If the Stars Are Gods by Gregory Benford and Gordon Eklund (Italian edition)

The novel “If the Stars Are Gods” by Gregory Benford and Gordon Eklund was published for the first time in 1977. It’s a fix-up of stories published in previous years.

Bradley Reynolds already has experience with space missions that have scientific purposes including the search for alien life forms in the solar system. The arrival from outer space of an alien spacecraft forces him to a different mission because he has to understand the way of thinking of beings who think that the stars are gods and speak to them.

After that experience, Bradley Reynolds retires to private life but after many years is called when an alien message is picked up. The search for the meaning of that message brings him to a space station in orbit around Jupiter in a situation made complex also by what happens on Earth.

George Alec Effinger was born on January 10, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The greatest successes came for George Alec Effinger in the ’80s, particularly the MarĂ®d Audran series, with the protagonist who operates in the Budayeen, a district in a Middle Eastern city heavily inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter with plenty of transsexuals, transvestites and more. The stories also have strong cyberpunk influences with characters that have cybernetic implants of various kinds.
Throughout his life George Alec Effinger suffered serious health problems that in the ’90s became too serious for him to continue with his work as a writer. The growth of medical costs led him at one point to his inability to pay for the cures. One of the gastric ulcers he suffered from caused an internal bleeding which caused his death on April 27, 2002.

Planesrunner by Ian McDonald (Italian edition)

The novel “Planesrunner” by Ian McDonald was published for the first time in 2012. It’s the first book in the Everness series.

Everett Singh goes to meet his father but only manages to see him while he’s kidnapped in a very swift action. The boy can only take a few photos with his cell phone of the car used to carry away his father, not enough to convince the cops, also because Tejendra Singh is a theoretical physicist, he doesn’t work in the field of atomic energy or other sensitive research.

Disheartened by the skepticism of the police and his mother, Everett tries to analyze on his own the photos he took. While he’s trying to figure out what anyone might want from a physicist who’s working in a research on parallel universes, he finds on his computer a message programmed by his father. What’s the mysterious infundibulum he sent him?

Fossil of newborn Protoceratops andrewsi (Photo courtesy Gregory Erickson, FSU)

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” describes a research on the incubation time of dinosaurs eggs. A team of researchers led by Gregory Erickson of Florida State University analyzed rare fossils of embryos of two species of dinosaurs and concluded that the eggs of these ancient animals hatched after a period of three and six months, depending on the species.

The Gigafactory (Photo courtesy Tesla Motors. All rights reserved)

Tesla Motors announced that its Gigafactory started its operations. It’s the huge factory of lithium-ion battery cells to be used for the batteries of electric cars produced by the company and its power storage products. This is just the beginning for the company founded by Elon Musk because the Gigafactory is active only in part but can already take advantage of the agreement signed with Panasonic.