Tamlyn has come bearing gifts!
Tamlyn has come bearing gifts!
From the gang at Night Shade Books
From the gang at Night Shade Books
From the gang at Solaris Books
From the gang at Solaris Books
 
Sottocenere - it's nothing short of inspirational!
Sottocenere - it's nothing short of inspirational!
My new bookmark
My new bookmark

With July fast approaching, I thought this might be a good time to remind you all of the upcoming Book of the Month Club discussions:

The week of August 11th, we’ll be discussing Cordelia’s Honor. Author Lois McMaster Bujold will be dropping by to answer your questions so all you Bujold fans (I know there are plenty of you out there), start reading (or re-reading as the case may be).

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

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

The week of August 18th, we’ll be discussing: The Orphan’s Tale: In the Night Garden. Author Catherynne M. Valente will be joining to answer your questions. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this collection (stories within stories within stories). Don’t miss out!

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

Finally, the week of August 25th, we’ll be discussing The Church of Dead Girls. Author Stephen Dobyns will be coming by to answer your questions. This one sounds very intriguing, a thriller that delves into the psychological ramifications of a heinous crime…

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

So start your reading engines.

My reading engine is, of course, on cruise control. But in spite of the significant number of books I’ve read of late, I don’t seem to be putting much of a dent in my To-Read pile since I tend to pick them up faster than I can put them down. Last week, I received a shipment from Night Shade Books. This weekend, I purchased a buch of titles. And then today, I received a shipment from Solaris Books. Still, I’m not complaining. I’ll get through them all eventually. And, while I do, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give all of you the heads up on some of the titles I found particularly enjoyable. To that end, I’m going to start posting a Monthly Top 5 that will, as the title implies, offer up bullet reviews of five of my favorite (non-BOTMC ) reads over the last four weeks.

Speaking of our little BOTMC, here are the titles of next month’s line-up for those of you looking to get a head start:

In the SciFi category, we’ll be reading the first book of Justina Robson’s Quantum Gravity series: Keeping It Real. Discussion will begin the week of September 15th.

From Booklist: “Robson lets loose and has fun with this tale, a rock ‘n’ roll saga including elves, magic, and cyborgs. After the Quantum Bomb of 2015, Earth proper has coexisted with alternate dimensions peopled by elves, demons, elementals, faeries, and the dead. Government agent Lila Black was nearly killed by elves while on a diplomatic mission, and now she is mostly machine. She has been assigned to guard the legendary band the No-Shows, especially lead singer Zal, who’s precisely opposed to every elf stereotype out there, first and foremost in his music. Lila becomes trapped with him in a game caused by wild magic and, in the process of protecting him, discovers some of the complicated plots swirling just under the surface of Alfheim, the elves’ dimension. Robson creates fascinating characters and worlds for them to inhabit, meanwhile sacrificing none of her other strengths and not once succumbing to the easy genre cliches, at least not without keen irony.”

In the Fantasy category, we’ll be reading the first book of Glen Cook’s Chronicles of the Black Company: The Black Company. Discussion will begin the week of September 22nd.

Finally, in the horror category – well, not so much horror as a mix of horror, fantasy and then some in a genre that has been coined “New Weird” – we’ll be reading Jeff Van Dermeer’s City of Saints and Madmen. Discussion will begin the week of September 29th.

From Publisher’s Weekly: “Set in the haunted city of Ambergris, with its Borges Bookstore, these stories feature bizarre recurring characters and intensely self-referential plots. Among the highlights are the World Fantasy Award¤winning Transformation of Martin Lake, the tale of a talented painter who’s obsessed with a great composer; The Strange Case of X, which concerns an incarcerated lunatic found wandering the streets of Ambergris carrying the very book being discussed in this review; the wonderful new story The Cage, in which an antiques dealer becomes infected with a fungus that’s slowly taking over much of the city; and, oddest of all perhaps, an untitled short story, which fills the entire dust jacket and concerns an unnamed traveler who has a close encounter with a giant squid in the river that runs through Ambergris. Other pieces take many forms, including a history of the city complete with footnotes, psychiatric records from a local hospital, an amazingly funny work of pseudo-biology entitled King Squid and entirely bogus bibliographies and glossaries. This beautifully written, virtually hallucinatory work isn’t for every taste, but connoisseurs of the finest in postmodern fantasy will find it enormously rewarding.”

Hey, in addition to today’s book shipment from Solaris, I also received some other wonderful gifts. Chelle DB sent me the terrific bookmark pictured above, while actress Tamlyn Tomita brought me back some goodies from California: gourmet pappardelle and some of that black truffle sottocenere cheese she was raving about last week (http://josephmallozzi.com/2008/07/21/july-21-2008-special-guest-bloggers-and-office-happenings/). I am truly spoiled.

