Well, just a quick blog entry today as I’m off to have dinner with author John Scalzi and wouldn’t want to besmirch the image of the polite and prompt Canadian. Suffice it to say that today was an interesting day. We walked through Stage 4, the Destiny standing set, and it’s looking mighty impressive. And big! Over on Stage 5, it was a bittersweet stroll through what was once the SGC control room and briefing room.

 

Brad and Rob put out the revised Air two part opener. Paul has apparently finished his outline. I’m motoring along, hitting the sixteen page mark of the first part of the mid-season two-parter. I’ll be writing from home tomorrow as Brad and Rob are in meetings all day tomorrow as prep begins on Air I, II and III.

Yes, I’m still on the program (Sugarless Day 10) and don’t plan on abandoning it so close to the finish line despite the fact that we have reservations at Fuel.

Finally, to anyone surprised by the enormous cost overruns suddenly presented by the upcoming 2010 Olympics = told you so. To those who, like me, made a point of voting against the games, I feel your pain. To those who voted for the games and are now whining about the fact that taxpayers will have to foot the half a billion dollar price tag for construction of the Olympic village = Suck it up. It’s your fault we’re in this mess.

And, on that note, let’s move on to some On Basilisk Station discussion:

Jon K. writes: “I also like the way Weber handled the role of gender in this novel, i’ve read many scifi/militray novels that make most women the “had to face all the hardships of being a woman in the military type”. Yet in this novel all respect Honor earns from her crew is all earned on her actions.”

Answer: Yes, this is an aspect I really appreciated. Honor is unique not because she’s a woman in a command position but an exceptional individual in a command position…who just so happens to be a woman.

Iamza writes: “One of the things I like most about Honor Harrington’s universe is that gender doesn’t seem to be a huge issue. Women are captains and soldiers and engineers and doctors, and some of them are great at their jobs and some of them (the doctor, for example) suck.”

Answer: Exactly. With the exception of Pavel, no one ever targets her for the fact that she is a woman in the military. Those who admire her, like those who despise her or take issue with her, do so because of her character and not because of her gender.

Thornyrose writes: “I love the loathsome evil of Pavel Young, and the type of aristocracy he represents.”

Answer: Agreed. One of my favorite moments in the book comes when Pavel learns of Honor’s successes in clamping down on smuggling in the region. Utterly humiliated, he is desperate to return to Basilisk Station but, with his ship under repairs, he’s screwed.

Antisocialbutterflie writes: “The thing that stuck out to me was that the “captain” barrier was always maintained. It would have been simple to let her turn emotionally to her XO or her chief engineer, seeking more personal interactions, but like a true captain she kept her pride and pain separate from the crew.”

Answer: Yes, which made our glimpses into her thought processes all the more effective in allowing us to get to know her. The fact that her tough, by-the-book exterior belied a very human capacity for self-doubt made her that more endearing.

Antisocialbutterflie also writes: “My one complaint was in the character of Nimitz. While normally I am all for semi-sentient non-human characters, Nimitz didn’t exactly seem to serve a purpose. Any of the parts of the books where he might have been significant, Honor left him in her room. I suspect this may be one of those situations where he will be a bigger player in a later book…”

Answer: I liked the fact that Nimitz, as a creature empathically bonded to Honor, reflected her inner thoughts, in a sense tipping her true feelings despite her otherwise unfathomable front.

Shirt ’n Tie writes: “ I loved the character of Dame Estelle, perfectly drawn as the faded and jaded doyenne of the system though politically isolated, a very capable politico.”

Answer: Next to Honor, my favorite character in the book.

Sparrow_hawk writes: “I felt like I could really understand McKeon: he had been hoping to finally be given command of the ship he loved, but found himself passed over in favor of the younger, less experienced Honor Harrington.”

Answer: My next favorite after Dame Estelle. I appreciated the fact that, exactly as you said, he resented the fact that he had been passed over by someone younger and less experienced. The fact that she was a woman was never an issue for him.

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday fan Specter177.

Today’s video: Paul laments his pairing in the show’s finale scene…

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Fannish

Waaaait…… are you saying the SGC set is GONE?! nooooooooooo! That’s so not right …

Bailey
Bailey

Helloooo, Surgerless Joe!

Jinx

But…even if you voted against it, don’t you have to, in part, foot the bill? That part sucks. Of course, I’m still trying to find some creative financing so I can attend in 2010. (And have some cash left over for a side trip to Fuel.)

Davidd
Davidd

Hey Joe.

Wow, just watched Enemy at the Gate……all I can say is….AMAZING!

Let’s hope SGU is just as good!

