Note: In the first century of earthling aviation a "deadstick landing" was the act of landing an aircraft whose engine was not providing power. The "dead" stick referred to the propellor. In later years it came to refer to any landing in which the aircraft was essentially a glider.
By the 32nd century the definition had long since been expanded (mostly through misuse, because that's how language works) to include bringing a spacecraft in to port without the use of an A.I. or synthetic intelligence in circumstances where those systems had been forcibly disabled. The vessel still has power, but the meatware interfaces (manual controls) have not been cleanly engaged. The "dead" stick may refer to a length of conduit which does not have useful astrogational information flowing through it. Or any information.
In Fangstorm's case, the synthetic intelligence had been shut down, and the captain of the ship successfully locked down the maneuvering thrusters before being subdued by Captain Foxworthy. Lacking the ability to finesse the annie plants into a final approach, Schlock, under Captain Tagon's expert direction, nudged the vessel against the waiting gantry using point defense cannons.