I’ve lined up our next guest blogger. Special Features Producer Ivon R. Bartok informed me that he’d be more than happy to field your questions. So, got a question for Ivon who is presently shooting/editing/producing dvd extras for Atlantis‘s fifth season? Yes? Well then post away. I’ll collect your queries over the next couple of days and send them Ivon’s way.

Finally, since someone asked – yes, we did receive the live +7 numbers for our season premiere today. Search and Rescue got a bump to a little over a 1.7 rating.

Today’s entry is dedicated to belated birthday gal Anne Teldy.

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Bailey
Bailey

Confused about the dates for the book discussion? Do you mean August instead of July?

josephmallozzi
josephmallozzi

Oops.

Fixed.

Hey, what happened to July?

pg15

It passed you by while you were reading. wink

Mackenzie's Momma

Hey joe- still have an oops up there in that first sentence grin wink

Hope everything is going well will try and catch up later as I have (yet another) day off *sighs*

lcshepp
lcshepp

Hi Joe, I was wondering if you read an article over at ‘SyFyPortal.com’ titled, ‘Should Stargate Take a Bow?’, written by Stanley Blair? I found it rather unsettling.

Am enjoying the season thus far, very much. Thank you.

Alipeeps
Alipeeps

July was horrible. You didn’t miss much. grin

I keep hoping to join in one of these fascinating book club discussions but I never seem to find the time these days to read much. Can you offer me a shortcut and nominate a book that I’ve already read? grin Anything by Iain M Banks would do. grin

Inpa
Inpa

A couple of questions for Ivon B.

1. Will the comic-con conference of Stargate Atlantis possibly be included on the DVD boxset for Atlantis’s fifth season?

2. And are there any new ideas you’re hoping to include in the fifth season boxset? This season the bloopers were the new big thing, what have you got planned for this year that you could tell us?

There is also one more point I’d like to bring up, although I’m not sure if this is better to bring up with Joe M or Ivon, so if the query isn’t within Ivons job specifics then this is for you Joe smile
3. There are always ‘Previously ons’ included within the DVD’s, and there is nothing against that obviously, however on two parters like Kindred 1+2 you watch part one, then go to part two and you have to watch the previously on for the episode you just watched. Is it possible to have a feature on the DVD discs to be able to turn ‘Previously ons’ off (such as has been included in the Pushing Daisies set in the UK), so fans familar with the show can watch the episodes straight or continuously. Or to make it so you can just ‘skip scene’ and be taken to the end of the previously on.

Thanks for your time, Inpa.

majorsal
majorsal

this is a question for ivon bartok:

this is concerning the sg1 episode ‘grace’: i’ve heard that the sam/jack kiss had 12 takes. is there any chance of *seeing* those 12 takes make it to… uh, something. maybe on the 3rd movie extras stuff? razz

seriously, many shippers would squee and die (but be revived) to see it.

sally =D

Kabra
Kabra

Hi Joe,
Can I call you Joe? I just want to know who provides the diapers for Teyla’s baby way out in the Pegasus Galaxy?? Galaxy Diaper Service? Where does Kanaan go at 3 am to get more? And are you going to provide us any pics from Comic Con or do I have to buy season 5 when it comes out?

caitlyanna

I do have a question for Ivon: What got you interested and started in doing the special features for Atlantis?

I just ordered The Orphan Tales and The Church of Dead Girls today along with Stargate Continuum. I should get them either Wednesday or Thursday (what can I say, I live in the middle of nowhere) and will put Shadows by John Saul down if I have to, unless I finish it in the next few days, so I can start the two new books.

Joe, I just thought of a question for you as well: What is the strangest gift and the most interesting gift you have ever received from a fan?

gasbo

Happy Birthday Anne, hoping your days are bright and cheery

Masterchief
Masterchief

Joe I’m so glad about the 1.7 after live +7, that’s amazing! I can’t stop smiling grin

anneteldy
anneteldy

I’m loved! grin Everyone here at the prison facility will be glad I’ve stopped pouting.

My birthday ended with my niece — one of my converts to fandom — coming to watch “Broken Ties” as she had had to work Friday night. We both liked it.

Anne Teldy

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

Hello Ivon,

Thanks for taking the time to address some of my Questions:

1- What kind of extra’s can we look forward to for Season 5?

2- Could you ask the actors to do a day in the life, behind the scenes like you did on SG1?

3- Is there any chance we can get more deleted scenes than last time? Couldn’t you put all the deleted scenes on the DVD for each episode?

