RogerBW's Blog

The Stranger Diaries, Elly Griffiths 31 August 2021 - 2 comments

2018 mystery. Clare Cassidy's fellow teacher Ella Elphick has been stabbed to death, in a way that suggests more than casual killing. A further death, and other odd events, suggest that someone is modelling the crimes on The Stranger, a story by an obscure Victorian author that forms part of her creative writing course.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 16 August 2021 30 August 2021

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

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The Day The Earth Stood Still 29 August 2021

1951 science fiction, dir. Robert Wise, Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal: IMDb / allmovie. The aliens land with a message for humanity, and the humans immediately shoot one of them.

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The Golden Thread, Kassia St Clair 28 August 2021

2018 non-fiction. Kassia St Clair, a design journalist, looks at the history of fabric and how it has influenced, and been influenced by, the history of civilisation.

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An old joke, updated 27 August 2021 - 8 comments

So there was an old man who was known for his faith in God. Always ready to help out a neighbour, and just generally a nice guy.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 127: Disjoint Conflict 26 August 2021

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved set intersections and merging intervals. (Note that this is open until 29 August 2021.)

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The Steerswoman, Rosemary Kirstein 25 August 2021

1989 fantasy/SF. In a primitive world, Rowan is a Steerswoman, a wandering scholar sworn to answer any question she can. She tries to learn more about strange jewels found in the Outskirts, but it seems that the wizards object…

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The A.B.C. Murders 24 August 2021

2000 adaptation of Christie's 1936 mystery, in one 90-minute episode. Someone with the initials A. A. is murdered in Andover, then B. B. in Bexhill; and Poirot receives a boastful letter before each killing. But how to catch them?

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Backroom Boys, Francis Spufford 23 August 2021 - 4 comments

2003 non-fiction, a study of six British post-war technological projects.

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The Food of the Gods 22 August 2021

1976 horror, dir. Bert I. Gordon, Marjoe Gortner, Pamela Franklin: IMDb / allmovie. "Based on a Portion of the Novel By H. G. Wells."

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Bed of Roses, Nora Roberts 21 August 2021 - 2 comments

2009 romance. Emmaline Grant and three of her childhood friends run a wedding business, everything from engagement photos to the Big Day; she does the flowers and decoration. Jack Cooke is a family friend, and the architect working on the business's various expansions and extensions. They've known each other for years, but then all of a sudden…

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Perl Weekly Challenge 126: Count Sweeper 20 August 2021

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved numbers excluding 1, and Minesweeper. (Note that this is open until 22 August 2021.)

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Space Carrier Avalon, Glynn Stewart 19 August 2021 - 2 comments

2015 SF, first in a series. Avalon is a famous space-fighter carrier with plenty of battle honours, but outdated and due for scrapping. But first she's due one last goodwill tour of border systems.

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Boardgames in Isolation: August (part 1) 18 August 2021 - 2 comments

More boardgames played from home, and on a small expedition that didn't get a blog post of its own.

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Soul Purpose, Nick Marsh 17 August 2021

2006 SF/fantasy. Alan Reece is a vet who hates his job, who's just seen something downright strange on a late night call. Kate is an ex-medium turned physics student whose models of the new particle accelerator show some disturbing possibilities. It's not the end of the world. If we're lucky.

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind 16 August 2021 - 4 comments

1977 science fiction, dir. Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Melinda Dillon: IMDb / allmovie. The aliens are coming! The aliens are coming!

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The Initiate, James L. Cambias 15 August 2021

2020 modern fantasy. If magicians are powerful, why don't they rule the world? Well, they do, but secretly. Two years ago a monster slaughtered Sam's wife and son, and he's quietly been drinking himself to death ever since; but now he meets someone else who knows what's going on, and is willing to help him get his revenge.

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Paul Temple and the Lawrence Affair 14 August 2021

1956 thriller by Francis Durbridge, in 8 parts. The daughter of the head of MI5 has gone missing, and someone seems to have taken a pot at amateur sleuth Paul Temple while he was on holiday…

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I cached a geo 13 August 2021 - 3 comments

I finally tried geocaching. So far it's not a bad excuse for a walk.

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Network 12 August 2021

1976 drama, dir. Sidney Lumet, Peter Finch, William Holden; IMDb / allmovie. What TV really needs is a lunatic.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 125: Pythagorean Diameter 11 August 2021 - 1 comment

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved Pythagorean triples and binary trees. (Note that this is open until 15 August 2021.)

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Once Bitten, Nick Marsh 10 August 2021 - 2 comments

2016 mimetic fiction. Alan Reece qualifies as a vet, and finds that actual practice barely overlaps with what they taught him at the Langford Veterinary School.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 2 August 2021 09 August 2021

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

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Starship's Mage Omnibus, Glynn Stewart 08 August 2021

2014 SF, first in a series. Interstellar travel is possible only because of Jump Mages, the magicians who were the byproduct of the Eugenics Wars centuries ago. Damien Montgomery has the talent, and has just finished training, but without the backing of a powerful family, he doesn't have much chance of getting a ship posting soon. Unless he meets a truly desperate captain…

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The Man Who Would Be King 07 August 2021

1975 thriller, dir. John Huston, Michael Caine, Sean Connery; IMDb / allmovie. The two ex-soldiers have a great idea…

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Boardgames in Isolation: July (part 2) 06 August 2021

More boardgames played from home. Now that I'm getting occasional face-to-face gaming again I'm doing rather less of this…

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A Kingdom Lost, Barbara Ann Wright 05 August 2021

2014 fantasy, third of a tetralogy. Princess Katya is with the royal family, trying to drum up support for an army to retake the capital and depose the usurper. Her lover Starbride is hiding in the capital, gathering information and building a resistance.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 124: War Day 04 August 2021 - 4 comments

I’ve been doing the Weekly Challenges. The latest involved ASCII graphics and set partitioning. (Note that this is open until 8 August 2021.)

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Jaws 03 August 2021

1975 thriller, dir. Steven Spielberg, Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw: IMDb / allmovie. You can't close the beaches if only one person has died…

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Mrs McGinty's Dead 02 August 2021

2006 adaptation of Christie's 1952 mystery, in five half-hour episodes. The snoopy cleaning-woman was bashed on the head, supposedly by her lodger for a little cash; but a little earlier, she'd got excited over a tabloid article about "Women Victims of Bygone Tragedies", some of whom may have sinned more than been sinned against.

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July 2021 Trailers 01 August 2021 - 1 comment

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. I still hate everything.)

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