July 2022

Bernard Cribbins in OldJack's Boat

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.

Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson

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 Bandril Invasion by Wink Taylor

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.

The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis

The novel “The Man Who Fell to Earth” by Walter Tevis was published for the first time in 1963.

A native of the planet Anthea lands near a small town in the USA. He looks similar to humans and is equipped with everything he needs to disguise himself to avoid being discovered. After selling some gold rings to get money, he turns to attorney Oliver Farnsworth to deal with patents on technologies unknown on Earth that can make him a lot of money.

Using the fictional name Thomas Jerome Newton, the extraterrestrial becomes very rich. Professor Nathan Bryce examined the film produced using one of the alien technologies and remains intrigued by the remarkable progress over previously known products. He ends up working for Newton, who slowly seems to take on human attitudes.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The novel “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline was published for the first time in 2011.

James Halliday created OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), a virtual world that in the 2040s has become in some ways more important than the physical world because anyone can access it for free and build a parallel life within it. When Halliday dies, he leaves his creature as an inheritance to anyone who can first solve a series of challenges based on easter eggs concerning the 1980s.

Wade Watts is a teenager who lives in the poorest area of ‚Äč‚ÄčOklahoma City and has idolized James Halliday all his life, so he knows perfectly well all the pop references that could be useful to win the challenge. However, he’s only one of the millions of “gunters”, as the easter egg hunters are called, who want Halliday’s legacy. Among them, there’s also the head of operations of IOI (Innovative Online Industries), a corporation that would like to exploit OASIS for commercial uses and has the means to get rid of competitors even in non-legal ways.