4- Could you also petition TPTB to put out takes on the DVD’s? Like the ones we all hear about when the commentaries are being recorded, i.e., Rodney couldn’t stop laughing or… ad libs that take place?

5- What do you like most about your job? You started as an assistant to a producer, how did you get the opportunity to start doing the behind the scenes footage? What did you major in college and how did that prepare you for your current job?

Keep up the great work! IMHO the Extra’s are the best part of the DVD’s!

Cheers,

Patricia Lee

anneteldy
anneteldy

When, oh, when will WordPress get a preview function????????????

Anne Teldy

wolfenm

Awww, that bookmark is so kawaii!! ^^

Belated happy b-day to Anne Teldy from me, too! Hope you’re feeling better! *HUGS*

In celebration of Ship Day, I have posted pics of my custom Sam and Jack my little ponies. Also, got word today that the Track Director for the Stargate track at Dragon*Con got a my little pony signed by RDA, Tapping, Judge, Browder, Wood, and Wright for our Don S Davis Memorial American Heart Association auction! W00t! Remember, peeps, you can bid on that pony (or the ones by Cliff Simon & Pierre Bernard, or the “Mars the Dog” one that I made & David & Kate Hewlett signed) by proxy if you can’t make it to the con. Info here. (There’s still 2 slots left in the pony-customising panel, too.)

And for anyone interested, my review of “Broken Ties” is up!
http://www.pinkraygun.com/2008/07/28/stargate-atlantis-broken-ties/

Margaret Clayton

You’re just trying to confuse us, aren’t you?

DanielleS
DanielleS

ZOMG! lols Continuum comes out tommorrow! LOLS Just a little reminder- MY B-DAY IS 2MORROW ^^ tehe WOOTZ!

~Danielle

JAG
JAG

I am not sure if this has been asked yet but will Teyla be appearing in the season finale? and if so will she play a major role in that episode or will she be seen in only a few scenes?
I would really appreciate your answer. Please and Thank You

archersangel

first of all; yea for new books!

second;
Today’s entry is dedicated to belated birthday gal Anne Teldy.

who’s namesake will soon be eaten by space cows or even replicators wink on SGA.

speaking of ms. teldy will there be another #___ commenter prize?

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

With due respect to Alipeeps, July has been a terrific month. You can blame that reading frenzy you’ve been on for the time passing by. I’m waiting on The Orphan’s Tale to arrive by mail; I don’t anticpate any problems in having it read before the discussion begins. My own book run was considerably humbler than your own, and my backpile continues to grow. I’m also trying to bring some order back to my books, as well as catalogue the titles I have. I suspect I’ll be at that for the next few years, unless I run out of space to pile up the books I keep accumulating. Especially since I’ll have to pick up two of the three September offerings. Fortunately, I’ve already got Cook’s book.
Love the bookmark. Perhaps Chelle DB might be willing to make up a complete set, one for each of the “kiddies”? And maybe offer them for sale, or donation, to interested persons? I’d certainly be happy to obtain one, or several, myself. Just a thought….
Looking forward to Mr. Bartok’s participation on the blog, and will post my questions tomorrow. Thanks for the pictures. Luckily I’m alone so no one was about to see me drooling over the selection of books you raked in.

amac251
amac251

<>

Is it my imagination, or have the ratings for the first few episodes of season 5 been higher than the beginning episodes of season 4?

When you receive the ratings, is there any discussion of said ratings with SciFi Execs (or representatives)? I guess I’m hoping they are pleased with the ratings. Any “thumbs up” or kudos from those that decide on a Season 6?

Davidd
Davidd

Hey Joe.

Um, I hate to break this to you Joe, but this the end of July.

Out of curiosity Joe, what encouraged you to start blogging in the first place?

Thanks.
_____

Question for Ivan Bartok:

Hey Ivan! If you don’t mind, I have a few questions for you…

1) What is the hardest part of your job and why?

2) When there are interviews with cast and crew on DVD extras, did they volunteer to do them or did you request that they do it?

3) About how long does it take to complete a featurette for the DVDs?

4) Do you get to decide what all the featurettes are going to be, or does someone tell you what they have to be?

5) Is there a cameraman who specifically captures footage for DVD extras, or do you use a combination of clips from all over the place?

Thanks for answering some, if any, of my questions!

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

LOVE the bookmark – perfect!

Is 1.7 good?

Will have to think up a question for Ivon…a bit too tired right now to think.

das

Henry
Henry

I’ve gots a question that I hope you can answer, Joe! In many episodes, the gate activates and the walls of the room are bathed with a blue glowing, pulsating light, apparently the “reflection” from the activated gate.

How do you get that effect? Is it done while filming or something that gets added in post? Or both?

Thanks! =)