You know what would be awesome? Sleep. Unfortunately, my French bulldog Lulu sees to it that I’m awake by 6:30 a.m. every morning – barking, whining, chewing on my ear and, if I attempt to ignore her, grabbing a corner of my pillow and tugging it out from beneath my head if. So even though it’s a late call, sleeping in is only a theoretical possibility for me.

But I’m not complaining. It only sounds like I’m complaining. In reality, I’m having a terrific (dare I say corking) time on set. Will is an affable host who, between fielding my last minute dialogue adjustments and assisting me in locating my oft-misplaced chair, has also found time to direct the episode. It’s all coming along very nicely (and spookily) and I’m sure fans will be both delighted with and terrified by the final product.

I’m able to get this entry in early today thanks to a late start which has us breaking for lunch at 4:30 p.m. today. For our 8:30 p.m. dinner tonight, I’ve ordered pizza and wings for the cast and crew as a thank you for all of their hard work (shooting Whispers hasn’t been easy and they‘ve been doing an incredible job). All-dressed, spicy chicken, pepperoni and cheese, veggie, and even a couple of ham and pineapples for the fringe crowd.

The gang over at SF Signal were kind enough to ask me to participate in their recent Mind Meld feature, an ongoing interview/feature in which a bunch of people are asked to a respond to a single question. They asked:

Q: Which author, living or otherwise, do you believe deserves more recognition than they currently receive and why?

My response: Um, all of them? Seriously. While many talented science fiction writers are recognized by their peers in the SF literary community, they remain largely overlooked and under appreciated by non-literary SF fandom. Why? Well, clearly, sitting down to watch that sequel to Space Mimes Forever requires a lot less time than, say, checking out the latest Nebula winner. Add to that the fact that, in our increasingly hectic multi-tasking society, reading for pleasure seems to be going the way of the bowler hat and those Wassup guys. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that all is not lost. Word of mouth is still a terrific way to introduce the uninitiated to the likes of Ted Chiang, Octavia E. Butler, Karen Traviss, and Cory Doctorow (to name but a few). We readers just have to make more of an effort. Next time your buddy’s birthday rolls around, forego the gift certificates to Taco Misterioso and get him/her Essential Ellison instead. Lend out your favorite titles to friends, fellow producers, and the guy who plays Dr. Rodney McKay on your t.v. show. Hell, I’m already on my fifth copy of Old Man’s War! Also, don’t be so quick to dismiss Hollywood’s attempts to mine the rich resources of science fiction literature. Sure, the successes are few and far between, but even in the outright disasters there’s a silver lining, a saving grace in the form of that original source material that can be referenced and recommended. “Sweet Jesus! Ape Lincoln? WTF?!!” “Hey, relax. Go check out a book called Monkey Planet by Pierre Boulle. It’ll get that taste of gorilla funk out of your mouth.

All that said, if I had to choose one grossly under appreciated author to champion, I would go with David R. Bunch. Bunch was a civilian cartographer for the Defense Mapping Agency in St. Louis who, over the course of his life, wrote an impressive amount of poetry and short stories. His work has been described as surrealist short fiction; his poetic, lyrical prose alternately criticized for being allusive and dense, yet praised for its richness and complexity. In some ways, Bunch reminds me of Gene Wolfe in his unique style and ability to command a reader’s undivided attention.

David R. Bunch is best known for Moderan, a collection of over 40 of his short stories, all taking place in a future in which humans have been replaced by militaristic cyborgs. And yet, at the core of this deeply pessimistic machine world, humanity persists. Speaking of Moderan, Brian W. Aldiss wrote: “The effect is as if Whitman and Nietzsche had collaborated to rewrite a typical Heinlein-Anderson-Niven-Pournelle future history story. As such it is a unique book in the science fiction field.”

Sadly, Moderan and his other collection, Bunch!, are out of print; his various uncollected short stories now languish in the rare back issues of Amazing and Fantastic. But two of his stories were featured in Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions collection. One of these, “The Escaping”, offers up a wonderful sampling of his unique narrative rhythm and unforgettable imagery.

