An article published in the journal “Nature” reports the identification of a precursor of the tetrapods that lived on today’s Ellesmere Island, in Canada, in the Devonian period, about 375 million years ago. A team of researchers named it Qikiqtania wakei and illustrated similarities and differences with Tiktaalik roseae, the possible ancestor of today’s tetrapods. The anatomical characteristics of Qikiqtania wakei indicate that it descended from the precursors of the tetrapods that ventured to the mainland but unlike Tiktaalik roseae it went back to the water, where it developed fins suitable for aquatic life.
The novel “Collision with Chronos”, also known as “Collision Course”, by Barrington J. Bayley was published for the first time in 1973.
For archaeologist Rond Heske, being summoned by the authorities is a great concern because Titan laws are strict. The relief that comes from being asked for his professional advice doesn’t last long because he’s shown photos of some ruins dating back to the times of one of the wars fought against invading aliens that seem to rejuvenate over time. As if that weren’t enough, he’s revealed that an enemy time machine has been found and he must participate in a time exploration.
The shocks for Heske aren’t over as his most trusted collaborator turns out to be part of the Panhumanic League, the organization that leads the resistance to the Titans and preaches equality for all humans, even the ones considered deviants by the regime. Heske ends up involved in a mission that must shed light on an invasion attempt from the future and comes into contact with another civilization whose citizens live in two timelines that are out of phase.
Actor Bernard Cribbins passed away, a piece of news confirmed by his agent, who mentioned July 27 as the date of his death while some newspapers reported July 28 as the date of his death. No information was disclosed on the reason for his death.
Bernard Joseph Cribbins was born on December 29, 1928, in Oldham, Lancashire, England. At 13 he dropped out of school and started working at a local theater as an assistant stage manager but also got small roles as an actor. Subsequently, he became an apprentice at the Oldham Repertory Theater.
Bernard Cribbins was especially appreciated as a comedian but over the course of his long career he showed his versatility with various roles of different types. He worked until the end acting again in an “Doctor Who” episode which will be broadcast in 2023: the various celebrations, which include the 100th anniversary of the BBC and the 60th anniversary of the saga, will certainly have one added for Bernard Cribbins.
The novel “Darker Than You Think” by Jack Williamson was published for the first time in 1948, an extended version of a novelette published in 1940.
Will Barbee is a reporter who goes to witness the return of a group of scientists from Mongolia, where they studied the alleged ability of some people to transform into animals. His interest is not only professional because the expedition is led by one of his former university professors and he knows the other members as well.
At the airport, Will Barbee meets April Bell, a young fellow journalist for whom he feels attraction but at the same time finds that there’s something strange about her, also because she manifests hostility towards the members of the expedition. When the leader of the expedition suddenly dies before revealing his discoveries, Will feels there’s something really strange going on and April seems involved.
The novel “The Bandril Invasion” by Wink Taylor was published for the first time in 2019.
Billy Bandril is the TV star of the moment and his show has huge ratings. Even Lucy Wilson finds it very funny and always watches it, although she is embarrassed to admit it to Hobo, who considers it very mundane and doesn’t like the influence it has on the audience.
Almost by accident, Lucy Wilson participates in a casting for Billy Bandril’s show and is selected. The team that is supposed to write the scripts seems inept, so Lucy has to come up with her own ideas of what to tell on television and she decides to focus on the stories that her grandfather Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart told her.