First off, I’d like to congratulate everyone who has put forth excellent arguments on both side of the wraith debate. As much as I agree that the wraith are an interesting, multi-faceted species, I would still argue that they are an enemy and should be dealt with as such. The same can be said for Michael who demonstrated incredible ruthlessness in disseminating the Hoffan virus, killing hundreds of thousands. I’d weigh in but Thornyrose‘s post effectively covers everything I could hope to say on the subject.

Second – I’m a little late in weighing in on my Top Readings Picks for the month of October. The truth is that while I did read a goodly amount last month, there were few books that really impressed. Only two actually.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Charmingly intimate yet impressive in scope, this book traces the multi-generational history of the Buendia family, inhabitants of the fictional town of Mocando, with a warmth and familiarity reminiscent of the tales my grandmother used to tell. Majestic in its realism, subtle in its magical undertones, it’s a captivating novel that helped the author secure the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Last Colony

by John Scalzi. I’ve never met a Scalzi novel I haven’t liked, and this one keeps the string intact. Former soldiers John Perry and Jane Sagan (the hero/ine of Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades) are enjoying retirement, raising their teenage daughter Zoe, when they are asked to head up a new colony on the outskirts of Colonial Union territory. Things, however, take a turn for the bizarre when it becomes evident that the world they’ve been dropped off on isn’t the planet they were told they’d be inhabiting. Threatened by forces both within and without the fledgling community, John and Jane struggle to maintain unity, ultimately discovering that they have become pawns in an intergalactic struggle between an alien federation known as The Conclave and their own Earth-centered Colonial Union.

To those of you asking, I’m not scheduled to leave for Japan for another two weeks. STOP RUSHING ME!!! Between now and then, I’ll be heading into the office to spin stories for SGU’s inaugural season, working on that super, secret project (Holy Moly! Almost 8 full pages now!), and, most importantly, work on my Tokyo itinerary. With regard to the latter, Carl Binder was kind enough to forward me the following link in an email titled “A possible side trip when you go to Japan…”


59 thoughts on “November 9, 2008: My Top Reads for the Month of October and Carl Helps Me With My Travel Plans

  1. It is no wonder carls’ emails go to your spam, Yikes! What a friend (lol).

    As for Japan, I guess some people can’t wait for the excitement to begin. I am sure you will have some pretty interesting stories.

  2. Hey Joe.

    I followed that link and looked at the pics and the video. You know, for something called the Roller Coaster of Death, the only thing intimidating about it was the fact that there were no side-rails…..aside from that, not to scary-looking IMO.

    Alton Towers in England is more like my kind of amusement park!

  3. Ok, ok, I’ll quit trying to rush you. Was just worried you’d try to pull a fast one and sneak off without waving goodbye. Besides, harrassing you about when you leave seems only fair play given your tormenting us about the Super Secret Project. Glad to see Mr. Binder is offering able assistance…
    It’s bad enough I’ve added horror to the genres I read. Now you’re trying to sell us on Nobel literature? And with so many other books still backed up. Ah well. I’ll at least put One Hundred Years of Solitude on the back burner list. So far you’ve shown reasonably good taste in your reading selections.
    Here’s to a productive week for you. I’m looking forward to a week of classes and partying, and a break from the usual routine.

  4. Um, North Korea would be one heck of a side trip!!! You do realize we are all travelling vicariously with you…watcha gonna bring us?

    Can you pick up Last Colony without having read previous novels?


  5. I don’t remember if I suggested this already (short term memory loss? Who knows..). I think you might like Germ by Robert Liparulo. I love his writing, and I don’t usually love books like that. It’s a good long book that’ll keep you intrigued through all the pages. So if you ever run short on books to read, try this one! (I feel like a Reading Rainbow for Adults commercial..Although I doubt there’s such a thing).

  6. I know I’m a little late, but I’ve got to say that I loved the Progidel. I loved everything about it! Micheal’s little ‘Come with me, Teyla’ speech was so awkward and sweet and yet so evil, it thrilled me! It was close enough to a declaration of love for her. And then she kills him. That’s the ending I’ve been wanting to the Micheal storyline ever since she was the one he recognised. I loved, loved, loved it! In fact, I could probably rant for hours how much I loved it. I especially loved the fact that if Teyla hadn’t shown up at th end, John would be one dead puppy! Again, I loved this episode, especially the Teyla/Micheal scenes!

