RogerBW's Blog

Why I'm Not Joining the Car Wars Kickstarter 30 November 2019 - 1 comment

The Kickstarter for Car Wars 6th edition started yesterday and runs until 6 January. I'm not going to be joining it. Why not?

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Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle, Clare Hunter 29 November 2019

2019 non-fiction. A history of sewing and embroidery, trying to recover the stories of the people who did it.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 35: Binary Morse Code 28 November 2019

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. Last week's was about encoding and decoding to a binary representation of Morse code.

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Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand, Carrie Vaughn 27 November 2019

2009 urban fantasy, fifth in the series. Kitty Norville, the late-night DJ who has become the world's most famous werewolf, is going to get married… in Las Vegas. So naturally she has to do a live show there too. And that isn't even the problem…

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The RogerBW Manifesto (2019 edition) 26 November 2019 - 6 comments

It's election season again in the UK. These are the things I'd try to do if anyone were daft enough to put me in charge; they're also promises that would encourage me to vote for people who made them.

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Something in the Water, Charlotte MacLeod 25 November 2019

1994 comic mystery; ninth of MacLeod's novels of Professor Peter Shandy. Shandy is visiting a grower of remarkable lupines [sic, apparently American usage] when a fellow guest at the inn where he's staying collapses dead over the chicken pot pie.

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More Mansions of Madness Second Edition 24 November 2019

Another Mansions of Madness session, this one with a published scenario (Ill-Fated Exhibit).

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A Season for Murder, Ann Granger 23 November 2019

1991 mystery; second of Granger's novels of Chief Inspector Markby and non-detective Meredith Mitchell. Now in a home posting, Mitchell moves to a hamlet in Oxfordshire with plans to commute to London. But the new friend she makes there has a fatal "accident"…

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Printing PDFs with Lulu 22 November 2019 - 1 comment

I've recently made hardcopy books of some of my role-playing PDFs, using Lulu's print-on-demand service. Here are some tricks that might be helpful for anyone else doing the same thing.

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Project Solar Sail, Arthur C. Clarke and David Brin 21 November 2019

1990 collection of SF stories and speculation about solar sails.

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Midcon, November 2019 20 November 2019

I went to Midcon, a long-running boardgame convention in Derby.

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This Thing of Darkness, Harry Bingham 19 November 2019

2015 police procedural mystery, fourth in the Fiona Griffiths series. Stuck with logging evidence, Fiona asks for some cold cases to look at, and is soon digging for details in her own distinctive style.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 34 18 November 2019

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges Last week’s was about demonstrating specific coding techniques.

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Little Fuzzy, H. Beam Piper 17 November 2019

1962 science fiction, re-read. Zarathustra was an uninhabited planet when humanity arrived, so the Company owns it and everyone's happy. Until Jack Holloway the old sunstone prospector comes along with some crazy story about the animals he's found being intelligent natives…

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The Suicide of Retail (and Journalism) 16 November 2019 - 4 comments

It is a truism that retail shopping is dying – and another that journalism is also dying. In both cases, the Internet is blamed. But I think it's worth looking a little deeper than that.

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Blowing the Bloody Doors Off, Michael Caine 15 November 2019 - 1 comment

2018 non-fiction, Michael Caine's (third) autobiography, shading into advice for aspiring actors.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 4 November 2019 14 November 2019

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

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Clarkesworld 158, November 2019 13 November 2019

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

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The Mummy (2017) 12 November 2019 - 2 comments

2017 action horror, dir. Alex Kurtzman, Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella; IMDb / allmovie. A treasure-hunter uncovers the tomb of a female pharaoh who’s been erased from the historical record; ignoring all the warnings, he lets her out.

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Murder in a Good Cause, Medora Sale 11 November 2019

1990 mystery, third in the John Sanders/Harriet Jeffries series. A series of high-value burglaries turns lethal; and an ageing actress is murdered at her soirée, having mentioned that she might be planning to change her will. Sanders investigates; Jeffries was a guest at the party…

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Thoughts on The Lightless Beacon 10 November 2019

The Lightless Beacon is an adventure by Leigh Carr with Lynne Hardy, released to commemorate the death of Greg Stafford. I recently ran it for Whartson Hall. Spoilers.

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Light Sails 09 November 2019

2019 collection of short science fiction stories featuring light sails.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 33 08 November 2019

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges This week’s was about counting letters and generating a multiplication table.

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Ten Second Staircase, Christopher Fowler 07 November 2019

2007 police procedural mystery/horror, fourth in the Bryant and May series. Someone is killing celebrities by various baroque means; the Peculiar Crimes Unit balances that investigation with an attempt to prevent the unit being shut down.

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Aeon’s End 06 November 2019 - 2 comments

Aeon’s End is a cooperative deck-building game by Kevin Riley, in which players work together to fight a monster (the “nemesis”) and save their home.

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The Grub-and-Stakers House a Haunt, Charlotte MacLeod 05 November 2019

1993, cosy American detective fiction; fifth and last of MacLeod's novels (as "Alisa Craig") of Dittany Henbit and the Lobelia Falls Grub-and-Stakers Gardening & Roving Club. The ghost of a nineteenth-century mule-skinner turns up in town, and wants his bones found and properly buried… but doesn't much mind what happens to the chest of gold that should be near them.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 32 04 November 2019

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges (I missed 31 because of getting ready for Essen, and didn’t have time to do this one in Perl6). This week’s was about counting entities and generating ASCII bar charts.

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A Significant Date 03 November 2019

Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard) was born on 3 November, 1954.

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Essen 2019 02 November 2019

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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October 2019 Trailers 01 November 2019 - 2 comments

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. Calibration: There is nothing like just indignation for fostering unreasoning hate.)

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