November 2020

The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen

The novel “The Forgotten Son” by Andy Frankham-Allen was published for the first time in 2015. It was republished in a revised special edition in 2019.

Colonel Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is still trying to get used to the idea that aliens exist and that an alien force attacked London. The invasion attempt failed, and now the main problem seems to be managing the return of the inhabitants who were evacuated in a hurry. The biggest complication seems to be his private life.

In the village of Bledoe, what seem like buried memories of events dating back thirty years begin to resurface. Mary feels the urge to return to the village where she spent years, until she and her son Alistair moved, after her husband was officially declared missing in action during World War II. Owain, a boy from Bledoe, starts having visions of what looks like a ghost.

The Seedling Stars by James Blish (Italian edition)

The novel “The Seedling Stars” by James Blish was published for the first time in 1955. It’s the fix-up of previously published stories.

Donald Sweeney is an Adapted Man, born with physiological modifications that allow him to survive in environmental conditions that would kill a normal human being very quickly. He’s a product of pantropy, a controversial experiment that aims to adapt humans to environmental conditions they might find on other planets in order to colonize them.

A group of Adapted Men took refuge on Ganymede thanks to adaptations that allow the members of the group to be comfortable in the conditions existing on Jupiter’s moon. Sweeney is sent to Ganymede by the Earth authorities with the aim of infiltrating the group of fugitives to help get them back to Earth, especially their main scientist. In return, he was promised to be modified to be able to live in the Earth’s conditions.

Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Saru (Doug Jones) in Die Trying (Image courtesy CBS / Netflix. All rights reserved)

“Die Trying” is the 5th episode of the 3rd season of the TV show “Star Trek: Discovery” and follows “Forget Me Not”.

USS Discovery reaches Starfleet headquarters. Starfleet Commander in Chief, Admiral Charles Vance (Oded Fehr), welcomes Saru (Doug Jones) and Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), but quickly makes it clear that there’s no trace of their mission or what happened to them in the past. This means he can’t trust them and intends to separate the crew members. Saru and Michael Burnham offer to prove their good faith and worth as a crew by participating in aid for a health emergency.

Kopidosaurus perplexus fossil with its 3D reconstructions

An article published in the journal “Scientific Reports” describes a new species of lizard now extinct that lived in present-day Wyoming, in the USA, about 52 million years ago, in the Eocene period. Simon Scarpetta, a paleontology student at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, named it Kopidosaurus perplexus because the various analyzes carried out on the available fossil skull give different results regarding its classification. The relationships also vary considerably depending on the type of analysis conducted, underlining the difficulties and uncertainties that may exist in both paleontology and biology field.

Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey

The novel “Persepolis Rising” by James S.A. Corey was published for the first time in 2017. It’s the seventh book in the Expanse series and follows “Babylon’s Ashes”.

The crew of the Rocinante has a contract with the Transport Union and must carry a message to a colony that has not complied with its rules. James Holden decides to go his own way and ends up bringing the colony’s governor to the solar system as a scapegoat. For the Transport Union’s president Camina Drummer, there’s no time to deal with Holden because a spaceship comes out of the portal and attacks Medina Station.

Despite its defenses, Medina Station is taken by the invaders, who arrive from the colony of Laconia, formed by the people who, thirty years earlier, left Mars taking with them a part of the Martian fleet and above all some protomolecule technologies. The Laconian spaceship demonstrates overwhelming superiority thanks to the technologies developed in the colony and takes control of the portal demanding to unite all humanity under Laconia’s rule.