  7. wow, Carl sending you a side trip like that, you have to wonder the inbetween the lines here. Maybe you may have to sleep with one eye open from now on. I have a question and I don’t know if anyone has asked this question before for not. When an episode script is finished how soon does the actor’s get it before filming begans? Looking forward to hearing about your trip whenever you decide to leave.. 🙂

  8. I had no idea the wraith were the enemy? Did you write that? Who wrote that? 😉

    The point is are they , as my husband is fond of saying ;), a “swoosh swoosh (space ships go down; space ships go up), blam blam” enemy

    Or are they interesting.

    Well, I WOULD ARGUE, they have been interesting–have been interesting–have been.

    I get so tired of hearing the catch all phrase “art is subjective; there’s no such thing as bad art” Whine, whine whine. I hear this from my students, and their parents all the time when they get their English marks. The implication is that English (which primarily studies narrative art), because it is not math has no evaluative criteria with which to judge good writing art from bad schlock plup. And what can I say? “this is rubbish”. Of course you can.

    Good art speaks to generation of people, appealing across intellectual, socio-economic, cultural climates etc.

    Schlock is temporary, finite, appealing only to a select group of people and primarily appeals to baser desires–nothing elevated, nothing thought related. Hence, although it is committed to film, porn will never be art.


  9. When I was stationed in Yokosuka, everyone I knew who went to Korea, whether for shopping trips or temporary duty, came back with nasty colds. No exceptions in twelve years.

    No, you want Fujiku Highlands … the critters are scarier than any rollercoaster. Of Death is no match for Of Cute.

    And for a really weird, trippy experience, try Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland. In Japanese of course. I despise the Kingdom of the Mouse, but we went to the one in Tokyo often, given the military discount and the strangeness of it all. Opening Day, Fifth and Tenth Year anniversaries in addition to trips now and then with visitors from home. Yeah, I was there a long time. Took me three years to stop bowing once I returned stateside.

  10. Hey Joe,

    Someone reported from a con in Jersey this weekend that David Nykl has signed for the SGA movie(s) but that Kavan hasn’t been signed yet. Are there any plans for our favorite Major to appear in the Atlantis movies? Please say it’s so.


  11. The name of the town in One Hundred Years of Solitude is “Macondo”, not “Mocando”. In Spanish, “Mocando” sounds like a very runny nose 🙂

  12. Hi Joe – Prodigal was another stunning Carl episode with humor, kick-ass fights and a very surprising, but not shocking ending. Teyla finally rid herself of that thorn in her side!

    Are we sure Michael is dead? I could imagine him surviving the fall into the ocean (without Chuck’s help) and living in the lower levels of Atlantis doing a “Phantom of the Opera” number. That’s a story for another day.

    I think you can do without Carl’s travel tips. After all, we do want you to come back from Japan in one piece, so you can finally tell us what the super secret project is!

    Good luck buying a new refrigerator. Check out Consumer Reports before you buy.

  13. hi, joe,

    in the s7 sg1 episode ‘grace’, do you think grace was one of the aliens from the ship?

    sally =)

  14. I still haven’t been able to watch “Prodigal,” but what the heck, I’ll throw in my opinion.

    There’s no way to negotiate with an enemy whose only food source is you. No matter what you do to try to make them not the enemy, they still have to eat you. So to save yourself, you can try to kill them all, or you can try to change their diet. While Michael’s objections to being forced to take the retrovirus were valid, the objective was to find a way to not need to kill him. The plan was flawed, yes, but the aim was to stop humans AND wraith from dying, not to help humans gain power.

    And that’s even before you bring the whole tormenting-your-livestock angle into it.

    “We” clearly had a hand in Michael’s path, although unintended, and everyone involved has had to accept some responsibility for shoving him off onto the fork leading to evil. But that doesn’t mean that they have to allow him to continue mass murder. Teyla will probably never second-guess her final action, but that doesn’t mean the whole Michael tragedy doesn’t or won’t weigh on her.

    Todd, though devious, has made it difficult to see the Wraith as just monsters. There’s still that pesky food source problem, and it’s pretty clear there will always be a competition for dominance in the galaxy, but do you think Teyla is ready to push Todd off a cliff? I don’t think so. He’s a wraith, and he really, really wants power, but he’s not like Michael.

  15. The pictures you posted a few days ago from the last day of filming … what episode were those from?

  16. Re: The Last Colony: Have you read Zoe’s Tale yet? Apparently it goes well with OMW/TLC.

  17. My previous post sounded a little weird in that first line, so I wanted to clarify: I haven’t been able to watch “Prodigal” because we bought a new TV and it wasn’t hooked up, and now I’m working nights the next four days (nights)…whine, whine, whine, I know. My post made it sound like I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. In fairness to the family, we have to wait until Thursday night so we can watch it together, even though it’s killing me!

