RogerBW's Blog

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures 31 July 2014

Star Wars X-Wing is clearly designed to be a gateway game, encouraging players to buy lots of expansions. As I'm probably going to do. But before then, how well does it do at being playable out of the box?

Hugo 2014: Editor, Short Form 30 July 2014

These are my thoughts on the remaining Hugo packet submissions for Best Editor, Short Form. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so. There will also be spoilers here.

Swedish Air Force Museum 29 July 2014 - 3 comments

Earlier this month I visited the Swedish Air Force Museum near Linköping, on the site where Carl Cederström (Sweden's first aviator, like so many early flyers a member of the landed gentry with an interest in machinery and little to do) established the first Swedish flying school. Lots of images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

Fearsome Journeys 28 July 2014

Fantasy anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan. Twelve new stories that "encompass as wide a range of types of fantasy story as possible". Nominated for Best Editor (Short Form).

Boom Today: Didcot Southern Cooling Tower Demolition 27 July 2014 - 3 comments

Too early this morning, I went to Wittenham to watch the demolition of the southern cooling towers at Didcot. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

Bookmonth, June 2014 26 July 2014

Here's what I've read in June.

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination 26 July 2014 - 1 comment

SF anthology edited by John Joseph Adams. Twenty-two stories on the general theme of mad scientists. Nominated for Best Editor (Short Form).

Waterborne 25 July 2014

2005, dir. Ben Rekhi, Christopher Masterson, Ajay Naidu: IMDb / allmovie

After a presumed terrorist attack pollutes the water supply of Los Angeles, three groups of people do their best to keep going as society collapses.

Hugo 2014: Novella 24 July 2014 - 1 comment

These are my thoughts on the Hugo-nominated novellas. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so. There will also be spoilers here.

Indie Boards and Cards 2014 kickstarters 23 July 2014

People who know me will be aware that I'm an enthusiastic player of several of the games published by Indie Boards and Cards. They currently have Kickstarter projects running for two of them.

Hugo 2014: Novelette 22 July 2014

These are my thoughts on the Hugo-nominated novelettes in 2014. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so. There will also be spoilers here.

Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 17 21 July 2014 - 4 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who - Tom Baker
Romana - Lalla Ward
K-9 (voice) - David Brierly

Hugo 2014: Short Story 20 July 2014

These are my thoughts on the Hugo-nominated short stories in 2014. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so. There will also be spoilers here.

The Unfortunate History of Aircraft-Carrying Submarines 19 July 2014 - 5 comments

Aircraft-carrying submarines seem, superficially, like a really good idea. Unfortunately in practice they haven't really worked.

The Lost Fleet: Relentless, Jack Campbell 18 July 2014

Fifth of a six-book series. In the distant future, a long-frozen space-navy captain tries to lead his fleet home. Spoilers will follow.

Kuru Toga Roulette 17 July 2014 - 3 comments

Since I bought one in 2012, the Kuru Toga Roulette has become my absolute favourite writing tool ever.

One Hundred Days, Admiral Sandy Woodward and Patrick Robinson 16 July 2014 - 2 comments

In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands; a Royal Navy task group was sent to take them back. This is the memoir of the task group's commander.

The Lunchbox 15 July 2014 - 2 comments

2013, "Dabba", dir. Ritesh Batra, Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur: IMDb / allmovie

An old-fashioned epistolary romance, conducted via notes passed in a lunchbox. Plot discussion, which may be considered to include spoilers, follows.

Sisters of the Raven, Barbara Hambly 14 July 2014

As wizards, hitherto exclusively male, gradually lose their magical power, some women discover that they are gaining it.

Chinese aircraft carriers 13 July 2014 - 2 comments

The People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force has been making substantial, though largely ignored, efforts to gain a carrier aviation capability.

Urn Burial, Kerry Greenwood 12 July 2014

Eighth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia); a homage to the novels of Agatha Christie.

The Origins of Homœopathy 11 July 2014

Homœopathy has some very strange ideas. But where did it actually come from?

The Burglar in the Closet, Lawrence Block 10 July 2014

Bernard Rhodenbarr, the closest New York in the 1970s can get to a gentleman burglar, is back for his second book appearance, and the formula sets in: while our hero the burglar is hiding from his victim who's come home unexpectedly, she gets murdered.

The Haas Effect in Audacity 09 July 2014

The podcast for which I do sound tech (yes, all right, I'm also one of the speakers and writers) sometimes uses old recordings as interstitial music.

The Lost Fleet: Valiant, Jack Campbell 08 July 2014

Fourth of a six-book series. In the distant future, a long-frozen space-navy captain tries to lead his fleet home.

Summer Stabcon 2014 07 July 2014

This long-running games convention started off as a Diplomacy gathering. These days it's a blend of board-gaming and roleplaying. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Snowpiercer 06 July 2014

2013, dir. Bong Joon-ho, Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton IMDb / allmovie

After the world has frozen, all that's left of humanity lives aboard a train eternally circling the planet.

The Young Lady from Paris, Joan Aiken 05 July 2014

In the late 1850s, Ellen Paget is employed as a governess in Paris.

Convair F2Y Sea Dart 04 July 2014 - 3 comments

The Sea Dart (try not to associate that in your mind with Lawn Dart) was to be a supersonic flying-boat fighter.

Burglars Can't Be Choosers, Lawrence Block 03 July 2014

First in Block's slightly less-well-known series. Bernard Rhodenbarr is a burglar, and a good one. It's bad enough when the cops walk into the apartment where he's doing his latest job. But then one of them discovers a recently-dead body nearby.

Thirsty Meeples July 2014 02 July 2014 - 2 comments

Another two-player session last night, trying new games at the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

The Lost Fleet: Courageous, Jack Campbell 01 July 2014

Third of a six-book series. In the distant future, a long-frozen space-navy captain tries to lead his fleet home.

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