Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Love New Zealand Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror?

You can nominate works for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards by filling in this easy form online to help your favourite authors receive recognition for their work (published in 2016).

I have a short story called BlindSight in At the Edge, an amazing collection edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts
You can find it here,or in bookshops.

All the stories are by New Zealanders and should be eligible for awards, including the anthology itself.

The 2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award closes 8.00pm on 31st March 2017 (NZST).
Into the Mist

 I'll just have to put off reading Maurice Gee's The Severed Land (published 2017) for a few more days while I look to see if there are any more authors I want to nominate - authors like Lee Murray with her great thriller/horror Into the Mist.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dear Captain America

Pardon me, but your sword and shield are trampled in the dirt
they're a little broken,
a little rusty perhaps
but I know you can dust them off
and mend the cracks

I don't mean to intrude, but we're all being squashed by a golden elephant
maybe it's rude
not to all love gold and all
but the shit is toxic
and it only helps itself to the ball

My apologies, I know it's a hero thing, but really, do you have to
exhaust all alternatives
before doing the right thing?
surely the small problem of climate change
is enough embroiling?

So, please, if you wouldn't mind, my dearest, and most influential friend
pretty, pretty please
let the vote ring out fair and free
and mend your broken sword and shield
of justice and of liberty.

No need to hurry you, or anything, but children are dying
the air is poisoned
and the water too
but the problem can be fixed-
the only question is-
will you?

A.J. Ponder

Apologies for the couple of weeks off, had a touch of a seasonal cold, it's coming up to autumn here, but now the cicadas are out, the sun is shining, and it's been a surprisingly nice couple of days after a bit of a cold front and parts of the country under water.
Wishing everyone well, especially the kids who are fighting against climate change, for a better world


Friday, March 10, 2017

Fun new game, to educate and annoy :)

#YourLogicalFallacyIs the most fun I've had since I started twitter. Inspired by the Michelle Wolf of The Daily Show, and, I found the slightly more interactive and invented a new way to waste time: trying to inform people about the types of argument they shouldn't use, and certainly shouldn't listen to. It's too easy to fall for common misdirects.

Great for English teachers, as well as social studies or politics classes, because when it comes to media manipulation, the next generation will need to be more awake than ever. You can try and find as many different types of misleading statements as you can on social media, and even tally them. Or, if you're like me, you can make sure everyone knows of the misstep, so that others won't fall into these surprisingly common traps. Maybe try politely at first, because most of these people are victims, but some are just trolls. When the abuse has nothing to back it and exists solely to discredit a person's agency, disengage with "That's ad hominem, but thanks for playing #YourLogicalFallacyIs"

Logical fallacies come in many different and exciting forms, running all the way from appeals to authority to another Kellyanne Conway favourite- tu quoque (you too), but the one whose description is unmissable is "Begging the Question," mostly because we all know of a Zorbo the Great.

So there you are, congratulations, and thanks for playing #YourLogicalFallacy. I hope you have fun too. And maybe, just maybe, the conversation will turn to facts.