RogerBW's Blog

Roger's 2016 in 50 Words 31 December 2016 - 1 comment

A friend likes to sum up his year in a set number of words, and I copy this fine idea. "Think of it as a short and un-boastful summary of the year, which nobody is expected to understand all of."

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2016 in Books 30 December 2016 - 2 comments

In 2016 I've read 133 books, down a little from recent years.

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2016 in GURPS 29 December 2016 - 4 comments

The GURPSDay bloggers suggested a series of questions about the year in GURPS, so…

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2016 in boardgames 28 December 2016

2016 was a very boardgame-ful year. I didn't plan it that way, but I'm not objecting.

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Akagami no Shirayukihime season 2 27 December 2016

2016 fantasy romance, shoujo manga continuation in 12 episodes as well as an OVA that bridges the two series: AniDB, vt "Snow White with the Red Hair". Shirayuki the herbalist continues to develop her low-key romance with Prince Zen.

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Dying to Write, Judith Cutler 26 December 2016

1996 mystery; second of Cutler's novels of Sophie Rivers, teacher in a sixth-form college in Birmingham and part-time chorister. Sophie goes on a residential writing course; one of her fellow students dies, and a tutor goes missing.

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The Box of Splendor and the Cosmic Pot 25 December 2016 - 4 comments

I continue to design boardgame accessories for 3D printing; these two are for Splendor and Cosmic Encounter. Images are cc-by-sa by RogerBW unless otherwise specified.

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Must Love Board Games 24 December 2016 - 1 comment

2016 short romantic comedy, dir. Travis Hedges Williams, Kacie Barnes, Tyler Grezaffi: IMDb

When Quinn meets David, she has to decide whether he is a worthy suitor: she knows the rules, just as she knows the rules of her favourite games. But he doesn't seem to be following them.

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Flash Point solo: Well-Oiled Machine 23 December 2016

Flash Point is another game I don't get to the table often enough for my taste, so I gave it a solo play one evening. Lots of images (cc-by-sa).

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Heads You Lose, Christianna Brand 22 December 2016

1941 detective fiction; second of Brand's novels, and first to feature Inspector Cockrill. A visitor to a country house says "I wouldn't be seen dead in a ditch in a [hat] like that"… and is soon proved wrong. The next night another woman is murdered.

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Dimension W 21 December 2016

2016 science fiction, 12 episodes: AniDB. In a world where all power is provided by "coils" that draw from a parallel dimension, Mabuchi Kyouma is a "collector" who gets hold of the illegal ones.

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Rizzoli & Isles season 6 20 December 2016

2015-2016, 18 episodes. Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles continue in their odd-couple crimefighting.

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The Mill on the Shore, Ann Cleeves 19 December 2016

1994 detective fiction; seventh of Cleeves's novels of amateur private detectives George and Molly Palmer-Jones. Jimmy Morrissey was the public voice of environmentalism and conservation, but killed himself with an overdose of antidepressants. Or did he?

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Pyramid 96: Tech and Toys IV 18 December 2016

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's high technology and the things one can do with it.

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God Emperor of Didcot, Toby Frost 17 December 2016 - 2 comments

2008 humorous science fiction, second in the series. Captain Isambard Smith of the British Empire in space is sent to the Didcot system, where a revolutionary movement threatens the Empire's supply of tea.

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Leaving Earth Outer Planets solo: Venus is Red, Comrade 16 December 2016

I know, I know. I got my copy of Leaving Earth: Outer Planets back in July, and I haven't had it to the table until now. I was hoping to get some suckers to play it with me, but instead I ran a solo game on a grey Sunday afternoon. (I haven't played any version of Leaving Earth solo before.)

Images were taken on the Powershot A1300 in "custom white balance" mode, under halogen incandescents; I thought it did quite a decent job. As usual, click on images to get the bigger version; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Death in High Heels, Christianna Brand 15 December 2016 - 2 comments

1941 detective fiction; first of Brand's novels, and first of two featuring Inspector Charlesworth. One of the senior staff of a London dress-shop dies of poison; her co-workers are the only plausible suspects.

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Bubuki Buranki 1 14 December 2016

2016 mecha science fiction, 12 episodes: AniDB. In a very changed world, Kazuki Azuma leaves an island in the sky to return to Japan, and gets involved with power struggles and giant robots.

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Spin and Die, Stella Whitelaw 13 December 2016

2000 mystery, third in Whitelaw's Jordan Lacey series. Jordan takes on a job following a woman suspected of compensation fraud against the local department store, and then tries to track down vanishing stock in the run-up to Christmas. And of course there's also a murder.

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Boardgaming At Home, November 2016 12 December 2016

A seven-player games session where we actually stuck with a single group of seven all the way through. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Traitor's Purse, Margery Allingham 11 December 2016

1940 classic English detective fiction; eleventh of Allingham's novels of Albert Campion. An amnesiac Campion knows he was in the middle of dealing with a truly serious plot… but what is it all about, and whom can he trust? US vt The Sabotage Murder Mystery.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 7 November 2016 10 December 2016

Second time at the Marlow Donkey and the fifth monthly meeting of this Meetup-based boardgames group.

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There's Something In a Sunday, Marcia Muller 09 December 2016

1990 mystery; ninth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. Sharon's assigned to follow Frank Wilkinson as he spends his Sunday going round the horticultural high spots of San Francisco. But her client's obviously lying about why he wants the job done, and soon he ends up dead.

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Ojisan to Marshmallow 08 December 2016

2016 contemporary comedy, 12 short episodes: AniDB, vt "Middle-Aged Man and Marshmallow". Hige is an overweight middle-aged man working at Web Related Company (sic); he loves marshmallows. Several of the office ladies are in love with him, for no obvious reason.

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Death at the Bar, Ngaio Marsh 07 December 2016

1940 classic English detective fiction; ninth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. In an isolated village in Devon, a game of darts at the pub ends in death. Accidental? Surely not.

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Leaving Earth 06 December 2016

Leaving Earth, designed by Joe Fatula, is a game of the exploration of the solar system for 1-5 players.

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3d printer notification system 05 December 2016 - 2 comments

How can I tell when the 3D printer has finished a job, without going down to the cave where it lives and checking it?

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The Praxis, Walter Jon Williams 04 December 2016 - 2 comments

2003 space opera, first book of Dread Empire's Fall. The Shaa subjugated the galaxy, binding all the races they met – including humanity – under their universal philosophy, the Praxis. But ten thousand years later, the last Shaa has chosen to die.

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Boku dake ga Inai Machi 03 December 2016

2016 seinen manga adaptation, 12 episodes: AniDB, vtt "Erased" and "The Town Without Me". Fujinuma Satoru sometimes slips back in time to just before a life-threatening accident, which lets him try to correct it. When his mother is murdered, he finds himself thrown back to eighteen years earlier, when he was in elementary school and someone was killing his classmates.

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Thus Was Adonis Murdered, Sarah Caudwell 02 December 2016

1981 mystery, first of Caudwell's Hilary Tamar series. A young barrister, Julia, is taking a tour in Venice; she gets a gorgeous young man to bed, and a few hours later he's found dead, stabbed, with her copy of the Finance Act next to the body.

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November 2016 Trailers 01 December 2016 - 1 comment

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

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