Author Jasper Fforde
Author Jasper Fforde

Hey, look who’s here!  Author Jasper Fforde with the responses to your reader questions!  I received an email from Jasper this morning apologizing for the delay.  Apparently, he was “putting a book to bed”.  Great news for his many fans! 

So a big thank you to Jasper and, before turning this blog over to him, a few reminders –

1. Discussion on September’s Book of the Month Club pick, Heroes Die, kicks off next week when we’ll be joined by author Matthew Woodring Stover.  So finish up, you slow readers.

2. Tomorrow is the deadline for submitting questions for actor David Blue who plays Eli Wallace on Stargate: Universe.  So, if you’ve got a question, post it.  Incidentally, David emailed me today after reading my “No one is safe!” comment with regard to the big season finale.  “Btw, just read your blog,” read the email.  “I don’t do Q&A’s if I’m about to die ;).”  As always, I suggest a wait and see approach to these things.  Check out the script first, then react.  My last response to him: “Good things come to those who wait.  Also, occasionally, death. :)”

3. Also received an email from Iron Chef Chairman, Stargate: Atlantis’s Satedan turned wraith worshiper turned ex-wraith worshiper Tyre, and future Dancing Star Mark Dacascos who sends hugs to thanks to the SGA crew.  You can check out Mark’s non-lethal moves on the next season of Dancing With the Stars.

4. Jason Sizemore of Apex Books dropped by to link readers to the Apex order page for those looking to get their hands on October’s Book of the Month Club pick – Open Your Eyes, by Paul Jessup.

5. Speaking of links, if you enjoyed The Big Over Easy and want to learn more about Jasper Fforde and his works, head on over to his site:

6. I invite readers to stick around for a modest mailbag.

Finally, and most importantly, today’s entry is dedicated to Dankriss.    

Sylvia writes: “What was your impulse to write a story using established nursery rhymes?”

JF: Initially, the idea simply struck me simply as ‘fun’ – after all, ‘The Big Over Easy’ was the first book I had written, and since I have had no training to be a writer, nor attended any classes in writing theory, I had no idea. Looking back on it now, I think I was tapping into a subject that most readers have a sense of empathy with – that of the very familiar and cosy, being changed and subverted to gain new insights and new ideas. Even more simply, hasn’t everyone wanted to know why he fell off the wall? And once we suggest it was not an accident or suicide, the questions just keep on popping up.

“Did you have any character/people in mind as you created the NCD team?”

JF: Not really. Jack Spratt seemed as good as any other. Mary Mary started off as Bo Peep to begin with, but I wanted her to be contrary and have split loyalties – better for the narrative than a constant looking for lost sheep. Jack worked well in that I could make him the Jack of many of the stories – there are tons of Jacks in Nursery Rhymes, and it seemed only fitting to inveigle in a beanstalk and a bit of Giant killing for good measure.

“How were you able to come up with nice lead ins for each chapter? Usually relating to the chapter’s content. And, how did you come up with names for the periodicals that were running them?”

JF: Mostly after the event, once the book was done.  I like writing news stories because you can tell so much in such a short period of time. It makes the books a bit hungry for ideas – by The Fourth Bear I was almost out of Nursery Stories and Nursery Rhymes, and had to move onto classics – such as Dorian Grey. Mind you, that led on to my third book, The Eyre Affair’, so it was accidentally useful.

“How did you keep everything straight – meaning the different papers and tabloids and who was writing about whom?”

JF: A few notes here and there. When you live a book for so long, you kind of remember what is what and who is who. I couldn’t remember now, of course. When I start NCD3 I’ll have to re-read all the books again to try and get it straight in my head.

“How did you manage to keep the complex plot from becoming unwieldy while using the simplistic nursery rhyme approach?”

JF: Again, you just hold it in your head, and then when editing (good writing is good editing, they say) you go through it again, and take out bits that are too complex, and try and smooth off the harsh edges. All my books start very complex and gradually become easier to understand. And new ideas pop up, and replace others, and the whole books gets pushed and pulled in every direction before settling down. It’s a bit like making stuff out of clay, really.

“Have you considered or has anyone considered making this a movie – even a cartoon? Although I think a mixture of animation and live actors would be a wonderful creation.”

JF: I get tons of offers, but so far, nothing that we have agreed upon. I’d like it to be done properly, and most people want to buy an option so they can sell it on to someone else, which isn’t movie-making, it’s commodity brokerage. Yes, it could be great fun, but I also know that once I sell it, the project is out of my hands. So in many ways, the only control I have is over who I sell it to.

“How did you come up with some of the character names? Some are true to one or more nursery rhymes, but others are not and yet, fit in so nicely.”

