RogerBW's Blog

Who Killed Sherlock Holmes?, Paul Cornell 31 May 2020 - 1 comment

2016 urban fantasy, third in the Shadow Police series. In this version of London, people's memories and obsessions bring something like ghosts to life… and now the ghost of Sherlock Holmes has been murdered.

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Pressure Washing 30 May 2020 - 1 comment

Out with the pressure washer.

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Wrath of the Lemming Men, Toby Frost 29 May 2020 - 2 comments

2008 humorous science fiction, third in the Isambard Smith series. The insectoid Ghast have enlisted the lemming-people of Yull as allies in their war against the British Space Empire. Are Isambard Smith and his motley crew really the only people who can save the day?

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Network Effect, Martha Wells 28 May 2020 - 2 comments

2020 science fiction, fifth in the Murderbot series (though the previous four were novellas). Kidnapping, aliens, space battles, and meditations on ethics and the nature of consciousness.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 62: email sorting and 3d queens 27 May 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved sorting email addresses and solving a variant N-queens problem.

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Julie Enfield Investigates: The Smithfield Murders 26 May 2020

1995 police procedural in five parts, by Nick Fisher. An accountant is killed messily in his flat in Smithfield; DSI Julie Enfield investigates.

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Coyote, Linda Barnes 25 May 2020

1990 mystery, third in the Carlotta Carlyle series (neo-noir private investigation). A hispanic woman asks Carlotta to retrieve her missing green card, because she doesn't trust La Migra. But then she vanishes, and the card turns up on the body of a murdered woman…

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The Light Brigade, Kameron Hurley 24 May 2020 - 3 comments

2019 science fiction. The rebellious Martian colonists wiped out São Paulo in a devastating surprise attack. Dietz, whose family was among the dead, joins up with the corporate armies to fight them off – and maybe end up with citizenship.

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A War of Whispers 23 May 2020

A War of Whispers, by Jeremy Stoltzfus, got some attention when it came out last year but sold out quickly, and as I write there's a Kickstarter for the second edition. Should you jump in? I've now played it twice…

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Luminosity 3, Alicorn 22 May 2020

2012 contemporary fantasy short stories, a "re-imagining" of the Twilight series. Various snippets out of the lives of various characters in the earlier novels.

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Grinding to a Halt 21 May 2020 - 2 comments

The "lockdown" has affected me relatively little: things I mail-order take longer to arrive, role-playing games have moved online, and I haven't seen my boardgame groups at all. But now it starts to feel as though people have gone into a kind of stasis.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 61: maximum products and IPv4 20 May 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved searching for the maximum product in a sequence, and un-munging IPv4 addresses.

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Carter & Lovecraft, Jonathan L. Howard 19 May 2020

2015 Lovecraftian horror. Dan Carter was a cop in New York, until his partner shot himself while they were arresting a child kidnapper. Now he's working as a private investigator, but it suddenly turns out that a complete stranger has left him a bookshop in his will…

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Boardgames in Isolation: May (part 1) 18 May 2020 - 2 comments

More solo and on-line boardgames.

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Tragedy at Law, Cyril Hare 17 May 2020

1942 mystery, first in the series centred on Francis Pettigrew, a not-terribly-successful barrister. The anonymous letters arriving for the High Court Judge while he's out on circuit are obviously the work of a lunatic; the poisoned box of chocolates is less easily dismissed.

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Kitty Saves the World, Carrie Vaughn 16 May 2020

2015 urban fantasy, fourteenth and last in the series. Kitty's ready to try to assassinate the master vampire Roman before he can carry out his plan to rule the world. Spoilers.

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Rose Cottage, Mary Stewart 15 May 2020

1997 romantic mystery. Kate Herrick was married, then very soon widowed, during the War; a few years later, she travels to her childhood home, to sort out the furniture that'll be sent to her grandmother in Scotland. And to get some papers left in a safe. But they're missing…

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Perl Weekly Challenge 60: Excel columns and number generation 14 May 2020 - 2 comments

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved working with a form of numeric encoding, and a very arbitrary numerical problem.

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Clarkesworld 164, May 2020 13 May 2020

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

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Perl Weekly Challenge 59: linked list and bit sum 12 May 2020 - 2 comments

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved working with a linked list and determining binary differences.

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Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir 11 May 2020 - 3 comments

2019 young adult fantasy, first of a planned trilogy. In a decaying interplanetary empire powered by necromancy, Gideon is a foundling brought up by the Ninth House, guardians of the Locked Tomb. But the Empire has required all the houses to send their necromancer-heirs, and a necromancer needs a bodyguard…

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Boardgames in Isolation: April 10 May 2020 - 3 comments

I've been continuing to play solo and on-line boardgames.

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Death on the Agenda, Patricia Moyes 09 May 2020

1962 mystery, third in the series about Chief Inspector Henry Tibbett. Tibbett is in Geneva for a conference on drug-smuggling, and his wife has joined him for a holiday. One of the staff is killed in a place that very few people could have reached, and Tibbett becomes the prime suspect.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 58: version comparison and ordered line 08 May 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved comparing version numbers and generating an arbitrary order.

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Low Midnight, Carrie Vaughn 07 May 2020

2014 urban fantasy, thirteenth in the series. A side story in which Cormac, the mercenary monster hunder turned ally of Kitty Norville, tracks down a historical murder and runs into some old contacts. Spoilers.

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Arking Time 06 May 2020 - 2 comments

I've been running a small Discourse forum for role-playing and boardgaming for a while now, ever since UKRolePlayers shut down. It's suddenly got much bigger.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 57: tree inversion and unique prefixes 05 May 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved inverting a binary tree and finding unique prefixes.

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow 04 May 2020

2019 young adult fantasy. In Gilded Age America, January Scaller lives in a mansion filled with peculiar treasures, and is something of a peculiar treasure herself. Her father travels for months on end, hunting for artefacts for Mr Locke. But it gradually becomes clear that what really matters is the doors between worlds…

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Boardgames in Isolation: March 03 May 2020

Since face-to-face boardgaming meetings aren't happening at the moment, I've been playing more solo and on-line games.

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Shades of Murder, Lauren Carr 02 May 2020

2012 cosy mystery, third in the Mac Faraday series (amateur detection). Someone sends Mac the stolen last painting of Ilysa Ramsey, murdered eight years ago. Naturally, he looks into the unsolved case. Meanwhile, it seems that the same woman was murdered elsewhere a year earlier…

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April 2020 Trailers 01 May 2020 - 1 comment

Some trailers I've seen recently, at least the few that are still being released, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. Calibration: There is only one thing that can kill the movies, and that is education.)

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