marcus 2013

With The Night Mail Covers

A couple of years ago I put illustrated versions of Kipling's With The Night Mail and As Easy as A.B.C. on line, with some notes on their publication and variations.

http://www.forgottenfutures.com/game/ff1/nm-abc.pdf

As Easy as A.B.C. was serialized over two issues of The London Magazine. At the time I said

The cover of the March [1912] issue was related to this story; unfortunately it was not included in the bound volume from which this was scanned. The illustration on the next page was originally a small photograph of a very battered copy of the magazine; I’ve corrected perspective etc. but couldn’t do much about its size. I don’t know if the April issue’s cover was relevant; any information would be welcome.

I've just found an image of the April issue's cover and it has nothing to do with Kipling, it's a bit of mawkish patriotism, a generic British soldier hugging the flag, so apologies to anyone who has actually tried to research this for me!

Soldier hugging a Union Jack

Later: Of course there is a sort of connection. Kipling wrote The Flag of Their Country (May 1899), one of the Stalky & Co. stories, which is basically an attack on unthinking flag-waving patriotism.

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marcus 2013

Into The Deserted City

Forgot to say I gave blood yesterday, at the West End Donor Centre near Oxford Circus. It was basically the same procedure as usual, but they did some triage on the street (turned away people without an appointment etc., or who seemed poorly, and gave people water and snacks while waiting) and had everyone wait outside until there was room in the waiting area inside (they kept it down to 3-4 people instead of 20 or so), and took people directly from the first blood test to the donation area without any waiting. Overall I don't think it took much longer than a usual visit. Fortunately the weather was very nice - I was waiting in the street for about 35 minutes, and it would not have been fun if it had been raining. Also, they had no seating outside, which might have been a problem for some.

Travel was a bit problematic - for some reason I hadn't realised that some of the smaller tube stations are closed at the moment, and it turned out that the one I intended to use to get there (Queensway) was one of them - fortunately I got a bus to Notting Hill Gate quickly and that was open, but timing was a bit tight. Coming back I intended to get a bit of shopping and end up at Great Portland Street station, which also (of course) turned out to be closed. Again I was reasonably lucky with buses. so it wasn't a huge problem. Public transport in London at the moment is VERY weird - continual announcements telling you not to use public transport unless it's an essential journey, but bus travel is free because they seem to have decided that there's too much risk of the driver getting infected if you use the normal payment as you board. They have the area immediately behind the drivers taped off to stop people getting too close and breathing at them. Buses had about one seat in four or five filled, ditto the tube, and buses were reasonably fast because travel was very light.

What I noticed a lot is that the West End seemed totally deserted, totally unlike normality - usually I'd expect to see a couple of hundred people on the streets between the blood donor place and the station, yesterday I'd be surprised if it was more than twenty, most of them queued outside Sainsburys in Great Portland Street - luckily I got the shopping I wanted at the nearby co-op, which was pretty much empty. It seemed especially odd because there were quite a few people on the street near Queensway.

Bonus points to anyone who can say where the title above comes from - hint, it's a mashup of two similar titles.

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marcus 2013

Predictable, I suppose

The Notting Hill Carnival at the end of August has been cancelled - even though it's a fair while yet I think the organizers are assuming that too many people will have problems with preparation etc. to make it viable, even if things are back to normal re travel etc.

The organizers said:

 "Notting Hill Carnival was founded to bring people together during trying times, and we intend to continue that legacy. We are working towards an alternate NHC 2020 that we hope will bring the Carnival spirit to people from the safety of their homes, and make them feel connected and engaged".
 
Full statement here:
https://westminster.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a50c8b0dd980669ef713b4cca&id=8bbb7b04ef&e=b1a316cd3a

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marcus 2013

Well, I think this may be why I give up on the Pit of Voles...

...AKA Fanfiction.net

As of this evening I'm seeing adverts inserted into the text of stories (rather than above or below) on Fanfiction.net. This is happening on two different computers. Anyone know anything about it? I'm praying it's a temporary glitch on the site, but I suspect it's their latest stupid attempt to up their revenue. If so, I probably won't post there any more once the current story is finished.

Later - a couple of screenshots showing just how stupid this is, inside the cut:

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marcus 2013

Another Doctor Who Lockdown episode - The Shadow in the Mirror

Another Doctor Who: Lockdown episode.



Without getting spoilery, I really do NOT like the end of this one. Compare and contrast with the solution chosen by Sapphire and Steel in story 4 of that series - explanation below the cut:


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marcus 2013

And another RPG bundle - Star Trek Adventures

This is the latest RPG to take its inspiration from the Star Trek universe - I initially thought it was the third or fourth but I was very wrong: this is the eighth! See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Star_Trek_games#Role-playing_games

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/StarTrek

"This all-new Star Trek Adventures Bundle presents the Star Trek Adventures RPG line from Modiphius Entertainment. Using the 2d20 rules system seen in Mutant Chronicles, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, and the Infinity RPG, the Star Trek Adventures license covers the Original Series, Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager, and Enterprise, as well as all the original and Next Generation films, but not the new reimagined films by JJ Abrams. In Star Trek Adventures the ability to solve problems, deal with moral dilemmas, unearth ancient mysteries, and conduct diplomacy is just as important as being able to command a ship in action or lead an Away Team under fire.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Modiphius Entertainment owner Chris Birch, Vision Rescue.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$155. Customers who pay just US$19.95 get all seven titles in our Player Collection (retail value $80) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 374-page Star Trek Adventures core rulebook (retail price $20), plus the free Quickstart rules and character sheets; three Starfleet division books (Command Division, Operations Division, and Sciences Division, retail $15 apiece, total $45); and three sets of pregenerated characters (retail $5 apiece) drawn from the TV shows: The Original Series, The Next Generation, and Deep Space 9.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $39.95 to start, also get our entire Gamemaster Collection with seven more supplements and missions worth an additional $75, including the Beta Quadrant Sourcebook (retail $15), the mission collection These Are the Voyages Volume 1 (retail $15), the introductory campaign A Star Beyond the Stars (retail $10), three shorter adventures (Ends and Means, Call Back Yesterday, and Remnants, retail $5 apiece), and the GM Screen & Player References (retail $20).

TM and copyright © 2020 CBS Studios Inc and Paramount Pictures Corp. "Star Trek" and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.


I'm not familiar with this system, but having had a quick look I think it's a reasonable version of the Star Trek universe, as good as any of the others that have gone before it. The only problem I have with it is that it was fairly obviously designed as a printed product, not to be read off a screen, and there are coloured backgrounds to some pages that make them a bit difficult to read on anything hand-held, and expensive to print if you need any of the material at your games table. You're getting a lot for your money, and I think I can recommend it.

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