    Sunday night at the police station…boring…but we have a chicken over at the animal shelter. A chicken! It’s in the cat room, which seems like a sick joke. Someone stuck a broom handle through the chain link in the kennel so it has a place to roost. I took a stray cat over there earlier and just about fell over when I saw that chicken giving me the beady eye.

  18. @ noir – I’m torn about the alternative feeding idea. I do want some sort of ‘option’, but without taking away the Wraith’s desire and ability to feed on humans. Afterall, that IS their nature, it’s what makes them Wraith, and what makes their interaction with humans all the more complex. As I once said many moons ago, I wouldn’t mind if Wraith used an alternative food source when they want to play nice-nice with humans, but only if they sneak off now and again to suck on a stray Genii or two – ya know, like an alcoholic falling off the wagon. I want Wraith to be WRAITH…I want them to keep their edge, their advantage.

    It’s like this – I don’t want pussycats, I want tigers. But even if that tiger turns, I want the humans to understand that it turned – not because it’s evil, but because it was acting upon instinct. I think an event a couple years back in Vegas sums up my feelings quite well…even if the cat attacks, it doesn’t mean the cat should be destroyed.

    @ Joe – You just took away all my hope, especially since you’re writing the movie. You have a fascinating sci fi species in the palm of your hand, and yet you can only see them as monsters that need to be destroyed? I guess that’s what ‘sells’, but it breaks my heart. Anything is possible – these characters can be taken in any number of directions if you just want to, if you just think outside of the enemy=exterminate box. I once had hope that this show was about finding a way to live with a species whose very nature will always make them a danger to humans (much as we have found ways to live on this planet with potential maneaters in the animal kingdom). That is what makes the human/Wraith relationship so complex and interesting…and challenging. There is so much potenial here that is wasted, and for what? Because it’s fun to kill Wraith?

    You once said that everything is written for the fans, and yet the Wraith have fans, too. Though we may all see something a bit different in them, we all share one common opinion – they have as much of a right to life as the humans do. Wraith fans are a very empathetic bunch – we feel very deeply for these characters. It can even be said that what happens to them happens to us. When you stomp on the Wraith it’s as if you are stomping on us. I know a lot of people just don’t ‘get it’, and I don’t expect them to. Just know that how we feel is real…not because we confuse fantasy with reality, but simply because we can relate in some way to these beautiful creatures. Perhaps that wasn’t the intention when the Wraith were created, but that is the effect it has had on many fans, and so it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    I really wanted to say more – did say more (and removed it) – but it’s really no use, and just a waste of my time, and yours. It seems clear to me now that any hope I had was for naught, and I just feel… broken.


  19. See! This is why I love coming here. Great conversation (if a little one sided) amusement parks and healthy debate. If I may just weigh in for once I’d like to have seen in season 6 an actual vegetarian Wraith Hive, you know one that felt a moral obligation to not eat food you can have a conversation with. I think it would’ve been a great sidestory dealing with the angst of realisation then leading to the complete swearing off of food with a face starting by maybe giving up humans on a friday to only eating humans for special occasions like christmas and birthdays and such to eventually becoming vegan. I think it would make a potential new spin-off.

  20. Hi there Mr M!

    While reading Focus Magazine, I came across this:

    “Intelligent” motor sensor robots that scuttle along sensing borders….Mmmm…reminds me of something……Break out the ARGs!!!!!!!!!!

    Best to all


  21. Prodigal was an example of how good SGA can be when all the main characters are used. It was a pleaure to see Teyla back. I have missed her and it’s incredibly sad that this great actress has been so underused this season. I fear though that she will go back to being invisible for the rest of the reason.

    When the writers use the team formula, which are Shep/Teyla/Rodney/Ronon and also incude the supporting actors like Zelenka we have a winning formula.
    But sadly this has not been applied too many times this season and many of the episodes have suffered because of it. SGA has always been about the team dymanic and their chemistry and sadly this was pretty much non existant this season. Search and Rescue and Prodigal were really the only exceptions.

    But character interaction seems to have taken second place this season and the team moments have been far too rare. The only interaction or friendship that ever gets touched on is John/Rodney, though I believe we have to endure some Keller/McKay romance before the show is over. Teyla and John have been like strangers this season and it’s really been a shame that the writers chose to distance these two and take away their wonderful warm friendship for this odd strange stilted behaviour we see now between them.

    Will Kanaan continue to be the invisible lover forever. What a lazy way to deal with that lacklustre relationship especially when it seems to be cause for the lack of John/Teyla interaction. I wish the writers wouldnt just ignore that there was an attraction between them and at least have to gumption to addresss this matter.

