A lot of Doctor Who related reading this year, what with it being the 50th anniversary and everything there was a lot available to read.

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from WordPress.com, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

The Doctor's Monsters

Doctor Who

  • Dark Horizons by J.T. Colgan
  • Devil in the Smoke by Justin Richards
  • About Time Volume 7: 2005-2006 Series 1 & 2 by Tat Wood
  • TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 2: Patrick Troughton by Philip Sandifer
  • TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 3: Jon Pertwee by Philip Sandifer
  • The Doctor’s Monsters by Graham Sleight
  • Who-ology by Cavan Scott
  • Time & Space Visualiser by Paul Smith
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 Volume 1
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 Volume 2
  • Nemesis of the Daleks

Nemo: Heart of Ice

Graphic Novels

  • Nemo: Heart of Ice by Alan Moore
  • Fables Volume 18: Cubs in Toyland
  • Fables Volume 19: Snow White
  • The Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Death and Cigarettes
  • Justice League Volume 1: Origin
  • Demon Knights Volume 2: The Avalon Trap
  • Stormwatch Volume 2: Enemies of Earth
  • Stormwatch Volume 3: Betrayal
  • Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor
  • Willow Volume 1: Wonderland
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 3: Guarded
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 4: Welcome to the Team
  • Weasels by Elys Dolan

Supergods

Fiction

  • Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
  • Stonemouth by Iain Banks
  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
  • The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
  • London Falling by Paul Cornell
  • 1356 by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Iron King by Maurice Druon
  • Flashman and the Angel of the Lord by George MacDonald Fraser

Non-Fiction

  • Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks
  • Prime Minister Boris… and other things that never happened by Duncan Brack and Iain Dale
  • All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To by Stuart Laycock
  • Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero by Grant Morrison
  • A Radical History of Britain by Edward Vallance
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I’ve had to add them to loads of web pages over the years, but I’m not sure what the proper name for them is. You know, the many-pointed stars / jagged edged circles used to denote special offers or prices. Them. Anyway, yesterday I had to add one to a page and decided to see if I could add it via pure CSS.

And for all browsers except IE8 and lower, I could.

Wow!

.offer-flash {
  background-color: #DE277D;
  width: 50px;
  height: 50px;
  position: relative;
  transform: rotate(45deg);
}
.offer-flash:before, .offer-flash:after, .offer-flash b  {
  position: absolute;
  width: 50px;
  height: 50px;
  background-color: #DE277D;
}
.offer-flash:before {
  transform: rotate(22.5deg);
  z-index: 4;
  content: "";
}
.offer-flash:after {
  transform: rotate(-22.5deg);
  z-index: 4;
  content: "";
}
.offer-flash  b {
  transform: rotate(-45deg);
  font-size: 16px;
  line-height: 45px;
  text-align: center;
  color: #fff;
  text-transform: lowercase;
  z-index: 5;
}


<div class="offer-flash"><b>Wow!</b></div>

I’ve removed the various prefixed versions of transform for clarity, don’t forget to add them in if you want to support IE9, Firefox 15 or lower, Opera 12 or lower or any Webkit browser.

One caveat is that as the various elements and pseudo-elements overlap each other we can’t add borders or dropshadows to those elements. Borders I’m not going to get into, but dropshadows are possible by wrapping one extra HTML element. (Watch out for the interaction of z-index, position, :before and :after.)

Wow!

.offer-flash-shadow {
  background-color: transparent;
  width: 50px;
  height: 50px;
  position: relative;
  box-shadow:  3px 3px 6px #333;
  z-index: 1;
}
.offer-flash-shadow:before, .offer-flash-shadow:after {
  position: absolute;
  width: 50px;
  height: 50px;
  background-color: transparent;
  box-shadow:  3px 3px 6px #333;
  z-index: 2;
  }
.offer-flash-shadow:before {
  transform: rotate(-22.5deg);
  content: "";
}
.offer-flash-shadow:after {
  transform: rotate(22.5deg);
  content: "";
}
.offer-flash-shadow .offer-flash {
  box-shadow:  3px 3px 6px #333;
  position: absolute;
  z-index: 3;
}

<div class="offer-flash-shadow"><div class="offer-flash"><b>Wow!</b></div></div>
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Well, the Christmas decorations are back in their boxes and up in the attic for another year. So, that’s it for 2012, but these two will be back next Christmas as a reminder of what a year it was.

So I guess this is about as late as a review of 2012 can be posted, right? Okay, some lists and photos coming up, no great insights. If I had any of them I’d have posted them at the relevant time.

The You-Know-What Games

I started work at Visit London back in April 2005, so I’d been there just three months when we won the 2012 Olympics. The next seven years were all building up to that event. Was it worth it?

