In yesterday’s blog entry, I reminded everyone to tune into The People’s Choice Awards to find out whether Atlantis had won the award for Favorite Sci Fi Show. I wrote: “ If we win, I’ll celebrate by seeing how drunk I can get on champagne truffles.” The answer? Pretty damn drunk! At least I assume I was drunk – dizzy, queasy, deliriously happy one minute and then tearfully depressed the next. It was when I started arguing politics with the droopy gingko in my backyard that Fondy decided I’d had enough and finally brought me up to bed. So, in short – we won and thanks to everyone who made it possible. And an extra special thanks to all of you who are, without a doubt, the most passionate, loyal, bloodthirsty fans out there. Thanks!

The Princess Bride is one of my favorite films of all time. So, when I came across the book in my local bookstore last year, I assumed that it was a novelization of the movie. To my surprise, I discovered that the book actually preceded the movie by some 14 years (Yes, I know William Goldman is a successful novelist, but I’d never heard of The Princess Bride outside of the film version). Well, I was dying to find out how it measured up and purchased a copy. While I intended to read it regardless, I’m pleased it was chosen as a Book of the Month Club selection since I’m curious to hear all of your thoughts.

As for my thoughts? Loved it! And yet, as much as I loved it, I still prefer the movie – and this has less to do with any minor quibbles I have with the book than it does with Goldman’s skill in adapting The Princess Bride to the big screen. The movie remained incredibly true to the original in both story and spirit, a frustrating rarity in screen adaptation. As much as I enjoyed the little extras the book offers up (the backstories of the main players, the zoo of death, the more detailed accounts of Inigo and Fezzik’s respective journeys after being bested by the Dread Pirate Roberts), I didn’t really miss them.

I also enjoyed enjoyed the book’s metafictional elements, Goldman’s authorial interjections in which he comments on the abridgement process of Morgenstern‘s masterpiece. They were as hilariously entertaining as the straight narrative, particularly his bullet summaries of what he considered the original’s boring bits. However, the interjections in which Goldman discusses his faux personal life (his relationship with his fictitious son and the dissolution of his equally fictitious marriage) felt out of place and occasionally off-putting. The Princess Bride lampoons the writing process, the traditional fairy tale. It’s telling that while the fictitious Buttercup and Westley prove that love conquers all, Goldman the narrator (in this case, the fictitious persona he has created for himself to tell this particular story) is barely able to maintain a loving relation between his son or his psychiatrist wife. Yes, it is an ironic reinforcement of the thematic subversion (culminating in the atypically open-ended ending which is a far cry from Happily Everafter), but I questioned whether it was really necessary? Did it help or rather hinder? Did it detract from your overall enjoyment of the book?

And then there’s the first chapter of Buttercup’s Baby which is included in the 25th Anniversary Edition I purchased (don’t know if previous editions contained the excerpt). I found it a bit of out of place, a downbeat and odd addition to the whole. To be honest, I’m not really sure why it was included.

Still, all minor quibbles. Of the three books of the month, The Princess Bride was my favorite by far. Your thoughts?

Well, the results are in for next month’s Book of the Month Club. A nice change of pace for February as we’ll be reading some short story collections. In the SciFi category, it will be Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge, edited by Lou Anders (Let’s see if we can convince Lou to swing by and answer some questions about this particular collection). In the Fantasy category, it will be Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman. And, finally, in the Horror category, Simmons nudges past Martin, so we’ll be reading Children of the Night, by Dan Simmons. As was the case with the January selections, feel free to read one, two, or all three selections (if you’re one of those voracious readers). Let’s start the discussions in the third week of February.

By the way, thanks to everyone who has swung by to offer up their thoughts on The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Today’s blog is dedicated to Amy’s Great Grandma who passed away this morning.

Today’s pics: The dogs, wiped after a return to daycare.

Today’s mailbag:

Ongoing Time-Traveler’s Wife discussion:

Tenmongaku writes: “So I had a few comments about your comment about why the couple would choose to bring someone into the world with the “genetic disorder” (I know, weird construct, right?) of compelled time travel. I think that in reality, having a child is an intensely personal decision for anyone to make, and boiling considerations down to “they might get this genetic disorder” oversimplifies things a tad.”Answer: Point taken. However, given the fact that something like this is, as you’ve pointed out, an intensely personal and complex decision, I wished we could have been made privy to the thought processes and arguments (presumably there would have been more than a few) that would have led up to this decision. Aegfyu writes: “I do find some sense in the lottery tickets: Henry knew the numbers, but he didn’t know who won. He did not change anything he had knowledge of.”

Answer: I consider that a cheat. Simply because he doesn’t know who won the lottery doesn’t mean there’s a very strong likelihood that he and Clare won it. In fact, I would argue that the chances of him winning the lottery without knowing the numbers ahead of time would have been extremely remote.

queenrens writes: “I am here to comment on The crooked Letter…”

Answer: Hey, slow down, you anxious thing you. Discussion of The Crooked Letter officially kicks off on Monday.

silan writes: “Henry does disappear in front of other people. Not often, but it happens.”

Answer: Then that’s even worse! He conveniently disappears in front of people and suffers absolutely no repercussions. His witnessed disappearances – in front of his friends and Dr. Kendrick – also work out to his benefit.

Silan also writes: “So, while the winning lottery tickets are pre-determined, I don’t think that the winner necessarily is.”

Answer: See above. But, really – the winner of the lottery is as pre-determined as those numbers.

iamza writes: “Henry didn’t change the lottery numbers that were picked, he merely capitalized on his knowledge of them.”

Answer: Right – but he still used his knowledge of the future to win a lottery he wouldn’t have won had he not played the (future) winning numbers. Hey, I’m not saying he shouldn’t have done it. I’m just saying it demonstrates an inconsistency in his approach to the whole fate vs. determinism argument.

WannaBe writes: “the big difference? This freaking book had no plot!!!”

Answer: In all fairness, there was a plot – but a very untraditional one. On the other hand, someone pointed out that if you got rid of the hook/time-travel angle and simply focused on Henry and Clare’s relationship, the book would prove a very difficult read because, as you pointed out, the characters had no goals and there was little conflict (outside of the complications created by the time travel angle).

Etc.shiningwit writes: “What the hell am I doing up at 4.56am?”Answer: Uh, reading my blog. What else?Arctic Goddess: “Btw, I was the one that sent you the inspirational book.”

Answer: Thought so. Thanks.

SellyOakBlade writes: “1) In the first attck on the Replicator ship by both the Apollo and Daedelus, was it really necessary to send 3 full bird colonels and a Lt col into harms way?

2) Was the possibility of the collapsing and compressing “blob” actually acheiving fusion as a start/black hole ever considered (I know McKay and Carter mention neutron Star density). It could have made for an interesting next episode as the Apollo/Daedelus can`t get away etc etc.”

Answers: 1) We needed as many ships as possible and Ellis and Caldwell commanded the respective ships so, yes, their presence was required. And, since Carter was overseeing the operation, it made sense for her to be there as well. 2) I actually pitched this idea but we ended up going with a variation because some in the room objected to the science behind the idea. Lousy logic-monkeys!

SMB_Books writes: “Joe – in recent days/weeks you’ve mentioned off and on some snippets about developments for Season 5, potential character announcements, negotiations, etc. How close are we to knowing the cast line-up for Season 5? (Regular, recurring, etc.).

Which answer best fits? (Hey it’s like those multiple choice questions in school!)
A) This week
B) Next week
C) Next month
D) Not until Season 4 is done airing.”

Answer: E) Whenever SciFi puts out the official press release.

AnneTeldy writes: “Which do you favor: ballpoint, rollerball, or fountain pen?”

Answer: Very pointy gel pens that can also be used as hand weapons.

Killdeer writes: “Several of us had been expecting a nice Rodney/Teyla scene in BAMSR. Did that get cut, or is it later down the road?”

Answer: Sorry. When I answered the question about a Rodney-Teyla scene, I was thinking Ronon/Teyla. For a sweet Rodney/Teyla scene, you’ll have to wait for Kindred I.

Klemen writes: “There’s a heated debate going on at gateworl about tehnobabble and deus ex machinas.Some are complaining that you use to much tehnobabble to solve problems.And that you (the writers) invent a machine out of the blue to overcome that problem. ”

 Answer: Hmmm.  The last time I saw fans complaining about Stargate’s use of a deus ex machina to solve a problem (a couple of years ago), it was pretty clear that the fans in question didn’t have a clue what a deux ex machina actually was.  Could you provide some examples of what was referred to?

