RogerBW's Blog

Boxing Day Boardgames 2018 31 December 2018

This really is a tradition now – for the fourth year in a row, a bunch of us without family commitments got together for boardgames.

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The Stone Sky, N K Jemisin 30 December 2018

2017 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science-fantasy, third in its trilogy. It seems as though there may after all be a chance to save the world; but is it worth saving, and what will it look like afterwards?

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National Army Museum 29 December 2018 - 10 comments

On a slightly crisp December day, I went to the National Army Museum in Chelsea.

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No Enthusiasm for Keyforge 28 December 2018

Fantasy Flight Games has recently released Keyforge, a Unique Deck Game in which every deck one buys is different from every other. It's been getting mostly positive reviews. Why am I so comprehensively uninterested?

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Miss Goodhue Lives For a Night, Kate Noble 27 December 2018

2016 American Regency romance novella, side story in a linked series. In her youth, Cecilia Goodhue ran off with a wild young man in the direction of Gretna Green; but they were caught, and she learned he was a fortune-hunter; to escape some of the scandal, she lived by the grace of her married sister and became a teacher in a village school. Now, ten years later, her own younger sister has run off with a soldier, and in an attempt to find her she'll meet that man again.

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Pyramid 122: All Good Things 26 December 2018

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, was the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme – though for this final issue that's mostly "look at all the different genres we've covered".

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Mendoza in Hollywood, Kage Baker 25 December 2018

2000 science fiction, third of The Company series. In 1862, Mendoza is collecting plant samples from what will one day be Los Angeles, working out of a stagecoach stop in the Cahuenga Pass run by fellow immortal cyborg agents of the Company; she's still trying to cope with her post-traumatic stress. That won't go well for her.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 17 December 2018 24 December 2018

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

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The Flowers of Vashnoi, Lois McMaster Bujold 23 December 2018

2018 short science fiction novella in the Vorkosigan universe (set between Captain Vorpatril's Alliance and Cryoburn). Ekaterin, Lady Vorkosigan, is supervising an experiment in cleaning up radioactive contamination round the former city of Vorkosigan Vashnoi; but something's going awry, and old secrets will come to light.

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GURPS Monster Hunters 6: Holy Hunters, Jason Levine 22 December 2018

This supplementary volume in the Monster Hunters series models real-world religions to give their monster-hunting adherents appropriate game effects.

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Clubbed to Death, Ruth Dudley Edwards 21 December 2018

1991 mystery, fourth in the Robert Amiss series. Once more, Amiss' friend Pooley sends him into an institution where murder may have taken place, for a bit of unofficial undercover work. This time it's as a waiter at ffeatherstonehaugh's, originally a club for roués that's since become gentrified, then fallen on distressingly moralistic times.

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Boardgames at Home, December 2018 20 December 2018

A boardgaming evening at home; too long since I did one of these.

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Andromeda's Fall, William C. Dietz 19 December 2018 - 2 comments

2012 military science fiction, tenth novel in the Legion of the Damned series (but first in the prequel sub-series, which is why I'm reading it first). Catherine Carletto is the spoiled daughter of industrialist nobles. But when the Emperor's sister assassinates the Emperor and takes over, she purges all his supporters. Cat will have to grow up fast just to stay alive, never mind getting her revenge.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 4: Dragons, Sean Punch 18 December 2018

This fourth Dungeon Fantasy Monsters book deals with the traditional Ultimate Fantasy Foe.

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The Lie and the Lady, Kate Noble 17 December 2018

2015 American Regency romance, second of a linked series. During the deception of the first book, John Turner took on the persona of the Earl of Ashby, and was pursued by Leticia Herzog, fortune-hunting widow of an Austrian Count. When the game was discovered, she fled in public shame. But they each felt a spark for the other, and now they're going to meet again.

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Galaxy Quest 16 December 2018

1999 science fiction comedy, dir. Dean Parisot, Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver; IMDb / allmovie. Galaxy Quest was a big SF show in the early 1980s, but by the present day the cast are reduced to convention appearances and store openings. Then some particularly odd fans turn out to be rather more into the show than anyone expected… Spoilers.

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The Castle of Otranto, Horace Walpole 15 December 2018

1764 gothic horror, and the prototype for the gothic novel. Conrad, the sickly son of the Lord of Otranto, is killed on his wedding day by a giant helmet falling from the sky, so his father Manfred plans to marry the intended bride himself; things get more foreboding from there.

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The Case of Charles Dexter Ward 14 December 2018

2018 audio drama, adapted in ten parts by Julian Simpson from the story by H. P. Lovecraft. On 6 March 2017, Charles Ward vanished from a secure psychiatric hospital in Providence. Two podcasters, looking for mysterious stories, dig into what happened.

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The Wind Off the Small Isles, Mary Stewart 13 December 2018

1968 thriller, short novella. The children's novelist Cora Gresham has decided to set her latest pirate story in Lanzarote, so she'll have to visit, and her secretary Perdita West has to make the arrangements. But the house that would be the ideal writing retreat is already occupied.

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Doctor Who 2/11.10: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos 12 December 2018 - 4 comments

The season ends not with a bang but with a "to be continued". And that's not a bad thing.

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Thirsty Meeples December 2018 11 December 2018

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

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Clarkesworld 147, December 2018 10 December 2018

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

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 2: Tomb of the Dragon King, Matt Riggsby 09 December 2018

This second Dungeon Fantasy Adventure book deals with an expedition to the long-abandoned (yeah, right) ruins of a draconic monarch's palace.

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Apex 114, November 2018 08 December 2018

Apex is a monthly on-line magazine edited by Jason Sizemore among others.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 3 December 2018 07 December 2018

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

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Anonymous Rex, Eric Garcia 06 December 2018

1999 science fiction noir. Vincent Rubio is a private investigator in Los Angeles: down on his luck, partner dead in an "accident", car repossessed, and a growing substance habit. But down these mean streets a man must walk who is not himself a man… Vincent is a velociraptor.

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Doctor Who 2/11.09: It Takes You Away 05 December 2018 - 1 comment

Doctor Who presents: Nightmare in Norway.

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Psmith, Journalist, P. G. Wodehouse 04 December 2018

1915 comic novel, compilation from magazine publication in 1909-1910. Bored in New York, Psmith gets involved with a local newspaper, turning it from a provider of pap into a crusader.

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Dragonmeet 2018 03 December 2018

Back to Dragonmeet, since it was happening (and I was being paid). All images are cc-by-sa.

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Sky Coyote, Kage Baker 02 December 2018

1999 science fiction, second of The Company series. The immortal cyborg Facilitator Joseph finds himself with the task of talking a Chumash village into coming to work for the Company rather than hanging around to be wiped out when the Spanish arrive in California.

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November 2018 Trailers 01 December 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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