To check out the full Mind Meld Q&A including under appreciated picks from author Julie Czerneda and editor Ann VanderMeer, head on over to:







55 thoughts on “April 25, 2008: Whispers Day 3

  1. What’s up with Beckett’s jet black hair… is he trying to look younger for the new ladies on the set? Or did they discover some new gene that they turned on once he was brought out of the deep frezze??? In the pic he kind of looks like Elvis! Giggles!

  2. hey Joe,

    the pics from the set are awesome, thanks. I’m very much looking forward to Whispers. also spoilers suggest The Shrine and The Queen will be very interesting episodes. s5 seems to be an amazing season!

    6.30 a.m.??? that’s the middle of the night! can’t you sleep in your office or on the set? 😉

  3. Thank you for the Paul picture!!! I can’t wait to see this episode!! The Lulu story was adorable—-although if she were tugging the pillow out from under my head at 6:30 am, I probably wouldn’t think it was so adorable anymore.

  4. Sounds to me Lulu needs a good spankin’. We can’t have a tired Joe working behind the scenes on Stargate! We’ll receive inferior products!

    You know what they say: you don’t snooze, you loose!

    Hmmm…there’s a new feature with wordpress, apparently. When I click on today’s entry’s title, I get this bit:

    Possibly related posts:

    February 26, 2008: I thall thtrike fear into the very heart of Atlantith!
    August 19, 2007
    Writing A Novel One Short Story At A Time
    Gotted it
    Science Fiction Short Stories 2007

    …appearing under the entry itself. How very strange and mysterious.

    It’s an evil plot I tells ya!

  5. Pizza is a reward? Wow, shoots must be different in Canada. On a production I worked on down here, the crew had T-shirts made that said “Pizza is not a second meal.”

  6. Enjoy your pizza!…and wings.

    My question today is…WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MAILBAG?

    Thanks Joe


  7. You are my hero! Go Joe! Promote those SF writers!! So many don’t get the recognition they so richly deserve. I’m always glad, too, when you mention an author I’ve not heard of. Tonight it’s Karen Traviss. Do you have on you’d recommend to start with? I’ll have to check her out.

    Do you read any of the young adult SF or fantasy being published? There’s some good writing going on there as well.

  8. Hey Joe, if producing falls through, you could sell/review science-fiction books. Cause man, I am sold! David R. Bunch sounds like my kind of writer, I might have to go on a great book hunt to get his work! 😀

    I don’t know if I have asked this, but have you read any of David Eddings work?

    Though I recommend James Marsden, an australian writer who’s work includes a 7 book series, called ‘Tomorrow when the War Began’ about a group of teenagers in Australia that have to surive in the bush and try not get caught, while they get invaded, by an unknown country.
    (You never get to know the country, which to me is great because it might not be the usual people)

    It is a great series, I have read it many times and love his work.


  9. my bad, I ment John Marsden. James Marsden is an Actor…LOL I always get them mixed up!


  10. (scribbling names down furiously). Um, anyone have a spare Tardis, or a decent D&D bag of Holding? So many books, so many authors I’ve not yet sampled, and a certain blogger who is ever increasing my backlog of books. But thanks for yet more tips, as well as the delicious pictures of our favorite Scotsman in Space. Whispers sounds like a real labor of love, and it’s a form of minor torture to enjoy the peeks you offer, knowing its months yet to the time we can enjoy the final product. This kind of masochism I am happy to embrace. Here’s to a great weekend. In honor of your own Chocolate Party, I’ve decided to head up the road to check out the local Chocolate Festival tomorrow.

  11. Always interested in what you have to say for the day Joe, thanks for the insight, I love books also, my son will buy me books for occasions, something I would not have chosen, so I get a variety. And again the description of food,(pretty much any) has me saying yummy 😀 it would be difficult to pick one author, so many, so little time…

  12. Corking! How very SteamPunk of you! Huzzah!

    I need to read More Books; I shall certainly Check Things Out. Although I did feel a certain snobbish thrill at Essential Ellison … oh yeah, and mine is a signed copy. Snob snob snob! And I got one for Genius, whose favorite read-aloud story is “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman. Which is really good in the hot springs in the middle of a moonlit night after a modicum or two of red wine and he didn’t even get the book wet, but he regretted hauling it, and the red wine in several bottles, over rocks and dirt trails to get to the aforementioned hot springs. And he didn’t want to haul the unfinished wine back out so it was poured down Boy-Toy, who will drink anything just about, and in any quantity.