JF: Silly names have a long tradition in British nonsense fiction. They have to just sound right, be silly, and be not TOO silly. There is a fine line to be walked whenever nonsense is written. Go over the edge and it just seems, well, wrong. Many of the names belong to characters in TV and radio sitcoms. Brown-Horrocks, for instance, was from a BBC Radio comedy of the sixties called ‘Round the Horne’. It’s a wonderful name – all British and pompous!

AnneTeldy writes: “My sister wants to know: In the Thursday Next series, are vampires and werewolves actually from that world/reality or did they ‘escape’ from the pages of fiction and began inhabiting Thursday’s world/reality?”

JF: No, they really do exist in Thursdays world. Gods are quantifiable, too, and have, after many years in the shadows, decided to prove to even atheists that they were there all along. 

“Friedland Chymes has the catchphrase “The case… is closed!” If you had a catchphrase, what would it be?”

JF: ‘It’s funny how things turn out’ Generally speaking, it is. Who would have thought that a fish crawling onto dry land would eventually land on the moon? I ask you, what else is going to happen?

“Jack Spratt keeps track of the crossword puzzles he’s failed to complete. Is this a trait of yours?”

JF: It is. I’m terrible at Crosswords. Even when I’ve got the answers I stare at them and wonder how they could get from one to the other. Mind you, I’m quite good at guessing the words when the letters are in the boxes..

“…and of course the Dong, who so generously agreed to entertain us with his luminous nose.” Does ‘dong’ mean over there what it means over here?”

JF: No, not at all. If you google ‘Dong with the Luminous Nose’ you will find the poem by Edward Lear. He also invented the Quangle-Wangle. You could google that, too.

“Jack tells Mary he’s been at Nursery Crimes for 26 years. He would have been 18 when he started which seems unlikely, unless being a PDR changes that some how?”

JF: No, you can start with the police here at 18, and many do, since you can retire on full pay after 25 years – at 43. He’s a career policeman, and knows no other life.

Antisocial butterflie writes: “In the book Jack talks about how most nursery characters don’t even realize they are one until something strange happens. So is Jack a nursery character, himself, or are his senses merely attuned to the nature of nursery crimes? Basically, did Jack, in cutting down the beanstaqlk fulfill some nursery destiny or was he just an awesome detective?”

JF: Well, I think this is a predestination thing really, and although he might suspect it, he’s probably living in denial. I examine this in ‘The Fourth Bear’ where he has to admit to his wife that he is a PDR – a ‘Person of Dubious Reality’. It’s playing with the whole notion, really, but to be honest, it’s simply in Nursery Rhyme character’s nature to do what they do. Mrs Hubbard is a good example of this. They just do what they do because that’s what they do – like humans, really. 

“You have a very complex “world” with a large amount of geo-politics factored into the story (which you incorporated beautifully). Did you develop the world before the characters or was it vice versa?”

JF: The idea of a Humpty Dumpty murder mystery came first, and the world is there to really make the whole idea probable, or even possible. The NCD world gives credibility to the notion that Humpty could be a large egg and die – it’s a bit of a stretch to have him firmly planted in our world, where people would start screaming and pointing at him in the street.

“Was there any particular person upon whom you based the Jellyman or is he just your idealized version of a politician?”

JF: He was a joke my brother made up to amuse me when I was small. But I also wanted to write about an honest, much-loved politician – well, this is fiction, after all, so I came up with a quasi-spiritual leader of huge intellect and sagacity. The world could do with a few of those.

“Why a veruca, of all the foot ailments? Was it just because it sounded the coolest?”

JF: A verucca seems to me the funniest – and could be spread through swimming pools. A heinous plot, and one that would have been heavily endorsed by Dr Evil.

Michelle writes: “Has the book been translated to other languages, and were there any in which the nursery story references just couldn’t be translated sensibly?”

JF: The book has not been translated as the Nursery Rhyme idea is very culturally dependent – the French don’t know who Humpty Dumpty is, and neither do the Germans. Literature is another matter. The Thursday Next books are in eighteen languages.

“In the world of the book, is everyone in the society obsessed with true crime stories, as for example the way our society obsesses about actors? Or is the book just focused on that aspect of the society?”

JF: I think people in our world are definitely obsessed with crime. Every time there is some salacious crime, the media is there to give it saturated coverage. Do you remember the coverage of the Rwanda massacre? No? Well, that was probably because the news media was full of the whole Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan episode.

Edith writes: “One aspect of the book I really enjoyed was the setting. As a resident of Caversham during the 60/70s (we lived over the bank where my father was manager. The front door used to blow open and we’d have a policeman ringing the doorbell to let us know.) I have to say I can’t think of a better place to set that part of the story. I went to school up on the Heights, and it is, in my imagination, just as you describe it. Did the setting help to generate some of the ideas for the story, or was it simply a familiar place?”

