Emissaries

Andrea Cort, a Judge Advocate for the Diplomatic Corps, is enroute to New London for a long overdue vacation when she is informed of a change in plans.  Rather than enjoying some R&R, she is instead redirected to One One One, an immense cylindrical artificial world created and run by an independent AIsource.  It’s a world whose upper atmosphere alone is habitable, a mass tangle of vegetation and hanging hammocks, its lower regions a deadly toxic soup incapable of supporting life.  And it also happens to be the scene of two brutal murders.

Andrea is charged with the task of investigating the recent deaths of two human researchers, however she is under strict orders NOT to lay blame on the AIsource.  Instead, she must peg the crime on one of One One One’s many unique residents: a corrupt administrator, a mysterious bureaucrat, two cylinked humans of like mind but unlike bodies, countless bitter indentured servants to the great galactic state, or the primitive but intelligent bio-engineered primates known as the Brachiators.  Complicating matters is the burden Andrea carries from her childhood – the guilt, self-doubt and infamy that comes with being the sole survivor of a massacre in which the inhabitants of a hitherto peaceful colony suddenly and inexplicably turned on one another in a murderous frenzy.

Considered by many a monster herself, Andrea must walk a tightrope of intrigue and hidden agendas to uncover the truth behind the deaths on One One One – and, in so doing, possibly shed some light on the darkest, cryptic moments of her own past.

Okay, I went into this novel thoroughly intrigued and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.   Castro does a wonderful job of world-building, presenting an artificial environment that is believable, beautiful, and frightening as hell.  I share the protagonist’s fear of heights (Hell, I even get nervous when someone I know is on a balcony!), so the prospect of negotiating uncertain territory where the slightest mistep could prove fatal had me “on edge” throughout, especially after the following description of the fate that befell the first victim:

“The young indenture may have remained conscious and terrified for long minutes, as she plunged toward the fatal high-pressure regions far below.

How must it have felt, falling all that distance, knowing even as the temperature rose all around her that all her striving had been futile?”

What a horrific prospect, that she would have died long before her body impacted – IF there was anything left of her to impact.  That image persisted as I read on, feeding an underlying tension that  had me  so wound up I could barely get through each chapter fast enough.  To his credit, the author doesn’t simply sit back and allow the book’s terrific premise or its compelling setting to drive the story.  While the layers of mystery and treacherous terrain are certainly key elements here, it’s Castro’s wonderful characters that propel the narrative, especially Andrea Cort, a tough, non-nonsense loner who proves surprisingly vulnerable when all is said and done.  She’s a great character reminiscent of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Cordelia Naismith, David Weber’s Honor Harrington, and Karen Traviss’ Shan Frankland – strong, fiercely independent, and very likable.

Overall, a clever, well-paced SF thriller.  My only quibble was with the expository sequence at novel’s end, Andrea’s extended explanation of exactly what happened and why that, while certainly harkening back to those hardboiled paperbacks of yore, felt a little clunky in an otherwise well-executed book.

So, those were my initial thoughts.  What did everyone else think?  Weigh in with your opinions AND your questions for author Adam-Troy Castro!

Mailbag:

Audrey writes: “Wow. You actually ate offal? You are a braver soul than I. I don’t think I could eat all those ‘leftover’ bits.”

Answer: If you eat hot dogs, you already have.

Narelle from Aus writes: “Or just selling all of my crap and moving to some beach in Thailand.

Idea stealerer.”

Answer: Not at all.  I’d wait for you to go down and settled in first, THEN show up and mooch off you and your hubby.  Smart, no?

Col. Mustgard writes: “Joe, are we every gonna see Dr. Lee again?”

Answer: Possibly.

JYS writes: “i got to taste the pasta too..but no meatballs or truffles:(”

Answer: Trust me, they were goooooooooooooooooooood.  Where are you working now?

Ponytail writes: ”

Oh, so that is how Marty G got his nickname. He is suffering from liver disease and yellow with jaundice and you’re calling him Golden Boy? Shame on you!  Did you have to help him cut up his meat too because of his finger boo boo?”

Answer: Yep.  And I chewed his food for him like a mother bird.

