Back to earth with a bump story

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back to earth with a bump story

Way of the Wolf (Vampire Earth #1) by E.E. Knight

This is an exceedingly tricky review for me. There’s a lot I want to say, without taking up too much space. This novel is a great amalgamation of post apocalyptic science fiction and horror. It is the first book in the Vampire Earth series, which is thankfully a bit of a misnomer. The Kurians are an alien race that can extend their lives indefinitely by feeding off human auras. In order for them to harvest these auras, they have bred a genetically enhanced race of beings called Reapers who prey on humans, drinking their blood. Vampirisim by proxy, if you will. There’s more to the story than that, of course. The Kurians have gained control of Earth by setting off a number of disasters, both environmental and nuclear, so there is a lot of devastated real estate (which is probably a requirement in post apocalyptic fiction). However, the most notable of their strategies involve the use of a virus called the Raving Madness, which essentially turns people into zombies.

The world building in Way of the Wolf is outstanding. By the time this story takes place Earth has been under occupation for forty odd years and a number of important developments have taken place. The occupation itself is reminiscent of nazi-occupied Europe. There are the collaborators, and, of course, the resistance. The Kurian overlords have also divided portions of the spoils and there are some internal politics that come into play. The Free Territories are areas where humans have been able to fight off the alien invaders and hold their own through the help of the Lifeweavers (more aliens) who imbue certain selected humans with skills that can aid them in fighting the Reapers. These ‘enhanced’ humans are referred to as Wolves, Cats or Bears, depending on their particular skills, hence the title of the novel.

The Reapers are nasty enough, but the Kurians also employ a number of other critters who do their bidding. These are referred to as Grogs collectively and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Again, there is more to this than meets the eye, with some of the Grogs being more malicious than others. There are even a few who side with the humans, and in some places they co-exist side by side. And what would a post apocalyptic story be without bandits, marauders, trappers and profiteers? It’s all here of course. The world Knight weaves is a rich tapestry, but it is also very dark and foreboding. This is one grim and brutal novel, not to mention disturbing. With so many elements added to the smelting pot, the story does lend itself to some nastiness.

Due to the regression of tech and the way the free human colonies are set up in the wilds, the story does have a very prominent old west / civil war flavour, which I found remarkably refreshing in the midst of all the mayhem. Something else I was immediately reminded of was The Huntsman by Douglas Hill. The novels greatest strengths are arguably the world building and marvelously creepy / spooky atmosphere. Highly recommended.
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Published 15.10.2019

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Twinkl Inspiration Zone

By Chris Parsons. Paper planes may normally be the work of schoolboys, but it's fair to say you'd struggle to fly this particular model across a classroom. A team of designers and aviators have made young boys' dreams a reality by erecting what is thought to be the world's biggest paper airplane. The project in Arizona saw the creation of the 45ft-long plane, which has a giant 24ft wingspan. Getting off the ground: The giant paper plane is hoisted from the Earth in preparation for its maiden flight. Plane paper: The airplane was lifted to 4,ft before being allowed to fly back towards Earth in Arizona.

Please refresh the page and retry. A stronaut Tim Peake will come down to Earth with a bump next week when he ends his six month mission aboard the International Space Station. Although floating in micro-gravity for half a year may appear harmless or even restful, in fact, the rigors of spaceflight leave a lasting mark on health. To begin with, Major Peake is likely to suffer Entry Motion Sickness EMS as he plummets back to his home planet next Saturday, with symptoms including headache, pallor sweating, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Although the ISS has around 90 per cent of the gravity of Earth, astronauts experience weightlessness because the space station is in continual free-fall as it orbits the planet.

Teaching resource website Twinkl has recently launched a new free app — Twinkl Augmented Reality. The best known example of AR is Pokemon Go in which you collect Pokemon using your smartphone or tablet from real world places. At the University of Gloucestershire we have been looking at the effectiveness of using AR in education. Technicians have run several sessions for students and academics on HP Reveal app formerly Aurasma which turns everyday objects and images into augmented reality. This is done by scanning trigger images with a smartphone or tablet. The Twinkl AR app works in much the same way. A digital story book from the Twinkl Creations collection.

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After a long day of training, most footballers probably wouldn't turn down a free cheeseburger - even if it isn't officially part of their healthy diet. But when this particular McDonald's Big Mac was found at Colchester United's training ground, the team were understandably a bit confused. That's because the meaty treat wasn't a fan's leftovers, but was instead attached to a polystyrene box with a GoPro camera inside. As it turned out, it had in fact aimed for space, before falling back to earth with a bump! So what on earth - or in space - has been going on?! Thankfully the Essex-based footie team decided to live tweet all about the mysterious events - from the moment they first found the unidentifiable frying object, to the moment they figured out where it came from.

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