Universe Creative Consultant John Scalzi
Stargate: Universe Creative Consultant John Scalzi
Carl and James
Carl and James
Brad and John
Brad and John
Where Destiny will be docked.
Where Destiny will be docked.
Foie gras
Foie gras
Sweeeet scallops
Sweeeet scallops
Le Crispy Canard presented...
Le Crispy Canard presented...
...and served.
...and served.
John's first duck
John's first duck
Dessert!
Dessert!
Les mignards
Les mignards

Back in 2006, I read a novel that totally blew me away and single-handedly revived my passion for literary SF: Old Man’s War by author John Scalzi. It was smart, humorous, and unbelievably entertaining. So entertaining, in fact, that I ended up recommending it to anyone and everyone – friends, fans, and family alike. And their responses were equally enthusiastic. I picked up the second and third book in the series, The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony, and enjoyed them so much that I made another Scalzi novel, The Android’s Dream, a Book of the Month Club selection on this very blog (for this stragglers who’d yet to discover the man). And today, it gives me great pleasure to (finally) welcome John Scalzi to the Stargate: Universe production as its new Creative Consultant.

Now what, you may ask, does a Creative Consultant do? Well, allow me to inform, clarify, and put some rumors to rest…

1. Does a Creative Consultant provide commentary on scripts in development?

Yes, the Creative Consultant reads outlines and scripts, helping to creatively shape a future episode by providing insightful input along the lines of “The color of alien plant life is dependent upon things like atmospheric chemistry, and the proximity and brightness of the star the planet happens to be orbiting!” or “Uh, James can’t be the one who saves Young. You killed her off back in episode three.”

2. Does a Creative Consultant write scripts?

It’s theoretically possible, yes. If he’s got the time, a good idea, and the inclination – why the hell not? So long as it’s understood that I’ve already called dibs on any potential future storylines involving smart-aleck robots, telepathic dogs (the beauty is that, from a visual effects standpoint, their lips never have to move), or ending with the audience realization that the episode they just watched was actually a story being read to Jelly (the ship’s telepathic canine mascot) by Anne D. Roid (the Destiny’s sassy robot caretaker).

3. If a Creative Consultant has a problem with the script, is he/she allowed to physically punish the writer?

Alas, gone are the days when studio executives could march into the production offices unannounced and kick a writer for such transgressions as contrived plotting, wooden dialogue, or liberal use of the Canadian spelling of color (“colour“). Today, as unfair as it sounds, you must have a pretty good reason to kick a writer. A weak third act break or the shoddy job he did waxing your car just won‘t cut it anymore. State labor laws and the inroads made by the WGA in recent years have all but eliminated the physical abuse of writers, except under the following circumstances:

Writer misses a script deadline = A warning for the first offense and pinky twist for the second offense (note: while the bestowing of extreme discomfort or the eliciting of plaintive cries and tears is permissible, fractures and dislocation are not. Note: Sprains are a bit of grey area open to debate.).

Writer’s script is short = Unlike a long script which can be sent back for editing, any work the writer does to a short script will amount to either the padding out of existing material or the addition of superfluous scenes. On such occasions, it is permissible for the producer to administer one paper cut to any area of the writer’s body (excluding the eye and genital area.  Note: This particular clause being an annoying antiquated holdover from the old Geneva Convention.) for every page the writer is short (assuming the average page count).

Writer fails to bring back everyone’s lunch order in a timely manner = Another area open to debate: What constitutes “a timely manner”? Well, a recent agreement between the WGA and the AMPTP defines “a timely manner” as: “An interval of time up to general grumbling but not to exceed the moment at which a producer must trek to the kitchen in search of a handful of nuts to tide him over”. In this instant, it IS permissible to strike the writer BUT ONLY WITH AN OPEN FIST (closed-fist strikes are reserved for actual screw-ups with the lunch orders – ie. A failure to ensure there is, in fact, mayo on your burger.).

Writer produces a script that necessitates a full rewrite on the part of the producer = Punishable by one kick, a head butt, or two swirlies to take place at a mutually agreed upon toilet. (On the bright side, should the rewrite succeed, the fact that the writer’s name remains on the finished product will undoubtedly win him/her the accolades of many a fan who simply don’t know any better.).

