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Reviews Written by
Marcus L. Rowland (London)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good spoons, 7 Feb. 2016
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The bowl was more shallow than I expected but otherwise very nice spoons, certainly good enough for my needs.


Cursed Among Sequels (The Mervyn Stone Mysteries)
Cursed Among Sequels (The Mervyn Stone Mysteries)
by Nev Fountain
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.95

3.0 out of 5 stars An adequate sequel., 20 Sept. 2015
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An adequate sequel, but its predecessors were better.


Kitty Saves the World (Kitty Norville)
Kitty Saves the World (Kitty Norville)
by Carrie Vaughn
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.94

3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate but uninspired, 20 Sept. 2015
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A bit of a Mary-Sue story, it sorts out the story arc but it's really a bit anticlimactic, and draws on some fairly familiar gimmicks such as the villain's master plan, seen in various TV shows etc.


Polaroid Video Chest Stabilizer Support System
Polaroid Video Chest Stabilizer Support System
Offered by SmartShop UK
Price: £51.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, could be improved., 20 Sept. 2015
This works well as a stabilizer for e.g. shooting stills with a long lens, it isn't completely rigid (there's just a little play around the joints etc) but it certainly helps cut down movement. The snag is that with most SLRs you need a hand on the camera body and one for the lens (if a zoom or manually focused), so the handle on the stabilizer may be more trouble than it's worth. In the old days of manual cable releases gizmos like this generally had a trigger on the handle which pressed the cable release, it's a shame that there's no universal equivalent that works with all digital cameras. Having said that, you could probably tape an electronic release to the handle. I'm rating it four stars because I think there's room for improvement.


Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter [DVD] [1973]
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter [DVD] [1973]
Dvd ~ Horst Janson
Price: £4.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Not The Usual Extruded Vampire Product, 24 April 2015
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I first saw this soon after it was released in 1973, and I've been a fan ever since. The opening is unforgettable - a handsome rider on a horse (Kronos, played by Horst Janson) canters across a lush landscape, followed by a rattling wagon loaded with stakes, crosses, and other tools of the vampire-hunting trade, driven by a black-clad hunchback (Professor Grost, John Cater). They've been summoned by the local schoolteacher, an old friend of Kronos, to investigate the death of a young girl who has been drained of her youth.

Captain Kronos is a real oddity in the Hammer oeuvre, featuring a vampire-hunting team that uses weird (early 19th century or thereabouts) science to track down and eliminate vampires in a plot which plays out like a cross between a spaghetti western and the stereotypical vampire adventure, and features vampires that break most of the usual rules. Unlike Hammer's usual fare there are none of the usual suspects - no Dracula, Camilla, or Van Helsing - and many of the usual tropes simply don't work. Almost anyone can be a vampire, and no two are exactly alike, in powers or weaknesses. At one point an important character is horrified to discover that he has actually become a vampire unknowingly, and we're then treated to a harrowing series of "experiments" to find out exactly how his type of vampirism works and how he can be killed. As the story progresses the body count rises, with Kronos responsible for as many deaths as the vampires, leading to an eventual bloody resolution. It's all played out with immense style and occasional flashes of humour.

Rumour has it that there were originally intended to be several Kronos films, but for some reason it never happened, Hammer chose instead to stick to Dracula and the other old familiar tropes. It's a real shame, because this film had a witty style singularly lacking from Hammer's usual extruded vampire product.


MK-N-AF1-B Budget version extension tube set Professional extension tube set, design for Nikon DSLR.
MK-N-AF1-B Budget version extension tube set Professional extension tube set, design for Nikon DSLR.
Offered by HK-Mcoplus
Price: £28.56

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Tubes, Excellent Value, 24 April 2015
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These work very well with a prime lens, especially in good lighting conditions, not so well with a zoom, but that's always been true of extension tubes. With a 50mm lens I had no trouble focusing with all combinations of tubes; occasionally it seemed to "hunt" a bit before focusing properly, but results were very good once it locked onto the correct focus. With a zoom results showed spherical aberration, especially at shorter focal lengths.

There are a couple of minor design problems - most notably, if the 12mm tube is used alone or nearest the camera body it's a little difficult to operate the lens release button underneath it - but nothing serious. All moving parts work smoothly, even when all three tubes are combined, and the electronics mesh perfectly. They're a little bulkier than old-fashioned mechanical tubes, but that's inevitable given all the mechanical and electrical connections, and their width makes it a little easier to hold the camera steady at longer extensions.

Although they're made primarily of plastic they seem to be very strong, and I've had no trouble using them with a 50mm 2.8 lens or a lightweight zoom. I'd be a little uneasy trusting them with an unsupported heavy lens or with the weight of a camera body on a tripod-mounted lens, but I actually have no reason to think they'll give problems, it's just a hang-over from the days when everything photographic was made of metal.

Overall I've found them to be a good, reliable, and inexpensive choice for macro work, a lot cheaper than many of the alternatives on offer, and I'm happy to recommend them.


The World and the Stars
The World and the Stars
by Tanith Lee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection, 21 April 2015
An excellent collection of stories, ranging from near-future reproductive politics to very hard far-future SF. As with any multi-author collection there were a couple of stories that simply didn't appeal to me, but that's simply a matter of taste - other readers may prefer the stories I disliked and hate the ones I loved. I don't think there are any turkeys. It wouldn't surprise me to see some of them nominated for Hugo Awards next year, at their best they're as good or better than many of this year's nominees.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice vase, 27 Aug. 2014
Excellent, really liked it - very nice with some coloured stones and small cacti.


No Title Available

2.0 out of 5 stars Not good in client mode., 27 Aug. 2014
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Doesn't seem to work very well as a wifi client, which is what I wanted it for. Also, the unit I was sent was black, not white, and looked a little different.


The Long Mars: (Long Earth 3)
The Long Mars: (Long Earth 3)
by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 27 Aug. 2014
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Pretty good, but I think I preferred the first book of the series.


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