First off, allow me to welcome and respond to two new readers to this blog, both of whom posted comments in response to yesterday’s entry.
Sherry Harris writes: “Brian’s mom here, Mr. Mallozzi! Thank you so much for the compliments. I am extremely proud of my son, he is not only very talented and smart, but kind and humble as well. Thank you for the reassurance that he is being well taken care of, that helps. I cannot wait to get to Vancouver to see Brian, to visit the set and meet everyone. I am hoping to meet your pugs as well, I love dogs almost as much as Brian does.
I look forward to reading your blog every night. And I admit I glance through to see if there is any news of my son first!
Thank you again!”
Your son is, indeed, all of the above. Monday saw him delivering a tough and very emotional performance that he nailed not once, not twice, but five times, every one as strong as the one before. After the fifth take, I glanced over at Exec. Producer Rob Cooper who was looking back at me with a knowing smile, well aware of exactly what I was going to say: “He‘s great!” A wide-eyed Exec. Producer Carl, sitting to my left, concurred with an enthusiastic nod. I predict a long and successful career ahead of him.
One of the things that first struck me about Brian was (and continues to be) his genuine enthusiasm for his work. On the day of his costume fitting, he swung by the writers’ room for a quick chat. We pitched him out a little more of his character backstory in addition to some of the little surprises we had in store for Lieutenant Scott. Well, his eyes lit up as if we’d just presented him with the keys to a brand new sports car. Much along the same lines – whenever he’s on set, you’ll be hardpressed to find him without a smile on his face.
Which, of course, you’ll see for yourself when you do come visit. And, yes, the pugs (and frenchie) look forward to meeting you as well.
Richard Blue writes: “Thanks for the hello. I read your comments religiously. I can’t seem to get enough info on David. I am so proud of what he’s done and is doing.
Your dogs are adorable. We have two Black Labs who run our house.
Keep up the great work! We can’t wait until October!”
Hey, Richard, your comment found me by way of the good people at the SG-1 Solutions Livejournal page (http://community.livejournal.com/sg1_solutions/– your one-stop-shop for all your Stargate needs) who were kind enough to forward me your message. Pleased to hear you’re braving all the dog pics, restaurant reviews, and my occasional meandering rants to get the update on your son. Well, I’m happy to report that David is doing a wonderful job as our Eli Wallace (kicking off production with some terrific scenes opposite Robert Carlyle) and seems to be having a good time doing it. He’s a very funny guy and a real pleasure to talk to on set. Although I wasn’t on set today to see it, Carl reports that he was hilarious in the big mess scene.
It’s also nice to know that he is a big t.v. buff and includes Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis among some of his past favorites. In fact, yesterday, he told me that, for fun, he actually considered posting a question to Amanda for her upcoming Q&A with us. I informed him that, in the coming months, it would be his turn to get overwhelmed by fan comments and queries when he eventually comes by to do his blog Q&A.
And, hey, if the black labs who run your house let you out for a while, do try to get up here and visit.
Moving on to some Infoquake discussion –
Kathy H. writes: “I agree with you, Joe, it does make Natch out to be a whiny anti-hero, but I liked the devious way he dealt with the bullies in the hive. But not the bit with the bear. We think he’s going to be a hero then he does something truly evil.”
Answer: Yeah, I guess that was the incident that really cemented my perception of Natch. Up to that point, he’d been an interesting, flawed character – but the attempted murder of his biggest rival (even though it was an impulsive act) struck me as, quite literally, overkill. Maybe if Brone had escaped unscathed the encounter unscathed, I may have been more forgiving and ultimately dismiss it as a frightening but ultimately humorous turn of events, but the fact that he ended up maimed made it impossible for me to muster much sympathy for Natch.
Thornyrose writes: “Among the things that appealed, were the collapsing/expanding buildings, the multivaried programs utilized by the nanites/OCHRES to affect desired changes in the users’ physicological and mental processes, the distribution of power through the various organizations, and the concept of government as a consumer choice.”
Answer: Agreed. Edelman does a masterful job of imagining a future tech-based society unlike any other, from its fragmented governments to its ridiculous to sublime bio-altering applications (Poker Face 84.3b being my personal favorite).
Charlie’s Angel writes: “ My favorite character was Quell — interesting that he was the expert on the multireal technology, even though as an Islander he was essentially off the grid. He had about a dozen bio/logic programs loaded personally, versus thousands for everyone else.”
Answer: It’s funny you should say that because he was my favorite as well. I hear we’ll be seeing a lot more of the Islander in the next two installments.
Anne Teldy writes: “Background elements — collapsible buildings, government of choice, etc. — were kept in the background and didn’t try to take over the story. That said, I’d love to know more about some of them.”
Answer: To his credit, the author could have really focused more on the very complex backstory and world, but elected to tell us just enough to give us a basic understanding of the setting. Still, some might argue that this still entailed a significant amount of exposition, but I thought Edelman did a very good job of offering a nicely balanced narrative. And the glossary at book’s end was also a great idea.
Fsmn36 writes: “While I agree Natch was ambitious, selfish, and slightly cruel, I think the reason a lot of people may find him not so endearing is merely because they see themselves in him.”
Answer: No! That’s…oh, um…well, maybe a little. Although I’d never stoop as low as siccing a bear on someone. A pack of wolverines, maybe.
Fsmn36 also writes: “Then there’s Brone. I am intrigued to see just how this new and odd relationship between him and Natch will work out. Is Brone really just investing in a good product, or is he after something?”
Answer: Now he is a fascinating character. I don’t know. Could you eventually forgive someone for feeding your arm to a bear? I’ve not forgiven far less.
Sorrykb writes: “The ending also left me wondering about the potential consequences of the MultiReal technology, and whether something that allows a user to see the outcomes of each choice could in fact lead to a sort of societal paralysis, since the outcome of each choice leads you to another choice which leads to another series of possible outcomes… and so on.”
Answer: An intriguing quandary because, as you point out, life is fraught with setbacks. And yet, would it actually be better if an individual could rely on the best-case outcome in all cases? My guess would be no.
Iamza writes: “Though, I do kind of want to read the prequel to this trilogy now, in which the story of the falling spacestation is told in more detail. Can you imagine being stuck on that station, knowing it was falling to Earth, and knowing there was nothing you could do to prevent it?”
Answer: I LOVE this idea and agree that it would make a terrific prequel.
Iamza also writes: “ I’m not so sure I really understand MultiReal. As outlined by Margaret, it sounds kind of great–a chance to have things turn out exactly as you wanted. But what happens when the batter wants to hit a six and the bowler wants to get his tenth wicket for no runs (hah, take that, baseball analogies! Give me cricket any day of the week).”
Answer: Hey, that’s another interesting dilemma. Who WOULD win out? My guess is the most determined.
Drldeboer writes: “ After a rough start choking on ChaiQuoke (LOL! I imagined tea-flavored Coke aggh ok choking because I wasn’t getting the technology and frankly, fictional books about business bore me) I flipped to the Appendix and read all that before going to section 2. It helped a lot…”
Answer: Interesting. There were instances where I was confused early on. I wonder whether I’d have been better served by skipping to the appendices and learning all the terminology first? Did anyone else adopt this approach to the book?
Sylvia writes: “Have to wonder – how private were the confidential whispers.”
Answer: Yeah, I’m thinking about as confidential as private emails. In other words – not very.
Well, by early Monday morning (the deadline for those questions to Amanda Tapping) I ended up with approximately 18 pages worth. Since it’s likely that she has plans between now and early 2010, I trimmed the list down to a far more manageable 7 pages and sent them her way.