Before I turn this blog over to guest author Jennifer Pelland who has kindly taken time out of her busy writing/belly dancing schedule to spend time with us and field your questions about her dark SF collection, Unwelcome Bodies, I ‘d just like to remind everyone that –

Emmy award nominated Stargate: Atlantis Visual Effects Guru Mark Savela will be visiting with us next week and he’ll be bringing visual aids. Have some burning questions for the maestro? Start posting.

And – I hereby dedicate this blog entry to birthday girl Sheppynette.

Finally, if you’d like to get the update on all things Jennifer Pelland, check out: http://jenwrites.livejournal.com/ 

Over to Jennifer…

First off, I want to thank everyone who even attempted to get through my book. I’ve got to be honest with you, I don’t know if I could have read “Big Sister/Little Sister” if I hadn’t written it myself. My ick threshold is higher for writing than it is for reading, and higher for reading than it is for viewing. I was recently reading Matt Wallace’s collection The Fix and had to give up on one of the stories early on because the ick was just too well-done for my delicate sensibilities.

I can hear you all laughing at the thought that I have delicate sensibilities.

Anyhow, since you slogged through my work, I’m going to pay you back by doing my best to answer all of your questions.

Joe writes: “Just wondering what you enjoy reading and whether you can pinpoint any influences in your writing.”

I would like to be able to say that Octavia Butler influenced my serious writing, but I’m afraid that would come off as pretentious. I hope to some day be able to write with a fraction of her intensity and clarity. She was one of the masters of our field, and we lost her way too soon. I want to be influenced by Neil Gaiman, but so far, my imagination hasn’t gotten nearly as free as his, nor have I learned how to write a lyrical description (every time I try, it just comes out purple). My terseness is probably thanks to Kurt Vonnegut. Since I read Vonnegut earlier than Gaiman by about a decade, I suspect it’s too late for Gaiman to override my Vonnegut programming. As for my silly stuff, it owes a lot to Douglas Adams and Monty Python, both of which I was exposed to in my early teens as my sense of humor was maturing. But there’s little evidence of that in the collection. I decided not to put any funny stories in there because I was afraid the juxtaposition of silly and icky could cause brain sprains.

KellyK writes: “My question is a bit of cliche and given the horror quotient of your book, I’m almost afraid to ask it but…Where DO YOU get your ideas?”

Ah, that infamous question. The traditional answer is something flippant like “Cleveland” or “mail-order,” but the real answer pretty much involves a writer throwing their hands in the air and gibbering.

It’s so varied. Sometimes a pair of words come together in my head and a story follows (“Clone Barbecue” – my story about a rich guy who clones himself so he can see what he tastes like). Sometimes, frustration with the weather does it (“Snow Day” – my silly sex, snow, and androids piece). Other times, the news is enough (“For the Plague Thereof Was Exceeding Great” – that was sparked by my frustration with a newspaper report on a global AIDS conference). And sometimes, it just involves hard work. I will occasionally sit down with a pen and paper and make notes on what kind of story I’d like to write (“set in space,” “body issues,” “feminism,” “want to make reader laugh *and* cry”) and then see what starts coming together in my brain.

And for the record, I no longer recall what inspired “Big Sister/Little Sister.” It’s probably for the best.

Sylvia writes: “You noted that there was one story that was the most “positive” of the bunch. How do you gage the intensity? What is your measure to “know” the width of that spectrum? I was fascinated in that each story took to the “darkness,” some more than others. So, can you share insight on this? […] What sets your mood to write? How do story lines surface for you?”
 

 

My stories tend to organically find their intensity levels. I just try to bring the story to the place that will best serve it. Often times, when I’m working on a piece and it feels off, it’s because I’ve misjudged where I need to take it. For instance, I struggled with “Brushstrokes” for months because my protagonist was a total wide-eyed naïf. Things happened to him — he didn’t make things happen. So once I fixed that, the story got darker and sexier and finally felt like it worked. Meanwhile, in “The Last Stand of the Elephant Man,” I had plenty of opportunities to make the piece extremely dark, but I didn’t want to do that to poor Joseph Merrick, and I suspect my readers wouldn’t want to read that either. After all, the whole point of writing it was so I could do something to save him even though he’d been dead for a century.

