RogerBW's Blog

Reading Boardgames Social 24 November 2015 30 November 2015

To the Castle Tap for more games. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Falling Upwards, Richard Holmes 29 November 2015 - 1 comment

2013 non-fiction, an informal history of the rise and fall (sorry) of the man-carrying balloon.

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Plastic Memories 28 November 2015 - 2 comments

2015 science fiction, manga adaptation, 13 episodes: AniDB.

The Giftia androids look and act like humans, but they have a limited lifespan: 81,920 hours. After that, they need to be retrieved and shut down before bad things happen. Mizugaki Tsukasa goes to work for Terminal Services, and is partnered with the Giftia called Isla…

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Judgment on Janus, Andre Norton 27 November 2015 - 3 comments

1963 children's SF. Naill Renfro sells himself into servitude to get drugs to make his mother's dying easier. After that, things improve slightly. Well, they'd have to, wouldn't they?

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X-Wing at Wycombe Warband, November 2015 26 November 2015

X-Wing at Wycombe Warband, after another long gap. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Double, Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini 25 November 2015

1984 mystery; sixth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco, and at the same time fourteenth in Pronzini's "Nameless Detective" private eye series. Both detectives are at a convention of private eyes in San Diego, McCone also visiting her family and an old friend who's now head of hotel security. But then the dying starts.

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One Night Revolution 24 November 2015

One Night Revolution, by Ted Alspach after Akihisa Okui, is a game of hidden identities, deduction and deception for 3-10 players.

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Catseye, Andre Norton 23 November 2015

1961 children's SF. Troy Horan was thrown off his planet during the big war. Now he lives hand-to-mouth in the Dipple. But a casual job with an importer of exotic pets leads to unexpected intrigue and danger.

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Pyramid 84: Perspectives 22 November 2015 - 3 comments

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a collection of unusual ways of looking at things.

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Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie 21 November 2015

2015 SF, sequel to Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword. Fleet Captain Breq is still on Athoek Station, but there are plenty of problems even without the civil war coming closer.

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Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku - My Teenage RomCom SNAFU TOO 20 November 2015

2015 contemporary romance, light novel adaptation, 12 episodes: AniDB. Sequel to 2013's Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru - My Teenage RomCom SNAFU. Cynical loner high school kid and the rest of the Volunteer Club continue to try to help other people and work out their own problems.

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Deadlier than the Sword, Jean Rowden 19 November 2015

2008 mystery, second of the "Thorny" Deepbriar series. In rural Yorkshire in 1957, Thorny the village bobby is still trying to get into the CID. But his superiors want him walking the beat where he is. He'll need to pull off an impressive feat of detection, but how can he do that in a village where nothing much happens?

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Type 26 Global Combat Ship early impressions 18 November 2015 - 2 comments

With the Queen Elizabeth carriers now afloat, the next major shipbuilding project for the Royal Navy will be the Type 26 "Global Combat Ship", a replacement for the Type 23 frigates.

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The Box, Marc Levinson 17 November 2015 - 4 comments

2008 non-fiction, an informal history of the shipping container. Until the Second World War, almost all non-bulk freight was breakbulk, loaded one piece at a time into a ship's hold. Fifty years later, pretty much everything long-distance was going in containers. How did the change come about?

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Elementary season 3 16 November 2015 - 3 comments

2014-2015, 24 episodes. In modern New York, (a completely different) Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson consult for the police.

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Angles of Attack, Marko Kloos 15 November 2015

2015 SF, sequel to Lines of Departure. The alien Lankies have moved into the solar system, and a random assortment of ship crews from the two previously-warring powers must decide what to do next.

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Hereward Wargames 2015 14 November 2015

A new wargaming show in Peterborough, organised by a friend. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Festive in Death, J. D. Robb 13 November 2015

2014 SF/mystery; forty-ninth (roughly) of J. D. Robb's In Death series. Just before Christmas, a personal trainer is found in his home, with a nasty head wound and a knife in his chest. He seems to have been a thoroughly nasty person, but for Eve Dallas the homicide cop's job is still the job.

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Thirsty Meeples November 2015 12 November 2015

Back to the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Flex, Ferrett Steinmetz 11 November 2015

2015 modern fantasy. Magic is in the world, but "'mancers" only use it to cause chaos – and it's still true that nothing is free. Flex is a drug, distilled magic, but the mundanes who take it are even less able to deal with the backlash than the 'mancers are. Paul Tsabo, ex-cop and once known as the only mundane to have killed a 'mancer, tries to track down the terrorist who's filling people with Flex and sending them out to destroy themselves and others.

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GURPS Action 4: Specialists, Sean Punch 10 November 2015

This GURPS Action supplement expands character creation with greater flexibility in power level and skills, while keeping much of the simplictiy of the Action series.

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The Bone Key, Sarah Monette 09 November 2015 - 1 comment

2007 collection of short horror stories in the style of H. P. Lovecraft and M. R. James. Kyle Murchison Booth just wants to be left alone to work on his antique books and letters. But supernatural events keep happening to him.

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Halloween 2015 Eldritch Horror 08 November 2015

For Halloween properly this time, Eldritch Horror again. All images are cc-by-sa.

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Earth Girl, Janet Edwards 07 November 2015 - 2 comments

2012 young adult science fiction. Jarra is Handicapped; something in her immune system revolts at alien worlds, so she's limited to living on Earth with the other people who can't go to the stars and be part of proper civilisation. What's worse, all the offworlders look down on "apes". But that's not going to stop her doing her best to have a good life.

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Pink Sky At Night 06 November 2015 - 1 comment

Yesterday, within a minute after local sunset, the sky went pink.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 24 05 November 2015 - 9 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
Mel Bush - Bonnie Langford
Ace - Sophie Aldred

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The Star Beast, Robert A. Heinlein 04 November 2015 - 3 comments

1954 science fiction juvenile. Lummox is the Stuart family pet, brought back a hundred years ago from who-knows-where by great-grandfather the space explorer. He's large, and occasionally hazardous to property, but basically docile. But now he's gone on a rampage, and the forces of law and order want him put down…

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Reading Boardgames Social 27 October 2015 03 November 2015

Great Expectations again, for a series of short games. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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View from the Imperium, Jody Lynn Nye 02 November 2015 - 2 comments

2011 humorous science fiction. Lord Thomas Kinago, foppish distant cousin of the Emperor and son of the First Space Lord, is sent on his obligatory short tour of military service. Meanwhile, a cluster of worlds on the edge of the Imperium is being taken over…

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October 2015 Trailers 01 November 2015 - 5 comments

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube.)

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