RogerBW's Blog

Essen 2018 31 October 2018

At the end of October I went back to Internationale Spieltage SPIEL, or "Essen" as it's generally known in the boardgaming world.

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Magic Burns, Ilona Andrews 30 October 2018

2008 modern fantasy novel, second in the Kate Daniels series. Magic is building up to a once-in-seven-years flare, someone has stolen maps from the local werewolf pack, and gods are going to come into play.

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The St Valentine's Day Murders, Ruth Dudley Edwards 29 October 2018

1984 mystery, second in the Robert Amiss series. Amiss is seconded to industry… well, to a dead-end privatised offshoot of the Civil Service where all the unemployables are sent to rot. And then people die.

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Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale 28 October 2018 - 2 comments

2017, 2-hour film: AniDB, follow-up to 2012's Sword Art Online and 2014's Sword Art Online II. Two years after the SAO Incident, virtual reality is out of fashion as a new augmented reality game has become hugely popular. But Kirito reckons there's something just a bit odd about it.

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Written in Bones, James Oswald 27 October 2018

2017 supernatural mystery in modern Edinburgh, seventh in Oswald's Inspector McLean series. A body is found in a tree; clearly it fell there, but how did it happen, and why?

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Doctor Who 2/11.03: Rosa 26 October 2018 - 4 comments

Chibnall writes again (though this time with a co-author), but with a very different emphasis.

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Exit Strategy, Martha Wells 25 October 2018 - 2 comments

2018 science fiction novella, fourth and final volume in the Murderbot series. Murderbot has some key data that will expose dodgy activities by one of the corporations… but the person to whom it would do some good seems to have been kidnapped. It's definitely not an emotional decision to rescue her. That would be a system error.

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Pyramid 120: Alternate GURPS V 24 October 2018 - 5 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's rules that amend, replace or extend what's already in the books.

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Second 1 Player Guild UK Meet 23 October 2018

The 1 Player Guild is a group of solo game players, communicating through BoardGameGeek. After the first UK meet back in January, I organised a second one at a library near home.

With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Goliath, Scott Westerfeld 22 October 2018 - 1 comment

2011 young adult steampunk SF, final volume of a trilogy. The living airship Leviathan crosses Russia en route to Japan; will Nikola Tesla's latest terror weapon end the Great War?

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Mahoutsukai no Yome 21 October 2018

2017-2018 modern fantasy, shounen manga adaptation, 24 episodes: AniDB. Unwanted orphan Hatori Chise is bought at auction by the monstrous magician Elias Ainsworth, to be his apprentice… and his bride. vt The Ancient Magus' Bride.

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The Recycled Citizen, Charlotte MacLeod 20 October 2018

1988 cozy American detective fiction; seventh of MacLeod's novels of Boston Brahmin Sarah Kelling and art investigator Max Bittersohn. Sarah is pregnant, but doesn't let that slow her down much; one of the rubbish-collectors working for the Senior Citizens' Recycling Center, a family charitable project, has been fatally mugged, and it seems that there's more going on.

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Doctor Who 2/11.02: The Ghost Monument 19 October 2018

Last week's opening episode was distinctly better than I'd expected, though very far from perfect. Can Chibnall (writing again) keep up the quality in a "regular" series episode?

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Apex 112, September 2018 18 October 2018

Apex is a monthly on-line magazine edited by Jason Sizemore among others.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 15 October 2018 17 October 2018

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

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Clarkesworld 145, October 2018 16 October 2018 - 1 comment

Clarkesworld is a monthly on-line magazine edited by Neil Clarke.

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Among Others, Jo Walton 15 October 2018

2011 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning fantasy. Morwenna is a young Welsh SF and fantasy fan; after losing some of her family and becoming crippled, she ends up living with her father and going to a boarding school.

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Thirsty Meeples October 2018 14 October 2018 - 2 comments

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

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Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor 13 October 2018 - 5 comments

2013 science fiction, first in the Chronicles of St Mary's series. St Mary's Institute for Historical Research is rather more hands-on in their observation of history than anyone suspects; Dr Madeleine Maxwell is their newest recruit.

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Whartstock 2018 12 October 2018

Whartstock is the best gaming convention that you aren't invited to; it's the annual-ish gathering of the Whartson Hall Æthernauts.

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The Rasp, Philip MacDonald 11 October 2018

1924 mystery, first in the Anthony Gethryn series. A cabinet minister is beaten to death in his study; Colonel Anthony Gethryn, with a background in intelligence work but now terminally bored, investigates.

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Doctor Who 2/11.01: The Woman Who Fell To Earth 10 October 2018 - 1 comment

I gave up on watching Doctor Who around series 6 of the new iteration, in exasperation at Steven Moffat going on and on and on doing the same old things. Now he's finally left, so I gave it another try.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 1 October 2018 09 October 2018

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

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Leverage in Death, J. D. Robb 08 October 2018

2018 SF/mystery; fifty-eighth (roughly, or 47th novel) of J. D. Robb's In Death series. Someone wears an explosive vest into a meeting to finalise a corporate merger; Lieutenant Eve Dallas has to find out why he did it, and whether someone else is pulling the strings.

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Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler 07 October 2018 - 2 comments

2003 police procedural mystery/horror, first in the Bryant and May series. In the modern day, a bomb destroys the office of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, where boss Arthur Bryant was working late. John May, while mourning his friend and colleague, looks back on their first case together, during the Blitz.

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The Prisoner of Limnos, Lois McMaster Bujold 06 October 2018

2017 short fantasy novel in the World of the Five Gods (formerly known as Chalion). This one follows directly from Penric's Mission and Mira's Last Dance; Penric, and the exiled general Adelis and his widowed sister Nikys whom Penric was escorting, are safely in their new home, but it turns out that Nikys's mother (it's complicated) has been imprisoned in order to get leverage on the general.

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By Fire Above, Robyn Bennis 05 October 2018

2018 steampunk SF, second of the Signal Airship series. The war continues, and Josette Dupre, captain of the scouting airship Mistral, will go on fighting it… if she can survive the politics of her own side.

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Cold Granite, Stuart MacBride 04 October 2018 - 1 comment

2005 police procedural mystery, tartan noir, first in the Logan McRae series. DS McRae is just back on the force after a major injury sustained in the line of duty; it's winter in Aberdeen, and the mutilated body of a kidnapped boy has just been discovered. And it won't be the last.

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Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld 03 October 2018

2010 young adult steampunk SF, second of a trilogy. As an alternate Great War is beginning, the airship Leviathan visits Istanbul to give a British bribe to the Ottoman Sultan. But much more is going on behind the scenes.

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YSDC Games Day 7 02 October 2018 - 2 comments

Seventh in this series of one-day conventions in bustling metropolitan Baildon (suburban Bradford).

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September 2018 Trailers 01 October 2018 - 2 comments

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

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