As for mood-setting, I just sit on the bed, put the laptop on my lap, and surf the web until I get bored. Then I write. It also helps to have a cat curled up at my hip. My first writing cat was Titania, who died four years ago. Her position has been taken over by Callisto. And sometimes Antiope will sit at my other hip, but she’s much less reliable, because she’d rather be sitting on my husband.

Christin writes: “Since you excel at writing dark fiction, is there any subject that’s off limits to you? Have you found something that you just can’t write because it’s too dark for you?”
 

 

I can’t do hard-core gore, because I can’t help but think about how it would feel if it happened to me or to someone I love. I can’t do awful things to cats in stories either, because it makes me cry. Actually, I prefer to stay away from as much violence to animals as I can. (Not surprisingly, I’m a vegetarian.) And this isn’t related to dark, but I won’t seriously lambaste religions that I’ve never been a part of. I may take light potshots at some of them, but I save my daggers for Catholicism (and by extension, other repressive Christian churches), which was the religion I was raised in, and earth religions/new agers (which I actually still feel warmly towards, but don’t believe in giving a free pass to), which is the religion I practiced in my twenties.

Thornyrose writes: “First, do you see yourself primarily as a short story author, or do you look to a future as a novelist? Which authors and what books do you look to as inspiration to become a writer? Do you intentially seek to produce such disturbing stories as Big Sister/Little Sister, or do the stories write themselves? What envirement do you like to write in? Certain times of the day, cloistered in a small room and silence, or in a more open setting with background music/noise? Do you set yourself a schedule when you will write, or do you write as the mood or the deadline dictates?”
 

 

I’m torn over the short story/novelist thing. I’ve actually written and tried to sell two novels already with no success, and I’m slowly writing a third novel right now. But there’s a strong temptation to stick to short stuff because I’ve proven that I can sell shorts. Plus, failure to sell a novel means failure of two years’ worth of effort, whereas short story failures represent much shorter chunks of wasted life.

As for authors, I’ve loved an eclectic mix over the years: Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, Lyda Morehouse. And that’s just novelists. I’d start rattling off short story authors, but I know too many folks in that business and don’t want any of them to feel slighted. But I will mention James Patrick Kelly. I have very consciously tried to emulate him on occasion when writing really far-future stuff, because he’s got an incredible way of writing futures that skirt just at the edge of our comprehension, which is what I think the future should sound like.

Disturbing stuff…well, usually I just go with the ideas that come to me, which probably says rather unpleasant things about how my brain works. Sometimes I don’t know how nasty an idea will turn out, other times I do. I have a tendency to know two things about a story: the beginning and middle, or the beginning and ending. I never know all three. So sometimes when I don’t know the ending, I can be surprised by where I come realize the story needs to go. And sometimes I tailor my ending to the market I’m aiming for. Like when Jason Sizemore from Apex Digest requested a pair of stories from me — one for the magazine, one for an anthology. Those had to be dark. So I knew from the start that I had to do my best to steer down a particular icky path. (Neither story is in the collection, by the way. But “Blood Baby” is available in The Best of Apex Digest 2006 and “YY” is available in Aegri Somnia.) (Aside #2: Apex rocks!)

I answered some of the environment question above, but to answer the new bits, I generally like to write when the sun is up, and I need an environment without voices. My brain fixates on spoken words, so if the TV is on in the next room, or if the neighbors are being noisy, I’ll put on a CD I have of a brook in a forest (i.e. nature’s white noise) to drown it out. I should schedule writing, but I’m really bad about it. Since I’m generally writing on spec and not on contract, I write as the spirit moves me. On top of writing, I’ve got a full-time job, I’m taking belly dance (my teacher just talked me into my first public solo performance — eep!), plus I’ve got a spouse and a television that both need lovin’. So writing happens when it happens.

Brian Rice writes: “1) Why the fascination with body mutilation?
 

 

Body modification is just endlessly fascinating to me. I’m drawn to the extremes — from Pete Burns and Amanda Lepore’s deliberately freakish faces, to people who’ve used piercings, scarring, and implants to make their faces inhuman. I can’t look away, even when I’m looking between my fingers because I can’t stomach taking it all in at once. And then I can’t help but think what the future will bring as plastic surgery gets safer, cheaper, more extreme, and reversible. So I tend to play with that a lot in my work. (For the record, my body modifications are extremely mild — four tattoos and six ear piercings on my lobes.)