4. Does the Creative Consultant get an office and a parking space?

Since Creative Consultants tend to be involved in a more infrequent manner, contributing whenever a script or outline is delivered as opposed to being a part of a production’s day-to-day operations, they are generally not afforded the luxury of their own office. Nor are they given their own parking space although, on occasions they do visit the offices, their on-screen credit ensures they must submit to only the most minimal of cavity searches prior to gaining admittance to the lot.

5. How much does a Creative Consultant get paid?

Numerous factors come into play here: background, experience, size of the production, workload. These factors are carefully weighed and, after some discussion, both the production and Creative Consultant agree on a reasonable rate – to be paid in World of Warcraft currency (note: John, please check the fine print in your contract).

Hope that answers some of your questions.

Anyway, John came by the production offices yesterday. We sat all sat around and discussed the show and the Air three-parter, took a stroll down to Stages 4 and 5 to tour the in-progress Universe sets, discussed John’s involvement in the production and, finally, moved on to the most important part of his visit: Dinner at Fuel.

We sat down to a five-course menu and, for my very first time, as a customer I actually gave them specifics as to what I could not eat: sugar, fruit, and starches. “What are you going to have for dessert?”owner Tom Doughty wondered aloud. But, twenty minutes later, returning to serve us our first course, he was all smiles. “We’ve got the perfect dessert for you,”he assured me.

Well, to all of you particular about your food, head on over to Fuel because the gang loves a good challenge. I started with a delicious brodo with sliced wild game sausage, followed by a mouth-meltingly good seared foie gras on salsify and creamed Jerusalem Artichokes, then some sweet and tender grilled scallops, and, finally, the house crispy duck for my main. It was John’s first time having duck and he was, as expected, wowed by Fuel’s version. In fact, John seemed to really enjoy all five courses, particularly his dessert: a chocolate terrine that he luxuriated over, polishing off one leisurely bite at a time. As for me, my dessert was a dry-aged Alberta prime rib steak with beet salad. I kid you not. Even though I was close to tapped out, there’s always room for dessert, right? I ate half and brought the other half home for Fondy (who didn’t eat it fast enough so I had it for breakfast this morning). To complete the meal, we were served a tray of little bite-sized sweets: nougats, gelees, sables, and, for me, celery sticks with all natural peanut butter. All in all, a meal most creative AND delicious. My compliments to Ted who called the shots in the kitchen.

As for the company – well, what can I say – Scalzi is as hugely entertaining one on one as he is on the page (If you don’t believe me, have dinner with him.). We talked about books, film, television, writing, family life, travel, food, and, oh yeah, Ohio sushi restaurants. Lotsa fun. Looking forward to working with him.

Finally – I was walking by the kitchen yesterday and ran into actor Mike Dopud who played Colonel Chernovshev in SG-1’s Full Alert, Odai Ventrell in SG-1’s Bounty, and Kiryk in Atlantis’s Tracker (see last season, editor). He was in the office, awaiting a copy of Tracker, so I seized the opportunity to invite him to do a fan Q&A on this blog (ie. “Hey, Mike, I’m not sure if you’re aware but the terms of your contract require you to do an online question and answer session on a blog of the producer’s choosing…”). Anyway, Mike contacted me this morning to tell me he’d be happy to swing by. So, if you’ve got questions for this former pro athlete turned stuntman turned talented actor, start posting.

66 thoughts on “January 14, 2009: Scalzi and Stargate, Together At Last

  1. I got a question for Mike Dopud! -waves hand in the air frantically- What’s your favourite book, and if said book were to be adapted into a movie, which part would you most like to play?

  2. Hi Joe!

    Yet another yummy sounding dinner! 🙂 And John Scalzi to boot! WooHoo!

    So glad someone so talented (and darn funny) is joining SGU’s production crew!!! (That’s the right term, right? Or is he Guy Who Hangs Out Sometimes and Does Stuff?)

    What does salsify taste like?

    I’ll start thinking of questions for Mike. So sweet of him to comply to…uh…”his contract!”

    eddy

  3. 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?
    Also that now that you guys at Bridge Studios have a better grasp of the complexities of Stargate Universe:
    4. 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.
    5. Do you know where we can get Pierre Herme Macarons in Montreal?

    Thanks buddy

  4. John Scalzi joining SGU – Sweet
    Mike Dopud doing Q&A – Sweet – many of us wondered about Kiryk. He was just great in Tracker and looks good too!

    I’ve gotta try the duck at Fuel…it looks wonderful.
    Thanks for the dinner photos…love to dine vicariously through you.

