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metalman

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  1. I knew someone on here would know! Thank you very much.
  2. The usual mix of crime and science fiction mainly for me this month. Peter Ackroyd - The English Ghost. A selection of supposedly true ghost sightings culled from historical sources. Interesting stuff. Adrian Tchaikovsky - Children of time. Far future 'humans' visit the site of a terraforming experiment which has gone disastrously wrong. I thought this one was really excellent, but... Adrian Tchaikovsky - Children of ruin. ... the sequel, where the combined species go off to another star system and find another terraforming experiment gone wrong, didn't really work for me. The octopuses seemed a bit forced, as though he'd read that book about octopuses and thought it would be a good idea to put them in, and the ending seemed a bit of a rerun. It was OK, I suppose. Harry Stephen Keeler - The Green Jade Hand. Coincidence-laden complicated plot, clunky writing, racial stereotyping of everybody concerned, and yet I loved it. Heron Carvic - Picture Miss Seeton. Retired art teacher Emily Seeton witnesses a murder in London and then gets inadvertently caught up in its aftermath. Carvic (real name Geoffrey Harris) was an actor and had an actor's ear for dialogue. An enjoyable romp. Victor L. Whitechurch - The Crime at Diana's Pool. A good old-fashioned detective story from 1926. Garden party host Felix Nayland is stabbed and left face down in said pool; local vicar and police join forces to investigate. Keigo Higashino - Malice. Writer Kunihiko Hadaka is murdered; his wife and his friend Osamu Nonoguchi find the body. But this is a whydunnit rather than a whodunnit or a howdunnit. Insanely clever, very twisty and altogether excellent. Elly Griffiths - The Janus Stone. Second in the series featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway, here investigating bones found under a former children's home. OK, but dopey Ruth's main quality as protagonist seems to be to have no common sense whatsoever and constantly put herself in a position to be hit over the head, kidnapped etc.
  3. A few months ago I enthused over the first album by Swedish heavy rock/stoner rock/doom metallers Terra Firma. Now I've found a copy of their second one, Harms Way, and it's just as good. And the vocalist still sounds like he's channelling a young Ozzy. Sadly it looks as though they never made another one after that.
  4. Could be - I'm guessing he named his house after the place so presumably he knew exactly where it was. Coincidentally I do actually have both of the books he published as well.
  5. In 1865 Theophilus Smith published a book of photographs entitled Sheffield and its Neighbourhood. One of the pictures shows a family in a wooded area with the title Ribbledene. Historic England seem to think that it is somewhere along the Rivelin Valley. Can anybody pin it down more accurately for me? For those interested, you can see (and download) the pictures from the book at the Getty Museum website, at this link: https://www.getty.edu/art/collection/object/104H8R
  6. Forged in Fire is on again. I love it. Why can't we have a programme like this in the UK instead of baking, sewing, pottery, and so on? Apart from there fact that the Health & Safety people would shut it down and the participants would be arrested for carrying a knife, that is.
  7. Here's my round up of what I've read in May. Janice Hallett - The Appeal. Clever crime novel written in the form of e-mail exchanges and text messages between the participants. An ill-fated am dram production and a dodgy appeal for a child with cancer lead to murder. Full marks to her for trying to do something different and on the whole it comes off. Janice Hallett - The Twyford code. Children's author Edith Twyford (clearly based on Enid Blyton) has been cancelled, but has she left a series of coded messages in her books? This one is told in the form of transcribed audio conversations, which isn't quite as effective, but it's cleverly done and the solution is also suitably clever. Another good effort. Roy Vickers - Find the innocent. Three scientists share a house. One night, two of them go off to town and murder their boss. One stays behind. When they are questioned by the police, each claims to be the one left behind. The set up is impossibly contrived, but it wasn't bad. A.E. Coppard - Adam and Eve and pinch me. Short story collection from 1921. Coppard was one of the best short story writers in the early to mid part of the last century, but seems to be pretty much forgotten today. John Scalzi - The collapsing empire. The scattered worlds of Earth's far future empire face being cut off from each other when the hyperspace network that links them starts to fail. Scalzi's back in space opera mode with a new series, but the mix of action, smart wisecracking and political manoeuvering is the same. John Scalzi - The consuming fire. The second part of the series and Scalzi throws in some unexpected plot twists for good measure. Dell Shannon - Felony at random. Another instalment in the Lt. Luis Mendoza series of police procedurals, this time from 1979, as the team takes on a wave of murders and hold-ups. Good as ever. C. Henry Warren - Happy countryman. Non-fiction. The reminiscences of farm worker Mark Thurston from the Suffolk/Essex border, as recorded by Warren in 1939 when Thurston was already nearly 80. Frank Parrish - Voices from the Dark. The last in the series featuring poacher and crime solver Dan Mallett. This one is written differently from the rest, in that we don't see events from Dan's viewpoint, and I thought that perhaps didn't do it any favours, but still pretty good. Ruth Rendell - One across, Two down. Crossword fanatic Stanley wants to dispose of his nagging mother-in-law for her money and finally gets his chance, but things don't go according to plan. Another good early Rendell from 1971. Elly Griffiths - The Crossing Places. The first in her series featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway. OK, though the baddie was easy to spot and the motive pretty thin. Just started: Eric Thacker & Anthony Earnshaw - Musrum. Bizarre illustrated surrealist novel from 1968 by artist Earnshaw and his friend Thacker. Intriguing so far.
