In the immortal words of A Christmas Story’s little Ralphie: “Ooooh, fuuuudge!” A wrench has been thrown into our planned trip to Asia for the second year in a row. Last year, we were going to hit Hong Kong and Tokyo but had to cancel because things were looking busy on the pet shop front for Fondy. This year, it was going to be Hong Kong and Shanghai. Same story. Fudge indeed. And while I suppose I could just hang around the house with the dogs and read, I’ve been doing a lot of that lately and it’s dawned on me that I haven’t really gone away on vacation in close to two years. And, no, visiting relatives in Montreal doesn’t count.
So, what to do? Well, I suppose I could…still go away! Yep, hop on a plane in late November and set off on a solo culinary odyssey to the Far East. But, of course, I won’t be alone. Not really because you’ll all be joining me via my daily blog updates. True, there may be instances where I’ll be doing a fair imitation of Steve Martin’s The Lonely Guy (Table for ONE!”), but I’m a fairly sociable guy and, thus, should have no problem making fast friends with every concierge, cab driver, and sidewalk takoyaki seller that happens to cross my path. Time to dust off my Fodor’s Tokyo.
Well, I was in the office yesterday to do an on-camera sit down with Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok for the season five Deleted Scenes DVD Extra. I introed three: the longer version of the sword fight sequence from Broken Ties, the uncut version of the McKay-Beckett scene from Whispers, and a deleted Woolsey-Shen scene from Remnants. In the case of the sword fight, I explained that cuts were made, not so much because we were running long, but because I felt the sequence was more dynamic in its paired-down version. In the case of the McKay-Beckett scene, I explained that the conversation was significantly trimmed down because the episode was running long. In general, when it comes time to edit and episode for time, the best case scenario would be to fine an entire scene to excise. This opportunity rarely presents itself because the reality is if you CAN remove an entire scene without missing it, then that scene didn’t belong in the script in the first place meaning you, as a writer, have somehow failed in your duty to create a nice, tight script. I then moved onto my intro for the Woolsey-Shen scene which I was able to entirely excise from Remnants. Ahem. We WERE nine and half minutes over.
To those of you wondering – I forwarded Executive Producer Brad Wright all your questions. All twenty-six pages full. I aim to invite Marty G. over to talk about Brain Storm once that episode airs. And, finally, if Rob Cooper is feeling chatty, maybe I can get him to swing by once Vegas airs. Other upcoming guests, questions have gone out to costume designer Val Halverson, composer Joel Goldsmith, and stunt coordinator James Bamford.
And now, I’d like to start gathering questions for SGA’s Master of Mayhem, the Excelsior of Explosions, none other than our Special Effects Supervisor Wray Douglas. Wray has been with the show since the early SG-1 days. He and his team have been responsible for everything from squib hits and car stunts to menacing fog and the fiery blast that took out the beloved doctor Beckett. So if you have questions for Wray, start posting.
Speaking of upcoming guests, a perusal of the right sidebar should serve to remind everyone of the special guest authors who will be dropping by in the coming weeks. The week of October 27th, we’ll be joined by John Twelve Hawks as we’ll be discussing his novel, The Traveler. A brief call back from a September entry:
“Okay, this one is interesting for two big reasons. One is the book itself. The second is the mysterious author (Twelve Hawks isn’t his real name) who, apparently, lives “off the grid” and has never even met his American publisher. My initial reaction was to dismiss this as a slick PR stunt but, in looking over the author’s official website, I have to admit that Twelve Hawks, whoever he is, offers up some smart, oft-times scary food for thought.
