July 2019

The short story “A History of Future Illnesses” by Chen Qiufan was published for the first time in 2012.

Stanley comes from the future to explain which diseases, both physical and mental, will afflict humanity in the coming ages. In several cases technological developments caused new problems, in others they brought changes that magnified problems that in the past were much more limited.

The Krillitane Storm by Christopher Cooper

The novel “The Krillitane Storm” by Christopher Cooper was published for the first time in 2009.

The Tenth Doctor arrives near Worcester in 1139, when it’s just a village. While looking for an inn to stay overnight during what’s supposed to be a quiet vacation, he realizes that the place is practically deserted. When he finds the inn, he struggles to be admitted and when the owners let him in, they explain that there’s a curfew because the Devil’s Huntsman is hunting down the inhabitants of the area.

That night the Doctor hears a strange scream followed by another one coming from a human. He rushes to investigate and discovers a Krillitane who has just killed a man and flies away as soon as he sees him. Local militiamen find the Doctor next to the corpse and capture him but, while they’re taking him to the prison, a girl comes forward claiming to be the Doctor’s wife and offering an alibi for him.

Hesperornithoides miessleri was a feathered dinosaur that lived 150 million years ago

An article published in the journal “PeerJ” reports the identification of a new species of feathered dinosaur dating back to about 150 million years ago, in the Late Jurassic period, in today’s Wyoming, USA. A team of paleontologists named it Hesperornithoides miessleri and classified it in the troodontid family, dinosaurs with various characteristics similar to birds. This species seems to be a primitive member of that group, an unusual discovery that raises new questions about the timeline of the evolution of birds and of flight in other dinosaurs belonging to groups that got extinct.

Rutger Hauer in 2018

The news arrived that actor Rutger Hauer (photo ©DWDD) passed away on July 19. The news only reports that the death occurred at his home in Beetsterzwaag, Netherlands, after a brief illness and was made public immediately after his funeral, which was private. He’s survived by his wife Ineke and his daughter Aysha, born from a previous marriage.

Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

The novel “Authority” by Jeff VanderMeer was published for the first time in 2014. It’s the second book of the Southern Reach trilogy and follows “Annihilation”.

John Rodriguez was appointed director of the Southern Reach agency with the task of bringing some clarity in its activities and what’s happening in Area X. Being called Control is the simplest thing for him because the staff seems unwilling to cooperate with him and his deputy is openly hostile.

For Control the difficulty in conducting his work comes not only from the staff but also from the state of the archives of the expedition into Area X and in the situation left by the previous director. The survivors of the last expedition must be questioned and Control focuses on the biologist, who now wants to be called Ghost Bird.