Hmmm, everything looks so unappetizing...

Sis in happier times, ie. before the meal arrived.

Bone marrow ravioli, escargot and confits shallots roasted in bone marrow, lambs lettuce and lardons

Squash tortellini with truffle oil, boletus, baby peas and sage butter

Rabbit stuffed with lobster and mango, rosemary polenta, rabbit shoulder ravioli, Brussels sprouts with almonds

Roasted lamb, panoufle braised in citrus fruits and summer vegeables, potato gnocchi, avocado butter

Roasted veal filet, sweetbread lasagne, chanterelles and chard stalk, crunch salad.

I took my eyes off the menu to glance outside. On the other side of the big bay window, one of the restaurant musicians was emptying his spit valve. I redirected my gaze back across the table to my mother who was weighing her choices. By the look on her face, I knew exactly what she was thinking: “Thirty dollars for rabbit! I could’ve made rabbit at home and I guarantee it would be ten times better than what we’re going to eat here!” My mom is not one for fine dining but, alas, she was along for the ride on this night as we checked out Garcon, pegged by many as one of Montreal’s best.

Maybe so, but beside our table and the three musicians cleaning their instruments out on the patio, the place was dead. In all fairness, however, it was early, only a little after 6:00 p.m. Of course, by the time we left at a little after 8:30 p.m., the place was still dead. Again, it could have been timing. On the other hand, it could have been the quality of the dishes served. In retrospect, I’d lean toward the latter.

The menu offered some enticing alternatives and, after much thought, my sister and I both opted for the same bone marrow ravioli with escargot and confit shallot roasted in marrow bone with lettuce and lardons. My mother, however, wasn’t having any of it, skipping the appetizers and even passing on the simple garden salad suggested by our waiter. To make up for mom’s unwillingness to play ball, I ordered a third appy “for the table”, the squash tortellini with truffle oil, boletus mushrooms, baby peas, and sage butter.

The bone marrow ravioi was a huge disappointment, served dry-baked and devoid of any saucing, while the escargot and confit shallot roasted in bone marrow proved surprisingly bland, accompanied by shredded beef that seemed to have been boiled into submission.

The squash tortellini was relatively inoffensive in comparison. The actual tortellini was thin and nicely al dente, its squash interior devoid of any of the vegetable’s subtle sweetness. They may have well been potato tortellini and I wouldn’t have noticed a difference. The accompanying sauce (the baby peas and sage butter) was very good however, as were the roasted boletus.

For my mother’s main course, she had the rabbit stuffed with lobster and mango, served with rosemary polenta, rabbit shoulder ravioli, brussel sprouts and almonds. It was a bold but ultimately ill-advised attempt at marrying three ingredients that had no business being together, much less hanging around on the same neighborhood plate. It wasn’t terrible but by no means was it good either. My mother complained about the partially-cooked brussel sprouts, but did some to not mind her polenta. I thought the rabbit shoulder ravioli were nicely executed though.

Mom declared my sister’s roasted lamb the best of the three mains, which was a little like crowning Moe the smartest of the Three Stooges. Served medium-rare, the meat was tender but bland, accompanied by some very nice potato gnocchi with avocado butter, vegetables, and a pretty good lamb belly.

I went with the roasted veal filet that, I later informed our waiter when he inquired about our meals, was overdone and cold. “Overdone AND cold?”he asked. Yes. No easy feat. But I wasn’t too broken up over the veal since I actually ordered the dish for the accompanying sweetbread lasagne. It turned out to be a few morsels of lukewarm and fairly tasteless sweetbread and equal-sized morsels of fat layered beneath some sheets of spinach pasta. No sauce. No discernible spicing. I imagine that if the staff of my high school cafeteria had ever attempted this dish, they would have been more than equal to the task. The accompanying chanterelle mushrooms were inedible. Hilariously so. They were the type of food item you’d convince a friend to try just so you could see the look on their face when they actually tasted the damn things. I had half a mind to play this gag on my mother but given that she had already spat up a good half-dozen mouthfuls over the course of the meal, I gave her a break.

We didn’t dare risk dessert.

Service was actually quite good, the only low-point coming at the end of our meal when the waiter whisked my mother’s side plate away, sending its partially masticated contents sailing across the table and into my lap.

If this is truly the best fine-dining that Montreal has to offer, then I’m sticking with Smoked Meat Pete’s.

Some thoughts on your thoughts on In the Garden of Iden:

Whovian writes: “The characters seemed very real to me, whether I liked them or not. At first I was put off by Mendoza calling us all mortal monkeys.”

Answer: I too loved her from the get-go. Baker does a great job of introducing Mendoza as a precocious but incredibly charming child, then fast-forwarding her to adulthood over the course of a chapter. In my mind, those childlike elements we were introduced to early on remained with her throughout the book and, in my opinion, made her that much more sympathetic. Which is why I really wasn’t put off by her opinion of mortals. It was an innocent, child-like perspective. Besides, as this novel proves, she was right all along. We ARE monkeys!

Whovian writes: “I thought it was clearly shown how these immortals can suffer, fear, want, etc., when they cannot die. I truly believed and understood that life for the immortals is difficult, to say the least.”

Answer: True. That point was really driven home for me when Joseph gives her the lowdown on mortal-immortal relationships. He does so in a matter-of-fact way as someone who has experienced love and loss so many times that he has risen above its effects. Mendoza, however, is new to this game, and it’s her innocent belief that she COULD make it work that makes her falling in love with Nicholas so tragic. As someone else pointed out – you sympathize with the character and you desperately want her relationship to work but, in the back your mind, you can foresee it is doomed to end tragically.

Whovian also writes: “Mendoza may be immortal and highly intelligent, yet she is painfully young. Her lack of experience allows me to forgive her for her mistakes and harsh outlook on the rest of human kind. And when she wonders, “Are we really good for people?” I wondered along with her. It’s something that, for me, doesn’t really get answered.”

Answer: Yes, this is something else I wondered about. In the long run, are they doing more harm than good? In the big picture, I would guess yes, their work will better humankind in the long run so it is obviously worthwhile. But in the small picture, specifically as it relates to the players both mortals and immortals who are involved in the retrieval, one could argue that they are far worse off for their experiences.

Mercie writes: “I enjoyed Mendoza’s youthful take on all the goings-on during the story, and especially thought her initial aversion to humans and their “violent” nature was a very teen-feeling viewpoint.”

Agreed. I agree. If she had grown up in our contemporary society, I’d imagine her as a nihilist goth chick. Tres Lenore.

Nebula writes: “But once I read _In the Garden of Iden_, I went on to read all her Company novels and although her first is still my favorite, they are all a wonderful mixture of humor, adventure, poignant romance and historical facts.”

