Sometimes I’ll pick up a book on the basis of some good reviews. Other times, I’ll pick up a book on the recommendation of a friend or fan. Still other times, I’ll pick up a book because the write-up on the jacket has piqued my interest. And, finally, there are those rare instances when I’ll pick up a book simply because its cover catches my eye. Such was the case with The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie, the first book in his First Law trilogy. Damn, what a gorgeous book! It looked great sitting up on my bookshelf for those first few months and, to be honest, I was somewhat loathe to sully its pristine beauty by daring to crack its spine. But after reading a flurry of hard scifi novels, I desperately needed a change of pace. Unfortunately, at the time, my library was almost exclusively science fiction, so it was either The Blade Itself or my old Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master Guide. I chose the former.

Well, to my surprise, The Blade Itself was even better than its cover (and, did I mention what a splendid cover it is). In fact, it turned out to be one of my favorite reads of the year. The second book in the trilogy, Before They Are Hanged (with its far more striking silver cover) proved even more enjoyable. So when I was given the opportunity to score an advance copy of the third and final book in the trilogy, Last Argument of Kings, I jumped at the chance.

I tend to approach fantasy literature with a certain amount of trepidation, borne of far too many Lord of the Rings derivatives with their noble heroes, curmudgeony dwarves, beautiful elves, and wizened warriors. Throw in a dragon here, a quest there, and you have the high fantasy cliché template that has served many an uninspired author – and all-but ruined the genre for me. However there are, of course, exceptions to the rule, diamonds in the rough that that take those antiquated fantasy tropes and set them on their ear. George R. R. Martin’s brilliant Song of Ice and Fire series comes to mind. So does Scott Lynch’s tales of Locke Lamorra. And now, I’d like to add Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy to that growing list. Although Martin and Lynch and Abercrombie are very different story-tellers, they share a few things in common: their refusal to follow convention, their wickedly dark senses of humor, and the richly-drawn characters that people the worlds they‘ve created.

Jezal Dan Luther – a foppish, opportunistic rake. Inquisitor Glokta – a crippled and embittered torturer. Logen Ninefingers – an infamously brutal barbarian. These, ladies and gentlemen, are your heroes. Well, if not exactly heroes, then the characters you’ll root for over the course the series. Readers who have appreciated the likes of Lynch’s roguish Locke Lamorra and Martin’s amoral Jaime Lancaster and wily Tyrion are sure to connect with Abercrombie’s characters who, while certainly unsavory in some respects, are at heart human, vulnerable and, yes, despite surface impressions, very likable. Besides the three aforementioned players, the series is full of colorful characters, from thieves and mercenaries to stalwart soldiers and enigmatic wizards, including two positively kick-ass female protagonists (the lovely, sharp-witted Ardee West and the ruthlessly vengeful Ferro). You grow to love ’em over the course of Abercrombie‘s vast and accomplished narrative as they face tragedies, triumphs, and more than a few surprises along the way. And the biggest of those surprises are saved for the third book, Last Argument of Kings, in which traitors are revealed, unlikely alliances struck, and a secret plot comes to shocking fruition, all amidst the backdrop of one of the most epic battles ever chronicled.

A superior book in a superior series.

Also, the cover is even better than the last one.

FYI – Although this will remain my main blog home, I will attempt to keep my old blogger site (more or less) current as a back-up for those who prefer the old look. However, please limit your comments to this site, especially if you want a timely response (unless you don’t mind waiting anywhere from a couple weeks to forever).

Finally, no mailbag today as I’m off to watch the Giants hopefully pull the upset. Failing that, nothing would be sweeter than seeing the Patriots cap a perfect season with a dispiriting play-off loss. GO ANYONEELSEBUTTHEPATRIOTS!

78 thoughts on “December 29, 2007: Last Argument of Kings

  1. Amen about the Patriots. I could root for the team and Tom Brady but their coach is such an ass.

    I don’t read much science fiction or fantasy but you’ve got me curious about Abercrombie’s books. I may have to check them out. Thanks for the info.