  5. I do have a question for Joe and John. Will there be a Movie comming soon cause rumor has it that there might not be a movie cause none of the real cast has signed, but imdp.com says they are.

  6. Hey Joe, I dont have a question for John, but I do have one for you. Have you read Twilight, or any of the other books in the series?? Or seen the movie??

  7. Writer fails to bring back everyone’s lunch order in a timely manner = Another area open to debate: What constitutes “a timely manner”? Well, a recent agreement between the WGA and the AMPTP defines “a timely manner” as: “An interval of time up to general grumbling but not to exceed the moment at which a producer must trek to the kitchen in search of a handful of nuts to tide him over”. In this instant, it IS permissible to strike the writer BUT ONLY WITH AN OPEN FIST (closed-fist strikes are reserved for actual screw-ups with the lunch orders – ie. A failure to ensure there is, in fact, mayo on your burger.).
    *****************

    OMG! I love this one..I’m going to see if I can get this written into my company’s policy..I’ll just need to change the words writer/producer ..I hope you don’t mind!

    I don’t have any questions for Mike but please let him know I think he is HOT! and he did an excellent job playing Kiryk and I actually was choked when he sacrificed himself to save everyone else..AND I would have loved it if they made him a regular or recurring character on SGA..that is how great he was..I don’t usually miss a character that I see once on a show but he left me wanting more… 🙂

  8. Brad and Joe look so solemn in that picture. Have you ever been beaten in the terms of writing? I can’t believe how long you’ve gone without sugar, well done

  9. OMG! DUCK! Must try that sometime.

    Plus, John Scalzi on SGU! Bonus!

    SGA note – the last two episodes were well-written, although oddly dissatisfying.

    Vegas: Awesome episode…but not really an episdode of Atlantis! Second last episode is a time to start wrapping up the storylines not a time to start writing AU fanfiction!

    Enemy At The Gates: Awesome series ending…for SG1! SG Atlantis was supposed to be about the New Galaxy, New Allies, New Opportunities, and New Enemies…not about Earth! So why did you take Atlantis to face the Wraith on Earth, leaving the Pegasus galaxy stuck with the Wraith? Totally wrecks the premise of the show: John Sheppard wakes up a new evil and stays in a strange land to fight it and find his sense of home and family.

    I have watched since Day 1, and enjoyed reading your blog and commentaries, even though I don’t comment. (End of show is exception.) But somewhere in the last couple of seasons, Joe, I feel like you lost the point.

    Overall, Atlantis is an okay show, but I’m sorry to say it’ll never be as great in my books as BSG, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Firefly, or even Eureka.

    Maybe you’ll do better on Universe with John’s help. I am intrigued to see.

  10. Thank you so much for clarifying the role of a creative consultant and how they work with the show’s writers. That was a wonderful job description (payment in World of Warcraft money, eh? tee hee!). The administration in my hospital intermittently requests a “job description” from me and usually I just procrastinate until they forget about it — a technique that has served me well for the past 10 years. But I’m going to keep your excellent description to use as a template if they ever corner me and I can’t weasel my way out of writing it!

    Congratulations on snagging John Scalzi as your Creative Consultant! I have not yet read “The Old Man’s War” but it is on my shelf waiting for me and I’ve heard very good things about it. It’s next on my reading list.

    That dinner looks fantastic. I had a meatball sandwich from Potbelly’s for dinner. *sigh*

  11. Any chance that if Atlantis gets a second movie it would be Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow? I personally thought it was a great idea, possibly the best time travel concept Stargate has come up with.

  12. Hey, I call foul. Peanut butter and celery sticks is an after-school snack, not part of a gourmet meal.

    Great to hear about the new consultant. I’m sure once I read Old Man’s War, I’ll be even more excited.

  13. Hey Joe!

    What else can I say about Scalzi and SGU but SWEET!

    😀

    My internet is down so I’m using Jeremy’s internet on his phone. It’s times like these that remind me why I married a computer geek. 😆

    Alright. I’m givin’ the geek his precious internet access back.

    Take care!

    Trish

  14. To Mike Dopud ~

    First, I juist wanted to say that Kiryk was utterly captivating from the first moment your character appeared! He’s the #1 character that I wish we could have seen again in the series! Thank you for bringing him to life for us, for making him a character to care about!

    Now for questions ….

    1) I understand that you have quite a range of talent in the acting world, doing stage, television/movie acting, stunt acting, and voice-overs — what aspect did you get your acting start in, and how did you get into those other areas? Do you have a preference?