Answer: It’s great to hear the rest of the series lives up to this first book. Like I said, I really enjoyed In the Garden of Iden and do intend to pick up the rest of The Company titles.

Itsme writes: “ I liked her whole time travel theory but found the process to make them immortal unexplained, like I had missed something? – what were they doing to them??”

Answer: True. This is hinted at very early on but never fully explained. To be honest, I didn’t think it was that important to the story given that this is the first book in a series, and I assumed this subject would be covered in future entries.

Itsme writes: “In the beginning, the author gives us so much information about the Company that is really very interesting but really irrelevant because you never hear anything about it after that (but I assume this would be covered in the following books?? but after this one, there is no chance i’m going to find out) – but I found that I was more interested in The Company and its policies than I was about Mendoza’s individual story.”

Answer: What I found interesting was learning about The Company’s policies via Medoza’s experiences in the field. It was through the sometimes unforeseen circumstances that developed over the course of her first mission that we got to learn about this unique entity. Like you, by book’s end I was wanting to know more.

Bar Stool Babe writes: “I also must applaud the way you show the inevitable progression of “political correctness” in the future. Yech!”

Answer: Ha! Agreed.

Narelle from Aus writes: “The premise that you cannot change history was interesting. However, I did move onto Sky Coyote after finishing In the Garden of Iden and I think the motivations behind this philosophy is explored in more detail and it isn’t as cut and dry as it first appears.”

Answer: Ah, I’m intrigued. Perhaps my theory on history’s immutable nature in this series may be up for debate.

Narelle from Aus writes: “When you have an immortal as old as Joseph, when he speaks you wonder what multitude of experiences he is drawing from. So as well as reading the story on the page, his character allowed me to take my mind to what else he had seen considering his age.”

Answer: Yes. I could just imagine him reprimanding: “You kids who grew up during this Inquisition had it easy. In my day, they didn’t torture you with nice clean instruments. In my day, the instruments of torture were filthy and you’d die of infection long before you bled out…”

Narelle from Aus writes: “It would be difficult to watch humans make the same mistakes over and over and you not be able to do anything about it.”

Answer: And yet, throughout this novel, I kept thinking “how very topical!”. Those who do not learn from history…

Thornyrose writes: “ The one thing that seriously jarred me at the beginning of the novel, and that I couldn’t shake, was the early explanation of time travel. Ok, I can buy into the “you can’t change history” approach. But the caveat “But this law can only be observed to apply to recorded history”. My first thought was, if someone writes a journal noting something, but the journal is lost 200 years later, does that mean that its not really recorded history? If the Company wants to change history, do they in fact simply send agents to remove documentation so they can modify history in the way they want?”

Answer: In my interpretation of the laws of time travel set forth in this book, the removal of a historical document would not allow them to change history. Even though that journal was lost, it is still recorded history. The fact that The Company doesn’t have access to this document (and, thus isn’t privy to the way this specific aspect of history played out) gives the illusion that one can change the past. Of course, after reading Narelle form Aus’s post, it seems that I may have to revise this theory once I read the ensuing books in the series.

Thornyrose writes: “I enjoyed the time frame that Ms. Kage elected to set the story in. And the news reports picked up by radio to keep the agents informed of (relatively) local happenings. “

Answer: Yeah, I wasn’t sure what to make of those news reports at first. I didn’t know what the heck was going on and then, when I realized they were clandestine reports being filed by representatives of The Company, I thought them a clever way to update both the characters and the audience in highly entertaining fashion.

Thornyrose writes: “While I wasnt suprised at the physical relationship that developed between Nicholas and Mendoza, I was a bit curious as why the Company didn’t deal with that matter before putting people out in the field. I half expected that sexual training would have been part and parcel of the schooling, rather than letting a new agent out in the world, to have their hormones kick in in an uncontrolled environment.”

Answer: That’s a good point and one I didn‘t consider until you brought it up. It was strange that their orientation didn‘t cover this subject. Maybe past experience proved that no amount of orientation or theoretical grounding could prepare individuals for the inevitable heartbreak and loss. Perhaps the only way to learn the lesson is to experience it firsthand.

Thornyrose writes: “Loved Sir Walter, and his “modifications”. It felt right that the poor man would end up running off to take a second chance at grabbing for the brass ring.”

Answer: I too loved Sir Walter’s metamorphosis from a doddering old codger to frisky not-so-senior.

Sanura writes: “The first, since it was at the beginning, is her amazingly convincing portrayal of the thought processes and reactions of a five-year-old, without resorting to oversimplicity or mere obtuseness.”

Answer: I couldn’t agree with you more. It was this deftness that so thoroughly won me over. Those first few chapters detailing Mendoza’s childhood were among my favorites.

Sanura writes: “Admittedly, her characters were superhuman, but there’s still a certain self-identifiability with them, they’re characterized so well.”

Answer: Exactly. Even though they may have been physically changed they essentially remain true to who they were before the process. This is why I felt such sympathy for all of them – Mendoza, Joseph, and even goat-loving Nef.

Anti-Social Butterfly writes: “Both Nicholas and Mendoza had been deeply indoctrinated which should have built a unbreachable wall between them, but they were able to look past that for a while, and yet it was that dogma that eventually drove them apart. They had deluded themselves into believing the other would come around making it impossible for them to move beyond that romping sexual stage of their relationship.”

Answer: And therein lay the tragedy, the fact that both felt they would be able to overcome their differences and change the other, thereby attaining true happiness. What they hadn’t counted on was the fact that the person they fell in love with would prove as obstinate as they were.

A Honshuu writes: “Nicholas and his religious fervor would only have destroyed Mendoza in the end, making her doubt her life and her purpose.”

Answer: I think that Mendoza would have been destroyed by the relationship regardless of Nicholas’s religious convictions. In fact, I think that had she succeeded in saving him and changing his mind, the end would have been equally tragic. Regardless of how it worked out, he was a mere mortal and would have left her eventually.

Charlie’s Angel writes: “Joe, I can’t believe you didn’t mention that the immortals get buzzed from chocolate! I can just imagine them crashing your chocolate party.”

Answer: Yes! I loved the fact that Joseph dispensed those Theobromos bars as rewards of sorts. Took a page out of my book.

Sylvia writes: “There was also the temptation in the garden as she became entranced by Nicholas.”

Answer: A neat little reverse there. Nicholas hesitates taking the apple she offers him because he sees the symbolic parallels when, in truth, she is the one venturing to take the bite of the forbidden fruit in this case.

Sylvia writes: “At first my reaction to the “end” was – oh man, there is so much left “untold.” It is great there is a series of books…now to get them.”

