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About ants

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    A Valiant Knight of the Fur!
  • Birthday 07/17/1978

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    Melbourne, Australia

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  1. ants

    Football: foreVAR confused

    Ok, so initially I thought they were just talking about what happened in the game. I had no idea there was follow up, actually at the England camp. Makes a lot more sense. I thought initially it was just England trying to find ways to lose again....
  2. ants

    Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance v. 4.0

    All completed series, some may be tricky to get. People looking through the list will probably realise that I do like unique world/magic systems, strong female characters, and don’t mind characters who have been through a lot as long as they are written well and build on that, rather than papering over the back story. Note that some of these books I read a long time ago, so my views might be a little out of date. A bit like you look at some of the 1990s urban fantasy books that were favourites, and realise with hindsight they were simpler and/or had issues that you’ve since forgotten. Sunshine (Robin McKinley) – a standalone book, arguably one of the best of the genre. Robin McKinley captures the essence of a protagonist discovering their powers, in a rich world that foodies in particular will love! I don’t think anyone has written an “ordinary person gaining powers” story better. Dante Valentine (Lilith Saintcrow) – a darker series with a damaged heroine (although to be fair, everyone from her high school was damaged), set in a future with both magic and technology. Strong writing but some dark plots, and one of the few urban fantasy books which has the “alpha” romantic interest which also details the abuse and conflict that can arise from that. Summon the Keeper (Tanya Huff) – a light hearted series which has some of the most awesome characters in literature. Is as much comedy as fantasy, but anyone who doesn’t like Austin is, well, a dog person. Must read. Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews) – feels more like a typical urban fantasy series, with lots of werewolves and vampires. However, lots of twists on the common trope and fantastically easy to read. A very well done version of the “I’m secretly really strong” character, with a well-developed back story that evolves over the series. Also doesn’t hit you over the head with the romantic interest. Set in a post-apocalyptic world due to the return of magic. Southern Vampire (Charlaine Harris) – a long series focussing on vampires. Reasonably traditional, but set in a small southern USA town and deals with a protagonist who has little magic, and has to deal with the real world. As the series evolves more types of magical beings get involved. A well written series which has a lot of followers. Miss Misery (Tracey Martin) – a world with regular magic and four main types of preternaturals, the series is very well written and has a strong arc. The main character is engaging, as is her balancing of her own abilities and place between humans and pretes. The learning curve as to where her abilities come from, and her reaction to what she learns, is really well done. Jill Kismet (Lilith Saintcrow) – again, a bit darker series with a lot of bad things happening to the main character. But Lilith Saintcrow writes very well, and the series rockets along. Lots of violence. Set in a world where people do deals with the devils, and those who are assigned to deal with the fallout when people lose control. Morgan Kingsley exorcist series (Jenna Black) – decent writing, with a innovative world setting/magic system, with strong plotting and story lines. The series is very solid, complete, and doesn't really get mentioned. It’s a world where people do deals to take a demon inside, at which point they can achieve more such as be awesome firefighters. Some demons are good, some are bad, which is where exorcists come in. Downside Ghosts (Stacia Kane) – a fantastic series, although again with a damaged main character. The stories are very engrossing, and quite touching. It is set in a world where ghosts are regular returners (and are like dangerous animals) and there is a whole system for keeping them under control. The main character is a drug user, and Stacia Kane doesn’t shy away from showing the downsides of this. One of the best written characters around. Pax Arcana (Eliott James) – a much more traditional urban fantasy, but extremely well written with a knight/werewolf hybrid protagonist who has to negotiate a world where most creatures are hunting him, and a geas on him limits his choices. Very well written, comes to a very good conclusion, and has strong plots. Hollows series (Kim Harrison) – another post-apocalyptic world with magic now flourishing (although due to DNA virus rather than magic), this is a high magic series with a style that is a little over the top in style (although nothing as much as Karen Chances’ books). A long series focussing on a witch and her friends, there are both light and dark periods. In my view one of the best urban fantasy series out there, blending enough laughter, darkness, romance and world building to be a fantastic series. The Walker Papers (CE Murphy) – a series focussing on a police mechanic who is native American, the series is really well written. Another one which can be light and/or over the top in places, but a strong story arc with a character who develops over time. The main character discovers her abilities in the current world that doesn’t acknowledge/know of magic, and slowly builds her skills over the series. Felix Castor (Mike Carey) – books that hover on the edge of being horror, these dark books deal with a beat down protagonist in a world where most people don’t know the dark forces that want to get in. Extremely well written, although you won’t always be a fan of the protagonist. Fever series (Karen Marie Moning) – a strong but dark series set with the fey, which deals with the actual apocalypse. A little bit young adult, although the dark themes would mean you wouldn’t give it to anyone too young. Other series (Anne Bishop) – completed, although there are spin-offs. For those familiar with Anne Bishop’s work this is a bit derivative, as it is very similar to previous series set in Epic fantasy worlds. Her original series is probably her best, but it is also the most adult and with the darkest themes. This is a cleaner version, which a wider audience will enjoy, set in an urban fantasy setting. Anne’s writing does just capture you though, and these are very easy to read. Lockwood & Co – more young adult, but enjoyable for all ages. Set in a world which is beset by hauntings, and where only children can see ghosts. Follows a group of children who have set up a company to deal with ghosts, and their exploration into what has caused the issue. A good read. The negotiator trilogy (C.E. Murphy) – another one of Murphy’s series, this is a strong trilogy that is quite strong. The major fantastical creature is a gargoyle, and the magical rules are quite a bit different from the standard tropes. I enjoyed it a lot. Blood Books (Tanya Huff) – more of a traditional vampire series, but well written (is anything Tanya rights not?) and enjoyable. Greywalker series (Kat Richardson) – not as stand out as others on the list, but a good read, unique magic system, and enjoyable nine books. Unfortunately not necessarily easy to get your hands on the later books, for some reason the early ones are on kindle but not the last few. Hallie Michaels (Deborah Michaels) – another series set in rural America, the series is a good read in the current world, with a good main character and characters. Well worth reading. Twenty Palaces (Harry Connolly) – unfortunately only ‘complete’ in the sense there won’t be anymore, so keep in mind the big questions won’t be answered. However, the books were extremely well written, with a character who with limited magic dealt with the world in a methodical approach in stopping creatures from another dimension running wild. The “enemy” is more unusual than what I’ve written, the world building is reasonably unique. Connor Grey series (Mark Del Franco) – I was a big fan of this series until the last book, which I thought was weak. But that’s partly because there are certain types/styles of ending I don’t like, and this fit the bill (on several fronts). The series though is quite strong dealing with a main character who is an ex-agent whose magic is partly broken. A high magic world, and interesting characters and development.
  3. ants

