Amazon and Paperchase Recent Purchases: Getting Ready For Christmas

Happy late Thanksgiving to any of you guys who celebrate it and happy Black Friday/Black Tag shopping even for people who don’t. I managed to get a couple of bargains with some clothes I wanted anyway and a big order for goodies from Holland and Barrett (I’ll have so much dried fruit and snacks over Christmas we could get snowed in and we’d be fine!) Have you guys braved the stores or found any bargains online? Or just avoided the whole thing altogether?

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I’m feeling rather Christmassy recently and I decided to do an order from Paperchase to get some decorations, I got a new tree last year that’s slightly bigger than the one I had for 12 years and finally gave up on me so I wanted some extra decorations. I also did a smallish order from Amazon, a couple of things I’ve wanted for ages and I might finally be getting organised for my Ciate advent calendar swatching this year, or nail varnishes in general, and getting some nail wheels that I’ve been meaning to get for nearly two years now.

There’s a few things in these orders that are sort of bought with the idea of using them for photographs for the blog so I’m hoping that I’ll finally have a definite backing and some decorations. It’s taken me two years, long enough right?

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Book Review: The Last Human by Doug Naylor

Title: The Lastthelasthuman1 Human

Author: Doug Naylor

Year written: 1995

Publisher and year: Penguin Books, 1995

ISBN Number: 0-14-014388-2

This is the third Red Dwarf book, and as far as I know it’s the last written, though this time just by Doug Naylor rather than writing it with Rob Grant. It does continue from the second book, Better Than Life, but I had this for years before I read the other two and it stood up on its own. The beginning is slightly confusing that way but there is a bit of a ‘previously on’ type beginning that does explain it to new readers.

If you haven’t heard of Red Dwarf the basic idea of the TV series, and the books, is that Dave Lister is the last human being alive, hence the title of the book. He was put into stasis on board a space ship as punishment for having a cat and while he was frozen in time there was a radiation leak that killed the crew. 3 million years in the future the ship’s computer, Holly (who doesn’t actually feature in this book) woke him up when the radiation was safe and the human race is extinct. On board the ship Dave Lister, the last human, is joined by a hologram of his bunk mate, Rimmer, a lifeform that evolved from the ships cat, simply called Cat, and a cleaning android called Kryten.

As this is based on the TV series, and written by the same person, it is probably written for fans of the show and this one does go further away from the episodes and dialogue within them than the previous books. The characters from the TV show are in it, with some added extras, and they do stay true to their on screen versions so fans of the show would probably enjoy that, though like the other books there’s parts of this book that build on the whole lore of the Red Dwarf universe and some parts that rewrite it which could make this both interesting and frustrating if that bothers you.

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Book Review: Red Dwarf Omnibus by Grant Naylor

reddwarf1Title: Red Dwarf Omnibus (Red Dwarf and Better Than Life)

Author: Grant Naylor

Year written: 1989 (Red Dwarf) and 1990 (Better Than Life)

Publisher and year: Penguin Books, 1990

ISBN Number: 0-13-017466-4

This is another older book and one I’ve had for a year or so now, though it was bought second hand on eBay for quite cheap with some other books. It seems to be one of those that’s available from a few sellers on there so if you want it it’s probably the best place to look for a good deal. With the recent series of Red Dwarf finishing it made me want to revisit the older ones (again) and I thought I’d give these a read too. This review is of both parts of the Omnibus, Red Dwarf and Better Than Life, I did consider doing them separately but as I read them as one and they’re basicaly a continuation of each other it made sense to do them both. If you want to skip to the review of the specific book then I’ll do the titles in bold when I start, though they’re very similar in tone so there’s not much to differentiate them apart from the plot, though I have avoided anything spoilery aside from mentioning a few episode titles.

This book, or rather two books, are based on the characters and plot of the TV series Red Dwarf. When this was published in 1990 the latest series was series 3 so anything after that in the TV universe isn’t necessarily canon with this, and vice versa. It’s a sci-fi comedy that pokes fun at sci-fi, has a lot of typically British humour in it and has the odd poke at society as a whole, or parts of it anyway.

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Game Review: Red Dwarf XI: The Game

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All images are photos of the game and copyright belongs to the creators of the game and the BBC. I’m just using them for review purposes

 

I’ve been a fan of Red Dwarf for years, we used to watch recorded VHS tapes of it when I was younger, so when I saw that they were releasing a mobile game alongside the newest series I had to get it. It costs £1.99 on the Apple app store and Android store, though it is available outside the UK as well so search your country’s version to see if it’s available for you. So far only the first part has been released as it’s done in episodes alongside the TV series itself. Each episode is released on the same day as its equivalent TV episode’s release in the UK (for the UK app stores anyway) and does contain spoilers for the TV show itself, you’re warned of this at the beginning of the game.

I only have the first part available to play, though I’m looking forward to the other parts so I might do a general review of the whole thing at the end to see whether these first impressions change or not.

