RogerBW's Blog

SpringCon 28 April 2018 30 April 2018 - 5 comments

Back, on a wet Saturday, to this small quarterly boardgames convention in Watford. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Mrs Pargeter's Pound of Flesh, Simon Brett 29 April 2018

1992 mystery; fourth in Brett's Mrs Pargeter series (amateur sleuthing). Mrs Pargeter keeps an old friend company at a visit to a health spa, but Bad Things are going on there.

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Finding Supermarket Fuel 28 April 2018

A reader (hi Dave!) suggested extending the supermarket-finder to locate supermarket fuel near motorway junctions.

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Sea Strike, James H. Cobb 27 April 2018 - 1 comment

Naval technothriller, second in the series dealing with Captain Amanda Garrett and the USS Cunningham. As a Chinese civil war turns one-sided, US forces intervene to prevent nuclear holocaust.

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Cover Her Face, P. D. James 26 April 2018

1962 detective fiction, first of James's novels of Inspector Adam Dalgliesh. Sally Jupp the housemaid is found strangled in her bed, behind a bolted door. She'd managed to annoy pretty much everyone in the house… but who turned annoyance into murder?

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 16 April 2018 25 April 2018

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey. I missed the last meeting through having been too tired after driving back from the Eastercon.

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Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 24 April 2018

2015 YA science fiction, first of a trilogy. This morning Kady broke up with her boyfriend Ezra. But as their mining colony is invaded and everyone has to flee for their lives, that fight starts to seem less important.

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Mansions of Madness Second Edition, once more 23 April 2018

This was a second pass at the player-written Mansions of Madness scenario we tried last November (but were stymied by software bugs).

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Murder Must Advertise, Dorothy Sayers 22 April 2018 - 2 comments

1933 mystery, eighth of Sayers' novels about Lord Peter Wimsey. Victor Dean, a copywriter at Pym's Publicity, fell down the office's iron spiral staircase and broke his neck. But his sister, with whom he was living, found a half-finished letter to the management that made her suspicious, and Wimsey goes in as a new copywriter to see what he can learn.

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Pyramid 114: Mind Over Magic 21 April 2018 - 2 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's the combination of magic and imagination. Will that be different from the Thaumatology issues we've had before?

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High-flow tap insert 20 April 2018 - 4 comments

We have some very nice ceramic-washer taps. But they come with inserts that produce back-pressure and restrict flow, with the aim of shaping the water into a steady stream. Taking them out gives a very ragged flow. To the 3D printer!

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A Dangerous Mourning, Anne Perry 19 April 2018

1992 mystery, second in Perry's William Monk series (Victorian police work). Over the winter of 1856-1857 in London, Monk is assigned to a new case: a young widow living in her father's house, found stabbed to death in her bed.

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Finding Tesco 18 April 2018 - 8 comments

Well, my wife wanted a sandwich while we were on the road. And unlike me she is particular about what she likes to eat, so she wanted to find branches of Tesco. This is a job for: COMPUTERS!

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Happy Snak, Nicole Kimberling 17 April 2018

2009 science fiction. Gaia Jones just wants to run her snack stand, on the strange alien-human space station orbiting Mars. But one of the aliens dies in her shop, and things start to get extremely complicated.

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Black Orchestra unboxing and review 16 April 2018

My copy of the new (second) printing of Black Orchestra has arrived.

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The Poisonous Seed, Linda Stratmann 15 April 2018

2011 historical mystery, first of a series. In Victorian London, Frances Doughty assists her ailing father in his pharmacy; but someone dies after drinking one of their tonics, and he's the obvious person to blame. But Frances is sure there must be more to the tale.

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Thirsty Meeples April 2018 14 April 2018 - 1 comment

Back to the boardgame café after a couple of months away. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Torchship, Karl K Gallagher 13 April 2018 - 2 comments

2015 science fiction, first of a trilogy. After the AI catastrophe, there are two sorts of colony world: the ones where computers are strictly regulated and monitored, and the ones where they aren't allowed at all. The "analog ship" Fives Full is navigated by slide-rule and sextant.

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Dark in Death, J. D. Robb 12 April 2018

2018 SF/mystery; fifty-seventh (roughly, or 46th novel) of J. D. Robb's In Death series. A woman is stabbed while watching Psycho in a cinema; there's no obvious motive for killing her. Homicide Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers roughly what's going on, but it'll still be a long twisty road to catching the killer.

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Impersonations, Walter Jon Williams 11 April 2018

2016 short space opera novel, postscript to the Dread Empire's Fall trilogy. Having won battles by means that weren't approved of, Caroline Sula is promoted to a backwater post: Earth. That's fine; it gives her scope to study Terran history. But she's also a large pebble being thrown into a deep pond of convenient arrangements…

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Hangman's Holiday, Dorothy Sayers 10 April 2018

1933 collection of twelve short mystery stories, some involving Lord Peter Wimsey.

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Forever Peace, Joe Haldeman 09 April 2018 - 3 comments

1997 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning military science fiction. Sergeant Julian Class runs a "soldierboy" infantry drone through a neural link, in an eternal war against "rebels". But bigger and more frightening things are going on.

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TringCon revived, 7 April 2018 08 April 2018 - 3 comments

This small one-day boardgaming event has been resurrected with new organisers, but still at the same village hall in Deepest Buckinghamshire. At 20-odd people it was quite a bit smaller than the 70 or so who filled the hall on previous occasions, and I'm not sure why. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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The Gabriel Hounds, Mary Stewart 07 April 2018

1967 mystery/thriller or romantic suspense. On holiday in Syria and the Lebanon, Christy Mansel runs into her cousin Charles. They decide to drop in on their great-aunt "Lady" Harriet, who's been doing the Lady Hester Stanhope thing and living in the local style in a remote palace. But when Christy steals a march on Charles and goes on her own, she discovers a rather more disturbing situation than she expected…

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Investments, Walter Jon Williams 06 April 2018

2004 space opera novella, postscript to the Dread Empire's Fall trilogy. Three years after the Naxid War, new star systems are being opened up for development. Which means that there's lots of scope for serious money to be made, legally or otherwise.

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Thoughts on an Eastercon: Follycon 05 April 2018 - 4 comments

I spent last weekend at the Eastercon. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Have His Carcase, Dorothy Sayers 04 April 2018 - 4 comments

1932 mystery, seventh of Sayers' novels about Lord Peter Wimsey. Harriet Vane, having turned her post-acquittal notoriety into a boost to her writing career, is taking a walking-tour on the south-west coast of England when she discovers a corpse on the beach, still dripping blood.

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Why no electric car? 03 April 2018 - 12 comments

In principle I'd really like to have an electric car. I think burning fossil fuels is criminally irresponsible, but public transport isn't up to the sort of travel I want to do. So why don't I get one?

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Conventions of War, Walter Jon Williams 02 April 2018

2005 space opera, third and final book of Dread Empire's Fall. Gareth Martinez fights the civil war as a naval officer; Caroline Sula leads the resistance on the conquered capital world.

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March 2018 Trailers 01 April 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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