Lego at Te Papa this weekend 2-3 June 2018

BrickCon-NZ 2018

This looks like a really fun, hands on exhibition – I can’t wait to go. Will be posting more on it later, but in the meantime – you can find out more from Stuff or Eventfinder – or drop in. I know I can’t wait.


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Save the Moa – article

I saw an article in the NZ Herald today by:

Paul Little: On the hunt for the moa

It starts:
“Why did the chicken get crossed with the moa?

It hasn’t happened yet, but there’s a good chance it will, and when it does it will be the fulfilment of a long-held scientific goal of bringing an extinct species back to life…”

Little does Paul Little know that the thought experiment has been brought to a logical conclusion by Peter Friend and myself…


Anyway, after writing Save the Moa, I do find articles on the

ir de-extinction endlessly fascinating. I hope you enjoy them too.

A. J. Ponder

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Bret McKenzie’s The Muppet Show – Jim Henson Retrospectacle

Everything was great – everything was grand – a totally amazing experience.

Obviously the following song is from the movie -and not the retrospectacle itself – which was a celebration and nostalgia trip of the Muppets and the values and creativity of Jim Henson and the people that surrounded him.

I’m hoping that the retrospectacle will eventually be transformed into a video. But in case it’s not, why not sing along to Rainbow Connection with Kermit? (Although I prefer the Muppets theme song – it was hard to find a great version of that online.)

And  there’s another video with Kermit and Ernie and Bret talking about Wellington here. They’re great characters, I think my favs are Miss Piggy and Sam the Eagle and, of course, Animal.

Ike, Eli and I thought the show was amazing. We hope the Muppets and their whole cast of Musicians, writers, puppeteers and composers (including however many Conchords are flying about) are having a great time in the most magical capital city  in the world.




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Eli & A.J are interviewed by Lee Murray

Come and visit us, aMAybeAuthor.jpgs Eli and I chat with the amazing Lee Murray about our latest book – Attack of the Giant Bugs.
Lee Murray’s Speculative Fiction Show

You’ll find out all sorts of things: how I broke my arm, how our writing styles differ, and argh! what’s that?

See you there!



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Giant Bugs and Code Cracking = Free Book

Bugscover3.jpgEli and I have just published “Attack of the Giant Bugs” We had great fun writing it, and I think you’ll have a lot of fun discovering all the endings. Some are brutal, some are funny, and some are (slightly) educational.

But what Eli and I want to know is: Can you crack the code near the beginning of “Attack of the Giant Bugs?

Go now – before the end of Monday 9 April 2018 – American time – and receive a free ebook!

PLEASE NOTE THIS PROMOTION IS FINISHED – but if you want to keep up with any news or book promotions, keep an eye on this blog or join my mailing list

(If there’s a problem, please email with the heading “Attack of the Giant Bugs-Promotion”)

Bests Eli and A.J.

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The Frankie Files Book Review from young inventor/scientist

tomato MonstersAn impressive young scientist’s review of The Frankie files.  (opposite)

It’s a real privilege to get children excited about science, and it’s an amazing experiment. I can’t wait to see how it works out. Is our intrepid scientist going to have lots of tomato monsters? Or maybe some monster tomatoes?

Maybe it will end in failure, but some of the most successful experiments have been failures, that’s how penicillin was discovered.

Making a Tomato Monster

An experiment with a result you don’t like can often be as – if not more – important than one that works as expected.

So, record your results, and note any observations (things you see or think) in your conclusions. Is there anything you’d advise people to do differently next time? …

Some questions to ask yourself are: Is the experiment your own, or someone elses? Did you miss anything out? Is the original experimenter right or wrong? Did they miss something that might be important? Have other people been able to replicate (copy) the experiment with the same results?

Good luck, and have fun. Remember science isn’t about “winning” it’s about finding the answers! 🙂

The Frankie Files is published by Phantom Feather Press (phantomfeatherpress(at) and is available at Rona Gallery and Amazon. Or ask for it at your local bookstore or library.



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Frankie Files: Goodreads Giveaway!

Heads up, New Zealand Goodreads Giveaway of Frankie Files, just click the link 🙂

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Frankie Files by A.J. Ponder

The Frankie Files

by A.J. Ponder

Giveaway ends September 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


I know you’re desperate to get hold of your copy of The Frankie Files, so if you can’t wait, get your copy now from Rona Gallery, or Online.

Yes, it’s mad science, but if your young inventor or scientist isn’t careful, they may actually end up learning something, as well as discovering science is amazing!

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