    2) Wikipedia says that you’re also an athelete — what sport(s) do you participate in?

    3) Which actors and directors would you most like to work with, given a chance?

    4) What’s been your most and least favourite roles so far?

    5) What would be your dream role? (It can be something vague, like a mustache-twirling villain, or a specific role that’s already been done, like Han Solo.)

    6) Of all the costumes you’ve had to wear, which have you liked the best in your career? The least? And what one has been hardest to perform in?

    7) Of things you haven’t appeared in, what are some of your favourite plays? Movies? TV shows?

    8) If you pitted the three Stragate characters you’ve played against each other in a fight, who would win?

  15. Will you get into trouble for revealing the secrets of company discipline? I was rolling through the whole explanation. Though it’s a shame Mr. Scalzi is coming on board too late to enjoy the full benefits of his Creative Consultant title. I can only wonder what penalties he might have imposed for such offenses as egregious punstering, retreading of prior plots without extenuating plot twists, or spilling of drinks on the produer’s copy of the script. Given his obvious inventiveness, it would be educational to see what Mr. Scalzi would come up with.
    The more you talk about Fuel, the higher on my list of “to do before I do” it moves. May even manage to swing a visit to that establishment in the foreseeable future. I’m counting on you to make sure they stay in business until I can check that item off of said list.
    Thanks for getting Mr. Dopud to agree to do a blog visit. I hope to have some questions ready for him tomorrow.

  16. I can’t wait to get to Fuel…every time you talk about that place I get giddy—and it rocks to know that they will be able ot meet my needs of what I can’t eat. I should be getting the menu for Feb 14th soon—at least the manager said I would…I can’t wait. I also hope to find a place that actually does schnitzel RIGHT! Any suggestions?
    Ooh on another note—Brent Weeks (author of the Night Angel Trilogy) has asked me to be the moderator for his forum—I am thrilled and overwhelmed but you may ask yourself why is she telling me this…simple-if it wasn’t for me taking part in your books of the month selections I would have never truly hunkered down and read my Joe Abercrombie book and then never realized I love fantasy when someone who can destroy the box writes a story. So thank you! Oh and where is the studio—I would love a picture outsided in front of the gates when we get up there…that would rock!

  17. John Scalzi as creative consultant on Universe?

    It made me squee on a day when I thought I was too tired from shoveling snow to squee.

    Well done.

  18. To Mike Dopud: I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your work on SG1 and SGA. I would have to say that I enjoyed you as Kiryk the most. I love characters like him that pretend they are tough but really have a soft side. You really brought that in his character. Thanks.

    Questions:
    Out of all the characters on Stargate franchise which one did you like the most/least to play?

    If asked would you come back to the Stargate franchise on SGA as Kiryk or even SGU as another
    character?

    Thanks for the Q&A.

    @Joe: Will we see Rob Cooper and Paul Mullie’s Q and A soon? Glad to see that there is an Ohioan on board SGU staff. What area in Ohio is Scalzi from?

    Thanks.

  19. @ tamijb – Just have a sec, and didn’t want to ignore your question…

    I am loving Sanctuary, although I am a bit worried about a couple things that won’t be resolved until next season – namely, ‘Foot’s fate, and…well…that’s about it…lol. Really very busy today, with little time to think. As far as the last ep, to be honest, I was totally distracted because of EatG, and I must watch it again to fully take everything in. What I actually paid attention to I loved (esp. Druitt’s reaction to the ‘naked’ kids… 😆 ). As far as Chris goes, well…what can I say. He just makes me fall in love with whatever character he portrays! Not sure how he is in real life, but on the screen he just oozes charisma! I have yet to be disappointed in him, or his characters.

    But, gotta run! Catching up on my comic books tonight (I still have about 50 to tackle…maybe 75… 😆 I’m all caught up with both Iron Man books, Wolverine Origins, Astonishing X-Men, X-Force, the current special events, and some odd one-shots here and there. Just read 1985 (saved that one to read all at once – I really should switch to trades on some of these things…). I think I’m caught up with Uncanny, too. Have only a few Ultimate U books to read…but WAY behind on Amazing Spider-Man. 😛 Saving Wolverine’s current arc until I get all the books, and but behind on Wolverine First Class, and a few odd X-books here and there. Yeah, I’m thinking about 50 books, oh…and then a ton of back issues I picked up a while back…oh, and…Sparrow_hawk! I picked up the first Elric book (which is actually in book #3 of this confusing collection I bought…I think they’re released in publishing order, not in chronological order, just to screw with my OCD)…so, maybe about mid-July…2022…I’ll finally get to read it… 😛