    I hope in the movie we get back to the great interaction between the team and we get something along the lines of the Prodigal. It shows how much potential is still left in this show and again I find myself dumbfounded that this talent and potential wasn’t used to it’s fullest instead of being tossed away so easily.

    The Franchise ends after SGA for me. Besides SGU offering nothing whatsoever that interests me, I wil not follow a franchise that has no loyalty to it’s fans.

  22. The Prodigal = the return of a good SGA ep. Except for Michael’s “end”, because I didn’t see a body. Did you? I have to assume Sheppard made it a particular point to go look for it just to make sure, but did he find it? No surprise that Teyla got the final kick off. Michael had such a spectacularly controversial beginning (in fact, you almost lost us a viewers, it was such a distasteful morally repugnant thing), that his end seemed way too… common. Too anticlimactic for one of the series’ main individual villains. I woulda preferred something as equally spectacular as his “birth”. Oh well, I was wanting a resolution and there it is. Atlantis created the mess, and finally cleaned it up. If only the US gov’t will follow the example.

  23. 2 weeks till Japan… I want to have holidays, too.

    the Roller Coaster of Death looks like it’s going to fall apart any minute but somehow I am strangely fascinated by such sights of decay (it’s the same with the old Brighton Pier: perhaps because you can still guess about the things that once were there and still could have been if someone had taken care of it)

    @Shawna Buchanan: thanks for clarifying; I obviously got you wrong ^^”

  24. While I wouldn’t want to weigh down your sidebar with junk, perhaps you could add a section with the dates of your trip. There’s probably a widget out there for your itinerary. I’ll let you know if I see one.

    You’ll be back for the big finale won’t you? Perhaps we should all do something special. A massive online party. I’ll bring the dip!

    Cheers, Chev

  25. p.s. I’m reading Fast Forward 2 atm. I’ve only skipped one story so far – the first one, such a yawn (Catherine Drewe). I absolutely loved Cyto Couture with Nat & the Mitos and Golgis.

    Cheers, Chev

  26. Joe,

    Prodigal = holy crap! What a fantastic episode! Brilliant work Carl!

    I was pleased to see Teyla finally step up and do what needed to be done. I actually said out loud “you’d better f’ing kill him” during the ledge scene. Loved it when she called Michaels bluff regarding the self-destruct.

    It has seemed that in all of her previous interactions with Michael, Teyla has been overly subdued. Even out of character. I understand that she was protecting her child. But, it just didn’t feel right.

    I see why it was important for Teyla to actually deal Michael his final blow. But I’m having a problem with how readily Michael handed Ronon a case of whoopass. Ronon has been a warrior for I’d imagine, is his entire life. His martial prowess on the show has been proven time and again to be above average. Hell, he trains the teams in hand to hand. Yet Michael walked away from their fight with nary a scratch. I get that it was a device used to progress the story, but it just seemed a little “off”.

  27. The Prodigal was an excellent ep. Thanks for that. I now have a new term to play around with lol.

  28. Joseph Mallozzi wrote:
    As much as I agree that the wraith are an interesting, multi-faceted species, I would still argue that they are an enemy and should be dealt with as such.

    Well, I can accept normal fights as self-defence – but one question: Where are our limits?

    Let’s take that retro virus for an example:

    Some people said that the humans used Beckett’s retro virus to make a genocide unnecessary, but is the transformation of one species into another one not a ‘genocide in disguise’? After the (non-reversible) transformation there will be no Wraith any longer – they are wiped out, so to say. Do we have the right to do this? Would we dare to treat humans the same way, or do we think, that we can do whatever we are able to do, because Wraith are no humans and so have no rights?

    And what would we do with this ‘new humans’? What would they be? Would we trust them or would they only be second class humans – some kind of slave-race without rights? Would we fight for their right to live same way we now fight for the humans of the PG, when the ‘first class humans’ of the PG try to seek revenge for what the (former and now helpless) Wraith did in the past? And I bet money on it that this will happen! Or would we say “No – if we interfere we might get in trouble with our (‘first class’ human) allies – so let them die.”

    And what will we do, if they realize what they had been before the transformation and take revenge? Would we transform then again so that they won’t remember, like Michael, or would we kill them once and for all? There are no humans – so who cares?

    Where are our limits concerning the Wraith?

  29. One more thing: It was great to see the gate event horizon used as a weapon again. It’s been awhile!

  30. Joe, I am currently reading The Last Colony. I didn’t realize he had written a sequel until I saw it on the list of books you have read. Thank you for pointing that out. : ) I have loved all his books so far.

