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About williamjm

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  • Birthday 04/29/1981

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  1. I watched Jack Reacher : Never Go Back. It's a decent thriller that does what it does well enough without doing anything particularly new or noteworthy. Fortunately, I've not read any of the books so I don't have the problem many people have of comparing Tom Cruise's stature to the character from the books.
  2. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    It's still possible they'll be able to deny Bangladesh a big lead but they're going to need to take quick wickets tomorrow. I am slightly surprised at the inclusion of Gareth Batty in the side, I understand that they want a spinner to offer the control that Rashid and Ali tend to lack, but it's not saying much about England's spin bowling depth that their best option is a 39 year-old who last played a Test match before any of the current side had made their debut (admittedly that's only true because of Anderson being injured).
  3. WorldCon Helsinki 2017 -- Planning!

    I get the impression Worldcons don't tend to sell out, although I suppose it's theoretically possible.
  4. F1 2016

    Max didn't even have the most famous father in the Toro Roso team, in terms of sporting fame I'd think multiple world rally champion Carlos Sainz senior would be far ahead of a journeyman F1 driver like Jos.
  5. F1 2016

    I think it's a calculated risk. Force India are clearly better than Renault this year but Renault have been concentrating on next year and beyond. Force India put in a consistently decent performances but they're unlikely to be contenders for more than occasional podiums, I think Hulkenberg is betting that a team with a major manufacturer behind them could have much more potential, even if F1 history has plenty of examples of big manufacturers failing to deliver.
  6. The Ruling Mask, Book Three of The Grey City

    It's funny, I was just wondering a few days ago whether the follow-up to The Fall of Ventaris would be out in the near future (I think perhaps because I was reading another city-based fantasy heist novel in the form of Crooked Kingdom and it reminded of it a little bit). I'll probably pick it up next time I make an Amazon order.
  7. October Reading 2016 - Something Spooky?

    I finished Leigh Bardugo's Crooked Kingdom. I think this series was a big step up in quality over her Grisha trilogy, which I liked but thought was too inconsistent in pacing and had some plot choices I wasn't too keen on. I probably have a slight preference for the previous book, Six of Crows, which I thought did a great job of slowly revealing who the characters really were and the mysteries of their background, in the second book we already know most things about the protagonists (with the possible exception of Wylan) so there was probably a bit less character development although there was still a decent amount. I thought it brought the story to a good conclusion, the ending had a bittersweet feel to it where things turned out much better for some characters than for others and while the final heist wasn't quite as elaborate as the Ice Court in the first book it was still cleverly plotted. I'm curious what Bardugo's next story is going to be if she sticks in the same world. I doubt we'd see a direct follow-on from this series, but there is still some potential for stories featuring some of the characters, although they may show up in supporting roles in the way that characters from the first trilogy showed up here. Next up I'm going to make a start on Peter F. Hamilton's latest behemoth, Night Without Stars. I had somewhat mixed feelings about the first book in the series, hopefully this one will have more of the elements I liked and fix some of the issues I had with it.
  8. I watched Bridge of Spies, which I thought was a good film. If I had one criticism it is that's mostly predictable (even if I didn't know much about the details of the historical events), but despite that it does manage to make some of the scenes very tense even if it's fairly obvious what the outcome is going to be. I thought both Hanks and Rylance did good jobs, Rylance in particular makes a bit impact for a character who barely had any dialogue.
  9. HBO's "Westworld" [Spoilers!]

    At some point they have to do Tubeway Army's Are 'Friends' Electric?
  10. HBO's "Westworld" [Spoilers!]

    It's reminding me a bit of Dollhouse, which may not have had any androids but the groups of characters we are following seem similar. There are the dolls/hosts who are gradually becoming aware of their surroundings, the scientists/security looking after and controlling them, the shadowing corporate overlords who may have ulterior motives and the rich spoiled customers indulging their fantasies. I think there are enough genuine hosts for us to follow that having the MiB also being a host might feel a bit redundant. I think he is a more interesting character if he's just a human who has become obsessed with the world.
  11. What are you listening to? Vol. XXII

    Feeder - Eskimo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQEXzjgykjE
  12. I think that sounds like a good idea, it's been a few months since the last London meet. I don't have that much planned for later in the month yet, so would probably be able to make most days. I think the Saturdays over the next month or so would be OK for me. Perhaps we can partially make up for you having to miss most of TitanCon due to the plague.
  13. F1 2016

    It's not impossible for Hamilton to win the Championship now but it's out of his control - even if he won every race then Rosberg could still win by being second every time. All it would take for it to become competitive again would be for one breakdown or accident for Rosberg so there's still some hope but it does look Rosberg's Championship to lose. Hamilton has been unlucky but his form has also been inconsistent, this was far from being one of his best weekend.
  14. What are you listening to? Vol. XXII

    David Bowie - Always Crashing in the Same Car
  15. October Reading 2016 - Something Spooky?

    I finished Ian McDonald's King of Morning, Queen of Day. I thought it was a good book overall, but it did have some flaws and I'd say it was some way short of McDonald's best (I've tended to find his early work isn't quite as good as his 21st Century work). It's got an interesting mix of Celtic fantasy and urban fantasy - I'm not sure urban fantasy was really a trend back in 1990 but the last section's heroine being a katana wielding cycle courier hunting mythological creatures are the backstreets of Dublin would definitely fit into the genre. I felt the first section in the pre-WW1 setting was a bit dry at times (most of it being told via letters or diary entries), the second section in 1930s Dublin was more interesting and the final section was perhaps the best despite being unnecessarily confusing at times due to the non-linear narrative that kept jumping about in time. Out of Bujold's other fantasy stories, I liked her historical fantasy The Spirit Ring, it's not one of her best works but still worth reading. I haven't read the Sharing Knife books, it seems to mostly get bad reviews even from Bujold fans.