Answer: That‘s exactly how I felt. I’m very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

Drldeboer writes: “Once she was rescued I just could not get any sympathy for Mendoza’s personal issues, and little sympathy for Nicholas and the actions of the people therein as it has all been unpleasantly hashed before.”

Answer: Really? I thought Baker realized some wonderfully sympathetic characters here.

Aboleyn24 writes: “The way that time travel is approached is great fun. Even though time travel is possible people from the future find it distaceful. So instead they make immortals to do the dirty work for them.”

Answer: Interesting. That’s a point I glossed over and never gave much thought to until you brought it up. Did I miss something? Why ARE The Company’s time-traveling employees strictly made up of immortals? Maybe this is something that will be explored in future books?

Anyway, great discussion. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts and please get the last of your questions for author Kage Baker in by tomorrow as I’ll be sending the rest her way by day’s end.

To Susan W. and her request that a Gene Wolfe title be considered as a book of the month club selection. Susan, I’m a huge fan of his and list Wolfe’s mammoth Book of the New Sun teratology among my very favorites. Definitely something to consider.

Finally, thank you for all your thoughts on Don. It’s really wonderful to see how well-loved the man was.

52 thoughts on “July 2, 2008: A Disastrous Dinner and a Deepening Discussion

  1. Hey Joe,

    My question last night came in toward the end, so I thought I would repeat: if you are able to, it would be great if you could post your lyrics to the theme song, I am very curious to see what you came up with in your spare time.

    Sorry to hear that your meal wasn’t up to par.


  2. Hey Joe!

    Now that’s a rarity, a review of a restaurant with not the best food. Well hey, not everything can be perfect, you win some and you lose some. Hopefully dinner tomorrow will be good (if it’s at home, it DEFINITELY will be 😀 ).

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  3. I wish there was some kind of rule that if the food sucks, you don’t have to pay for it. Or you could pay for it to the degree that it met your expectations. That’s the problem with restaurants. There’s no way to get a refund. With most products, if you take it home and it’s crap, you can take it back. You can even do this with food at some stores (like Safeway, where I used to work; really, if you buy something and don’t like it, you can take it back for a refund, even if it’s half-eaten…at least, that’s how it was at the one I worked at a couple years ago). But with restaurants, once they’ve served you, you’re pretty much stuck with paying whatever they asked for it, even if it’s terrible. Sure, you can not come back, but they’ve still suckered you for that one meal.

    These book discussions are making me really wish I was a faster reader. I feel rather like I’m missing something. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to join in the party, once I get through the other books I need to read first.

  4. The photos of your dinner looked intresting. Sorry it was so diappointing. Guess there was a good reason why the dining room was so empty durring the dinner hours.

    I agree with Shawna, to bad you couldn’t get a refund.

  5. You have a promising career as a food critic! 😀

    Restaurant owners must cringe in fear when you start taking pictures! Speaking of which, I suspect the “chef” at this recent experience probably skipped that “Presentation” class where the students should be reminded that the food *must* actually taste better than it is suppose to look… And even then, I think this guy flunked the art class portion too!

    And don’t be alarmed by your mom’s rabbit pricing comment, my French-Canadian Mom would have been even more vocal – her brothers used to raise huge honking rabbits for eating!

    Yes! Stick with Smoked Meat Pete’s!

  6. “Mom declared my sister’s roasted lamb the best of the three mains, which was a little like crowning Moe the smartest of the Three Stooges.”

    “Service was actually quite good, the only low-point coming at the end of our meal when the waiter whisked my mother’s side plate away, sending its partially masticated contents sailing across the table and into my lap.”

    . 😆

    Joe…when Stargate ends, please, O PLEASE become a food critic. It is your true calling.


  7. Joe,

    Ok, this question has been bugging me for some time. You always seem to eat out at these fancy places, with weird food (to my Midwest sensibilites at least). Do you ever hit a drive-thru on the way home from work? Get a late night craving for a Big Mac, or what Taco Bell laughingly calls “tacos”? My husband loves the Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s.

    Does the fast food bug ever bite ya on the ass? Do you even know any of the above “restaurants”?


  8. While I’m sorry that your outing turned out to be less than pleasing, I have to admit enjoying your filleting of the cuisine. I find the “faint praise” approach especially good for generating chuckles. But it is a shame that you not only had to suffer through the experience yourself, but that your mother did so also. I suspect you’ll be hearing about this outing for a few years to come.
    Thank you for your lengthy addressing of comments and questions on the latest book club selection. I’ve seen some interesting views on the book that will probably result in a reread in a few months, to see if I can get more out of the book than I did the first time.
    A few questions for Ms. Baker, if its not too late. My apologies for my ignorance if I ask a question already addressed in later “Company” novels.
    First, what appealed to you about the time period you set “In the Garden of Idun” in it? When you first started writing about the Company and its time travel adventures, did you originally approach it as a one shot, and build on the concept, or did you already have some idea of what direction it would take? When writing, what sort of envirement do you do your work? cozy office with no outside distractions, some sort of background music, regular hours at the computer or as the mood hits you? Which genre and format do you most enjoy? Fantasy/Sf/straight fiction/ short story/novels/series? And in the company series do we see any of the Immortal agents turning on the Company? Thank you for your time and participation in Mr. Mallozzi’s blog.

  9. I was looking at some on-set or/and behind-the-scene photos from the Atlantis set, and I noticed that some of the actors/crew had books in their hands, probably killing time while waiting for the next shot to be ready. And I was wondering, do u have book discussions there, a book club, informal book sharing? Think any of the Atlantis crew read your blog and take recommendations of it? I always figure writers are voracious readers. How else as a child would you have discovered the join of story telling? ( I remember my mother reading to me as a very small child. some years later, she admitted there were times she ran out of books to read to us, and read us “Gone with the Wind”) Are actors the same? You’ve caught Joe F. reading quite a few times in your photos.

    I was always impressed by the originality of Phillip K. Dicks stories. A story not only well told, but one I’d never read before. What seemed not only an original plot, but written so well. Many of Alan Dean Foster’s plots and settings are unique also. I especially loved his 2 short story collections, “With Friends Like These….”, “…Who Needs Enemies?

    Have you ever read any of his stuff?

  10. Hey Joe,

    I know this is a day late (I’ve been travelling to Nashville to see my parents), but I wanted to thank you for your lovely tribute to Don S. Davis. I used to joke that he was my Paw Paw (considering my actual grandfather is a mean SOB). He was much preferable. I even used to keep a screengrab of him on my desk at home. My husband and I had many many jokes contemplating what my Paw Paw “the General” would say in any given situation.