JF: I visited Reading to scout for locations, and I simply wanted to find where the wealthy people lived. Caversham Heights is the Beverly Hills of Reading. For a while the book was called ‘Caversham Heights’ (in emulation of ‘Wuthering Heights’ but ‘The Big Over Easy’ was better.

“I have a feeling we had some Friedland Chimes – I’m sure our front door bell played a tune. I recognize the allusion – do you ever envisage a scholar going through all the references and writing notes – or indeed, doing them yourself? Perhaps something like “Pale Fire” – or is that taking the whole thing too seriously? I expect it is.”

JF: Friedland Chimes is usually associated with that ‘bing-bong’ sound, but they also made all manner of other doorbells. Still do, actually. I’ll leave it for someone else to write the notes. Someone has for the TN books – they are up on my website.

Arctic Goddess writes: “Were you aware of a short play called Nursery Crimes: Four And Twenty written by Damian Trasler, David Lovesy and Steve Clark when you wrote your book? I found the plots of both stories very unique in their treatment of childhood Nursery Rhyme characters. Why did you pick this genre for your novel?”

JF: No, not aware at all. It’s an idea that has been used before, but not in the way I have. Agatha Christie wrote a book called ‘A Pocket Full of Rye’ where the murder happens as though the characters were in a nursery rhyme, and although they weren’t, I liked the idea that they might be. It seemed fun, and possible – so I did.

LineNoise writes: “Jack Spratt makes an appearance in “The Well of Lost Plots” a couple of years before “The Big Over Easy” was published. At what point did you decide to give Jack his own book?”

JF: ‘Big Over Easy’ was published first but since I had an eye for publication, I wrote him into TN3 to make him a spinoff book which I hoped my publishers would go for. They did, so I then had to rewrite BOE with the TN3 connection in mind. It worked quite well, I thought – The NCD series is simply a place where bored and restless nursery rhyme characters go for a bit of rest and recuperation – but you don’t learn that from reading the NCD series; it’s part of the TN adventure. I like a certain degree of ‘connectiveness’ between my books.

“I enjoy the Nursery Crime books more than the Thursday Next series probably because I at least have an inkling about the nursery rhymes being referenced. Unfortunately I haven’t read most of the literature generally visited by Thursday so I feel I’m missing a lot of the humour. Have you considered referencing more modern works of fiction in forthcoming Thursday Next books?”

JF: Not really, and mostly due to copyright reasons. I’d suggest you go back and have another look – the TN series was written with those who had not read the classics in mind – you only really have to know that Shakespeare wrote plays, Dickens, and Bronte wrote books and that Jane Eyre is a classical victorian melodrama that you shouldn’t mess with. The rest of the series feature the classics, but are more about the way we read and tell stories.

Narelle from Aus writes: “A Thursday Next question if you don’t mind. How difficult is it to write some of the passages which involve waste products of apostrophe’s and ampersands?”

JF: Not hard at all. Once the idea is there, it just sort of happens. The typesetters enjoy  it because it’s something new…

“Did you find Humpty Dumpty a sad character when you were younger or was it a portrayal that you decided on just because it assisted the storyline?”

JF: No; I always thought of him as a jolly fellow – like an over=weight uncle who gives you chocolate, laughs a lot, enriches your life and then dies, making you fell all sort of empty (don’t worry; I didn’t have an uncle like that; it’s the author in me talking) Sort of Uncle Buckish. I liked the idea of a rough diamond who appeared to be a scoundrel, but was in fact deeply committed to doing the right thing – even if against the law. And he did like women – isn’t that what the ‘Hump’ in his name was all about?

“Lola Vavoom features in both the Nursery Crimes and Thursday Next. Apologies if you’ve already explained this elsewhere, but who is she a representation of? She feels very Zsa Zsa Gabor. Lola seems like she’d have a good right hook or she’d hire someone who has a good right hook to do it for her. And maybe a slapping glove.”

JF: She’s ‘generic hollywood starlet’ to be honest – all of them mixed together. You only have to hear her name to have a good idea of what and who she is.

“Particularly in the Thursday Next series you incorporate jumping into classic titles, time travel, alternate history, just for starters. Are you a writer that has a full concept of where the book will go and what it will cover before you start writing or do you partly “use the force” as you go?”

JF: You’ve hit the nail on the head. I just start with a few abstract notions and see where it leads me. If you have no idea where a Jasper Fforde book will end up, you’re in good company – neither do I!

And today’s mailbag:

Sifiguy writes: “have you heard about, or seen the first of the REDO of neon genesis evangelion?”

Answer: I remember hearing about it hears ago when it was in development, but haven’t seen the finished version.  Any good?

Sifiguy also writes: “also, have you heard of GANKUTSUOU? it’s a retelling of the count of monte cristo, set in 5000ad. and it looks REALLY cool.”

