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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Radio Active #80: Summer Vacation

by Ken Newquist / August 15, 2009

On this episode of Nuketown Radio Active, I talk about my summer vacations, first to Origins 2009 in Columbus, Ohio, then to an island on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

I run down the new role-playing game books and supplies I bought at Origins, geek out about my family's new "Blue Dolphin" netbook, and offer a progress report on my summer reading list, which includes Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds, The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton, Dauntless by Jack Campbell and The Far Side of the World by Patrick O'Brien.

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Show Notes

  • Nuketown News
    • What I bought at Origins
      • Hackmaster Basic
        • Crunchy, old-school gaming, sprinkled with Hackmaster humor.
      • Savage Worlds supplements
        • Campaign Setting: The Day after Ragnarok
          • What if the Nazis had woken Midgard, the World Serpent? What if America killed it with an atomic bomb? And what if it's corpse was poisoning the world?
          • Conan meets 1970s post-apocolyptic, cold war pulp.
        • Savage Worlds: Fantasy Companion
          • Repackaged Fantasy Toolkit, in a convenient Explorer's Edition folio book. Just what I've been waiting for.
          • Rules for magic items, fantasy races, and a bunch of new monsters. Seems like you could run a great sword-and-sorcery game with these rules (and I plan to do so as an ur-Flan prequel).
          • Now about those science fiction and pulp toolkits...
      • Serenity: Six-Shooters and Spaceships
        • Unlikely I'll run Serenity any time soon, but this has some great starship maps that I can grab for Star Wars
      • Lots and lots of starship minis for Star Wars.
      • Fluxx
        • A card game where the rules change from hand to hand and turn to turn.
      • No dice. :(
    • The Dolphin Has Landed
      • My misadventures in blogging from an iPod touch tought me that having a small (9" or 10") lightweight netbook would be a worthwhile investment.
      • We bought the ASUS Eee PC 1005HA-PU1X-BK 10.1-Inch Black Netbook (in blue)
        • Nice little machine with good battery life, but we did have some issues with the charger.
  • Promo: Lovecraftiana
  • Summer Reading Progress
    • Redemption Ark by Alistair Reynolds
      • Took too long to get started (and to get back to the characters in Revelation Space) but ultimately it was a good hard sf/space opera mix, with some truly huge space structures. Cool stuff.
    • The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton
      • Another book that took its time getting started. The premise is shaky -- there's a pocket universe at the center of the galaxy. It's a medieval world with telepathic and telekinetic powers. It sends dreams to the galaxy at large that have attracted a huge following. These "Living Dream" adherents want to enter the Void, but the rest of the galaxy fears this will cause the pocket universe to expand, consuming part or all of the galaxy.
      • Not bad, and I liked the tie-ins to Hamilton's earlier Pandora's Star/Judas Unleashed. I wish there was more out and out space opera in this book, and less sex. A few big starship battles would have been nice, and this tome is certainly setting up some of those, but I suspect have to wait for the Temporal Void (the book's sequel) for them.
      • I'll read part 2 ... but this book's a step down from Pandora's Star.
    • Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, Book 1) by Jack Campbell
      • Starts off with an allied star fleet about to lose a huge battle, and its only hope is Captain John "Black Jack" Geary, just thawed from hibernation after losing his own epic battle 100 years earlier.
      • Satisfies that nautical/military SF itch I get from time to time.
    • The Far Side of the World and The Reverse of the Medal by Patrick O'Brien
        • I started listening to this book years ago; I'm finishing it now.
        • Captain Jack Aubrey and the H.M.S. Surprise have been sent to hunt down the American frigate Norfolk during the War of 1812. The book's ending on a subdued note; I was expecting a big ship battle on par with earlier books (esp. after having seen the movie) but the last third of the book is more about shipwrecks than ship battles.
  • Promo: RPG Podcasts
  • Outro
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