Science Fiction

The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel (Famous Fantastic Mysteries. All-Fiction Field, Inc. / Lawrence Sterne Stevens)

The novel “The Purple Cloud” by M.P. Shiel was published for the first time in 1901. It’s freely available on Project Gutenberg’s website.

An expedition is set up to reach for the first time the North Pole and win the huge prize left in his will by a millionaire for the one who succeeded in accomplishing such a feat. Adam Jeffson finds a place in the expedition thanks to his fiancée, who resorts to poisoning her own cousin to prevent him from taking part to it instead of her fiancé.

Over the course of his journey, Adam Jeffson starts having a growing sense of forces guiding him. Through vicissitudes, he manages to be the first to reach the North Pole but when he begins his return journey he finds only corpses and only a purple cloud of unknown nature as a possible cause.

Doctor Who - The Mind of Evil

“The Mind of Evil” is an adventure of the eighth season of “Doctor Who” classic series, which aired in 1971. It follows “Terror of the Autons” and it’s a six parts adventure written by Don Houghton and directed by Timothy Combe.

The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning) are visiting Stangmoor Prison to witness the demonstration of a new technology that can remove negative impulses from the minds of criminals. The Doctor is skeptical and the process leaves the prisoner in a great state of prostration.

The Doctor tries to stop the use of the machine but Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) can’t support him because he has to manage a very important peace conference. The death of the leader of the Chinese delegation could make the conference fail before it even begins.

The Human Division by John Scalzi

The novel “The Human Division” by John Scalzi was published for the first time in 2013 putting together a number of short stories published previously. It’s part of the “Old Man’s War” series.

The Colonial Union is working hard diplomatically with various alien species to try to build new alliances or at least to make new deals and avoid more wars. The situation is made more complex by the fact that someone seems intent on sabotaging those efforts, for example by destroying the spaceship on which a human ambassador is traveling.

Ambassador Ode Abumwe is forced to meet an alien delegation with very little time to prepare after her colleague who was supposed to lead the diplomatic mission was killed. Harry Wilson is only a lieutenant of the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF) but his intelligence work gives him the authority to assist Abumwe and Captain Sophie Coloma, who is on alert to prevent her spacship from getting destroyed.

Political travails of Time travel by Gouthama Siddarthan

“Political travails of Time travel” (“Kaalap payana Arasiyal”) by Gouthama Siddarthan was published for the first time in 2018 with the English version translated from the Tamil by Maharathi.

Partly an essay on time travel, partly a commentary on two short stories on the subject by two masters of science fiction such as Ray Bradbury and Alfred Bester with the addition of some touch of fantasy, “Political travails of Time travel” is a unique work for the intertwining of its various parts. Gouthama Siddarthan starts from Stephen Hawking and an Indian folklore story about a tree of time to make some reflection between the serious and the facetious about the nature of time.

Apex by Ramez Naam

The novel “Apex” by Ramez Naam was published for the first time in 2015. It’s the third book of the Nexus trilogy and follows “Crux”. It won the Philip K. Dick Award.

Kaden “Kade” Lane has written out the Nexus backdoor that can allow some attacker who discovers it to literally take possession of people who installed it into their brains but he must find ways to spread the update. To do so, he must first avoid ending up in the American government’s hands and his hope could come from India.

In the USA the presidential election time has come, a vote that will determine the future as it rarely happened during the nation’s history. President John Stockton is determined to be re-elected and to maintain strict anti-Nexus laws, but the secret of the lab in which experiments were carried out on children with Nexus leaked triggering strong protests with a faction willig to add to the chaos. A new front is opened with China with mutual accusations of interference in domestic politics, who’s interested in a clash between the two nations?