RogerBW's Blog

The Thomas Crown Affair (II) 31 January 2019 - 2 comments

1999 crime/drama film, dir. John McTiernan, Piers Brosnan, Rene Russo; IMDb / allmovie. In New York, a painting by Monet is stolen from the Met; insurance investigator Catherine Banning helps the police to track down the thief, who may be the businessman Thomas Crown.

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100 SF&F Books You Should Consider Reading 30 January 2019 - 3 comments

Borrowed from Dr Bob, here's James Nicholl's list of Books You Should Consider Reading.

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Handycon 5, January 2019 29 January 2019

Still at the larger venue in Maidenhead, but squeezing a lot more people into the space, this local boardgaming convention continues to grow.

With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Talking to the Dead, Harry Bingham 28 January 2019

2012 police procedural mystery, first in the Fiona Griffiths series. DC Griffiths, who had a serious breakdown of some sort when she was a teenager, is the most junior member of the police team investigating the murder of a part-time prostitute and her young daughter in Cardiff.

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GURPS Action 5: Dictionary of Danger, Sean Punch 27 January 2019

This GURPS Action supplement lists hazards from the real world (or at least the cinematic world) for use in action games.

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A Sudden Fearful Death, Anne Perry 26 January 2019

1993 mystery, fourth in Perry's William Monk series (Victorian investigation). In 1857, at the Royal Free Hospital, a nurse is found murdered and stuffed down the laundry-chute; she was one of the new breed of nurse back from the Crimea, and while she was undoubtedly good at her job she seems to have annoyed everyone too. With the police unimpressive, Monk's patron Lady Callandra Daviot (also a trustee of the hospital) asks him to investigate.

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The Thomas Crown Affair (I) 25 January 2019

1968 crime/drama film, dir. Norman Jewison, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway; IMDb / allmovie. A successful businessman masterminds a Boston bank heist, coordinating five other men who've never met each other – or him. It's the perfect crime… but an insurance investigator is on his trail.

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Clarkesworld 148, January 2019 24 January 2019

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

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Thirsty Meeples January 2019 23 January 2019

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

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Apex 115, December 2018 22 January 2019 - 1 comment

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

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Ralph Breaks the Internet 21 January 2019

2018 sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, dir. Phil Johnston and Rich Moore; IMDb / allmovie.

After the events of the first film, all seems to be well in the secret life of the arcade; but when part of Vanellope's game cabinet gets broken, the only way to replace it is to venture onto the Internet. Also marketed as Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2.

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Andromeda's War, William C. Dietz 20 January 2019 - 1 comment

2014 military science fiction, twelfth novel in the Legion of the Damned series (and last in the prequel sub-series). "McKee" is still hiding from the usurper Empress.

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Wreck-It Ralph 19 January 2019

2012, dir. Phil Johnston and Rich Moore; IMDb / allmovie. Ralph is the villain in a Donkey Kong-like arcade game, Fix-It Felix Jr. – and, like most video game characters in this world, a thinking person too. He's tired of being the bad guy, and sets out to prove that he can be good.

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Black Projects, White Knights, Kage Baker 18 January 2019

2002 science fiction, fourteen short stories in The Company series.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 7 January 2019 17 January 2019

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

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Matricide at St Martha's, Ruth Dudley Edwards 16 January 2019

1994 mystery, fifth in the Robert Amiss series. Amiss is recruited by his old friend "Jack" Troutbeck, Bursar of St Martha's College in Cambridge, to help her sort out the politics of how a bequest will be used. Of course, some people have strong and murderous feelings about that.

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Doctor Who 2/11.11: Resolution 15 January 2019 - 5 comments

Chibnall continues to do far more than his share of the writing, but manages a thing that hasn't happened for a while: an end-of-year special with an actual story, rather than a sequence of scenes showing off how cool the protagonists are.

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The Old English Baron, Clara Reeve 14 January 2019

1778 gothic horror, and another prototype for the gothic novel. (Also published in 1777 in a very limited edition as The Champion of Virtue.) Some time in the 1430s, Sir Philip Harclay returns from the wars to find his old friend mysteriously dead, and the friend's castle with a new lord. But there is a Suspiciously Superior Peasant being raised in the household…

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Entrapment 13 January 2019

1999 caper film, dir. Jon Amiel, Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones; IMDb / allmovie. Gin the insurance investigator tracks down Mac the art thief, but are either of them really what they seem? Of course not.

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Cop Hater, Ed McBain 12 January 2019

1956 police procedural, first in the 87th Precinct series. When an off-duty detective is murdered, it might have been for any number of reasons. Then his partner is shot with the same gun…

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How to Choose a GURPS Magic System 11 January 2019 - 8 comments

GURPS 4th edition has a lot of magic systems, as well as rules for designing your own. How can you choose which one(s) you should use in your new campaign?

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The Graveyard Game, Kage Baker 10 January 2019

2001 science fiction, fourth of The Company series. Mendoza has been disappeared by the Company, the same organisation that made her an immortal cyborg slave in the first place. Her recruiter Joseph, and former co-worker Lewis, try to find out what happened to her.

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Stabcon 2019 09 January 2019

This long-running games convention had another instance at the start of January, on a slightly chilly but not cold weekend. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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The Dare and the Doctor, Kate Noble 08 January 2019

2016 American Regency romance, third and last of a linked series. Dr Gray conducts an academic correspondence with Miss Babcock, whom he met in passing during the events of the previous book. But when she comes to London to show off her hybrid rose, will they recognise their feelings for each other, or will societal pressures get in the way?

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New Year's Day Boardgames at Home 07 January 2019

Late on New Year's Day, we got together for eight-player games, and ended up on the unexpected theme of "games you can't buy right now".

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Andromeda's Choice, William C. Dietz 06 January 2019

2013 military science fiction, eleventh novel in the Legion of the Damned series (and second in the prequel sub-series). "McKee" is still hiding from the usurper Empress, but after winning the fight in the previous book she has to go to Earth to get a medal… and she might well be recognised.

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December 2018 Trailers 05 January 2019

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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Wolf in the Shadows, Marcia Muller 04 January 2019

1993 mystery, thirteenth in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco.

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2018 in boardgames 03 January 2019

2018 was another very boardgame-ful year: more playing, less buying.

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2018 in Books 02 January 2019

In 2018 I read 169 books, slightly more than in the last few years.

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Roger's 2018 in 50 Words 01 January 2019

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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