    My Siamese cat stands on me every morning, yowling and pulling at the covers when the guy across the street starts his pick-up to go to work. He goes to work at 5:40. Sometimes the cat misses the quilt edge and gets my cheek. If hubby is home, the cat prefers to wake him by licking his beard. And yowling and clawing the covers. I say we set Lulu and Oide up on a sleep-over and they can annoy each other.

  13. Hey Joe, I’ve just finished school for the year, and I’m looking for some summer work. I was wondering if you know where I could find entry or intern level jobs in the film/television industry? An online job database or something of the sorts. I’ve basically no experience in the industry right now, but I’m looking for a way to get my foot in the door, and I was hoping that you may be able to offer up some ideas.

    I appreciate any help you could give.


  14. Sleep has been the subject of many daydreams for me too this week.

    Had to give a big thumbs up for your proper praise of the many talented sci-fi writers who don’t get the respect they deserve simply because they write in a less widely read genre. Even the more famous ones, are still somewhat obscure in a lot of circles it seems. Sometimes I wonder how some people can call themselves well-read when they’ve never heard of Frank Herbert.

  15. I really enjoyed your opinion on the SF Writer’s Popularity question. As for the puppy alarm clock, that’s just hilarious. I know how you feel though, my puppy’s alarm was set for 7AM though, so I had it just a little bit easier than you.

    Don’t you just hate it when they’re just big enough to bark right into your ear.

  16. In reference to what “NZ_Jackie” said about the John Marsden series, I have read it twice and would highly reccomend it as well! Great series with lots of interesting plot twists.

  17. Thanks for all the pictures from ‘Whispers.’ Any chance Lorne makes an appearance in the ep? Kavan was joking at the Pegasus3 con in London he’d love for Lorne’s team to be all female…

  18. Hummmmmm Pineapple Pizza with Ham…. HMMMMM GOOOOOOOD!

    That’s what I had for dinner!

  19. *frantically scribbling down authors names* Ok Timeout! I need more book shelves and possibly more rooms to put them in as it is. May I commend you though Joe for reigniting my reading gene, I’m going full tilt at it and I’ve even found a new hobby…kinda…its scouring thrift shops as well as jumble sales and second hand book stores for those out of print titles you keep tellin gus about…wait WTF is gus? oh, right, typo. I digress. I read Monkey Planet when my grandad gave me the book I think I was about 15, it was WAY better than the movie, so much more subtle if memory serves.
    Anyway, thanks for the update kinda on Lulu, that li’l dog makes me laugh with her antics and the mental picture you just created was hilarious. Hope you have a wicked weekend, BTW how’s the eye?
    Thanks for doing what you do so well and if you had seen what my uncoordinated fingers just typo’d you’d probably ban me *bad fingers wake up!*
    Hugs for Lulu

  20. Hi Mr. Mallozzi (I’d say Joe, but it seems too formal)
    I’m a huge fan of the shows, and I’ve been trying to catch up on your entire blog! I am so far into December of 2007 and I’m not going to lie, it has taken me a few weeks, if not over a month. I read your blog at nights when I’m not too busy, and I have to say I love it. While I’m a huge time lurker, I just had to comment on this post (don’t know why, it just seemed I should come out of lurking).
    I was wondering, and feel free to never answer because I know you get countless responses to your entries and can’t even hope to answer them all, but I thought I would try:
    1. You mentioned long ago in your blog that you had picked up a copy of one of Neil Gaiman’s works – I wondered if you ever read it/how you liked it. He is one of the authors I love, and I was wondering what your thoughts were.
    2. I bought/read Dan Simmons ‘Summer of Night’ off of your recommendation and I. Loved. It. However, I also read Song of Kali and was not as impressed with it. What were your impressions of Song of Kali? I know I just missed your recollections of the book, since I hadn’t read it at that time, but I can’t for the life of me remember what entry it was. So in short form, good? Bad? Ok?
    3. I’m taking a sci-fi course for my english degree this summer, and I’m hoping that some of the books that you’ve recommended/mentioned on your blog are part of the course requirement! I’m only new into the science fiction department, and while I do plan on reading Old Man’s War, I’m eager to get into the whole genre. I hope it works out well!

