Posts by B Jones

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Criminal Life,

    Westside: I've been reading Maurice Gee's biography (thanks Craig for the inadvertent recommendation), and wondering whether his work based in West Auckland has had any sort of influence on the development of the world around the West family. I can't think of any obvious examples because I haven't read many of his Auckland books (just Under the Mountain and In My Father's Den), but it would be weird if it hadn't, being right down the road in both time and place.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Persistent Polio,

    Ebola vaccine research has been at least partially government-funded. The NZ government funded the development of the MeNZ-B vaccine back in the 2000s. I'm sure there are other examples.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Persistent Polio,

    OPV is getting phased out worldwide because of the risk it can revert back to virulent form in rare cases. It hasn't been used in NZ for a decade or so, and I can just about remember its odd strawberry chemical taste from about 1981. But it's easier to store and administer than IPV and is still used in developing countries because of that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: House prices and the "Magic Money",

    I think just about every good comments thread tends towards argument, just because a whole string of people agreeing gets boring real fast. So either a conversation finds the point where people have a reasonable disagreement (no matter how tangential to the main point) and keeps going thrashing out that disagreement, or it peters out.

    I was wondering whether changes in the amount of deposit required might influence things. If all of a sudden people need a 25% deposit rather than a 5% deposit (or whatever you could get away with in 2007), that might show up as lower levels of debt vs housing value? Or is that small potatoes?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women,

    When I was 12 I loved Maurice Gee's O trilogy, and Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar books. Both male authors, but ones that write well from a female POV (although in hindsight perhaps there's scope for argument about that in the case of Maurice Gee). Terry Pratchett's female protagonists are also great, and something a 12 year old could grow into.

    The Hunger Games books have a strong YA following, but I'm not sure I'd recommend them for a 12 year old, unless they're the sort of 12 year old who's been reading their friends' older siblings' battered copies of Stephen King or VC Andrews or Jean M Auel on the sly.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

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

    I was embarrassingly fond of the Dragonlance books when I was a lad.

    I tried them but actively hated the OTTness of Raistlin. My pulp of choice at age 15 was Forgotten Realms' Dark Elf series and David Eddings.

    While I was looking for something a bit better, I ran into Katharine Kerr's Deverry series, beginning with Daggerspell - the blurb billed its wizard lead Nevyn as something like Raistlin, but I quickly got to know him as a lot more real and human and likeable. And her female protagonist, Jill, is one of fantasy's best realised female characters - she hooks you in with a fairly standard kickass girl mercenary thing, but over several books and incarnations you get to see the way her social circumstances shape her personality. Kerr's a staunch lefty feminist, but her politics inform the story rather than overwhelm it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Stephen R,

    Cordelia is one of my heroes.

    Did you know there's a new Cordelia book coming out next year? Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Teh orcish ladeez were not developed well enuff 4 youse?

    No, the orcish ladeez were great. The "pass me another elf, this one's split" jokes were a little de trop, however.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    GRUNTS!

    Except for Grunts. That is a book I never should have read.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    sure the book would be better with characters and good female characters,

    It might have been clearer if I'd said "absence of awful female characters". Because the default setting of any female characters in traditional populist pulp genre fiction (unless you're talking romance) is awful, and that's the annoying part.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 847 posts Report Reply

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