    So are there any of the new mid-season shows you’re looking forward to? Maybe like The Sarah Connor Chronicles?

  2. I’m sure Joe Abercrombie will be thrilled you love his books (and covers)! You gonna comment on his blog?


    Enjoy the game. I’m off to google who the heck the Patriots are. (Gimme a break. I’m Aussie. You heard of AFL? Nah didn’t think so. Go google it :P)

  3. Heya Joe, just dropping in to ask if you got my email with the link to the South Pole Winterover blog. If not, let me know and I’ll send it again to one of your other email aliases (let me know which one).

    Also, you still have your old DMG? Seriously? Which edition? And, if you’re not just pulling our legs, I have got to ask, what was your favorite character class? Yeah, I’m a nosy old nerd lady.

    Sulien (Yovonne)

  4. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m a big fan of some of the shows you’re involved with, that remark about the Patriots might sway my fanship other places. Be happy trivial things like football don’t change my loyalties!

    Here’s to a good game, at least.

  5. Oh my God, Joe…I just saw something very strange on your blog. Here’s a screenshot that I just took. All I changed was adding the zoom-in part:

    Yes, there is a strange smilie face on the left side of the screen about a third of the way down the page. Weeeeird, huh?

    Oh hey, and the snow piles up on the bottom of the screen! Cool! I’m gonna see if it’ll bury everything!

    Oh wait, they’re melting! No fair!

  6. Joe, I enjoy your blog, but I’m afraid that I must say

    GO PATS!

    That is all.

    Medford, MA

  7. I think Tyrion is the best character in the Song of Ice and Fire series. (Though I’m only on the second book; I might change my mind).

  8. sgakaz Says:
    December 29, 2007 at 1:58 pm
    I’ve noticed that I cannot access vid. on old blog pages like we could on the old site by clicking on the date, did you not transfer them with the rest of the blog or can you not use photobucket on this site.

    I’m asking in case new people specifically SGA fans who come here first and read back catalogue see click on date reverence and get nothing.

    Also did you see DH has become a US citizen, ” sigh ” to me he’ll always be British.

  9. I totally agree with you on the Patriots front. While geographically, I’m inclined to root for Philly (which usually just depresses me), this time around I’m rooting for anyoneelsebutthepatriots as well.


  10. WOOO GO GIANTS!!!! 🙂 I’m with ya there.

    *chuckles* I think you’ve inspired me to do some reading. It’s been so long since I’ve had the chance to go through a book cover to cover…I think I might just have to put a book on my nightstand and do a half hour a night. lol And this is from the ‘kid’ who would get in trouble for reading during math class! My bookworm-ish-ness has suffered lately. LOL

  11. I’d already put Joe Abercrombie’s “First Law” trilogy on my ever-expanding list of books to read but, on your recommendation, I’ll bump it up to the top.

    Jafacakes wrote:

    Now a simple question but it’s been driving me crazy, how can I save your blog so that it comes up on the last entry? At the moment it always comes up on the 14 of december, the day I first found out about it. Thanks

    Try this:

    Step 1: Delete existing link from favorites/bookmarks.

    Step 2: Scroll to the top of this page and click where it says “Joseph Mallozzi’s Weblog”.

    Step 3: Save that page/link in favorites/bookmarks. It’s the main page and, even though it shows the newest posts, doesn’t have a date in it.

    Alternately, you could manually add

    to your favorites/bookmarks.

    Anne Teldy

  12. Great review. I also really enjoyed Martin’s Fire and Ice series (so far). I’ve only made it through the first two volumes, the rest are on my short-list. I’ve also passed on a lot of Fantasy literature since high school and college for the same reasons you have. Thanks for finding some of the rare gems.

    So how did the game end up? I know you’re not a huge gambler, but do any of the other production crew have pools that circulate throughout various sport seasons?