    He will be missed. Even by those who didn’t know him. But as the Wizard of Oz said “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.


  11. Hey Joe,

    Not good about the lousy dinner. Get your Mum to do a traditional cookup and review it. Classic Italian cooking – can you go wrong?

    Joe said:

    Answer: Interesting. That’s a point I glossed over and never gave much thought to until you brought it up. Did I miss something? Why ARE The Company’s time-traveling employees strictly made up of immortals? Maybe this is something that will be explored in future books?

    Wasn’t it mentioned extremely early on that only immortals could cope with the physical demands of time travel? I’m reading a few books at the moment so maybe I’m having a blonde moment.

    Answer: I too loved Sir Walter’s metamorphosis from a doddering old codger to frisky not-so-senior.

    Hehehehe. You make me laugh.

    Answer: Yes. I could just imagine him reprimanding: “You kids who grew up during this Inquisition had it easy. In my day, they didn’t torture you with nice clean instruments. In my day, the instruments of torture were filthy and you’d die of infection long before you bled out…”

    Ironically, it isn’t that far from the truth when you keep reading…

    The storyline of Sky Coyote I found more bizarre, but with it being told from the viewpoint of Joseph, just through him passing on stories of his VERY long life, a few questions are answered but also more are raised.

    Enough was left unresolved to make me pick up Mendoza in Hollywood, but I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy the stories more where Joseph is looking in on her life rather than the other way around.

    Finished Old Man’s War last weekend and am now reading The Ghost Brigade’s.

    It’s very addictive!

    From the reading list on the side bar I have access to:
    – Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, Kate Wilherlm
    – Inherit the Stars, James P. Hogan
    – Chocky, John Wyndham
    – Vellum, Hal Duncan
    – Ten Thousand Light Years from Home, James Triptree Jr.
    – Crossing the Line, Karen Traviss
    – Feersum Endjinn, Iain M. Banks
    – The Embedding, Ian Watson

    Any that you would say, just don’t bother?
    I’m stocking up on my Recommended Reading list for my time away.

  12. While I enjoy reading your blog, I don’t post comments very often, and I’m a day late with this one, but I just wanted to say you wrote a very nice, very touching tribute to Don Davis. I was so sad to hear the news. He really seemed like a great man and I wish I’d had the opportunity to meet him. When I first started watching SG1, I kept watching initially because of Mr Davis — his character reminded me so much of my grandfather (a retired USAF general and recently passed away at that time). I grew to love many more things about SG1 (and now Atlantis) and am thoroughly hooked on both shows, but I’ll always remember Mr Davis fondly. Thanks.

  13. Hey Joe.

    Well, today is the first day that I DON’T wish I could have sampled your meal items!

    Maybe you’ll find a better spot to eat tmorrow:)

    Anyway, enjoy your trip!

    @DAVID: Thanks for stealing my name…

    @Everyone else: I have changed my name to Davidd, with 2 “d”s at the end. Someone stole my original name 🙂

  14. Hey Joe,

    I definitely agree with you about Mendoza, I always envisioned her as a very modern, misunderstanding teen. Anyway, sorry about the food, not being a gourmet person, myself, I couldn’t even truly tell whether the pictures you were showing were actual food, or sea anemones (although I hear that people eat those too).

    My only question for Kage Baker is: Being an aspiring writer, myself, I was wondering if you ever end up writing a story and realize at the end that it is a completely different story than the one you intended to write? My stories tend to have a life of their own, and twist out of my grasp to become something entirely different. Not bad, mind you, just different.

    Anyway, enough of the long-winded question. I’m done for the day, took some nice allergy medicine for my mosquito bites (It really sucks to be allergic to them AND to have your birthday in summer) and so I’m off to sleep!


  15. I’m unfortunately way too busy at the moment to write up an interesting and/or thought-provoking response to In the Garden of Iden, but I’m finding all the comments about it very interesting!

    I really enjoyed it and found it a very quick read. At the same time, I just couldn’t get myself to like Nicholas at all and was actually a bit disappointed in Mendoza for falling in love with him. I guess we all can’t have the same taste in men. 🙂 I really loved the technology they had to keep up with happenings…and just for pure entertainment–love the scene where Nef gets seen hanging from the roof while trying to attach an antenna and gets mistaken for a demon. 😀 Also like how they say it’s really not a big deal if a mortal happens to catch a glimpse of the technology–who’s going to believe them??

  16. Just finished the SG1 novel “Do No Harm.” Another excellent book, following the also excellent “Barque Of Heaven.” I hope these novels keep raising the bar. I can’t wait for the Atlantis novel “Mirror, Mirror” coming in August.

  17. “if you are able to, it would be great if you could post your lyrics to the theme song, I am very curious to see what you came up with in your spare time.”

    I’m fairly certain he’s talking about this:

    Now for my question: Are there any Sci-Fi Novels you might suggest for someone trying to start into the genre?

  18. I’m going to have a look for the “have to be an immortal for time travel” reference in Iden after I get through what can best be described as End of Financial Year throwing up on my desk.

  19. Any dinner that begins with a view of a disgorging spit valve can not hope to be pleasant; at least the company was enjoyable.

  20. I was curious about this Garcon place after reading your comments, thinking…if they are the “best up” in Montreal, then why were they so empty?! Well, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time researching the place and i didn’t really have to as when I went to their website, the copyright said 2006. Now, any self-respecting organization is going to have an up to date website with a copyright of 2008. Their press only goes to about 2007. Not good. And they look to have been started in 2005. This are all warning signs that this business isn’t doing well and won’t continue on. But that is just an assumption on my part after looking on their site and not going any further in my investigation. Eep! Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. I’m curious – did you guys end up eating somewhere else or snacking later on after such a bad experience? Did you get any compensation from the restaurant?

    And since I didn’t comment yesterday, I am saddened to hear about Don S. Davis – what a hearty soul! No puns intended if there are any there to be found. We will miss him. 🙁

    And may I request a post dedicated to chocolate? Say your latest findings or the best vs. the worst (in your opinion)? I’ve got a craving!!! 😀


  21. I was so saddened to hear about Don S. Davis passing away. I loved him as General Hammond and was looking forward to meeting him at Dragoncon this August. From all accounts, he seemed to be a truly wonderful person as well as a great actor. I will miss him.


  22. I know I’m late on this one, I’ve been busy but I wanted to say that Don will be missed! My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends! Joe will you guys be able to add a screen at the end of SGA’s premiere in honor or memory of Don? I hope so he was such a big part of the Stargate universe it would only be fitting.

