“I’m surprised the dogs are still alive,”Fondy sarcastically murmured as she busied herself with the task at hand. I wanted to point out that, unlike the withered houseplants she was in the process of turfing, the dogs do a terrific job of reminding me whenever it’s time to feed them. “I can’t believe you forgot to water them,”she admonished. “I watered them!”I countered. “Yeah, only AFTER they were dead.” Well, she had me there. I made a mental note for next time: In addition to cleaning the house, don’t forget to –
1. Wash the car.
2. Make sure there is some cooking oil in the house (and the white truffle oil you use to garnish my butternut squash soup doesn’t count).
3. Check to make sure she remembers how to set the alarm after her six week absence so that you don’t have to turn the car around two-thirds of the way to your dining destination after receiving a call from ADT Security informing you that the home motion sensors have been tripped.
4. Open ALL mail (including anything addressed to her) and ensure the enclosed past due bills are paid up.
5. Water plants.
Things are back to normal. The dogs slept in their doughnut beds last night (except Jelly who opted for the laundry basket) and I slept straight through for the first time in recent memory. Great to see so many of you enjoyed The Last Man. There were a few who had problems with some aspects of the episode (fair enough), and there were two or three who thoroughly hated the episode but, sadly, didn’t possess either the intellect or the class to present a critique that wasn’t completely obnoxious.
By the way, they announced the nominees for this year’s Nebula Awards (to be presented in Austin, Texas April 25-27th). To check out the stories/novelettes/novellas in the running, go here:
I urge you to check them out – even if you only have time for a short story or two. The only thing it will cost you is a little time, and it’s a great way to discover new writers. Among the items in my last book shipment (see yesterday’s pic), were works from Kage Baker, Mike Resnick, and Tim Pratt – authors who would have remained off my radar were it not for my introduction to them through their terrific short fiction (Baker and Resnick[writing with Nancy Kress] in Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge, edited by Lou Anders who was kind enough to drop in, talk shop, and answer your questions several weeks back –
– and Tim Pratt as part of the past Hugo Awards nominees available online –http://josephmallozzi.com/2007/05/08/may-7-2007/
– and, by the way, Tim’s “Impossible Dreams” won in the Best Short Story Category). Paolo Bacigalupi’s Pump Six and Other Stories is also on order because of how much I enjoyed his “Yellow Card Man” (a Hugo Award nominee for Best Novelette) and “Small Offerings” (again, part of the Fast Forward 1 collection) [edited to correctly attribute “Small Offerings” to Paolo. “WikiWorld”, as one astute reader of this blog pointed out, was written by Paul Di Filippo – whose Neutrino Drag and Steampunk Trilogy are also on order).
Speaking of reading, I’m a couple of hundred pages into Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss, the book that just missed out on being our next Book of the Month Club selection in the fantasy category. My advice to anyone looking to start a new novel: Pick this one! It’s a beautifully written, incredibly touching, thoroughly engrossing read. I’m blown away.
Another reminder about the upcoming Book of the Month Club discussions –
In the scifi category: Timescape by Gregory Benford. Discussion will begin April 7th.
In the horror category: F. Paul Wilson’s The Keep gets the nod. Discussion on this book will begin April 14th.
In the fantasy category: Jeffrey Ford’s Empire of Ice Cream. Discussion on this book will begin April 21st.
And, yes, Squeakiep, you’re correct. The following line from my teaser poem “The death of a loved one spurs McKay into action” refers to The Last Man.
Today’s video: Director of Photography Jim Menard gives us the inside scoop on a scene from The Last Man.
MizMoose writes: “What authors or books would you recommend to someone like me who thinks she really should like SF but just can’t find something to love anymore?”
Answer: Like you, I have tried and failed to get into cyberpunk. However, some scifi titles I have enjoyed and recommended to people who enjoyed them just as much – Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, Player of Games and Consider Phlebas, both by Iain M. Banks, Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang, Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch, City of Pearl by Karen Traviss. Try these for starters and then let’s talk.