  13. (Sighs). Life was a lot simpler before I started reading this blog. I’m already living in a house where the books have overun most of the rooms, and now the process is accelerating. And all thanks to your blog and its recommendations. It’s not like I can cut back my normal consumption of written material; I cant let the science and history and occasional thriller and mystery books grow lonely after all. Still, i have to thank you for the reviews. It’s nice to break out of the routine, so to speak, to sample what others find enjoyable. And here at work everyone is cheering for the giants also. So far the game looks promising, but as a Deadskins fan, I know all too well how the last quarter is the one that counts. Enjoy the game and the weekend.

  14. Hey Joe!

    Don’t like the Patriots eh? Well, we’ll be finding out soon, especially since a lot of people in the North American market will be watching it. 😛

    What do you have planned for New Years Eve this year?

  15. He poked him in the EYE! I’m not a Giants fan in the least (mostly because my poor husband is a Jets fan), but yes, the Patriots are like the Yankees in my book: whoever plays them is who I root for…

  16. Ahaha! 😀 Looks like your wish for the Patriots to lose is coming true, as of the moment. Think you could wish for the Aggies to thrash the Lions, then, since you seem to have a bit of influence over this?

  17. Patriots, Giants, Yankees who are these strange tribes of which you speak?

    Now if we’re talking Football we must be talking Soccer and I happen to live in a city with two of the best Football teams in the world, Liverpool and Everton.

    Hell we’re so good our teams are owned by American millionaires.

    You see the skill is in the foot work not in playing a weird form of Rugby were the aim is to annihilate your opponent.

    We prefer the alternative the Oscar winning performance.
    When any one gets close enough to tackle you, all you have to do is fall on the floor grabbing your leg and shouting in feigned pain.
    Now this is the important point all school children are taught this… “Ow! Ref that was a foul he tripped me the rotten swine, send the blighter packing. Cor blimey gov’ner”

    Now you may have noticed I have given you the family friendly version as the normal tirade would make a sailor blush.

    So come on over to the dark side and watch Soccer we’ve got cookies.


  18. Mm. I lied. Now the Patriots are winning. Eh… Can I take a raincheck on whatever supernatural game-influence you’ve got then? Not meaning to be rude. It just seems to be glitchy. :\

  19. Pauline they’re talking Gridiron.. you know the one where they’re dressed from head to toe in all that padding. Not like our soccer (in Australa we call your football ‘soccer’) or our AFL (Aussie Football League). No padding… !!!

    I see the Patriots are winning… damn Joe, you jinxed it! 😛

  20. Being a Giant fan and a cousin of one of the ’72 Dolphins I am not a happy girl with 7 minutes left to play. What happened to my Giants???? Well I am with you and your “GO ANYONEELSEBUTTHEPATRIOTS!” Someone has to bring them down.

    An early Happy New Year to you!

  21. Beats me Dee…. doing google updates and to no avail. (and all this from a gal who’s not interested in football)

    Gridiron. the game where they say “Hut Hut” a lot.

  22. Nah, I’ll have to save it for tomorrow. I think I’ll start my new book: 9Tail Fox by Jon Courtenay Grimwood.

  23. Ok… we’ll just entertain ourselves here. So…… what does everyone think will be included in the wowee best ever SFX in BAMSR??

    I reckon the Daedelus, The travellers’ old clunker and some Replica ships.

  24. Your book review has just put the First Law trilogy at the head of my must-read list, even ahead of Ubik and another PKD novella. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate reading such a thorough and thoughtful review from another fan of well-done fantasy. I wish I could routinely find that kind of honest and discriminating book commentary for this genre, since (IMO) too much sub-standard fare gets plaudits just for having two original ideas hidden somewhere within a thousand or more pages of cheesy and/or endlessly self-repeating material. You can read one chapter in the library and know the book won’t be going home with you. So, I’m pretty stoked about getting hold of The Blade Itself.