Samantha

Well, I’m only a little pver a hundred pages into the book, so not much has happened so far. I’ve found that there are times when the author goes into great detail on the scifi verse that just goes straight over my head, so I’m hoping that the rest isn’t like that, or at least it doesn’t happen as often.
However, so far I’m really liking Honor, I’m a sucker for strong, independent female characters. I’m really looking forward to getting to know her character more. I’m just mad that I left the book for so long (to read Twilight… worst mistake ever… what a nightmare!).

pg15

Hmmm…what about us who didn’t give a fig about the Olympics and didn’t bother to vote? What shall we do? wink

It’s incredible that prep for Air is starting so soon! It’s hard to imagine that we won’t actually see it for at least 6 months. That’s just depressing to think about. But you won’t let us down, right Joe? You’ll capture a preview pic here or there? Yes? Please? Pretty please with suger-free cherry on top?!

Deal.

Also…dinner with John Scalzi, eh? After the little hint you dropped about potentially having authors pitch for Universe, I can’t help but feel that this is more than just a friendly chat between two wordsmiths. grin

Great video!

caitlyanna

I know it’s a little early, but do you know if you’re going to Comic Con in San Diego this year? I bought my ticket (or badge/pass) today and found out that I will get the week off from work, unless someone with more seniority decides to take it away from me. I’ve never been to San Diego let alone Comic Con and I’m so excited. My brother’s already giving me a list of people that I have to get my picture taken with because he can’t go.

Hope you enjoy dinner.

Gen
Gen

Poor Paul. grin Maybe we could have convinced Bob Picardo to sling an arm around him at the end, too. “And I’ve got YOU!”

Thanks for the videos and pics, by the way.

Fannish

I should add to my last post that I’m going to the Creation con in Vancouver in April (I’m in Australia so it’s a big deal) and was looking forward to the set tour as much as anything else sad very sad indeed. “Honestly, there could be tears” (10 points for getting the quote)

Shawna
Shawna

LOL! Love the video. Well, that’s what he gets for being a clone.

Incidentally, I did quite enjoy the Ronon/Banks bit at the end, though, with no eps later to develop their relationship or fill in what may have transpired that we didn’t see, it seems slightly out of place. Let’s hope there’s room in the movie(s) to develop that a bit. Because I really do think she’s the best match for him (at least of the women we’ve seen so far).

Iamjohn
Iamjohn

“Antisocialbutterflie also writes: ‘My one complaint was in the character of Nimitz. While normally I am all for semi-sentient non-human characters, Nimitz didn’t exactly seem to serve a purpose. Any of the parts of the books where he might have been significant, Honor left him in her room. I suspect this may be one of those situations where he will be a bigger player in a later book…’ ”

Don’t worry, Nimitz becomes much more of a player in the story line, particularly in “The Honor of the Queen”, and some of the late series books.

Alexandria
Alexandria

Aww, see Beckett needs Teyla, since Teyla and Sheppard cannot be matched up. wink Beckett deserves to get the hot girl, poor guy has been through so much. He’s definitely a very handsome guy. smile

Thanks for the updates and the videos. I also loved the behind the scenes pictures of the final scene. The cast seems very close.

I’ve been busy accomplishing my new year’s resolution of applying to a job a week. Three jobs applied to so far, and should have another two by the end of the day.

The temperatures here are nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so anyone will cooler temps, please send them south!

I’m looking forward to hearing more SGU news. It sounds like the ratings were very high for the SGA finale…and unless scifi hyped it too much, I don’t think ratings were the reason for the cancellation anymore.

I hope you have a great dinner and that it’s not too difficult to stick to your diet. =)

Seahen
Seahen

Ack! I missed the Honor discussion! I’m not too late am I? I started reading the Honor series about two years ago and I’ve really enjoyed it so far (just finished Ashes of Victory). What really attracts me to it is what’s already been mentioned, in that Honor’s gender is not made an issue. As a former female Air Force officer, I never wanted my gender to define me as an officer so it’s nice to see that reflected in Weber’s writing.

A question or two for Mr. Weber if it’s not too late (or already been asked), what made you choose to make Honor a female character? And I’ve noticed that the Manticorian Navy and the warfare described is very reminiscent of the 18th-19th century English Navy and naval warfare of that time. What inspired you to create the Manticorian Navy this way? Thanks!

PS. Joe, haven’t had a chance to comment lately but I’ve loved this last half season of Atlantis. I’m sorry to see it end.

Narelle from Aus

Have a good night.

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Ahh, Olympic debacles. When will we ever learn? My sympathies to your city. I just hope your local city government doesn’t get it in their minds to start jacking up sales or restaurant taxes. That would put a crimp in any of your readers’ plans to head that way.
I hope the folks at Fuel are aware of your current dietary restrictions. Otherwise they may call for an ambulance for you, assuming you’re suffering from altered mental status. But how cool is it to be able to have dinner with a writer like Mr. Scalzi? Is it safe to say that such dinners are an unexpected dividend to your BotM club work? Enjoy dinner, and meantime I’ll go grind my teeth as my computer refuses to run your video clips. Guess I’ll stop by work tomorrow to get my fix…

belouchi
belouchi

Dear joe,

Well buddy great 5 seasons of SGA and I’m impatiently looking forward for the SGA movie. I hope you guys deliver the same quality in story telling as you did in the series. A question please:

1. How many ZPMS are within our possesion? ( 3 in Atlantis, one in the Odyssey, Does that seem right)

2. Was the Zpm that was given to power the ancient chair of Antartica or might I say Area 51 destroyed along with the chair?

