Thursday, 30 October 2008

Pre-Halloween Games Night

Mike and Del came over last night for our (nominally) regular weekly games night.

None us us are particularly interested in celebrating Halloween, we all come from the generation before the UK was hit by the commercialism that is the American style Halloween.

Still as it is Halloween this week and we have several horror themed games it only seemed right that we play one!

Del brought along All Wound Up, a wind up zombie game and I dug out my copy Munchkin Bites! (although we didn't get around to playing it).


All Wound Up has each player taking a wind up zombie and then through the use of cards to control the play, try to get around the board (a grave yard) and get to the cemetery gates!


What tend to happen is that each player soon discovers that his zombie tends to veer off in one direction or another and this can cause some tricky problems. There are also cards that allow a player to alter the direction of the other players zombies, causing them to go off the board, or fall into an open grave!

It is a fun simple game and great for Halloween. There is nothing to gory or scary about it so i would also suggest that it is a fun game for the kids!

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Monday, 27 October 2008

Dial P For Pulp! Show No.9

Dial P For Pulp! Show No.9

Show No. 9: Ship of Ishtar and Prudence


Image via Wikipedia

Jonathan Coulton

Re: Your Brains by

Jonathan Coulton


The Scarifyers: For King and Country from Cosmic Hobo Productions

The Paperback Fanatic

Hydra Miniatures Galacteers

Yesterday Was A Lie

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Yesterday Was a Lie

Savage Worlds Role Playing (reviewed by Ken Newquist of Nuketown Radio Active)


The Vampire Club by Voltaire

A. Merritt’s Ship Of Ishtar

The first part of an extended look at Abraham Merritt and his book Ship of Ishtar

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Prudence - A new short story  written by Kim Sherwood


Creepy Doll by Jonathan Coutlon


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Thursday, 23 October 2008

Definitely finding my feet again now!

Well as far as blogging and podcasting goes anyway....

I just recorded most of Show 9 of Dial P For Pulp! at lunchtime today. I recorded the fiction piece for the show yesterday. I just need to get the editing done and hopefully it will be out over the weekend at some point!

Fringe... again!

I mentioned the other day that I had watched the first two Episodes of Fringe, and that it had some serious flaws that were switching me off to it.

Well I have episode 3 sitting on my Sky+ box (DRV) and to be honest I don't think I can be bothered to watch it!

I just read a review of episode 6 on SF Scope (just aired on US TV) and it seems to reinforce my apprehensions about the show.

I think I have already invested too much time in this over-rated knock off of the X-Files. I am going to cancel the "series record" on my DVR.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Games Night

Last night was games night and we played a couple of games, first off was our first play of New World, the latest Carcassonne incarnation.


Between us we have all the previous editions and it is always interesting to see how the new versions vary and how they stand up against previous ones!

Well I am glad to say that we all felt that this was one of the more successful editions. Rating up there with our other favourites, Hunters and Gatherers and Carcassonne: The City.

The game does have some new twists, with tile laying generally moving in one direction across  table, rather than being totally at the players discretion. The new mechanics all seem to work well and drive the making it possibly more competitive that previous games, good fun and well worth a try.


Secondly I got out my copy of Mensa Connections (also know as Ingenius). This is an excellent, abstract dominos style game and was great fun without too much brain hurting going on!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


I watched the second episode of Fringe last night and I must say, although I am quite enjoying the show, it does have an awful lot of cliches and plot holes in it that are seriously detracting from my interest in the show.

I started off with the pilot last week, thinking that Fringe was some kind of "new millennium" X-Files, mixed with a bit of Outbreak and with some 21st century terrorist paranoia thrown in for good measure.


There do however seem to be an inexcusable amount of plot holes in this show. Mainly relating to the Peter and Walter Bishop characters.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but supposedly Walter Bishop was only allowed to be released from the psychiatric institution if he was released into the care of his son, Peter. This has consequentially meant that both Peter and Walter have become part of the team.