  8. Of course the council won't listen - they've already made up their minds it'll go ahead whatever the reception. We've seen it before in all the other permit parking zones that have been introduced.
  9. Another synth music giant gone. And of course he was also part of Aphrodite's Child, who made that amazing double album 666.
  10. Does an e-bike really count as an active travel mode then?
  11. To get to Grenoside you now have to go further along at the top and turn right instead. I think this may just shift the problem further up because your view of traffic coming from Stockbridge is still restricted by parked cars so expect more accidents there. The original problem wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't built that housing estate so that it comes out opposite the bottom of Bridge Hill as well.
  12. Klaus Schulze, one of the giants of German synth music, died on the 26th April aged 74 according to his Facebook page. He was an early member of Ashra Temple and Tangerine Dream before starting his solo career, and then released literally hundreds of albums, including collaborations with Pete Namlook (the Dark Side of the Moog series) and Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance. I know most people won't have even heard of him, but anybody remotely interested in electronic music will have done.
  13. I'm still surprised that people in Crookes want to shut off part of Springvale. Surely if you live in Crookes and want to go to Aldi or Tesco at Infirmary Road, going down Springvale is the shortest, most direct route?
  14. April's roundup. Stephen Booth - Blood on the Tongue. A woman freezing to death on the moors, and a mystery surrounding a Dark Peak aircraft wreck come together as Cooper and Fry take 630 pages to join the dots. I do like these, but I wish he had the economy of Simenon or even John Wainwright. Stephen Booth - Blind to the Bones. A man murdered near an air shaft of the Woodhead Tunnel and a girl student missing for two years come together as Cooper and Fry take 630 pages to join the dots etc. I might have to take a temporary hiatus on this series because I don't seem to be able to find my copy of the next one at the moment. Ethel Lina White - The First Time He Died. Charlie Baxter fakes his own death in an insurance fraud, but things don't go according to plan afterwards. Very cleverly plotted 1930s story by White, who is mainly remembered today for writing a book called The Wheel Spins, which was filmed by Alfred Hitchcock as The Lady Vanishes. Fans of Francis Iles will like this one. Donald E. Westlake - Pity Him Afterwards. Escaped homicidal maniac assumes the identity of an actor in a summer season at a lakeside theatre. Another good one. Dell Shannon - Ace of Spades. Luis Mendoza's girlfriend's car is stolen but when she gets it back, it contains something which a gang of crooks are desperate to get back. An early (1961) Mendoza case. Philip Purcer - Where is he now? The subject of this non-fiction book was Edward James, the rich eccentric who was the patron of surrealist artists such as Dali and Magritte. At the time it was written (1978) the answer was that James was in the jungles of Mexico designing and building his own bizarre city from scratch. He died in 1984 and the answer now is that he's buried at his family seat, West Dean in Sussex. S.S. van Dine - The Canary murder case. Party animal Margaret Odell, known as the Canary, is found strangled in her apartment. Philo Vance helps District Attorney Markham to solve the case, which is basically a locked room problem. Good if you can put up with Vance. Harry Stephen Keeler - Sing Sing Nights. On the eve of their execution, three men on Death Row tell stories to their guard; the one he likes best will be pardoned. This being Keeler, the stories have plots of ridiculous complexity and coincidence, not to mention racial stereotyping of pretty much every ethnic group under the sun, but you can't help admire his imagination. Every Keeler is a magical mystery tour of bonkersness; some love them, some can't stand them, I'm in the former group. Ruth Rendell - To Fear a Painted Devil. Early (1965) Rendell that's one of her standalone novels (i.e. no Inspector Wexford). This one features possible murder by wasp sting in a posh housing development. Excellent. Now reading: Colin Gale & Robert Howard - Presumed Curable. Absolutely fascinating book - about 60 case histories of people admitted to Bethlem Hospital, the Victorian lunatic asylum, illustrated by photographs of them taken on admission.
  15. I didn't claim that a parking permit scheme was being introduced. But I'm sure I read on an earlier page that the top of Springvale was being closed off, and with a load of other roads being restricted too, that means that parking will get more difficult than it already is. And if the point of the thing is to reduce traffic, then I'm happy to stay away in future and keep my pound in my pocket. When is it all meant to start anyway - I seem to have missed that bit?
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