    @ Joe – I really didn’t have time to ‘read’ your blog tonight (I wonder why 🙄 ), but I skimmed through – I’ll save it for coffee tomorrow morn – it looks good. But congrats on bringing in the new guy…and maybe someday I’ll get around to reading Mr. Scalzi’s work, but by that time I’ll probably be like…105, or something. 😛

    Maybe I should switch to audiobooks…

    das

  20. I just hope you advised Mr. Scalzi of just what he is getting himself into in the interests of full disclosure and all that.

  21. Congratulations on the Scalzi pickup Joe. Fantastic.
    I’m sure John Scalzi would be able to barter with his WoW currency and end up getting more than 1:1. I hear it’s the only currency holding up in these tough economic times.

    Now that would have been a great dinner to sit in on.

    Trish – I don’t have a spider phobia, but if a bird eating spider dropped on my head and plunged a set of fangs in, I’d be fainting too. I’d also be walking around constantly looking at the sky from that day forth.

    Das – You show a lot of pluck for an arachnophobe.

  22. Some questions for Mr. Mike Dopud:

    > How did you like working with Jewel, David, and Jason in Tracker?

    > Have you ever worked with any Atlantis cast member in the past?

    > Did you do all your own stunts in Tracker?

    > What was your favorite scene in Tracker and why?

    > Your character and Jason’s character are/were both runners. Personality wise, how do you think Kiryk was different from Ronon?

    > Do you think your character Kiryk survived after diving through the gate with the Wraith in tow?

    > Of your 3 appearances in SG1 and SGA, which was your favorite and why?

    > Any upcoming projects you’d like to mention?

    > Joe mentioned you were a pro athlete. Care to elaborate?

    Thank you Mike for stopping by Joe’s blog. Joe must be a smooth talker to get you to agree to a Q&A. Really enjoyed your character and performance in Tracker. Good luck with your future projects!

    Lesley

  23. Fuel: one of my favourite restaurants on the rare occasions I make it down to Vancouver.

    John Scalzi: one of my favourite authors – I do hope you’ve read Zoe’s Tale too Mr Mallozzi – it’s well up to Mr Scalzi’s high standards.

    You had the kind of evening I shall reserve the right to envy you for…

  24. G’day Joe

    Celery and peanut butter…
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Now where did the kids hide my peanut butter, must go find it.

    Bye
    Janet

  25. Joe, a question regarding corporal punishment of writers:

    Is a pinky fracture more likely to be dismissed if the chided has been given fair warning that, if he continues to twist hia arm in such a manner that the laws of momentum will be ultimately responsible for his consequential suffering?

    I don’t have any questions for Mr. Dopud at the moment, though. Definitely say hey for me.

  26. Scalzi is a pretty awesome author. 🙂 I have a question for you, my good sir. I posted this on your about, but whatever, lol. Just out of the curiosity (mainly my brother and sister-in-law) will we EVER see Jack and Sam together? “Together” being defined as: not in some for of dream/vision/not real. lol. where it’s real and they both remember it. lol.

    Question for Mr. Mike: So, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being completely awesome) how awesome is it being a stunt man? lol. Pretty lame question, I know.

  27. This is why I never took lunch orders at my last job.
    Teachers can get mean if you don’t get their orders correct.

    Sorry to say I haven’t read Mr. Scalzi’s books. I’ll have to add them to my list of books. I can’t get through the ones that you’ve recc’d in the last couple of months.

    I can’t wait to see the ship for SGU. You’re teasing us with shots of the soundstage door.

  28. Hello Joe

    I have to say thank you for Stargate Atlantis. I just finished watching Vegas and wondering what’s going on. My kidlets have told me snippits of what happens on Enemy at the Gate. My son bought it from itunes, apparently I have two kidlets that could NOT wait for it to be on itunes. You see here in Canada we only have one choice and that is to pay for the Movie Network is some form or another. I’d rather buy from itunes & then get the DVD’s when they come out with LOTS of bonus material.

    Reading today’s blog will make my youngest kidlet happy because she LOVES your dogs and thinks they should play an part on Universe. You see I’ve converted both of them to Stargate Addicts. Is there a support group out there for 11 and 14 year olds?