    – Geez, it’s killing me that you and the majority of commenters here are rooting against the Pats. Yeah, Bill Belichick seems to have some kind of kinship with weasels, and NE has been dominant for (almost) long enough – remember the ’80s 49’ers? – but here’s how I look at it: ANYONEBUTTHEDOLPHINS. I am SO tired of hearing my Floridian relatives, everyone from the 80-something paternal grandparents down to the four-year-olds [“Doffins! Doffins!”] crowing about Miami’s status as the one and only perfect team in NFL history. ENOUGH!!!

    Well, it was definitely a game worth watching. For those who root against the Patriots, I guess you can take heart in their recent non-stellar performances and (like Joe said) hope for an all-too-possible thumping in a playoff game. For me, it would be more than sweet to have a Sox / Pats championship season, and then in 2008 have sports return to normal. 😉

  25. When does the book club discussion start again? First week in January? I was all prepared to not care about it this month, but then fate demanded I read The Time Traveler’s Wife. Thank you, fate. If such a think exists…

    I don’t care a twit about the Patriots, but I was very happy that my Badgers were able to sink a last second 3-pointer to pull off the upset v. (9)Texas today (in NCAA bkb). GO BADGERS!!

    Also, PG15 (re: the tiny smiley)–

    I noticed it previously, as well. And I just re-located it on my screen to the right of the archives list. I think it moves around and is a sort of “Where’s Waldo?” thingamajig. Sans glasses.

  26. *sigh* Alas the Giants couldn’t pull it off…but on the flip side I *was* happy that PSU beat A&M. 😉 Hey, I can’t help it; I was practically born on the Penn State campus and my Dad played in the Blue Band…’tis in my blood. 😉

  27. If you do check out the series, do let me know what you think. I thank you for your kind words but, in truth, I remained purposely vague concerning any of the plot developments in my write-up since I am referring to the third and final installment in a series, a book that has yet to be released. It’s a lot grittier, darker, and more viscerally violent than your standard fantasy fare, but all that is balanced nicely by the humor and the character themselves.

    As for your ANYONEBUTTHEDOLPHINS stance. I don’t think you’ll have to adopt it for at least a few more years.

  28. Re: issue #1: Copy that. I hope it’s not too much longer until the final book’s release date, but no problem if I have to wait a bit.

    Re: issue #2: I don’t usually bet; however, in this case I could make an exception….. (j/k)

  29. A great victory for the Badgers over a top-ten ranked opponent no less.

    Book discussion on the BOTM selections begins the first full week of January (not this Monday but the next). Discussion of The Crooked Letter begins the following week.

    Congratulations to the Nittany Lions and that none-too-bright A&M male cheerleader who gave them the added incentive to win that game.

  30. I don’t watch sport much – but if I had to chose a sport to watch it would be either doggie racing or rugby.

    Rugby has lots of chunky looking guys running around to watch – not sure about the rules of the game though.

  31. The smilie thing is how WordPress counts visitors or views or something. Every time the page is accessed, a request for the smilie is processed and that’s what they count. I know that’s not clear but that’s how I understand it. It’s in the FAQs.

    Anne Teldy

  32. Don’t know much about your football as I am in Oz. I follow Carlton Blues in Aussie Rules. They have been wooden spooners for a few years. Heres hoping for next year. By the way love the snow on the web page.

  33. anneteldy Says:
    December 29, 2007 at 9:45 pm
    The smilie thing is how WordPress counts visitors or views or something. Every time the page is accessed, a request for the smilie is processed and that’s what they count. I know that’s not clear but that’s how I understand it. It’s in the FAQs.

    Anne Teldy

    Hmmm…ok, that makes sense.

    It’s still creepy though. STOP SMILING DAMN YOU!!!

