RogerBW's Blog

The Weight Of The Evidence, Michael Innes 28 February 2017

1943 mystery, ninth in Innes' John Appleby series. At Nestfield University, Professor Pluckrose is found dead in his deck-chair on the Green, crushed by a meteorite; surely not an accident, and Appleby investigates.

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The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin 27 February 2017

1969 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. Genly Ai is a human emissary to the world of Winter, sent to bring it into star-travelling civilisation. The natives change gender as part of their life cycle. And this is a problem for him.

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Castle Rouge, Carole Nelson Douglas 26 February 2017

2002 historical mystery, sixth of Douglas's novels about Irene Adler. Following the events of Chapel Noir, our protagonists variously head east to put an end to the Ripper mystery.

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February 2017 Trailers 25 February 2017

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. These trailer posts are now not on a strict monthly rotation any more, but are being mixed into the automatic post scheduler that runs the rest of the blog.)

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Firefly at BBG, January 2017 24 February 2017

I don't usually get to the Bucks Boardgame Group because I'm normally busy of a Tuesday evening, but this time the other thing fell through, and I got in an unusual game of Firefly. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Weapons of Choice, John Birmingham 23 February 2017 - 1 comment

2004 alternate-history science fiction war story. In the near future, an American-led multinational naval force is approaching an Indonesia turned muslim-fundamentalist, when it finds itself hurled through time to 1942, just before the Battle of Midway.

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Large spool mount 22 February 2017

I've been printing a fair bit for 3dhubs lately: the user uploads a model and chooses a material and colour, I print and post it, I get paid. Since most people opt for black, silver-grey or white, I've started buying larger spools of those, since they're about 20% cheaper per length.

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Stitchers season 2 21 February 2017

2016 science fiction, 10 episodes. Kirsten Clark continues to have her consciousness inserted into the minds of the recently-dead, while hunting for more information about her father.

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Died in the Wool, Ngaio Marsh 20 February 2017

1945 classic English detective fiction; thirteenth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. Florence Rubrick, sheep station owner and local MP, vanished one night from her home; her body was found some weeks later, packed into a bale of wool. Eighteen months later, Alleyn is hunting for spies in New Zealand, and informally takes on the case.

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Teaching Grifters 19 February 2017

Today I'll introduce Grifters. Anything in square brackets is to be thought about rather than read aloud.

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Pyramid 98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy 18 February 2017 - 2 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time, to support the forthcoming Dungeon Fantasy RPG, it's all about dungeon-bashing.

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The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan 17 February 2017

1915 thriller; first of Buchan's books about Richard Hannay. Bored in London, Hannay invites his worried neighbour into his flat, and soon finds both the authorities and a cunning group of terrorists against him.

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Boardgaming At Home, January 2017 16 February 2017 - 2 comments

A seven-, then five-player games session with some larger games that don't come out often enough. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Joker Game 15 February 2017

2016 historical espionage, adaptation of a novel series, 12 episodes: AniDB. In the years just before the Second World War, a maverick Japanese spymaster establishes a new intelligence agency.

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Teaching Coup Rebellion G54 14 February 2017

Today I'll introduce Coup: Rebellion G54. Anything in square brackets is to be thought about rather than read aloud.

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Elementary season 4 13 February 2017

2015-2016, 24 episodes. In modern New York, (a completely different) Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson continue to consult for the police.

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Handycon 2017 12 February 2017

This new convention happened just on the other side of High Wycombe from me, at a hotel that has some conference space. (Why would you choose to have a conference there? I suppose if you applied some sort of travel-time-minimising algorithm and worked out that you got the least total driving that way…)

With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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The Three Body Problem, Catherine Shaw 11 February 2017

2004 historical epistolary mystery. In Cambridge in 1888, a young schoolmistress tries to solve the murders of three mathematicians before her beau is convicted of them.

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Teaching One Night Revolution 10 February 2017

I've had a certain amount of practice teaching board games, so I'm going to post some of my introductions to them here. These are all put together from multiple sessions, generally at Essen. As a general principle, I have components lying on the table, and point to them and/or pick them up as they are mentioned.

Today I'll introduce One Night Revolution. Anything in square brackets is to be thought about rather than necessarily read aloud.

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Kirkaldy Testing Museum 09 February 2017 - 2 comments

Just off Southwark Street in London is an unexpected piece of industrial history. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Flash Point solo: Let's Try That Again 08 February 2017

Another run of Flash Point, on the two-door map from the base game. This time I decided to go with six firefighters, to give me some leeway for using the non-firefighting roles, in Veteran mode as usual. Photos are taken at the end of each round, six turns.

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Chapel Noir, Carole Nelson Douglas 07 February 2017

2001 historical mystery, fifth of Douglas's novels about Irene Adler. In Paris in 1889, the Exposition Universelle is in full swing… but a notorious killer seems to have come over from London.

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Thirsty Meeples January 2017 06 February 2017

Back to the boardgame café on a mildly snowy night. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Borderline, Nevada Barr 05 February 2017

2009 mystery, fifteenth in Barr's Anna Pigeon series, murder mysteries in US National Parks. After the events of the last book, Anna's on administrative leave; she travels with her husband to the Rio Grande for a rafting trip. They come across a nearly-dead, very pregnant woman; and apparently someone wants to finish the job.

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DanMachi 04 February 2017

2015 fantasy, adaptation of a light novel series, 12 episodes: AniDB. In a world where gods dwell among humans, Bell Cranel is a novice adventurer. Full title: Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darouka: Familia Myth, or Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?.

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GURPS house rule: completion time 03 February 2017 - 2 comments

This is a small extension of the GURPS rules to generate the time taken for tasks of variable length.

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Justice Calling, Annie Bellet 02 February 2017

2014 modern fantasy/romance. Jade Crow runs a comics-and-games shop in Wylde, Idaho, where lots of magical creatures congregate. She's hiding from someone. But she isn't going to be able to stay hidden.

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January 2017 Trailers 01 February 2017 - 4 comments

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

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