A little bit of early 20th century charm in early 21st century Vancouver.

The gang is cranky because I woke them up to look at some shots.

Salad days.

Breaking news on the bulletin board.

Bones is dubious.

The Mastermind Mark Savela

Hurray! Today, I received my $100 Climate Action Dividend from the government of British Columbia. According to the document that accompanied the check: “…this year’s Provincial budget is making it easier for British Columbians to choose a lower carbon lifestyle.” I suppose, for instance, the $100 could be put toward the purchase of a scooter or a hand lantern or one of those pedal-powered generators that the Professor built on Gilligan’s Island. As most of you know, I incorporated some major lifestyle changes last year to help reduce my carbon footprint (read all about them here: http://josephmallozzi.com/2007/07/07/july-7-2007/) so the prospect of having this extra one hundred dollars to spend on my green initiative is heartening. Of course, technically, it’s not really an extra $100. I mean, the government would like us to think it is and their use of the term “revenue neutral” to describe their new carbon tax would imply that, at the very least, we’d break even in the long run. And maybe if I didn’t partake in lavish excesses like driving a car or heating my home, I would break even. But, sadly, because of my unstinted addiction to things like food and water (which, incidentally, is trucked in to supermarkets by companies that will be hit with this new gas tax and inevitably pass the cost on to consumers), it looks like the government’s grand gesture will mean very little to me in the long run. Still, $100 is $100. I could use the money to create a new state-of-the-art compost heap. Or, follow Fondy’s suggestion and use it to purchase one hundred dollars worth of gas to fill my SUV which I would leave idling through most of Friday. I’m inclined to go with the latter.

Hey, a great response to yesterday’s announcement that actress Janina Gavankar (aka Dusty from the upcoming Stargate: Atlantis episode “Whispers”) will be swinging by to chat with us. I’m going to continue gathering questions until Friday night at which point I will send them Janina’s way and, hopefully, receive a response from her some time this weekend. Also, on the same topic…

I thought it might be fun to profile various of the behind-the-scenes players on Stargate: Atlantis by having them follow Janina’s lead. So, in the coming weeks, you’ll be able to query the likes of Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Savela, writer-producer Alan McCullough, and Production Designer James Robbins. It’ll be a real a real treat for a) those interested in television production and Stargate: Atlantis and b) a lazy blogger looking to fob off an entry on some poor unsuspecting soul. I’ll keep you posted on upcoming guests.

Speaking of which – Kage Baker will be answering your questions this coming week! Finish up In the Garden of Iden so that you can weigh in with your opinion once discussion begins. Then move on to K.J. Bishop’s The Etched City because K.J. will be joining us the following week. Then motor right into Jennifer Pelland’s Unwelcome Bodies as Jennifer will be joining us the week after that. It’s all there in the right sidebar, folk, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

As for next month’s BOTMC selections… Well, let’s face it. It’s not really a Book of the Month Club. It’s more of a Book of the Month and a Half Club as I want to give participants time to read all three books if they so choose. And, if you’re looking to get a jump on August’s picks, here ya go.

In the SF category, it’ll be Lois McMaster Bujold’s Cordelia’s Honor. Now this is an omnibus made up of two novels, Shards of Honor and Barrayar, so you have a choice of reading one or both.

From the publisher: “In her first trial by fire, Cordelia Naismith captained a throwaway ship of the Betan Expeditionary Force on a mission to destroy an enemy armada. Discovering deception within deception, treachery within treachery, she was forced into a separate peace with her chief opponent, Lord Aral Vorkosigan—he who was called “The Butcher of Komarr”—and would consequently become an outcast on her own planet and the Lady Vorkosigan on his.

Sick of combat and betrayal, she was ready to settle down to a quiet life, interrupted only by the occasional ceremonial appearances required of the Lady Vorkosigan. But when the Emperor died, Aral became guardian of the infant heir to the imperial throne of Barrayar—and the target of high-tech assassins in a dynastic civil war that was reminscent of Earth’s Middle Ages, but fought with up-to-the-minute biowar technology. Neither Aral nor Cordelia guessed the part that their cell-damaged unborn would play in Barrayari’s bloody legacy.”

Discussion on Cordelia’s Honor begins August 11th.



In the FANTASY category, it’ll be Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden.

From Publisher’s Weekly: “A lonely girl with a dark tattoo across her eyelids made up of words spelling out countless tales unfolds a fabulous, recursive Arabian Nights-style narrative of stories within stories in this first of a new fantasy series from Valente (The Grass-Cutting Sword). The fantastic tales involve creation myths, shape-changing creatures, true love sought and thwarted, theorems of princely behavior, patricide, sea monsters, kindness and cruelty. As a sainted priestess explains, stories “are like prayers. It does not matter when you begin, or when you end, only that you bend a knee and say the words,” and this volume does not so much arrive at a conclusion but stops abruptly, leaving room for endless sequels. Each descriptive phrase and story blossoms into another, creating a lush, hallucinogenic effect.”