  34. Hey Joe! I’ve never posted before…not that I never wanted to but I could never figure it out. I’m gonna blame the kids on that one. Having children does something to your brain cells. It makes you forget a lot of stuff!! Funny thing is though, you don’t forget the pain of childbirth no matter what anybody tells you!! Even after 12 years. But I do love them immensely.
    Firstly, although I can’t make up for all the comments I have wanted to make since discovering your blog, I do want to say a huge thank you for all the fun and frivolity.
    Secondly, you seem to have made a profound impact on me as I now take photos of my special dinners. Not that I have many of those but my family thought it strange that I was photographing my Christmas dinner…which was lovely by the way!
    Thirdly, I have a request of sorts from some fellow GateWorlders…we would like to know if it is at all possible that either Major’s Lorne, Marks and Davis could be promoted in the near future.
    Finally, I’d just like to wish you and yours all the best for a happy and safe 2008!
    Cheers Joe!!
    ~chelle xxxx

  35. Finally, no mailbag today as I’m off to watch the Giants hopefully pull the upset. GO ANYONEELSEBUTTHEPATRIOTS!
    josephmallozzi Says:
    December 29, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Neener Neener Neener I am cackling too I am happy a New York team didn’t beat us yes the NY BOS feud transcends sports it’s not just baseball it’s football, basketball, hockey and soccer too. I think I know how Yankee fans feel now but we earned that victory tonight. Are you still holding a grudge from 2001 against the Pats because of the snow bowl game that infamous play. You did have a chance the next year and they lost to the Bucs if memory serves.

    I have a question about Continuum do Daniel & Vala have any emotional moments with each other? I asked question before but you didn’t answer. Are you doing any commentaries for season 4? I always like it when you do you are funny and interesting unlike some others I won’t name. Please leave both names when you publish poundpuppy29 is my net name on all the forums I never hide I stand by my name and what I say.

  36. I misunderstood your reference to the Dolphins. Agreed, it could take a few years for them to climb up out of one very deep cellar. For me, that’s a good thing.

    I’m usually clueless about college hoops until March, but yeah, good game for the Badgers against #9 UT. No matter that it’s Winter Break and no matter the wind-chill factor, there’s doubtless a huge party going on in Madison. But then, that’s the case 90% of the time. Sköl!

    Anyone but the Texas Aggies; also, it’s hard not to cheer for Joe Paterno, who I guess has been HC at Penn State for almost forever and has quite a record. If only Joe Gibbs could do as well in his second tour with the Redskins.

    Congrats to Matt Ryan and the Boston College Eagles on their win. Not quite like Doug Flutie leading the underdog BC against whichever powerhouse team they played in the early 80s, but Ryan is awesome and BC did well.

  37. Oh, and while I’m here, Slice of SciFi just posted an interview they did with you before Christmas:

    I gotta say, those season 5 hints sound intriguing. There are, however, some very strange (grammerically) parts, especially that paragraph of yours that deals with Weir…maybe you should send them an email to make sure there aren’t any misunderstandings.

  38. Thanks for still posting on Blogger. For whatever reason, it’s easier for my old eyes to read.

  39. I was at Strand in NYC a week ago looking for a book to take home with me on a flight back to Portland and I remembered your recommendation for The Blade Itself and bought myself a copy. Out of the three books I bought that day, I am enjoying that one the most so thank you so much for the recommendation.

    So far, I’m at the point where I’m getting a little annoyed at Jezal (such a self-absorbed ass…T_T) and am liking Gloktaa lot depsite him being not so very nice… All in all, I’m liking the characterization and the story is definitely an enjoyable read.

    And poor Giants… They came so close.

    The snowflakes falling down on your blog however…not so awesome when you’re trying to read the text behind it. It’s just a bit distracting.

  40. Janet: Carn the Dockers!!!
    PG15: *In Schultz’s best voice* I see nuthinnng nuthinng!! what smiley? I looked at your link and saw that weird looking thing but I don’t see it here on the page.

