The Brave Free Men by Jack Vance

The novel “The Brave Free Men” by Jack Vance was published for the first time in 1972 serialized in “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction” and in 1973 as a book. It’s the second book in the Durdane trilogy and follows “The Anome”.

Gastel Etzwane gained huge power and intends to use it to eliminate the threat of the Roguskhoi, humanoids who are hitting the Shant harder and harder with their attacks. Together with a very few trusted people, he tries to set up a unified army but unifying the efforts of the many cantons of the Shant is a very complex undertaking.

The people of the Shant spent generations under the rule of the Anome, and even Roguskhoi attacks elicit limited responses. Creating an army and new weapons takes time and adequate organization, and Gastel Etzwane discovers that various cantons hide serious injustices.

Earth Abides by George R. Stewart

The novel “Earth Abides” by George R. Stewart was published for the first time in 1949. It won the International Fantasy Award.

Isherwood “Ish” Williams is working on his graduate thesis in the mountains when he gets bitten by a rattlesnake. He manages to get rid of most of the poison but spends days unwell, even from what appears to be an illness unrelated to the poisoning. When he gets strong enough again, he travels to the nearest town and finds it deserted, only the first evidence of a mass death caused by an unknown disease.

Ish seeks out other survivors, who are few in number and not always friendly, sometimes in a severely altered state of mind. After touring the now almost completely depopulated USA, he returns to California and decides to settle in the area. He finds a woman, Emma, and the two of them decide to live together. Over time, they find a few other survivors with whom to form a small community but what can be the future of humanity?

An Asgard archaeon of the proposed species Lokiarchaeum ossiferum

An article published in the journal “Nature” reports a study on archaea that belong to the proposed superphylum called Asgard and in particular on their characteristics that make them a possible evolutionary missing link with eukaryotes. A team of researchers formed by the collaboration of the working groups of Christa Schleper of the Austrian University of Vienna and Martin Pilhofer of ETH Zurich was successful in cultivating a species belonging to this group of microorganisms to study them in the laboratory. This allowed conducting thorough examinations of their cellular structures such as the extensive cytoskeleton.

Death's End by Liu Cixin

The novel “Death’s End” by Liu Cixin was published for the first time in 2010. It was translated into English by Ken Liu. It’s the third book of the trilogy known as The Three-Body Problem or Remembrance of Earth’s Past and follows “The Dark Forest”.

Cheng Xin is a part of the team working on the Staircase Project which aims to send a probe toward the Trisolaran Fleet. The examination of the technical limitations shows that it’s impossible to use it to send a human being, and director Thomas Wade decides to send only a person’s brain. Yun Tianming chose euthanasia because of an incurable disease but agrees to participate in the Staircase Project. The launch seems unsuccessful but Cheng Xin received a star as a gift from Yun, who was in love with her.

After a period of hibernation, Cheng Xin awakens in the deterrence era in which the Earth and Trisolaris maintain a fragile truce based on mutual threats to reveal the coordinates of their respective planets to the entire universe. Cheng Li is appointed to be the Swordholder, the human representative who is tasked with transmitting the coordinates of Trisolaris but when the Trisolarans attack, she decides not to activate the device.

Bloodlines: Home Fires Burn by Gareth Madgwick

The novel “Bloodlines: Home Fires Burn” by Gareth Madgwick was published for the first time in 2019.

Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is taken from the normal space-time continuum by an entity who explains that he’s the Guardian of the Quantum Realm and needs him as an agent because he can’t operate directly in the physical universe. Now that there’s no one left to watch over the integrity of time, serious dangers are emerging due to interference in the timeline that could cause serious damage.

Professor Edward Travers has been sent to investigate strange events that may be caused by new Nazi weapons but he finds himself involved in the disappearance of a village child. Eileen Le Croissette is sent undercover to investigate a factory engaged in the British war effort which is using far too many resources that aren’t producing new weapons.