RogerBW's Blog

Off With His Head, Ngaio Marsh 31 July 2017

1957 classic English detective fiction; nineteenth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. In the village of South Mardian, the Dance of the Five Sons is still performed at midwinter; but this year one of the dancers will be decapitated in truth as well as in jest. US vt Death of a Fool.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 17 July 2017 30 July 2017

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

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Unknown waterfowl, maybe a young moorhen 29 July 2017 - 1 comment

Can you identify this bird?

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The units program as a command-line calculator 28 July 2017

The units(1) program is available on many Unix systems (though rarely installed by default). Most people think of it as a simple interactive converter. It's actually much more powerful than that.

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A Board Game Is For Life 27 July 2017

…not just for Christmas. Or I think it should be.

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The Library Paradox, Catherine Shaw 26 July 2017

2006 historical mystery, third of Shaw's series. In 1896, Vanessa Weatherburn (now a mother of twins) investigates the murder of a professor of history at King's College.

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Pyramid 105: Cinematic Magic 25 July 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's magic inspired by large-scale filmic stories. Is it just going to be a rerun of #102 Epic? Not quite.

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Thirsty Meeples July 2017 24 July 2017

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

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The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge 23 July 2017

2015 fantasy. In Victorian England, Faith Sunderly has gone with her family to the Isle of Vane as her father the famous naturalist supervises the excavation of fossils, though it gradually becomes apparent that he is under some sort of cloud. Still, there is science to be done… by the men.

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Type 26 Global Combat Ship once more 22 July 2017 - 2 comments

Construction has begun on the first of the Type 26 frigates. How have things changed since I looked at the design in late 2015?

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Dying on Principle, Judith Cutler 21 July 2017 - 3 comments

1997 mystery; third of Cutler's novels of Sophie Rivers, a teacher in a sixth-form college in Birmingham. Seconded to a new college for a project, Sophie finds the proximity to her home and the high equipment budget don't compensate for a strange managerial attitude… or for murder.

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Summer Stabcon 2017 20 July 2017 - 3 comments

This long-running games convention had another instance at the start of July. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge 19 July 2017

2014 fantasy. Triss has survived a fall in the river, but she doesn't feel quite right: she's permanently hungry, her memories are fuzzy, and her sister refuses to talk to her.

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Scream Queens season 2 18 July 2017

2016, 10 episodes. Horror comedy by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan: the survivors of the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority house massacre are now running a hospital, but they haven't got away from masked killers.

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Scales of Justice, Ngaio Marsh 17 July 2017

1955 classic English detective fiction; eighteenth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. The quiet village of Swevenings has seen two deaths recently: Sir Harold Lacklander of the Foreign Service died of old age and heart failure, leaving his memoirs to his good friend and neighbour Colonel Cartarette to edit and publish. But now someone's stove the Colonel's head in.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 3 July 2017 16 July 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey, on an evening that was slightly cooler but still fairly sweaty.

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A Face Like Glass, Frances Hardinge 15 July 2017 - 2 comments

2012 fantasy. In the underground city of Caverna, Neverfell was found with no memories, aged five, in a cheese-vat. Seven years later, she sets out to catch an escaped rabbit, and ends up finding her place in the world.

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June-July 2017 Trailers 14 July 2017 - 1 comment

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

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The Forever War, Joe Haldeman 13 July 2017 - 1 comment

1974 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning military science fiction. William Mandella is a conscript in Earth's first interstellar war; it starts off looking an awful lot like Vietnam.

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Fune wo Amu 12 July 2017

2016 slice of life, novel adaptation in 11 episodes: AniDB, vt "The Great Passage". Introverted Majime is a useless salesman for Genbu Publishing, but finds his true calling working in the Dictionary Editorial Department.

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Hugo 2017: Campbell Award 11 July 2017

These are my thoughts on the Campbell Award-nominated authors (yes, I know it's not a Hugo) based on the material provided in the voter pack. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so.

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Lenovo Laptop Repairs 10 July 2017

'Twas on a Wednesday evening that the laptop did break down... failing to come out of suspend after having been moved, with the 1-3-3-1 beep code that, on Lenovo machines at least, indicates a memory or system board problem. I cleaned up the DIMM contacts and it worked happily for a day, then died again on Thursday night, and more cleaning and re-seating didn't help. Time for a warranty repair.

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Hugo 2017: Novel 09 July 2017

These are my thoughts on the Hugo-nominated novels. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so.

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Some technical thoughts on podcasting 08 July 2017 - 1 comment

I've been podcasting for over four years now, I'm now getting game recordings together for the Whartson Hall Æthernauts too, and I hope some of this advice may be useful to people who are getting started.

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Hugo 2017: Series 07 July 2017

These are my thoughts on the Hugo-nominated series. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so.

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Princes of the Renaissance, June 2017 06 July 2017

On a Wednesday night in Cambridge, with the usual GM unable to run the game we'd planned, four of us got together to play Princes of the Renaissance, a Martin Wallace design from 2003 not currently in print.

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Hugo 2017: Short Story 05 July 2017

These are my thoughts on the Hugo-nominated short stories. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so.

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The Catch season 1 04 July 2017 - 2 comments

2016 caper show, 10 episodes. Alice Vaughan, private investigator, discovers her fiancé was a con artist stealing from her firm. But in spite of all that, neither of them is quite ready to break things off.

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Hugo 2017: Novelette 03 July 2017 - 5 comments

These are my thoughts on the Hugo-nominated novelettes. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 19 June 2017 02 July 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey, this time on an excessively hot day.

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Hugo 2017: Novella 01 July 2017 - 2 comments

These are my thoughts on the Hugo-nominated novellas. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so.

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