    As soon as I saw that I went to my library and checked it out. I also put the Sequel “ZOE” on hold and hopefully will be reading that one next.

    I am quite enjoying the relationship between Jane & John. Lots of twists and turns. They just discovered they are not alone on the planet and some idiots went out to hunt it. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  31. I woke up this morning thinking that people – after reading my thoughts on the Wraith and total disappointment with the show – might wonder what I would have done differently with this characters, something that would satisfy both Wraith fans, and those who prefer the heroes. It’s hard to put all my thoughts into words, but this is basically how I would have liked to see the Wraith – as a whole – handled.

    The words to the Raconteurs’ The Switch and the Spur come to mind:

    Any poor souls who trespass against us,
    Whether it be beast or man,
    Will suffer the bite or be stung dead on sight
    By those who inhabit this land.

    For theirs is the power and this is their kingdom
    As sure as the sun does burn.
    So enter this path, but heed these four words,
    ‘You shall never return.’

    Ah yes – those words are PERFECT.

    Like noir, I’d love to see the Wraith return to what they were in The Rising – powerful, menacing, dominant. I want them to be able to do what they do best…threaten, cull, and feed. However, I also want the humans to acknowledge that they are no different than the Wraith. This would allow for mutual understanding and a respectful fear on the part of both species. The humans, out of a respectful fear, would give the Wraith a wide berth, coming to terms with the fact that the Wraith feed – not because they’re evil, but because it’s their instinctive nature (established by the show). By accepting that the Wraith are not evil, but creatures driven by instinct, the humans could take a step back and allow the Wraith to control a part of the universe – with a line drawn that neither side crosses. The Wraith, in turn, would have a respectful ‘fear’ of the Lanteans and those that fall under their protection, acknowledging both their superior technology, as well as their right to defend themselves.

    This isn’t a hard thing to do. Star Trek had its Neutral Zone between the Federation and the Romulan Empire. This allowed for both sides to live in freely, doing whatever it is they do, while creating a line that – if crossed – confrontation would be expected and acceptable. It kept the Romulans from being wussed down (as the Wraith have been), while maintaining their enemy status, and it prevented the Federation from looking all-powerful to a ridiculous degree (as the handful of Lanteans do now). It also opened up the possibility for both sides to leave their protected areas and come together as ‘allies’ to fight a common enemy if need be – then to return to their respective corners after the battle.

    If the Wraith were handled in such a way, their numbers would have to be reduced, but that’s already happened. So, problem #1 solved. Secondly, we know from information given in Instinct that the average Wraith needs about 6 humans a year in order to survive…maybe even less. With reduced numbers, and the occasional acts of cannibalism, that’s not so many (compared to the number of humans killed in wars and crimes here on earth, for no good reason at all). So, a line could be drawn, with the Wraith taking full control of a sector (preferrably the majority) of the galaxy – a dark and menacing part of the galaxy where only the baddest and bravest and strongest of humans choose to live.

    Why would humans want to live under Wraith domination? It could be because the planets there are the best in the galaxy, lush, full of resources and beauty. It could be because some choose to be worshippers. And it could be because some just like the challenge. This last group could be developed into a great race of humans, totally badass (like the runners, I suppose), but at the same time NOT wanting to see the Wraith destroyed because they themselves thrive on the challange the Wraith provide them with…a sort of symbiotic relationship where the Wraith thrive on their life force, while the humans thrive on the adrenaline rush. These men and women would be much like thrill seekers right here on earth, those who live to tackle the deadliest of challenges, those who live to experience a brush with death, over and over again. In addition, this group would pose a threat to both human and Wraith alike, giving the Lanteans more than one problem to deal with. Ford was going this route, but that story idea was stopped dead in its tracks, and that’s a shame (nothing is ever developed to its fullest potential!).

    Meanwhile, the Lanteans would continue to help humans who fall under their protection, perhaps once in a while venturing into Wraith space to save those who wish to escape Wraith domination. Remember, many humans have lived under, and fought for, oppressive governments because they provide them with a certain amount of security and wealth. So, it’s not far-retched to believe that some humans would willingly live in Wraith controlled territory, especially if doing so enables them to amass great wealth and individual power, while others would choose to defect.

    A scenario like this would allow the Wraith to be what they are, no excuses, while taking a deeper look into their culture and into their non-feeding interactions with humans (something that certainly needs further exploration), including the occasional alliance (an opportunity to have those random ‘fruit farmer’ and ‘hand shake’ jokes 😉 ). It would also put the Lanteans in a more believable place in the galaxy (the underdogs; right now, the Wraith are the underdogs, and have been since their waking). It would turn the Lanteans into true heroes (instead of the self-justifying bullies they are), while returning the Wraith to a more menacing place in the galaxy, acknowledging that they fall at the top of the food chain and accepting it as part of the cycle.