Answer: Seen it and loved it.  Another one of my very favorites.

JYS writes: “did you enjoy get backers?”

Answer: I own the series but haven’t gotten around to watching it.

DasNdanger writes: “So he is the ultimate man alone for the simple reason that – in theory – he should outlive everyone.”

Answwer: I understand what you’re saying.  Although it’s kind of ironic that, in the world of comic books, no one ever grows older. 

Cherluvya writes: “you seem to vear more towards the action side of anime so ill just stay on that.
someone already suggested Gankutso and FLCL”

Answer: I wasn’t picking favorites shows. I was picking favorite titles.  If I was to pick my favorite anime series, the list would look something like this: Azumanga Daioh, Berserk, Boogiepop Phantom, Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Elfen Lied, Excel Saga, Gankutsuou, GTO, Hellsing, Infinite Ryvius, Kino’s Journey, Last Exile, Love Hina, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ninja Scroll, Noir, Now and Then Here and There, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai Champloo, Trigun, Video Girl Ai. 

PG15 writes: “Is Andy Mikita directing the Incursion 2-parter?”

Anwer: Yes, he will be.

Celestis writes: “Ever heard of ‘Baccano’?”

Answer: No but given that we have similar tastes, I trust your recommendation and will track it down.

Scot B. writes: “If you liked Cowboy Bebop you should give Macross Plus a spin.”

Answer: Done.  I think I own it.

ian R. Rogerson writes: “1. who is directing lost
2. will sgu still have lots of tecno babble”

Answer: 1. Ronn Schmidt.
2. We’ll be trying to avoid the techno babble but focus on the science and astronomy.

Maddog1995 writes: “On a different note, I’m fairly sure you are a fan of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” and thought you’d like to know (assuming you don’t already) that HBO is planning a pilot for it. Any thoughts?”

Answer: Yeah, hope it’s good.  And who did they cast to play the roles of Jaime and Tyrion Lannister?

PBMom writes: “Joe: You might enjoy this dog video. I thought of your dogs when I saw it.”

Answer: What a cutie.  Thanks.

AJT1982 writes: “Is there any news on the SGA movie yet, or are MGM still waiting for the market to rise?”

Answer: No new news on the movie front.

53 thoughts on “September 3, 2009: Author Jasper Fforde Answers Your Questions

  1. Joe,

    Do you ever get tired of the complaints about SGA being cancelled or that there’s no news about the movies?

    I watched the first episode of Death Note and I like it so far. Wasn’t a big fan of the minute long intro song/montage though. About to watch the second ep. now.

    Also, is there a way to sign up so that my comments don’t have to be moderated every time I post? I’d like to have an account, but I don’t have anything to blog about.



  2. Hi Joe!

    Long time lurker, first time commenter/question asker.

    My question for David is:
    How do you fell about joining a show such as Stargate which has been about 15 – 16 years in the making?

    My question for Joe:
    What’s the best thing about working on SGU, and working for Scots man Bobby C?

  3. Thanks to Mr. Fforde for paticipating here, and thanks for the Apex link. For whatever reason, it let me go through with the transacation this time. I now have an ebook version of Open your Eyes, as well as the hardcopy I just ordered. I’ll probably wait till the book arrives, as I just don’t enjoy reading books on the computer. Enjoy the long weekend.

  4. Speaking of Dacascos…

    One for the lady fans here who like dark-haired, slender, fighting boys (Yes Shep fans, I’m talking to you).

    You’ll probably enjoy Dacascos’s Brotherhood of the Wolf. Just saying.

  5. Just saw the SGU 5 minute preview on youtube. Have to say I’m impressed with the visual effects. I’m really hoping MGM will release SGU on Blu-Ray when Season 1 has aired because I will be first in line to get it 🙂

    Overal impression with the preview: This show is going to kick major assage!!! 😀

  6. Hey Joe,

    Thanks for the Jasper Fforde Q&A. I was thinking about it the other day when going through my list of ‘Recently Read’ books.
    I’ve really enjoyed each of his books and it’s great to hear there’s another on the way.

    Have today off and am doing the rounds of hospitals today. Seems my family is under a bit of a black cloud at the moment. It’s our wedding anniversary today but with Dad’s op tonight we’ll be chilling at home with fish and chips until we know Dad’s op is done.

    Have a good day.

  7. BlackBerry Bold’s are not blog commenting friendly. I think I managed to get almost one sentence of actual English in my last comment.

  8. >>“Ever heard of ‘Baccano’?”

    Although a decent series. Heroic Age is so much better, plus it’s addictive to watch.

    This is more aimed at the person who made the suggestion.

    Have you heard of this series?