Gilder writes: “Joe, are reservations recommended at Fuel? I assume I should mention my food sensitivities when I order; would Chef Belcham be offended if I declined liver or goat cheese?”

Answer: Reservations are recommended – and if you have any food allergies or issues, do let them know and they’ll be more than happy to create a special menu just for you.  Or you can simply go a la carte and choose from the menu items.

Ryan writes: “My question is: in season 2 , will there still be clues, hints or tidbits given like there has been in season 1?”

Answer: Yes, the events of early episodes will set up events in later episodes that will eventually pay off down the line.  We’ve got a lot of arcs and throughlines, big and small, in store.

Shawna Buchanan writes: “So, you’ve mentioned the SGA movie again. Is there still no word on that or the next SG-1 movie? Please tell me they’re not thinking of canceling them.”

Answer: Still no word on either movie.  Alas, it’s out of my hands.  Like you, I’m sitting on the sidelines waiting for the call.

Ytimynona writes: “First question: do you HAVE wireless at your house? If not, then, well, that was probably the problem.”

Answer: I do and even though I enter the correct network key, it still won’t let me on.

duneknight writes: “so the best three episodes are next? shouldn’t you love all your episodes just the same?”

Answer: Nope.  Episodes are like children – you have your favorites and then you have those that didn’t turn out quite like you’d hoped they would.

tinasegreto1981 writes: “In the episode “Outcast” we learn something about the relationship of John to his father.
What was or is the real reason for the dispute between the two? In Your Opinion.”

Answer: John’s decision to join the military.

FOB writes: ”

We saw ‘Homeworld Command’ for the first REAL time in ‘Earth’, despite seeing areas that in retrospect were obviously part of it, in previous episodes. How does this effect the previous administrative system of the Dept of Homeworld Security? Is the SGC still operating?”

Answer: Homeworld Command is the command center for Homeworld Security.  It has also incorporated Stargate Command within its umbrella.

kuro-sama writes: “kinda wondering; is it normal for american tv series to went into hiatus (or break) in the middle of the series?”

Answer: It’s growing common, yes.

E writes: “It was late night and Jack was sitting in his office? Not at home with Sam?”

Answer: She was keeping dinner warm for him and running a hot bath.

Conniepoint writes: “Just a quick question, we’ve seen numerous people involved in Stargate become directors for the series over the years. Is there anyone else in the writer’s room or behind the scenes that might be stepping up if (when) SGU is picked up for a second season?”

Answer: Not the writers’ room.

Sara writes: “What’s your take according to what you are reading here and in other feedback arenas that are available to your writing team – is SGU well received, are fans still waiting to see something to keep them watching, or are people not enjoying it?”

Answer: Like it’s predecessors, it has its fans and its detractors.  I think it’s highly unlikely anyone can produce a show that will garner 100% support.

Chris U. writes: ” It really appeared to me that not only was Telford surprised that he quickly cut back to earth and then back to Destiny in a short span, but also that he was surprised to find himself involved with Young’s wife when he popped back.”

Answer: I think he would’ve been surprised regardless of what Young had been doing at the time – say, playing the xylophone.  Probably not as surprised, but surprised nonetheless.

Shadow Step writes: “What about the one where she practices putting it on a broomstick first – will it be a DVD extra?”

Answer: Kino scene.

Simon writes: ”

1) I’m guessing that, from a photo found on the GW forums that the alien race we encounter in the episode are water-living aliens?

2) What’s that wierd mask like thing attached to Rush? Are these the same aliens you mentioned a while back that ‘abducted’ him?

3) Will ”Space (1)” & ”Devided (2)” be action packed episodes?”

Answers: 1) Tune in to find out.  2) I’ve never mentioned alien abductions.  3) Different types of action but, yes, plenty of.

Debra writes: “Just read Mary Ryan’s “Response to Brad Wright” & have one question.. she ranted on about people who are critical of the show not being idiots, not guilty of “not getting it” etc. Did Brad or ANYONE with the show actually say such a thing or was that her own twist to justify her rant?”

Answer: Don’t know what she was referring.  All too often, when people take exception to what somebody else said, it’s because they fixate on a couple of sections taken out of context.  For instance, I prefaced my rant by stating “I’d suggest that anyone looking to post a critical comment consider their wording – not their opinion, but the way in which they express said opinion.” and moved on from there.  Still, this particular quote was effectively ignored by those who insisted I was reacting to general criticism of the show.   Go figure.