    More importantly, it would allow for the development of four distinct groups of humans: 1. Those who are in fear of the Wraith and seek to live under Lantean protection, 2. Those who are in fear of the Wraith but choose to take their chances living under Wraith domination because the benefits (riches, abundant food, power, etc) outweigh the dangers, 3. Worshippers who, whether of their own free will or because they have been turned, choose to live and serve the Wraith, and 4. Those who literally thrive under Wraith domination, living for the thrill of surviving each dangerous day.

    I would have been very happy with something like this – but it can never happen now, especially with such an unimaginative view of the Wraith on the part of most involved with their creation, and just one movie to possibly look forward to. Oh well, there’s always fan fic. 🙄


  32. So, Joseph, I understand from your comment about wraith that you mistake circumstantial enemies for absolute enemies? And that instead of finding ways to work out difference and natural rivalry, your intention for SGA is to only display ways to annihilate those who are different and natural rivals?

    What kind of message do you think that sends?

  33. Coucou joseph! Vous allez bien?
    Je suis trés contente demain 11 Novembre c’est un jour ferier! Donc pas de cour!!!

    2 semaines! sa va passer vite!

    Sa ne serais pas possible que vers le 21 et 22 Février vous veniez nous passez un petit coucou en France..?? rohh je rêve de vous voir à la Converntion de Paris!!!

    Bon=) a bientot! Bonne journée! Bisou!

  34. That rollercoaster of Death looks exactly like the one they used to have at the PNE!! but those look like cats and the one here was rats.

    If your looking for things to do in Japan inbetween meals, you should check out a pachinko parlour, i think thats how you spell it, but bring earplugs 🙂

  35. Dear Joe,

    I was wondering if the two other ZPMs in possesion on Earth will come to play in SGA before the end of season 5. Also do you think now that the Ori threat is over that the Zpm in the Odyssey should still be there or put to better use on Atlantis? I mean two are better than one.

    Thanks for your time buddy and take of yourself, Fondy and the little pups 🙂

  36. If there is one book everybody should read, it is One Hundred Years of Solitude. Reading it should be MANDATORY.

    I read it for the first time when I was 9 or 10 years old and I never stopped loving it.

  37. @ Jen: Well put, I am with you.

    @Chevron7; I will bring the tissues.

    @Das: You are a dedicated wraith fan, I will give you that.

  38. das said,

    “Wraith fans are a very empathetic bunch – we feel very deeply for these characters. It can even be said that what happens to them happens to us. When you stomp on the Wraith it’s as if you are stomping on us. I know a lot of people just don’t ‘get it’, and I don’t expect them to. Just know that how we feel is real…not because we confuse fantasy with reality, but simply because we can relate in some way to these beautiful creatures.”

    SGA fans who support the efforts of the Lanteans are a very empathetic bunch – we feel very deeply for these characters too. Just know that how we feel is real…not because we confuse fantasy with reality, but simply because we can relate in some way to these wonderful people.

    Guess we’re not all that different, eh? 🙂

    But! What happens to any character on SGA does NOT happen to ANY fan viewer. Sure, we laugh, cry, rage, or feel bored by the show/story/characters, but if Shep gets whumped (again), no one is whumping us. If Carson dies (again), no one has killed us. If McKay blows up 5/6th of a solar system (again), we sure as heck didn’t do that! 😉

    Things happen to characters on shows. OK.

    Sometimes what happens really, really, really sucks. OK.

    But it doesn’t happen to us – the viewers.

  39. @ Das I understand what you’re saying and I think Todd said it very well in The Queen… or was it TLT? *brain fart* that if the Lanteans/Team took away their power to feed then they lose part of themselves and who they are in the process. I understand that. I adore the Wraith especially Todd, because Todd is so complex and has layers like an onion that when he’s with different people he peels off another layer. I love that they’re all different. I don’t want them to lose their uniqueness. I like the fact they’re predators and want to hunt and play with their food. I personally don’t want that to change. However, the Team and the Pegasus Galaxy see them as a scourge and like cockroaches that should be stepped on. So their goal is to ultimately stop them. Not necessarily kill the Wraith, but instead find a way for them all to cohabitate as much as possible.