    Football: foreVAR confused

    Is that the actual reason????? Or just a journalist adding that as “info”?
  4. ants

    Football: foreVAR confused

    Yeah, this seems crystal clear to me. An attacking player can’t get an advantage from it hitting your arm. It clearly hit Silva’s arm. Why is this even a debate?
  5. ants

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    Well, just straight off the top of my head I can think of two potential solutions. They can borrow against their shares to pay it off, or you could have a system where you pay the wealth tax by selling shares to the tax office, but retain the voting rights. The second one would need some caveats (such as when the voting rights return, and if they can be sold), but given it took me 60 seconds to come up with this seems to be overblown. The bigger issue with any wealth tax is valuation. How do you fairly value property, private companies, non-standard assets (jewels, paintings, cars, etc.)? That is a much bigger bugbear. That said, there are significant benefits to a wealth tax that don't usually get mentioned. Such as the economic one. It creates an incentive to put assets to use, rather than just allowing poorly performing ones or the vacation home to sit idly by. Agreed. I'm a huge proponent of wealth taxes, but the reality is that this is just theorising.
  6. ants

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    In an election where Democrats could have pushed on fears over the effects of the trade war with China, people losing health insurance, budget deficits, etc., it seems incredible to me that several candidates are pushing to give the Republicans huge items to fear; having your private health insurance taken away and huge taxes to pay for M4A.
  7. It is stuff like this where I thought Corbyn was an idiot not to do a temporary deal for a cross-party government to stop no-deal and bring in new elections. It would have given the opposition parties a month or so to dig up and publish every report, rotten deal and bad analysis that the government itself had performed on this issue, Brexit, future trade negotiations, preparations for no-deal, but also domestic areas such as the NHS and transport. You could have had a month of the election with release after release of "this is what the Tories were hiding!".
  8. Plus if he loses - even by a close margin - it would reignite those saying why are Dems excited about a loser.
  9. ants

    Football: dropping clangers and scoring bangers

    I agree not every piece of contact is a foul. Stepping on someone's foot is always a foul if seen. Just like studs up into the player always is, and just as kicking always is. Black and white. Connolly was going for the ball in the penalty box when his trailing foot he'd be about to lift up was stepped on. A penalty every day of the week if seen (and the commentators as soon as they saw the replay said "that's a penalty"). Now, it is certainly true that the English have decided to implement VAR like they have Brexit, with a huge amount of ceremony, reliance on tradition, and not a lick of common sense. Many, many obvious overturns have been ignored because the sovereignty of the umpire is deemed so important. However, the fact that they've been making a farce of the system so far doesn't mean the penalty shouldn't be awarded. It most definitely was there, and most definitely should have been awarded. Hopefully they wise up and realise that the TV is much superior to the on-field umpire, and start turning them over an awful lot more. And for that matter, extend it to yellow cards and corners, and free kicks in dangerous areas. You can check them all pretty damn quickly if you need to, and they all have an outsized chance of distorting the result.
  10. Just to confirm since I needed to look this up, despite "winning" 299 to 70, this is actually a loss since Boris needed a two-thirds majority. Also, Boris has accepted the extension to 31 January.
  11. ants

    Football: dropping clangers and scoring bangers

    So, I know Wijnaldum gets a lock of stick on this site. Interestingly, he's a nominee for the Ballon d'Or..... Why was it harsh? He stepped on his foot in the penalty area. If the Ref had seen it, it's a penalty every time. Hell, its a free kick anywhere on the pitch if the ref sees it.
  12. ants

    Football: dropping clangers and scoring bangers

    Harsh during open play? No. But for a goal? Hell yes. You can’t kick players. Full stop. It’s as black and white as Mane touching the ball. You can’t kick players. Doesn’t matter if Origi goes down or not. Should have been treated the same as the Mane goal.
  13. May's deal was fine for the DUP. The entire UK stayed on EU terms until technology (or a treaty) came along that allows the outcomes of a hard border without a hard border. Just, everyone else hated the backstop idea because the hardliners could see it was going to take forever to come up with a solution that didn't involve a hard border. Which meant staying in the EU single market. The question may be is there a majority for any amendments that would then turn Boris off the whole deal (or turn off parts of his support)?
  14. Thought this was worth posting: https://discourse.bomberblitz.com/uploads/default/original/3X/a/9/a97f202ec1df72b4fb4d3e9e41103a5b15fceea4.jpeg Why oh why do pictures appear in the edit bit, but not the actual post???