Brendan writes: “Tell Kerry that her precious Canucks are going to lose tomorrow night, to my home team the St. Louis Blues.”

Answer: Ha!  Kerry just happened to be in my office while I was approving your comment.  She told me to tell you your Blues are going down!

dasNdanger writes: “What’s your favorite food aroma?”

Answer: I would also go with freshly baked cookies.

ian writes: “So, why in SG-1 did the comm. stones incapacitate the person who activated it, while in SGU they just switch minds?”

Answer: We’ve seen slightly different versions of the device in both SG-1 and SGA.

Jayenkai writes: “What are your thoughts on the fact that the transcripts/HD shots are appearing at Gateworld before the episodes have aired in the UK, and other countries?”

Answer: I think the gang at Gateworld do a great job of keeping fans updated and, often, that includes posting the very latest videos, pics, and interviews.  Sometimes, those videos, pics, and interviews may contain spoilers and my best advice would be for individual fans to proceed with caution.  If Gateworld has HD shots from an episode you’ve yet to watch, you might want to consider holding off on viewing them until after the episode has aired.

Annie from Freemantle writes: “I’ve never tasted venison.. can you let me know what meat it closest resembles to in taste?”

Answer: Lean beef.

BunEgeria writes: “I want to know about the pod from the end of Air 3?”

Answer: And you will – in about four episodes.

Matthew Stoner writes: “Here’s a question: was this the last ship that the Ancients sent into deep space, or is it possible for a newer ship to be following in the Destiny’s footsteps?”

Answer: Oh, it’s certainly possible.

dasNdanger writes: ”

Tonight I sat down to read Dark Reign Wolverine: The List – by Jason Aaron. At the end of the story, there was another Wolverine short story by Jason Aaron, called ‘A Good Man’. I immediately recognized the story.

So I dug through my back issues until I came across Wolverine #175 (Tieri/Chen), where – on the corner of the cover – is a tag that reads, ‘Wolverine writing contest winner inside!’

I opened it up, and sure enough, there was Aaron’s story, ‘A Good Man’. That was back in 2002. I remember reading that story about two or three years ago, and wondering for a while afterwards whatever happened to that contest winner. I hadn’t heard of Aaron yet, and so I figured he was just some flash in the pan. How wrong I was!”

Answer: Very cool.  Today’s fans are tomorrows writers.

Riverfox writes: “So, yeah. That’s my opinion. I try to voice it respectfully, and I hope no one is going to take offense at the fact that I really am not enjoying the show thus far. We are all entitled to our opinions. =) I’m just tossing mine out onto the pile.”

Answer: Thanks for taking the time to weigh in with your thoughts on the show.  Would love to hear your take on the next three episodes.

94 thoughts on “November 9, 2009: Emissaries from the Dead, by Adam-Troy Castro

  1. Thanks, Joe – and no…you’re not getting cookies in the mail! 🙂

    Tired, gonna call it a night. Glad you posted early, or I would have had to wait ’til morning. Enjoy your evening, sir!

    das

  2. For Mr. Castro:

    Thank you, Sir, for an enjoyable read and for taking time to join us here.

    1. Yes, I read the Acknowledgments even though I know I’m not in them. 🙂 Yours were done properly without giving anything away. Have you ever considered including a red herring just to tease your readers? ( Thanks to Frieda Calienti for teaching me all I know about zero-grav brain surgery. Not all she nows, of course, so any mistakes are mine.)

    2. Some authors title their chapters; others don’t. Why did you choose to do so?

    Anne Teldy

  3. Hi Joe, Still enjoying SGU. I personally like that it’s different that SG1 and SGA, although I loved them too.

    Two questions for you: 1.) is Riley a Sergeant or an Airman? His rank insignia says Senior Airman, but everyone calls him Sergeant. 2.) Since medical officers are not line officers and can not be placed in command, did Young leave TJ in command (when he left the ship in Water) in spite of this, or is TJ really a medical officer? I ask because she seems to be wearing the old Space career field badge in the promo pictures instead of a medical career field badge. Oh and since I brought up career field badges, Jack seems to have lost his Jump Wings (On the new black uniform-he still had them and the new Space badge on his Service Dress Uniform in Air part 1). 🙁

    Looking forward to this week’s episode. 🙂

  4. Hello Joe,

    Wondering when (not if – I’m being optomistic here!) the movies are made, will Homeworld Security/Command play a role in either one?

