Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 June 2014 - Monday

It's Monday, but at least it's a short week.

I bought one of those recirculating water dishes for the cats, in the hopes that it will induce them to drink more.

Toshiro (Jai Nitz, Janusz Pawlak): mechanical samurai plus crazed American adventurer vs unearthly jellyfish!

Shaman Rises (C E Murphy) is the really pretty triumphant conclusion of the "Walker Papers" nonology. Everyone should buy it so people will pay Kit to write more books, and also because it is good!

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29 June 2014 - Sunday

Although we have a new gamer, only NPCs died! I hope we did not confuse Miriam too much by all trying to explain Fate Accelerated to her.

Dave's character has totally not become evil. We know, because he said so!

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28 June 2014 - Saturday

Lethargy, sloth, and somnolence.

  • Princess Tutu 14: Ayse is right about the Raven being [SPOILER]. Last time I saw Tutu, I was not nearly so aware.
  • Slayers Evolution-R 7-9: Sometimes, the treasure is the enemy.
  • Shakugan no Shana season 3 18: I think they could have done a better job of making both sides seem sympathetic, alas.
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 56: IM IN MY BASE KILLIN UR D00DZ.

Up to volume 3 of Locke & Key (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez), and it is still pretty bizarre and creepy. The art style bugs me, though.

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27 June 2014 - Friday


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26 June 2014 - Thursday


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25 June 2014 - Wednesday

Customers, why do you still explode so late in the day?

The Spirit War and Spirit's End (Rachel Aaron) conclude "The Legend of Eli Monpress", with more or less complete explanation of the cosmological doom and resolution of the immediate problems. It is pretty much a happy ending, although at very few points during the series did I expect anything else.

Black Science vol 1 (Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, Dean White) is what happens when a lab-based soap opera manages to develop interdimensional travel.

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24 June 2014 - Tuesday

Customers, why do you have to explode so late in the day? I want to take things back to the library!

Oh wait, I can't take things to the library, I have to go to San Jose to play Earthdawn! Fortunately the GM went super-easy on us so the wormskull did not destroy us utterly.

The first three books of the "Legend of Eli Monpress" series, The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion, and The Spirit Eater (Rachel Aaron), are pretty cool. Spirit-based magic + greatest thief ever = very many outraged mages. Despite the main character being charming and the mage sent after him being cute, though, this is one of the least romanceful fantasy series I've read since Tolkien.

By the end of the third book, it is clear that there is Cosmology going on, and not anything the PCs are going to like.

Jack Glass (Adam Roberts) is the story of three murders (one gruesome, one dubious, and one physically implausible), in a moderate-future solar system full of orbiting slums ruled over by grand and petty tyrants. The cover blurbs try to make it out to be fancy literary SF, but it's actually pretty unexceptional in terms of genre.

Silly customers. =) by Avalon (Mon Jun 30 23:37:24 2014)


This is really an excuse to comment.

No excuse needed! by Trip (Tue Jul 1 12:16:34 2014)

Comment whenever you like!

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23 June 2014 - Monday

So, Monday, we meet again! But this time, things will be different!

Things are not different.

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22 June 2014 - Sunday

I finally have my character portrait for Fading Suns, but it made no difference whatsoever to pronoun use. Bah, LARPers!

The PCs went to a party at which they were bribed, visited the cathedral in the wastes (which turned out to be bizarrely defensible and built on top of the local terraforming engine), and were mystified.

The Jupiter War (Neal Asher) is the third (and final?) book in the "Owner" series, which still has no one worth pissing on to put out, and insufficient new ideas.

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21 June 2014 - Saturday

Bizarrely, Jus (fka Ja Baby) keeps being a different size and shape. I think it's called "growing". So today, she experienced the miraculous technology known as "Belt"!

Stuffed zucchini and panzanella, yay!

Anime, yay!

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20 June 2014 - Friday

Friday, and again I'm not on call!

On The Steel Breeze (Alastair Reynolds) is the sequel to Blue Remembered Earth, following the adventures of the next generation as they have to deal with the mess their parents left. On the other hand, elephants and space travel and [SPOILER].

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19 June 2014 - Thursday

Still no shortage of meetings.

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18 June 2014 - Wednesday

So many meetings for Sad Customer.

The Long Mars (Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter) goes exactly where you would expect from the title and the previous books in the series.

