RogerBW's Blog

The Pimpernel Plot, Simon Hawke 30 September 2022

1984 SF, third of its series. After Percy Blakeney gets trampled to death while trying to leave Paris, our heroes have to provide a substitute Scarlet Pimpernel.

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The Weekly Challenge 184: Split Sequence 29 September 2022

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved modifying and picking things out of sequences. (Note that this is open until 2 October 2022.)

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The Old Fox Deceiv'd, Martha Grimes 28 September 2022

1982 mystery, second in the Richard Jury series (cosy-ish mystery). The long-missing younger daughter (who may have been playing a Brat Farrar) turns up stabbed on a foggy winter's night…

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Games Weekend at Home 27 September 2022 - 2 comments

Another gaming weekend at home! Must have more of these!

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The Vampire Next Door, Natalie Vivien and Bridget Essex 26 September 2022

2015 paranormal romance. Courtney owns a failing antiquarian bookshop, and has a joyless relationship with Mia. Then the gorgeous vampire walks in looking for a rare book…

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A History of Violence (2005) 25 September 2022

2005 action, dir. David Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen, William Hurt: IMDb / allmovie. The guy doesn't do that any more, only this one last time he does.

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Q-Ship Chameleon, Glynn Stewart 24 September 2022

2016 SF, fourth of its series. Captain Roberts pulled off a daring rescue, but he also brought back a badly-broken ship, and he has powerful enemies. So he's not getting another combat command… but the Intelligence division has a use for him.

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Flashpoint, Linda Barnes 23 September 2022

1999 mystery, eighth in the Carlotta Carlyle series (neo-noir private investigation). One of Carlotta's occasional volleyball partners asks her to help out with some security advice, but the old woman blows hot and cold, and soon turns up dead.

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Grail, Elizabeth Bear 22 September 2022

2011 SF, last of its trilogy. Fifty years after the events of Dust and Chill, the generation ship Jacob's Ladder has finally got to a habitable world. Alas, it's inhabited…

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Voice of Mars, Glynn Stewart 21 September 2022 - 2 comments

2016 SF, third of its series. Damien Montgomery, one of the few troubleshooters for the Mage-King of Mars, is bounced from one crisis to another. But he hadn't expected to be sent to his old homeworld.

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The Weekly Challenge 183: A Unique Date 20 September 2022

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved array comparisons and date calculations. (Note that this is open until 25 September 2022.)

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The Spires of Denon, Kristine Kathryn Rusch 19 September 2022

2010 science fiction novella in the Diving Universe series. The Spires are an enigmatic artifact built by a now-vanished civilisation. Meklos Verr is a security consultant hired to guard the archaeological expedition… but nobody is quite what they appear.

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Vera Drake 18 September 2022

2004 drama, dir. Mike Leigh, Imelda Staunton: IMDb / allmovie. Vera is nice and helpful to everyone, and that includes helping out girls in trouble.

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Outcrossing, Celia Lake 17 September 2022

2018 romantic fantasy, first of its loose series. In a slightly sideways magical 1922, Rufus tries to find work and keep up his cottage in the New Forest, but everyone despises him as one of the few to have come back unharmed from the War. Feronia, of rather better family but having taken work as a governess to escape from an arranged marriage, is one of the people who might take him seriously…

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Board Games at the Bear, 11 September 2022 16 September 2022

Back in the Usual Pub with nine of us playing various games. A little less crowded than usual, and a very relaxed atmosphere.

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Dead Man's Debt, Elliott Kay 15 September 2022

2016 space-navy SF, third of its series. The war drags on, and Archangel's government tries to hold on militarily while it makes diplomatic and undercover pushes. For both of which, reluctant hero Tanner Malone is the right tool…

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The Weekly Challenge 182: Max is Common 14 September 2022 - 2 comments

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved list searching and finding a common subpath. (Note that this is open until 18 September 2022.)

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Death and the Dutch Uncle, Patricia Moyes 13 September 2022 - 2 comments

1968 mystery, eighth in the series about Chief Inspector, now Superintendent, Henry Tibbett. A minor criminal is shot in a pub toilet; nobody in the private bar next door saw anything, particularly not his fancy girlfriend. But there's more to it than a falling-out among thieves.

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Primer 12 September 2022

2004 science fiction horror, dir. Shane Carruth, David Sullivan: IMDb / allmovie. Uh-oh, we've invented time travel.

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Devil's Food, Kerry Greenwood 11 September 2022

2006 mystery, third in Greenwood's Corinna Chapman series. Two of Corinna's bakery staff are made dangerously ill by a mysterious "slimming tea"; a strange cult demands deliberately unpleasant bread for the mortification of the flesh; and Corinna's demanding mother turns up, because Corinna's father has run off from the collective where they live.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 5 September 2022 10 September 2022

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet in the Britannia.

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The Spellmans Strike Again, Lisa Lutz 09 September 2022

2010 mystery-adjacent; fourth in the Spellmans series. Izzy Spellman is a private investigator, but she doesn't do much investigation.

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The Weekly Challenge 181: Hot Sentence 08 September 2022

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved string splitting and data sorting. (Note that this is open until 11 September 2022.)

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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) 07 September 2022 - 1 comment

2003 historical war, dir. Peter Weir, Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany; IMDb / AllMovie. In 1805, HMS Surprise goes out hunting a French frigate…

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Chill, Elizabeth Bear 06 September 2022

2009 SF, middle volume of its trilogy. The colonisation ship has been restored, and the voyage can continue! Only not.

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Murder at the Vicarage 05 September 2022

1993 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1930 mystery, in five 30-minute episodes.

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Miss Pym Disposes, Josephine Tey 04 September 2022

1946 mystery. Lucy Pym's book on psychology proved to be an unexpected best-seller, and now she's a popular speaker. Henrietta, an old school friend, asks her to the physical training college that she runs, and she finds herself enchanted enough to stay on for a few days. But all is not well.

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Tabletop Scotland 2022 03 September 2022 - 7 comments

I had originally planned to travel to Tabletop Scotland in 2020, but. This year I braved the 440-mile drive (home to Essen is only about 400) and gave it a try.

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Murder Among Us, Ann Granger 02 September 2022

1992 mystery; fourth of Granger's novels of Chief Inspector Markby and non-detective Meredith Mitchell. The old stately home has finally got an owner who can do something with it: he's turned it into a hotel and high-end restaurant. But a protest by the local historical society during the grand opening ends with one of the protesters found stabbed in the wine cellar.

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August 2022 Trailers 01 September 2022

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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