RogerBW's Blog

Firefly Blue Sun: unboxing and first look 30 September 2014 - 4 comments

My copy of the Blue Sun expansion to Firefly arrived yesterday. What's inside?

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Another Walk at Goring (September 2014) 29 September 2014 - 2 comments

We went back to Goring on Sunday, and things had changed quite a bit since our walk in May. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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TringCon 27 September 2014 28 September 2014

This small one-day boardgaming event happens twice a year in a village hall in Deepest Buckinghamshire, and has been going for quite a few years. This was my second visit, and probably the last autumn one I'll get to for a while as it will clash in future with YSDC Games Day.

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Bookmonth, August 2014 27 September 2014

Here's what I've read in August.

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The Three Hostages, John Buchan 27 September 2014

Fourth of Buchan's books about Richard Hannay; 1920s thud-and-blunder.

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One Man Went To Mow 26 September 2014 - 4 comments

After I did the scythe course in August, I ordered one from The Scythe Shop, and now I've put it to use in the garden. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Whisper to the Blood, Dana Stabenow 25 September 2014

Sixteenth mystery in the series about Kate Shugak, part-time private investigator in a national park in Alaska. Gold's been found on park lands, and that means mining, and that means objections from the locals. The mining company's hired a minor celebrity to be their spokeswoman. But that doesn't solve everything.

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Reading Boardgames Social 23 September 2014 24 September 2014

Quite a small meeting this time, just three of us. (The main meetings are on two Wednesdays a month, but I have role-playing commitments then.)

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The Girl in the Green Raincoat, Laura Lippman 23 September 2014

Novella; eleventh in Lippman's contemporary mystery series about Tess Monaghan, private investigator in Baltimore. Restricted to bed thanks to difficulties with her pregnancy, Tess passes the time watching people in the park outside, particularly a young woman in a green coat (with a greyhound in a matching one). One day, the greyhound passes by on its own…

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YSDC Games Day 3 22 September 2014

Third in this series of one-day conventions in bustling metropolitan Baildon (suburban Bradford), and a shift to a new time of year. All images are cc-by-sa.

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Space Dandy 21 September 2014

2014, 13 episodes: AniDB

A nostalgically strange series about the dandiest man in space.

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Two Serpents Rise, Max Gladstone 20 September 2014 - 2 comments

Technological fantasy. Sixty years after the Aztec-like city-state of Dresediel Lex was "liberated" and its gods killed, someone seems to be trying to break the hold of the company that replaced those gods.

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Parts per Billion 19 September 2014

2014, dir. Brian Horiuchi, Frank Langella, Rosario Dawson: IMDb / allmovie

As a runaway biological weapon devastates the world, three couples consider the meaning of love.

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Second Shot, Zoe Sharp 18 September 2014

Sixth thriller in the series about Charlie (Charlotte) Fox, former soldier and currently private bodyguard. Charlie guards a woman whose ex-boyfriend is causing trouble after a lottery win, but it soon becomes more complicated than that.

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Bristol Ferry 17 September 2014 - 1 comment

Bristol has a commuter ferry again. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Silent Mercy, Linda Fairstein 16 September 2014

Thirteenth in Fairstein's contemporary mystery series about Alexandra Cooper, sex crimes prosecutor in Manhattan. When a burned, decapitated body is found on the steps of a church that used to be a synagogue, there could be any number of reasons. When a second body is found at another church, things start to come together.

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No Game No Life 15 September 2014

2014, 12 episodes: AniDB

Two shut-ins, a brother and sister game-playing team, are arbitrarily transplanted into a magical world where all conflict is resolved by games. They take to it well.

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Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch 14 September 2014 - 2 comments

Contemporary fantasy ("urban fantasy" gives the wrong idea now, even if it's much more appropriate to this book than to many published under that banner). New constable Peter Grant is about to be sent off to the paperwork unit, but while he's standing guard over a murder scene in the small hours a ghost starts to talk to him. Then things get stranger.

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Social Deduction Games 13 September 2014

Quite a lot of games have some sort of hidden identity component: for example, Lords of Waterdeep and Discworld: Ankh-Morpork both deal each player a random role which then gives them a secret way of winning the game; Battlestar Galactica and Shadows over Camelot, while nominally cooperative, may assign a traitor role to one or more players; and the UFO faction in Illuminati can even covertly choose which victory condition to aspire to. But some games are entirely about the hidden roles and working out who's got which, and I seem to have been playing a lot of them lately.

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The Sleeping God, Violette Malan 12 September 2014

Lightweight but lengthy fantasy, the first in the Dhulyn and Parno series.

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Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to 11 September 2014

2014, 12 episodes: AniDB

Situation comedy based on a manga artist, his assistant, and various other workmates.

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You've Got Murder, Donna Andrews 10 September 2014

SF/mystery. Turing Hopper, an AI emergent from research assistant software, is worried about her programmer: he seems to have vanished, and the records she can find aren't helping. So she turns for help to the two humans who are aware of her nature.

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Star Wars X-Wing collection 09 September 2014 - 2 comments

It was a warm night… the moon was full (actually it was just past new)… one of the Reading Boardgames Social guys was selling off his X-Wing collection… (With images.)

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What's A Girl Gotta Do, Sparkle Hayter 08 September 2014 - 2 comments

Robin Hudson had a promising career as a TV journalist, but blew it with some public embarrassment. Now her ex-husband has a younger and prettier fiancée, her job for not-CNN involves investigating a sperm bank, and she's about to be blackmailed. Then the blackmailer turns up dead…

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Antiviral 07 September 2014

2012, dir. Brandon Cronenberg, Caleb Landry Jones: IMDb / allmovie

In a world where the cult of celebrity involves taking on their diseases… pretty much everything that can go wrong with such a setup does.

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Firebrand, Ankaret Wells 06 September 2014

Self-published industrial fantasy romance. The relict of a bishop inherits her mother's great airship, and tries to avoid becoming the mistress of the Emperor.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 18 05 September 2014 - 8 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who - Tom Baker
Doctor Who - Peter Davison (briefly)
Romana - Lalla Ward
K-9 (voice) - John Leeson
Adric - Matthew Waterhouse
Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
Tegan Jovanka - Janet Fielding

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The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza, Lawrence Block 04 September 2014 - 1 comment

Fourth mystery book about Bernard Rhodenbarr, professional burglar in 1970s New York.

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Nobunaga the Fool 03 September 2014

2013-2014, 24 episodes: AniDB

On the Star of the East, Oda Nobunaga fights his local battles against other warlords (with Giant War Armour, of course). But the Star of the West is approaching, and the stakes are about to get vastly higher.

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HMS Unseen, Patrick Robinson 02 September 2014 - 2 comments

Airliners over the Atlantic are being shot down by submarine-launched missiles. How can this be stopped? Spoilers.

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RPG a Day: part 3 01 September 2014 - 3 comments

Continuing with David F. Chapman's RPG a Day. Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here. I've also talked about these at greater length in the latest episode of Improvised Radio Theatre with Dice, a role-playing podcast which you should be listening to.

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