November 2022

The Dreaming Jewels aka The Synthetic Man by Theodore Sturgeon

The novel “The Dreaming Jewels”, also known as “The Synthetic Man”, by Theodore Sturgeon was published for the first time in 1950 in the magazine “Fantastic Adventures” and then as a book in a revised edition.

Horty is 8 years old when is caught eating ants. His strange behavior angers his adoptive father and as a result of the fight that follows, he loses three fingers on one hand. Horty decides that the best thing he can do is run away from home with only one jack-in-the-box he cares about very much. He literally jumps on the first passing truck, where he meets some people who work in a circus who invite him to go with them.

The circus owner Pierre Monetre isn’t very friendly but Zena, a dwarf who met Horty on the truck, convinces her boss to welcome the child by passing him off as a dwarf girl like her. Horty’s life seems to improve markedly in an environment where people generally love each other but Zena warns him not to tell anyone that the fingers he had lost have grown back.

The Story of Martha

The anthology “The Story of Martha” by Dan Abnett, David Roden, Steve Lockley, Paul Lewis, Robert Shearman, and Simon Jowett was published for the first time in 2008.

Martha Jones was forced to escape the Master’s captivity leaving her family and the Doctor behind. She now has only one purpose: to walk the Earth to spread a message of hope, convincing people all over the world that it’s possible to defeat the Master.

For a year, Martha Jones travels the world telling stories of the Doctor’s adventures. She becomes a legend but that’s a problem because she has to avoid the Master’s agents who are trying to capture one of the most wanted people in the world.

Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey

The novel “Leviathan Falls” by James S.A. Corey was published for the first time in 2021. It’s the ninth book in the Expanse series and follows “Tiamat’s Wrath”.

Laconian High Consul Winston Duarte has awakened and, after extending his consciousness to reach out to Admiral Trejo and tell him they were thinking too small, vanishes. Trejo immediately orders a return to the Laconia system and charges Colonel Tanaka with the task of finding Duarte. One trace is linked to the High Consul’s daughter Teresa Duarte, part of the crew of the Rocinante.

Dr. Elvi Okoye continues her investigation into the portal builders and the mysterious force that destroyed them. She must use Xan and Cara, the young people who got altered, to try to probe a part of the universe totally alien to humans. Their remote connection to Amos Burton complicates the situation.

The Light Chaser by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell

The novel “The Light Chaser” by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell was published for the first time in 2021.

For millennia, Amahle has traveled in space in a starship driven by an artificial intelligence that is her only company when she doesn’t stop on a planet. During the long journeys between planets, she spends her time reliving the experiences of people wearing a special device that records their lives.

Amahle’s routine starts getting disrupted when she realizes that the memories of different people who lived on very distant planets include meetings with the same man. As if that weren’t enough, this mysterious man talks to Amahle knowing that she will relive those encounters and tells her not to trust the starship’s artificial intelligence.

Scheme of the IBM Osprey quantum processor (Image courtesy IBM. All rights reserved)

At the IBM Quantum Summit 2022, IBM unveiled its new quantum processor. Called the IBM Osprey, it features 433 qubits, more than triple the IBM Eagle processor unveiled just last year. This great step forward in the field of quantum computers aims to make computers capable of performing complex calculations that are far beyond the capabilities of any classical computer. Software is as critical as hardware to performance, and IBM is working on the Qiskit Runtime, a service and programming model that aims to optimize workloads and run them efficiently on quantum computers.