99 thoughts on “January 9, 2008: Champagne Truffle Buzz, The Princess Bride, and Pooped Pooches.

  1. Um, today’s the 9th, not the 8th.

    Please answer this question. What part of Scotland is Beckett from? Thanks.

  2. Probably not the first to point this out, but in your champagne truffle hangover you have the wrong date (I mean I know I’m on the east coast of the US but it IS Jan 9 in Vancouver? or did I fall into an alternate timeline again?)

    Ohhh I know one (if I remember rightly) doesn’t Deus Ex Machina literally mean machine of god? The hand of god? But it had something to do (again, history of theater was many years ago) with the way plays were staged in greek times … something about a machine that crew were in overhead… 😉 ponders… yeah, I’ll be checking wikipedia on that.

    Oh well! Happy Weds/Thurs to all!

  3. Can I comment again? Since I was creepy/weird enough to wikipedia Deus Ex Machina, they specifically referred to SG1!

    From wikipedia.com, “Deus Ex Machina”

    [snip] In the Stargate SG-1 episode titled “Ex Deus Machina”, the system lord Ba’al is captured through a detailed series of events and then killed. In the last few minutes of the episode the protagonists find that Ba’al had been experimenting with cloning, the episode ends showing that Ba’al had survived. [snip]

    Although since you twisted the words around for the title in that one, and I’m not good with latin, how does that translate comparatively 🙂 ?

    Ok have a good laugh at me for looking it up. But at least (ahem, PG-15) I didn’t spend time looking at Joe’s desk photos to see if I could ferret out any spoilers!

  4. The Princess Bride. Like you, I wasnt even aware that this was originally a novel later adapted to a movie. The movie itself is one of my top ten all time favorites, sweet, gentle, and with an elbow in ribs humor. I was optimistic when this book got chosen, and I finished it off within days of it being selected.
    Unfortunately, I found it to be a very big disappointment. Not the fairy tale portions; the novel version was as poignant and enjoyable as the movie. I wouldnt have minded seeing a couple of those bits making it into the video version. But going through the “autobiorgraphical” portions and the Morgenstern background history just wore at me. Most particularly the author’s backstory. I just found it such a jarring contrast to the fairy tale, that I had to force myself to not simply skip those parts. Like you, I picked up the anniversery addition, and I found the added chapter of Buttercup’s Baby to be somewhat repulsive. There certainly wasnt anything in it to make me want to read any sequel to the original. All in all, I’d give this one a D, and suggest someone save time by watching the movie and finding a worthier book to occupy one’s time.
    Stray question of the day. In Letters to Pegasus, all the way back in season 1, we saw the Wraith use some sort of beam from orbit to(or into) the planet being culled. As far as I can see, we’ve never seen that explained. Is there anything coming up in the rest of this season or next season that might enlighten us on this? And finally, yes, the dogs are ridiculously cute. Much, much better than kittens.

  5. “Elizabeth Says:
    January 9, 2008 at 6:20 pm
    Um, today’s the 9th, not the 8th.”

    Depends on what side of the planet you’re on, Elizabeth – it’s the 10th here in Oz!!

    “Princess Bride” – haven’t read the book, but adored the film. Inigo Montoya rocks!

    Now that the PCA’s are all over for this year, what’s the next online award we can start spamming…er, voting on?

  6. Thank you! (this is more of a response to your previous blog) I thought I was the only person who didn’t find The Time Traveler’s Wife to be the “greatest book ever” like it seems everyone around me keeps saying. I had the exact same problems with it…the characters simply weren’t likable. Glad to see someone out there is sane.

    Okay, so I figure if I ask this question enough you’ll eventually get a headache and just answer so…. I heard that Claudia Black had only filmed for like a week for Continuum…so are we going to get any quality screen time with Vala (or Qetesh)? Any chance for some juicy moments for her? Any note-worthy Daniel/Vala moments?

  7. (1) When were you and producers of the show notified that SGA had won the People’s Choice Award. (And good job on keeping that a secret!)

    (2) Is Joe Flanigan’s current scruffy beard in preparation for filming the first episode of season 5, or is he just too lazy to shave? (not that the fans mind the not shaving thing…)

  8. Hi Joe

    Loved ” All your sins be remember’d. Excellent work.. Liked everything about this one.. Will you be bringing back Fran .. I like the idea that you could have a SGA “DATA” .. That would be cool…

    Good job

    Take Care


  9. Yay! Thanks for answering about the Rodney/Teyla scene. I’m glad to hear that nothing was cut and we still have one to look forward to.

    As for the mystery of Teyla’s comment to Shep, I suppose I will assume that it was something that happened offscreen. (?) 😀

    Also looking forward to the SciFi press release regarding S5. 🙂

  10. I envy you voracious readers, I really do. It takes me half-an-hour to read 5 pages of something, just because my mind keeps wandering. Ugh.

    Klemen writes: “There’s a heated debate going on at gateworl about tehnobabble and deus ex machinas.Some are complaining that you use to much tehnobabble to solve problems.And that you (the writers) invent a machine out of the blue to overcome that problem. “

    Answer: Hmmm. The last time I saw fans complaining about Stargate’s use of a deus ex machina to solve a problem (a couple of years ago), it was pretty clear that the fans in question didn’t have a clue what a deux ex machina actually was. Could you provide some examples of what was referred to?

    Well, the original poster listed the following as “magical new technology [that] appear[s] out of the blue” (his words):

    the time travel puddlejumper
    the Hyperspace puddlejumper
    Asguard beam weapons
    Yet another 304 battleship
    The Ark of Truth
    The Weapon on Dakara
    The Ancient repository in Lost City
    Merlin’s device
    The anti-Prior tech
    Asguard beaming/shields/weapons
    Invisibility tech

    But you really do have to read his thread to get what he’s saying, and even then…yeah:


    Anyway, copying and pasting my questions from 2 days ago (well, those you haven’t answered today):

    1. If the writers of Canada were to strike, would you continue this blog?

    2. I thought the Replicator Aurora class ships were kind of weaker than their Lantian cousins in BAMSR. They barely fired any drones and their shields seemed to have come down really fast. Do you agree? If so, is there an in-show reason for it (i.e. the reps were occupied with something yet to be seen)?

    3. So I gather that your winter vacation is over then? Are you be back to work permanently starting this Monday?

  11. Fine, don’t solve the mystery of the million producers! See if I care!!!!


    I haven’t recently read The Princess Bride, but I did once upon a time. I remember thinking it was extraordinarily similar to the movie which was quite pleasing to me because, as you mentioned, that doesn’t seem to happen all that often.

    I also remember having a wild grin attached to my face throughout the reading of it. If anyone saw me reading it, they probably thought I was manic.

    I went to a zoo once (actually, Grant’s Farm in St. Louis which includes 2 free cups of beer with price of admission…which happens to be free) where I saw some real R.O.U.S.(es). Seriously gigantic rodents. But they must have been sedated, as they weren’t frothing at the mouth or attacking people. You could also feed milk to goats out of bottles and see the Budweiser Clydesdales. All in all, a worthwhile afternoon.

  12. Woo and Hoot *and just a pinch of squee* on the win 🙂 *I had some wit to follow but since it got lost enrute to my fingers from my brain i’ll just say congratulations and leave it at that*

  13. Good book discussion today! What are some of your least favorite books?

  14. God your pugs are sooo beautiful! *Saves bottom pic for desktop*
    (even though I can only save them in big arsed .bmp format- why is that?)

    They do looked like pooped poochies. I’m amazed at how much they shed! I hope you have a cleaning lady to give Fondy a respite from all the vacuuming of dog hair. (or do you do it?)

    As for bloodthirsty.. well I don’t know about that but we did press that vote button a fair bit. Determined… aye!! Sore fingers? That too.

    Glad you got rotten on your truffles and trust me, gingkoes make great political debaters… (mind you they do push the “Go Green” issue a bit)

    Congrats again Joe and Pauline, still can’t find that fountain pen. I need O-O ! Help me out here…

  15. I read the Princess Bride nearly 20 years ago, in high school for
    English class. I found it very funny and enjoyable. When the movie trailer came out, I remember shouting “Oh my god!” in the theater. I was amazed and pleased that anyone thought to make it into a movie. That they stayed about as true to a book as I’ve ever seen was a total delight.