  21. Hi Joe,
    Great pic’s from the set! Thanks heaps! Ohhh! Cool! There is some pic’s of Paul! I cant wait to see that episode. Whispers sounds like it will be an awesome episode.
    Your dog Lulu sounds alot like my mum’s dog bess! Bess has a mind of her own, lies on the bed & hogs it. I think she thinks she is the boss.

    Great blog as always!

    Take care & happiness always!

  22. My goodness YES for Sci Fi writers – you go Joe!
    Agree with many about you having awakened our reading gene” or impulse. This is a good thing.

    Loved the photos….please continue to spoil us; we love you Joe.

    Regards getting up at OH-dark, thirty…eeeuuuwwww.
    At least with an alarm clock there is the snooze button. Based on your description – don’t suppose Lulu has a snooze button does she?

    Hope your eye is feeling/getting better.
    Enjoy the weekend; you need some rest.

  23. Joe,

    Well, I’m doing my small part in the war to keep books alive. I love the feel of a book, the way they smell, the differences of the pages from publisher to publisher. There’s just something so visceral about being sucked into a story, page after turned page.

    I may be killing a tree, but don’t take away my books! ;-D

  24. Patricia Lee Said:

    What’s up with Beckett’s jet black hair… is he trying to look younger for the new ladies on the set? Or did they discover some new gene that they turned on once he was brought out of the deep frezze??? In the pic he kind of looks like Elvis! Giggles!

    LOL! My thoughts exactly. It’s so not a good look on him. What’s with the cheesy poses too? Is that his Joe M impersonation?

    Cheers, Chev

  25. Word of mouth is still a terrific way to introduce the uninitiated to the likes of Ted Chiang, Octavia E. Butler, Karen Traviss, and Cory Doctorow (to name but a few). We readers just have to make more of an effort.

    Well I’m putting in a lot of effort reading Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Talents. I can’t get into it Joe. I couldn’t obtain Parable of the Sower at work so that might have something to do with it (I was going to read them in order).

    So far I’m starting to think that one person’s Nebula/Hugo award winner is another person’s yawn.

    I’ll give it a few more chapters before I make my decision.

    Cheers, Chev

  26. Again, thx for the pics, it’s always great to see the crew acting goofy… or at least one of them ;^)
    I also can’t wait to see Whispers even though I really don’t like horror (I have a very imaginative mind that starts to make up all sorts of craziness after I’ve seen horror and so I tend to not sleep very well for at least a couple of days)
    I also love to read and especially old scifi books from the ’60 and ’70. They are amazing sometimes… But you’re right, scifi and fantasy authors really aren’t that well recognized by the general public, which truly is a shame.

  27. Hi, Joe!

    Good news! Season 4 episodes return to the SciFi Channel on Apr 29, from 7pm through 10pm. They’ll air three episodes every Tuesday – scheduled through May so far.



  28. I enjoyed reading your behind the scenes story building info.. I just wanted to comment that although I really like the show, I miss Weir’s character. Any chance you could bring her back, even if only in spirit (another actress maybe?). Thanks!

  29. are kidding i’m getting chills just thinking about this episode. can’t wait to see it..but i have to.


  30. NZ_Jackie said:
    I don’t know if I have asked this, but have you read any of David Eddings work?

    I’d personally classify Eddings as classic fantasy and not sci-fi, but I guess that depends on how you define sci-fi. This being said, his books are spectacular especially the Belgariad series. I spent every free moment one summer just reading through all of his books.

    If you are looking for one to pick up, I’d suggest avoiding the Dreamers series. As I read through it, I kept remembering a quote from my creative writing teacher referencing those little bits of writing that you “think” are incredibly amusing but aren’t. “Sometimes you have to murder your babies.” There definitely needed to be some baby murdering in those books.