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17 June 2014 - Tuesday

I knocked off an hour early to go to San Jose for Earthdawn, which was probably a mistake since I arrived before Jus (fka Ja Baby) had been put down, and there was Drama.

Mike is running, because he had an Idea. I have no idea what his idea is, but since I never have ideas, I can't complain. I can complain about Earthdawn having too many rules, though, and about not being able to roll way up so nothing I did mattered (until the very end, where the troll priestess of hearth and home who was escorted the former naga slaves we had gotten freed used her magic likability power on us so Isidari used her magic likability power right back and got a composure-piercing result).

Clearly I should resume working on Earthdawn World.

Grey is Jon Armstrong's first novel, and is even more fashion-gonzothan Yarn. This is particularly impressive because the main character of Yarn is the tailor of the main character of Grey. However, the main character of Grey is a lot younger and crazier.

In Cibola Burn (James S A Corey), we finally get a hint about the large-scale mystery that has been looming for two books or so, but only a hint. Mysterious mystery is mysterious! But at least Holden is still messing up everyone's plans by trying to do the right thing.

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16 June 2014 - Monday

What, more work?!

Lovecraft's Monsters (ed Ellen Datlow) is pretty much what it says on the tin. I had only read a couple of the stories, but liked almost all of them.

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15 June 2014 - Sunday

Dave's part of Immortal Empire went fine, and my character even got a minion out of it. However, Dave's character has been possessed by evil and switched politcal parties. My part failed to start but that was okay. It will be better next fortnight!

Miriam might join the game, which would be weird, but we definitely need new gamers.

In the world of Girls & Panzer (Girls und Panzer Projekt, Ryoichi Saitaniya), tank warfare is as essential a skill for the refined Japanese woman as flower arranging and the tea ceremony. Volume 1 is not that otherwise that interesting, because I am not a WWII military otaku, but I like the conceit.

The Atomic Robo RPG is here. Keep calm and trust in FATE.

The big innovation in this instance of FATE is what they call modes. Each character gets one mode at +1, one at +2, and one at +3, and each mode contains several skills which default to the rating of the mode but can be singled out for an additional +1 or +2. The four default modes are Science!, Action, Banter, and Intrigue, but there are rules for inventing new modes (like, say, Atomic Robot) with novel collections of skills and stunts or megastunts (ie, superpowers). The big limitation here seems to be that the better your new mode, the more Fate points the GM gets at the beginning of every scene.

Additional new rules: brainstorming (with SCIENCE!), consequences on the world, and a new variation of organization rules. Also, Doctor Dinosaur.

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14 June 2014 - Saturday

Today I did not have to work! It was like Saturday!

Too lazy to think up one-liners for anime episodes. But we did watch anime, even though we had to stop halfway through the second episode of FMA:B because the clock betrayed us.

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13 June 2014 - Friday

I'm not on call any more, yay! Who says Friday the 13th is bad?

Dungeon World + Slayers = Dragon World

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12 June 2014 - Thursday

Today, I did not accomplish anything at all.

Once in a Blue Moon is by Simon R Green, which should be enough information to tell whether you would enjoy it. (It's in the "Hawk & Fisher" series.)

In a somewhat similar fashion, knowing that King of Swords and Queen of Stars are by Dave Duncan probably tells you whether you want to read them. It is a pretty gamable version of Elfland.

The Islands of Chaldea is a lost Diana Wynne Jones novel, completed by her sister Ursula. It is not as great as Homeward Bounders or anything, but it is not bad.

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11 June 2014 - Wednesday

Work, but also Avalon and kitties.

The stories in The Bottom of the Sea (Zachary Jernigan, author of the weird and grisly No Return) are not as grisly but are maybe kind of weird. I liked them, though.

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10 June 2014 - Tuesday

Blah, work.

Mike tried to get people to start the Earthdawn season today, but failed.

Newt's Emerald (Garth Nix) is apparently supposed to be a fantasy regency romance. I haven't read any real regency romances for comparison, but it has reciprocal tsundere behavior, women disguised as men, and compromising situations (OMG! She sat in his lap!). Are those important qualities?

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9 June 2014 - Monday

This is the part of being on call that is not as horrible, most weeks, since now there are people in the office to answer the phone.

Artemis Awakening (Jane Lindskold) is set on a planet that was isolated by the implosion of a ridiculously-powerful interstellar empire, but the inhabitants dealt pretty well, so mostly only the past rising again causes trouble.