Yes. I was lucky in the ballot of tickets and got two lots of Athletics tickets – morning sessions, “just” heats, but I got to see both Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah in action.

More photos of my London 2012

Bath

After the games were over Lettice and I had a holiday in Bath – I’ve never been before. Loved it – the Roman Baths, loved the American Museum, loved the Postal Museum, everything.

More photos of Bath

Culture

For books, see the last post. Museums and art, apart from all the stuff in Bath, I went to Mapping the Underground at the London Transport Museum, Bronze at the Royal Academy and the Crossrail archaeology exhibition.

Cinema

I managed five trips to the cinema, more than in the last few years. The Iron Lady, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Prometheus, Avengers and Skyfall. They are all films that reinvent icons. Is that a theme at the moment?

Theatre

I also manged six trips to the theatre. Noises Off, The Ladykillers, One Man, Two Guvnors, Timon of Athens, Hedda Gabler and Chrous of Disapproval.

Gigs

Adam Ant at the Fairfield halls! Also saw Ben, Howie, et al at the Surya; and The Life and Death at the Cavendish Arms – first time I’ve actually seen Justin play live in the ten years I’ve known him.

And the rest

I joined the 21st century and bought a smart phone. After seeing me get very lopsided carying my old SLR around Bath, Lettice bought me a new camera for Christmas. And as I replaced my PC last Christmas, I’ve had a near complete technological upgrade this year. Still no jetpack though.

For my birthday, Lettice took me to East London – Mudchute City Farm, the new cable car across the Thames, and treasure house that is the Who Shop. I love this crazy city where you have a World War II anti-aircraft gun in the middle of a farm, within sight of the towers of high finance.

Well, come on 2013. So far you’ve been full of stress, germs and broken boilers. Let’s see if you can do better?


A decent amount of non-fiction read this year (including an amount of decent non-fiction), plus the whole (to date) of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from WordPress.com, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009

Graphic Novels

  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Phantom Pains by Peter Milligan
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Devil’s Trenchcoat by Peter Milligan
  • Midnighter: Anthem by Keith Giffen
  • Stormwatch Volume 1: The Dark Side by Paul Cornell
  • Demon Knights Volume 1: Seven Against the Dark by Paul Cornell
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 1: Freefall
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 2: On Your Own
  • The Boys Volume 10: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 11: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 12: The Bloody Doors Off by Garth Ennis
  • Fables Volume 16: Super Group by Bill Willingham
  • Fables Volume 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham
  • V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
  • Neonomicon by Alan Moore
  • League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century 2009 by Alan Moore

A Certain Big Fat Fantasy Epic

  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
  • A Storm of Swords: Part 1 Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin
  • A Storm of Swords: Part 2 Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin
  • A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
  • A Dance With Dragons: Part 1 Dreams and Dust by George R. R. Martin
  • A Dance With Dragons: Part 2 After the Feast by George R. R. Martin

Whispers Under Ground

Other Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • The Bride That Time Forgot by Paul Magrs
  • Hell’s Belles! by Paul Magrs
  • Conjugal Rites by Paul Magrs
  • Doctor Who: Frayed by Tara Samms
  • Snuff by Terry Pratchett
  • Star Trek New Frontier: Blind Man’s Bluff by Peter David
  • Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Bernice Summerfield – Life During Wartime edited by Paul Cornell

Historical (for some value of)

  • A Body In The Bath House by Lindsey Davis
  • See Delphi And Die by Lindsey Davis
  • Nemesis by Lindsey Davis
  • Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
  • King’s Man by Angus Donald
  • Flashman and the Dragon by George MacDonald Fraser

The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters

Non-Fiction

  • Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe by Norman Davies
  • Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
  • The Making of the British Landscape: How We Have Transformed the Land, from Prehistory to Today by Francis Pryor
  • Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
  • Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood
  • Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox
  • The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters by Mark Henderson
  • Information is Beautiful by David McCandless
  • How to Land an A330 Airbus: And Other Vital Skills for the Modern Man by James May
  • How I Escaped My Certain Fate by Stewart Lee
  • Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who edited by Steve Berry

It’s been nearly two years since the last round up. I’ve just updated every one of my listing pages with new figures. What’s been happening?

Primaeval Designs Styracosaurus herdNot a huge amount in 28mm. Acheson Creations have put out a few more Primaeval Designs figures but seem to be making very slow progress on the backlog of greens that have been shown on Facebook. The same goes for their 15mm range. Range sculptor Richard Deasey announced a new endeavour called Project Genesis but things have been quite on that front as well.

Khurasan Miniatures HominidsIn 15mm, Khurasan Miniatures have added a few new figures. They’re currently offline due to Superstorm Sandy, here’s hoping they get back up and running soon. Splintered Light have reorganised their web site and released the raptors and sabre tooth tigers mentioned last time.