  31. I’ very excited about Whispers. It sounds like it’s an all out horror episode, and I can’t say I’ve seen that in a tv show before.

    So, working in that vein, my question today is…What elements do you think are essential for horror movies?

    And I hope you can get a good night’s sleep on the weekend…


  32. Wow – I was only away for a week and I miss 2 author Q&A’s, for shooting, squibs, and guns?! That’s not fair!

    Restaurant suggestion – if you ever find yourself looking for a bite to eat in Edinburgh, try Stag Polly’s venison dish, and if you’re in London, try Citrus’ cod dish or roast salmon (but avoid the tiramisu – turned out rather watery and tasted too strongly of coffee for my taste).

  33. Mmmm…pizza. I love mine with pineapple, hold the ham or canadian bacon or whatever. Either that or cheese with extra cheese. 😀

    I am now so very excited to watch Whispers. Since Allie’s now a horror fan I’m thinking this might very well be her all time favorite SGA epi!

    Let the waiting begin! Did I tell you I’m not patient by the way? So this will be very difficult for me. *sigh*

  34. Hi Joe,

    First let me say, Whispers looks bone-chilling. I can’t wait!

    Second, I just received my AoT Soundtrack by the amazing Joel Goldsmith. It’s fabulous! I was wondering if he has also scored Continuum and if so, will it be done with the same orchestral grandeur as AoT? I was also wondering if perhaps the Sam/Jack Theme might be included in said soundtrack…?

    Finally, could I make a pitch on behalf of those of us who have loved *all* the SG1 music for a “Best of” soundtrack for the first 8 seasons? It would make a nice companion piece to release around the time the CotG re-release comes out….

    Just a thought! 😉

    Thanks Joe!


  35. Thx for the continuing pix! (Shep-Shep-Shep-Shep)

    And thanks for helping! my opinion is mucho biased of course, SF became my fave genre more than 3 decades ago that fateful summer when I was looking for books to read on our annual car trip to FL, I remembered straying from the horror section over to “Science Fiction”, I loved Star Trek and Japanese movies & cartoons, so why not? After looking at a bunch I took Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlein off the library shelf because the cover was cool and, to use the slang- “that’s all she (he) wrote!” more Heinlein followed, then Bradbury, Clarke, Asimov, ERBurroughs, Lin Carter, EE Smith, Norton, TONS & TONS more to my parents’ horror (no pun), an absolute freakin avalanche as I spent all of my allowance on books as well as hauling home from the library, I knew (and still know!) the location of EVERY used bookshop in driving range but mostly to buy, not to trade! Its been SUCH an addiction but my parents, bless them, objected mightily to my reading choice (“works of the devil”) but- a mystery to me to this day & made me a believer in divine intervention- didn’t forbid or stop me; man after man (and girlfriends too) and one husband have commented, complemented and cursed (hauling) my collection of books.
    Never apologize for it 🙂

  36. Thank you for the pics (again!) – I really do love them! Especially a certain Scottish doctor!

    I also loved your response about under appreciated authors – I still don’t get why sci-fi is looked down on by a lot of literary people. There’s so many really, really good books out there.

    Anyway, I’m making a note of the authors you mentioned. One day I’ll get back into reading sci-fi (and detective) books – when the ME gets better and I can concentrate long enough to enjoy them!

    Leesa Perrie

  37. Woah, Beckett with jet black hair – looking good though I must say. 😉

    Mmmmmmm Pizza……Is anyone else hungry? 😛

  38. I’ve never commented on your blog, even though I read it regularly and am a huge Stargate fan. However, I had to say something when I saw mention of the Defense Mapping Agency. My dad retired from the DMA (in D.C.) in the early 90’s. Most people have never heard of the DMA, much less know what a cartographer is. So imagine my surprise seeing it mentioned on a Stargate/food blog. 🙂

    Anyway…keep up the good work on the show….carry on 🙂

  39. Recommending lending books? Good idea, but I’m curious as to the number of books you’ve loaned out that have never returned to your bookshelves. I’ve made that mistake a few times…though I also have a couple books I’ve borrowed from friends that I’ve had for years now. But I really will return them…when I get around to reading them. Perhaps we really should neither a borrower or a lender be of books. Except in a library setting. 🙂

    Take care.

