RogerBW's Blog

The Fuller Memorandum, Charles Stross 31 March 2016 - 4 comments

2010 modern occult secret service, third in the Laundry Files series. Bob Howard becomes entangled in a cultist plot to steal the Eater of Souls.

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IWM North 30 March 2016 - 3 comments

As I was in Manchester over Easter, I visited the IWM North, the only one of the five IWM sites I hadn't been to. It was a bit of a disappointment. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart 29 March 2016

1959; mystery/thriller or romantic suspense. Camilla Haven, on holiday in Athens, is lamenting that nothing ever happens to her. Then a stranger brings her "the car for Delphi", for "Monsieur Simon", for which someone has apparently already paid the deposit, and tells her that it's a matter of life and death…

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Jitsu wa Watashi wa 28 March 2016

2015 modern humour, shounen manga adaptation in 13 episodes: AniDB, vt "My Monster Secret". Kuromine "Leaky Bucket" Asahi is unable to keep a secret; when he goes to confess his love to the girl of his dreams, she turns out to be a vampire. But she'll be forced to leave school if the secret gets out…

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Overtime, Charles Stross 27 March 2016

2009 modern occult secret service novelette, between The Jennifer Morgue and The Fuller Memorandum in the Laundry Files series. The Laundry is down to a skeleton staff for Christmas… so Bob Howard is the one man who might be able to prevent the annihilation of the world.

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The Last Ship season 2 26 March 2016 - 2 comments

2015 science fiction, 13 episodes. The crew of the destroyer USS Nathan James works to distribute the cure for the plague that killed most of the world's population. But not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

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The Sorceress of the Strand, L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace 25 March 2016

Collection of six short mystery stories from 1902-1903. Madame Sara, the best "beautifier" in London, is also a master criminal – one might even say a veritable Napoleon of crime.

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Thirsty Meeples February 2016 24 March 2016 - 2 comments

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

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Down on the Farm, Charles Stross 23 March 2016 - 4 comments

2008 modern occult secret service novelette, between The Jennifer Morgue and The Fuller Memorandum in the Laundry Files series. Bob visits the asylum where broken Laundry agents go; all, unsurprisingly, is not well.

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Optivisor 22 March 2016 - 4 comments

I treated myself to an Optivisor after my eye surgery last year, since now I can't take advantage of myopia to get in within an inch or two of small things that I'm working on. It's effectively a pair of magnifying lenses on a convenient head-mount.

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Snake Agent, Liz Williams 21 March 2016

2005 futuristic fantasy. Detective Inspector Chen is a cop in the franchised city Singapore Three, in charge of magical and supernatural investigations. When a missing girl's soul turns up demonstrably in Hell, rather than Heaven where it should be, that's the first thread of a long and political investigation.

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Spring Barbecue 2016 20 March 2016

With a peak outside temperature of 7°C, we stayed inside for this "barbecue".

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The Jennifer Morgue, Charles Stross 19 March 2016 - 3 comments

2006 modern occult secret service, second in the Laundry Files series. Bob Howard is sent to a Caribbean island to stop a billionaire from destroying the world with magic.

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Blog Search Engine 18 March 2016 - 8 comments

The blog now has a search engine, powered by Lucy.

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Pyramid 88: The End Is Nigh 17 March 2016

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's about the end of the world, linked to the upcoming publication of the After the End streamlined rules set.

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Hard Truth, Nevada Barr 16 March 2016 - 4 comments

2005 mystery, thirteenth in Barr's Anna Pigeon series, murder mysteries in US National Parks. In Rocky Mountain, three young girls went missing a few months back, and were never found. But now two of them have walked out of the woods…

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Arslan Senki (2015) season 1 15 March 2016

2015 pseudo-historical fantasy, novel series adaptation in 25 episodes: AniDB, vt "Heroic Legend of Arslan". Prince Arslan of Pars is the weak son of a tough and vicious king. But when the Parsian army is defeated by treachery, he may be the only member of the royal family left…

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The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross 14 March 2016 - 5 comments

2004 modern occult secret service, first in the Laundry Files series; a short novel of the same title coupled with the novella The Concrete Jungle. Bob Howard is a techie working for an extremely secret part of the British intelligence community, trying to suppress knowledge that could destroy the world… and clean up when it gets out.

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MythBusters 2015 season 13 March 2016

2015, 14 episodes. If you're reading this you probably know what MythBusters is about, or you can go and find out.

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Irene at Large, Carole Nelson Douglas 12 March 2016

1992 mystery, third of Douglas's novels about Irene Adler. In Paris in 1888, a stranger in Oriental garb falls poisoned at the feet of Irene's narrator, Nell Huxleigh. But why does he claim to know her? (Retitled A Soul of Steel in recent reissue.)

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Boxing Day Boardgames 2015 11 March 2016

As the snow rolled in towards Wycombe, we had another session at home. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Pyramid 87: Low-Tech III 10 March 2016 - 2 comments

Pyramid is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's a variety of ideas broadly intended for pre-gunpowder campaigns.

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Anker SATA dock 09 March 2016 - 4 comments

I've had a general-purpose IDE/SATA connector for a few years, but it runs into a 2TB limit with modern large drives.

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Antares Passage, Michael McCollum 08 March 2016

1987 SF, second in the Antares trilogy. The Altan and Sandarian space navies won't be able to fight the alien menace on their own, but they have a plan for getting back in contact with Earth.

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Shokugeki no Soma season 1 07 March 2016

2015 cooking story, shounen manga adaptation in 24 episodes: AniDB, vt "Food Wars". Yukihira Sōma works at his father's diner, then finds himself sent to an élite cooking school: not only is it tough to get in, but only one in ten graduate.

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Murder in the Museum of Man, Alfred Alcorn 06 March 2016

1997 humorous detective fiction; first of Alcorn's novels of Norman de Ratour, Recording Secretary at the Museum of Man, an anthropological museum somewhere in New England. Dean Fessing goes missing, and most of him turns up expertly cooked. That inevitably starts rumours of cannibalism, but there may be fire to go with this smoke…

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Vernier Caliper 05 March 2016 - 2 comments

Since I've started making things with the 3d printer, I've found the need for measurement more accurate than a ruler or a tape measure can provide, particularly of non-cuboid shapes.

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Dark Matter season 1 04 March 2016 - 1 comment

2015, 13 episodes. A motley crew wakes up on a spaceship with skills but no memories. They try to find out who they were and what happened.

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Ore Monogatari 03 March 2016

2015 romantic comedy, shoujo manga adaptation in 24 episodes: AniDB, vt "My Love Story". Gōda Takeo is a huge guy, clueless but with a good heart; when he saves Yamato Rinko from a groper on the train, they fall in love.

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The Wallet of Kai Lung, Ernest Bramah 02 March 2016 - 1 comment

1900 collection of funny and fantastic stories of Imperial China.

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February 2016 Trailers 01 March 2016 - 3 comments

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

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