  23. Torri pourrait revenir pour la 100ème?

    Et mes sincères condoléance à la famille et aux proches de D. DAVIS. R.I.P

  24. Sorry to hear you had such a bad dining experience.

    I haven’t been able to read In the Garden of Iden but I have a question for Kage Baker based on some of her short stories I’ve been fortunate enough to read: How important do you feel humour is to your stories?

    I don’t know if you’re accepting questions not related to the actual book but hey, it was worth a try.

    Hope your next dining experience is much better too. Will you be checking out any other Montreal restaurants soon?

  25. Coucou Joseph! Comment allez vous ?

    je suis téllement contente!! Ingrid Betancourt est enfin libre!!!
    Voila 6 ans edemi qu’ont attendaient cela!! Qu’elle femme incroyable! Bravo Ingrid!

    aller bisou, passez une bonne journée!

  26. Hmmm…I wonder how they got the title of the best of Montreal if their food is obviously so lacking? Who are these “many” that “[peg Garcon] as one of Montreal’s best up”? Are they mutant mole people with no sense of taste, by any chance?

    Let us return to those marathon reviews that I’ve silenced for the past 2 days to respect Don’s passing:

    Full Circle: One of the best episodes of the series, and currently #18 on my ranking list! The title says it all, really. The series goes Full Circle, back to Abydos under siege by a powerful Goa’uld. The Jack-Danny banter at the beginning was just golden. Loved the respective sarcasm on both ends there. Seeing Skaara again was wonderful, and it was bittersweet to know what will befall him at the end while he was talking about getting married. Though I already knew all the twists and the turns in the story, it was still chilling when they appeared on screen. Finally, after 6 years, we connect the Ancients with those who have Ascended; we also learn Anubis’s true nature, and of course, we hear the first mention of the Lost City. I also enjoyed how they found the Eye of Ra through ingenuity. The battle itself was intense, and the ascension of Skaara was accompanied by such great music.

    Poor Daniel though; as the Nox say, he was too young to be ascended. Still, the moment and those leading up to his face off with Anubis (before being pulled away) was very epic; as was the rest of his appearance; I loved how he stepped over the line and did so many things to take out Anubis, but ultimately did one thing too many. He may not have a body anymore, but he’s still our Daniel. The ending was definitely an eye opener, a very subdued bookend to the Abydos storyline…I loved it; with the soft, whispering music and the final shot of the team walking through a desolate desert towards a temporary construct of a Stargate, never to return through it to this place. Wonderful.

    Oh, and Jack’s snark throughout the episode is some of the best of the series. Barnone.

    Fallen: Not as good as Full Circle, but then few episodes are. Daniel’s return with his memory missing was an interesting concept, and made for some great dramatic and humorous moments (Jim, for instance. Now that I think about it though, it’s eerie how Anubis will later be known as Jim in the Celestial Diner). And then the episode switches to Top Gun mode as SG1 attempts the whackiest plan ever: ripping off Star Wars. Ah, I kid. I mean, it was obviously an homage, not a rip off.


    But hey, I don’t care. I loved the battle and the ensuing effects shots that mirror certain Star Wars shots exactly. And why not? They were great shots! Seeing the 302 fly circles around the gliders, and having it…uh…glide over the surface of Anubis’s mothership…awesome. Seeing Hammond off world was both exhilarating and…well, awkward. I enjoyed it though, of course.

    Overall, a pretty good opener. Not the best though.

    Homecoming: Ah yes…the end of Jonas’s arc. I must say, I miss him. This is really the first time I sat down and watched SG1 episode-by-episode and paid close attention to it, so I’ve come to realize that I liked Jonas a lot. His attitude was different; chipper without being annoying. As I said before, I would’ve been fine if Daniel never returned full time (more on this later, when I talk about Lifeboat), and Jonas had remained, and up to this episode, I still maintain that. Most of the episode though was fairly average owing, again, to my lack of care for the Kelownans. Still, I enjoyed it well enough. The various battles were nice, and Daniel’s talks with Jonas onboard the mothership were enlightening and once again serve to close out Jonas’s arc. I also liked Oshu, first prime of Yu (and I loved how that golden mark on his forehead spells out “zhong”, meaning “center” in Mandarin. And of course, it’s the first word of the Chinese name of China). He was an honorable character, not blinded by faith like, say…Herak, who I wish great ills, like death, for instance.

    The end scene was very well done, though I’d hoped for Jonas to tell Teal’c once more how much he cherished his efforts to help him fit into the team. So overall, a good episode…though not great.

    Fragile Balance: So, basically, Michael Welch is ridiculously talented. Yeah, I think we can all agree on that! So yes, this was a pretty good episode, mostly owing to Welch’s impeccable portrayl/mimic of Jack/RDA. He was just simply awesome. He had Jack’s mannerism’s down PERFECTLY. YES. So that pretty much made the episode. I also liked how he survived, as well as the mention that Jack was legendary among the Asgard. Lastly, I liked the ending, with Lily Frost’s song backing a pretty personal moment between Jack and himself, sort of; the music and the scene fit perfectly and I loved that. It was just such an upbeat feeling, seeing young Jack making his live anew. I have regrets in life, so I can relate to wanting to relive something with what I know now.

    The integration of alien abduction with Loki’s experiment was pretty interesting as well.

    Orpheus: #11 on my list. This episode was just spectacular in almost every sense of the word! It says to me that, as long as you have Bra’tac and Teal’c together (and throw in some R’yac for seasoning), the episode will be pretty much awesome. This episode had everything: phenomenal character moments and development, GREAT action sequences, WONDERFUL father-son moments that made me tear up, you name it. The initial part with Teal’c feeling down on himself was such a facinating direction to go with the character (and facinating to watch), partially owing to Chris Judge’s nuanced acting, as well as the ridiculously NATURAL evolution of the storyline towards this direction. This was the perfect direction to go after Teal’c had had to transfer to relying on Tretonin. Perfect. This is basically what I wanted for “Bane”, seeing Teal’c angsting because he’s suddenly weak. But, I now think that that notion fit rather better here than it would have in Bane.

    Anyway, moving on. Having the story really begin due to Daniel’s dealings while ascended and having that tie into his character arc at the time of his ascension with feelings of uselessness while ascended was another stroke of genius. Again, the refering back to Daniel’s wish to make a difference, the MOST basic part of his character, was just wonderful; what made it even better is his understanding by the end that the SGC was really where he belonged all this time if he wished to make a difference. That seemed to be the perfect “end” to his ascension arc. Ack, this is all rather rambling and incoherent, isn’t it? Well, I hope my meaning got through, somehow.

    Also, I loved how we got the signal to the Gate shields on Erebus. Just another way to show that Bra’tac is awesome. Speaking of which, watching him barely flinching to the enormous pain of being whipped, while R’yac cried out in protest sent chills down my spine. That’s powerful stuff, man.

