July 2018

Akainacephalus johnsoni

An article published in the journal “PeerJ” describes the study of a dinosaur of the family of ankylosaurids. Named Akainacephalus johnsoni, this armored herbivore was identified by paleontologists Jelle Wiersma and Randall Irmis, the authors of the research, in today’s Utah, in the USA, where it lived about 76 million years ago, towards the end of the Cretaceous period. Its characteristics indicate a closer relationship with the ankylosaurids that lived in today’s Asia than with other family members that lived in today’s North America.

Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction

The short story “Creative Surgery” (“Chirurgia creativa”) by Clelia Farris was published for the first time in 2015. It was translated into English by Jennifer Delare.

Kieser follows a job announcement by Vi, who practices Creative Surgery, and manages to become her assistant. Vi’s face is marked by the lack of sleep and other imperfections but that’s nothing compared to the results of some of her works because the repulsive is the new charming.

The Terror by Dan Simmons

The novel “The Terror” by Dan Simmons was published for the first time in 2007.

In October 1847 the British ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, which set sail in 1845 for an expedition that intends to be the first to cross the last part of the Northwest Passage, are blocked in the Arctic ice. Because of the weather colder than normal, during the summer they couldn’t move and the prospect is having to spend another winter in the same situation.

There are many dangers in the Arctic and the sailors start dying for causes to ascertain. In addition to the threats due to natural environmental conditions, something else started attacking the crews, a strange creature that looks like a giant polar bear but shows a superior intelligence.

Robert Sheckley

Robert Sheckley was born on July 16, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

After graduating from New York University in 1951, Robert Sheckley tried more jobs, also to maintain the family he created after his first marriage and the birth of his son Jason. He also started to work as a science fiction writer by selling his first story, “Final Examination”, at the end of 1951 to the magazine “Imagination”.

Robert Sheckley’s humor, with strong elements of satire, made him famous from the beginning of his career, also thanks to the fact that in his short stories he was able to exploit them with greater intensity. Several of his stories got adapted in a more or less faithful way for radio, television and cinema. He’s an author who became famous among readers and also inspired authors of later generations.

The Jebel Irhoud 1 and Qafzeh 9 skulls

An article published in the magazine “Trends in Ecology & Evolution” describes a research on the origins of modern humans. A scientific consortium led by Dr. Eleanor Scerri, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, collected what’s believed to be evidence that modern humans’ ancestors were scattered across Africa, remained separate for millennia diversifying and then remixing to form the current Homo sapiens.