January 2024

Zona II: Sabertooth Uprising by Fred G. Baker

The novel “Zona II: Sabertooth Uprising” by Fred G. Baker was published for the first time in 2023. It’s the second book in the Zona series and follows “Zona: The Forbidden Land”.

Grant Taylor and his group of explorers camp in the core of the crater called Zona with the idea of spending the winter there. They formed an alliance with the giant dire wolves that live in the Zona but discover that the sabertooth lions have warlike intentions.

Max Volkov managed to return to St. Petersburg, where he joins Boris Ustinov to set up a new expedition to Zona that brings supplies to the group that stayed there there. This takes time, also because it’s necessary to maintain the secret of the location of the crater and what Max and his traveling companions found there.

Fruit of Arabica coffee

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” reports the results of a new DNA sequencing of Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) which allowed the identification of various aberrations and genetic diversity. A team of researchers from the University of Udine and the Institute of Applied Genomics (istituto di Genomica applicata, Iga) also in Udine, Italy, used the most advanced genetic techniques to obtain details superior to those of the analyzes conducted in previous years. There’s a commercial purpose because this genetic study was conducted in collaboration with two big Italian producers – Illycaffè and Lavazza – but it’s important to know in depth the DNA of Arabica coffee and also to face the dangers deriving from diseases and climate change.

Descent into Darkness by Andrea De Magistris and Michele Perni

The novel “Descent into Darkness” by Andrea De Magistris and Michele Perni was published for the first time in 2021. It’s the second book in the Velera-Exi: mysteries of the paradox planets series and follows “Murder on Autarch 1”.

Agent Frank Harden of the Investigation Detachment has recovered physically but is still mentally affected by all the things that happened to him. He intends to continue his investigation even though his boss told him very clearly that nothing can be done, at least officially. Consequently, he must proceed on his own, also in agreement with Lester Devon, the boss of the Clan, because even such an important criminal wants to understand who is working in the shadows.

A lead brings Frank Harden to the planet Mine, so called because it’s essentially a cosmic mine where workers dig the mysterious mineral NR14. Arriving on Mine undercover, Harden soon realizes that he has ended up in a hellish place where miners are exploited to the point of death and strange things happen.

The Serpent's Tongue by Jonathan Macho

The novel “The Serpent’s Tongue” by Jonathan Macho was published for the first time in 2020.

A school trip to Stratford-upon-Avon becomes another fight against aliens for Lucy Wilson and Hobo. Thanks to the ring given to her by Anne Travers, Lucy manages to travel through time and together with Hobo manages to defeat the Ursinians. The two of them also find time to make a new friend in Louise, a local girl who is a big William Shakespeare fan and is celebrating the Bard’s jubilee.

When Louise joins her new friends and follows them on their journey back to the 21st century, her presence becomes a problem, as she raises questions from parents and teachers. It’s hardly the biggest problem because two entities using the names Prospero and Puck are watching over them.

Ballistic by Marko Kloos

The novel “Ballistic” by Marko Kloos was published for the first time in 2020. It’s the second book in The Palladium Wars series and follows “Aftershocks”.

Aden Robertson joined the crew of the merchant spaceship Zephyr but things get complicated when they agree to transport a cargo without knowing its nature. On the planet Gretia, Color Sergeant Idina Chaudhary must pay attention to new possible acts of terrorism, and finding a boy in possession of an army-issued gun opens a new front of investigation.

When Lieutenant Commander Dunstan Park discovers a spaceship far more powerful than the one he commands half-destroyed with no trace of survivors, he quickly realizes that he may face a battle with an unknown enemy. Solveig Ragnar is adapting to her new job but her relationship with her father is complicated and a trip to the planet Acheron for a very important business meeting offers her the opportunity to escape his control.