    Also just a quick sorry, that I didn’t get to finish Emissaries from the Dead – got it last week, read a few chapters, then got swamped with homework (so I’ve avoided what you’ve written so as not to be spoiled). But from what I’ve read so far, I love the science fiction concepts behind it – the whole long cylinders, the atmosphere on the bottom, etc – to me it’s a very original concept. I also think that the past of Andrea Cort is interesting, and warrants further exploration (which is probably fleshed out more later in the book). And I think who the AIsource are is very intruiging also – and now I really regret that I haven’t finished the book yet!! But I have greatly enjoyed what I’ve read so far, I think it’s an interesting story with new ideas, and not a “stereotypical science fiction book.”

  5. So i was just looking at the teaser images from Time and with all the ones of Greer holding a gun it got me thinking about ammo and more importantly what do they do when they run out. Is it possible that they will find an ancient handgun type weapon? In Atlantis I always wondered why they never kept some of the ancient weapons with them, and now it seems like a much more sustainable means of protection if your weapon runs on ‘energy’ and not bullets. This also makes me think back to Air when the scientist lady points out the ancient crates. Do we find out whats in them soon?

    Thanks always,

    -ZPB

  6. Managed to finish Emissaries from the dead this morning. I agree with just about every point you mentioned. This was a very pleasant read indeed, grabbing my attention from the first chapter’s “I’m a monster”, to the vivid descriptions of the physical layout of One One One. The complex universe and social structure of this book’s universe was laid out in a way to make it seem plausible. I was torn throughout the book between slowing down my reading pace to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and trying to read faster to discover the next revelation.
    The sci fi mystery novel approach worked very well in this book I believe. Despite the exotic setting, despite the political machinations driving the investigation, Andrea Cort comes across as an old style hard bitten P.I.
    The only part of the book that threw me slightly was the changes in Andrea’s character by the end of the novel. As you already described, she’s a loner who’s been emotionally scarred by childhood tragedy and the resultant abnormal upbringing following that tragedy. Yet by the end of the novel she’s made some changes in behavior and thought that seem a bit rushed. I didn’t actually dislike this development, just found it a less probable than most of the other events in the book. Still, a solid read that I’ve very glad I took the time to sit down with. Thanks to Mr M for bringing it up as a BotM club, and hopefully I’ll have some questions tomorrow night.

  7. E writes: “It was late night and Jack was sitting in his office? Not at home with Sam?”

    Joe/Answer: She was keeping dinner warm for him and running a hot bath.

    squee! 😀

    and thanks…

  8. Joe…may I recommend adding the Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper to your growing list of books? It’s technically Arthurian fantasy, but very well written and each book is short and concise.

    And I gotta thank you for this blog…I’m now discovering Emissaries from the Dead and other great sci-fi (syfy?) books through you (already beat you to David Weber, though)! There aren’t many sci-fi sites on the net that share my tastes…none that I trust at least.

    Ok, random SGU question – Can the Destiny just…slow down or stop next time it’s in the sun to super charge? Or would the shield immediately fail, meaning the refueling trick only works when they are gliding at a pre-set altitude and speed?

  9. When I initially watched “Earth” I first read Telford as being surprised first at being switched back and then at the fact that he was being “intimate” with a woman. I guess I got the feeling that Telford didn’t like Young so it seems just a little odd that he would be okay with the whole conjugal visit thing. But then I get the distinct impression he really wanted to stick it to Young so I suppose letting Young get freaky while in his body would be a small price to pay…

    Although if I were Chloe’s “other” I would be royally pissed at waking up with a hangover without having had any of the fun 😛

    On another note – you do know that your response to E’s question about Jack caused a whole lot of us over at the GW message boards to squee at the possibility of Sam at home… :: laughs :: We all just figured he decided to stay at work because she was busy on the Hammond who and who likes to come home to an empty house? (Do you think us shippers are crazy?? I feel slightly crazy).

