Literature

The Islanders by Christopher Priest

The novel “The Islanders” by Christopher Priest was published for first the first time in 2011. It won the BSFA and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award as the best novel of the year. It’s part of the Dream Archipelago series.

The Dream Archipelago includes a large number of islands scattered across a vast territory, so much that the term archipelago is actually improper. The islands form a kind of federation that is neutral in the ongoing war but those regularly inhabited retain a large degree of autonomy.

Within the Dream Archipelago there are groups of islands with strong bonds, others are practically uninhabited and in the inhabited ones there are many languages ​​and cultures. You can see these differences also in various arts but tragic events such as the murder of an artist can be difficult to investigate when there are involved people from different islands with different cultures and languages.

Slow Decay by Andy Lane

The novel “Slow Decay” by Andy Lane was published for the first time in 2007.

An investigation about an energy spike takes the Torchwood team at a nightclub where a brawl ended with the death of some boys. An alien device that has a strong influence on human emotions seems to have made the hostility between boys groups more intense. Gwen Cooper takes the device home to try to intensify the emotions existing between her and Rhys, lately a bit too weak but the results are not what she wanted.

While Captain Jack Harkness’ team tries to figure out who could kill a Weevil literally eating its face, Gwen and Rhys are trying to make their relationship work. Rhys discovers a new weight loss treatment and decids to try it hoping to be more attractive to Gwen after losing weight.

The Forgotten Planet by Murray Leinster (Italian edition)

The novel “The Forgotten Planet” by Murray Leinster was published for the first time in 1954 as a fix-up of three short stories published in previous years.

Humans have colonized a lot of planets in the galaxy. When a planet is uninhabitable but has an interesting potential it start getting “seeded” to make its conditions right. Over the millennia, many planets were made habitable but in one case the documentation got lost and the process was interrupted. When a spacecraft has a malfunction and the survivors get shipwrecked on that planet they have to survive as they can.

Burl is a distant descendant of the shipwreck’s survivors and like the others must face every day the giant insects that live on the planet. Some events awaken his ingenuity and allow his group to go beyond the momentary survival to improve their living conditions.

Lightless by C.A. Higgins

The novel “Lightless” by C.A. Higgins was published for the first time in 2015. It’s the first book of the Lightless trilogy.

The Ananke scientific spaceship is engaged in a research mission by order of the System, the regime that rules the solar system. The mission is put in jeopardy when two strangers board the Ananke with intentions that are unclear but presumably not friendly. After a fight with the crew, one of them escapes but the other gets captured.

Identified as Leontios Ivanov called Ivan, a thief with links to a terrorist organization, the prisoner gets questioned. The System sends Ida Stays of the intelligence to find out what he wanted to do on the Ananke along with his accomplice, identified as Matthew Gale, and the identity of the terrorist organization’s leader. The Ananke’s artificial intelligence malfunctions, presumably as a result of sabotage, making the situation more complex.

Robert Bloch in 1976

Robert Albert Bloch was born on April 5, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

In 1934, Bloch published the story “Lilies” on the semi-professional magazine “Marvel Tales”. After a few months, he started publishing his stories on “Weird Tales” as well. His first stories were strongly influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, so much that a part of them was set in the fictional universe of the so-called “Cthulhu Mythos”. Lovecraft’s death deeply marked Bloch, who gradually shifted his efforts toward different stories and also into science fiction.

In the ’50s, the Robert Bloch’s activity continued both in the literary field and in radio and was further expanded when he started working for television productions. The skills he had acquired in moving from one genre to another was seen in 1959, when he won the Hugo Award for the best science fiction short story with “That Hell-Bound Train” and he published the thriller / horror novel “Psycho”, which won the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The novel gave him great fame among the general public following its adaptation into the famous movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Robert Bloch died on September 23, 1994. He left a legacy of dozens of novels, screenplays and short stories of various genres. During his life he received many important awards that show the importance of this author in the field of literature, cinema and television.