From Publisher’s Weekly: “Twelve Hawks’s much anticipated novel is powerful, mainstream fiction built on a foundation of cutting-edge technology laced with fantasy and the chilling specter of an all-too-possible social and political reality. The time is roughly the present, and the U.S. is part of the Vast Machine, a society overseen by the Tabula, a secret organization bent on establishing a perfectly controlled populace. Allied against the Tabula are the Travelers and their sword-carrying protectors, the Harlequins. The Travelers, now almost extinct, can project their spirit into other worlds where they receive wisdom to bring back to earth—wisdom that threatens the Tabula’s power. Maya, a reluctant Harlequin, finds herself compelled to protect two naïve Travelers, Michael and Gabriel Corrigan. Michael dabbles in shady real estate deals, while Gabriel prefers to live “off the Grid,” eschewing any documentation—credit cards, bank accounts—that the Vast Machine could use to track him. Because the Tabula has engineered a way to use the Travelers for its own purposes, Maya must not only keep the brothers alive, but out of the hands of these evil puppet-masters.”
The following week, we’ll be joined by an author who is reputed to be one of the friendliest on the con circuit – David Anthony Durham. He’ll be stopping by to field your questions and comment son his fantasy novel, Acacia:
“From Publisher’s Weekly: “In this sprawling and vividly imagined fantasy, historical novelist Durham (Pride of Carthage) chronicles the downfall and reinvention of the Akaran Dynasty, whose empire, called Acacia, was built on conquest, slaving and drug trade. The Acacian empire, encompassing “The Known World,” is hated by its subjugated peoples, especially the Mein, who 22 generations earlier were exiled to the icy northland. Having sent an assassin to kill the Acacian king, Leodan, the rebel chieftain, Hanish Mein, declares war on the empire. As Acacia falls, Leodan’s treasonous but conflicted chancellor, Thaddeus Clegg, spirits the king’s four children to safety. When the Mein’s rule proves even more tyrannical than the old, the former chancellor seeks to reunite the now adult Akaran heirs—the oldest son Aliver (once heir to the throne), the beautiful elder daughter Corinn, their younger sister, Mena, and youngest brother, Dariel—to lead a war to regain the empire. Durham has created a richly detailed alternate reality leavened with a dollop of magic and populated by complicated personalities grappling with issues of freedom and oppression.”
And finally, one of the most well-respected writers in the horror genre stops by as we discuss his groundbreaking novel Necroscope. Brian Lumley will be here to answer your questions the week of November 10th:
“ From the publisher: “Harry Keogh is the man who can talk to the dead, the man for whom every grave willingly gives up its secrets, the one man who knows how to travel effortlessly through time and space to destroy the vampires that threaten all humanity.
In Necroscope, Harry is startled to discover that he is not the only person with unusual mental powers–Britain and the Soviet Union both maintain super-secret, psychically-powered espionage organizations. But Harry is the only person who knows about Thibor Ferenczy, a vampire long buriedin the mountains of Romania–still horribly alive, in undeath–and Thibor’s insane “offspring,” Boris Dragosani, who rips information from the souls of the dead in a terrible, ever-lasting form of torture…”
Incidentally, in a recent review, SFSignal’s John DeNardo wrote of Necroscope: “I can’t remember the last time I wanted to return to a book as much as this one.” You can check out the 5-star review here: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/007256.html
My thoughts on your thoughts on The Lost Tribe:
Yes, Todd set the Daedalus on a collision course that would have wiped out everyone on board but, really, what choice did he have? First, the device was a huge threat to his kind and he was in a position to put an end to that thread. Second, he assumed he’d been double-crossed by Atlantis, that they were responsible for initiating the Attero device, so, in his mind, they deserved to be “inconvenienced”. Third, as I believe Das pointed out – if Ronon hadn’t taken out the weapons systems, he wouldn’t have had to go to his last resort: crashing the Daedalus. Still, yes, he almost did wipe out the ship and everyone on board but, at the end of the day, he had little choice. But I’m sure that whiny, narrow-minded Sheppard will take it as a personal affront.
How was Keller “mean” to Ronon at episode’s end? She was in an awkward position and felt it only right that Ronon know she was interested in someone else.
The reveal on the alien was a cool twist compliments of Rob Cooper who came up with the idea when we were first spinning the story. He also came up with the explosive side effect of the attero device.
Today’s video: Behind every good Asgard are at least two great puppeteers.