    I’m looking forward to the next three episodes. I’ve felt like things have been a little slow (I enjoyed “Light” a lot and loved the drama introduced in “Earth”… okay maybe it was also b/c RDA was there…). 🙂

  10. Joe:

    I love your blog and I love Stargate, but I just cant get into SGU. You have made several comments over the past year, but the feel I get from Universe is that it was written as if it were for a film festival instead of a commercial television series- it is more of an “artsy” soap opera with good effects. It would make a great mini-series if the pace were picked up a bit, but there is a reason why I have never sat through a year of “The Young and the Restless” nor have I been a big fan of film festival productions. (Some are great, but the artsy stuff caters to a very specific audience)

    You mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry comments that “Sheppard was a hero in the truest sense of the word – dashing, cool under pressure, and rarely if ever given to making mistakes”. I cant agree here. Part of what was appealing about SGA was that you guys explored character flaws and weaknesses in a way that did not detract from the story line. We got to see Ronan’s vulnerable side when Wier was dying or when he was reliving the death of his girlfriend. We got to see Rodney mature from a self centered, know-it-all to someone that was still self centered most of the time but that learned to play nice with others. Even Sheppard made his fair share of mistakes and the audience was “permitted” to forgive him his faults and liked the character all the more for it.

    In the case of SGU we are halfway through the season and I feel as if you are still setting up the story for the first episode. While I do not hate it, I am not loving it, in fact, I am not really liking it much. SGU is too much of a divergence from the Stargate story. It has the Lost in Space and Voyager story but without the tension caused by the characters being truly alone and out of permenant communication with “home” and a MUCH slower pace, an R rating and a much darker feel to the show with the pace of watching a plant grow.

    Please tell me that you guys are going somewhere soon. You are losing me and one of the few luxuries I took was “SciFi Friday”… Were all of these “changes” forced on your team by the same idiots that changed the name of SciFi to “SyFy”? Trying to appeal to a more “sophisticated audience”?

  11. Random fact: I just discovered that Jamil Walker Smith voiced my favorite character on Hey Arnold. It made me like him even more.

    Just thought I’d let you know.

  12. Given that I blurbed the novel, I’ll refrain from making comment or asking questions, except to say this: if you liked the book, the sequel is even better. Look for it: The Third Claw of God.

  13. Thanks for the answer, I will need to look up the episodes of SGA with the comm. stones.

    Also, I know that Alaina Huffman is now pregnant. And in the past you guys have both written around it, and written it in (i.e. Amanda Tapping was written around; Claudia Black and Teyla written in) Vala and Teyla’s pregnancy were both similar in that, their child was the “devil child” or similar type thing, same with Sha’re now that I think about it. I think it would be best this time if it were written around, just my opinion, I know you said that you were spinning season 2 ideas, and that’s mine. (if it matters) and also I think a pregnancy on a ship with limited resources and no way to get back to earth would be more trouble to incorporate, than to just go around it. What do you think?

  14. I will take your advice to heart and hang in through the first half. Most of my fellow viewers have moved on to other Friday night fodder…and I confess I miss watching with a group…but I’ll bide with you for a while more.

    I remember other shows that I now love that irked during the first season (CSI comes to mind as an example); shows that I stopped watching for a time only to be caught up in them again the next season. I’ve loved all things Stargate and will give it more time.

  15. I dropped off my resume at Diva at the Met today, but I’m pessimistic. I was just applying for a stage. I would like to get a job at DB Bistro, though. I have about 4 weeks left in program so i want to take the time to stage at some restaurants that I have absolutely no chance of getting into (for now). Brooke suggested staging at Campagnolo, so, I think i might give that a shot in a few weeks.

    Btw, not sure if I’ve asked this yet or not, but, SG-1 had an iris and SGA had the shield. Will the Destiny have its own shield or iris? Or did the Ancients just never think to created one for the Destiny’s gate?

