RogerBW's Blog

Space Captain Smith, Toby Frost 31 May 2016 - 1 comment

2008 humorous science fiction; first in its series. In the 25th Century the British Empire will soon be fighting the insectoid Ghast; but Captain Isambard Smith, square-jawed, courageous, and perhaps a bit dim, is called on to take an elderly refitted freighter on a courier mission.

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Vanquish 2016 in Bourne End 30 May 2016

Since this show was only a few miles from where I live, I thought I'd drop in. Wycombe Warband, the club where I usually play, weren't putting anything on, but there were many of the usual dealers and some interesting demo games with emphasis on participation.

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The Bilbao Looking Glass, Charlotte MacLeod 29 May 2016

1983, cozy American detective fiction; fourth of MacLeod's novels of Boston Brahmin Sarah Kelling and art investigator Max Bittersohn. Sarah and Max, teetering on the brink of getting engaged, visit Sarah's summer home on Cape Cod. But someone has covertly added a valuable antique mirror to the furnishings; and a nasty old gossip turns up with an axe in her chest.

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Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru 28 May 2016

2015 mystery novel adaptation, 12 episodes: AniDB, vt "Beautiful Bones: Sakurako`s Investigation" or "A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako's Feet". Kujou Sakurako, osteologist and amateur forensic anthropologist, investigates the remarkable number of human bones to be found locally.

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Spiral Hunt, Margaret Ronald 27 May 2016

2009 urban fantasy. Evie Scelan isn't a magician: she just has a knack for tracking things by scent. But staying out of the way of the magical rulers of Boston isn't as easy as simply keeping her head down.

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Childhood's End 26 May 2016 - 1 comment

2015 SF mini-series, adapted by Matthew Graham and directed by Nick Hurran. In 2016, alien ships arrive on Earth, with the aliens saying they're come to bring utopia. But not everyone agrees that that's what they're offering.

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The Strangling on the Stage, Simon Brett 25 May 2016

2014; fifteenth in Brett's Fethering Mysteries series (amateur sleuthing in small-town Sussex). After a rehearsal for a village-hall production of The Devil's Disciple, the lead is found strangled on the "absolutely safe" gallows.

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Tascam DR-40 24 May 2016 - 2 comments

The Tascam DR-40 is a four-track digital recorder that I'm using for podcasting and game session recording.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers 23 May 2016 - 4 comments

2014 science fiction. The mixed human and alien crew members aboard a wormhole-building ship move from world to world, on their way to the job that'll let them move into the big time.

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Farewell to systemd 22 May 2016 - 6 comments

I tried to give it a fair shake. Really I did. But systemd has now annoyed me to the point where I've been removing it from the systems for which I'm responsible and bringing back sysvinit.

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Verdigris Deep, Frances Hardinge 21 May 2016

2007 young adult fantasy. Ryan, Chelle and Josh fish some coins out of the old well, to pay for a bus home. Then things get far too complicated, far too fast. US vt Well Witched.

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GURPS After the End 2: The New World, Jason Levine Tags: RPGs, 20 May 2016

This second supplement in a new line deals with the world after the end of civilisation: friends, foes and environment.

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The Librarians, season 2 19 May 2016

2015 modern fantasy, 10 episodes; the scrappy team of magic-hunting Librarians fights against a resurrected Prospero who's planning to remake the world.

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There's Nothing To Be Afraid Of, Marcia Muller 18 May 2016

1985 mystery; sixth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. Someone's causing minor troubles for the inhabitants of a hotel in the Tenderloin, most of them recent Vietnamese immigrants; Sharon's employed by the Refugee Assistance Committee to look into it. Then things turn deadly.

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Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows 17 May 2016

2015 slice of life, four short episodes: AniDB, vt "She and Her Cat: Everything Flows". Miyu's cat contemplates their life together.

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The Chemical History of a Candle, Michael Faraday 16 May 2016

1861 non-fiction, popular science, transcriptions of early Royal Institution Christmas Lectures; Faraday starts from the basics of combustion and goes on to the frontiers of nineteenth-century chemistry.

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TringCon 2 April 2016 15 May 2016

This small one-day boardgaming event happens twice a year in a village hall in Deepest Buckinghamshire, and has been going for quite a few years. This was my fourth visit.

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Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Lois McMaster Bujold 14 May 2016 - 6 comments

2016 science fiction, sixteenth novel in the Vorkosigan universe. Three years after the death of Aral Vorkosigan, his widow Cordelia starts to move her life in a new direction. Oliver Jole, Admiral of Sergyar Fleet, finds himself caught up in unexpected ways.

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Taxonomy of the Occult Secret Service 13 May 2016 - 13 comments

John Dallman invented the term Occult Secret Service to describe the Laundry novels of Charles Stross (from 2001) and the Broom Cupboard novels of David Devereux (from 2008). It's become popular in other fiction and in role-playing games. Is it useful to analyse it further?

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Rebellion Open Evening, 10 May 12 May 2016

The local pub organised a trip to a public evening at the Rebellion Brewery in Marlow Bottom. (Images follow; all are cc-by-sa.)

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The Survivors, Tom Godwin 11 May 2016 - 4 comments

1958 science fiction. When the aliens capture a colony ship, they take the slaves who can work and abandon the rest on an uninhabited world. That's their error. (Also published as Space Prison.)

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Minority Report 10 May 2016

2015 science fiction, ten episodes, sequel of sorts to the 2002 film. After the PreCrime programme is shut down, the three precognitives try to live normal lives. Of course, one of them ends up Fighting Crime.

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Irene's Last Waltz, Carole Nelson Douglas 09 May 2016

1994 mystery, fourth of Douglas's novels about Irene Adler; here she returns to Prague, to solve a problem for the Queen. Espionage, the Golem, femmes fatales, and really nice dresses ensue. (Retitled as Another Scandal in Bohemia in recent reissue.)

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Culham Centre for Fusion Energy 08 May 2016 - 1 comment

Several right-minded people went to Culham, on one of their rare open days, to visit the Joint European Torus and the Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak (which should really be called a Sphekamak but never mind). (Images follow; all are cc-by-sa.)

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Caliban's War, James S. A. Corey 07 May 2016

2012 science fiction, second in The Expanse series. Ganymede, the main supplier of food to the outer system, is attacked and its fragile artificial ecosystem destroyed; Earth and Mars seem likely to go to war again.

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Disasters: Meltdown and Fallout 06 May 2016 - 1 comment

The observant will have noticed the tag "Project Woolsack" on various of my review posts, and a certain subject matter bias associated with them.

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Pyramid 89: Alternate Dungeons II 05 May 2016

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about alternative framings of the dungeon again.

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Sore ga Seiyuu 04 May 2016

2015 slice of life, 4-koma manga adaptation in 13 episodes: AniDB, vt "Seiyuu's Life". Ichinose Futaba is a novice voice actress; along with her friends, she goes to auditions, gets together in a singing group, and generally tries to advance her career.

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The March North, Graydon Saunders 03 May 2016

2014 military fantasy. The unnamed protagonist leads a unit of The Line in repelling an invasion by the Dark Lord in the next country.

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April Barbecue 2016 02 May 2016 - 4 comments

It was a slightly chilly day, but that just meant that people huddled round the fire when the wind blew. (Fire good. Fire is my friend.)

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April 2016 Trailers 01 May 2016

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

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