RogerBW's Blog

Boxing Day Boardgames 2021 31 December 2021

For the sixth year (having skipped 2020 for obvious reasons), a bunch of us without family commitments got together for boardgames.

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Dead Man's Folly 30 December 2021

2007 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1956 mystery, in four thirty-minute episodes. Ariadne Oliver has been blandished into organising a murder-mystery clue-hunt at the summer fête held at Nasse House, and she calls in Poirot to give the prize; but the film-obsessed local girl playing the victim is found strangled…

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The Translation of Father Torturo, Brendan Connell 29 December 2021

2005 gothic giallo. Father Xaviero Torturo rises from obscurity to become Pope; it helps that he speaks with the tongue of a saint.

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The Weekly Challenge 145: Tree Product 28 December 2021

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved vector multiplication and a recently-invented data structure. (Note that this is open until 2 January 2022.)

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Advent of Code 2021 27 December 2021 - 3 comments

I did Advent of Code again, and had a really good time. Spoilers.

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Princess Charlotte General Knowledge Paper 2021 26 December 2021 - 6 comments

In the spirit of the King William's College General Knowledge Paper, released each December for completion over the Christmas break, I offer my own set of questions for the holidays.

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Aliens 25 December 2021 - 7 comments

1986 science fiction, dir. James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn: IMDb / allmovie. Game over man, game over.

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The Emperor's Edge, Lindsay Buroker 24 December 2021

2010 steampunk fantasy, first of its series. Amaranthe Lokdon is a cop in the Empire's capital city, struggling against sex prejudice. While she's dealing with a robbery, the young Emperor has a chance conversation with her, and next thing she knows the General of the Armies is sending her out alone on a job to kill Sicarius, the most dangerous assassin ever known…

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Alien 23 December 2021 - 3 comments

1979 science fiction horror, dir. Ridley Scott, Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver: IMDb / allmovie. Nobody listens to the woman, and as a result they all die.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 6 December 2021 22 December 2021

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

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The Weekly Challenge 144: Semiprime Ulam 21 December 2021

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved some interesting mathematical sequences. (Note that this is open until 26 December 2021.)

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Precious Dragon, Liz Williams 20 December 2021

2007 urban fantasy. Detective Inspector Chen and his demonic partner Zhu Irzh just want to get on with solving crime. But they're set to escort a celestial diplomat from Heaven on a visit to Hell…

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It! The Terror From Beyond Space 19 December 2021

1958 science fiction, dir. Edward L. Cahn, Marshall Thompson, Shawn Smith: IMDb / allmovie. The last survivor of the first Mars expedition is being brought back to face a court-martial for killing all the others. But his mad story of a monster might just be true…

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A Dangerous Kind of Lady, Mia Vincy 18 December 2021

2020 American Regency-ish romance, part of a loosely linked series. Arabella Larke and the Marquess of Hardbury were promised to each other as children, but on coming back from years overseas the first thing he did was refuse to abide by the parental plan. That suits her. But it's not going to work out that way.

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Stand By Me 17 December 2021

1986 drama, dir. Rob Reiner, Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix: IMDb / allmovie. In 1959, four kids go out following a rumour of a dead body…

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Masquerade in Lodi, Lois McMaster Bujold 16 December 2021

2019 fantasy novella in the World of the Five Gods (formerly known as Chalion). In the not-Venice city of Lodi, Penric's called to look at a madman recovered from the sea. Sure enough, he's got a demon riding him. Then he runs away.

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The Weekly Challenge 143: Stealthy Calculator 15 December 2021

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved counting divisors and another joke sort. (Note that this is open until 19 December 2021.)

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Fortune's Stroke, David Drake and Eric Flint 14 December 2021 - 3 comments

2001 alternate-history war story, fourth of six books. Belisarius delays the Malwa's best general in the Zagros Mountains to stop him reaching Mesopotamia; his wife Antonina forges an alliance with the Axumites.

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Ordeal By Innocence 13 December 2021

2014 audio adaptation by Joy Wilkinson of Christie's 1958 mystery, in three 30-minute episodes. Dr Arthur Calgary has been in the Antarctic – during which the man to whom he gave a lift one rainy night, for whom Calgary might have given an alibi, has been convicted of the murder of his mother and died in prison. But the family is oddly ungrateful for the news…

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A Succession of Bad Days, Graydon Saunders 12 December 2021 - 5 comments

2015 military fantasy. In the new Second Commonwealth, five apprentices learn to use their magical power.

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Boardgames in Isolation: November (part 2) 11 December 2021

More boardgames played from home. The numbers are definitely dropping now that I'm getting occasional in-person gaming.

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Encore un pokey 10 December 2021 - 5 comments

Vaccine booster achieved!

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The Breakfast Club 09 December 2021

1985 drama, dir. John Hughes, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald: IMDb / allmovie. Five high school kids are in weekend detention. Much to their surprise, this will actually have a positive effect on them.

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Cry Pilot, Joel Dane 08 December 2021 - 2 comments

2019 young adult SF, first of a trilogy. Maseo Kaytu is a former child terrorist, who enlists because he feels a need to make up for some of the harm he did. But it's a crapsack world, and the only way he can get in at all is by volunteering for the suicide units…

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The Weekly Challenge 142: The Last Digit of Sleep 07 December 2021

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved counting divisors and another joke sort. (Note that this is open until 12 December 2021.)

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Jungle Cruise (2021) 06 December 2021

2021 thriller/mystery, dir. Jaume Colette-Sara, Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt; IMDb / allmovie. In 1916, Dr Lily Houghton travels up the Amazon in search of a tree that could revolutionise medicine…

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A Murder Is Announced 05 December 2021

1999 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1950 mystery, in five 30-minute episodes. When the local paper carries an advertisement that there'll be a murder, everyone in the village turns up to see what's going on. But it's the gunman who ends up dead…

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River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey 04 December 2021

2017 alternate-history novella. In the 1850s, President Buchanan approved a plan to import hippopotamoi into the US as livestock – they'd eat the invasive plants and produce plenty of meat. Forty years later, the hippo is both ranched animal and mount… but feral hippos infest the lower Mississippi, until someone comes up with a plan to clear them out.

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Boardgames in Isolation: November (part 1) 03 December 2021

More boardgames played from home.

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Dance With a Stranger 02 December 2021

1985 drama/tragedy, dir. Mike Newell, Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett: IMDb / allmovie. In 1955, Ruth Ellis just wants to run a nightclub and do a little prostitution on the side, but things have to get all complicated.

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November 2021 Trailers 01 December 2021

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

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