    Anyways, we move on to Erebus. Again, put Teal’c and R’yac together, and my eyes get wetter than usual. Having T admit to R’yac that he was…weak, and having R’yac in disbelief and continuing to champion his father made me tear up (obviously), and the conversation between him and Bra’tac afterwards was just the icing on the already-delicious cake with a name that only you, Joe, can pronounce because it’s so fancy and good.

    The action sequence was awesome and epic; Peter Deluise is a master at this. ‘Nuff said.

    And then we have the end, with Teal’c readying himself to be killed, and Bra’tac uttering one of the best lines of the series, “Do not look away! Be strong for him. What better way for Teal’c to die than to be looking upon the face of his son?” God…who came up with that bitchin’ line?! It was just…WOW. But, of course, Teal’c got his mojo back and they ALL KICKED MUCHO ASS!!

    Lastly…gotta bit emotional when Bra’tac said “Hammond of Texas” near the end. Watching SG1 from now on is going to be a solemn experience, for quite some time.

    Wonderful…just…WONDERFUL episode.

    Revisions: No offense Joe, but I hope you’ll understand when I say that this wasn’t as good as Orpheus IMHO. The thing is, there weren’t that many character moments in this episode, as compared to plot progression. Still, I have to admit, I LOVE the concept of this episode; so much so that I subconsciously ripped it off for a Star Trek fanfic I wrote about a year ago. Heh.

    Well, what can I say. A neural link with a mind of its own, doing what’s best for the community with no regard for an individual human life? That’s creepy and disturbing right there, and I love the way you spun out the story, so that we figure it out piece by piece. Stargate has a knack of doing these “something’s not right here” episodes and having all the pieces fit together perfectly by the end, and this is no exception. I loved how the dome kept shrinking, and the computer picked the logical choice (eliminating humans) to keep the community alive, though it’s in actuality a horrible choice. Still, the fact that it erased these people from people’s memories, preventing absolute terror among the citizens, seem to say something about the computer; that it’s not only protecting the people physically, but also their mental state. Facinating.

    The kid, Nevin, was also quite darling, unlike most kid characters. His wish to become an explorer, and his father wishing him to succeed despite them having to leave to accomplish it was very heartwarming. And also, we had the first appearence of the great Chris Heyerdahl! I can definately see why you hired him back! He was wonderful, playing the innocent, kind-hearted Pallan. I especially loved the scene where Sam takes off his Link device, while he was absolutely terrified. Wonderful acting there.

    So overall, a good episode with a very intriguing premise that was wonderfully executed, but somewhat lacking in character moments.

    Lifeboat: This was another one of those episodes which I really didn’t watch the whole way through when it came on TV, so it was relatively new to me…and WOW did I love it! It’s #29 on the list so far.

    Michael Shanks is amazing. Getting back to what I was saying with Jonas back in Homecoming…yeah, if I knew that this episode was coming when I watched Homecoming, then I’d’ve definitely reevaluated by choices! Daniel/Shanks was absolutely phenomenal in his portrayls in this episode; Martice was perfectly disgusting and arrogant; Tryan was such an honorable, level-headed man; and Keenin…poor, sweet Keenin, I loved Shank’s portrayl of Keenin the best. Both times he appeared I was tearing up by the end of the scenes.

    Once again, like Revisions, this had an intriguing concept; storing many consciousnesses within 1 mind to save them, and the character stuff resulting from that was great! I gotta say, Pharrin, played by the ridiculously talented (why yes, I AM running low on synonyms of “awesome”) James Park, who I had first seen in Star Trek Enterprise’s “North Star” (he was awesome there too), was just so tragic. For his people he had to sacrifice his sanity, and worse, his son. Again, that father-son stuff had me choked up. The way Michael Shanks did Keenin…oh God. When he said that his mom made his dad choose him, and that he wanted to stay home…and started crying…”heartbreaking” wouldn’t come close to describing it. And then later, him being so innocent at the face of death, as Pharrin tells him that they will be together, even though they’ll both die due to having too many minds crammed into Pharrin’s head (I assume that that was their fate, though it didn’t seem that that was explicitly confirmed by episode’s end, since the other passengers were going to take care of him? What’s there to take care of if he’s going to die? Hmmm…), and Pharrin making that face as he tries to hold back tears…seriously, one of the saddest moments in Stargate history.

    Also, gotta love Doc Fraiser’s determination to get Daniel back, even though she had to deal with so many personalities, including Martice. Loved her “I don’t give a damn! You don’t belong in that man’s body and I intend to take it back!”

    Awesome episode. Loved it.

    Gotta say, I’m feeling the lack of Jack in these episodes. Fallen had enough of him, but Homecoming just had him sitting around in the Kelownan bunker. Fragile Balance had the real Jack only appearing near the end; while Revisions once again had him just walking around; and Lifeboat he was…well, just sitting there and watching Daniel. Orpheus had a good amount of him though, given that it’s a Teal’c ep. Oh well, I knew this was coming.

  27. Wow dinner that bad huh? They gonna see this write up?

    Link em Danno!!! hahahaha

  28. Sorry to hear about your dinner. To be honest, that’s how I feel about dinner every night.

    Regarding In the Garden of Iden:

    I started out really liking it. The sci-fi premise is great. It felt very Doctor Who-ish to me, especially with “Dr Zeus”. But while the book was fast-paced, I felt it more easy reading than in depth sci-fi. While I don’t usually like the real technical sci-fi, I was disappointed at how little the sci-fi figured in and how much was romance. Sometimes that works for me–this time wasn’t one of them. I didn’t really empathize with the characters, though they were well-rounded, mostly. I was probably most annoyed with Nicholas. I just never felt the real sparks between the two. It felt forced. I wished I could have seen more of The Company. I’ll admit I prefer organizations and political intrigues to romantic ones. The end chapter was one of my favorite, actually. I did enjoy the historical aspects to it, though I look forward to the day when all the immortals actually reach “present” time. Though one has to ask if that will ever happen. I think, monkeys they may be, humans may have outsmarted the “cyborgs”. It wasn’t a bad book, and I may some day pick up more from the library to see if it gets better, but not one of my favorites.

    Maybe past experience proved that no amount of orientation or theoretical grounding could prepare individuals for the inevitable heartbreak and loss. Perhaps the only way to learn the lesson is to experience it firsthand.

    That’s what I was thinking. No matter what, no matter how much poetry we read or lessons we’re told from our parents, all of us mortals have to learn it first-hand. Since they were once human, it probably extends to anyone who is of human nature.

