Scary About “Panic!” Anyway?“, asked by Fran.

This is a question one of my readers asked me recently, and one that I really don’t mind answering! (Fran, I hope you don’t mind! 😉 I’m not picking on you, I promise!) Anyway, ‘what’s so scary about “Panic!“?’  By that I mean, naturally – my series “Panic! Horror In Space“!

Well, for starters, “Panic!” is a horror series set in space – and space is dark and dangerous, and well, scary! Now, hang on a moment – I know that sounds a little silly if not actually vague – but it’s true! Of course, being set in space is only a tiny part of the whole thing – but a setting can make or break a story – and I think you’d have to go a long way to beat space for its inherent scare factor!

Think about it: A billion things could go wrong out there, and each of them might kill you if they had the chance – radiation, vacuum, micro-meteorites, temperature extremes, asteroids, black holes – equipment failure – and even, as in “Panic!” – the paranormal.

The para-what?

Horror and sci-fi blend very nicely – we’ve all seen how well it does in movies like “Event Horizon” and the “Alien” franchise – in fact it’s not the first time I’ve delivered a goose-bump and hair-raising read: “Demonspawn“, the second book in Galaxii has been praised by reviewers and favorably compared to both those Hollywood blockbusters!

That kinda drives home the point about space…doesn’t it?

Panic! Horror In Space” is a series about a group of people, mostly the same set of characters, who encounter horrifying paranormal entities and situations on their travels through deep space – yes, that’s right, that dark, mysterious and dangerous place we were just talking about!

The main characters are Stuart Flane, Captain of the starship Mercury and his first officer and best friend Commander Vic Chapman. The ship’s doctor also features frequently, as do a few of Flane’s superiors back at Space Fleet HQ – Admiral Tawney and Commodore Peters, who have little to no time or patience for Flane’s reports that involve any mentions of ‘ghosts’, ‘cursed objects’, ‘haunted paintings’ – or zombies!

To give you an idea what to expect, in “Static“, the first book in the series, Captain Flane and his crewmates (some of them very briefly) encounter ‘zoms’ (or zombies), ghosts and haunted objects as they investigate first a mystery ghost-ship that appears abandoned out of nowhere after being missing for four decades.

Then they are sent to a long-deserted industrial mining complex on an uninhabited failed colony called Floridia-7 (known as the most haunted place in the galaxy!) and rush to the rescue of a loderunner crew as a load of haunted objects run amok while in transit through the Terran postal system!

Gee, sometimes just putting a sign reading “WARNING: ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY DO NOT OPEN!!!!” on a box doesn’t always do the job – no matter how many exclamation marks you put on it!

The second book, “Life Signs“, opens with Captain Flane and the intrepid crew of the Mercury (consisting largely of replacements whose names Flane can hardly remember) exploring and charting a starsystem on the fringes of known space – a quaint form of punishment inflicted on Flane by the surly Admiral Tawney for turning in so many recent reports with terms like ‘zoms’, ‘entities’ and so on!

Seemingly by chance, the Mercury’s sensors reveal discover signs that one of the plants – designated Brigid 4.4 – had once been inhabited. The long-dead civilization appears to have been destroyed in some kind of cataclysmic event – but the cherry on top is that a ship of unknown design is detected on the planet’s surface – and there are life signs!  But is everything what it seems?

An empty shuttle picked up by the Mercury delivers a spell-binding tale involving space pirates, a cruise liner and around 5000 missing passengers and crew – and naturally, vampires. Figuring out how the dead guy (the one found ex-what-inated) in the shuttle had come to be there, is a tale that raises some goosebumps of its own!

As if being doubted, mocked and dropped to the bottom of the promotion ladder isn’t bad enough for Flane, Admiral Tawney adds insult to injury by asking him to pop off to Atooin to help out an old college buddy as a personal favor… The problem? Why, a cursed object of course – and not just any old cursed object – a powerful ancient alien object that had already claimed thirteen lives and was just getting warmed up…

So you see, “Panic!” pretty much has it all!

I don’t know how you feel about it, but being stuck in confined dark spaces, suffering equipment failures while having to face off with spooks, haunted dolls, cursed objects setting shit on fire – and of course, the lurching, drooling, hungry and restless dead – not knowing if you will make it out alive – can be pretty damn terrifying!

I hope that answers your question? 😉

If you’d like to look over some FREE samples, feel free to download and read these (just click on the covers, you’ll figure it out) :

Enjoy! (And let me know what you think!)

Feel free to email or message me via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn if you have any comments or questions!



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.

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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.


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