Literature

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

The novel “Autonomous” by Annalee Newitz was published for the first time in 2017.

Judith “Jack” Chen was able to pirate Zacuity, a new drug that has yet to be officially launched on the market, creating a low-cost version. However, people who tried it soon start suffering from very serious side effects. Jack realizes that her pirate version of Zacuity has the same effects as the official drug, which means that the pharmaceutical company that developed it must be aware of its side effects.

Agent Eliasz is following in Jack’s tracks with the assistance of the robot Paladin. The two of them will stop at nothing to capture Jack, whom Eliasz considers a terrorist. Their mission leads them to infiltrate an anti-patent group with the need to cover each other’s back, a situation that will strengthen their bond in an unexpected way.

Harlan Ellison address fans at Minicon 41 (photo ©David Dyer-Bennet)

The news came of the death of writer and screenwriter Harlan Ellison: the cause hasn’t been released but he died yesterday in his sleep.

Harlan Ellison’s character was certainly not easy but behind his disputes there was an artist who worked in various ways, sometimes not easy to notice immediately. He wrote very few novels so his visibility has always been lesser than that of many colleagues and the fact that he became famous and appreciated for the courage of his works says a lot about his importance in the field of science fiction.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

The novel “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie was published for the first time in 2013. It’s the first book in the Imperial Radch series. It won the prizes Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, BSFA, Locus and Seiun as best novel of the year and the Kitschies Golden Tentacle as best debut novel of the year.

Breq has been following her plan for almost twenty years when she runs into Seivarden Vendaai, a Radchaai officer she knew a millennium ago, lying into the snow. It’s not her job to take care of her but she decides to rescue her and ends up taking her with her on her return journey to the Radch, involving her in her search for justice.

The spaceship Justice of Toren is part of the Radch fleet in orbit around the planet Shis’urna during the operations connected to its annexation to the Radchaai empire. There’s only a nominal local resistance but Anaander Mianaai, the Lord of the Radch, is busy in a power struggle with herself with the consequence that many members of the fleet, both humans and spaceships with their ancillaries, are caught in the middle.

The short story “This is the Ice Age” by Claude Lalumière was published for the first time in 2006.

A group of kids try to survive in Montreal after a new ice age has destroyed civilization. Daniel and Mark are two brothers who are very different but they remain united while trying to survive the cold that suddenly struck the world. Daniel has his beliefs about the catastrophe and other things and other people listen to him and start following him in a sort of new religion.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The novel “The Collapsing Empire” by John Scalzi was published for the first time in 2017. It’s the first book in the Interdependency series. It won the Locus Award as the best novel of the year.

The Interdependency exists thanks to the Flow, outside the normal space-time, which allows relatively quickly interstellar trips by accessing “shoals” that exist only in some places. On End, a scientist has been working for decades on the study of the Flow and according to his predictions the connections between the various planets and habitats will start collapsing in the near future. He decides to send his son Marce Claremont to the capital to show the situation to the Emperor (Emperox).

When Emperox Attavius ​​VI dies, his daughter Cardenia is his heir because in the meantime her brother died in an accident. The succession is far from peaceful due to some terrorist attacks against Cardenia, who ascended to the throne as Grayland II. The intrigues of the Nohamapetan family, interested in expanding their economic power, make the situation even more complex.