RogerBW's Blog

Gödel-encoding beer orders 30 June 2017

Every few months I go to the Wellington for beer and food (bringing the food with me; they don't have a food licence, but do provide plates and cutlery).

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Tour de Force, Christianna Brand 29 June 2017

1955 detective fiction; sixth and last of Brand's novels of Inspector Cockrill. On a Conducted Tour (an early package holiday) in Italy, one of the group is murdered. Nobody has a strong motive, and everyone seems to have an alibi. But the local Grand Duke is determined to execute someone

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Pyramid 104: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game 28 June 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's one of the three issues promised during the Dungeon Fantasy RPG kickstarter.

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Penric and the Shaman, Lois McMaster Bujold 27 June 2017

2016 fantasy novella in the World of the Five Gods (formerly known as Chalion), second in the Penric sub-series. Now a trained sorcerer, Penric is lent to a detective chasing the murderer of a young nobleman; of course it's more complicated than that.

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Lethal Weapon season 1 26 June 2017 - 1 comment

2016-2017, 18 episodes: Murtaugh is a straight-arrow cop, Riggs is his ker-razy partner.

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Airs Above the Ground, Mary Stewart 25 June 2017

1965 mystery/thriller or romantic suspense. Vanessa March, married two years, had a fight with her husband Lewis just before he left on a business trip to Stockholm. But then he shows up on a newsreel about a circus fire in Austria… with his arm round a blonde.

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Thirsty Meeples June 2017 24 June 2017

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

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High Island Blues, Ann Cleeves 23 June 2017

1996 detective fiction; eighth and apparently last of Cleeves's novels of amateur private detectives George and Molly Palmer-Jones. George is commissioned to look into a possible charity fraud, then whipped off to Texas to assist an old birdwatching friend who's being accused of murder.

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The Tripartite Problem Report 22 June 2017

I think I have come up with a new and potentially useful paradigm for computer-related problem reports.

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The Great Weevil Infestation 21 June 2017

For a few weeks, we had weevils.

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The Beckoning Lady, Margery Allingham 20 June 2017

1955 classic English detective fiction; fifteenth of Allingham's novels of Albert Campion. Campion's friends and country neighbours the Cassands are having their annual party; but three corpses will go some way towards spoiling the fun.

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Westworld season 1 19 June 2017

2016 science fiction, 10 episodes. At the Westworld holiday resort, the android "hosts" exist to be shot, slept with, and generally taken advantage of. But some of them are starting to remember.

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Femme Fatale, Carole Nelson Douglas 18 June 2017

2003 historical mystery, seventh of Douglas's novels about Irene Adler. Goaded by the scandal-mongering reporter Nellie Bly, Irene travels back to New York to look into a past of which she has little memory… but someone seems to be killing people who figured in it.

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May-June 2017 Trailers 17 June 2017

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

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The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin 16 June 2017

1974 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. Shevek is a physicist working on a new theory of time, but he finds political obstruction even in an anarchist utopia. He travels to the mother world to continue his work.

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High point value campaigns in GURPS 15 June 2017 - 1 comment

Thomas Thornberry posted, and Douglas Cole forwarded, a plea for information about high point value campaigns in GURPS: how can they be made to work, when skills become so high that failure is highly unlikely?

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 5 June 2017 14 June 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey.

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Murder of Crows, Annie Bellet 13 June 2017

2014 modern fantasy, second in the series. Jade Crow is training to fight against the big nasty magician, but her father calls for help. You really shouldn't go home again.

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Pyracantha in summer 2017 12 June 2017 - 3 comments

In 2013 we planted a pyracantha at the front of the house. Last year it didn't do much. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer 11 June 2017

2016 Hugo-nominated science fiction, first book of Terra Ignota. Even in a techno-utopia, there are people who are unhappy with the rules.

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Van Helsing season 1 10 June 2017 - 2 comments

2016 post-apocalyptic horror, 13 episodes. Vampires have always walked the earth, and after a Yellowstone-eruption-induced loss of sunlight they've taken over. Three years later, a descendent of Abraham van Helsing helps to fight against them.

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Spinsters in Jeopardy, Ngaio Marsh 09 June 2017

1954 classic English detective fiction; seventeenth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. Alleyn is combining work for the Sûreté with a family holiday in the South of France, but sees a possible murder from the train, and then things get even more complicated. US vt The Bride of Death.

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Election, Terrorism, Revolutionary Communism 08 June 2017 - 5 comments

I can't help noticing an obvious historical parallel which I haven't heard people talking about.

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The Obelisk Gate, N K Jemisin 07 June 2017

2016 Hugo-nominated science-fantasy. As the world ends, two orogenes try to protect their little patches of it. Definitely don't try to start the series here.

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UK Games Expo 2017 06 June 2017 - 3 comments

UK Games Expo continues to expand; the trade hall was still in NEC Hall 1, but all the tournaments which had shared space with it were pushed into one of the other halls at the back. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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The Shape of Dread, Marcia Muller 05 June 2017

1990 mystery; ninth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. Tracy Kostakos, rising comedian, disappeared two years ago; Bobby Foster confessed to kidnapping and killing her. But there's no body, he's recanted the confession, and All Souls Legal Cooperative is handling his appeal.

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GURPS Hot Spots: The Silk Road, Matt Riggsby 04 June 2017

This historical GURPS supplement looks at the Silk Road during the peak years of its importance, between roughly the second and tenth centuries AD.

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Death on the Air and Other Stories, Ngaio Marsh 03 June 2017

1989 collection of short mystery stories, some featuring Roderick Alleyn.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 17 May 2017 02 June 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey – and, unusually, I was available on a Wednesday for the mid-month meeting.

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London Particular, Christianna Brand 01 June 2017

1952 detective fiction; fifth of Brand's novels of Inspector Cockrill. Raoul Vernet, fading roué, had his head bashed in on a foggy night – in a nearly empty house. But everyone's got something to hide. US vt Fog of Doubt.

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