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."
In 2016 I've read 133 books, down a little from recent years.
The GURPSDay bloggers suggested a series of questions about the year
in GURPS, so…
2016 was a very boardgame-ful year. I didn't plan it that way, but I'm
2016 fantasy romance, shoujo manga continuation in 12 episodes as well
as an OVA that bridges the two series:
"Snow White with the Red Hair". Shirayuki the herbalist continues to
develop her low-key romance with Prince Zen.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
2016 science fiction, 12 episodes:
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.
2015-2016, 18 episodes. Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura
Isles continue in their odd-couple crimefighting.
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?
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.
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.
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;
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
2016 mecha science fiction, 12 episodes:
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
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.
A seven-player games session where we actually stuck with a single
group of seven all the way through. Images follow:
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.
Second time at the Marlow Donkey and the fifth monthly meeting of this
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.
2016 contemporary comedy, 12 short episodes:
"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
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.
designed by Joe Fatula, is a game of the exploration of the solar
system for 1-5 players.
How can I tell when the 3D printer has finished a job, without going
down to the cave where it lives and checking it?
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.
2016 seinen manga adaptation, 12 episodes:
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.
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.
Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are
to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal.)