    Joe: I read that you haven’t experienced “Dune” yet???
    Holy cow!! (Or should I say worm?). I couldn’t put that book down. If you’re dedicated to learn the accompanying language (there’s a glossary at the back) then it’s gonna be one heck of a novel for you to read and I mean that in a good way.It totally takes you into another world full of visuals and quiet treachery!

    Phooey to the movie that came out in 1984… the later miniseries was much more loyal to the book.

  41. Oh no! Football. Never watch it. I think our british soccer players are highly overpaid prima donnas who should get REAL jobs …..hold on……I can feel a rant starting- quick, change the subject.
    Cheers for the book recommendation, its my birthday some time next week so I can justify new bookage although on second thuoghts maybe another bookcase would be more practical, might even have to have an extension built to accomodate my expanding library.
    I’m going to ask the same question I asked yesterday.
    Is it known who leaked the Ark of Truth and if so what action will be/has been taken about it? baseball bats? cement overshoes? horses head? or am I altogether TOO vengeful?

  42. OMG Your blog is snowing!

    It freaked me out, I thought I was getting yet another migraine.

  43. I’ll admit, I’m not sad your hope for a Patriots loss didn’t work out. Though, it was close this time. Your opinion of the Patriots is my opinion of the MN Vikings–anyone but them! Personally, I’m hoping for a Packers-Patriots Superbowl. Then again, I’ve been hoping that for the last five years or so and the Packers always disappoint. I suppose you’ll be rooting for the Colts?

    I’ll have to look into Abercrombie, now. I was wondering, have you read any part of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series?

  44. Happy New Year Joe!

    If your Mom still has her glasses, I’d like to recommend The Shenandoah Album book series by Emilie Richards. Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy are two of my favorite authors, and Emilie Richards writes in a similar style. I have several of her other books on my “to read” list …

  45. hey there joe
    well i finally moved into my place by metro town i love this place its great one thing though the chocolate here isnt that great, i managed to find a place on robson that does english chocolate however the cost is through the roof, i conceeded though as i lovemy galaxy chocolate you really should try it its the best creamy chocolate ever. anyway i was wondering in you knew of anwhere to get english chocolate thats not gonna cost a bomb. the galaxy chocolate cos me $6!!!! back home its £1.20 or $2.40
    can you help a fellow chocaholic????

  46. shiningwit Says
    I think our british soccer players are highly overpaid prima donnas who should get REAL jobs.
    Totally agree the money they get for kicking a ball around a pitch for 90mins is obscene.

    So who did win? The Giants or the other team…oh yeah the Patriots was it?

    pg15…are you hallucinating again, what smiley face???
    Now don’t forget if nice men in white coats come for you go quietly, and give them my regards.


  47. Is anybody out there about to start the new year with a new diet?

    I have about 150lbs/68kg to lose – yep, I have to lose half of me. I could use all the ‘virtual’ support that I can get! Maybe if I lose all this weight I will be able to get into my SCB t-shirt!

  48. Sorry Joe, it’s all my fault! The Giants were doing great while I was watching, but then I had to leave my mom’s to get my little SG-fan-in-training to bed. The Pats scored *twice* while I was on the way home and sure enough, once I got Carter into bed and put the game back on the Giants scored. Too little too late unfortunately.

  49. Is it my imagination, or is it snowing on your blog?

    I’ll probably try your fantasy recommendations, although like you, I’m not particularly a fan of fantasy. Your recommendations in the past have been first rate (thank you for Banks and Scalzi!).

  50. Morgia writes: “do you ever read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

    Answer: Haven’t read it yet but loved Blade Runner.

    Just a word of warning: although Philip K. Dick was an excellent writer, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep bears very little resemblance to Blade Runner. The movie took the basic premise and made an entirely different story out of it.

  51. Pauline, Annie – the smiley face is to the far, far right of the page, sitting between December 2006 and January 2007.

    I am using a 21 inch monitor and I suspect PG is doing the same. We have a lot of light blue edging to the left and right of the screen. If you don’t have this all this light blue I think the smiley may not show.