A Darkling Sea (James Cambias) has the problem that any book with alien viewpoint characters has, but otherwise is pretty good. I had been thinking the otter-bonobo aliens were too malevolent, but it's not like there aren't humans and lobster-dolphin aliens just as bad.

It's a surprisingly low-tech interstellar future, though, not more than a few decades in advance of present. It's more like what one sees in stories of solar system exploration.

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8 June 2014 - Sunday

We are back on schedule for Fading Suns, although I am still terrible at playing a character with social skills. Or, really, playing a character at all. Despite my lack of useful contribution, we found out that everything is more complicated and confusing than we originally thought. My bet is that the nice Engineer who is trying to keep things going will turn out to be the villain, but it could also be the crazy bishop who moved the seat of his see out into the middle of the new wasteland.

Next fortnight, Decados party!

The Enceladus Crisis (Michael J Martinez) is the sequel to The Daedalus Incident, and suffers badly from middle-book-itis. There are new exotic locations, but the villainous plan is pretty much the same as in the first book.

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7 June 2014 - Saturday

And the reason I don't want to be on call is that it means I get paged away from Ja Baby's preschool graduation to work on a thing for thirteen hours straight. Not intense focused work for all that time, but I couldn't do any of my own stuff, like watch anime. Bah!

If she's graduated from preschool, I guess she's not really Ja Baby any more, is she?

Aspen and Marmalade have been tentatively certified as "mostly okay" except they both need dental work.

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6 June 2014 - Friday

But, I don't want to be on call!

The Tropic of Serpents (Marie Brennan) is the sequel to A Natural History of Dragons, following the further adventures of a dragon-obsessed lady naturalist in secondary-Victorian-world Africa-cognate. There seems to be an overarching plot with the ancient dragon-worshipper civilization, but I can't tell if it will actually resolve. (In theory I could ask, since the author is in my alternate-Sunday Fading Suns game, but it seems tacky.)

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5 June 2014 - Thursday

Back to the office, with a very small brain.

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4 June 2014 - Wednesday

I worked from home today, after being up until all hours last night,which was not very productive but better than being dead (probably).

The cats were so happy that I was home to give them pettins and love, but petting cats is somehow not considered useful to Teradata.

Avalon kindly waited until I was done doing work before demanding pettins.

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3 June 2014 - Tuesday

Customer, why are you exploding all night?

No Hero (Jonathan Wood) is British secret government agency vs extradimensional horrors, but with a fairly different feel than The Laundry. These are a gang of misfit PCs who paid for all their random abilities with more disads. They are pretty strange.

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2 June 2014 - Monday

Back to the loathly grind.

The Park Service (Ryan Winfield) is YA confined-community-finds-out-all-is-not-as-it-seems, with <rot13>gur Mreb-Cbchyngvba Zbirzrag</rot13> for villains. They're pretty villainous.

The Long Way Down (Craig Schaefer) is magic noir in Las Vegas with the serial numbers filed off, mostly notable for the succubus who has completely gone native and likes 80s music. It seems wrong for a succubus to have a relationship talk, but on the other hand, "Don't use the meat in the red Tupperware. It's&emdash; you wouldn't like it.".

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1 June 2014 - Sunday

Today, we are tuned to the Gaming Channel!

After failing to meet for several sessions in a row, we played Immortal Empire again. Jeremy admitted that his job and children leave him no brain to run with, so he summarized what we would have found out if we had completed his plot line. Devils in swords, human sacrifice, doom for everyone! Dave will continue to run, and I waffled. I can run, but I don't have a good plot arc, and also I kind of suck.

Dave did run today, an adventure involving the insidious poisoning of the Queen-Select by nefarious toxin-users. We triumphed, but not by cycling Fate points.

Then, we trained to San Jose to play Ken's Fading Suns game, which finally has people able to show up even though it's an off week. I had thought that the psychic was going to be a clairvoyant, but instead she is a telepath, so having a character with social skills is completely redundant, in addition to being something I can't play. (Combat skills and technical skills would also be redundant). So I suck, but we gamed anyway. The PCs meet a variety of NPCs, some annoying and some oppressed, and made it as far as the system where the terraforming machines are failing without getting mysteriously abducted, despite their best efforts.

Apparently, sleep is for the week.

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