Penny writes: “It’s hard to see the books care to list them for us??”
Answer: Sure. Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff, Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan, Acacia by David Anthony Durham, The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman, In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker, The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari, Little Gods by Tim Pratt, New Gods for Old by Mike Resnick, Infoquake by David Louis Edelman, Dark Mondays by Kage Baker, Hart & Boot & Other Stories by Tim Pratt, Mother Aegypt and Other Stories by Kage Baker, Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas, and How To Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion by Daniel H. Wilson.
Patricia writes: “I’ve just heard that you once showed up at an event dressed as Ba’al. Would you be willing to do that again at the Fuel dinner?”
Answer: Hmmm. I really had my heart set on that Daisy Duke outfit Vala wore in Bounty.
Ltcolshepjumper writes: “Can you be so kind as to possibly release the score for The Last Man? maybe on the DVD?”
Answer: Hey, I’d release a new DVD at the end of every season if it were up to me. I’m a big Joel Goldsmith fan. And speaking of Joel, I’m sure you’ll all agree he did a tremendous job on The Last Man. The score that accompanies Carter’s final battle is nothing short of extraordinary.
Slian Martreb writes: “Precisely how does holo-Rodney know what was going on with Ronon and Todd in the Wraith research lab? Before or after Ronon lost radio contact with his team? I mean, you know, what with Ronon being dead and all and so not in a position to actually tell anyone what happened?”
Answer: Precisely – he didn’t. This was a conversation we had in the room as the script was being written and we ultimately decided it would be a bit of a cheat, the conceit being that Rodney may have had this information relayed to him second-hand through the operatives who were with Ronon on the mission (and perhaps even overheard the exchange via whatever communications device they possessed prior to their heading through the gate). Or, what we are glimpsing is not so much McKay’s retelling of the events as he heard them as it is a flashback to the actual event.
amac251 writes: “With all the books you order (and read) what do you do with the majority of your books when you are finished with them? For some reason, I am not picturing your home as one huge library.”
Answer: It isn’t. My office is.
amac251 also writes: “I liked the foreshadowing you gave with Woolsey. Friends and I want to know if that was the ONLY foreshadowing. Will some elements of Rodney’s sad timeline actually happen?”
Answer: Unfortunately, the fact that we look so brilliant was quite by accident. At the time The Last Man was produced, we were assuming that Carter would still be commanding the Atlantis expedition in season 5. So, it wasn’t so much foreshadowing as an interesting coincidence. As for any of the sad elements in Rodney’s timeline actually happening. Hmmmm.
Patricia Lee writes: “Also, will Martin Wood be directing soon, or is he all tied up with Sanctury for All for season 5?”
Answer: Martin Wood is busy with Sanctuary. His schedule permitting, he may direct a couple of episodes for us in the back half of season 5.
Tba writes: “1) Do you have any idea how long the mid-season break of S5 will be?
2)Will the Asgard-database, or perhaps even Ba’al help to cure Carson? The Asgard were able to fix the O’neill clone in s7, and Ba’al doesn’t seem to have any cloning diseases.
3) Will the Genii be brought back in S5 – possibly an appearance of Sora, Ladon Radim or Kolya?
4) Can you PLEASE answer my questions?”
Answers: 1) Not quite yet. 2) Not all cloning tech is created equal. Also, you’re making the assumption that the issue with Carson is wholly related to the technology used to clone him and discount the possibility that Michael may have had a hand in ensuring his little creation not survive long without him.
Rza writes: “That it was Jennifer’s death that was too much for Rodney to bear and not… say, losing John?”
Answer: As someone has already pointed out, Jennifer’s death isn’t the only reason Rodney decides to try to undo the timeline. But it is the final straw. Prior to that, he considered the possibility that he could actually come up with a solution next to impossible. But, with Jennifer dead, the last positive thing in his life died with her and he was finally able to wholly commit himself to the seemingly impossible task.