  52. Am I hallucinating…or are you guys just lacking attention to detail? Huh? Huh?!

    There’s a smilie face; I swear it.

  53. Pg15 don’t answer that knock at the door, for I have seen the light. Well the smiley face anyway it’s on the left of my screen.

    Deeinsouthafrica yes I can see it now thanks. It could well be due to my lap top screen size, and the light blue and the white didn’t help!

    We could have a new game ‘Blog Roulette’ what colour will my post be, white or blue? Okay spin the blog mine will be blue.

    Come on blue, come on…and it’s…


  54. I would like to add to everyone’s comments re your book recs. I usually avoid fantasy and have only read sci fi from some of the masters- Asimov, Heinlein, Dick , Bradbury, etc. I managed to avoid Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” until I saw a movie trailer for the first movie. It was so intriguing , I read all 3 Ring books + “The Hobbit” + “The Silmarillian” before the first movie came out (I read fast, though not as fast as you; I read all of those books in the 4 weeks before the 1st movie opened). I re-read the 3 Ring books before each movie sequel but was not otherwise interested in fantasy. My taste runs to murder mysteries, and war history ( American Civil War, WW I and II), with an occ Terry Pratchett to lighten things up. My husband recently got me interested in a fantasy series called “The Sword of Truth” by Terry Goodkind. It started off okay but after the 4th or 5th book I couldn’t take it anymore. I read a review by someone who felt the same way and recced the George R. R. Martin series and have not been disappointed. I am currently re-reading the first 3 books before starting the 4th.
    I just started reading your blog last spring (I only started watching SGA mid third season) and was pleased to see you enjoyed Martin as well. Based on that and because I enjoyed the show, I figured I might like other books that you have enjoyed as well.
    This is a sincere THANK YOU to you!! You have definitely broadened my reading horizons. I loved, loved, loved “The Lies of Locke Lamorra” and would re-read it in a heartbeat ( my criteria for a good book). I have read all 3 of John Scalzi’s “Old Mans War” series and enjoyed “Consider Phlebas”, with several more Banks books lined up to read. I have the 2 Abercrombie books lined up as well ( may wait for the 3rd book before starting) and somewhere in there I will need to squeeze in reading “An Army at Dawn : The War in Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy (The Liberation Trilogy, Vol 1)” by Rick Atkinson.
    All in all a great watching AND reading season! I have also enjoyed your dog pics and stories but after growing up with a dachshund and adopting a shepherd/lab mix during med school, my heart and loyalty is with my 2 standard poodles (“labs with a college degree”).

    Speaking of shepherds, I just watched ” The Bourne Ultimatum” and would love to see John Sheppard in a situation where he had amnesia and fought those trying to find and help him. At the very least, I would love to see some of those fighting skills that were so tantelizingly displayed by the bad Sheppard in DG and replicator Shep in ‘The Mortal Coil” ( I know you can do it since you wrote MC).
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  55. To: susanthetartanturtle – not a diet, because it almost never works, but I’m going to start swimming pool at least once or twice a week in the New Year.

  56. Am I the only person who, on first seeing deeinsouthafrica’s little avatar/icon/picture thingy thought it was some strange internal organ?

    Anne Teldy

  57. Huh!

    I shamelessly “borrowed” it from one of the United Nations websites. If you can’t tell the difference between an appendix and their map of Africa, blame them!

    By the way, John Scalzi speaks about his books at this YouTube link:
    It’s not new, but if you have just discovered his books (as I have) it is very interesting. A word of warning tho’ – Scalzi’s speech is almost an hour long!

  58. Hi Joe. I hope you Mum has recovered from her night out the other night. If it was my Mum I would still be waving my hand in front of her face quietly saying, “Mum? Mum? Come back to us.”
    If Jason Momoa ever breaks a leg (and I certainly hope he doesn’t) then maybe one our Australian Cricketers could stand in –
    He plays cricket a lot like the way Ronon enters a battle. .. you do not want to make him angry.
    Annie from Fremantle will know what this is about 🙂
    And if the newly snipped dreds go missing at least you know you have a potential donor.