  16. Sorry! Didn’t mean to imply you are stupid! ;D
    Joe, if you haven’t already, I would do what several other commenters have suggested and just finish the set up by clicking “this computer does not connect to the internet.” Once you see the desktop, your computer will pick up the wireless network on its own. Do the whole “right click on the wifi thing in the corner” thing I suggested yesterday, and make sure AirPort is turned on. When you right click you should see a list of networks. Your home network should be on there! When you click on a network that is password protected, you will be prompted to enter a password. To set preferences for connecting to wifi, go the apple > location > network preferences > configure > AirPort.

    At least that’s how it’s set up on my Mac. I’m running Tiger, so it will look different, but I think the menus are the same.

    Anyone running Leopard that can confirm/deny?

  17. Air Part 1/2 – 1.7 HH (2.3 Million viewers)
    Air Part 3 – 1.8 HH (2.4 Million viewers)
    Darkness – 1.6 HH rating (2.1 Million viewers)
    Light – 1.5 HH rating (2.0 Million viewers)
    Water – 1.5 HH rating (2.0 Million viewers)
    Earth – 1.3 HH rating (1.6 Million viewers)
    Im really sad.
    I don’t think SGU will last for long.
    I guess Stargate Universe didn’t attract many new viewers to the Stargate franchise and at the same time scares steadily more and more old Stargate fans away.

  18. So I’ve been watching the Kino episodes . . . Ah, some of them are so funny, I swear! . . . and I was wondering if all or at least the majority of them are directed, in the sense of who is holding the controls, by Eli.

    Why is it that some people seem to have such an issue with the, to use the term many of the cast members and writers tend to use, “grittiness” of SGU? It is arguable that SGA explored character flaws really at all. Each character had a certain level of humanity, as did all of the characters in SG1, but I felt that character was still revealed in a more general shallow sense. Not saying that the characters were shallow, but that they didn’t reveal true elements of human character. More of a *situational* element of character.

    In SGU, both Lt. Scott and Col. Young reveal certain aspects of infidelity. How feelings toward a person can change. When Chloe first showed up with her father and Eli, Lt. Scott probably (granted this is all supposition) saw her as another dignitary or politician’s secretary. Nothing negative or positive, pretty ambiguous. But as he got to know her over the course of the first few episodes, and as she got to know him, distinguishing him from all other military types on Destiny, they developed a kinship. They could relate to each other, which deepened their acquaintance to actual affection leading to them feeling it fitting to demonstrate their affection for one another in a very physical manner, which was accentuated by the fact that they thought they were going to die. And even after they realized they *weren’t* going to die, at least not yet, they still had that connection. Does this make Lt. Scott a “whore”? No! No one can predict how they will react to the people they will see on a day to day basis. One can think one loves a person wholly one day, only to realize something or find out about something the next day and realize maybe one doesn’t love them as much as one thinks one did. Or one could meet someone that changes your whole worldview entirely! One can never know . . .

    Now compare this to SGA or SG1 . . . which I keep doing though it seems unreasonable to. Neither of these, in my opinion, exposed a deep revelation of character for anyone. Maybe in smaller, more personal ways (bear with me): Carter and O’Neill realizing they love each other, Teal’C and the Jaffa realizing they are following false gods, Daniel and Vala butting heads only to realize how much they mean to each other, McKay realizing how much he cares for Keller, Woolsey having a change of heart about everything all the time . . . these are all significant realizations to the characters themselves, but don’t exactly resound throughout the rest of human nature, at least not in the way SGU does.

    Personally (I’m kinda bouncing off one of the previous comments someone posted just because I tend to have less to say when not rebutting against someone) I have always enjoyed the sort of “Lost in Space” story. You spend 15 years connected to home, always having a way out in a sense, even though at the end of the day there are still aliens trying to take over a galaxy or two. But in SGU there is less of an umbilical cord. As illustrated in Earth, they are far from home and far from the jurisdiction of any Earthly government. Yes, O’Neill can order Young to attempt some crazy scheme to get them back home, but Young is quite capable of saying no and going back to the Destiny. In fact, when watching the episode, at the time I thought it would’ve been quite amusing if, after Telford and the other two scientists switched bodies back to Earth, if they had cut communications for a day or so just to give the people back on Earth a bit of a scare! Of course that would’ve been a bit childish and absurd, but it would’ve been a very cute “Gotcha!” moment!!