    Basically Heroic Age is about a Universe once watched over by the Golden tribe, they left the universe travelling to a higher kind of dimension/universe kinda like the Ancients(But the Golden Tribe didn’t ascend)

    In their wake, 3 tribes 2 of which hate the Iron Tribe(Humans) Remain.

    First episode basically covers the Iron Tribe looking for Age(He’s from the Heroic Tribe and refered to as the savior)

    I felt sorry for Age personally, without spoiling. His labors.

    1.Treat your contractor as your King.

    2.To serve the King and never become one.

    3.Recover the homeland Earth to the hands of humans who are called the “Tribe of Iron”.

    4.Fight against all survivors of “Tribe of Hero” and defeat every one of them.

    5.Secure the Mother Planet of “Tribe of Bronze” to the hands of humans.

    6.Secure the Mother Planet of “Tribe of Silver” to the hands of humans.

    7.Obtain the powers of “Tribes of Gold” to foresee the future.

    8.Obtain the knowledge of “Tribes of Gold” to generate Stars.

    9.To make humans who are called “Tribe of Iron” to become the master of universe.

    10.To protect the bonding party until these labors are fulfilled.

    11.To not to escape or to die until these labors are fulfilled.

    12.When these labors are fulfilled, humans also known as “Tribe of Iron” will make one contractor’s wish come true as long as such wish do not breach the other eleven agreements.

    This post I know is really long but it’s well worth watching if anyone is into Scifi anime.

  9. I am so sad I missed that there was going to be a Jasper Fforde Q&A, but I did enjoy reading his answers… I just might have to go pick up “The Big Over Easy” – I *loved* his Thursday Next books (which I picked up because Jane Eyre happens to be one of my favorite novels). Perhaps I’ve asked this before – have you read his TN series?

  10. Awesome! Many thanks to Jasper Fforde! I thought we missed one Q&A and specially since I really loved his book “The Big Over Easy”- and have acquired more – the TN series. Sooo cool!

  11. Answwer: I understand what you’re saying. Although it’s kind of ironic that, in the world of comic books, no one ever grows older.

    First, I think you misspell stuff on purpose, just to see if I’ll point it out to you. Well…I am… 🙂

    Second, Joe, that’s fanboy talk! They’re comic books…if you can buy into one character shooting beams out of his eyes, another turning into a human torch, and yet another popping metal claws out of his knuckles, you can certainly buy into the whole ageless thing. But since we’re bringing it up – you might enjoy that Time Storm arc – it sort of addresses this very thing, in a very satisfactory way for me.

    Third, you really shouldn’t be killing off characters too soon. How do you even know which ones will be fan favorites? It’s never ever good to kill off a fan fav, especially not with the current climate in the SG fandom. That’s all you need to do – create a character that all the Atlantis expatriates love, then kill him or her off in the first season. That would be like blasting your toesies off with both barrels.

    NOT that it’s stopped you guys before… 🙄


  12. For Jaime, they cast Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and for Tyrion, Peter Dinklage. Sean Bean is going to be Eddard and I just read today that Lena Headey will be Cersie. So far, it seems to be an impressive cast, but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve read the books, so my recollection of all the characters is a bit murky. I keep thinking that I will reread the books, but I’m trying to cut back on 700+ page books. Although I read constantly, I’m not quite the speed reader you are.

    Thanks for posting your Q and A with Jasper Fforde. I just finished his book about a month ago, and though it took a little to get going, I enjoyed it thoroughly by the end. After finishing it, I followed it up with “The Big Sleep”. It seemed fitting. As for “The Big Over Easy”, I recently lent it to my mother, though I’m not quite sure she’ll get it.

  13. Jasper Fforde! Interesting Q&A. Thanks!

    I finished Heroes Die and I’ll get my thoughts together this weekend.

    @maddog: Thanks for the casting update. I’m really looking forward to Game of Thrones. I agree that they are putting together a very impressive cast. Sean Bean is excellent in everything – I’m sure he’ll make a great Eddard. Jaime is probably my favorite character – wonderfully complicated and conflicted. I’m not familiar with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau but looking at his picture on IMBD he sure looks the part of Jaime.

    @Narelle: Happy Anniversary!

  14. JOE! Hey you! JOE! Listen up. I got this all figured out. I am a HUGE Atlantis fan. HUGE! HUGE! I was one of those who was unhappy that my favorite and best show on TV got cancelled. I was angry. Hurt. Pissed. Hacked. Depressed. I figure I am your target audience now and so you got to be nice to me. I could be a future Universe lover, so you have to stop ignoring me and pay more attention to me for at least the next month. (if its okay with you, that is.)

    Boy these authors are good! Thanks to Jasper Fforde for his Q&A and answering each question so thoroughly. Very intersting stuff! His tardiness (busy publishing a new book -congrats!) is excused.