2) I really enjoyed the story notes. Okay, that’s not really a question.
 

 

Thank you! And remember, it makes a lovely gift wink

3) How many stories have you had published? Plans for another collection sometime?
 

 

Let me go count the stories on my online bibliography…28 published stories. Well, 27 published, one coming out next year. Wait, no, 29. I’ve published one piece of smut under a pseudonym. If this collection sells well, I’ll happily entertain the idea of putting out another one if an editor asks me to. And this time, I’d probably do a collection of my wacky/lighter stuff. Seven of those published stories are humor.

4) I’d really be interested in seeing novel length work from you. Got anything in the works?”
 

 

See above for the answer on novel-length work. Some day, I hope to get lucky enough to con an agent into taking me on, but so far, they’ve all had the good sense to stay far, far away.

Terry writes: “To Jennifer I ask, do you worry that your style or subject matter may limit the range of your audience? How do you define success as a writer? Critical acclaim or monetary success or the satisfaction of having done something different and challenging? Something else?”
 

 

I do sometimes wonder if I there’s any way to learn how to write less icky stories. But I’m not going to force it. I’ve been told by many an editor that readers can tell when you’re writing something that you don’t love. Success? Guh, it seems to be a moving target for me. I’d hoped that the Nebula nomination would make me feel like a success, and it did for a little while, and then I realized that the movers and shakers in the industry cared more about long-term track records than they did about a lone award nomination. So that was sobering. I’d like to think that I’d feel successful if I managed to get a novel published, but I’m sure I’ll find some way to devalue that in my brain as well. Pessimism sucks sometimes, but it’s the way I’m wired, so I guess that only leaves me sweet, sweet liquor as my solace. Uh…did I say liquor? Oh, hell, guilty as charged. You can take the liquor away from the Irish girl, but you can’t stop her from whipping out a kitchen knife and demanding that you return it.

Mel writes: “Mel writes: “This is a question for Ms. Pelland. I loved Unwelcome Bodies, Captive Girl being my favorite in the collection. I wonder where you found the inspiration for writing such a heartwrenching love story?”
 

 

As I said in the note at the end of the story, it was a combination of seeing a painting in the art show at a convention and then going to a panel about writing what scares you. I also drew upon conversations I had with a couple of very large female friends about chubby chasers. One of them said that she’d be more than happy to date someone who found her body attractive, and the other said she would never in a million years want to be with someone who fetishized her body. And so I started thinking how that must apply to people whose bodies were even farther from the mythical norm — what if the only love you can get is from someone who gets off on the thing that makes your body unattractive to everyone else? So I played around with that idea. I’m very proud to say that I got a comment from a blind reader who said that I perfectly nailed the complexities of consent in caretaker/caretakee relationships. I didn’t do any research on that angle, so I simply lucked into getting it right.

Airelle writes: “Do you always carry paper/recorder with you, if an idea happens to strike?
Are there stories that you have never been able to finish for whatever reason?
What kind of cats do you have? male/female? longhair/shorthair?”
 

 

I generally have something I can write on on my person, be it my composition notebook or my Palm Pilot or some random receipt that I’ve stuffed in my giant pockebook. But at this point, I generally don’t have any trouble holding onto ideas when they strike. Early in my career, I did, but I’m convinced that’s because they weren’t very good ideas.

And yes, I have a stack of unfinished stories, woe and alas. Usually, I stop working on something because I come to realize it’s crap and that I’d rather put the effort into starting something new and potentially better than to try to figure out how to turn crap into gold. I suppose that’s a perk of being a short-story writer — if you give up on a story, you’re probably only giving up on a few weeks, or perhaps months of work. If you give up on a novel, that could be over a year of work down the drain.