    Question for Kage Baker:

    1. What was your inspiration for the subject matter? And in labeling it a bodice-ripper, was that your intent? Was writing something more romatically-based your goal, or merely a product of the universe and characters?

  29. Drldeboer writes: “Once she was rescued I just could not get any sympathy for Mendoza’s personal issues, and little sympathy for Nicholas and the actions of the people therein as it has all been unpleasantly hashed before.”
    Answer: Really? I thought Baker realized some wonderfully sympathetic characters here.

    My own personal bias. Not even a scrap. I’ve considered that it wasn’t the characters at all but the period setting that ultimately colored my perception, because I’m extremely contemptuous of that particular time. In fact, I HATE it. So that’s why I haven’t rejected the series totally, I had no problem with the quality of the writing and I’m willing to try another volume because the Company/ cyborg/ time travel thing does intrigue me and I love to see smugly laid plans smashed and reap-what-ye-sow.

    On a brighter note I’m really enjoying The Etched City! Can’t wait to comment on that. I’ve happened on a phrase in there that I want to ask our Aussie friends about.

    Sorry you had a lousy dinner. That bad, I would’ve sent stuff back and would’ve left if not better, especially with the reputation. And possibly would’ve refused to pay full price AND, if I were you, would’ve told them they were getting an awful review on my very popular blog.

    We’re off to the races, have a great holiday party weekend!

  30. Hey Joe,

    Sorry your dinner in Montreal wasn’t so great. I’ve been there. Boy have I! It does seem to make the really great food that much more precious.

    Okay so the BOTMC discussion was a lot of fun! I just have this to add:

    As far as the immortals doing all the time traveling— Jeremy (my husband) has a favorite phrase that springs to mind. When the bathroom sink needs to be replaced, or the yard needs to be mowed, or even if the trash needs to be taken out, Jeremy yells his mantra:

    “There’re people for that!”

    The members in the Company of the future must be cut from the same cloth as Jeremy. 😉 (For the trash, the “people” Jeremy is referring to are our children. “That’s why we had kids!” :roll:)

    Thanks for the discussion, Joe. I loved reading everyone’s thoughts and your responses to them!

    Trish 😀

  31. And now I don’t feel half as bad about our relatively low-rent meal at Texas Roadhouse last night; essentially Grilled Meat Pete’s. You can’t go too far wrong with Hot, Brown, and Lots of It. Worked around our food allergies, admirable for a chain joint. And there was line dancing. Far more entertaining than spit valves, I’d think. Still, bone marrow ravioli? Rabbit AND lobster? Was the kitchen staff in the back giggling and taking bets? “Is he going to eat it? No? Yes! Yes! He took a bite! You owe me $20, Fred!”

    Polenta … I like polenta, but I also like extra-thick corn grits. Oh. Wait a minute ….

  32. If I owned a restaurant and saw you coming, I would make sure everything and everyone was ready. You are very honest with your comments. Cold food is just awful especially if you are paying a high price for it. You hate to send it back for fear of what someone might do to it.

    Sounds like your mom is my kind of gal. I would of spit things out too (discretely of course) if it was not good. There is just no way to choke that stuff down.

    I can sympathize with the plate in the lap. When I was on Vaca in Quebec City, a friend tried to save me from a flying white piece of pollen or something and in the process ended up dumping the drinks into my lap with her never ending waving of her hands. All I could do was laugh since it was an end to a very interesting and challenging day.

    Makes for interesting memories.

  33. Am catching up on your blog and I just saw that you answered my question about Daniel interacting with other characters if season six and his return to the Pegasus Galaxy both happen — thank you so much for your response! I appreciate it!

    It’s too bad about the squash tortellini; that sounds REALLY good.

    Not that I’m expecting to be two for two on questions answered, but I had to ask: I’ve seen two commercials crossing Hellboy over with t.v. shows — Hellboy vs. Chuck, and last night Hellboy meets Jason and Grant from SciFi’s Ghost Hunters. That last one made me wonder, is there any chance a Hellboy goes to Atlantis commercial is happening? Because that? Would be COMPLETELY FANTASTIC.


  34. Hi Joe,

    The most awesome band Marillion wll be in Montreal next April. So I’ll be heading up that way. I now know to avoid Garcon, but was wondering if you could point me to some good eats and interesting sights. Thanks.

  35. Ah, just caught the news. So sorry to hear about Don, condolences to his family and the crew.

    You get a feeling about certain people through interviews and on the behind the scenes footage (and of course through your blog) and he seemed such a gent and a real nice guy. Its a shame.

    Hammond of Texas, I salute you.

  36. Shame about the meal, although it sounded a fancier than what I just shoved in the oven for my sister; good ol’ breaded chicken and chips =]

    And I hope they apologised for the dinner-in-the-lap thing. Earlier this year someone, the manager of a restaurant no less, spilled oil all over my cousin’s head and didn’t apologise. He received the full wrath of her sister who recently completed her degree in Law, and we had the service charged removed from the bill, as well as receiving a free round of drinks.

  37. Hey Joe – I think I just saw Venus and Serena Williams’ father wearing a Stargate Worlds shirt and hat in the stands at Wimbeldon. Is he a sponsor of some sort?

  38. Garden of Iden

    My first initial thought is that to me this was not a “bodice ripper”. The only time I felt real sexual tension was when they were dancing and she mentions the erotic aire comes just from the touch of the fingers. Mendoza and Nicholas seemed to me at least to be lacking that excitement of the first love. It seemed to me that they were always in bed and that the exhilaration was not raised to the idea of first love’s true passion. Now I am not saying that I did not like the story…I am just stating that to me their passion seemed to be linger mostly in the differences between them and not in the “carnal” area where the idea of “bodice ripper” brings to mind. I mean Lynn Kurland, who is a genius at time travel romances has set a standard to which unfortunately I judge all others.
    Now my reaction to the idea of immortals was “oh yeah…is this like Highlander” and then find out the Sci-fi part laid in the cyborg instead of human. Not that they are less human, Mendoza’s accelerated youth is cause for concern because she was never really shown how to really deal with us “monkeys” and the scars from the past. I felt the righteous anger and fear that radiated through her and inevitable lead to her heartbreak. I have to admit I was a little confused at the beginning. I was a bit worried that a sci-fi book would be set during Queen Mary’s reign and though I would have like more repercussions of her destruction it did help build that little world in which the Garden of Iden detained. The humor I found breathed more from Joshua, Nef, and Mendoza. I loved Joshua and am glad to hear the next book is from his perspective. I really enjoyed him as a father figure albeit one who stands back and waits to see if their kid can figure out the right course instead of really trying to help them learn how to make the best possible choices. I will also admit the way the book ended and she uses the word monkeys—I actually thought monkeys not human because through the death of her Nicholas I felt as if she had began to see us not as “monkeys’ but more flawed beings. It seems like I am really off the mark but that is how I saw it. The thought of time travel and not messing with the past can seem like you are able to tell only a bit of a story and are not able to jump out of that set arc. I will have to admit some sci-fi time travel stories have confused the heck out of me. I think it is my fault for not getting some of the book. I did enjoy it but really did not pay much attention to the whole time travel. I was more torn between reading about the time (which is one of my favorite times –Henry 8th to Elizabeth) and then reading technological conversations and I know that made me have to slow down to actually understand what was going on.
    My questions to Kage Baker are the following
    1)Why Queen Mary? Is that a time you are interested in?
    2)How much research did you have to do for the dance?
    3)I would like to know if you had to edit the down the Cabinet of Curiosities or did you not feel it would add another level to the eccentric behavior of Sir Walter?
    4)What authors inspire you?
    5)Are you a fan of historical fiction and if so do you read Philippa Gregory?
    6)Now that she is a cyborg and a young woman does she actually start to age?
    7)Is the Company more of a science verses faith idea?

