Blogs about novels and literature in general

Trace Memory by David Llewellyn

The novel “Trace Memory” by David Llewellyn was published for the first time in 2008.

In 1953, the explosion of a box sent to Torchwood Cardiff before it reached its destination kills the people who were handling it except a boy named Michael Bellini. 55 years after an alarm is tringgered in the hub and when Captain Jack Harkness and the members of his team in service search for its cause and find out Michael Bellini’s presence. The boy is confused and doesn’t know what happened to him after the 1953 events.

To find out if a temporal anomaly carried Michael Bellini through time, the boy is questioned to get at least some useful information to begin the investigation. Soon the situation becomes stranger because the Captain and his team members realize they’ve met Michael in the past and Jack knows him better than anyone else. Who are the mysterious men in bowler hats who seem to be chasing him and what do they want from him?

Crux by Ramez Naam

The novel “Crux” by Ramez Naam was published for the first time in 2013. It’s the second book of the Nexus trilogy and follows “Nexus”.

Six months have passed since Kaden “Kade” Lane publicly released Nexus 5, the latest version of that nanotechnology that allows a direct connection between different minds, and the world’s situation has become explosive between repression and terrorist attacks. Kade and Feng are fleeing, hunted by bounty hunters and governments, but at the same time must try to face events that are likely to lead to a war between humans and posthumans.

Rangan Shankari and Ilya Alexander are prisoners of the US government and are being tortured to be forced to reveal the secrets of Nexus. Samantha “Sam” Cataranes abandoned the ERD and is taking care of a group of childre born with Nexus in their brains but how can she avoid getting involved in the crisis? Kade possesses the secret of Nexus backdoors, will he be wiser than all humanity?

The novella “To Bring the Light” by David Drake was published for the first time in 1996.

Flavia Herosilla is a well educated woman who lives in the imperial Rome when she is hit by a storm and almost struck by lightning. Stunned, she struggles to recover full consciousness and when she does it she realizes that she’s no longer in the same place. Somehow she traveled back in time to the period when Rome was about to be founded.

John Herbert Varley was born on August 9, 1947 in Austin, Texas, USA. In the mid-1970s, John Varley started publishing science fiction stories and among them there were the first of the Eight Worlds series, a future history of the solar system marked by the invasion of Earth by an alien species. These invaders intend to protect the Earth’s cetaceans from the effects of human activities and for this reason destroy the infrastructures built on Earth. Most humans flee to colonize the rest of the solar system and only a few tribes remain on Earth living as primitives.

In the late 1970s, John Varley also began the Gaea trilogy, composed of “Titan” (1979), “Wizard” (1980) and “Demon” (1984). The story is focused on a gigantic wheel-shaped artificial habitat populated by strange living species created by an alien intelligence. In this series, the author used various elements of the fantasy genre but all have a scientific explanation.

Often John Varley has been compared to Robert A. Heinlein for the themes of many of his stories such as personal freedom and sexuality. The resemblances are particularly visible in novels such as “The Steel Beach” and the Thunder and Lightning series, inspired by Heinlein’s juveniles.

Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp (Italian edition)

The novel “Lest Darkness Fall” by L. Sprague de Camp was published for the first time in 1941.

Martin Padway is an American archeologist visiting Rome. One day in 1938 he’s visiting the Pantheon when a strong storm starts and is almost hit by a lightning strike. Stunned, he slowly becomes aware that the people around him are strangely dressed and speak in an almost incomprehensible manner in a language other than Italian.

Recovered from dizziness, Martin Padway tries to figure out what happened and, asking for the date in the Latin spoken by the people he meets, finds out he’s in Rome in 535 A.D. during the reign of King Thiudahad. He has no way of returning to his time so he has to try to survive by exploiting his modern knowledge with the awareness that Italy is about to be invaded by Emperor Justinian’s army.