RogerBW's Blog

Stabcon 2017 31 January 2017

This long-running games convention had another instance at the start of January. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Coroner's Pidgin, Margery Allingham 30 January 2017

1945 classic English detective fiction; twelfth of Allingham's novels of Albert Campion. Back in London after three years overseas on mysterious war work, Campion just wants to catch a train; but Lugg and an unknown lady turn up in his flat with a corpse. US vt Pearls Before Swine.

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Limitless season 1 29 January 2017

2015-2016, 22 episodes. Brian Finch is an unemployed slacker, until he's introduced to a brain-boosting drug. Naturally he goes to work for the FBI to catch crooks.

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Dune, Frank Herbert 28 January 2017

1965 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. In the distant future, plots whirl within plots, and the control of the most valuable planet in the universe is a poisoned chalice.

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Limitless 27 January 2017

2011 science fiction, dir. Neil Burger, Bradley Cooper, Robert de Niro: IMDb / allmovie

Eddie Morra is a struggling writer, until his ex-brother-in-law offers him a new drug that makes him smarter.

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Be My Enemy, Christopher Brookmyre 26 January 2017

2004 tartan noir. Jack Parlabane is invited to the junket weekend of a new firm that plans to run team-building retreats with a twist. But that twist is going to turn out to be rather more twisted than anyone expects.

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On-line postage with Royal Mail and MyHermes 25 January 2017

With 3D printing sales and occasional bulk imports of board games I send 4-5 packages a month, and sometimes larger batches. There seem to be two main ways of achieving this easily.

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Mike, P. G. Wodehouse 24 January 2017

1909 school stories, compilation from magazine publication in 1907-1908: Mike Jackson, youngest of five cricketing brothers, goes first to Wrykin and then to Sedleigh. Also republished in separate parts later, as Mike at Wrykin and Mike and Psmith; the latter also as Enter Psmith.

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Bucks Boardgames pre-new-year games 23 January 2017

This group usually meets on Tuesday evenings, so although they're fairly nearby I hadn't had a chance to join them before. But over the Christmas holiday they met on a Friday afternoon as well.

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Night Without End, Alistair MacLean 22 January 2017 - 2 comments

1959 thriller. An airliner makes a forced rough landing near a weather observation post in the highlands of Greenland. What was it doing that far north, what foul play was involved, and who is responsible?

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Schwarzesmarken 21 January 2017

2016 alternate history mecha science fiction, adaptation of a manga spinoff of a visual novel, 12 episodes: AniDB. In 1983, the 666th Tactical Surface Fighter Squadron of the East German Army is the only force between the invading alien hordes and the rest of Germany.

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Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein 20 January 2017

2011 non-fiction. Orenstein breaks down various elements of the pink-princess culture as marketed to young girls.

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Boxing Day Boardgames 2016 19 January 2017

On Boxing Day because it's a tradition now (i.e. we did it last year), a bunch of us without family commitments got together for boardgames. Like the last session here, we stayed together as one big group.

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The Last Frontier, Alistair MacLean 18 January 2017

1959 thriller. British agent Michael Reynolds travels to Budapest to retrieve a British scientist kidnapped by the Russians and due to be shown off at a conference. US vt The Secret Ways.

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Colour Scheme, Ngaio Marsh 17 January 2017

1943 classic English detective fiction; twelfth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a run-down hot-springs resort in the back country of New Zealand, one guest seems to be going out of his way to offend everyone; then he vanishes.

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Castle season 8 16 January 2017

2015-2016, 22 episodes. Famous writer Richard Castle continues to work with NYPD homicide detective (now Captain) Kate Beckett, in the final season of this police procedural.

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Psycho, Robert Bloch 15 January 2017

1959 horror. Mary Crane has stolen $40,000 from her employer and is running away to get married. Unfortunately she's chosen to stay at the wrong motel.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 5 December 2016 14 January 2017

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

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Twilight Robbery, Frances Hardinge 13 January 2017

2011 non-historical fiction, sequel to Fly By Night. Mosca Mye and Eponymous Clent are still in trouble, and attempting to flee through Toll, the town that controls the only bridge across the big river. But both entering and leaving have their price. US vt Fly Trap.

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Pyramid 97: Strange Powers 12 January 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's the loose idea of bizarre phenomena and, well, strange powers.

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One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, Christopher Brookmyre 11 January 2017 - 1 comment

1999 tartan noir. Gavin Hutchison has a brilliant idea: convert an oil rig to an offshore resort hotel for xenophobic tourists, with all the comforts of home but warmer weather since it'll be moored off the African coast. What better way to show it off than by hosting a school reunion there?

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Horniman Museum, Forest Hill 10 January 2017 - 1 comment

I'd driven past it many times when living in Lee Green, but had never been inside; over Christmas I remedied this. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Thirsty Meeples December 2016 09 January 2017

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

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Death and the Dancing Footman, Ngaio Marsh 08 January 2017

1941 (some sources say 1942) classic English detective fiction; eleventh of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. For his own amusement, Jonathan Royal invites six mortal enemies to a party at his house in Dorset. Really, the first surprise is that he isn't murdered.

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Musaigen no Phantom World 07 January 2017

2016 contemporary fantasy novel adaptation in 13 episodes: Anidb, vt "Myriad Colors Phantom World". Phantoms, weird magical creatures created by the human subconscious, are everywhere; Haruhiko and his school friends seal them away when they cause trouble.

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Lost Things, Melissa Scott and Jo Graham 06 January 2017

2012 historical fantasy, first in the Order of the Air series. In 1929, as Lake Nemi is drained in search of its archaeological treasures, an ancient evil is loosed. Only four heroic aviator-magicians will be able to fight it.

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Royal Navy School 05 January 2017

2016 reality television, 7 episodes. The series follows recruits through the ten weeks of selection for the Royal Navy at HMS Raleigh.

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Surfeit of Lampreys, Ngaio Marsh 04 January 2017

1940 classic English detective fiction; tenth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. The Lampreys are an impoverished aristocratic family; after Lord Charles's rich brother refused to give them yet another handout, he was found stabbed to death. Mad wife? Annoyed brother? Random stranger? Well, it'll never be that last in a classic mystery. US vt Death of a Peer.

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Boardgaming in Cambridge, December 2016 03 January 2017 - 1 comment

With role-playing cancelled due to illness, I played some boardgames in Cambridge instead.

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Planetfall, Emma Newman 02 January 2017

2015 science fiction. Ren works as the 3D printer engineer in a colony on an extrasolar planet, right next to the alien biotech artefact known as God's City. Then a stranger shows up, a descendant of the people thought to have been lost in an accident during planetfall.

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December 2016 Trailers 01 January 2017 - 3 comments

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

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