RogerBW's Blog

Escape 31 October 2017

2017, 9 episodes (on Geek & Sundry): teams of various minor celebrities try to solve puzzles to get of a room.

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Trophies and Dead Things, Marcia Muller 30 October 2017

1990 mystery; tenth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. A former student radical dies in one of a series of apparently random shootings. Shortly before his death, he changed his will, disinheriting his children and giving his money to four strangers. Sharon tracks them down, and tries to find out why he did it and whether there might have been any duress or undue inflence.

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The Dark Times 1 29 October 2017

The Dark Times, edited by Lee Williams, is a new fanzine that follows on from Demonground and Protodimension in dealing with "the horror-conspiracy-weirdness gaming genres", beginning with Dark Conspiracy and drifting into nearby areas.

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Nonsense about Legal Tender 28 October 2017 - 4 comments

Even I (not the person most exposed to news media) heard Dire Warnings recently about original pound coins ceasing to be legal tender on 15 October.

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Penric's Mission, Lois McMaster Bujold 27 October 2017

2016 short fantasy novel in the World of the Five Gods (formerly known as Chalion). Some years after the previous books, Penric and the demon Desdemona have been sent on a diplomatic mission, to recruit a disaffected general for Penric's home of Adria. So first he's accused of spying and thrown into a dungeon…

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October 2017 Trailers 26 October 2017 - 3 comments

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

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Broken Meats, David Hambling 25 October 2017 - 1 comment

2015 Lovecraftian horror novella. In 1920s London, ex-boxer Harry Stubbs gets a job bodyguarding (and spying on) a Chinese visitor who clearly knows more than he's saying.

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Tabletop season 4 24 October 2017 - 1 comment

2016, 21 episodes: Wil Wheaton and other minor celebrities play boardgames.

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Death at the Dolphin, Ngaio Marsh 23 October 2017

1967 classic English detective fiction; twenty-fourth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. Playwright and director Peregrine Jay is handed the dilapidated Dolphin Theatre, and is making a success of it, at least until the night-watchman is murdered. US vt Killer Dolphin.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 2 October 2017 22 October 2017

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

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The Face of a Stranger, Anne Perry 21 October 2017

1990 mystery; first in Perry's William Monk series (Victorian police work). In 1856 London, Monk wakes up in hospital with no idea of his own name or job, but soon discovers that he's a police detective, and is given a new case to work on, the beating to death of a popular veteran of the Crimea. But as he finds out more about the man he used to be, he doesn't like him very much.

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Reflections on Ten Years of the Second World War 20 October 2017 - 5 comments

My alternate-history World War II (with magic) game has now lasted for ten years of real time, something over 100 sessions (we play roughly monthly and sometimes skip a month).

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A Nice Class of Corpse, Simon Brett 19 October 2017

1986 mystery; first in Brett's Mrs Pargeter series (amateur sleuthing). Widowed Mrs Pargeter moves into a seaside hotel in Littlehampton, and causes a stir by being herself; but when one of the guests falls down the stairs in the middle of the night and breaks her neck, she may be the only person who doesn't assume it was an accident. Or at least one of two people.

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Building a File Server 4: maintenance 18 October 2017

In this (probably final) part of the series on building a file server, I'll talk about keeping the thing running once you've got it. This is specific to the ZFS approach.

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Timeless season 1 17 October 2017

2016-2017 science fiction, 16 episodes. A time machine has been invented, and stolen, by someone whose goals are unclear but probably bad; a team is assembled in haste to take the second machine to try to catch him.

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The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage 16 October 2017 - 2 comments

1998 non-fiction, an informal history of the age of the telegraph.

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Alien Frontiers 15 October 2017

Alien Frontiers, designed by Tory Niemann, is a dice-placement game for 2-4 players.

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Midland Air Museum 14 October 2017 - 7 comments

The Midland Air Museum is round the back of Coventry airport, next door to the now-deceased Electric Railway Museum, and I visited it on the same day. It has a strong focus on Armstrong Whitworth and related companies, which had a factory here. All photos are cc-by-sa as usual.

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Psmith in the City, P. G. Wodehouse 13 October 2017

1910 comic novel, compilation from magazine publication in 1908-1909. Mike and Psmith end up toiling in the New Asiatic Bank. This suits neither of them.

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Red Kite perching 12 October 2017

A few days ago a red kite perched on a tree conveniently aligned with my window. All images are cc-by-sa as usual.

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Clean Sweep, Ilona Andrews 11 October 2017

2012 modern fantasy short novel, originally published as blog posts on the author's web site. Dina Demille keeps a faded bed-and-breakfast in small-town Texas. But it's actually a way station for travellers from other worlds.

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Electric Railway Museum final open day 10 October 2017

The Electric Railway Museum is losing its site, and its last open day was last Sunday (8 October 2017). All photos are cc-by-sa as usual.

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September-October 2017 Trailers 09 October 2017

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

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The Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke 08 October 2017 - 1 comment

1979 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. Vannevar Morgan is determined to build a bridge linking Earth to geosynchronous orbit, but humans and physics are going to get in his way.

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The Last TringCon, 30 September 2017 07 October 2017

This small one-day boardgaming event happened twice a year in a village hall in Deepest Buckinghamshire. This was my sixth visit; I wasn't expecting to get to it, but YSDC Games Day was moved.

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The Mind Readers, Margery Allingham 06 October 2017

1965 classic English detective fiction; eighteenth of Allingham's novels of Albert Campion. Someone seems to be developing mechanically-assisted telepathy, but what does it have to do with Campion's nephew?

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Mystery Science Theater 3000 season 11 05 October 2017

After an eighteen-year gap, bad film is mocked once more.

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Nightshades, Melissa F. Olson 04 October 2017

2016 modern fantasy novella, first in its series. There are vampires in the world; the FBI is hunting down the bad ones.

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Building a File Server 3: software 03 October 2017 - 1 comment

In this part of the series on building a file server, I'll talk about software.

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Dead Water, Ngaio Marsh 02 October 2017

1964 classic English detective fiction; twenty-third of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. An island village gets rich off tourism following the "miracle cure" that happened at its spring, but the new owner of the island plans to shut all that down. Murder ensues.

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Thirsty Meeples September 2017 01 October 2017

Back to the boardgame café, after a skipped month because of holidays and such like. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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