3. Are the ZPMs powering Atlantis nearly depleted?

Thanks buddy

My Name Is Scott
My Name Is Scott

Hey! If the SGC control room and briefing room have been taken down, will they be put back up for future SG1 movies or crossovers, or will they no longer be written into material?

Oh, and if you want to double your hits, include tags for “Stargate Universe” and “Stargate Atlantis” without colons IN ADDITION to the tags that have them.

I can’t wait until SGU!!

Jenny R.
Jenny R.

Ah, the Olympics. Always fun to watch, but not as much fun to pay for.

In regards to the video, I noted that while watching. I turned to my dad and said, “they have everyone all nicely paired up, but then that means Beckett and Woolsey are together.” He just kind of stared at me. I personally think the fanfiction writers should leap on this new development, however. Or it could at least give everyone something new to complain about.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Narelle – That friggin’ spider o’ yours looks like a type of Huntsman (hard for me to tell if its front legs are longer, though…I don’t really want to stare at it that long…):

http://museumvictoria.com.au/spiders/detail.aspx?pid=6

http://amonline.net.au/factsheets/huntsman_spiders.htm

AND thankyouverymuchformakingmelookthatupforyou! I am terribly curious by nature, thus my inability to walk away from the horrific task of identifying that creepyass sucker! You should see how I ‘look’ at the screen when I do this…through my fingers and squinty eyes – with my head turned away for fear one will jump out of the monitor at me – like I’m watching a horror movie! My husband tells me I really need to stop torturing myself… razz

Yeah…about Goggles. What did me in was looking at the pics in the rest of your album, and seeing Goggles. sad So sorry…

I’m bracing myself for a loss – one of my cats is losing weight – had her blood work done, and everything came back fine. I really thought it was thyroid – outside chance it was diabetes (she’s never been fat though) – but that’s all negative, and she eats pretty well. She’s 15 years old, so…yeah…she’s getting in that old age range for cats, when just about anything can happen. She’s the only one of my cats whose age I actually know – we’ve had her since she was a kitten. All the rest were cast offs, and we were never given ages for them, so I have no idea of their age. But at least I’ve given them a nice home, with lots of bedspreads and pillows and area rugs to puke on. razz

das

Sparrow_hawk

Dame Estelle — how could I have forgotten to mention her! She is another great example of the exceptionally well developed side characters in On Basilisk Station. I liked her a lot, too. And she had a great name: Matsuko Estelle. Interesting multicultural mix there.

Reading through the reviews really brought home how rich in detail the book was. It provided a fully fleshed-out universe complete with explanations of how the galaxies had been populated, background on the politics of some of the major powers, and extensive scientific rationale for why things worked the way they did. And then there was all of the naval protocol, explanation of tactics and the detail of the space battles. Pretty amazing when you stop and think about it.

And lots of good names, too. I like creative, well-thought-out names for characters.

While I appreciated the explanations of the tactical decisions and the background science, I found the story of how mankind spread out among the stars, the intergalactic politics that influenced the goings on around Medusa and how the various factions gained their power much more interesting. And other people that read the book loved the naval stuff and glossed over the political/cultural details. But there was something there for all of us.

I may have to pick up the next book after all… just to see what happens next.

My thanks in advance to David Webster for taking the time to visit and answer questions.

@das: Well, while the Age of Sail comment wasn’t aimed directly at you, I did hope you might pick up on it and maybe consider browsing the book at some later date. Once you get caught up with Elric. wink

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

PS @ Narelle – I got so flustered over that damn spider, I forgot everything else! Did you name him Edward after *my* Edward Sleazyhands? wink

RE: the other stuff – I’ll e-mail ya soon…

@ ytimynona – RE: NCIS – Tori wasn’t the only Atlantis alumni on that show tonight, so was David Dayan Fisher as Trent Kort, who played ‘Baden’ in The Game, one of my favorite eps.

das

Belouchi
Belouchi

Dear Joe,

Now that you guys at Bridge Studios have a better grasp of the complexities of Stargate Universe:

1. Do you know roughly, the size and scope of The Destiny? Is it comparable to an Aurora Class ship, or more in the range of a mega ship such as Anubis mothership or Atlantis like ship.

2. Do you know where we can get Pierre Herme Macarons in Montreal?

Thanks Joe.

Margaret Clayton

“Sugarless Day 10” Sounds like a Skiffy Original Movie. Will there be blood?

crazymom1

I got a copy of The Living Dead from our library, but GeekBoy pounced on it as soon as I came in the door, and he’s in no hurry to give it back. He is fascinated by everything zombie at the moment (okay, it’s been almost two years now).

sylvia
sylvia

For Fannish – Malcom Reynolds as he discusses the heist and in the event River is hurt.

Looking forward to the dinner photos.