I have three female shorthairs. Hippolyta, aka the Grumpy Old Bitch, is a 10-year-old tabby with a white belly and a bad attitude. She was pulled out of a home with 85 cats and one little old man when she was 7 months old and 2 weeks pregnant. We met her at a shelter post-abortion/spay, where she seemed nice enough. Then we brought her home and she’s distained us ever since. But we still love her (which she wishes we wouldn’t) and feed her (which she appreciates a little too much). Antiope is a 4-year-old calico with serious amounts of white in her coat. She was found in the woods as a kitten. The shelter believes coyotes got the rest of her family. She’s aggressively a lap cat — specifically, my husband’s lap. If she can’t sit on him, she’s miserable. We also think she’s part-Siamese due to the volume of her misery. And finally, we’ve got 4-year-old Callisto, aka Callie, the tortoiseshell, who is one of the sweetest cats we’ve ever shared a house with, although no one else knows this, because she’s terrified of people who aren’t me or my husband. Her most unusual trait is self-suckling. She went into heat very young, and stayed in heat until she was spayed, whereupon she discovered the joy of her own nipples. We were disturbed at first, especially given the fervor of her devotion, but then we realized that nothing could be more pure and innocent than the love of a kitten for her own body, so we let her be. And like all journeys of self-discovery, her fervor died down over time, and now she only slurps on herself a couple of times a day instead of near-constantly.

Pictures for the curious: http://www.jenniferpelland.com/cats.html

And yes, bonus points to the folks who noticed that they all have Amazon names. We love our little Amazon tribe. Hell, Hippolyta took it a little too literally. She had to have a double mastectomy five or so years back, so now she has a mere six breasts instead of eight. But she has very luxurious belly fur, so she doesn’t need falsies.

Antisocial Butterflie writes: “Do you prefer writing short stories? If you do, is it because you find yourself bouncing through a maze of vastly different ideas? Do you have characters that stick with you or is it the situations that drive your stories?
I also have one oddball question. Feel free to ignore it if it is too personal. Are you an active dreamer? I got the impression from your book that you are one of those people who has a very active subconscious and remembers all of their dreams upon waking. Just a hunch.”

 

 

I like short stories for several reasons. There’s the aforementioned reason of knowing that I can sell them. Also, the story ideas that tend to come to me are short-story or novelette length. I have to really work to find an idea that will sustain an entire novel. So yeah, I think short is my natural length. And while I bitch and moan about how annoying it is to have to create new worlds from scratch for every story, I clearly must be getting something out of it, because I’ve never written a story in the same universe twice. I actually feel like I’m cheating if I use a bit of invented lingo in more than one piece.

As for characters vs. ideas, I tend to come up with ideas first, characters second, but sometimes the characters come first. I have a much easier time populating an idea with characters than I do the other way around. This could explain why “Brushstrokes” took so damned long to come together. The characters definitely came first for that one. “Firebird” was one of the rare ones where I got both at the same time, although the character/plot that hit me was in the form of Kay. It took me a couple of months to figure out that Kay would not be the protagonist of the story. Thankfully, those were thinking months and not writing months.

And yes, I’m a fairly active dreamer, although I rarely get stuff out of my dreams that I can use in stories (with a few notable exceptions, like “Last Bus”). I’m really good at remembering my dreams if I wake up from them, but I never remember any that I have during other parts of the night. Oh, and you should be glad that I don’t generally tend to write what I dream about, because my dreams have a pretty strong fecal component. I won’t even tell you what I woke up from this morning (bleech!).

Fsmn writes:
1. I really appreciate the notes you wrote for each story. I felt it added greatly to the whole piece. What inspired you to do this? Was it at the editor’s encouragement or are you merely a person who loves to talk about your work and ideas?
 

 

Thanks! I wrote them at the suggestion of a friend of mine who asked if I’d be doing that. I thought it sounded like a neat idea, and ran it by my editor, who agreed. And yes, I’m someone who loves to talk (and talk and talk)…

2. Can you talk a bit about the publishing aspect of your stories? At what point did you decide to submit stories to the magazines? How was that process for you (what did it entail, was it enjoyable, easier than going straight to a some other format)? And how was this book released so quickly? Was it the format (short stories)? The publishing company? Or something else? I ask merely because I know a lot of authors have to wait at least two years after writing the book before it comes out, whereas your most recent story was only about a year ago.
 