    One of my favorite moments in the book, is when Inigo is fighting the six fingered man, and losing. His father’s spirit is berating him. … At least i think that scene was there its been a loooooong time since i read it.

  16. Congratulations on the People’s Choice Awards, I was very excited about it when I found out (and not just a little because of Joe’s Champagne Truffle Challenge).

    Speaking of chocolate, what is your most favoured chocolate at the moment?

    And in light of the pen question, I would like to know: how often do you actually write with pen and paper compared to how often you type?

  17. I was lucky enough to discover The Princess Bride waaaaaaaaaaay back in the 70’s – a very cool English teacher at my high school included it in his reading list. While I adore the movie and agree with you that Goldman did a brilliant job transferring the best of the book to the screen, I still enjoy the meta story that Goldman spun around the fairy tale. Specifically, I love the scenes where Goldman describes his own fictitious childhood – they’re reminiscent of Jean Sheppard’s A Christmas Story in atmosphere and flavor. The two best bits, in my opinion, are the scene where Billy has the ‘Life Isn’t Fair!’ epiphany after losing at tennis and the scene where Billy explains to his teacher that he wasn’t paying attention in class because he was trying to figure out what kind of sandwich Bronco Nagurski would like. Both the book and the movie are excellent uses of their respective media, don’t you think?

  18. When I read The Princess Bride years (and years and years and years …) ago, there was no Buttercup’s Baby ending. It must have been added recently, as you said. Can you give a short synopsis?
    Unlike you, Joe, I found Goldman’s asides (or interruptions) to the actual story just as entertaining as the story itself. Although I must admit the earlier recollections of him as a boy being read to were better than him as an adult trying to push the book.
    I agree the movie was a faithful adaptation. But even if it hadn’t been …
    ‘Never let the movie spoil a good book’ 😀

  19. I really liked the last episode of Atlantis, but I was really shocked by John’s reaction to Teyla being pregnant. On one hand, I can understand his reaction, but on the other it seemed a little harsh. Infact, the character has seemed a little scream-y lately… any reason for this? Other than the obvious ‘we’re gonna DIE!’ thing? Do we have a nice ‘John goes on stress leave’ episode coming up? Right after the stick fighting episode I would guess… 😛

  20. We were watching “Letters From Pegasus” today and have a question. Sheppard left the jumper during the culling to check out what that big column of light was that was coming down to the planet. What was it? Was that ever explained?

  21. The Princess Bride was a lovely little fairy tale, IMO, funnier than most of them are, of course. However, this is one time when I can say I enjoyed the movie more than the book. I thought Goldman’s editorials were intrusive, and slowed down the story. It seemed as if he inserted one every time we came to a major event. I also didn’t like the two forewords and the prologue (I must have bought the same edition you did, JM) involving the Goldman “family”, and I never got around to reading Buttercup’s Baby because I don’t like to start stories I know aren’t going to finish.

    Even so, although The Princess Bride is another book I wouldn’t have chosen for myself, I’m pleased to have read it. Goldman was right in one respect: although other actors could have played Inigo Montoya in the movie, there can never be another Fezzik but Andre the Giant.

  22. Congrats on the award!

    Please ignore the provided Gateworld link; it’s just someone using the fact that s/he didn’t enjoy BAMSR and doesn’t like large amounts of technobabble to accuse the writers of poor writing. It’s pointless griping, and I’d hate for it to poorly affect your opinion of the fans.

  23. For me, the nice thing about The Princess Bride is that it’s one of the few stories where I was able to enjoy both the textual and visual versions without feeling like one of them was lacking somehow. Part of that is, of course, because I saw the movie first, and it’s hard to make complaints about the movie when you’re not familiar with the book, just like it’s hard to complain about differences you find in the book when you know it actually came first.

    Anyway, If I had to choose, I would choose the movie too, mostly because I love the actors — particularly their deliveries of their respective lines. (I swear, that has to be the most quoted film among my generation outside of Star Wars. Hell, maybe more so! One of my fave shirts ever has a faux “Hello, my name is …” sticker on it with “Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” written in the blank part.)

    But really? I’m glad we have both. Inigo’s backstory is probaby my favourite aspect of the novel. I also greatly appreciated the lengthier introduction to Buttercup and Wesley, Welsley’s story about how he became the Dread Pirate Roberts, the additional scenes in the Zoo of Death, and the extra bits in the Fire Swamp. (The Prince Humperdink bits rounded out his character more, but almost made him too sympathetic for this kind of story — and, well, they were a bit boring at times.) I, too, loved it when the narrator would summarise the endless meandering passages that “Morgenstern wrote”. I did want to strangle him when he would skip sections I wanted to know more about, though; I don’t know whether to admire Goldman for finding such a clever way to get out of writing the stuff he didn’t want to bother with/couldn’t think of how to portray, or just call him incredibly lazy. And yes, the divergences into his “personal life” did distract greatly from the story at times.

    Did you read the introduction? I have to admit, the first time I read it, I half-fell for it — I really wasn’t sure, for several years, in fact, if he was kidding or he just really had a great sense of humour about his life. Well, except for the fact that it was often just painfully awkward instead of funny (rather like some family gathering moments I’ve been witness to — the kind where you’re not sure if you should be laughing or trying to offer comfort?). I started skimming parts because it just seemed to drone on endlessly. Anyway, I feel silly for falling for it now — and feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with him in real life, if it’s *always* that hard to tell if he’s kidding or not!

    I was so excited when I saw the “Buttercup’s Baby” blurb on the Anniversary edition, but like you, found it, ultimately, to be far too much of a downer after such a funny book. It seems like a cruel joke to play on those who have begged for a sequel. Although, from a literary standpoint, again, what a clever way to get out of writing it — write the story into a corner so that a sequel can’t effectively be done!

    Bit of slightly off-topic trivia: Did you know that Chris Sarandon, aka Prince Humperdink, was the voice of Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas?


    Reminder to everyone: don’t forget to vote for SGA at TV.com!

  24. It’s been a few years since I read “The Princess Bride”, and I have to say that the thing from the book that I most enjoyed was the little narrator asides about abridging the original text. I have always loved the story from the movie, and I loved that the two incarnations are so alike in spirit while I can enjoy them both for different reasons. The bit from the book that I will always remember (at least in impression) is the aside about Morgenstern’s detailing all of the packing and unpacking of the trunks. I have no idea *why* that stuck, but the mental images and impressions that it gave me of Buttercup were very different from those I took from the movie.

    Gotta say, I don’t remember the narrator bits about the wife and marital problems. Maybe I edited them from my memory so that I would remember the book more fondly?

  25. In an effort to continue expanding my repertoire of classics, I, like you, picked up The Princess Bride very recently. I also got the 25th anniversary edition–and was unaware of the fictitious story frame he used in setting up the novel until he actually mentions visiting Florin.

    I really enjoyed it! A great compilation of literary devices, from the fictitious frame story to the characterization. I did feel a little like you with regards to the fictitious family–I didn’t enjoy it all the way through. In parts, but overall it felt a tick to long.

    I did enjoy how Goldman reflected the feeling of the frame story in his adaptation to film. Half the fun of the movie are the cutaways to Fred Savage and Peter Faulk reacting to the action. I honestly don’t think the casting in the film could have been better, though Buttercup in the story is a bit more one dimensional than Robin Wright portrayed her.

    I really wish I was still in my English major classes and could sit down and dissect some of the elements of the story. I’d love to figure out what others thought of the symbolism (or is it allegory?) of the Buttercup’s Baby chapter.

    Congrats on the PCA! Too bad this is the year of no awards shows…I would have liked to see the awards telecast.

    My only question asks if Torri is returning to Season 5, but I’m sure you’re getting asked that 10 times over again and will answer in due time, so I’ll be patient.

  26. I didn’t know the Princess Bride existed in book form until you mentioned it last month on your blog. I got the book last weekend and finished it in a couple of days – I couldn’t stop! The movie is my favourite movie of all time, and I’m glad the book and movie were so similar. Even though I already knew what would happen, I was looking forward to read the novel version of my favourite scenes from the movie.