The reason this strikes a raw nerve with me is if Home Land Security needed to see Walter Bishop, or seek his advice, surely they could overturn or get around the court order imposed on Walter, without actually having to fly to Afghanistan and bring back his son. Home Land Security / the FBI should be able to get past this MacGuffin.

I have enjoyed the first two shows, they are very much in the X-Files vain, and I will keep watching for a while yet. However if I  find it hard suspend disbelief to get over many more of these plot problems I will rapidly loose interest.

Health Problems!

Over the past couple of weeks I have been informed that I have a High Blood Pressure problem, in fact when the doctor took my blood pressure last week it was verging on extremely high and then this weeks check was slightly better but still a serious cause for concern.

Now generally I eat fairly healthily, and I have never smoked, I very rarely drink alcohol (maybe 1 or 2 units a month, honestly).

I don't add salt to my food, but I do eat crisps (potato chips) regularly. I also have usually drank between 8 and 10 cups of tea a day.

My main problem, and I have been aware of this for sometime, is a lack of any regular exercise. I changed my job a couple of years ago, and although the job description is virtually identical to my previous position, it was a lot more physical, as I ran a workshop and did a lot of carrying of timber and wood cutting. My new job is in a different workshop (same employer), that involves much less physical work and a lot more sitting behind a desk.

To counter my lack of exercise I have started to get off of my bus a good bit before I get to work and walking the rest of the way (this includes a considerable hill as well as walking at a fair pace). I am going to get an exercise bike that I can use in the evenings, when the boys are in bed. I have cut my tea drinking down to 2 or 3 a day and I have stopped eating crisps.

I am also falling back on my interest in Buddhism, and finally starting to practice a little meditation.

When I have my blood pressure checked next week I will find out if any of this is working, and also I will find out if it has been enough to avoid further tests and the possibility of long term medication.

I must admit that thinking about my wife and two young sons is giving me some serious incentive to sort this out before it goes any further.

Q: Why do you read science fiction?

OK, I am starting to get this Meme thing now!

Here is a new one from SF Signal:-

I read Science Fiction because I like to escape from present day reality and possibly get a different perspective on things, but also because I like to push things further and stretch my imagination. I also read espionage thrillers, historical novels and books about history. All for similar reasons.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

I'm back!

Yes I know I have not posted to the blog in about 3 months.

This summer has been exceptionally busy and there have been several family problems that just have not left me in the mood for blogging (my wife broke her hand which meant we all had to pull together and help out a bit more, then a close family friend died very suddenly which knocked us all for off track). Anyway I am back now and will try to post at least two or three times a week, with the aim of posting something daily.

I never have really understood the "Bloggers Meme" thing very well, but I saw this one and thought it would help me get back on track:-

Quick Meme: What Are You Reading and How Are You Liking It?

I am reading three books at the moment (the joys of reviewing books on my podcast).

The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt

This is very thick book and something of a reviewers nightmare, I am really enjoying reading it, but I am not a particularly fast reader and I want to finish it (rather than as some reviewers do - just get a feel for it and then move on to the next book). The simplest description I can come up with for this book is "imagine Charles Dickens writing Science Fiction"!


Space Captain Smith by Toby Frost

Following on from The Court of the Air (as you can probably tell I am preparing a podcast about steampunk), I am also reading Space Captain Smith by Toby Frost, a real steampunk "Ripping Yarn", if Court of the Air was Charles Dickens, Space Captain Smith is George MacDonald Fraser...


Old Man's War by John Scalzi

I have always had a soft spot for military SF and this one is well written and has some nice twists! I do get a bit sick of the "boot camp/basic training/Master Sergeant" plot threads that these books all seem to find necessary, but this one is well written and hold the attention.


I am reading Old Man's War as an ebook on my smartphone, not great on the eyes, so I only manage 5 minutes here or there, but I do like the ebook format and when the full ebook readers come down in price I will be buying one!

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