    Happy New Year everyone. We are sweating it out here with 42 degrees today. I believe that converts to around 107 degrees fahrenheit. It will be a New Years Eve spent barely surfacing from the water.

  59. Farscapefan Says:
    December 30, 2007 at 1:03 pm
    To: susanthetartanturtle – not a diet, because it almost never works, but I’m going to start swimming pool at least once or twice a week in the New Year

    I can’t swim and I am not all that sure that I would float. I am going to cut on my food intake down and do something called ‘exercise’ – walking. I am considering getting a dog – negotiations are underway with my feline masters.

  60. on slice of scifi i noticed they took down the first interview and replaced it with a new one without that coment about weir in it… i wonder why

  61. Sick, unhappy and fed up of this stupid cold! I may be a woman, but right now I feel like I have a Man Cold! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this out:

    ROTFL!! Fortunately, husband of mine isn’t like this with his cold, and I’m not quite that bad, but… moan, whinge, mutter, moan…

    Going to bed – hope I can breathe enough to get some sleep!

  62. «Morgia writes: “do you ever read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

    Answer: Haven’t read it yet but loved Blade Runner.

    Just a word of warning: although Philip K. Dick was an excellent writer, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep bears very little resemblance to Blade Runner. The movie took the basic premise and made an entirely different story out of it.»

    Yes I agree with you, and its is why I was not certain at the beginning I enjoy the book. But, more I think about the book, more I think I prefer it to the movie. But its really to different things.
    And for susanthetartanturtle, I understand very well your situation: I have 80 lbs to lose and and lost 26 until now.
    So go go go girl we can do it !!!!!

  63. Hello, and Merry Christmas! Hope you got everything you wanted!

    So, about the Ark of Truth leak, my mom and I have a bet going as to whether or not I’ll have watched Ark of Truth by midnight tomorrow. I’m gonna win $5! That’ll go towards spending money for the Chicago con next year!

    Question: With the “Ark of Truth” leak recently, and the previous “Doppelganger” leak, will any extra security be taken with “Continuum”?

  64. Hey Joe, a few questions, when approaching stories, I’m curious what angle do you generally take when coming up with ideas? Do you think about what you want to achieve with an episode (say forinstance developing the relationship between two characters) and then think of a story that it would fit into, or think of a plot first and then decide what elements would be good you would add into it, like developing a relationship?

    You’ve also in the past spoken about how you’ve been occasionally been suprised at fan reactions to episodes, what are the episodes where you’ve been most suprised at the reaction, either positive or negative?

    And finally is there a chance we’ll see an episode in the future (either season 4 or 5) which the main story is not told from the teams perspective? Because obviously they’re the stars of the show the stories should mostly be told from their perspective. But I think some stories can be really interesting if told from a different perspective. I think one of the things that made the episode ‘Michael’ stand out was the fact that (at least from the first half) it was told from Michaels POV, not the teams. And we knew the team knew something WE didn’t, which rarely happens. And it made the episode stand out and was really interesting. And I was speaking to a friend who was talking about ‘Bad Guys’, and even though they liked the episode, they thought it would have been better had the episode taken place from the native peolpe’s POV, rather then SG-1’s, and seeing SG-1 from the perspective of people who are aliens to them. And I think it can make an episode feel quite original, and give it something new.
    One of the big things for me isn’t neccesserily what the story is about but HOW it is told. And why I had a problem with a few episodes like ‘The Tower’ as the way it was told was too similar to past stories, not necesserily the content that was the issue. So is there a chance we’ll see something like that in the future, where the story is told from another perspective that gives the audience a chance to experience these characters and plots from different angle?
    And is the way you approach stories something you do look to change over the show?
    Thanks for your time.
    – Inpa

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