  15. I meant to comment yesterday, but got hung up with college stuff. Anyway, just thought I drop in and give you props for putting up with some of the people who complain about SGU all the time without seeing it. I mean, I don’t know if I’ll love it, but I felt the same way when Atlantis was starting up, and that turned out fine. And yes, they’re entitled to their opinion, but I believe they must be illiterate to not see your near constant responses to similar questions. Or they’re too lazy to read them because their sole purpose in visiting this blog is to comment Was that too mean? Oh well, that’s my opinion. 🙂

    Also, the football stuff from a few days ago: I don’t really follow football that much. My roommate loves the Packers, and being from Michigan it’s not really useful to support the home team; the Lions have sucked I think since I was born.

    Hope you had a good day,

  16. Narelle – Happy anniversary! – although I wish you could celebrate under better circumstances. Here’s hoping for the best for your dad, and the other family members who aren’t in optimal health – may they recover as soon and as completely as may be.

    I checked out Powderfinger on YouTube, and really like their sound. Thanks for giving them a nod as one of your favorite groups; I wouldn’t have known about them otherwise.

  17. Thanks for the Q&A! Mr Fforde is sneakily humorous.

    Although it’s kind of ironic that, in the world of comic books, no one ever grows older.

    I think that’s one (of many) reason I really enjoyed Watchmen. Nearly everyone is past their prime. They’re humans not only in the mental aspect, but the physical as well. They’re not really “superheores” (with the exception of Dr Manhattan) and they obviously age.

  18. Question for David.

    At Comic Con you said you were a stargate what extent?

  19. Das, knock it off or you’ll curse Todd! >:(

    No matter how many great animes I’ll ever see, Sailor Moon will forever be my favorite. Sailor Moon was my first ever real fandom (Actually it was my second. Power Rangers was first, when we still had Prodigy as an provider and the internet was pretty much a bunch of bulletin boards. Ah, 1993, the golden days of my youth….).

  20. Ooh! Glad to see some more “Song of Ice and Fire” fans – you guys may want to check out :

    Look at his “Not a Blog” section for the blog… lots of info, though we’re still waiting for the next book. Sigh.

    Thanks for all the pictures lately, they have been great SGA and SGU alike!

    My question for David Blue: Which is the most difficult type of scene for you to shoot, technical scenes with greenscreen and special fx, or heavy character interaction scenes with lots of dialogue and emoting? Which is more fun?

    PS for David: According to your website, we share a birthday! Capricorns rule…

  21. Questions for David Blue

    Did you have to do more work outs after getting the SGU role?

    Is the role much more physical than your run of the mill TV shows?

    Finally does all the major actors in SGU have a stand-in?

  22. I have yet to get my mitts on a copy of The Big Over Easy but now the kids are back at school I have big ambitions for stuff like reading…and housework 🙂 It could take me half a term to get the detritus cleared from the past god knows how many weeks. I’m certain the summer hoidays weren’t thiss long when I was in school;)

  23. Coucou Joesph! =D

    Waou il se passe pleins de choses sur votre blog en ce moment 🙂

    Merci pour ces Q/A. Je ne connais pas cette auteur (il faut dire que je ne suis pas une grande lectrice)

    Rohh toujour pas de photo de vous aujourd’hui, j’en veux une , s’il vous plait 🙂

    Passez une bonne journée!

  24. Ponytail, you’re so on. We were angry and hurt over Atlantis being cancelled. And we couldn’t understand it either, because the ratings weren’t even bad. With SG1, it still ran for 2 years alongside Atlantis. When it got cancelled after 10 seasons it’s more like you have to say, well, there’s an end to everything. It didn’t feel like it got cancelled for Atlantis. With Universe, it does feel that way even though I know you’ve said a dozen times it’s not true and I do believe it, it’s not that.
    Meanwhile, nobody is ready to step up and acknowledge the anger and the hurt about Atlantis being cancelled. All we hear is universe this, universe that.

    I don’t think the crew and writers understand that fans actually form an emotional attachment to the show. I get that – I mean for you all, it’s a job. But it’s not for us.
    My mom just texted me that she’s gonna need some serious surgery so, you know, I’m gonna watch it tonight I can tell you that.
    It’s my safety blanket and you pulled it away when you cut the show short. I’m a big girl I’m not about to have a breakdown over it – it IS just a show after all – but I don’t think the crew and writers quite understand the fans’ POV. I think they’d be behaving with much more caution if they did. Remember yourself as a child, wanting to hear more and more of a bedtime story your mom/dad/grandma made up on the spot. And imagine that halfway through what since became your favourite story, your mom/dad/grandma would have said, “Well sorry I’m not telling the rest. Not tomorrow, never.”