    I must admit though, I didn’t realise how much of the “autobiographical” content was actually fiction (turns out pretty much all of it!). I caught on to some of the far-fetched parts but I believed some of what he said. I guess that’s a sign of a really good writer…or a really gullible reader haha.

    Other than what you said about his commentary not really adding to the novel and his fictional marriage falling apart contrasting with the story of “true love” in the novel, I found that the commentary wasn’t necessary, but it didn’t detract from the main story either. In the edition I read, there were two “foreword/introduction” type things, written in 2003 and 1998 and it was quite long. I was 1/3 of the way through the book physically before I got to Chapter One.

    Buttercup’s Baby was odd but I think it was included to appease those who wanted a sequel, just to get a little bit more about their favourite characters. It didn’t really go anywhere, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Princess Bride but I didn’t think it was a waste of time to read either.

    The illusion that we were reading an abridgment of another, longer novel did work out though. All the extra details, from what I could see, were consistent (from what I saw), and thus, believable. It adds another layer to the novel, and instead of just us reading the story, it’s almost like we’re having the story told to us from someone else’s memory. I enjoyed that.

    My favourite part of the novel is Goldman’s writing style, especially his use of parentheses to add humourous comments. I can’t remember if comments like those were in the film or not, but I think that is one thing you can enjoy from the novel version more than the film version.

    Finally, the difference from the film and novel that sticks in my mind the most is that Vizzini and Prince Humperdinck seem smarter in the book than in the film version. For example, after Westley outwits Vizzini, Prince Humperdinck finds the wine glasses and poison vial. Humperdinck in the film declares that he can smell that it’s Iocane powder (which Westley had previously explained is odorless). In the novel, Humperdinck deduces that it’s Iocane powder because of the way Vizzini died and the fact that the Count says that he can’t smell anything in the wine.

    All in all, it was a great book, as enjoyable as the movie, in different ways. The only disappointment was the scene where Humperdinck captures Westley and Buttercup at the end of the Fire Swamp. In the movie, Humperdinck commands them to “Surrender!” and Westley wittingly replies “Very well, I accept your surrender”. In the novel, this does not happen.

  27. Lt.Col.Errandboy Says:
    “Elizabeth Says:
    Um, today’s the 9th, not the 8th.”
    Depends on what side of the planet you’re on, Elizabeth – it’s the 10th here in Oz!

    Okay, that’s not on the map. What are you talking about?!?

    I will actually be able to participate in the book of the month thing this month. Only for one of the books though. The library does not have the Neil Gaiman book (however, if the story is anything like the cover of the children’s book by that author I do not think I would have wanted to read it) and the horror book sounds nightmarish. However, I was able to find Fast Forward 1 at the library, so I’ll be able to read that.

    Hey cool, I was the first comment!

  28. Joe said with a hearty laugh and wicked smile, “And an extra special thanks to all of you who are, without a doubt, the most passionate, loyal, bloodthirsty fans out there. Thanks!”

    *bows* You are so very welcome! HUZZAH!! 🙂

    Didn’t manage to read The Princess Bride in time for the BotM Club, but it is one of my all-time favorite movies. Hey, at least I didn’t kill anyone’s father, so I just need to prepare to sleep, not die!

    Thanks for the dog pics. They are, as always, totally adorable!

    Hey, maybe that fan who was complaining about technobabble thought “deus ex machina” meant “two divorced mechanics?”

    Rock on, Joe!


  29. I loved The Princess Bride. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I wish I had known of the book years ago. I would have preferred to have read it before seeing the movie so that I could have formed my own impressions of the characters in my mind. The movie was so well cast, though, that it probably wouldn’t have made any difference!

    The one thing in the book that disturbed me a little was the use of the word “Spick”; which I always considered to be a racial slur. Am I being oversensitive?

    Oh, and congratulations on the People’s Choice Award from this “passionate, loyal, bloodthirsty fan”!

  30. http://m-w.com/dictionary

    deus ex machina:
    1 : a god introduced by means of a crane in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome 2 : a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty

  31. I was just wondering when a writer is coming up with a pilot, how fleshed out generally are the characters and the back stories?

    For example in Rising, there are so many elements that HAVE to be given. The city, location, characters, villains, basic premise, technology, et cetera.

    For example the character of Sheppard. (I know Brad and Rob wrote Rising but I figure you have some inside knowledge or insight) Do they only create the back story they need (for example we had to know he was a pilot, his past service record, and his innate ability at using ancient tech) or do they have general ideas of where he came from and a loose idea of where he’s headed? How do you balance what you want to establish, and still leave the characters organic?

  32. Lt. Col. Errandboy said: “Depends on what side of the planet you’re on, Elizabeth – it’s the 10th here in Oz!

    Elizabeth said: “Okay, that’s not on the map. What are you talking about?!?

    *laughs and laughs and laughs*

    Oz = colloquial name for Australia.

    It’s this itty bitty country (a mere 20 million people in about a square yardage equivalent to the USA’s main landmass) down in the Southern Hemisphere, colloquially known to the yanks as as ‘Down Under’ (although that determination is considered so retro-80s now) and the ‘home’ of such famous names as Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Mel Gibson, and Steve Irwin.

    Joe, you’ve inspired me to read ‘The Princess Bride’. Ever read ‘The Last Unicorn’? Actually a lot more solid than the movie they made of it!

    (and I hope my HTML works!)

  33. I loved the Princess Bride movie back when I first saw it in High School (and is still a great fixture of my DVD collection) – I thought it was a great laugh. Cary Elwes didn’t make the movie half bad either 😉
    It’s also a great way of figuring out at a dinner who you think you will get along with in conversation just by quoting any of the great lines and seeing who picks it out … I do like “I don’t swim, I only dog paddle” and you have to make the dog paddle actions. I wasn’t sure about reading the book as I find I tend to skim read if I already know the plot well.
    I was considering I Am Legend as my next book (just finishing Consider Phlebas). My client came up and said he saw the movie, I said I was thinking of getting the book and then he says how it ends thinking I had seen the movie! Damn!!!!!!!!!!!
    Joe, I have a client who runs an organisation that takes in pugs from people who find they can’t look after their medical problems. He has pugs at his office and they run the place. A true kind soul.
    PS: When you mentioned politics did you really discuss that or was that just to see if you could continue to bump your blog up on the “hoting” list?

  34. Hi Joe,

    I have been reading and enjoying your blog for almost a year now. You’re very entertaining. Congrats on the People’s Choice Awards. Too bad they don’t have a People’s Choce award for best blog, you would get my vote.

    Anyway, I want to weigh in on The Time Traveler’s Wife. I have found it to be an interesting read. I think what really kept me reading was my curiosity to find out what was going to happen next and how the story would unfold as opposed to being totally facinated with the characters and the romance.

    It’s a good thing for Henry that the story starts out in the ’70 before all the Megan’s Laws have been enacted and cell phone and camara phones existed to the extent they do now. When he first appeared naked in front of the 5 year old I was thinking “oh my gosh, it’s a good thing he wasn’t caught in these days and times or he would have been strung up!”

    I also find it hard to have to suspend logic in an already illogical situation. For example, Henry always managed to conveniently disappear before the police could ever get a picture or a fingerprint. I was also surprised there were no legal ramifications for at the very least for Claire (Henry would have managed to disappear) after they tied the football player to a tree and held him at gunpoint tantimount to kidnapping.

    As for the space time continum hocus pocus, Henry popping in on himself made me actually wonder out loud “can he do that?”

    I did find the book to be entertaining as long as I took it at face value and did not try to think too hard. The author did do a great job with description and crafting the timeline.

    It was a fun read. Next, I want to check out “Old Man’s War”. You mention it so much you have me curious. By the way, I have actually ventured in to trying more chocolate other than my Baby Ruth bar.

    Thanks for the fun!

  35. Seldear, maybe I should change my username from NarelleFromAus to NarelleFromOz – could get confusing though – there may be assumptions I know something about Kansas. Then I’d have to rename my dog from Jack to Toto. Nah, you can’t have an Australian Kelpie named Toto. narellefromaus it will remain. NarelleFromStinkingFreakingHotAus could be an option very soon however if these 40+ degree days continue.

  36. Yay! Congrats on the PCA win!! I admit to voting a lot 🙂 I’m really enjoying Season 4, watching every Friday night – live with my SG pals and pizza!

