Apparently, I’ve been drafted by the Atlantis 100th Episode Party Planning Committee to help in the planning of, you guessed it, the Atlantis 100th Episode Party. Lawren informed me that, in the coming weeks, I’ll be expected to take part in the “strategic imaginings” for the big event. Hmmm. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I’ll be able to add to the big prep session as my planning skills are better suited to story outlines, menu selections, and daring jungle escapes. Still, just off the top of my head, here are a few suggestions:
1) Do not hold the party someplace that is way too small for the event. As was the case several years ago when I attended a party where 300+ celebrants were squeezed into a venue that could only comfortably host a group half that size. The simple act of crossing the room was an exercise in stifling, close-quartered, foot-stepping frustration made all the more maddening by the fact that it was very, VERY hot. Which brings us to suggestion #2…
2) Make sure the venue is air-conditioned. The only thing worse than packing into a tight venue on a hot Summer’s day is packing into a tight venue on a hot Summer’s day and relying on the cross-draft from the front entrance and the fire exit to cool you off.
3) No food fake-outs, please. Same party. It’s hot. It’s packed. I’m squeezing my way through the crowd when I spot – Oh, heavens, yes! – a table lined with martini glasses holding generous scoops of vanilla ice cream! Elated, I pushed my way through, grab a glass, shovel a spoonful of the cool, creamy dessert into my mouth – only to discover it isn’t ice cream at all. It’s mashed potatoes!
4) Make everyone about to give a speech take a breathalyser test first. Drinking and driving gets a lot of media attention, but the far more insidious menace of drinking and delivering long, rambling, incoherent speeches should not be overlooked. If he’s too drunk to drive, then he’s definitely too drunk to thank everyone for coming AND tell that amusing anecdote about the time he misplaced his house keys and had to drive back to the office and .
5) No dancing! Dancing is like skeet shooting. It requires a certain amount of skill to pull off. Next to the shocking revelation that you’ve spent time in prison for some bizarre sexual indiscretion, nothing deep-sixes one’s office status faster than a poorly executed hip-hop move.
6) Clowns and pony rides. Hey, they may be cliché, but nothing says party like pony rides. As for the clowns – not only do they make for wonderfully awkward conversation pieces, but there’s always at least one raving coulrophobe in the room guaranteed to make their appearance a memorable one.
Over the weekend, I promised to give you all the scoop on Katana, the Traveler who will be making her first appearance in the mid-season two-parter. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that Daniella Alonso has been cast in the role. Those of you not familiar with Daniella’s work may want to check out her 11-episode arc in season two of Friday Night Lights. She was excellent in FNL and is doing a wonderful job for us on The Lost Tribe.
Another introduction of sorts and one that’s long overdue. Sharon Taylor plays one of our gate technicians on Stargate: Atlantis. She first caught our eye playing the role of a replicator in the episode Lifeline. She had such a unique look that we brought her back as a real, flesh and blood member of the expedition. A line here, a line there, and then it was only a matter of time before something else struck us about Sharon. She’s damn good. We continued to bring her back, increased her face-time, and, as a true indication that she had really made it, finally gave her character a name: Amelia Banks. And the fact that Sharon is a black belt kick boxer and could probably kick all of our asses had nothing to do with it.
By the way, great feedback on The Android’s Dream . Keep it coming and make sure you get your questions in before mid-day Wednesday when I’ll be sending them Mr. Scalzi’s way. As for what’s been said so far:
Stace writes: “ Two things, for me, stood out above the rest. The first was the creation of Brian. Apart from it being a great use of an evolved AI, it was touching that Harry had chosen to replicate his dead best friend…”
Answer: I agree. And so does Brad Wright as it was one of the very first things he talked about when I mentioned John would be swinging by to discuss The Android’s Dream. As Brad pointed out, it was incredibly well-executed and certainly leaves the door open for a possible sequel.
Stace also writes: “The second was the Church.”
Answer: Yes again. The fact that a church built upon the writings of a hack SF writer could rise to such prominence and power truly boggled the mind. Wildly imaginative stuff.
Stace also writes: “ I can see where you were coming from, Joe, with the loophole but then, I think that was part of what I loved in the set-up – the fact the Church orchestrated this from the beginning, from the creation of the ceremony onwards, makes it even more satisfying and amusing when the Nidu are thrown into chaos.”
Answer: I’m going to have to go back and re-read the last couple of chapters. I was up until 2:00 a.m. finishing the book the first time round because I just couldn’t set it aside. The loophole was orchestrated by the Church. If so, then I withdraw that particular criticism.
May writes: “I think that sometimes scifi stories have too much descriptions of technology and I get lost trying to decipher everything. “
Answer: Agree. One of the great things about Scalzi is his ability to write believable science fiction without burying the reader in the details.
Sulien writes: “I also loved Judge Sn, who is definitely a being after my own heart. He had my favorite lines in the book in regards to the human race during the hearing to determine Robin’s status.”
Answer: He was a great character. If John has no plans for him, I would recommend Judge Sn put in an appearance or two on Boston Legal. There’s brilliant crossover potential right there.
Pilgrim writes: “ Perhaps I’m missing something, maybe I’m just not smart enough to “get it”…”
Answer: Intelligence has nothing to do with it. It all comes down to personal taste. Hey, there have been a number of book of the month club selections I didn’t particularly enjoy either.
Drldeboer writes: “My opinion of Old Man’s War hasn’t changed- I still think its a ripoff rehash of previous ideas, albeit nicely rewritten. The Android’s Dream is also a ripoff…”
Answer: I respectfully disagree. Old Man’s war contained many elements characteristic of military scifi, but I found their treatment very unique (as were some of the purely Scalzi-esque additions like the skip-drive). Also, The Android’s Dream has been compared to Douglas Adams, but I wouldn’t equate some similarities in style to it being a rip-off. Stylistically similar at times but tonally very different.
Tittamiire writes: “ The contrived parts of the plot felt very contrived because of that and were almost cringe inspiring.”
Answer: To which parts are you referring?
Mailbag returns tomorrow.