    To be honest I can’t see there being a drastic change in how the Wraith are portrayed in SGA, instead I think the writers will simply add more layers to them… well they would have if it went another year. *sniff* So, to be honest Daz, I don’t think you have anything to worry about with regards to losing the uniqueness of the Wraith it’ll still be there. And Mr M wouldn’t kill off Todd… would you Mr M? *bats her eyelashes*

    Only 4 more days until Remnants!!!! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee oh Mr M tell me it’s gonna be fabby with lots of whump, and blood, and angst and did I mention whump? 😉 And please please let there be some aftermath. *begs and pleads* 😀


  40. Personally I somewhat agree that Michael should die, he has shown no regard for life in any degree.
    At one point personally I thought he was prepared to die to achieve what he wanted, when he looks at Teyla before he is about to fall he has that “Don’t let me die” look, but I think up until the very end he is pretty much an evil but misunderstood guy.

    Had they saved him, he pretty much would of tried to throw them over, so saving him would of been useless.

    What I’m trying to say is, he was beyond saving.

    But he had a soft spot for Teyla, that part was obvious.
    It’s like he was reaching out to her to reassure him to some degree, you know when he was talking about her being the voice of “conscience” a while ago.

  41. Thinking about it further I think das is on to something. Obviously humans need to be divided into camps, with one half of the population vacuum packed into snack packs that Wraith can take with them on their way to work in their human lunch boxes. For this half of the population I would nominate manic depressives, bungy jumpers, and mimes. Plus the magazine industry could be recruited into saying that being geriatricly wrinkled is the new sexy, meaning a limitless pool of the vain and stupid clambering to be turned into dead human prunes.

    The second half of the population could be enslaved into making macaroni and glitter shrines for their overlords, with those particularly favoured allowed to gamble about in lush meadows, chasing sticks and getting their stomachs scritched – am I jealous or what. When not making shrines this second group could also be employed into making We’re Really Sorry for Fighting Back When You Tried To Eat Us cards while small children could pick flowers for Apology Bouquets as part of the Please Forgive Us gift baskets.

    Lets face it, human beings are horrifically imperfect and the Wraith are obviously superior to us (in hair care alone!) so we should be thankful that they can even be bothered to stoop low enough to eat us. Now, must go exercise and start eating right – I would surely hate to give the Wraith that feeds on me indigestion! Would my face be red before it collapsed into a lifeless husk!

  42. I just got around to watching The Prodigal, and I just have to say… this might be the best episode of Atlantis in three seasons. I loved it! It had the perfect balance of twists, character moments (and you guys got the characters JUST right), and acton. And it wasn’t shot cheesily!! I’m no whiner, but that has been happening lately. The editing/cinematography had gotten slightly cheesy… but this was literal perfection. Thanks a bunch!!! That will always be my favorite episode of Stargate Atlantis (unless you guys impress me even more before the series end!).

  43. “If I may just weigh in for once I’d like to have seen in season 6 an actual vegetarian Wraith Hive, you know one that felt a moral obligation to not eat food you can have a conversation with.”

    shiningwit.. that has to be the best comment i’ve seen posted on here in days. Absolutely classic!

    No disrespect to Das, noir or anyone else who feels that morals have taken a leap out of the window, but I don’t watch Atlantis for my daily dose of rights or wrongs. If I wanna do that, then I can flick over to any number of news channels and watch the preverbial crap hit the fan twentyfour seven, all in HD quality, Technicolour rainbows and Dolby surround sound.

    I watch scifi, and in particular Atlantis, for the escapism. For the chance to simply ignore the rest of the world for a good fourty-odd minutes and let someone else take over the reigns. I’m human and I know i’m not perfect. They’re human.. and guess what? I know they’re not perfect too. And that’s just great. They make the same stupid mistakes I would and I can relate to that. If they were perfect, then there’d be little point in watching the show.. In fact, there’d be little point in Joe or the others even writing it, cos the Wraith wouldn’t exist, the Ancients would still be tossing coins on ascension and Adam and Eve would still be happily walking around, bare back and butt naked in the Garden of Eden.

    Can we just enjoy the last six episodes please?