    Wondering – do you (the writers/producers) see the outlines/ideas/plot info for the Stargate Novels before they are published to comment on/correct? Or just MGM? I’ve enjoyed some of them – found others to be not as entertaining. Have you/other writers ever thought about doing a novel for the series with an idea that was too big/involved for TV? I would love if Carl Binder wrote one 🙂 Since he can’t write for the show currently with the strike. I love his take on Sheppard and McKay.

  37. Wow! You must’ve had to go through an *enormous* amount of chocolate (by my standards) in order to get drunk on the contents. But, at least one blog entry has made it clear that you’re quite up to the feat. The human male is the only species – species, I say – that’s prone to attempt such things. It’s both eyebrow-lifting and, well, darkly fascinating at the same time, sort of like pregame tailgating Raiders-style.

    I agree with Annie about the debating prowess of gingkos. Ours is only five, still a sapling, but already determinedly heliotropic. (No doubt it will head to L.A. when it’s old enough.) The weeping cherry has proven to be a better companion for the rare late-late-night, alcohol-induced stroll around the garden.

    I’ve really enjoyed all the commentary on The Princess Bride. Like you and many have said, it’s one of my favorite movies. I get the feeling that I wouldn’t like the book quite as well (except for the character backstory); also, I want to start on Before They Are Hanged either tonight or tomorrow. – Comments on The Blade Itself will be dispatched tomorrow, I hope.

  38. I’ll bullet point some of my thoughts about Princess Bride (let it be known I am only halfway through the book, so my comments are incomplete, at best):

    -I was put-off by the the ‘alternate universe’ life Goldman made for himself regarding his wife and kid; I thought the idea was intriguing to make himself a character, so to speak, but the execution of it did not deliver for me.

    -I found myself completely uninterested in Fezzik’s and Inigo’s backstory. I think this is because I wanted to read it on pace with the film, and that’s just not possible, even for me.

    -I have always enjoyed the back/forth banter in the film, and was surprised to learn it was so accurately reproduced from the book. “Fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders…” Who on earth does not know that part by heart? Love it, love it!

    -And did you ever notice this (think in broad terms of the first half of the book up through the battle of wits):

    Sheppard=Man in Black

    and it doesn’t really matter who Buttercup is.

  39. Can I answer the deus ex machina question or is that only for the irate fans? Wow, maybe it’s time to go back to school already! When the Stargate episode “Ex Deus Machina” aired I had briefly looked into the term and forgotten about it. In my lit class this year the teacher gave a more detailed description, and (sign I might watch too much) immediately thought of Stargate. I will say, though, if the term is taught by the wrong teacher (and there are quite a few of those floating around) I can kinda see what the irate fan is talking about… or maybe not. I don’t know. I would like to know if you have any favorite deus ex machina examples though!

  40. Hi Joe,

    Congrats again on the win.

    Question…was JF’s fuller beard (as seen in the vid clip for the PCA’s) for a upcoming S5 episode, movie or just because he likes them when not shooting the show?

  41. Elizabeth said: “Okay, that’s not on the map. What are you talking about?!?“

    Look down under for the map of Tasmania.. 😉

    btw Princess Bride is also a fave movie of mine. *sighs at a young Cary Elwes*

  42. Heh, I can still remember stumbling across a hardcover edition of The Princess Bride in the library after having just watched the movie. At the time, I confused William Goldman with William Golding (who wrote Lord of the Flies, which I’d had to read for English in school, and which, after the whole Piggy scene, I absolutely loathed), and thought they were one and the same author. I was very relieved to later find out they weren’t. 🙂

    I found an old copy of the The Princess Bride hanging around the house, so I reread that. It doesn’t have the whole Buttercup’s baby story at the end, though it does contain an instruction note from the author to the effect that if readers wanted a copy of the first chapter of Buttercup’s Baby, then they’d have to write to the publisher at such and such an address. I’ll confess I was tempted to do just that, except that the book was published way back when, and the publisher has probably long since changed its address. *grin*

    I honestly can’t decide whether I prefer the text or movie version of this story. I liked Goldman’s authorial asides in the text version a whole lot more than I liked the Columbo/Fred Savage scenes in the movie, and I liked getting to see the extra moments that were cut from the movie script. At the same time, when reading the book, it was impossible not to visualize characters as they appeared in the movie: Andre the Giant, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright and Cary Elwes were just so perfectly cast, and the movie just worked so incredibly well.

    Mostly, I guess, I love tales that make me laugh, and both book and movie made me laugh out loud repeatedly. And as much as Goldman seems to be taking the mickey out of true love and fairytale fantasies, he’s also created a wonderful fairytale world all his own.

  43. Who came up with FRAN? I like the idea of her but it strays very close to the idea of avatars for ships in Andromeda… which ironically both Michael and Chris played!

  44. Okay, this is utterly random, but the question about deus ex machinas reminded me of the episode Ex Deus Machina, and I just love that title. Sometimes you guys really think up some clever stuff.

  45. Joe…concentrating my efforts on my new girlfriend I have had to cut down my internet time. Thus, I belatedly saw BAMSR. Great episode if I do say so myself. I have but one question: Why does it feel like I am seeing less of a show?

    I say this in regards to the…in my opinion, lack of content. I’m not saying the episode(s) lack content as such…but it seems like the old STARGATE: SG-1(season’s 1-5) however a different show had more in the way of character interaction and action.

    Watching the DVD’s of season 3 SGA I have noticed the 3 second cringe that Sheppard and McKay have are in a sense “time wasting”, yet ” they give the episode a certain “character.” Once again, I’m not saying a given episode lacks content as such, however it just seems to have less hardcore’ish action.

    In season 2 of SGA, an episode I lack the ability to like for “story reasons” is CONDEMNED, because it is old school style. They are on a planet, they are stuck, and they have that shoot-out with Jorel(Is that an Uberman rip-off?).

  46. A debate is raging on GW about O’Neill and Sheppard’s respective abilities to fire drones.

    Ripple in Space wrote:
    The only way I can think of to explain the Auroras’ weaknesses recently is that Jack & John are just the only ones who know how to fire drones properly.

    If Jack or John went up against a fleet of Wraith Hives in fully functioning & powered Auroras, I couldn’t see either destroying less than 6 hives before the shields have. For crying out loud, Jack destroyed an entire Ancient-enhanced fleet with drones in less than a minute & destroyed a Ha’tak with two drones. And Lorne destroyed a Hive in less than 10 seconds with drones, and THE SHIELDS OF HIS SHIP WEREN’T EVEN POWERED!

    Jenks wrote:
    Jack was only good with drones when he had the Ancient knowledge, since then when operating Ancient tech he seems no better than McKay…

    Ripple in space also reckons: (JACK)He destroyed a Ha’tak with two drones! It often takes Sheppard 3 drones to destroy a WRAITH DART!


  47. Hi again Mr M.,
    Greetings from Tipperary!
    Am off work today and in an unfamiliar internet cafe awaiting my car to be serviced….so using the down-time to catch up on the blog!
    Firstly, with regard to Be All My Sins Remembr’d…WOW! and again WOW! and finally WOW! Having seen pretty much every SG1 and SGA ep (some twice)…This takes the biscuit!! Fab show, fab crew, fab effects!!! more please!
    Secondly congrats on the Award, I did vote on-line (though I am here in Ireland)
    Thirdly, I am visiting Vancouver for the Creation Con in a few weeks, am particularly looking forward to the Set Tours…Two questions:
    1) Will we get to see your office??? or indeed where the spinning happens?
    2) I have scanned through your restaurant recommendations over the past few months and Fuel seems to be a constant…As I am in Vancouver or indeed Canada (perhaps only once in a lifetime) would this be your utlimate dining destination?
    Many thanks Mr M
    PS Sad to see Sen. Biden out of the race (my bro is gutted!)