Discussion on The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden begins August 18th



And, finally, in the HORROR category, it’ll be Stephen Dobyns’ The Church of Dead Girls.

From Library Journal: “Despite the lurid title, Dobyns’s latest novel (he is a poet and author of the “Saratoga” mystery series) is a compelling mystery that shows how the people in a small town change because of a series of murders. First, a promiscuous woman is murdered. Then three girls disappear in succession. The narrator reports how the symptoms of fear escalate into a raging disease consuming the community. Cloaking prejudice and fear with righteousness, certain citizens target individuals who are on the community’s fringe. By the story’s end, no one escapes suspicion. Many characters and the complexities of human interactions receive well-rounded treatment. This absorbing tale, fit for any general collection, is highly recommended.”

Discussion on The Church of Dead Girls begins August 25th



I was at The Bridge today to preview some of the Whispers visual effects shots with Mark Savela. While there, I made a point of snapping some pics of the VFX gang still hard at work (and eating the occasional salad). Check out their quaint red brick dwelling. Probably the last place you want to be when the big one hits, but charming nevertheless.

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There must be some mistake! You have chosen a boo/books already in my collection, i.e. Bujold’s Vorkosigan novels. I’ll enjoy the reread though. For future consideration in the fantasy catagory, have you read David Gemmel’s Legend? For me it’s one of the finest examples of “last stand” military type stories, with a fairly light fantasy touch.
A couple of questions for Ms. Javankar. First, if you were to have a chance to be world famous in any one field of endeavor, including but not limited to your work as a musician and actress, what would it be? What moved you from music into acting, and have you considered or done live theater? Do you have any future engagements in the near future, and if so, what might they be? How was your experience on the Stargate set? What did you think of the um, debonair gentleman running around backstage taking photographs of everyone? Many thanks for your participation here, and to Mr. Mallozzi fo hosting. And apologies for not being able to count to two…


Those visual effects folks look like they are ready for any weather, or is it cold in their brick building? coats and blankets.. and shorts. ready for anything!!
Ummm, what is jackass Wednesday? and such a nice name for the dept. catchy!!
Yeah, down here in the states, we got “stimulus checks” hoping we will spend them to stimulate the economy,,hmmm. a bit more than 100, but not by much. and you had to file a tax return to get this free money,,, still sounds fishy, but real.
Question for Janina, What made you choose acting?, What is the hardest/easiest part about being in front of the camera? thanks in advance..

Carol Z
Carol Z

Yeah, no kidding, that brick building looks like it would fall down if someone leaned against it. And it passed inspection?

So, not the R&J fan are ‘ya Joe? Well, that’s okay because we still have sci-fi and SGA in common.

I am reading Robert Silverberg’s, At Winter’s End: The New Springtime. And I am a Huge fan of Man in the Maze.

What say you? Silverberg on your author lists?

Carol Z
New Jersey, USA

Margaret Clayton

$100 won’t even buy you a decent bicycle. Not even in Canada.

How’s the Shrine of our Lady of NiCad going? I keep getting prepaid envelopes to send in old batteries, apparently it helps the troops somehow. I don’t suppose that’s quite as popular outside the US, hmmm?

I had frijoles for lunch, may I say I contributed mightily to the emission of greenhouse gases this day. No? I may not? Okay, alrighty then, I won’t.

I eat cows. Cows are stupid animals and deserve to die. If we didn’t eat them, the coyotes and mountain lions would. My friend Desi has two calves up on the ranch; they are named T-Bone Junior and Sir Loin. She will sell one and a half and keep the other half in our freezer. Her uncle also has a half a cow reserved for us come fall. Not Black Angus, but grassfed Jersey, good enough … roping calves lead shortened lives. yum yum yum.


Joe, I can’t tell you how excited I am about your idea for q&a’s with crew from Stargate:Atlantis. Just the other day I was talking to my sister about how I’d like to hear more from them (because the few episode commentaries are never enough). Thanks for thinking of it!

Well, I’ll be reading one of the three BOTM(and a Half)C books this time around, but I’ll try and get a head start on the next lot. At the moment I’m enjoying The Etched City, and I’m very glad K.J. Bishop will be dropping by because I already have a lot of questions.

Speaking of questions, one for you Joe. I’m currently making my way through the anime works of Satoshi Kon, I was wondering if you could recommend any other anime?




James Robbins guest blogger – Makes note to check Joe’s blog everyday for announcement of James guest blog day – Don’t want to miss that day.

Thank you for featuring the folks behind the camera.


Just wondering… what was your opinion on Fahrenheit 451?


I was dashing around the halls trying to find a sergeant (they hide from me, I swear!), when one of the secretaries waved me into her office. She proposed a chocolate swap: my cherry-chili chocolate for some kind of dark-chocolate-cinnamon-chili goodies she has. It turns out she has read your blog! She’s a foodie, not so much a scifi fan, but we can work on that.


