RogerBW's Blog

Read the Sky 31 July 2020

My first adventure for Reign of Steel is now available – at least to Kickstarter backers.

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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke 30 July 2020 - 1 comment

2004 fantasy. In Regency England, magic is much more an historical curiosity than an occupation for gentlemen… until Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey starts actually doing it again.

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Masks at last 29 July 2020 - 4 comments

People have finally started wearing masks in the shops round here.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 71: peak elements (and Rallyman tracks) 28 July 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved finding peak elements and more mucking about with linked lists.

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First steps in Android: Netrunner 27 July 2020

You can't buy this game any more. So why on Earth would I play it?

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After the End of the World, Jonathan L. Howard 26 July 2020 - 2 comments

2017 Lovecraftian horror. Dan Carter, ex-cop, and Emily Lovecraft, librarian with a shotgun, are trying to come to terms with their new world. But threats to reality haven't gone away.

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War Doctor, David Nott 25 July 2020 - 2 comments

2019 non-fiction. Nott is a general and vascular surgeon who uses his leave to volunteer with MSF in combat and disaster zones.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 20 July 2020 24 July 2020

This Meetup-based boardgames group remains on-line for the moment; we got together on Jitsi and then played some games on BoardGameArena.

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Airborn, Kenneth Oppel 23 July 2020

2004 young adult steampunk fantasy, first of a trilogy. Matt Cruse is a cabin boy aboard the airship Aurora.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 70: character swaps and Gray code 22 July 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved swapping characters, and generating Gray code.

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The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi 21 July 2020

2010 science fiction, first of a trilogy. Jean le Flambeur is a thief, broken out of prison to steal something very special. But first he must steal back his own history…

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Boardgames in Isolation: July (part 1) 20 July 2020

More boardgames played from home, though the pace has slackened a bit.

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The Pyramid Waltz, Barbara Ann Wright 19 July 2020

2012 fantasy, first of a tetralogy. As far as the court is concerned, Princess Katya spends her time at (both sorts of) venery; in fact she leads a secret band that hunts magic-using enemies of the king. Starbride is a foreigner sent to court to snare a rich lover, but she'd much rather spend her time studying law…

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Perl Weekly Challenge 69: invertible numbers and very long strings 18 July 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved finding numbers that looked the same inverted, and generating a very long string.

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With the Lightnings, David Drake 17 July 2020 - 3 comments

1998 military SF, first of an ongoing series. Lt Daniel Leary of the Republic of Cinnabar (space) Navy is the impoverished fifth wheel on a diplomatic mission to the new government of Kostroma. Adele Mundy's family on Cinnabar was disgraced and put to death, largely by Leary's father, and now she's working as librarian to the new Kostroman ruler. Neither of them is expecting a revolution fomented by the Alliance of Free Stars.

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Milk is the new sprouts 16 July 2020 - 2 comments

Haven't you heard? Masks are last month's thing.

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Wild Hunt, Margaret Ronald 15 July 2020

2010 urban fantasy. Evie Scelan was a big part of what happened to the previous magical rulers of Boston. Which means that everyone's looking to her to see what she's going to do about the power vacuum that's been left behind.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 6 July 2020 14 July 2020

This Meetup-based boardgames group has moved on-line for the moment; we got together on Jitsi and then played some games on BoardGameArena.

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Clarkesworld 166, July 2020 13 July 2020

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

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Bosch AdvancedCut 18 12 July 2020 - 5 comments

Now I have a chainsaw. They'll sell them to anybody

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The Red: The Trials, Linda Nagata 11 July 2020

2014 military SF, second of the trilogy. After the illicit mission in the last book, James Shelley and his squad are on trial. So, elsewhere, is the person they winkled out of their bunker. But other factions are still out there.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 68: zero matrix and list reordering 10 July 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved zeroing parts of a matrix and reordering a list.

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The Man in the Queue, Josephine Tey 09 July 2020

1929 detective fiction; first of Tey's novels of Inspector Alan Grant. There's a long queue for the last night of a hugely popular musical; as the doors open, a man falls to the ground, dead, with a dagger in his back.

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Boardgames in Isolation: June (part 2) 08 July 2020

More boardgames played from home, though the pace has slackened a bit.

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Back to the Pub 07 July 2020

One huge advantage of living outside London is that my local pub does not need to be hugely crowded at all times to stay in business. So when it reopened on Saturday I went along.

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Start the Kicking 06 July 2020 - 2 comments

Something of mine is on Kickstarter. (Well, sort of.) Gosh.

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My Life as a White Trash Zombie, Diana Rowland 05 July 2020 - 2 comments

2011 urban fantasy, first of a series. Angel Crawford is a pill-popping loser living with her deadbeat alcoholic father in rural Louisiana. Until the night she blacks out and wakes up in hospital, with memories of a car crash but no injuries…

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Synners, Pat Cadigan 04 July 2020 - 1 comment

1991 cyberpunk science fiction. In a future California recovering from the Semi-Medium One (the Big One is still waiting to happen), music video creators, VR artists and corporate greed collide.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 67: combining numbers and phone keypad 03 July 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved generating combinations of numbers and expanding telephone keypad letters.

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Darkborn, Alison Sinclair 02 July 2020

2009 fantasy, first of a trilogy. For centuries, humanity has been divided into the Darkborn, to whom light is fatal, and the Lightborn, who cannot live in darkness. Mostly they keep to their own communities, but Minhorne is a city shared uneasily between them. Balthasar Hearne, Darkborn doctor, takes in the pregnant fugitive who turns up on his doorstep just before sunrise… but it seems that her children are born with sight

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June 2020 Trailers 01 July 2020 - 3 comments

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. Calibration: a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries, … a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence,… which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a "star" in Los Angeles…)

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