  48. @seldear ~ interesting that you feel that way — Beagle, the novel’s author, wrote the screenplay for The Last Unicorn as well. He’s also, last I heard, still fighting with the company that currently owns the rights to the film for royaties they owe him. 🙁 Beagle is an extremely sweet guy. 🙂 Have you read the novella sequel to TLU, “Two Hearts”? He’s working on a full-length novel sequel as well. 😀

  49. sorry to bother you but my dd has asked me to post her questions again,sorry but shes bigger than me!1.How come the replicator ship with Weir in it didnt show up on the cheese grater thingy that showed all the ships,why didnt they check to make sure they got all of them 2.How have the ships got the asgard weapon cos she said at the end of season 10 sg1 carter turned them off so that the ori couldnt track them,and as they are based in the milky way they would be tracked by the ori and blown up.3. todd said there werent enuff wraith queens please where have they gone(she likes the wraith,her fave character before was anubis!)Thank you very much keep up the good work Judithxx

  50. As I haven’t read The Time Traveler’s Wife (my close libraries don’t have it), I can’t really comment intelligently on the debate over the lottery ticket, but rather on general feel from your comments. Based on what you said, I tend to think the character did conflict his own time travel…morals/rules. My question on that is…did the reader know before he went back and got the lottery numbers, that Clare had won? If they had (and thus, presumably Henry), one might say Henry was simply fulfilling destiny–and not changing the future because she already had the money, he just made the situation come true.

    And in regards to the last mailbag Q&A, while I have no participation in the “heated debate” Klemen speaks of, I have to say SGA is one of the few shows that I feel doesn’t use deus ex machina. The technology the show uses to save the day fits right with the style of the show. While one could comment on the perfect timing…the show mocks itself on that from time to time, thus relaying concerns or accusations of deus ex machina. For example, you could have saved Carson by some miracle device or immunity to exploding tumors. Now that would have been an example of deus ex machina. Frankly, I applaud you (the show writers) on how well everything flows together; it’s much more convincing than some other sci-fi/supernatural shows I watch.

  51. Joe, you are horrible. You’re personally making the list of books I need to read longer and longer!!!

  52. I greatly preferred the movie over the novel of the princess bride.

    What is your favorite Classic Movie? Mine is the Red Planet

    When do season passes for the upcoming seasons of Atlantis become available, I watch every Friday and upload all the seasons to my Itv I also own the dvds of the SG1 series and the ones released of Atlantis I keep DVD’s in the event I crash or my iTv gets a lightning bolt

  53. Annie from Fremantle said:
    Pauline, still can’t find that fountain pen. I need O-O ! Help me out here…

    Annie my love sorry there is no pen none that I can see anyway on Joe’s desk…sorry!!!

    It was just my warped sense of humor (Well not the $250,000 pen which I referred to).

    But I bet he has one of those pens for signing his multi million Canadian dollar contracts with!!!

    I myself carry a note book and pen every where I go just to write down conversations and observations (I’m not crazy I write).

    It’s not without its dangers though people give you funny looks all the time.

    The best way to worry people is to look at them intently, write something in your note book then talk into either your sleeve or your lapel.
    People are so paranoid…it’s great!!!


  54. I was thrilled with SGA’s People’s Choice win. Oh, the organization that fans were going through to ensure that we got to vote as many times as possible! 🙂

    Still, I screamed in aggravation at the little, teeny-tiny video clip they showed. I was glad to see the longer clip on the PCA website.

    Re The Princess Bride: I’m with you on the family parts of the book. It just seemed a little too consciously inserted as a contrast to the fairy tale. I often found myself skimming much of that. But he’s still has a great way of writing; even in the parts I didn’t enjoy as much.

    I wasn’t aware of a 25th anniversary edition. I’m intrigued.

  55. How long does it take those brilliant Special FX guys to do the Explosions in the show, the battle scenes and all those other cool things? Like making the Jumper go invisible, making the Jumper sit half through the Gate….that was so cool in 38 Minutes.

    Those guys are geniuses.


  56. First, a big congratulations on The People’s Choice Award – that’s great!
    Second, honored to have FF1 chosen, if a little guilty that it beat out the wonderful Kay Kenyon.
    And finally, would be more than glad to answer questions. I’m currently organizing my thoughts (“state of the field” and all that) for the introduction of FF2, so it’s great timing!

  57. Oh, oh, oh! Please forgive my bad manners! I forgot to congratulate you on Atlantis’s win at the People’s Choice Awards. I would have been most disappointed if you (we) had lost to that dreary weepfest BSG.

  58. Joe,
    A bit off-topic, but wondering why SGA doesn’t have any women writers?
    Have you found that the Sci-Fi writing genre is innately male-oriented?
    Your opinion please?

    Here is a current article, about women writers in the film industry in general:

  59. Hi Joe
    I thought I had posted a congrats on the PCA yesterday but in looking back at the comments, I see I was remiss.

    So……………..Congratulations to the Cast & Crew for the People’s Choice Award. It is a LONG overdue honor.

    I also think it was awful that NBC did not congratulate you on their News site (MSNBC.com)! The story there did not even mention that you were nominated much less that you won.

    On another subject, how likely are we to have a visit from General O’Neill in season 5?
    If sending you chocolate will help, I will glad send you a HUGE Texas size box.

    Becky of Texas

  60. seldear Says:
    Oz is this itty bitty country…down in the Southern Hemisphere…and the ‘home’ of such famous names as Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Mel Gibson, and Steve Irwin…

    Hey you forgot that you’re also home to a fairly good-ish rugby, uh side and (I’m trying to say this politely but it’s hard) and an uh…a very good DAMN THEM ALL TO HELL! cricket team.

  61. Hi Joe!
    First of all, Congratulations on the People’s Choice win!!
    SG1 was my favourite show, and I thought I wouldn´t love a show as I love it, but then I watched SGA, and I found that I have two loves!
    I watched “The Princess Bride” years ago, but I´ve rediscovered it after Sheppard´s mention in “The Return 1”.
    Since that moment, when I see the film in the tv I watch it with a smile, remembering the scene:

    NIGHT TIME. ELIZABETH’S QUARTERS. Elizabeth is packing books into a metal box. Her door chime sounds and she goes over to the door and touches the wall panel. The door opens and she finds John standing there, writing on a notepad.

    WEIR: Colonel.

    SHEPPARD: Doctor.

    WEIR: Come in.

    SHEPPARD (walking in): Well, we are way ahead of schedule, ready to head out at 0800. Daedalus is gonna take most of the gear. People and our odds and ends will make their way through the Stargate, thanks to the Ancients’ new ZeeP.M.

    WEIR: Good. Yes. You’re taking this rather well.

    SHEPPARD (still writing on his notepad): Actually, I’m pissed. For one thing, I’m only a quarter of the way through “War and Peace.”

    WEIR: I can’t imagine what I can possibly do for a living now.

    SHEPPARD: Every government in the world’s gonna offer you a job.

    WEIR: Yeah, but … (she gestures around the city) … not like this.

    SHEPPARD (glancing at her): Yeah, you’re right. It’s all downhill from here. You’ve peaked.

    (Elizabeth smiles.)

    SHEPPARD (writing on his pad again): Life isn’t fair — it’s just fairer than death.

    (Elizabeth frowns, surprised at his quote.)

    WEIR: Oscar Wilde?

    SHEPPARD: “The Princess Bride.” Good movie.

    (Elizabeth chuckles. John looks up at her, then lowers his pad, looking awkward.)

    SHEPPARD: You gonna be ready to head out at 0800?

    (Elizabeth looks round her room briefly.)

    WEIR: Yeah, yeah. I should be. You?

    SHEPPARD: Just one or two … hundred things to do. I’ll see you at the Gate.

    (He turns and leaves the room. Elizabeth sighs deeply, then walks over to the window and gazes out over the city.)

    Oh, my god, How much I miss these scenes!!!
    Joe, we miss the Sheppard-Weir scenes. Please, tell us that there will be more of these scenes in the next season, please!!!

  62. Hi Joe, any chance we’ll see some Sam/Rodney shippy moments in season 5 now that Katie B is out of the way?

  63. Hi, in season 5 will we see one of those satellite weapons like the one from season 1? Or a way to refill the empty ZPM cases we have?


  64. First I have to seize the opportunity to reply to wams352: “Ex Deus Machina” means exactly what deus ex machina means: “God from (the) machine”; word order does not determine sense in Latin as it does in Modern English. If you wanted to write “machine from the god,” you use “Deo ex machina” (unusual word order but not incorrect) or “machina ex deo.” Ask a Latinist! Universities have lots of them, and certainly some would be so pleased to be asked they wouldn’t even want money. In fact, next time you want Latin, contact me! (I also do Old and Middle English!)