I suppose if I got a $100 check I’d use it to put gas in the car since I’m now paying 4 times the amount to fill the tank as I did when I bought the car.

Hmm, you could always buy worms, start up your own compost farm smile

the first Lily
the first Lily

Thanks for the pics (I don’t always post my thanks but I appreciate all the pics, vids and tidbits you post every day). Had a good laugh at the bulletin board. grin

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about the Q&A with the SGA crew. Thanks so much, to you and to all those who volunteered.

I don’t want to sound greedy, but is there any chance Martin gero can post a Q&A or a breakdown of Search & Rescue once it airs? Both things would be great but maybe he doesn’t have time for that. sad Since he did a Q&A for BAMSR last January, I thought it didn’t hurt to ask grin


who was responsible for the season 5 pictures.
I know i don’t know the first thing about photo shop but i have seen fans do there only pictures and they look a lot better than what you/MGM OR SCFI have put out.
If for what ever reason you can’t get the cast to stay still long enough to take a picture may be you could do a compertision for the fans to desingn there own if we get a season 6?


P S. Forgot to ask, How are those pesky gremlins treating you these days?


Sorry about the bad spelling i hit comment button when i went to get my dictionary.


Hey great idea Joe about the guest bloggers. I was about to start some serious google-stalking to find some blogs of other folks who work there on SGA. Look forward to hearing from them.

Any chance of hearing from your network admin/tech support persons or whoever keeps the atlantis laptops charged?

They might have some funny pebkac moments to share..


‘The Church of Dead Girls’ sounds like my kind of book. I’ll have to check it out on Amazon tomorrow.

The brick building looks like the old firehouse we have in town. They were afraid it would fall over every time they opened one of the garage doors. Luckily, they have a new, more soundly built building.


Nice to see the Save Carson campaign was memorable. Not quite as memorable as Jackass Wednesday, but hey, what is?

Narelle from Aus

Thanks Joe for making your blog more like an education centre – but it’s actually fun.

I have Cordelia’s Honor so will be able to read that selection but will be away during the discussion week. I’ll still read it anyway and look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts when I get back.

Anti-Social Butterfly
Anti-Social Butterfly

That’s quite a list of guest bloggers. Soon we’ll all be able to produce our own scifi series.

Quick question, When would you suggest posting our BOTM comments and questions? I’ve got it saved on my computer, but I don’t want it to get lost in all the questions for Janina.

Thanks a bunch!!!!


Question for Janina: Will you tell us something about Joe Mallozzi that we don’t already know?

Boomer Goodheart
Boomer Goodheart

Waffle-headed Monkey Trumpets? Jackass Wednesday??

What are they DOING over there???




I gotta say, compared to other Waffle-headed Monkey trumpets, they are certainly one of the most talented.

And indeed, I have to echo the others; thank you so much for giving us these “guest blogs”! The authors’ were enlightening, but for those who don’t have the time to join the book club, having Stargate people also guest blogging is a definite treat! I gotta think of some questions for them.

Meanwhile, here’s the one I had for you, Joe, from yesterday:

Did you guys send out episode screeners like Search and Rescue during and before Season 3 of Atlantis? If so, why didn’t they leak, do you think? If not, why did you guys start at the beginning of Season 4?

I can’t think of a good question for Janina though (I think I’ll need to watch Whispers first; I’d most likely ask her about her various acting choices in the episode), so I’ll just say that I am very grateful that she’s taking the time off to interact with the fans…and hope that we at Gateworld didn’t offend her too badly after she made her brief appearence in one of the threads. Heh…

Enzo Aquarius
Enzo Aquarius

Hey Joe!

I just absolutely have to ask this. In picture three (the one with the waffle-headed monkey trumpets paper, lol), there is an image of a hardcore action Jack O’Neill with various other Stargate related-imagery around him. Can we have a full view of that picture please? That looks absolutely amazing, and what’s the story behind it? grin

Also, I have a question for the visual effects crew. When creating a new ship for the series, what is the process in which it is created? IE – How is the design figured out, is a consensus to the design required, do interior sets come into play?

Thanks again!

– Enzo Aquarius

Shadow Step
Shadow Step

Ah if you are doing a spot on ex Stargate water bearers, wither Tichenor? smile

Rebecca H

Thank God you are not a brainwashed minion of the Oriviramentalists. I had my doubts. (Tv writer and all, but I’m unfortunately conditioned by my over-exposure to southern Califorhysteria, so forgive me).

Sorry not to participate in the BOTM this summer. I’ve made a list of the titles so I can peruse them later, but this is my festival season (retired, supplementary income, hobbies, etc).

Looking forward to Season Five, only two weeks away (hooray).

Mackenzie's Momma

*waves* So, won’t be leaving a long comment as I should be at home packing instead I’m being the epitome of chic, and sitting at the laundromat surfing the web, and watching Atlantis.