  39. 1)Will there be any significant arguments between team members this coming year?

    2)Does Teyla struggle with multiple difficult decisions this year?

  40. I wasn’t able to log on yesterday but wanted to add my voice to those mourning the passing of Don S Davies – though I never met him myself, from everything I have ever heard from fans, he was a real gentleman, generous with his time and a really lovely guy. 65 is far too soon. He will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

  41. Me revoila Joseph!


    Je vient de voir Continuum et je suis asser deçu, je m’attendais a quelque chose de plus différent, c’est du deja vue, tout le monde meurt et il son sauver miraculeusement par un hero qui remonte le temp ..humm hum -_-‘ .
    De plus il n’y a aucun moment ship, de nombreux Jarter seront trés deçu.

    Les points positive c’est toute les scénes tournée en antarctique, trés intérréssante et le moment ou ont les voit dans leur vie normal sans stargate..

    Donc constat asser mitiger, je ne sais pas si les autres fans penserront comme moi?


  42. Oh my, experimenting with a new restaurant on your own is one thing; to have mom with you….ohhhhh, not good. Even without your caption, those thoughts just emanated from the photo of mom perusing the menu.

    To be honest, the photos of the presentations do not look that appealing or appetizing. Give me KFC hot wings instead.

    Hope the rest of your feedings are much more enjoyable.

  43. Darn who executed the poor bunny wabbit?

    Always a bad sign in restaurants, big menus, the bigger the menu the more expensive the food. It’s the inverse square law of diminishing returns of both taste and quality.

    Call yourself a foodie where’s the Gordon Ramsey spirit? Tell them where they can delicately place their bland escargot and confit shallot, roasted in bone marrow.

    And what possessed you to watch as your poor mum ordered….can’t even bring myself to utter the words rabbit with…..lobster!
    Have you no shame and to compound i… brussel sprouts…it’s not even Christmas!

    I think the harm reduction stance you took with dessert was best all round, mum or sis could have ended up with the smoked haddock ice cream with a lark’s vomit coulis yummy!

    We don’t complain enough about the overdone cold veal of this world let us unite and stand together and shout as of one voice……”Two Big Mac’s with fries…super sized!”

    Joe are you as fastidious with the wines you may have with dinner as you are about the food?


  44. P.S

    All those glasses in the pics.. what purpose do they serve? Which one holds which liquid?

  45. I had read “Sky Coyote” earlier this year and had liked the premise but hadn’t gone back to read the first book. I’m glad you chose it as a BoTM as that got me reading. I have to say I like “In the Garden of Iden” more than “Sky Coyote.” I think the main reason for this lies in the main characters. Mendoza is young and she is not yet cynical about the Company and is emotionally engaged and full of humor and passion. She’s a great character through which to learn about the Company and its practices and how becoming immortal changes you. Baker does a great job with her voice. My interest in her had me eager to finish the book in one sitting.

    That’s not to say I didn’t like “Sky Coyote.” It’s different in its tone and its focus and its voice, thanks to Joseph’s older and far more cyncial view.

    The time travel and the use of immortals who live through time is a cool concept. I admire that Baker didn’t explain the technology in any detail and still made me buy the whole thing. I enjoyed the writing so much that I quashed questions I had about the time travel not changing history.

    Still, Baker never says all of history is immutable, just recorded history. Isn’t the butterfly effect an issue? Even if you alter something not part of recorded history, don’t you run the risk that some ripple effect could alter history?

  46. Alas, I will not be able to join many of your book discussions for July–crazy July. No time to breath. Definitely for August however. Incidentally, I am thinking of having my own blog where I will show my exhibited artwork. I am working on a project right now and hope to exhibit in Toronto (with a bit of luck and lotsa schmoozing I’d like to exhibit at the Red Head Gallery on Richmond Street in To. probably not until March or April of 2009). The last “involved” exhibit I had was in 2001. I, and a few friends worked as a collective on this particular project, petitioned the Arts counsel for casheesh (snicker) and hired a grant writer and I think…if my memory serves me correctly (which it usually doesn’t. I have the memory of a goldfish) we were awarded $10,000…or was it $20,000? (actually I think it was more, but duh!! I can’t remember:( ) and exhibited our work across North America. So, I am excited about this new project and will use all proceeds (sale of work/donations) for continued awareness of the hostility in Darfur, Western Sudan.
    Anyhow, I remember you had asked us to list some of our (I think you said top ten–again memory of a gold fish) science fiction novels that we’d read a while back. Well, I was going through some of my work binders, and pulled out my students’ assignment for their ISP (independent Study Project). I give the students a list of books that I’ve read, for them to read, otherwise I end up with essays on Danielle Steel and Goosebumps. So either oral mastication…I mean verbal ;), or infantile yimmer yammer–these kids are 17/18! Anyhow, I was surprised that two-thirds of the list was made up of science fiction novels I’ve read: The Female Man, Clockwork Orange, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Code of the Life Maker, Cats Cradle, Martian Chronicles, The Crying of Lot 49, of course Brave New World, 1984 and The Space Merchants, but also a number female Sci Fi writers: Marge Piercy-Woman on the Edge of Time, Daughters of Earth Judith Merril and of course Shelly’s Frankenstein. I guess they could see my bias. I think I might propose a course on Science Fiction to the director. If there’s enough student interest I might get a green light.
    Well, last thing to say: Ahhh the joy of eating with family, the mixed joy that it is. My mother’s similar when taken out, except she’d ask if all meals came with fritters, the McCain kind.

    Well, bye for now. And I have to say I’m growing attached you, and this here blog o’ yourz.


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