RogerBW's Blog

Back to the Future 28 February 2022 - 3 comments

1985 science fiction/comedy, dir. Robert Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd: IMDb / allmovie. You built a time machine? In a DeLorean?

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The Outskirter's Secret, Rosemary Kirstein 27 February 2022

1992 fantasy/SF, second of its series. Rowan the Steerswoman and Bel the barbarian travel into the Outskirts to try to find the source of the mysterious blue jewels…

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Goodfellas 26 February 2022

1990 Mafia drama, dir. Martin Scorsese, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci: IMDb / allmovie. Henry Hill learns that being a wiseguy is great fun, until it isn't.

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Johnny Under Ground, Patricia Moyes 25 February 2022 - 4 comments

1965 mystery, sixth in the series about Chief Inspector Henry Tibbett. Tibbett's wife Emmy is invited to a reunion of staff from the fighter control station where she worked as a young woman during the war. They get together a plan to write a history of the station, with a focus on "Beau" Guest, the injured former pilot who committed suicide by aircraft. Or did he…? Somebody doesn't want the past uncovered.

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The Weekly Challenge 153: Factoriality 24 February 2022

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved various progressions based on factorials. (Note that this is open until 27 February 2022.)

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 7 February 2022 23 February 2022

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

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The Storm Witch, Violette Malan 22 February 2022

2009 fantasy, third in the Dhulyn and Parno series. Our mercenary heroes are forced to take a long ocean voyage to mediate between shipbuilding nomads and the land power they trade with; things go comprehensively wrong.

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Heathers 21 February 2022

1989 black comedy, dir. Michael Lehmann, Winona Ryder, Christian Slater: IMDb / allmovie. Veronica's part of the Top Clique, but isn't actually into pointless cruelty and drunken sex. New student JD seems to offer an alternative…

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The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer 20 February 2022

1936 romance. Sylvester Lavenham is dying, and is determined to protect his niece Eustacie (young and excitable) by betrothing her to his nephew Sir Tristram Shield (rather older, stolid, but willing to do his duty). Naturally, she must run away to London to become a governess. But she wasn't expecting smugglers…

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Murder On the Orient Express 19 February 2022

1992 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1934 mystery, in five 30-minute episodes. The nasty American has been stabbed in his berth, but even Poirot seems unable to make sense of the evidence.

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The Crow Trap, Ann Cleeves 18 February 2022

1999 mystery, first in Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series. Rachel, Anne and Grace are working on an environmental study in the North Pennines, where the landowner's planning to reopen an old quarry. Their nearby neighbour, a woman with a disabled husband, apparently hangs herself, though it seems very out of character for her. And still waters are running very deep…

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The Weekly Challenge 152: Triangles, Rectangles, and Objects 17 February 2022

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved finding minimum paths and overlapping rectangles. (Note that this is open until 20 February 2022.)

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Do The Right Thing (1989) 16 February 2022

1989 drama, dir. Spike Lee, Danny Aiello; IMDb / allmovie. On the hottest day of the year, on a block in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn, nobody was planning that the day would end with a death.

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The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch 15 February 2022

Contemporary fantasy, sixth in the series. Peter Grant, Metropolitan Police constable and magician, is back in London, starting with a magic-related drug overdose and following clues to the Big Bad.

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Wolvercote Games 14 February 2022

I drove to a village hall near Oxford, where the Oxford Meeples were restarting their periodic larger gatherings. All masked, hurrah.

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The Thames Valley Catastrophe, Grant Allen 13 February 2022

1897 SF short story. A massive volcanic fissure opens in the Thames Valley; London and the home counties are flooded with lava.

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Die Hard (1988) 12 February 2022

1988 thriller/action, dir. John McTiernan, Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman; IMDb / allmovie.

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Curse of the Spellmans, Lisa Lutz 11 February 2022

2008 mystery-adjacent, second of its series. Izzy Spellman, private investigator and all-round mess, gets arrested for spying on her secretive neighbour.

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The Weekly Challenge 151: Robbing Depth 10 February 2022

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved a return to binary trees and an optimisation puzzle. (Note that this is open until 13 February 2022.)

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 17 January 2022 09 February 2022

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

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The Ancients, Nick Marsh 08 February 2022

2011 fantasy. The civil war is over, and Lord Protector Cranmer is in charge… but seems strangely unwilling to go about the business of ruling. Meanwhile the last of the Royal Guard finds a dead woman by the side of the road…

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Cinema Paradiso 07 February 2022

1988 drama, dir. Guiseppe Tornatore: IMDb / allmovie. Salvatore the famous filmmaker learns that Alfredo is dead; but who was Alfredo to him? Released as Nuovo Cinema Paradiso in Italy.

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Before Mars, Emma Newman 06 February 2022

2018 science fiction, concurrent with After Atlas. Anna Kubrin, geologist and painter, arrives on the Mars base to join the four-person scientific crew there. But then she finds a painting, in her own distinctive style, warning her not to trust one of them; equipment is missing from what she remembers packing, though the inventory matches what's there; an inscription is absent from the inside of her wedding ring; and worst of all, she knows just what paranoia looks like, because she saw it in her father's breakdown.

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A Caribbean Mystery 05 February 2022 - 1 comment

1997 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1964 mystery, in five 30-minute episodes. Miss Marple's nephew sends her on a winter holiday for the good of her health, but she soon gets bored; fortunately the crusty old Major drops dead just after telling her about an unsolved murder.

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Hench, Natalie Zina Walschots 04 February 2022 - 5 comments

2020 superheroic SF. Even supervillains need office workers, and like everyone else they hire through a temp agency. Anna didn't expect to find herself holding a mind-control device to the mayor's kid's head, but she still became collateral damage when the superheroes came in to rescue him. Then it gets interesting.

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The Weekly Challenge 150: Square-Free Words 03 February 2022

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved a Fibonacci-like word construction and a search for square-free numbers. (Note that this is open until 6 February 2022.)

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The Brick Moon and Other Stories, Edward Everett Hale 02 February 2022

1899 collection of variously SF, polemic, and whimsical stories.

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January 2022 Trailers 01 February 2022 - 11 comments

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. Calibration: I want a trailer to tell me what's different about this film; the marketers want it to tell me why it's like all the others..)

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