RogerBW's Blog

Fortunes of the Imperium, Jody Lynn Nye 30 September 2020

2014 humorous science fiction, second of its series. Lord Thomas Kinago, professional fop, is sent on another mission for his cousin the Emperor: this time a neighbouring power, defeated in the big war a few years back, is putting unreasonable restrictions on trade, not to mention arresting a whole host of merchants as smugglers.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 80: missing numbers and jealous neighbours 29 September 2020 - 1 comment

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved missing numbers and more ranking of neighbours. (Note that this is open until 4 October 2020.)

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Heavenly Pleasures, Kerry Greenwood 28 September 2020

2005 detection, second in Greenwood's Corinna Chapman series. Someone's sabotaging the local chocolate shop, the self-made messiah is angry that his latest handmaiden has been rescued, and someone's criminally annoyed with the new tenant.

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The Night Shifters, Emily Devenport 27 September 2020

2010 fantasy. Hazel's mother told her never to give up on her dreams… but turns out she didn't quite mean it in the usual way. Hazel is a Grand Champion Dreamer, and when she wakes up in the Night she's going to have to prove it.

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NHS App? 26 September 2020 - 6 comments

There is at long last an "official NHS contact-tracing app". Should one use it?

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 21 September 2020 25 September 2020

This Meetup-based boardgames group remains on-line for the moment; as usual we got together on Jitsi and then played some games on BoardGameArena.

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Hellflower, Eluki bes Shahar 24 September 2020

1991 SF, first of a trilogy. Saint Butterflies-are-free Peace Sincere was happy as a smuggler pilot, but she had to go and save an inexperienced mercenary from the local lowlife, and then things just got complicated.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 79: cumulative bit count and water capacity 23 September 2020 - 1 comment

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved more bit counts and an innovative use of histograms.

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Old Venus, George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois 22 September 2020 - 6 comments

2015 collection of new SF stories set on pre-space-probe ideas of the planet Venus.

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Silver Bullet, Melissa Scott and Jo Graham 21 September 2020

2013 historical fantasy, third in the Order of the Air series. In the winter of 1932, planes are crashing in the Rockies, and a Greek medallion being valued in New York may be worth vastly more than it seems.

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Grunt Life, Weston Ochse 20 September 2020 - 7 comments

2014 military SF, first of a trilogy. Ben Mason tried to kill himself when the PTSD got too much for him… but instead, They recruited him to go up against an alien invasion that most of humanity doesn't even know about.

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Boardgames in Isolation: September (part 1) 19 September 2020

More boardgames played from home.

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The Tiger's Daughter, K. Arsenault Rivera 18 September 2020 - 10 comments

2017 fantasy romance, first of its series. The Hokkaran Empire rules practically everyone, including the Qorin horse nomads whom it conquered half a generation ago. But plagues and demons are rising, and two young warriors will have to save the world.

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Indian Summer Garden Games 17 September 2020

More boardgames in the garden, warmer than last time in a minor heat wave.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 78: Leaders and Rotation 16 September 2020 - 1 comment

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved searching array values and rotating lists.

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The Gathering Dark, James Oswald 15 September 2020

2018 supernatural mystery in modern Edinburgh, eighth in Oswald's Inspector McLean series. A truck driver loses control of his vehicle in the middle of Edinburgh, killing twenty people as it turns out that his cargo really wasn't what it said on the manifest.

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zpool birthday 14 September 2020

On 14 September 2015 I created the storage zpool that I'm still using.

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Annex, Rich Larson 13 September 2020

2018 young adult/crossover SF, first of its series. The aliens arrived, brain-clamped all the adults, and implanted some kind of parasite in the children. Then things got bad.

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The Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart 12 September 2020

1970 Arthurian fantasy, first of its series. The young Myrddin is haunted by portents and visions, and is the plaything of gods.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 7 September 2020 11 September 2020

This Meetup-based boardgames group remains on-line for the moment; as usual we got together on Jitsi and then played some games on BoardGameArena.

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The Weird of Hali: Innsmouth, John Michael Greer 10 September 2020

2016 Lovecraftian SF, first of a series. Owen Merrill is a student at Miskatonic, doing his thesis on Rhetorics of Otherness in the Horror Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

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Perl Weekly Challenge 77: Fibonacci Sum and Lonely X 09 September 2020 - 1 comment

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved summing Fibonacci numbers and looking through a grid for neighbours.

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Clarkesworld 168, September 2020 08 September 2020 - 4 comments

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

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Fun with Flightgear 07 September 2020

I've been playing with Flightgear again, now with a decent joystick and rudder pedals.

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Death of an Expert Witness, P. D. James 06 September 2020

1977 detective fiction, sixth of James's novels of Inspector Adam Dalgliesh. At a forensic lab in the depths of Cambridgeshire, one of the senior scientists spends the day making himself as objectionable as possible… and is found dead the next morning.

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Boardgames in Isolation: August (part 2) 05 September 2020

More boardgames played from home.

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The Mysterious Study of Doctor Sex, Tamsyn Muir 04 September 2020 - 2 comments

2020 fantasy novelette, prequel to the rest of the Locked Tomb series. When a study sealed for 400 years is to be opened, the young Palamedes Sextus and Camilla Hect are part of the investigating team. But someone has been in there since it was sealed.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 76: prime sum and word search 03 September 2020 - 5 comments

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved summing primes and performing a word search.

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Bank Holiday Garden Games 02 September 2020

More boardgames in the garden, almost in traditional British bank holiday weather (a little chilly, but not actually raining).

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August 2020 Trailers 01 September 2020 - 5 comments

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. Calibration: The experiments that the Payne Fund carried out concentrated on such issues as the extent to which children learnt from film and how well they retained what they learnt; the possibility that exposure to film affected attitudes; and how moral standards might be affected by what was viewed. The findings of these studies showed that the human mind could be shaped and moulded by persons in positions of influence; and, in this context, the film maker was in an almost unique position of influence.)

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