Fossil tick in amber (Photo courtesy Oregon State University)

An article published in “Journal of Medical Entomology” describes the study of a drop of blood that belonged to a mammal that lived tens of millions of years ago preserved in amber. A team led by George Poinar, Jr. of the College of Science at Oregon State University, studied what are the oldest traces of mammalian blood. That blood was sucked by a tick that probably belonged to the genus Amblyomma which was then trapped in amber.

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.

Warning. This review contains several spoilers about the seventh season of the TV show “The Walking Dead”!

On april 2 the seventh season of the show “The Walking Dead” ended.

The seventh season was produced and broadcast with the format has become usual: 16 episodes of which 8 were broadcast between October and December 2016 and the other 8 between February and April 2017. For the first time there was a real drop in audience after the first episode’s peak, which may be a sign that many viewers are getting tired of the show.

The sixth season of “The Walking Dead” ended with the defeat of the Alexandria group at the hands of Negan and his Saviours. The cliffhanger left the audience wondering who would be killed by Lucille, the baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire that Negan brigns along with him.

The first episode of the seventh season is one of the most dramatic of the whole show and begins with the death of Abraham and Glenn. Daryl, for daring to react, is taken away. Rick is forced to become Negan’s bitch to avoid having other victims, starting with Carl.

From Ice to Ashes by Rhett C. Bruno

The novel “From Ice to Ashes” by Rhett C. Bruno was published for the first time in 2017.

Kale Drayton has been a thief for most of his life but to avoid jail was forced to change his life. After being arrested following a theft, the only alternative for him was to serve on a spaceship, a difficult job for a Titanborn who must work for Earther superiors.

When his mother falls ill and needs an expensive treatment, Kale Drayton has to get the money in any way. Kepping his job on the spacship wouldn’t make sense but a mysterious contact offers to pay for his mother’s care if he will load a program into the spacship’s computer.