 

I started trying to write for publication when I turned 30. I’d been writing fanfic before that, which was a lot of fun, but 30 was a kick in the pants in many respects, and I decided I was done playing in other people’s universes and wanted to play in my own. It took a while to make the transition, and I was greatly helped by attending the Viable Paradise writing workshop (www.viableparadise.com). My first sale came in 2002 to the online magazine Strange Horizons, and then I sold them a second story two months later. Each story was published only a few months after being bought, which has generally been my experience with my short story sales. Every so often, it’ll take a year between the sale and the publication, and I hear that that’s actually a pretty standard wait for the big magazines (Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF), but I haven’t sold to any of them yet.

You’re right — the book did come out very quickly, but that’s the beauty of a small press. Also, I suspect that collections are easier to toss together than novels and non-reprint anthologies. There’s less editorial work involved, since the bulk of the stories have already been published, so all the editor needs to do is line-edits. They’re not going to send rewrite suggestions for a reprint.

3. What was your favorite story of the bunch? Do you have a favorite? How do you feel about your stories once published? Do you wish you could tweak, do you refuse to reread them, etc.
 

 

I think my favorite is “Brushstrokes,” although “The Last Stand of the Elephant Man” comes close. I really like the emotional arcs at the hearts of both of them. But I also have a tendency to love my newer stories more than my older ones. (And if you didn’t notice, the stories in the book were in chronological order of publication, so the stuff at the end of the book was several years newer than the stuff at the beginning.)

Generally, I’m happy with my stories once they’re published, but there are a few that I look at and think, “What was the editor smoking when they bought this?” Thankfully, there aren’t many that fall in that camp.

As for urges to tweak the older stuff, yeah, I sometimes do have that urge, and every so often I get the opportunity to do so. I got rid of a few awkward bits in some of my older stories for this collection, and I’ve got another potential reprint in the works that I removed a forced bit from. But I don’t make major changes. I feel like it defeats the purpose of reprinting a piece.

4. As Joe mentioned in his review post…any plans for a novel? Pretty sure I’d be first in line to buy it (or at least, the first to preorder it online, lol). Any places I can expect a new story from you, actually?
 

 

If you can con a literary agent into taking me on as a client, then we can talk novels! I’ll be sure to let her/him know that I’ve already got one sale lined up wink As for new stories, the place to go is www.jenniferpelland.com. I’ve got a mailing list you can sign up for if you want news, or you can read my blog (jenwrites.livejournal.com) if you want news *and* whining! I had a couple of new pieces come out over the past few months, and I’ll have a story in The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Three at the beginning of next year. That will be the first time I’ll be published in a book that you can expect to find at most major bookstores, plus they’re paying me in British pounds, which is pretty sweet right now. I just hope they pay me before the dollar recovers.

5. I think my favorite notes were those on “Brushstrokes”. Taking in that and your “Firebird” story…are you a big fan of anything? Do you have a passion for a certain TV show/book/movie universe(s)?
 

 

I have been in the past, but I’m more laid-back about stuff like that now. Of course, Star Wars ruled my childhood. I was seven when the first movie came out, and Han Solo in Jedi fueled my adolescent fantasies (I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with him, but I knew I wanted to do it really badly!). My first organized fandom was Doctor Who, which made it to my local PBS station in the early 1980s. Then TNG came out when I was in college, which got me back into Trek love (I used to watch the repeats with my dad when I was a kid — he’s also the guy who got me into reading science fiction). DS9 got me into reading fanfic, and Voyager got me into writing it, plus I started going to conventions to see as many Trek actors as I could. Babylon 5 was my introduction to more sophisticated science fiction television, plus its actors were so approachable at conventions, unlike the Trek principles, who tended to be very professional during their scheduled appearances and then vanish. I watched a ton of other shows after that, but didn’t really get into another fandom until The Phantom Menace came out, despite the movie’s flaws. And then…I don’t know. Organized fandom lost its appeal, and I simply became a consumer of media again. I suspect all the fandom wank I had to endure in my Voyager days didn’t help anything. And I got sick of convention wank as well. There seems to be less of it in lit cons than media cons, although some of that could simply be a perception issue on my part, because I haven’t been as involved in the backstage stuff at lit cons as I was with media cons.

Actually, I lie. I do have one new fandom activity. I am addicted to Doctor Who macros. I adore cat macros, I adore Doctor Who (both new and old), so http://ihasatardis.livejournal.com/ is probably funnier to me than it has any right to be.