Magister Militum pterosaurMagister Militum have expanded their 10mm range with many new dinosurs, some walking posed pterosaurs and a pack of cavemen. This is now a very extensive range.

The 3D print-on-demand service Shapeways has a few dinosaur related stores: David Krentz sells products in 1/72 and 1/44 scales, whilst 3D Creatures produces a range of hadrosaurs in 1/40, 1/50 and 1/75 scales. RareBreed have a number of sculpts in a number of scales, but nothing very close to the common gaming scales.

Finally, what’s better than dinosaurs? Dinosaurs in Space! Loud Ninja Games are in the final stages of a Kickstarter campaign to fund a range of 15mm science fiction high-tech dinosaur aliens. What’s more, they will also now be available in 28mm! There’s just under 48 hours left as I type, so get in quick if you want to support this interesting range.
Loud Ninja Games - Space Raptors

Let’s hope it’s not another two years before the next round up.


After 30 years of being a fan, I finally saw Adam Ant play live last night.

All the hits, some new songs, and a proper full-on, turned up to 11, giving it some welly, rock gig; not just a by-the-numbers recreation of the 1980s.

:-)

Tags:

Obviously some role playing games are more likely to drive you insane than others.

Tags:

I spent a day helping my parents start clearing out their loft. In a box marked games I found this little haul.

That’s more or less every weekend and school holiday from the mid to late 1980s right there.

Geek nostalgia heaven.


Fewer graphic novels (especially superheroes) this year – almost certainly down to Croydon libraries being a lot poorer in that respect than Lambeth.

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from WordPress.com, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969

Graphic Novels

  • The Boys Volume 6: The Self-Preservation Society by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 7: The Innocents by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 8: Highland Laddie by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 9: The Big Ride by Garth Ennis
  • Dark Entries by Ian Rankin
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Pandemonium by Jamie Delano
  • John Constantine: Hellblazer: Bloody Carnations by Peter Milligan
  • Angel: After the Fall Volume 3 by Brian Lynch and Joss Whedon
  • Angel: After the Fall Volume 4 by Brian Lynch and Joss Whedon
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 8: Last Gleaming by Joss Whedon
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 by Alan Moore
  • Tom Strong Volume 1 by Alan Moore
  • Eternals by Neil Gaiman
  • Fables Volume 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham

Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography

Doctor Who

  • Doctor Who: Dragon’s Claw by Steve Moore, Steve Parkhouse and Dave Gibbons
  • Doctor Who: The Eyeless by Lance Parkin
  • Doctor Who: The Indestructible Man by Simon Messingham
  • Doctor Who: Wolfsbane by Jacqueline Rayner
  • Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography by Elisabeth Sladen
  • Running Through Corridors: Rob and Toby’s Marathon Watch of Doctor Who (Volume 1: The 60s) by Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke
  • Time, Unincorporated 3: The Doctor Who Fanzine Archives: (Vol. 3: Writings on the New Series) edited by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith?

The Windup Girl

Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • Never the Bride by Paul Magrs
  • Something Borrowed by Paul Magrs
  • Enter Wildthyme by Paul Magrs
  • I Shall Wear Midnight: A Story of Discworld by Terry Pratchett
  • Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
  • Transition by Iain Banks
  • Surface Detail by Iain Banks
  • The City and the City by China Mieville
  • Looking for Jake and Other Stories by China Mieville
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Other Fiction

  • Flash for Freedom! by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Flashman and the Mountain of Light by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Flashman at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Flashman in the Great Game by George MacDonald Fraser
  • The Fort by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Kingdom of Light by Giulio Leoni

Non-Fiction

  • God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
  • Map Addict: A Tale of Obsession, Fudge & the Ordnance Survey by Mike Parker
  • Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom by Tom Holland
  • Robin Ince’s Bad Book Club: One Man’s Quest to Uncover the Books That Taste Forgot by Robin Ince
  • Seven Million Years: The Story of Human Evolution by Douglas Palmer
  • The Story of English: How the English Language Conquered the World by Philip Gooden

There was a leaf perched on top of his head.

He was sitting at one end of the train carriage. Middle aged, slightly podgy, blue business suit and on top of his dark, side-parted hair was a solitary autumnal leaf.

It was easy to imagine how it had got there. Walking to the station gravity had tugged the leaf from a branch and gently floated it down onto his head. So gently that he hadn’t noticed.

Everyone else in the carriage must have noticed. But no one said anything. Not the smartly dressed couple sitting next to him. Not the young woman sitting opposite him. Not the trendily dressed man with the iPod across the aisle. Certainly not me standing halfway down the aisle. How could we?

The leaf was gone by the time we reached London Bridge. I don’t know whether gravity had taken hold of it again, or whether a casual touch of the hair had dislodged it. I do know that I didn’t hear anyone say anything.