RogerBW's Blog

The Curse of the Giant Hogweed, Charlotte MacLeod 31 March 2018

1985 fantasy, fifth of MacLeod's novels of Professor Peter Shandy. Shandy and two colleagues are in Wales to look into a hogweed infestation, but soon find themselves in a fantastical realm.

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Boardgaming in Cambridge, March 2018 30 March 2018

Another of the occasional Cambridge boardgaming evenings.

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Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty 29 March 2018

2017 science fiction. In a world with cheap and easy cloning and memory transfer, it makes sense to crew the first interstellar ship with clones: when they die of old age on the voyage, they can renew themselves. But now they're all waking up at once, with no memories since the start of the trip, to find their previous bodies messily murdered.

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The Grand Tour season 2 28 March 2018

The Grand Tour: 2017-2018, 11 episodes. Clarkson, May and Hammond continue to pretend to make a motoring programme.

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Black Roses, Jane Thynne 27 March 2018

2013 historical drama, first in a five-book series. Berlin, 1933: Clara Vine, unsuccessful actress, has gone to Berlin to try her luck in film, just as Hitler has come to power. She finds herself falling upwards into the company of Magda Goebbels, and is recruited as an intelligence source.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 19 March 2018 26 March 2018

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

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The Five Red Herrings, Dorothy Sayers 25 March 2018 - 3 comments

1931 mystery, sixth of Sayers' novels about Lord Peter Wimsey. In Galloway, one fishes or one paints, ideally both; but one of the more offensive painter-fishermen has apparently fallen off a cliff. Wimsey is unconvinced.

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Pyramid 113: Dungeon Fantasies 24 March 2018 - 1 comment

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's back to the dungeon, looking at both the Dungeon Fantasy RPG and the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy series. OK, not really an exciting theme for me, but let's see how it goes.

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Hush Puppies: Unfit for Purpose 23 March 2018 - 6 comments

A few times a year I have a need or desire to look reasonably smart. Usually this involves a fair bit of walking on pavement too. So I want a good-looking shoe with reasonable internal padding and a solid, ideally not leather, sole. Last time my solution to this was Hush Puppies.

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The Sundering, Walter Jon Williams 22 March 2018 - 2 comments

2004 space opera, second book of Dread Empire's Fall. As the civil war continues, Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula continue to fight both to keep the Empire going and to save their own careers.

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Star Trek Discovery season 1 21 March 2018 - 4 comments

2017-2018 science fiction, 15 episodes. Ten years before original Star Trek, the USS Discovery has a unique advantage in the war with the Klingons.

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Kitty Goes to Washington, Carrie Vaughn 20 March 2018

2006 urban fantasy, second in the series. Kitty Norville, the late-night DJ who brought werewolves and vampires into the public eye, is summoned to testify before a Senate committee.

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Airecon in 2018 19 March 2018 - 2 comments

I went back to this year's Airecon, still growing fast in Harrogate (1593 people through the door this time). With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Where Echoes Live, Marcia Muller 18 March 2018

1991 mystery; eleventh in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. Out near the California-Nevada border, an environmental group is fighting the big mining company that's planning to reopen the old gold workings. But someone's playing dirty, and Sharon's brought in to find out what's going on.

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The Orville season 1 17 March 2018 - 1 comment

2017-2018 science fiction comedy, 12 episodes. Captain Ed Mercer of the Planetary Union hit a rough career patch after his divorce, but now has command of an exploratory ship. But his ex-wife will be his new first officer.

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Raven Stratagem, Yoon Ha Lee 16 March 2018

2017 science fiction, second in a trilogy. The rebel and revenant general Shuos Jedao has taken over a war fleet… and is using it to fight the invaders better than anyone else could. How many layers deep does his planning go?

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Loudwater Snowpocalypse (2018 edition) 15 March 2018 - 8 comments

We got our share of the recent snowy weather. (Images.)

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Doomsday Book, Connie Willis 14 March 2018 - 4 comments

1992 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. At Oxford University in 2054, a history student is being sent back in time to the Middle Ages. But things are going to go about as wrong as they possibly could.

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Shokugeki no Soma season 3.1 13 March 2018

2017 cooking story, shounen manga adaptation in 12 episodes: AniDB, vt "Food Wars: The Third Plate". Yukihira Sōma continues to fight cooking duels on his way up the élite Totsuki cooking school.

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The Documents in the Case, Dorothy Sayers and Robert Eustace 12 March 2018

1930 epistolary mystery, Sayers' only non-Wimsey crime novel. An expert on edible fungi dies after eating mushrooms he picked himself: the mistake that was bound to happen eventually? A dossier of evidence suggests otherwise.

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Bones season 12 11 March 2018

2017, 12 episodes. Final season of this police procedural in the CSI mould: a team of forensic experts at the "Jeffersonian" consults for the FBI.

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Secrets in Death, J. D. Robb 10 March 2018 - 1 comment

2017 SF/mystery; fifty-sixth (roughly, or 45th novel) of J. D. Robb's In Death series. Homicide Lieutenant Eve Dallas is out with a colleague when another patron of the bar is cut and bleeds to death in front of her. She may not have much time for gossip journalists, but solving murders is still her job.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 5 March 2018 09 March 2018

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

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Poison Romance and Poison Mysteries, C. J. S. Thompson 08 March 2018 - 3 comments

1899 non-fiction; Dr Thompson, a medical historian, examines the history and practice of poisoning.

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MythBusters season 20 07 March 2018

2017-2018, 14 episodes (12 broadcast at time of writing). A new team tests various myths, sayings and rumours, to see how they stack up against the real world.

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The Courts of the Morning, John Buchan 06 March 2018 - 4 comments

1929 thriller, inter-war thud-and-blunder. In South America, Sandy Arbuthnot and Archie Roylance find themselves involved in fomenting a revolution, but not in the usual way.

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What is missing from these roadworks? 05 March 2018 - 3 comments

Just before the latest Snowpocalypse, I noticed this slightly odd set of roadworks and thought there was probably a sign missing.

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A Calculated Life, Anne Charnock 04 March 2018

2013 science fiction. Some time late in the twenty-first century, Jayna is an analyst for a predictive agency, teasing trends out of disparate data. But there's something a bit different about her. Spoilers.

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Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidragon 03 March 2018

2017 modern fantasy, seinen manga adaptation, 13 episodes: AniDB. Kobayashi the office worker gets drunk one night, and in the morning finds a dragon outside her front door – who's come to stay with her and be her maid. vt Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid.

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The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Dorothy Sayers 02 March 2018 - 3 comments

1928 mystery, fourth of Sayers' novels about Lord Peter Wimsey. General Fentiman was found dead in his armchair at the club; but there's some question about the timing, since someone else died around the same time and there's a complex interaction of wills, and Lord Peter gets involved.

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February 2018 Trailers 01 March 2018

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

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