    I’m not saying have a grieving period over the show. I’m not even saying never cancel it. I’m just saying the way things happened, we felt kind of hurt and we sort of feel like your grief over Atlantis completely goes ignored in the “Watch universe! Watch universe!” hype. I get that you have to get the Atlantis fans for the show now or Universe will be cancelled too, and I’m not sure what the writers even could do, (from what you’ve told me, the setup pretty much excludes guest appearances from our favourites) so I guess it’s just a thing where you have to understand that Atlantis fans are hurt over the show being cancelled and are very likely to remain feeling it even if they get into Universe, even if a few more movies are made.

    And I’m sorry if I’m being a whiny b*tch here but I’ve had a bad day.

    Anyway on a cheerier note:
    Are there any Atlantis books out there? You know Star Trek has this whole library of books set inbetween, before, after, during, parallel galaxy and whatever of the show. What about Atlantis?

  25. Oh, I didn’t notice that Mr. Fforde’s Q & A was still missing. Thanks. 🙂

    @ Deni
    silver_comet: You don’t like Science Fiction in general but you go to conventions? Talk about “scraping” heads! Were you, per chance, at the Connor Trinneer lunch in Chicago?

    Sorry, but I can’t see the context? I started to go to conventions because I want to meet the SGA and Farscape actors. Now, I know it’s also great fun to meet ‘old’ and find new friends from all over the world. 🙂 No, I wasn’t at that lunch.

    Besides, maybe I expressed myself in a wrong way. I don’t like SciFi automatically. Meaning: I don’t like it just because it’s SciFi. I’ve never said I don’t like SciFi at all. I don’t like everything Stargate related automatically, but SGA is my favorite TV show – ever. There is no contradiction in that for me.

    @ Thornyrose


    But it’s also true that you can be suprised by trying something you do not like. A fact attested to by generations of parents who have spent endless hours coaxing children to eat something they’ve not yet tried.

    Of course. I’ve stated that in my previous comment. I try some BOTM books although I’m not sure I’ll like them. However, with your example: it’s a difference trying something you’ve never tried, you don’t know at all. Of course, I can’t know what the food tastes like. Although, I don’t need to try drugs in order to know that they are bad. With SGU on the other hand, all the things I don’t like about it, I’ve already known. I’ve tried them. Admittedly and of course not with SGU directly, since it hasn’t aired yet. But I know some of the actors and their work already, I know that I don’t like the storylines/the device, for example. It’s nothing I’ve never encounter before in my life.

    If not, then you’ve lost nothing more than a couple of hours, and can dismiss those those who say “try it you’ll like it”.

    Ah no, that’s not my style. Things like that are the reasons why I don’t like the whole SGU discussion. I love to discuss things. However, this isn’t a real discussion IMO. It’s often more about who is right and who is wrong. I hate that. Saying ‘I told you so’ wouldn’t be satisfying for me. Besides, there will always be people who would accuse me like “You just don’t want to like it”. You really can’t “win” something like that. 😉

    @ artdogspot

    Thank you, too.

    First impressions often dictate how I make decisions about things. A lot of times my first impres-sion can be right on target. … I had been so wrong about my first impressions.

    Again, I agree. I always have a first impression (especially about people). But it’s never written in stone. I know that it can change and it has changed sometimes. From negative to positive and the other way around as well. So I give everyone and everything a chance beyond my first impression. Except with some topics like being cruel to animals, that is.

    I haven’t judged SGU from my first impression (which by the way wasn’t as negative as my opinion is now. Funny, somehow…). I collected as many information and facts as I could get about it. I did that in order to form my opinion.

    I wish you fun with SGU. 🙂

  26. @Narelle, Congrats on the anniversary, and best of luck to dad and his op. Be thinking about you.
    -Joe, another terrific Q & A. Thanks Mr. Fforde. thanks. love reading them, so many books, trying to get to them all. good reading and thank you for the suggestions.
    -Saw where Santuary actually shot some scenes in Japan, wondered if they ask you for any suggestions of where to go and eat good food?
    -David Blue question?- Are you enjoying twitter?
    -When you get a script,how long does it take to memorize?
    _Looking forward to SGU, thanks for being a part of it! 😉

  27. Narelle – ditto on the Happy Anniversary and I hope your Dad’s operation went well and that you and your family is OK.

    I am finishing Heroes Die and will pick up The Big Over Easy in the future. I have been reading books from the BOTM Club archives and also reading their Q&A’s.

    Joe – thanks for the great resource.

    Are you aware of Anthony Zuiker’s digi-novel project, Level 26? He is the creator of the CSI shows. I bring it up because he thinks this type of project may have an impact on book publishing in the future.

  28. @narelle: I hope all goes well with your dad. I’ll keep all of you in my prayers.

