November 2023

The Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) in The Star Beast (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)

“The Star Beast” is the first 2023 special episode in the TV show “Doctor Who” that celebrates its 60th anniversary. It’s available in the UK and Ireland on BBC channels and in many other countries on the Disney+ platform.

The Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) is trying to understand why the regeneration reprised an old face when he arrives in London and the first person he runs into is Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), accompanied by her daughter Rose (Yasmin Finney). He doesn’t even have time to reflect on what seems like a really strange coincidence that a spaceship crashes into the Earth’s atmosphere carrying the very cute Meep, hunted by the horrid insectoid Wrarth Warriors.

Sam Altman in 2019

In less than a week, a showdown took place within the top management of OpenAI, an organization that began as a non-profit before creating a for-profit subsidiary. On Friday, November 17, the Board of Directors removed Sam Altman from his position as CEO and Greg Brockman from the Board. After frantic days of announcements, threats of mass resignations from the employees, further changes at the top, and the announcement of the move of Altman and Brockman to Microsoft, there was instead a restoration with the return of the two of them to their roles and the announcement of radical changes in the Board.

Stargazer: Judgment Day by Ivan Ertlov

The novel “Stargazer: Judgment Day” (“Stargazer: Weltenrichter”) by Ivan Ertlov was published for the first time in 2022 and translated from German by Marly Gram. It’s the fourth book in the After Terra series and follows “Stargazer: Civil War”.

In the Council that rules the Protectorate, there’s confusion when the Plachtharr Alliance withdraws its fleets from the borders. This turns into panic when the Plachtharr Ambassador formally requests military support. The reason is the approach of a cosmic entity capable of devouring everything it finds, an entity part of the nightmares of all sentient species, even when they have never actually seen it. Humans know it as Yog-Sothoth.

When old enmities are put aside and even pirate fleets arrive to join the final battle, the situation seems desperate. However, hope comes from the ancient technologies that produced the starship Yrsha restoring its weapons to their full power. Frank Gazer and his crew are ready to join the fight with the knowledge that this time the enemy is the most dangerous entity they have ever faced.

News arrived of the death of the writer Michael Bishop, which occurred on Monday, November 13. Since the end of June 2023, he was in a hospice. He didn’t feel close to death but his health problems led him to that decision.

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

The novel “Six Wakes” by Mur Lafferty was published for the first time in 2017.

When Maria Arena wakes up, she remembers the beginning of the journey of the starship Dormire but something went wrong because she discovers her previous clone, who shows visible signs of being much older than when the journey began and was killed. The other crew members turn out to be in the same situation except the captain, whose previous body is in a coma but still alive.

A check-up of the onboard systems shows that the IAN artificial intelligence is not working. The cloning systems have been sabotaged, meaning that records of the crew members’ memories are unavailable and it’s impossible to create new clones. There’s a saboteur on board but everything suggests that he must be a member of the crew, an easy conclusion to reach also because they’re all criminals.