And I think that’s it for the question answering. Thank you, everyone! I’ve had a blast writing up my answers, and reading the flattery hasn’t hurt any either. Now I’ve got to go practice reading “Captive Girl” out loud. I was invited to read it at the Boston Fetish Fair Flea Market on Saturday. I have to say, that’s the most unusual and entertaining offer I’ve ever gotten for a reading, and I couldn’t pass it up. Of course, Readercon is this weekend as well, so I’ll be splitting my time on Saturday between the two. I’d originally intended to head right back to Readercon when I was done at the Flea, but an hour after my reading is the pony demo. I can’t not stay for the ponies! (And no, not ponies the animals, but ponies the people whose fetish it is to pretend to be ponies with grooms.) I’ve also got a reading scheduled for Readercon on Sunday, where there will sadly be no ponies. I have no idea what I’ll be reading there, but I guarantee it’ll be less challenging than “Captive Girl.” I’m still not quite sure how I’m going to read Jayna’s vowel-less typing, but I’ll figure it out by Saturday. And then, it’s on to working out my belly dance performance for Thursday. Did I say eep? Eep!

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Arctic Goddess
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Arctic Goddess

Hi Joe:

Very cool Q&A again with Jennifer Pelland. If I had known she was published without an agent, my question would have been, how did she pull that off?

Question for Visual Effects Guru Mark Savela – How long does it take to put together a seamless effect such as a space battle scene? Is your work more art oriented, or because you use computers, is it more math oriented? In other words, what ability do you find you rely on a great deal to do your job? And lastly, congratulations for the nomination. I have my fingers crossed for you.

Joe, are you planning on incorporating any classic Scifi books into your book of the month club? I’m thinking, of course of work such as The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury or Arthur C. Clarkes Trilogy of 2001, 2010, etc.

Patricia (AG)

Amz
Guest
Amz

Wow, a great read, thanks for the Q&A Jennifer. I’ll certainly be hassling my local bookstores to get some books in – I’m disappointed they don’t have any now.

Thornyrose
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Thornyrose

Many thanks to Ms. Pelland for taking the time to answer so many questions. And I hope Ms. P. doesn’t give up on the novel format; I for one will be ready to grab a copy as soon as it comes off the presses. Disturbing or not, I’m intrigued by the writing style. Also looking forward to Mr. Savela, and I’ll start lining up some questions to put up tomorrow night. Meantime, SGA comes on in less than an hour, and I’ve lucked out in that the hotel carries Sci Fi channel, so off to enjoy the latest offering in TV’s greatest space opera.

freidag
Guest
freidag

Thanks to Jennifer Pelland for a great Q&A! My favorite one so far.

Now an Atlantis question. After reading the spoilers for Brainstorm I find myself wondering why there is a such a concentrated emphasis on McKay episodes this season. Can you explain the thought behind this Joe? The Shrine, Tracker, and now Brainstorm. Have you perhaps forgotten that not every Atlantis fan is as heavily interested in McKay as the writers obviously are? There are other characters on this show too and right now Season five seems too McKay (and Keller) top heavy to me.

Does Sheppard even have a character driven ep? Oh yeah, I completely forgot, Vegas, at the VERY END of the season.

Shawna
Guest
Shawna

Hee…I found ihasatardis a few weeks ago while looking for lol fandom stuff. I agree, it’s quite fun. And popular, too. Seems like there’s at least a few new posts every day.

Oh, dang, I’m really looking forward to the new ep tonight. I loves me some Carson.

Enzo Aquarius
Guest
Enzo Aquarius

Hey Joe!

Great Q&A session! They are always very interesting and really dive into the mind of the writer and their books. Thanks!

In regards to the VFH Q&A, now that the time is right to ask, I’ll reissue the question I made a month ago, heh. smile

First of all, congratulations on the Emmy nomination. 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 as always!

– Enzo Aquarius

lostinspace
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lostinspace

Thanks for your fave author list. I’m curious, what about fellow script writers? Who’s encouraged or inspired you in your work? Which current shows in the scifi/fantasy/horror genre do you find particularly well written?