  40. I FINALLY HAVE SEASON 3!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!
    Ive been wanting season 3 of atlantis for AGES but I had to buy all my uni text books $600 bucks and pay fees and stuff, but now it is finally mine! muahahahahaahaaaa
    And I cant wait for whispers! It looks awesome!

  41. Before I venture outside and pick up the chain saw (yet again) and pretend like I’m enjoying it, I wanted to stop in and thank you for all of the great pictures you’ve posted for us the last few days.

    You have no idea how good pizza sounds to me right now, Joe. I’ve cut myself back to 500-600 calories a day (I know…not a good idea) so that I can drop a few pounds fast. *sigh* And a chocolate party?!?!?
    I LOVE chocolate!!!! Did you give Michael a call and see if he would share some of that ‘excellent’ chocolate he received in Germany last weekend? I heard that the fans gifted him with a lot more than he could possibly consume himself. I, also, saw pictures of him holding the speedos that a fan gave him in case he needs them when he’s on “Atlantis”. LOL Poor Michael!!

    What a sweetie Lulu is. You have to admit, Joe, that she makes a great alarm clock, even if her timing is a little ‘off’.

    Take really good care of your eye. I hope it’s doing much better today.


  42. Hey, sorry I first posted this question on the wrong article by accident, I could’ve sworn I was on the most recent blog entry. Apparently not. Anyway, here it is:

    Hi Joe 🙂 First time poster! I was wondering, did Asuran technology require the Ancient gene to operate? If so, how did the Asurans emulate this? If not, does that mean that anyone can fly the puddlejumper they stole from the Asurans at the end of Progeny?

    – Daniel

  43. Hi Joe –

    I am repeating what others have said – just what is up w/ Paul & the jet black hair (some folks on the SCB list thought he was Kavan for a moment there at first! :-p) and all his goofy poses when you actually get him looking at you instead of paying attention to the director in the second pic of him in this posting? 😉

    I understand the pet thing – I have a poor, starving to death, fat cat named Lovecraft who will be on me meowing and kneading certain areas if I don’t get up to feed him early enough in the morning. (He’s 25 pounds!)

    Hope the weather is good up there and you get to spend some time outside w/ the dogs & Frondy. 🙂

  44. Thanks for all the pics. I have to second others’ comments. What’s up with Paul’s hair 😛

    And and and… you know it’s coming…
    Where are those pics of Mr Flanigan? *whines*

    Wait. I know. Baron Destructo is holding those pics hostage. I knew it! Would he be willing to let you post those JF pics in exchange for chocolate? 😀

    Hypothetically speaking (ha!), if an actor suddenly says no to you posting pics of him on your blog, would you tell us that you can’t post pics of the said actor anymore?

  45. I’m in Vancouver on my holiday! I didn’t get the friend of a friend’s apartment that I was supposed to be getting (which is why I was coming to Van) but I found a quaint little [cheap] place to stay.
    Since it was a lovely sunny day today (what happened to the rain?!) I went for a walk this morning to Boundary Road and saw The Bridge – Ye’s film there?!? It’s *tiny*! Is it like the TARDIS, or is it all underground, or wha’?

    Oh and I nearly got run over crossing the road, what’s with this turning right on red malarkey? Don’t Canadians know their are foreigners trying to cross the road here?!

    Where are they hiding the grizzly bears and the Mounties? I’ve looked all over the place and not seen one yet!

  46. I like Beckett’s hair. Gee I bet your happy that’s the hot topic of conversation

  47. Joe

    Have you seen the Water Keeper’s charity auction going on? Looks like Amanda, Jewel and RDA are pulling in some bucks for the cause, but Joe Flanigan’s lunch and set visit just busted the $20,000 mark!

    Maybe you should have a few security guards in disguise on hand just in case the fan tries to kidnap him! lol

    I don’t know if Joe F should feel flattered or nervous!


  48. Shadow Step Said:
    pg15, aren’t those possibly related posts something that Joe put in?

    I don’t think so; they don’t show up on the main page, only on the entry-specific page.

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