  44. To Das and Noir, with apologies to Mr. M. if I am speaking out of turn. With due respect, I think you are both becoming upset about something that may not be playing out as pessimistically as you both suppose. Yes, Mr. M. has stated that “…they are an enemy and should be dealt with as such.” There is nothing in this statement that indicates that the fate of the Wraith is sealed. Indeed, the retroviral treatment arc is an indication that other options are being explored by the writers.
    As far as the tiger vs. the kittycat view, well, for better or worse evolution has screwed the Wraith. It’s made them too specialized. Species that rely on single food sources are suseptible to enviremental pressures. In this case, it’s of a food source that has begun to fight back. Unlike most predator species, the Wraith have some say in their own fate. They can continue to fight, and most likely die. Or fight, and overcome the setbacks they’ve suffered, and regain dominance. Or they can adopt the option offered by the Atlanteans. Would this be genocide? True, they would no longer be the lovely-locked creatures we know. But they would retain their sentience, their technology, and by no longer being reliant on humans for food, be in a stronger position to survive, and even thrive. Or they could offer up their own solution. But because most of them continue to look on humans as cattle, and not as equals, they’ve either been incapable or unwilling to devise such a solution.
    Unfortunately, with the end of the series, we’ll not be able to watch how it might have played out. I would be disappointed and suprised if the Wraith “problem” were resolved in a movie or two, but I can see those movies at least progressing the arcs offered up by developments up to now. But until those movies are written, perhaps we should sit back and wait before assuming that your favorite villians are doomed to what you consider an unworthy fate. For myself, I’m willing to let things play out. So, peace, and here’s to years of life sucking nasties keeping the Atlantis expedition on edge.

  45. I’m with you Perragrin.
    I discovered I miss just having my own thoughts in my head when watching Atlantis now.
    Instead I’m studying it, critiquing it and wondering which part of fandom the episode with upset.

  46. I had a friend who got third in a scholarship contest based on an essay she wrote about One Hundred Years of Solitude. She later said that all the people she talked to at the recipient banquet/ceremony who read and voted on the winners seemed more keen on the fact that she read the book, rather than that she wrote a good essay.

  47. One Hundred Years of Solitude is on the list I give my grade twelvers for their independent study–all the books on that list I have read. Therefore, they cannot B.S. me when they have to hand in their rough notes.

    Here’s a list of great books: You may have come across a few of these–most are classics.

    *Their Eyes Were Watching God–Zora Neale Hurston
    The Red Badge of Courage — Stephen Crane
    The Book of Daniel – E.L. Doctorow
    Beans of Egypt Maine — Carolyn Chute
    *Black Robe — Brian Moore
    *Obasan — Joy Kagawa
    Bread and Wine — Ignazio Silone
    In the Skin of a Lion — Michael Ondaatje
    *The English Patient — Michael Ondaatje
    Uncle Tom’s Cabin — Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Anna Karenina — Leo Tolstoy
    Steppenwolf — Hermann Hesse
    The Good Soldier –- Ford Maddox Ford
    *The Sound and the Fury –- William Faulkner
    The Bluest Eye — Toni Morrison
    Fall On Your Knees — Ann-Marie MacDonald
    *Jade Peony — Wayson Choy
    Amerika — Franz Kafka

    *My absolute Favourites.

    My favourite lines from Their Eyes Were Watching:

    So the beginning of this was a woman and she had come back from burying the dead. Not the dead of sick and ailing with friends at the pillow and the feet. She had come back from the sodden and the bloated; the sudden dead, their eyes flung wide open in judgment.

    These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sound and lesser things.

    What did you do you graduate thesis on?



  48. @Wraith Cake – thanks for that list of books; as I have 2 weeks of little or no work coming in the next month, followed by 2 weeks of only me in the house (no rush to do house work till Jan 5 when Dad gets back), I can see me getting through at least 2 of those with the * next to them 🙂

    On the subject of books, the latest I have read is not sci-fi/fantasy or even horror, it was an autobiography.

    Called “Escape” (Viking, an imprint of Penguin Press) it is the life story of Carolyn Jessop, a woman born into and brought up in a life belonging to the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints.

    The FLDS are a polygamous break-away sect of the Mormon church and at 18, Carolyn found herself the 4th wife of a 50yr old man, who essentially used her to stave off legal action brought against him by her father – how this happened is actually quite amazing, but Carolyn herself was unable to break away and say “No” (the reasons are in the book – including what happened to her sister when she broke away from the sect).

    That she can write this without hatred for those around her at the time is amazing as is her spirit and willingness to survive once she had left the sect. Her main motivation for leaving in the end was more about how her religion was being subverted by one or more of the leaders of her community.

    I could not put this book down, and found myself reading this in one day and finishing at 2.30am – not good when you have to work the next day.

  49. Thank you, Wraith Cake, for the list of good books. I have a lot of trouble finding good books and some of those mentioned by Mr M., while they may be interesting, do not quite suit my taste (pls note the some). I also have an ambitious plan to read all the classics I can find, but can never find what books are not.

  50. Hey Joe
    Have you read the book “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer
    our schools family resourse worker (elem level) have gotten almost all the staff reading this book and the rest of the set
    If you have what did you think of it if not give it a try

    have a great one


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