2022

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.

The letter sent to the SEC

Elon Musk announced that he terminated the deal to buy Twitter he signed at the end of April 2022 for a value of approximately $44 billion. The billionaire claims that the social network executives didn’t provide the data required by the agreement, in particular those relating to the fake profiles used by spammers. His position was explained in a letter sent on his behalf by a lawyer to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the authority that oversees the American stock exchange. Twitter executives have announced plans to sue Elon Musk, so the story is far from over.

Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds

The novella “Permafrost” by Alastair Reynolds was published for the first time in 2019.

Valentina Lidova is 71 when she has the opportunity to participate in an experiment involving the application of a mathematical theory developed decades earlier by her mother. Her interest is not scientific because the purpose of the experiment is to send her consciousness from 2080 to 2028 inside another person’s body. If successful, she may attempt to alter the past to avoid the approaching extinction of humanity in her present but there are many unknowns.

The Anome aka The Faceless Man by Jack Vance

The novel “The Anome”, also known as “The Faceless Man” by Jack Vance was published for the first time in 1971 serialized in “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction” and in 1973 as a book.

Mur is only a young boy when he begins the purification rites of the Chilite sect in which he grew up. His aspiration is to become a musician like his biological father, whom he has never known, but his soul-father Osso Higajou has other plans for him. Deeply dissatisfied with his mother being indentured to his soul-father and the strict discipline imposed on the members of the sect, Mur runs away and takes the name Gastel Etzwane.

Gastel Etzwane’s plan is to appeal to the Anome, also known as the Faceless Man, the mysterious man who is in control of the torcs, the explosive collars worn by the citizens of Shant state. Gastel wants to have his mother’s indenture contract voided but the appeal procedure is expensive and the boy has to go through various ups and downs.