  29. Hullo Joe,

    I’m a long time reader, first time poster. I love both SG-1 and SGA and I’m very much looking forward to SGU (Is is Oct. 2nd yet!?). I personally am just as excited by the talent behind the camera as I am of their onscreen counterparts. Is there any new behind the scenes talent that you are excited about for SGU? I’m really thrilled that Peter DeLuise is back.

    Col. Mustard

  30. Narelle: Prayers going to your dad.

    Liz: Yes, there are Stargate books. I usually find them on Amazon. Some are very good. The audio books are very interesting, also.


  31. Jasper Fforde is one of my favourite authors and I was most pleasntly surprised when I discovered you had published a Q&A with him, thank you. When my father suggested I should read a little of the book he was reading I couldn’t put it down, it was the fifth Thursday Next book, First Among Sequels. I immediately bought all 5 TN and devoured them all, followed by the two Nursery Crime books. I am very happy that Jasper is about to publish another one, I look forward to his wit, intellect and sagacity once more!

  32. Hello Joe!

    My question for David:
    hello David, I was wondering if what you wear in stargate universe is a reflection of your character? (I mean he looks like some kind of a teenager, but he’s older).

    I apologize if I make mistakes, english is not my native language.

  33. I was one of the fans (probably one of the few) who thought that Carson shouldn’t have been resurrected. Tangible loss adds drama if it’s allowed to play out in the story. I actually thought Paul was playing him a bit differently as well and I liked the character less.

    Now I am at DragonCon for the first time ever as the guest of a friend. It’s a bit overwhelming. What a treat that the first panel I saw was Paul himself talking to the crowd. He was funny and sweet and articulate. Still not a big fan of Carson, but I’ll be a fan of Paul. His imitations of Joe F. (who I intend to see tomorrow) were priceless. It must have been fun to work with Paul.

  34. Liz wrote:

    Are there any Atlantis books out there?

    A list of Stargate (the movie), Stargate SG-1, and Stargate Atlantis related novels can be found here. They aren’t canon, though.

    For those who don’t know about it, the website Fantastic Fiction is a great resource for finding complete lists of an author’s works (including information about upcoming publications) as well as series written by various authors like the Stargate novels. You can search by title or author.

    Anne Teldy

  35. joe, do you like canada’s healthcare system? coz a friend just told me its terrible, something about waiting too much and it was gonna take forever to pass through all the bureaucracy. he ended up just doing it in egypt which took him no time.

  36. Whoa, I’ve been away for some time and wasn’t able to see the SGU theater promo until now. It’s just… wow! Although it’s shorter version (with some minor new clips) from what was shown at CC – it gave me chills, especially when MW gate activated and the ‘makers of SG-1 and Atlantis’ moment. If the show is gonna be half as good as the promo, I’m gonna love it!

    Is it October yet?!

    So excited! Can’t. Type. Argh!

  37. @ Narelle – Happy anniversary, and wishing your dad the best! After you know he’s out of the woods, that man o’ yours better take you out for a nice, romantic dinner and a nice walk under the stars.


  38. Bon je vais au lit, j’ai fait un faux mouvement et ma scoliose recommence à me faire mal, j’espere qu’aprés une bonne nuit de sommeil ça ira mieux .

    Bonne nuit.
    A demain.

  39. Hi Joe (again)

    Im kind of getting a bug for your blog!

    Well some more questions for you:

    What episode in your opinion has the best script? Why?
    Which episode didnt turn out as expected when filming?

  40. For David Blue: If anything happens to Eli in the finale, will you tweet the dirt on JM? Someone needs to keep him in line and stand up for poor Carl!

  41. I was catching up on your blog, reading your anime choices. Basilisk is one of my favorites, but i noticed you missing a very good anime that just recently completed its run – Soul Eater. Soul Eater is a fantasy, action ecchi anime that i think you would really enjoy.

  42. “I’ve often said that it was a mistake to announce the SGU pick-up in the same press release as the Atlantis cancellation as, unfairly or not, it gave the impression that one was replacing the other.”

    I think we would have connected the dots in any event.

  43. this is Cody again
    if you werent looking for any series suggestions
    why did you mention them in you best of list?
    i mentioned several titles as well.

  44. Hey Joe,

    This whole anime thing is out of my league. That is Cody above, I am Cheryl. Two C’s I know. I will never ask for help again. He insisted on replying.

    Just take me out and shoot me now….

    *covers eyes*

  45. Hi,

    I was really chuffed to see mention of our (TLC Creative) Nursery Crime series come up in an interview with Jaspe Fforde. I did read a lot of his books subsequent to writing the plays and was pleased to see no real correlation between the two. I’m a big fan of Thursday Next, and I have a treasured copy of ‘The Big Over Easy” on my bookshelf. Our plays continue to be popular with schools and youth groups, though not, I’m sure, to the extent of Jasper’s books.

    Thanks for this brilliant interview,

    Damian Trasler

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