RogerBW's Blog

Hugo 2015: Graphic Story 30 June 2015 - 2 comments

Four nominees in this category that conform to my criteria. I'm not much of a comics reader as a rule, but there's a pleasing diversity of styles.

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Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata 29 June 2015

2015, 13 episodes: AniDB

Parody of contemporary slice-of-life and romance. Aki Tomoya tries to create a computer game (in one of the standard Japanese models, with good art and multiple-choice gameplay) with the assistance of various schoolmates.

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Guns in the Gallery, Simon Brett 28 June 2015

2011; thirteenth in Brett's Fethering Mysteries series (amateur sleuthing). Jude and Carole go to a private viewing by a consciously controversial artist at a local gallery, but the evening ends in violent death. The police reckon it's suicide, but…

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Chernobyl Diaries 27 June 2015

2012 horror, dir. Brad Parker, Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski: IMDb / allmovie

A tourist trip into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone goes horribly wrong.

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Hugo 2015: Beneath Ceaseless Skies 157, Scott H. Andrews 26 June 2015

For this year's Hugo awards there are three semiprozines in contention that satisfy my voting criteria. One didn't bother to provide a sample in the Hugo packet. This is one of the other two.

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The Tournament Mentality in Gaming 25 June 2015 - 4 comments

There's a certain mentality in games (particularly wargames, but others too) which seems to be associated with tournament play.

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A Soldier's Duty, Jean Johnson 24 June 2015 - 4 comments

2011 SF, first of a five-book series. Ia is a precognitive who foresees the collapse of human civilisation… unless she takes a specific path, which starts with becoming a space marine.

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Helix season 2 23 June 2015

2015 science fiction. On an island off the Washington coast, there's a disease outbreak, but a religious community living there doesn't seem to be worried about it. And it all has something to do with the immortals.

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Hugo 2015: Lightspeed 44, John Joseph Adams 22 June 2015

For this year's Hugo awards there are three semiprozines in contention that satisfy my voting criteria. One didn't bother to provide a sample in the Hugo packet. This is one of the other two.

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Summer Barbecue 2015 21 June 2015 - 1 comment

Summer barbecue, on the day before the solstice. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything; some photos are by Owen Smith.

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Campaign Ideas 20 June 2015 - 2 comments

A game-related post for Free RPG Day. These are not "campaigns I plan to run", just ideas that someone could do the hard work on to turn into a game. I might run them at some point if the players are enthused; I would be nearly as happy if someone else took inspiration from them and ran something related that I could play in.

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Marque and Reprisal, Elizabeth Moon 19 June 2015

2004 SF, second in a five-book series. Kylara Vatta survived her first solo trading venture, but now someone's taking on the family firm. UK vt Moving Target.

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Dynamic Mongoose 2014-2015 18 June 2015

Dynamic Mongoose is an ongoing series of naval exercises in anti-submarine warfare, taking place off the coast of Norway. This year's exercise was rather more multinational than recent years' have been, perhaps inspired by recent reports of possibly-Russian submarines inside other nations' territorial waters. The most blatant sign that it is being taken seriously is that it happened in May rather than the usual February in the North Sea. (Still cold, but rather less horrible.)

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The Cutout, Francine Mathews 17 June 2015

2001 espionage thriller. Caroline Carmichael, CIA intelligence analyst, thought she'd lost her husband in a plane bombing. Until he showed up in a photo of the people who had just kidnapped the Vice-President of the USA during a terrorist attack in Berlin.

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Knee Deep in Daisies 16 June 2015

The meadow last year was a riot of various wildflowers. This year it's been mostly oxeye daisies. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Hugo 2015: Novelette 15 June 2015

There's only one non-slate novelette on the ballot this year, so that's what I'm reviewing here: The Day The World Turned Upside Down, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt.

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Northolt Centenary Open Day 14 June 2015 - 1 comment

Yesterday RAF Northolt had its Centenary Open day. Yes, it was first used as a flying-field in May 1915. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Pyramid 79: Space Atlas, edited by Steven Marsh 13 June 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. "Space Atlas" covers places to take a campaign… in space.

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Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon 12 June 2015 - 2 comments

2003 SF, first in a five-book series. Kylara Vatta is thrown out of space navy academy, then gets a job taking one of the family firm's oldest ships on its final voyage to the scrapyard. Of course it all gets more complicated than that.

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The Wreck of the Liberal Democrats 11 June 2015 - 3 comments

The obvious story of woe of the recent General Election in the UK is that of the Liberal Democrats, who lost 66% of their vote share and 85% of their parliamentary seats compared with five years ago, leaving them about as much of a political force as the DUP. What went wrong?

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Speaking from Among the Bones, Alan Bradley 10 June 2015

2013 cosy mystery, fifth in Bradley's series set in the early 1950s about child detective Flavia de Luce. The corpse of the angelic-looking young organist has been hidden in a saint's tomb that hasn't been opened for years. But how and why did he die?

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Koufuku Graffiti 09 June 2015

2015 contemporary slice of life, 12 episodes: AniDB. A middle school girl with a knack for cooking learns that everything tastes better if you share it with someone special. vt Gourmet Girl Graffiti.

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My Friend Mr Leakey, J B S Haldane 08 June 2015 - 2 comments

1937 children's fantasy. Six stories of wonder, three of them dealing with the modern magician Mr Leakey.

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GURPS Monster Hunters 5: Applied Xenology, Jason Levine 07 June 2015 - 2 comments

This supplementary volume in the Monster Hunters series tweaks the game to allow the foes to be aliens rather than supernatural monsters.

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The Severed Streets, Paul Cornell 06 June 2015 - 2 comments

2014 urban fantasy, sequel to London Falling. As protests brew into riots during a hot summer, important people are being murdered in a bizarre and impossible way. Fortunately, the Met has four officers who specialise in the impossible.

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The China Syndrome 05 June 2015

1979 drama, dir. James Bridges, Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon: IMDb / allmovie

A TV news reporter uncovers dirty secrets at a nuclear power plant.

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Countdown, Keith Douglass 04 June 2015

1994 alternate-world military fiction; sixth in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is still CAG aboard USS Thomas Jefferson, which now gets involved in the Russian civil war of 1994+4.

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Thirsty Meeples June 2015 03 June 2015

Back to the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Pyramid 78: Unleash Your Soul, edited by Steven Marsh 02 June 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's religion, particularly of the actively supernatural sort. This isn't something that tends to come up much in my games, so the applicability of this issue is relatively low for me.

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UK Games Expo 2015 01 June 2015 - 3 comments

This weekend I was at UK Games Expo, for the third year at the Hilton Metropole near the NEC – though next year it's mostly going to be in the NEC itself. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything, and click the image for the full-size version.

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