Posts by TracyMac

  • Speaker: Too much to swallow on the TPP,

    I have to agree: why are we debating what's wrong with the TPP?

    The first question to ask is what good it is to us. None, from what I can tell.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women,

    Oh and Elizabeth Moon. Loved the Paksenarrion series – intelligent swords and sorcery that actually constructs an awesome post-medieval society that is NOT regurgitating the sexist tropes of GRRM et al. Fantasy writers that insist on their “historical accuracy” to excuse it get right up my nose. (Look, there's probably a place for fantasy that echoes all kinds of societal stupidity, but really, who needs more when there's plenty in fiction and in real life already.)

    Not to say that Moon hasn’t done fantastic research – the soldiering is incredibly true-to-life.

    Also, her SF series – military space opera featuring two great female lead characters. Eat your heart out, Janeway.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I read and re-read ’Saga of the Exiles’ half-a-dozen times as a young teen.

    Julian May is great. I found SotE a bit melodramatic though, and only came back and re-read it after the related and SFfy Galactic Mileu series. That knocked my socks off.

    Also, if you haven't read them yet, the Rampant Worlds series is bloody awesome. Cap'n Helly is a DUDE.

    Also, I can't believe I haven't discussed Joan Vinge. Fantastic SFF writing. The Snow Queen and Cat serieses are fantastic. Great examinations of colonialism, corporatism and so on, with elements of cyberpunk, hard SF and fantasy, and some romance. And nice big meaty books that don't nerd out like Stephenson, are immensely readable, amazing world-building, and don't beat to death the political themes (at least not enough to bug me).

    Finally, while we're on the Joans, loved Joan Aiken. She, Rosemary Sutcliffe, DWJ and (ahem) Alan Garner and John Christopher were my adolescent go-tos.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women,

    Oh, and for the 12 year old, Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea books, especially the first three.

    And the Mary Poppins books. Fabulous fantasy – entirely unlike the movie – and I admire PL Travers editing them to get rid of the racist tinges in more recent years.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The CERA transition that no one…,

    I was there last week. I was appalled at how little – still – had been done since I’d been there a couple of years ago. A sea of “car parks”. A couple of bridges finished out by New Brighton. Great – but only just completed? Holy hell.

    Also, a complex web submission form and no public meetings? That sounds inclusive of the less-technologically enabled among us, not.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Diana Wynne Jones, Karen Healey, Emily Roddha, Tamora Pierce

    All seconded. DWJ rocks. Also, Diane Duane.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Political palatability and…, in reply to izogi,

    considering that homeopathy can lure people away from other treatments which might actually make a measurable and significant difference.

    Please don’t blame homeopathy for the kind of anti-conventional-medicine anti-vax types who latch onto homeopathy as a justification of their health care decisions. Yes, homeopathy attracts that type, and some practitioners also that type, or exploit them. But that kind of person will latch onto anything that seems to accord with their world view. Just another form of "doctor-shopping".

    You can tell the difference between the paranoid and a more nuanced homeopathic practitioner (as opposed to, say, naturopaths) by asking how they feel about vaccination. If they’re anti, you ask how they reconcile their practice with homeopathy’s founder strongly endorsing it, in the late 18th century.

    A decent homeopath is very quick to shunt someone off to a doctor for a serious matter, and they will not encourage patients to withdraw from conventional medication without the approval of their doctor. So much for “luring” (please).

    Yes, there are unethical people who call themselves homeopaths, but they are by far a minority.

    Anyway, end of digression. It just irritates me when homeopathy is used an analogy for anti-scientific thinking, when early homeopaths actually developed a type of scientific methodology before conventional medicine did (in terms of trying to test remedies in a repeatable and verifiable way on humans). Shame it doesn’t accord with scientific thought currently (I wish it did).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Brodie Davis,

    woman writers doing hardish sci/fi similar to Alaistair Reynolds or Neal Asher

    I have to confess I haven't read either. Women doing hard SF tend to gravitate to cyberpunkish themes: Justine Robson, Tricia Sullivan.

    Space opera, Bujold, of course, MJ Locke.

    Elizabeth Bear does both, although I bounce off her a bit personally.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women,

    Shout out to the Bujold massive!

    As for Hobb, I bounce off all her stuff, so she tends not to spring to mind.

    As for 70s feminist SF that was more about polemic than plot, I'd put Russ and many others with Tepper. Still have a fondness for The Wanderground, although the more cultural-feminist tinges are a bit teeth-gritting. Emblematic of its time, like Asimov. I loved Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books in the day, but now all the pulpy drama and bludgeoning of certain themes irk.

    I like my polemic with plot and engaging characters. ☺

    (I liked Grunts too, although not so much the rape jokes - tender topic)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women,

    I have to confess I'm warier of books by men, because of the danger of encountering Schrodinger's sexist.

    Not to say that women authors can't be wall-bangingly sexist as well, but these days I don't read the kind of genres were I'd encounter that (traditional romances being one).

    But I'm glad that for the Jim Butcher disappointments, there are the Ben Aaronoviches to take the bad taste out of your mouth.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

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