RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 83: Alternate GURPS IV 31 October 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a grab-bag of alternative and house rules for GURPS.

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Away with the Fairies, Kerry Greenwood 30 October 2015

2001 historical detection, eleventh in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Miss Lavender, an author and illustrator of overly-twee fairy stories, has died after receiving threatening letters. Phryne is called in by the police as someone who might be able to spot something amiss in the sea of cuteness that is Miss Lavender's home, and finds rather more motives than anyone could reasonably have expected.

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A utopian vision for electric cars 29 October 2015 - 2 comments

I have an idea for a relatively simple change which would remove some of my objections to the use of electric cars. This is less blatantly utopian than the last one.

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Voyage of the Basilisk, Marie Brennan 28 October 2015 - 2 comments

2015 fantasy of sorts: third volume of the memoirs of Lady Trent, alternate-Victorian naturalist specialising in dragons. Aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, Lady Trent travels round the world to study dragons wherever they may be found.

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Coup: Rebellion G54 27 October 2015

Coup: Rebellion G54, by Rikka Tahta, is a game of hidden identities, deduction and bluffing for 3-6 players.

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Superposition, David Walton 26 October 2015

2015 science fiction. Jacob Kelley's old friend shows up at his house, babbling about artificial intelligences in the quantum computer that is the universe. Later, the old friend is found dead – having apparently been murdered the night before he turned up – and Kelley is put on trial for his murder.

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de Havilland Museum 25 October 2015 - 2 comments

To the de Havilland museum, on the last weekend before it closed for the winter. Many images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Afterburn, Keith Douglass 24 October 2015 - 4 comments

1996 alternate-world military fiction; seventh in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is still CAG aboard USS Thomas Jefferson, which is sent to the Black Sea for peacekeeping operations in the context of the ongoing Russian civil war.

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Castle season 7 23 October 2015

2014-2015, 23 episodes. Famous writer Richard Castle continues to work with NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett, though by this point it's fairly clear that he didn't come here for the hunting.

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The Withdrawing Room, Charlotte MacLeod 22 October 2015

1981, cozy American detective fiction; second of MacLeod's novels of Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn. While the family affairs get straightened out, the recently-widowed Sarah needs an income; she remodels her house to take in boarders. But one of them falls under a subway train, or maybe he was pushed…

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Thirsty Meeples October 2015 21 October 2015

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

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Gravity, Tess Gerritsen 20 October 2015

1999 thriller. On board the International Space Station, a microbiological experiment has gone wrong. Dr Emma Watson tries to keep the rest of the crew, and herself, alive in an increasingly challenging environment. (Nothing to do with the 2013 film of the same name.)

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Clapham South Deep Shelter 19 October 2015 - 2 comments

On Sunday I visited the Clapham South deep-level shelter. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Red Equinox, Douglas Wynne 18 October 2015

2015 modern Lovecraftian horror. Becca Philips, photographer and urban explorer in post-hurricane Boston, was mostly raised by her crazy occultist grandmother. But now things are showing up in her photographs that really shouldn't be there.

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Thirteenth Harpoon PBEM AAR: Radar Contact! 17 October 2015 - 1 comment

I've started playing through the South Atlantic War scenario book for Harpoon (and for Combined Arms for land actions, which I'm ignoring). This is the first naval scenario in it: the Argentine submarine Santa Fe (formerly the Balao-class USS Catfish) tries to escape from South Georgia.

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Pray and Die, Stella Whitelaw 16 October 2015

2000 mystery, first in Whitelaw's Jordan Lacey series. Asthmatic ex-policewoman Jordan Lacey starts a private investigation business in the seaside town of Latching, West Sussex. Will there be enough work to pay the bills? Surprisingly, yes.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Denizens 1: Barbarians, Peter dell'Orto 15 October 2015

This GURPS Dungeon Fantasy supplement expands the Barbarian archetype with new options and powers.

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Good Night Mr. Holmes, Carole Nelson Douglas 14 October 2015

1990, first of Douglas's novels about Irene Adler, opera singer, adventuress, and foil to Sherlock Holmes.

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Essen 2015 13 October 2015 - 1 comment

I'm just back from my third trip to Internationale Spieltage SPIEL, or "Essen" as it's generally known in the boardgaming world. With photos; all are cc-by-sa.

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Coming Home, Jack McDevitt 12 October 2015 - 2 comments

2014 science fiction, seventh in the Alex Benedict series that began with A Talent for War. Alex Benedict the relic-dealer and Chase Kolpath the pilot go hunting for the last cache of artefacts from Earth's early space age.

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Pyramid 82: Magical Creations 11 October 2015

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about items one can make with magic.

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Darkest Hour, James Holland 10 October 2015

2009 war story, second in Holland's Sergeant Jack Tanner series. In May of 1940, Tanner is in a training company on the south coast, but will soon be going to France with the BEF. But an old nemesis from his days in India has shown up again.

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Pyracantha 09 October 2015 - 1 comment

A couple of years ago we planted a pyracantha at the front of the house. Until this year it hadn't put on much of a show, though it had become pleasingly spiky. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Flashback, Nevada Barr 08 October 2015

2003 mystery, eleventh in Barr's Anna Pigeon series, murder mysteries in US National Parks. At Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, seventy miles off the end of Florida, Anna replaces a chief ranger who went mad. A boat explosion and anonymous body parts are troubling enough; but then Anna starts to see ghosts…

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 23 07 October 2015 - 2 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

The Doctor - Colin Baker
Peri Brown - Nicola Bryant
Mel Bush - Bonnie Langford

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They Also Serve, Mike Moscoe 06 October 2015

2001 military SF, third in the Jump Universe series. At the same time as the events of The Price of Peace, Ray Longknife's exploration ship has comprehensively misjumped to where a much earlier lost ship founded a colony. But they aren't the only things on the planet.

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GURPS Thaumatology: Sorcery, Jason Levine 05 October 2015 - 6 comments

This GURPS supplement explains how to convert spells from the standard GURPS magic system into power effects.

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The Headhunters, Peter Lovesey 04 October 2015

2008 mystery. A woman is found on the beach at Selsey, drowned – forcibly. But she isn't going to be the only victim.

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Firefly Kalidasa: unboxing and first look 03 October 2015

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

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Nine Coaches Waiting, Mary Stewart 02 October 2015

1958; mystery/thriller or romantic suspense. Linda Martin gets a job as governess to the young Comte de Valmy, at his château in the French Alps. But why did her employer seem so keen that she not be able to speak any French?

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September 2015 Trailers 01 October 2015 - 1 comment

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube.)

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