RogerBW's Blog

Final Curtain, Ngaio Marsh 31 March 2017

1947 classic English detective fiction; fourteenth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. Agatha Troy is commissioned to paint a portrait of Sir Henry Ancred, famed Shakespearian actor; the house is full of his variously ghastly family, including the chorus-girl he's taken up with.

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Angie Tribeca, season 2 30 March 2017

2016 police parody, 10 episodes. Detective Angie Tribeca solves crimes in the RHCU, the Really Heinous Crimes Unit.

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The Guns of Navarone, Alistair MacLean 29 March 2017

1957 thriller/war story. The island of Navarone, off the Turkish coast, contains a set of naval guns in a rock fortress that can't be effectively bombed, surrounded by a massive occupation force. Two sabotage missions have failed, one by boat, one by parachute. It's time for the third.

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March 2017 Trailers 28 March 2017 - 2 comments

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

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The Affair of the Thirty-Nine Cufflinks, James Anderson 27 March 2017

2003 somewhat parodic cosy detective fiction; third and last of Anderson's novels of the Earl of Burford and Inspector Wilkins. The last two house parties at Alderley ended in murder, but surely there can't be any harm in having people down for Great-Aunt Flossie's funeral and the reading of her will?

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Teaching Splendor 26 March 2017

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

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HMS Ulysses, Alistair MacLean 25 March 2017

1955 thriller/war story, MacLean's first novel. Ulysses, a heavily-modified Dido-class cruiser, has been worked nearly to death on the Arctic convoys, but in spite of that, and of an arguable mutiny among the men, she's sent out for one more run.

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Dear 3D print customers, please just use OpenSCAD 24 March 2017 - 2 comments

My customers on 3dhubs use a variety of software packages to build the models they send me; in theory, anything that produces files in obj or stl format will work. Some are definitely better than others.

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Pyramid 100: Pyramid Secrets 23 March 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a celebration of 100 issues of Pyramid, and various articles that wouldn't fit well elsewhere.

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Ringworld, Larry Niven 22 March 2017

1970 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. A motley crew of explorers travels to an immense, star-girdling ring.

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Bones season 11 21 March 2017

2015-2016, 22 episodes. Police procedural in the CSI mould: a team of forensic experts at the "Jeffersonian" consults for the FBI.

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Asking for Trouble, Ann Granger 20 March 2017

1997 mystery; first of Granger's novels of Fran Varady. Fran is unemployed, broke, and about to be turfed out of her London squat along with her three housemates. But one of those housemates is soon going to turn up dead.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 6 March 2017 19 March 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey.

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Henry Martyn, L. Neil Smith 18 March 2017

1989 swashbuckling science fiction. Against the background of the thousand-years' war between the Hanoverian Monopolity and the Jendyne Empery-Cirot, Arran Islay fights for freedom and revenge.

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Koutetsujou no Kabaneri 17 March 2017

2016 steampunk action, 12 episodes, anime original: AniDB, vt "Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress". With the shogunate ravaged by zombies (kabane), civilisation survives in great walled "stations" and the armoured steam "fortresses" that travel between them.

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This Rough Magic, Mary Stewart 16 March 2017

1964 mystery/thriller or romantic suspense. After the play that was to be her Big Break closed in disgrace, Lucy Waring goes to visit her married sister in Corfu. But why would anyone shoot at the dolphin that comes into their bay?

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Thirsty Meeples March 2017 15 March 2017

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

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They Found Him Dead, Georgette Heyer 14 March 2017

1937 detective fiction; third of Heyer's novels of Detective Inspector, later Superintendent, Hannasyde and Sergeant Hemingway. Silas Kane is found at the foot of a cliff on the morning after his sixtieth birthday party; obviously he slipped. But then his heir is quite blatantly shot, and attempts are made on the life of the next heir.

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February-March 2017 Trailers 13 March 2017

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

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12 Monkeys season 2 12 March 2017

2016 SF, 13 episodes. The plague that wiped out human civilisation is still a problem for the post-apocalyptic time travellers to solve, but other time travellers are a greater threat.

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Thirsty Meeples February 2017 11 March 2017

Back to the boardgame café, which was calming down a bit after Christmas. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Night Ducks 10 March 2017

I was out late one evening posting a 3D-printed part, and saw some ducks out on the Wye.

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A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers 09 March 2017

2016 science fiction, stand-alone sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. A new AI in an illegal human-shaped body, and the human who's getting it out of a bad situation, work together to build new lives.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 6 February 2017 08 March 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey (now twice a month, though I can't make the Wednesdays). On a wet night the pub was fairly full, though it cleared out quite quickly once we'd arrived. Funny, that.

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Suddenly at His Residence, Christianna Brand 07 March 2017

1946 detective fiction; third of Brand's novels of Inspector Cockrill. Sir Richard's grandchildren visit his country house in the summer of 1944 as flying-bombs descend on London; he decides to disinherit them all, goes to spend the night in the lodge dedicated to the memory of his deceased first wife, and is found dead in the morning. US vt The Crooked Wreath.

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Pyramid 99: Death and Beyond 06 March 2017 - 3 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's death, and what might follow.

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Queen of the Flowers, Kerry Greenwood 05 March 2017

2004 historical detection, fourteenth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Phryne investigates a disappeared "fast" girl, and one of her adopted daughters tries to find her original father. But will Phryne manage to appear as Queen of the Flowers at the St Kilda Festival? Of course she will.

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Firefly Crime and Punishment: unboxing and first look 04 March 2017

My copy of the Crime and Punishment expansion for Firefly arrived on Thursday.

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Farnborough Air Sciences Trust 03 March 2017 - 2 comments

On a slightly warm February day, to Farnborough to visit the museum on the former site of the Royal Aeronautical Establishment at Farnborough. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Top Gear season 2.23 and The Grand Tour season 1 02 March 2017

Top Gear: 2015, 6 episodes; The Grand Tour: 2015-2016, 13 episodes. In both cases, these are comedy shows lightly disguised as motoring programmes.

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Sakamoto Desu ga 01 March 2017

2016 contemporary comedy, 12 episodes, manga adaptation: AniDB, vt "Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto". Sakamoto is the coolest student in the high school, perfect at everything.

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