December 2017

The Star of Life by Edmond Moore Hamilton (Italian edition)

The novel “The Star of Life” by Edmond Moore Hamilton was published for the first time in 1959.

Kirk Hammond is an astronaut engaged in a space mission on a spacecraft that in theory is perfect. However, something goes wrong and there’s no hope for him but only the prospect of returning to Earth’s atmosphere after he’s run out of oxygen. Desperate, he exposes himself to the cold space to hibernate in the hope of waking up again.

When the spacecraft returns to Earth, Kirk Hammond awakens from hibernation but discovers a world quite different from the one he left behind. He discovers that millennia have passed since he left and the Earth is dominated by the Vramen, descendants of human beings who have become immortal.

Arthur C. Clarke in 2005 (Photo Amy Marash)

Arthur Charles Clarke was born on December 16, 1917 in Minehead, Somerset, England. He’s been a great science fiction writer and published novels that are among the greatest in the genre such as “Childhood’s End”, “Rendez-Vous with Rama” and “The Fountains of Paradise”. Together with Stanley Kubrick he developed the script for the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, of which he published an adaptation to a novel.

Almost Perfect by James Goss

The novel “Almost Perfect” by James Goss was published for the first time in 2008.

Emma Webster is a young woman who can’t find the right man, even by trying speed dating. One evening, while she’s jogging, she sees on the beach a woman in a state of unconsciousness who has in her hands a strange device. When Emma takes it, it starts talking to her telepathically promising to improve her life.

Ianto Jones wakes up and discovers that he has turned into a woman but can’t remember how it happened. Captain Jack Harkness gives Ianto an anti-retcon pill to try to stimulate his memory and shed light on his transformation. In the meantime, together with Gwen Cooper, he starts investigating a ferry incident with its passengers not remembering anything that happened. As if this weren’t enough, Gwen is called by a former colleague of the Police who tells her about the finding of a skeleton in strange circumstances.

Schmidtiellus reetae (Image courtesy Brigitte Schoenemann et al.)

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” describes the discovery of the oldest compound eye yet. It belongs to a trilobite of the species Schmidtiellus reetae that lived about 530 million years ago in today’s Estonia. The researchers were able to examine the structure of its eyes and also that of a specimen belonging to another species of trilobites called Holmia kjerulfi, about 2 million years younger. Both trilobites have an eye structure similar to that of many modern arthropods.

The novel “The World of the Starwolves” by Edmond Moore Hamilton was published for the first time in 1968. It’s the third book of the Starwolf trilogy and the sequel to “The Closed Worlds”.

John Dilullo is enjoying life in his hometown Brindisi after having been a mercenary for decades when Morgan Chane arrives and proposes to recover priceless gems known as the Singing Suns. To Dilullo the idea seems crazy because Starwolves stole them, the fiercest pirates in space.

Morgan Chane explains to Dilullo that the Suns are not on Varna, the Starwolves’ homeworld, because they’re not interested in art but rather in their value so they’ll sell them separately. Dilullo gets convinced to try a last mission before retiring for good but it will prove far more complex than expected.