    Speaking of other languages, Aelfgyfu is an Anglo-Saxon name. I originally chose it as something only *I* would have to remember to enter Get in the Gate, and I would have chosen something easier if I’d originally meant to be writing blogs and comments to other people’s blogs. However, I’ve now had the name for a few years. You don’t have to remember it; you can cut and paste it! Last time you quoted me, you left one letter out of my name; this time, I was reduced to aegfyu! I lost two letters, and the order of the remaining ones was wrong! Soon I’ll be nothing but ‘a’!

    Yes, Henry cheated on the lottery ticket, but I could follow his logic there. As I said, I think he’s much too deterministic, but he wasn’t totally inconsistent there.

    I am startled to find how much we agree about Princess Bride! I thought the fiction about Goldman’s wife in particular was very off-putting, and Buttercup’s Baby left such a bad taste in my mind I’d advise readers *not* to read that bit. I did, however, enjoy the Zoo of Death in the novel, and Fezzik and Inigo’s scenes there. I’m glad I finally read it.

    Congratulations on the People’s Choice Award!

  65. “seldear Says:
    Lt. Col. Errandboy said: “Depends on what side of the planet you’re on, Elizabeth – it’s the 10th here in Oz!”
    Elizabeth said: “Okay, that’s not on the map. What are you talking about?!?“
    *laughs and laughs and laughs*
    Oz = colloquial name for Australia.
    It’s this itty bitty country (a mere 20 million people in about a square yardage equivalent to the USA’s main landmass) down in the Southern Hemisphere, colloquially known to the yanks as as ‘Down Under’ (although that determination is considered so retro-80s now) and the ‘home’ of such famous names as Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Mel Gibson, and Steve Irwin.”

    Thank you, I had no idea what Oz was. I know what and where Australia is (I have read a lot about the country). I wonder why I have never heard of that nickname for Australia. But who are Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, and Mel Gibson? (Steve Irwin I have heard of)

  66. Hey Joe!

    Many congratulations on the win at the People’s Choice awards. A well-deserved win indeed!

    So, exactly how many truffles did you eat? 😉

    – Enzo Aquarius

  67. Love the pics of crashed out canines, mine don’t get near the furniture there’d be no room for the rest of us else. instead they sprawl out in front of the fire and hog all the heat, occasionally though the cat will beat them to it in which case they both sit just out of paws reach and stare him out of the way – it might even work one of these days.

  68. Joe,

    “Answer: E) Whenever SciFi puts out the official press release.”

    Thanks for answering my question. I’m going to ask a follow-up question. =) Sorry, I have a very inquisitive nature! (I will also throw in my two cents about The Princess Bride).

    Which options best describes cast status for Season 5?
    A) Still in the process of contacting potential cast and making offers.
    B) Offers have been made to all regular and recurring Season 5 cast members and it’s just a matter of “working out the details”.
    C)Offers have been made. Details have been worked out. SciFi’s got the info and they are waiting to release.

    And, one more “quickie”….Are actors allowed to confirm they’ve accepted an offer (not disclosing any offer details) prior to the official scifi release?

    And, finally, my thoughts on The Princess Bride.

    I, too, did not realize there was a book behind the movie. I also liked the movie better than the book. I think the humor onscreen in the movie was more engaging for me than on the pages of the book. There were character details in the book that, in some cases, seemed to “take away” from my impression of their onscreen counterparts.

    Part of me enjoyed the author’s commentary in the middle of telling the story and at other parts of the book, it was too much and I found myself skimming to “get on with it.”

    And, I wasn’t really fond of the way he portrayed his “real-life” relationships (other than how he described his relationship with his grandson). Of course, in my opinion, the whole contents of the book are fictional. The story, his interspersed comments of his life, Morgenstern, the history of the book, etc.

    Buttercup’s Baby – An odd thing. Although I really loved the role Fezzik played in this chapter and my heart was in my throat during the pages describing his fall trying to save Waverly. That excerpt moved me more than anything else in the whole book.

    Bottom line – it was a good read, but not a book I’ll pick up and re-read for a good long while and I do like the movie better.

    Now, if he ever decides to continue Buttercup’s Baby and I have a chance to find out what happens to Fezzik, hmmmm, I might read that.

    SEW Crew Member

  69. Bonjour Joseph,
    Alors hier soir je n’avais franchement rien d’intéressant à dire, mais comme je suis une personne qui a été bien élevé je me suis dit que je devais au moins te saluer. Pour ce q

  70. CONGRATS on the Peoples Choice Award. So how is the award going to make the rounds? Do you trade the award from day to day with cast and crew or do you hoard it in your office like Daffy Duck, “MINE, MINE, MINE, all MINE! I’m a happy little miser!”
    Can the trophy make an appearance in the show maybe as one of the artifacts that’s in Sam’s office? Or is that one of those legal snags for the awrds trademark?

  71. (Prise 2: grrr, là je m’ennuie vraiment de ton autre blogue au moins là on pouvait éviter ce genre de gaffe : soit peser sur le mauvais piton !!!!)
    Bonjour Joseph,
    […] bref, ce que je voulais dire c’est que je suis plus ou moins contente des choix des livres du mois, mais au moins le dernier je peux le trouver à la bibliothèque. Je vais tout de même lire les deux autres qui n’ont pas été choisi. Je viens de m’appercevoir de la subtilité l’anglais et le français. Moi, j’avais compris du champagne aux truffles (pour moi c’était des champignons alors je trouvais ça un peu déroutant mais bon…) mais je crois que c’était des truffes (chocolat) au champagne ? Ouais, j’ai encore des croûtes à manger être parfaitement bilingue…
    Ho, et je voulais souligner également que lorsque tu lis mes commentaires dis toi que j’écris sur un ton jovial la plupart du temps (le fait de ne pas avoir la voix est un peu terne et peu conduire à de mauvaises interprétations !)
    Après la pluie il neige !

  72. “Conan Says:
    Hi Joe, any chance we’ll see some Sam/Rodney shippy moments in season 5 now that Katie B is out of the way?”

    What?! What happened to Katie?

  73. Salut Joseph =)

    Ouii!!! Je suis super heureuse pour “People’s Choice Awards” La serie le Merité! Ralala je serais toujour fidéle à stargate!!!
    J’ai passer une journée fatiguante mais agréable. j’ai appris plein de nouvelle chose au lycée. En plus de sa, avec mes amis nous avons etaient dans une église pour la visiter un peu (elle etait superbe) et une soeur nous a tout fait visite elle nous parler de toute se qui c’est passser durant la second guerre mondial dans motre ville..c’est incroyable quel point elles sont cultiver! Et concernant mes études de compatbilité, j’en est un peut marre, je vais finir pour avoir mon bac Pro( dans 2 ans) et ensuite je voudrais bien être dans la douane =).
    Je viente de lire (hum essayer plutot) les commentaires sur votre blog et j’ai remarquer que tout les “english” sont dans leur petit monde, a parler de chose et d’autre, sa l’aire intéréssant en plus. Mais ils ne me comprennent pas et moi non plus. Snif!
    Il y’a que Morgia qui parle francais…soyons tous solidaire!!
    Moi personelement j’ai quelque foix l’impréssion d’être sur la planet Mars avec tous sa^^!

    Mes questions:

    1) Quel à était votre plus grande joie dans votre vie?
    2) Quel acteur de stargate atlantis, parle le mieux francais?

    Bon je vais au lit, j’ai eu une dur journée.

    Gros Kisou, a demain, bonne nuit =) et Merci♥♥♥

  74. 1)Is the Last Man a reflective episode?

    2)Are many lingering questions answered in the Kindred? In turn, does it evoke even more?

  75. Awww!! The pictures of your ‘pooped pooches’ are way too cute.

    I have a Don Davis question, Joe. I’ve heard that he is a really good artist. That painting/drawing is a big hobby of his. I was curious if he has ever shared any of his art work with you?

  76. Hello, Mr Mallozzi

    I liked a lot Be All My Sins Remember’d.