    Your dessert was the most boring yet creative food I’ve seen you write about.

    Movie release dates? DVD dates? Is Stargate Universe going to be on anything other than The Movie Network in Canada like say our wonderful Space Channel? PLEASE let Space get the rights!

    mini2z and the kidlets

  29. Hi there Mr M

    Just to echo again the great news about Mr Scalzi!!
    You know, it’s funny, I don’t have ‘net access at home, (more of a pre-requisite to happy domestic bliss than anything else) but over dinner last night, I broke the news to Her Royal Highness about the latest addition to Universe’s Team. Feigning interest between fork fulls and paper browsing, she asked me to spell the surname, and, not missing a beat said:

    “Hmmm, I think that’s just Joe Mallozzi trying to expand the
    “Writers whose name end in “ZI”” Club”
    …..and continued on browsing the newspaper.

    Is there a point? If I change my name to add a “zi” can I join up??? Can I? Can I?

    Best to all

    Shirt’n’Tie-zi

  30. Great news that John Scalzi is going to be working on SGU. I love how he writes his characters. It has been quite a while since I read a book where the characters come alive so quickly and clearly.

    I have a question about the SGA movie. I have read that the SGA movie will air first on SCI-FI and then be released on DVD while others say that it will a straight to DVD like the other Stargate movies. Can you clear this up?

  31. Great news about Scalzi! I read about his new gig over on his blog, and was delighted. SGU is sounding better all the time.

  32. Re: On Basilisk Station, David Weber

    I’m a bit late: Because the only place I could find selling this book was Amazon.co.uk, and they screwed up my order. I finally got a copy on Monday this week (12th) by going to eReader.com and getting an electronic version instead. Even though my laptop is small, it’s not so easy to carry around as a paperback.
    Enough of my troubles. On to my thoughts…

    I enjoyed the story, I liked the way that the protagonist being female didn’t alter the perceptions of any one, other than Young, as to her fitness for the task of commanding HMS Fearless. I was very amused by the reading of the commission from paper, continuing a very, very old naval tradition. There were parts of the book which I felt were dwelt on for longer than was necessary, but I really liked the characters. My favourite was Honor Harrington, she reminded me more of Ramage than of Hornblower, and I liked the way she dealt with the ship, and the crew,and would not be swayed from any course of action she considered to be correct matched against the Naval regulations. I amused me that she hid the treecat, Nimitz, away when she didn’t want it to give away her feelings at certain times.

    My second favourite was Dame Estelle Matsuko. Another strong character who was prepared to do the right thing even though that might mean the end of her career.

    Thirdly, McKeon: There are probably quite a few amongst us who have felt the way he did about being passed over for promotion, sometimes rightly, sometime wrongly, as in this case. I liked that we were made privy to his inner thoughts, especially when he knew he was wrong, but couldn’t seem to help himself.

    I think I’ll try to get hold of the next book in the series.

    One question, in two parts, for the author: Looking back on your books: Is there anything in any one of them that you think you should have left out of the story; is there anything you felt you should have added to the story.

  33. On Basilisk Station, David Weber: a little late, not much further to say that hasn’t been said, but I really enjoyed this series when I last read it, I always love to read about strong military women, space battles, new civilizations and I just adore the treecat. Most of this series is on my shelf so don’t include me in your drawing. Highly recommended and no questions.

    Mr Scalzi and SGU. Hmmm.
    DD

  34. Well, I’m excited now. Creatively speaking.

    Just a thought….as commentors, we don’t have any fine print in our contracts….do we?

    *frantically searches for “reader’s contract” amid the downloads*

  35. I have to say, it’s pretty darn cool that you have a SF author as a creative consultant. Unfortunately, I haven’t read any of his books, but I’ll be sure to try and pick one up in the coming weeks.

  36. Ouch on the paper cut, that would be the worst! ..thanks for the food pics, will have to go to Canada sometime(warmer weather)(lol) to try this restaurant. Good luck to Mr Scalzi, just ordering Zoe’s Tale, should be here tomorrow. and couldn’t find that David Weber one in the store, also ordering it, thanks again Mr. M. Have a great day!
    ;-D

  37. I liked today’s blog but the other one you did about the writers room (a star rating system, dancing/humiliation atop the writers table) will be very hard to top.

    Were/Are you a fan of The Frantics?

