RogerBW's Blog

Save the Cat!, Blake Snyder 31 October 2014

This highly influential book on screenwriting lays out a standard structure to which all saleable scripts should conform.

Second Harpoon PBEM AAR: Non-Nuclear Nuclear Exchange 30 October 2014 - 1 comment

I managed to get some players together for another Harpoon game, again played by email; it took nearly two months all told, though we did have several breaks of a day or two along the way. Here's the after-action report, as before plotted onto Tactical Pilotage Charts.

Reading Boardgames Social 28 October 2014 29 October 2014

Four of us this time including two newcomers to the group, and we played a series of lightweight games.

Twilight for Harpoon 28 October 2014 - 2 comments

Sighting conditions in Harpoon are typically set by the scenario author. This means there's little guidance to the designer. Particularly if the scenario spans a large area, it might take several game hours to resolve, and it would be good to know how conditions change over time.

Fourth Day, Zoë Sharp 27 October 2014

Eighth thriller in the series about Charlie (Charlotte) Fox, former soldier and current private bodyguard. A man's son joined a cult, and later got killed; he went in to find out what had been so tempting, and decided to stay. Now Charlie's on the team that's getting him out. But it's all rather more complicated than it looks…

Didcot Railway Centre 26 October 2014 - 1 comment

Yesterday I visited the Didcot Railway Centre for the first time in really quite a few years; probably at least thirty. Lots of images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

Chickenhawk, Robert Mason 25 October 2014 - 6 comments

Robert Mason flew Hueys for a year in Vietnam. This is his story.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun 24 October 2014

2014, 12 episodes: AniDB; also known as Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun.

Parody series about young girls' (shōjo) manga. Chiyo has a crush on fellow high school student Nozaki, but through comical misunderstanding discovers he's a manga writer and artist – but this has to be kept a secret from the rest of the school.

Madam, Will You Talk?, Mary Stewart 23 October 2014

1954; mystery/thriller or romantic suspense; first published novel by Mary Stewart. Charity Selborne is on holiday in Provence, and meets young David Shelley and his stepmother Loraine Bristol. Somewhere in the background is David's father, recently acquitted of the grisly murder of his best friend, and believed by many to be mad…

Lockheed D-21 22 October 2014

The D-21 was a supersonic reconnaissance drone used briefly in the 1960s and 1970s.

Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch 21 October 2014

Contemporary fantasy. Peter Grant, Metropolitan Police constable and magician, investigates the sudden deaths of jazz musicians.

Mushi-Shi The Next Chapter, first half 20 October 2014

2014, 12 episodes plus a special: AniDB; sequel to Mushishi (2005-2006).

Mushi are supernatural creatures which are invisible to most people, but which have an effect in the mundane world. Ginko, a mushi-shi, is someone who can see them, and who solves problems for people who are affected by them.

Pirate King, Laurie R. King 19 October 2014

Eleventh in King's series about Mary Russell, who… well, this is basically Sherlock Holmes fanfiction, but against all the odds it manages to work. Strange things have been happening around a film crew; Russell joins it to work out what's going on.

Fun with Couriers 18 October 2014 - 1 comment

Every so often a server for which I'm responsible fails, and I get it shipped to me for fixing. Usually this works reasonably well.

The Cheshire Cat's Eye, Marcia Muller 17 October 2014

Third in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. McCone investigates the murder of a painter and decorator in a rough area that's being gentrified.

Con Crud, Air Conditioning, and Legionnaire's Disease 16 October 2014 - 5 comments

Why does every large convention now seem to have an associated disease, the "con crud", generally a respiratory tract infection?

Third Strike, Zoë Sharp 15 October 2014

Seventh thriller in the series about Charlie (Charlotte) Fox, former soldier and current private bodyguard. Charlie's estranged father turns up unexpectedly in the USA, and seems to be bent on professional self-destruction under the eyes of the media. Why?

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World 14 October 2014

2012, dir. Lorene Scafaria, Steve Carell, Keira Knightley: IMDb / allmovie

The world will be hit by an asteroid in three weeks, and there's nothing more that can be done about it. Dodge and his neighbour Penny set out to get him to his high school sweetheart, and her to her family in England.

Flame-Out, Keith Douglass 13 October 2014

Fourth in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is now deputy CAG aboard a Nimitz-class carrier, and Russia is invading Norway.

Firefly storage 12 October 2014

After the Blue Sun expansion to Firefly arrived, the inlay (which had been overflowing a bit already) was clearly inadequate; I needed a new way of storing the bits.

The Sword-Edged Blonde, Alex Bledsoe 11 October 2014

Hard-boiled fantasy. Down the mean streets goes Eddie LaCrosse, a swordsman who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.

Black Bullet 10 October 2014

2014, 13 episodes: AniDB

After civilisation is nearly destroyed by an invasion of virus-controlled creatures, only the children born with a small dose of the virus are an effective weapon against them. So they're paired with adult handlers, and sent off to the fight.

Nice Girls Finish Last, Sparkle Hayter 09 October 2014

Second of Hayter's mysteries about TV journalist Robin Hudson. This time her new gynæcologist has been found, handcuffed and then shot in the head, and there's no shortage of people who might have wished him ill.

Thirsty Meeples October 2014 08 October 2014 - 5 comments

Back to three players, and a reserved table, at the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

The Last Ship, series 1 07 October 2014

While the destroyer USS Nathan James is on exercise in the Arctic, a plague has killed over 80% of the world's population. Now her captain must decide how to proceed.

Choosers of the Slain, James H. Cobb 06 October 2014 - 4 comments

Naval technothriller. Argentine troops invade key locations in Antarctica, and the only force in a position to do anything about it is a new US Navy destroyer.

Autumn Barbecue 2014 05 October 2014 - 1 comment

Another barbecue gone by. No photos this time as I wasn't taking them.

The Most Dangerous Game 04 October 2014

1932, dir. Ernest B. Schoedsack, Joel McCrea, Fay Wray: IMDb / allmovie. Also known as The Hounds of Zaroff for its British release.

A famous hunter is shipwrecked, then makes it to the shore of a supposedly deserted island. But his host has plans for him.

The Most Dangerous Game, Richard Connell 03 October 2014

Short story. An expert hunter, washed overboard from his ship, makes it to an island where his host explains how he makes hunting a real challenge: his prey is human beings.

Drone on the playing fields 02 October 2014 - 2 comments

I took the drone out to the local playing fields to try for some longer-range shots. This turned out to be much more challenging than the close-up stuff. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Circle of the Moon, Barbara Hambly 01 October 2014

Sequel to Sisters of the Raven. The new female wizards, and the king their patron, have to cope with dream-communications of suffering from abroad, a possible magical assassin, some new kind of plague that is wiping out villages, and the king's re-coronation ordeal (which was easier to fake back when magic was reliable).

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