RogerBW's Blog

Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir 31 August 2020

2020 fantasy, second of a trilogy. Harrowhark is now an imperial Lyktor, more or less. Which means she gets to fight an unwinnable battle with profoundly unreliable allies.

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Scoring a racing series 30 August 2020

I've been playing quite a lot of Rallyman GT lately, and I've been thinking about how racing games should be scored.

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Steel Blues, Melissa Scott and Jo Graham 29 August 2020

2013 historical fantasy, second in the Order of the Air series. In 1931, the Great Depression is biting and there's not much work for an air charter company in Colorado. So they enter a cross-country air race.

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Murder a la Mode, Patricia Moyes 28 August 2020

1963 mystery, fourth in the series about Chief Inspector Henry Tibbett. As Style magazine is putting together its coverage of the Paris fashion show, one of the editors drinks tea full of cyanide…

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Perl Weekly Challenge 75: coins and rectangles 27 August 2020 - 1 comment

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved building set values of coins and finding rectangles in histograms.

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Barbary Station, R. E. Stearns 26 August 2020

2017 SF, first of its series. Adda the hacker and Iridian the engineer hijack a colony ship and take it to her brother and the infamous Captain Sloane, who are living the high life on Barbary Station. Only it's not like that, and the station's AI is trying to kill them.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 17 August 2020 25 August 2020

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

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The Accidental War, Walter Jon Williams 24 August 2020

2018 space opera, fourth book (first of a new trilogy) of Dread Empire's Fall. Seven years on as the empire tries to recover after the civil war, things start to fall apart all over again.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 74: more songs about lists 23 August 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved finding minima in subsets of lists.

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Boardgames in Isolation: August (part 1) 22 August 2020

More boardgames played from home, though the rate seems to have gone down a bit.

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The Deepest Grave, Harry Bingham 21 August 2020

2015 police procedural mystery, sixth in the Fiona Griffiths series. An archaeologist is found in her home, beheaded and transfixed with Iron Age spears.

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A shim between Flightgear and Viking 20 August 2020

I've been renewing my interest in the Flightgear flight simulator. And it turns out there's a neat trick you can do with it.

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More Garden Games 19 August 2020

More boardgames in the garden, on a painfully hot evening (still with masks).

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The Shortest Way to Hades, Sarah Caudwell 18 August 2020

1984 legal mystery, second of Caudwell's Hilary Tamar series. When a Trust is changed to avoid tax, one of the parties puts a high price on her compliance; but it all goes through anyway, several months before she falls from a balcony during a Boat Race party.

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Robin Hood (1973) 17 August 2020 - 1 comment

1973 animated children's comedy, dir. Wolfgang Reitherman; IMDb / allmovie. They sing and dance in the forest…

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City of Ruins, Kristine Kathryn Rusch 16 August 2020 - 1 comment

2011 science fiction, second of the "Wreck Diving" series. "Boss" moves from exploring derelict spaceships to exploring underground ruins in the quest to find ancient stealth technology before the bad guys do.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 73: fun with minima 15 August 2020 - 2 comments

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved finding minima in subsets of lists.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 3 August 2020 14 August 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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Still Masks 13 August 2020

Mostly people continue to wear masks.

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Clarkesworld 167, August 2020 12 August 2020

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

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The Adventures of Robin Hood 11 August 2020

1938 adventure, dir. Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland; IMDb / allmovie. Prince John oppresses the Saxons; a Saxon lord fights back.

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Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton 10 August 2020

2018 mystery with science-fictional elements. A man wakes up in mid-shout with no memories, in the grounds of a decaying country house during a weekend party, nineteen years after the young son of the house was murdered. And someone is going to be murdered now. US vt The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

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Paul Temple and the Conrad Case 09 August 2020

1959 thriller by Francis Durbridge: Paul Temple is a professional novelist and amateur sleuth. A young woman has vanishes from a finishing-school in Bavaria… starring Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury.

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Aeon's End in the Garden 08 August 2020

I got together with some local friends for boardgames in the garden (open air, though under cover in the gazebo, with masks).

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Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood 07 August 2020

1922 adventure, dir. Allen Dwan, Douglas Fairbanks, Wallace Beery; IMDb / allmovie. The Earl of Huntingdon goes off to the Crusades with King Richard…

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The Web Between the Worlds, Charles Sheffield 06 August 2020 - 1 comment

1979 science fiction. Rob Merlin is the world's best engineer, but he's being given his most challenging project yet.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 72: factorial zeroes and line ranges 05 August 2020

I’ve been doing the Perl Weekly Challenges. The latest involved finding the trailing zeroes of a factorial and printing a range of lines from a file.

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Steel Guitar, Linda Barnes 04 August 2020

1991 mystery, fourth in the Carlotta Carlyle series (neo-noir private investigation). Carlotta runs into her old bandmate Dee Willis, who's stayed in the music business and finally made it big. But Dee's behaving weirdly even for her, and the past echoes into the present.

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Boardgames in Isolation: July (part 2) 03 August 2020 - 2 comments
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The Harrowing 02 August 2020

2020 horror in eight parts, by Mark Healy. On the island of Toll Mòr, a storm hits just after a murder is discovered, and the part-time policewoman has to deal with both.

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July 2020 Trailers 01 August 2020 - 1 comment

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. Calibration: The success of most Hollywood films these days is down to the fact that they're comforting. They tie things up in nice little bows and give you answers, even if the answers are stupid, you go home and you don't have to think about it.)

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