  38. How story-arc-based (if that’s a word) is SGU going to shape? Are you going with the old SG-1 way and having only the two- and three-parters tie into each other (with the rest being, although fun, fillers that contributed to some stories but could’ve been anywhere in the season), something along the lines of Heroes where every episode directly continues where the previous ep ended (which is very fun to see, imo), or something in between like SGA season 1 where the episodes were kinda stand-alone (except for the two/three-parters, ofc) but also contributed to the overall arc each episode?

  39. PS RIP Ricardo Montalban (Khan) and Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner), two actors I’ve always loved. I thought it was brilliant to get Ricardo to reprise his role for ST II, my fave movie of the series. His accent was always perfect. And The Prisoner, especially, was an absolutely brilliant TV show for its time- and still holds up. Patrick’s accent was great too.
    Be Seeing You.

  40. Aaaaahhhhahahahahaha!!

    Your blog was the perfect compliment to MY breakfast this morn…thin-crusted brick oven pizza, topped with sausage, roasted red peppers, fresh rosemary and calamata olives. Mmmmm!!!

    *wonders how many deadline-missing pinky twists Joe’s had…*

    😉

    das

  41. PS…my breakfast is now being finished off with a hot cup of coffee…and Ecuadorian rainforest chocolate decadence cake…it’s like really creamy fudge. Mmm-mmm-MMM! I LOVE refrigerator-cleaning day! Woo! And tonight, we polish off the puerco pibil (which is better now than the day I cooked it).

    On the downside, however…I gave my early December cold to Mr. Das, who – in turn – developed bronchitis. In paybacks, he has now returned my cold to me, with interest. This is gonna be one miserable weekend… 😛

    das

  42. @ Narelle – Not sure if it’s ‘pluck’, or just me having a thing for self-torture… 😛

    das

  43. Coucou Joseph! Vous allez bien? Moi super! =)

    Merci de toutes ces information sur le trvail d’un consultant : )

    C’est photos son cool =) Sa donne faim tout sa^^^!

    Passer une trés bonne journée, a demain!

  44. sgu is starting to look promising 😀

    few questions on EATG

    1.how did noone notice atlantis given he fact it was so close to the earth and it would have kicked up water on reentry?

    2. why couldnt o’neill (or someone else) pilot the chair instead of john?

    3.This doesn’t mean we are going to have only crossover films does it?

  45. Hey Joe!

    Wow, you sure know how to set up a food challenge, but alas, you could not stump those chefs at Fuel! Makes me want to go to it even more, those are some top-notch chefs. Plus, celery and peanut butter at the end? Now that is genius. 😉

    Thanks as always, and it is really good to see that you brought about Scalzi. Just make sure he doesn’t beat you guys up too much! 😀

    – Enzo Aquarius

  46. Question:
    So, is hitting with an open fist the same as a “slap”?

    Comment:
    I just finished Old Man’s War last night. Great read! I can’t wait to see what Mr. Scalzi brings to the table.

  47. @das: I know what you mean about Big Foot. I was wondering about him as well since they didn’t show him or talk about him. I think the reason I love Sanctuary so much is because you never know what to expect. I’m wondering if Sanctuary will be back after Battle Star is over or in the summer when SGU is on. All I know is that I am glad that they are renewing it and we have more to look forward to.

    Tami

  48. Hey Joe,

    Longtime fan of SG and your blog. Thanks for 5 years of Atlantis!!! While I was disappointed in some of the writing over the past season and or two, I always enjoyed watching the show. Sad to see it’s over, but very much looking forward to an SGA movie and SGU!

    Speaking of which, I really hope SGU takes advantage of Atlantis on Earth and launches the expedition from there. As with Star Trek, which SG seems to be modeling itself after (ie DS9 = Atlantis, Universe = Voyager), each previous series launched the next. SG1 launched Atlantis, it seems only fitting that Atlantis launch Universe, much like DS9 launched Voyager. It would be great to factor in info gleamed from Atlantis’s database to find the Destiny. I always felt like you guys never did enough with Atlantis. The city is over one million years old, right? Seems like the expedition barely scratched the surface of what was there in five years. The show never spent enough time exploring the city… with the exception of Janus’s lab, VERY COOL!

    I really hope Universe gets gritty and pushes the boundaries like early SG1 and BSG. So much potential, please don’t hold back… give us your best and take us to places we’ve never seen in SG!