    But I saw a lot of people on a french forum, complaining about massive flaws in this episode. I always try to fill the gaps and explain the little mistakes, just to support the show, but sometimes I just can’t, because I’m not a writer…

    So I’m asking you. Maybe I should ask Martin Gero (or should have asked)…
    1) Why the Asurans didn’t fire any drone from the surface of their planet (At least whithin the few moments they were still able to do so) ?
    2) Why did Asurans Aurora Class Warships, which, if I’m not mistaking, are supposed to be the most powerful warships in the Stargate Universe, fired so few drones, and destroyed so few ships ?
    3) How old is the traveler people to have build ships able to whistand firepower from Aurora Class Warships ? Goa’uld ships are not even able to do so…
    4)How come that McKay is able to beam next to the Asuran Core. After the events in Lifeline, shouldn’t this place be shielded ?

    Please excuse my poor English, and Good Luck for the season 5.

  77. Hello Joe!
    This is my first post on the blog, and I just want to say hello, and give you my congratulations on the PCA.
    I love the pets (I have a dog and 2 cats) and I really enjoy the photos of your dogs, they are nice.
    Atlantis is my favourite show, but in my country we are still in the 2º season, and yesterday while I was visiting gateworld I noticed a sad new : Elizabeth Weir is not a regular character in the season 4.
    My favourite character is Mckay, but I love Weir, and Torri seems amazing, so I just want to ask you if she is going to come back for the next season.
    Thanks for your attention and for the great show!
    (AND Sorry for my English!)

  78. Hi Joe,

    any news on the investigation on who’s responsible for the leak of “The Ark of Truth”? BTW, if you go to Amazon.com “The Ark of Truth” is #22 in DVDs general and #5 in Science Fiction and Fantasy category. How cool is that? 🙂

  79. Congratulations to you, the cast and crew and everyone who lives and breaths SGA!! And to the fans for voting, Bravo!!!

  80. So has the decison on whether Teyla has a boy or girl been made and if it has how was the debate on it and the name? I am pulling for a girl.

  81. Joe, Thanks again for the link thingy. I am so not computer savvy! When I didn’t see you posting I thought something bad had happened, i was very relieved when i saw that you had beed released from the cluches of the evil blop troll! Once again posting!
    Congratulations on the PCA win! I voted so many times that i thought that my fingers were going to fall off! I knew that you guys would win! Kudos for you guys! BEST show ever!
    Your dogs are so cute! Thanks for sharing the piccies of them with us! Are any of them rescued pets? My dog Molly is a rescued pet I got her from the RSPCA she was on death row! I have had her for 5 years now! The best thing i have ever done.
    Question I am wanting to buy my brother a book for his birthday cause he is an avid reader like yourself. Do you have an suggestions he’s fav’s are war book, biographies & history books. He will read mst things that are a good read.
    He is turning 41, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    I hope you didnt get sick from all that champagne & truffles!
    Take care!

  82. Hi Joe,
    It’s almost the weekend! Jumping for joy! 🙂
    Loved The Princess Bride. Enjoyed the movie so much that I wasn’t sure about reading the book after the fact. But because the movie was so true to the book, it only added to my enjoyment. I, too, was fooled by the author’s fake life in the editoritial comments for a time. But it was still very enjoyable. Liked learning the backstory for some of the characters, and the story really didn’t get bogged down from it. All in all, a very enjoyable read. Great choice for the BOTM!
    I am so looking forward to tomorrow night’s episode. Keep those stories coming! Thanks Joe and Co.

  83. poundpuppy29 (Erika) Says:
    So has the decison on whether Teyla has a boy or girl been made and if it has how was the debate on it and the name? I am pulling for a girl.

    A girl would be cool.

  84. Hey Joe!!
    I don’t know if you saw the last video clip of all the actors of SGA, but I did. And it’s with Q&A from Amanda Tapping. My question is… now that Amanda mentioned it… do you think there is a possiblity from Daniel AND Jack… to make an appearance on SGA? I support 100% for Jack to be on Altantis!!! (if he would be there… would do you me a favor… PLEASE make sure we have a private moment between Jack and Sam!!:D ) thanks you!!!

    p.s.: one thing i don’t understand,since the last two year. Why Sam never mentioned O’Neill by his first name? All the others characters did mention him!!

  85. How does the drone technology actually work?
    How do the Asgard beam weapons work?

  86. seldear said: Ever read ‘The Last Unicorn’? Actually a lot more solid than the movie they made of it!
    wolfenm said: Have you read the novella sequel to TLU, “Two Hearts”?

    I have to say, ‘The Last Unicorn” is a wonderful book – I read it for the first time way back 1970, and have reread it several times since. Joe – you should consider this for one of your future Fantasy picks, along with a book called ‘The Once and Future King’ – an absolutely terrific version of the King Arthur tale. It’s quite long, but worth every page!

  87. Yeah, you’re right that the author could have done more to show us a bit of what led up to the decision, and I think it could have been very interesting. I do sympathize with the author that it might have been hard to address the whole thing in any satisfying manner without turning it into Why The Time Traveler and His Wife Decided to Have a Child. Clearly, the book didn’t really cover many major issues in the book very well since it seems like there’s something everyone in the comments is unsatisfied with.

    Congrats on the People’s Choice award!

    Also, I’d just like to say I absolutely love seeing pictures and videos of your dogs. They are hilarious.

  88. Hi Joe,
    Congratulations to you and your entire crew for the People’s Choice Win–it was a category full of excellent competition, so that makes it doubly nice.

    Regarding “Be All My Sins…” I saw Martin’s guest post on your blog the other day. A reader asked the significance of the title, but in response all that was posted was the origin of the title–one of Hamlet’s soliloquies. While I certainly appreciate a good Shakespeare reference as much as the next english major, I’m still wondering at the significance of the title to the storyline. “Mortal Coil” was much clearer, but compared to what Hamlet is revealing to Ophelia, I fail to see the connection between this episode and its title/quote. Can you shed any more light on it?
    Thanks! Congrats again on the award and the season pick-up.

  89. Hi again Mr M.
    Greetings from Tipperary… Thank you for answering my questions… Will definitely mention putting Corn Soup back on the menu at Fuel…Have you seen their web-site? Very chic.
    Secondly, pity that the tour won’t include a sneak peak at the Shrine Of Inspiration that is The Writers’ Rooms!!! Ah well…… Thanks again!

  90. I know I’m way late weighing in on Princess Bride, but I did read it just to be part of your book club so I figured I’d say something anyway even if it reveals my embarrassing lack of common sense.

    I enjoyed the book and it definitely brought to mind the movie which I really want to watch again. I started the book with no knowledge of it beyond the movie. I’m going to blame a stressful semester on my willingness to believe it had some basis in fact. Sure I’d never heard of Florin or Gilder, but I don’t know much about Moldova or Guernsey and those are real places. It was conceivable that perhaps my study of history had neglected two small city states in northern Europe, I mean people don’t talk about Prussia much anymore and it was a big country…

    So I really got sucked into all the lies (I admit it, I felt a bit betrayed when I found out the truth) and I didn’t mind the family asides (though I thought he was a bit of a jerk to put such things in, especially about his son. That was one good thing to find out wasn’t true…) or comments about the boring parts or university consultants. I’m gullible enough that I thought he was genuine and I was wondering where I could find the original version. About halfway through a friend saw me reading it and said something about how it was pretending to be before the movie when it was really after, but a quick check of copyright dates showed he was mistaken. Still he was adamant that he remembered something being off about the book so I became a bit suspicious, but luckily I resisted the urge to find out for sure until after I finished the book.

    Armed with my new knowledge that everything was fake (I want to be clear I didn’t think the story itself was real, I thought there was a real original book and I thought it was possible the setting was based on some place) I really couldn’t stand the extra chapter. I couldn’t stand his notes about how he came to write it, I wanted to punch him for name dropping, his smarmy family scenes disgusted me, really I was expressing at the author my self-hatred for being naive. 🙂 The actual story in Buttercup’s Baby didn’t bother me as much, but it definitely struck me as not as good as the original. Things were very choppy. I did like learning more about Inigo, but really it was all too random.

    Thanks for doing these books of the month, it’s a good excuse to read something not related to my thesis. I’ll try to check out the other books for February.

  91. I just finished watching quarantine and I have to tell you that I loved it. Ronon and Keller are so cute. I am curious though was it one or two almost kisses. It looked like two ,but there seems to be some debate on it. Either way your killing me with the almost kisses. Then you have Rodney who I hate and feel sorry for in this episode. I love him but in this episode I just wanted to scream at him you idiot. Keep up the great work you do and throw us some more ronon/keller.

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