Linda Gagne
Guest
Linda Gagne

Ended up coming home early from plans cause I didn’t want to wait til midnight to see the Seed. It enjoyed it.

I have to admit I like to see Sheppard save the day! Gonna watch it again in a bit.

I like the packed sheppard/Mckay scenes, I hope this season gives us a lot of that.

Well done!! Like anyone needed me to say that lol.

Christin
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Christin

Excellent Q&A session. Thanks to Ms. Pelland for answering my question (all of the questions, really) and thanks, Joe, for having her as a guest. smile

maggiemayday
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maggiemayday

oooh, good job on The Seed. Very creepy. The thought of being invaded and conscious pushed my buttons. Made me think of Poe, although I’m not sure why.

Mr. Savela, are the ideas for effects sketched out? Would that be like a storyboard? How detailed would a drawing be before it transmuted into CGI? (Am I asking the right question even?)

PinkSander
Guest
PinkSander

Hey Joe, just got done watching The Seed… Very Nice! Very creepy too! lol I must ask… is Beckett’s deflated hair from being in the stasis pod? I remember form Before I Sleep, McKay had mentioned freezer burn. Is that why Beckett’s hair has lost it’s… oomph? lol But anyways just wanted to say thanks for a great return for Beckett and a marvelously creep episode, Great stuff!

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Wonderful Q&A even if I didn’t read the book due to my squick-phobia!

To Joe, The Seed wasn’t my fav ep of all time, but I have to say Woolsey just pops off the screen. Even in one ep he evolved, and his interactions with everyone else are great — still the old Woolsey, but with a layer of humanity underneath that is very welcome. I love his glasses too. Very shiny. smile

And thanks for bringing back Carson! Aside from his poor flattened hair, he was wonderful!

dasNdanger
Guest
dasNdanger

Oh, Joe! The Seed was deliciously creepy!! Loved it! Spoilers:
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Stuff like this just makes me love the Wraith even more…I love the suggestion that hive ships are grown much like an insect’s exoskeleton. Though I might be in the minority, I prefer the Wraith more insect/animal-like than human, and this just adds to that image. But it also raises a lot of questions. Not sure you can answer any of them, but here goes:

1. Do Wraith need a human or Wraith host to grow a hive ship?

2. If so, does this individual then become the ‘brain’, or main computer, of the ship?

3. If not, is this tech – as an extension of their own biology – controlled by Wraith telepathy, or something else?

4. What was meant when Keller said she did not have a designation yet? As a ship or piece of technology, or as something else?

I have a many more questions, but will leave it at those for now. I realize that Michael may have been using this for something unrelated to ship creation, but since it was suggested in the show, I’m guessing this is pretty much how all Wraith tech works.

Thankies in advance – I hope you can shed some light on this!

das

dasNdanger
Guest
dasNdanger

Eep…on my third question above, I meant ‘assuming it’s an extension of Wraith biology’ – since, ya know, we really don’t know until you guys get around to making this stuff up. wink

das

Davidd
Guest
Davidd

Hey Joe.

Thanks SOOOO much for coming out and saying hi today! That is the official highlight of my trip in BC! Thanks for the posters and hats…everyone on the ferry to Victoria was staring at me. One lady in the Chocolate Shop asked me if I worked on the set smile

Also, sorry for pulling you out of your meeting…it would have been good to stay talk for a while, but I didn’t want you to miss too much of your meeting.

Thanks again Joe!

sylvia
Guest
sylvia

ooohhhh, Seed was creepy.
Loved Becket – flat hair and all, but it did not look flat.
Perhaps my imagination, but Zalenka appeared to be younger than in prior episodes.
Keller was superb – in her situation.
Everyone was on the top of their game.
Great show…and I do not like creepies.

