RogerBW's Blog

The Devil of Echo Lake, Douglas Wynne 31 August 2018

2012 modern horror. Billy Moon is a goth rock idol, but he's starting to think his producer Trevor Rail might be the Devil. Isolated in a rural studio in upstate New York, he knows he's got to make his third hit record… if it kills him.

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August Bank Holiday Solo Mini Convention 30 August 2018

I felt like having a lazy and anti-social bank holiday Monday, so I played a bunch of solo games (something of a tradition for BoardGameGeek's 1 Player Guild). With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, P. D. James 29 August 2018

1972 detective fiction, first of James's novels of Cordelia Gray, a private investigator. Having inherited a failing investigation business, Grey is employed to look into why a famous scientist's son abandoned his university course and killed himself.

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Corporate Dead Pool, 2018 edition 28 August 2018 - 5 comments

Which companies are going to go under soon?

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Whispers from the Abyss, Kat Rocha 27 August 2018

2013 horror anthology, 33 very short Lovecraft-inspired stories.

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Corridors of Death, Ruth Dudley Edwards 26 August 2018

1981 mystery, first in the Robert Amiss series. After a meeting of a liaison group between government and industry, Sir Nicholas Clark, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Conservation, is beaten to death with an abstract sculpture called "Reconciliation". Everyone seems to have had a motive, and then another murder follows…

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 21 August 2018 25 August 2018

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

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Clarkesworld 143, August 2018 24 August 2018

Clarkesworld is a monthly on-line magazine edited by Neil Clarke.

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Thirsty Meeples August 2018 23 August 2018

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

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Cthulhusattva, Scott R. Jones 22 August 2018

2016 fantasy/horror anthology, Lovecraftian stories that explore the mythos in a positive way – celebrating rather than backing away from the implications of minds greater than human.

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Pyramid 118: Dungeon Trips 21 August 2018

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's tied to one recent and one upcoming release: the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, and The Fantasy Trip.

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Pennies on a Dead Woman's Eyes, Marcia Muller 20 August 2018

1992 mystery, twelfth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. Thirty-six years ago, Lis Benedict was convicted of the gruesome murder of her husband's mistress; she's just been let out of prison on grounds of ill health, and her daughter's vowed to clear her name at a trial re-enactment. But as McCone investigates the long-buried case, it becomes clear that people still have something to lose.

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Handycon 4, August 2018 19 August 2018

I started going to these conventions because they were local (a few miles away on the far side of High Wycombe). They've now moved to Maidenhead in order to get a slightly larger venue. Ah well.

With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee 18 August 2018 - 1 comment

1959 reminiscence; Lee recalls his childhood in the 1920s, in a village in the Cotswolds. US vt Edge of Day.

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Fixing "Vendor Image Mismatch" on LineageOS 17 August 2018

Every so often, after a LineageOS upgrade, the device starts to complain on reboot about a "Vendor Image Mismatch": the underlying Android code has become outdated. LineageOS doesn't fix this itself; this is firmware which the operating system can't change. Less forgivably, the LineageOS documentation doesn't appear to mention the problem. Here's a step-by-step guide to dealing with it, using the Linux command line.

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We Have Always Died in the Castle, Elizabeth Bear 16 August 2018

2018 short science fiction. Marie has done something bad at work; now she's undergoing therapy by virtual reality.

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The End of Pyramid Volume 3 15 August 2018

It has been announced that Pyramid volume 3 is to cease publication at the end of this year.

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The Guns Above, Robyn Bennis 14 August 2018

2017 steampunk SF, first of a series. The war between Garnia and Vinzhalia grinds on; Lieutenant Josette Dupre commands a scouting airship.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 6 August 2018 13 August 2018

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

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Case for Three Detectives, Leo Bruce 12 August 2018

1936 mystery parody, first of the novels of Sergeant Beef. When Dr Thurston's wife is murdered during a weekend party, it looks like a classic locked room mystery. Three great detectives arrive, and try to solve the conundrum in their own ways. But it's up to the plodding police sergeant to save the day.

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Happiness is a warm SSLLabs test 11 August 2018 - 1 comment

I've recently set up HTTPS on the servers at work, running in parallel with HTTP. For reasons which were good at the time and are still not entirely wrong, we're using lighttpd as a front-end, and the process was less trivial than I'd have preferred.

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Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys 10 August 2018 - 1 comment

2017 Lovecraftian SF. In 1949, Aphra Marsh, one of the last survivors of the internment camps that came after the Innsmouth Raid, is just trying to make a life for herself. But her knowledge of magic makes her a powerful piece on the board even if she doesn't want to play the game.

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Just Give Coordinates 09 August 2018 - 4 comments

People continue to give directions to their houses, places of business, etc., but not to give the coordinates. Please fix this.

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The Angel of Terror, Edgar Wallace 08 August 2018

1922 thriller. James Meredith is found guilty of murdering his romantic rival, and sentenced to prison. But there's a question of inheritance, and a hasty marriage leaves an outsider in danger. vt The Destroying Angel.

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Shark in Venice 07 August 2018 - 2 comments

2008 thriller film, dir. Danny Lerner, Stephen Baldwin, Vanessa Johansson: IMDb / allmovie. A shark is killing divers in Venice, but we can't let the word get out or the tourists will be scared off. US vt Sharks in Venice.

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The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi 06 August 2018 - 1 comment

2009 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning biopunk science fiction. Some time in the future, after peak oil and the crop blights, Thailand is one of the few countries that's still hanging on. But in Bangkok various factions are about to collide.

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Pyramid 117: Hot Spots 05 August 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 a tie-in with the recently-released Hot Spots: Renaissance Venice, dealing with areas on a slightly larger scale than last month's Locations issue.

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Velocity, Chris Wooding 04 August 2018

2015 young adult science fiction. After the Omniwar, civilisation in the USA is just barely holding on; large swathes of country are still unlivable. The main entertainment is car racing, and the Widowmaker is the biggest race of all: and Cassica and Shiara, from a small town on the edge of the Rust Bowl, are going to try to win it.

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SpringCon 28 July 2018 03 August 2018

The day after the excessively hot weather broke, I went back to this small quarterly boardgames convention in Watford. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Hera 2781, Janet Edwards 02 August 2018

2015 young adult science fiction, short story in the Earth Girl setting. Drago Tell Dramis is a young pilot, in an awkward social situation, and having to perform a desperate and dangerous mission.

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July 2018 Trailers 01 August 2018 - 4 comments

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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