Adding this on Saturday as there was a recent update and it fixed the driving parts, they work fine now so no more rage quitting! They also added health as things to pick up alongside the energy in the levels so it’s a lot easier to finish them in one go and get a better score. One level I had a score of around 900, now it’s over 4000 so it does make a difference. I’m leaving the post the same as the rest of it’s still the same.

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My Geek Box November 2014

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This is the first time I have got a My Geek Box and I was so excited, especially with the couple of hints about the T-shirt and I guessed right. Not sure there could have been a better first box to get for me.

My Geek Box is a subscription box based in the UK full of geeky and sci-fi things, similar to Loot Crate in the US. You can subscribe to the service to receive a box once a month but they also have the option of a one off box for the next month. I went for the one off option after seeing unboxing videos of the October box and seeing that this month’s theme was the best of British. Their website also sells some items from past boxes so if you missed out on something you’d have wanted then there is the possibility they have it there. Their website is www.mygeekbox.co.uk . Buying these one off is £14.99 but this price does go down per box when you subscribe for longer. This box is not available any more but you can buy the December one if you want.

Every month there’s a mini magazine with a couple of articles in. The magazine in this box has Simon Pegg on the front and includes a review of Alien: Isolation, a page on the new George R. R. Martin’s new book on Westeros and a couple of pages on Hellbound Media.

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The first thing I looked at was the box of Dennis the Menace ‘weirds’ sweets which are basically nerds. The packaging opens the same as nerds and the sweets themselves look like nerds in grape and strawberry flavours. They don’t taste very strong, there’s a hint of something strawberryish with the strawberry ones though it’s not obvious which berry it should be, it’s a bit of a generic summer fruits kind of flavour. The grape ones taste of a very weak fake grape candy flavour, I normally love grape sweets and you don’t get them very often in the UK but these aren’t that good. The texture of them is also a bit weird, I expected them to be crunchy like nerds but they’re kind of soft and melt a bit when you bite them rather than crunching. Not something I’d ever buy but as a small part of this box they’re ok.

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The comic book looks good, I’ve never read any of the 2000 AD series before and I’m probably not going to read more as I don’t really read comic books but it seems ok. I’ll keep it with the few others I have but not something I’d buy on its own.

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Fans of any Sherlock Holmes will probably like the Baker Street sign. I’m a big fan of the Arthur Conan Doyle books and my favourite incarnation is definitely the Jeremy Brett Holmes from the 80s and 90s but do still like the new one. This would appeal to fans of different versions, not just the recent Benedict Cumberbatch one as this is used in a lot of them. It’s a nice metal sign that feels a good quality though I haven’t taken it out of the packaging. The holes in the corners should make it easy to mount on a wall and I’ll probably put it on my desk rather than on a wall at the moment and it seems to stay stood up pretty well when leant against something.

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The biggest thing in this box is the set of Thunderbirds shot glasses, there are 5 to go with the 5 Thunderbird vehicles. My favourite was always 2 as it could carry the others and I used to watch Thunderbirds a lot as it was on at tea time in the evening. I don’t drink so won’t really use the shot glasses but the designs are nice and I might use them for something else if I can think of anything. At the moment they’ll just sit in the box until I have something to do with them as I don’t really have space to have them out on the side though they would be a nice display item as something purely decorative with the different designs. The glasses seem good quality and heavy, they feel like they shouldn’t get knocked over easily as they have a nice heavy base.

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As a big fan of Doctor Who I like the small cyberman stuffed toy keyring thing though it’s bigger than any I use so it’ll probably sit on the side or in with a lot of my other little doctor who collectible bits. It’s one of those toys where it says set phrases when you press the certain point on it’s chest and when this thing talks it’s a lot louder than I expected. It seems pretty sensitive as it keeps on talking when it gets dropped, not sure if that’s a good thing if you did decide to use it on a bag or something as it’ll start talking unexpectedly. It’s another thing I wouldn’t buy myself but it’s a nice enough small toy and might make a good stocking filler for a Doctor Who fan if you don’t like it yourself.

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Saving the best till last: the T-shirt. On the My Geek Box twitter account there were a couple of clues ‘A-star’ and ‘bugging’ in different tweets. After reading these I was crossing my fingers for a Red Dwarf T-shirt and that’s what we got! I love this t-shirt and the colours they chose for it. It’s a schematical report of Star Bug with a bird’s eye view of the spaceship and with points around the edges containing details like the crew and weapons on board. Size wise it seems like the women’s sizes are pretty accurate, the size 12 in this fits me as well as size 12 t-shirts in most high street stores I buy from. The T-shirt material feels good quality and the print seems like it’ll last well so this is definitely going to be a T-shirt I wear a lot. I finally have a Red Dwarf T-shirt, I don’t really have any Red Dwarf merchandise just the DVDs and a couple of videos. This is definitely my favourite thing in this box.

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Overall I really liked a lot of the things in this box and it was nice to have a broad range of British things from the past as well rather than just focussing on current popular British geeky things. I don’t think I’ll be subscribing but if there’s a box with a theme I think I’d like then I will definitely be buying another in the future though probably sticking to one off boxes.