otoole
Guest
otoole

Joe, I’ll begin by saying that the story for “The Seed” was good. I liked the arc. Showing the consistent need to ‘break’ IOA rules to accomplish the goal of saving both Keller and the base was good and well played by all. However, the small crumb thrown in the first 5 minutes with off handed comments between Teyla and Keller about Col. Carter’s leaving and then the roundtable discussion about her accomplishments during her one year tenure in the briefing room before Woolsey’s entrance did not make up for last week’s deplorable treatment of the character. Then, when Woolsey enters the briefing of his ‘lead’ team, there is no discussion of the leadership change at all? No reason given no mention of it in anyway? This is not only odd it’s unrealistic. I realise this is a scifi tv show, however, even when Carter took over for Weir there was discussion and Weir was a replicator fcol. As you can tell I am a Carter fan but I really wouldn’t have wanted to see any foundation character treated in this manner. I just think it sad and leaves a bitter taste as well as alot of unanswered questions that are unfair for such a beloved character. I know you’ve said that some maybe answered if Amanda is available for the 100th episode. I would ask that even if she isn’t available that there would be some way to fix the wrongs done to Carter? Let her fans know how this did/didn’t affect her career. Still love ya Joe, but this one stings alot!

Tim Gaffney
Guest
Tim Gaffney

The Seed…another great episode. I thought you would have gradually had Woolsey start to “bend” the rules, not have him break 6 major security violations in the first episode. Great performances by all the cast, especially Jewel and Paul. So how much creepier will Whispers be than this episode. Ten times??? Or more?

dasNdanger
Guest
dasNdanger

Oooohhh….

I didn’t realize you wrote this one (I don’t pay attention sometimes). So…yeah, you should be able to answer my questions, then. grin

I LOVED the “it’s not a case of the hives” line – lol Whose bit of brilliance was that?

das

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

PS I really hate the Jennifer/Rodney not-very-subtle thing, sorry. Esp after reading spoilers for Brain Storm and how it’s going to go on at least until then. Honestly I don’t see it, and it makes me want to stop watching the season. Why not just let fans imagine whatever romance they want based on on-screen friendship?

Likewise I hope BW was kidding about the Jack/Sam romantic scene in the third movie. Totally bums me out about the whole franchise, not to mention I would never buy such a movie.

Arctic Goddess
Guest
Arctic Goddess

Joe, with your permission, I would like to include the following:

New information for you guys:

As additional marketing for Stargate Continuum, there is now a blog that is kind of fun and is very Ba’al centric.

Check out: http://theinformantblog.net/

And please forward the link address to anyone you think would be interested in it.

AG

Conn8d
Guest
Conn8d

Wow, Joe good job with The Seed. Everybody did great. Kudos to both all the actors, and crew and everybody . I actually liked this one a lot. I still would have liked some more Carter closure, like what position she has now or did she exhibit symptoms of the pathogen, since others like Lorne did. I really enjoyed the creepy feel of the episode, as well as the team interaction throughout. Poor Keller, that hive-plant-stuff was just massive and frightening once it started to grow. I wonder, do wraith always need a human to start spawning their hives? Or do they just use wraith? How do they give it a power source if, say your average Joe-wraith wants to grow a new hive?
Nice to see that the baby is around. Does he hang out with Dad while mom is working with strange-planty-things taking over doctors?

Well done,
Conn8d

Patricia Lee
Guest
Patricia Lee

I loved The Seed and feel it was a great story arc. And I don’t really think that Carter’s departure was badly played. It is a show, very intriguing and entertaining! Great job Joe and Paul! Don’t let some of the fan disappointment shade the plans you’ve made for the season. It is going great! Thank you.

Bailey
Guest
Bailey

The Seed was an OK episode, I’d definitely watch it a few more times, although in comparison I’ve watched S&R so many times, I lost count! Really, Really liked Woolsey here, I think he will make a fine addition to the crew.
On the other hand, I continue to seriously dislike Keller and Rodney together, just wrong, wrong, wrong.
Liked Keller in S&R and most episodes where she wasn’t being shipped with someone, so guess I wish she was developed more as a cool character in her own right, before pairing her off. Just not interested. Sorry.
I would give S&R an A+, this one probably a B. Waiting inpatiently for next week’s ep, looks really cool!

kdvb1
Guest
kdvb1

I really like Keller and McKay’s interactions together. I think Keller actually gets McKay and she knows how to handle him. Not like Katie B. who didn’t have a clue and actually fed his fear and paranoia by coddling him in Quarantine.

I’m not saying I want them to get married and live happily ever after…lol. But, I do enjoy them together. So don’t think everyone hates the pairing. Um…maybe that was too strong? Implied pairing…potential pairing?

Kimberly