    Best,
    – Mike J

  49. Hey Joe,
    Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog. It amazes me that you can sit down and work on your scripts all day and then still find the time and inspiration to write a humorous blog. On that note, how do you find that inspiration to write everyday. I’m an author of a published book about sustainable living and I’m working on my first fiction novel. I’m finding that there are several days a week when I just can’t “get it up to write.” When you get that feeling do you have any tricks to get past that? I find that I do most of my writing in spurts, and I’d really like to refine my process. Any book or website recommendations are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Stephanie

  50. Those are some mighty fine lookin’ scallops. Peanut butter and celery? Ah, dude. Glad you like celery. Way to hang in there.

    A Boy and his Telepathic Dog. Wait, wait, that sounds familiar ….

    Hubby is having sinus surgery tomorrow. Nothing too serious, but it sounds icky to me. Yeah, we’re going to scrape out your sinuses. Blerg.

    Anyone know of good places to chow down in Malaga? Mirbella? ‘Cause we’re going next week.

  51. Scalzi and Stargate! It’s like my two best friends got married! WOW. And yes, he is even funnier in person – got to share a coffee-klatsch with him at world con. Ask him some time about unicorn sex.

    Congrats Mr M and everyone at Stargate!

  52. Hi Joe,
    I have been reading quite a few pieces of information about Universe today. It seems very interesting and the addition of Scalzi sounds good too.
    But from the casting sides and writers guide thingy, the show just doesn’t seem very Stargatey, if you know what I mean.
    From what I have read, I would probably watch it, but never associate it at all with your Stargate franchise.
    So, I just hope, in your quest to forge a new direction for Universe, you don’t lose the essential good humor and team feel that the other two shows had, and that I loved.

  53. As terrific as you Stargate writers are, the addition of John Scalzi as creative consultant can only bring untold riches to Universe. It almost makes up for the loss of Atlantis.

  54. Wow. US Airways pilot successfully landed his plane in the Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese, and losing his engines. 150 on board, and so far, no reports of death.

    Todd would be so proud! 😀

    @ tamijb – I fear the lack of info on ‘Foot means the worst…but I’ll wait and see. The show is exciting, the characters are turning out to be very entertaining…and I like the stories within a story. I’m thinking if it’s renewed, it might run with SGU, which would make sense.

    das

  55. Heya Joe,

    I was watching a doco on Hubble the other night.
    It’s rather sad that once it is decommissioned it will end up a fiery ball that crashes into the ocean.
    The Hubble has played such an important part in what we know about space it’s a shame it won’t end up in a space museum for future generations to see.

    Maybe I should start a “Save The Hubble” campaign. I’d only need to raise a few billion to bring it back to Earth.

    However, with no previous “Save … ” campaign experience, perhaps I should start a little smaller. I might start with “Save the Iceberg Lettuce” (a valid and just cause) and work my way to Hubble. Maybe, just may-be.

  56. Hi Joe,

    thanks for the Mike Dopud QA session!

    For Mike Dopud :
    First I would love to say, that I admire you for having the courage to break the barrier between worlds of stuntmen and actors. It’s impressive how convincing you can be in your roles and how different every role is! I loved Kiryk and loved to hate Torko 🙂
    I would love to ask some questions for my Facebook fansite, but looks like my member ‘wolfenm’ already did the job for me 🙂
    Okay… 1. Any possibility we could see you in the new SGU?

    2. How difficult was the transition from stuntman to actor? Did you encounter some..mm.. resistance?

    3. If you could not do THIS job, what would you do?

    4. Which role you consider to be your biggest ‘breakthrough’ so far?

    5. Do you have any official fanmail address?
    6. What qualities do you value the most in people?

    Well, thank you for your time and wishing you the very best 🙂

  57. I’ve enjoyed the SG1 and Atlantis series a great deal, based especially on the tremendous writing talent they’ve shown.

    The use of Scalzi on the new series gives me pause. I have to admit that drafting such a hack writer for the new series makes me wonder how much influence he will have over the series and whether it is an indication of the quality of the writing team as a whole.

    I’m at a loss regarding all the love given up to Scalzi for his regurgitations of other, greater, writers’ ideas and his generally lazy writing. Yes, he’s successful (although that is a mystery to me also), but surely someone must have noticed the quality of his work.

    Please just put his name in the credits, cut him a check, and stroke his ego, but afford him as little influence of the series as possible. Otherwise, I fear you will have a short-lived series that appeals to the lowest common denominator.

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