    All in all, I really like this series. People compare it to BSG and the other SG shows . . . and if you want to think of it that way, it’s more like a blending of the two. Lost in space, but with a friendlier side to humanity. Not as much the futility of humanity as BSG seemed to put it, and not as overly optimistic as the other SG shows. But a nice mixture of the two, with a few shots of rum resulting in a bad hangover the next morning, but with all the good memories of the night before. Yup, just awesome . . .

  19. Have you ever read Gaiman and Pratchett’s “Good Omens”? Just started it today and loving it! My colleagues are somewhat surprised I find time to read for leisure (given the grueling amount of weekly readings we get in grad school). I sadly, don’t think I have much time at all since I haven been missing out on the BOTM. I do appreciate that you maintain it and hopefully I can jump back on soon!

  20. *mwah* 😡 to you and Chef Belcham. Vancouver in 2010, after Ireland with Ronny!

    Joe said:
    “Answer: Yes, the events of early episodes will set up events in later episodes that will eventually pay off down the line. We’ve got a lot of arcs and throughlines, big and small, in store.”

    I’m re-reading a few of Anne McCaffrey’s “Dragonriders of Pern” novels and realizing that I waited DECADES for some payoffs in that literary scifi series.

    Patience, fellow SGU watchers!

  21. Joseph, this is my first comment on your blog. I’m not sure whether this also counts as “the mailbag”, but if not then I’d like to know how to write to that. A few things…

    First, I’m very much enjoying Stargate Universe. In many ways I think this is the best Stargate series yet, quality-wise. And this is from someone who has been watching continuously since near the end of SG1 season 1. I have generally liked all the series, although I have recognized some less-than-stellar aspects that seemed ingrained, and I won’t get into them now.

    SGU has been a big improvement from what came before, I find. I like the greater realism of the stories and characters. I like that you seem to have consulted some experts on the science details. I very much like that SGU isn’t a villain-of-the-week format; I *want* it to continue to focus on the main cast, and I *don’t* want it to be about “the fight against the big-bad” like SG1 and SGA were.

    Currently, I’m leaning towards “Light” as my favorite SGU episode so far, and this is after seeing the first 7.

    One thing I wish you had done differently with SGU is what the camera shows with the body-swaps. I would have preferred that what shows on screen is what people in the show actually see. Meaning that you show the bodies that are physically present, and have those actors act like the characters whose minds are occupying them. That is the more realistic approach. I understand why you probably did it the way you did (eg, easier time for viewers telling whose mind they’re seeing, and easier time for the cast), but I still think it would have been better as I stated. That’s not to say that you can’t change this later; its not like it would be a continuity break, simply a style change.

    Something I would like you to do with SGU in the near future (and maybe you already filmed it, I don’t know) is continue the realism trend by periodically have a cross-sex body swap. Realistically speaking, with who gets swapped with who being largely random, who-ever’s near the stones at each end at the time a connection is made, the odds are that some-times it would be characters of different sexes that swap, especially considering the frequency of Destiny’s residents visiting Earth.

    I think it would make a number of great stories for you to have this situation occur, and deal with it explicitly in the stories. Moreover, it *needs* to involve the swapping of 2 protagonists (insomuch as that is possible where one of them is on Earth), and not be a stereotypical “hero/villain” swap. In particular, I’d like to see Eli doing it, and see how he deals. (You can also see, that stories like this are probably easier to do if the camera sees what in-story characters see.)

    Also, and *very* important, any cross-sex swap you do needs to be played straight. Don’t belittle it by only doing it in a “comedy” episode; that’s too common and worn out. It needs to be done seriously, as much so as any swaps shown to date, *and* not be a “hero/villain” switch, which is also worn out.

    Anyway, thank you and keep up the good work.

    — Darren Duncan

  22. okay i see what you did there. so is spinning ideas for season 2 easier than for season 1? and are we gonna see the Furlings this time? that will get SG-1 fans really interested. but dont make them like those drunk ewoks on Today show lol. as for killing characters, we arent really invested yet in characters like ming-na’s and the pilot guy so killing them wont be that dramatic. so if you are gonna make a big deal about killing characters then make it a surprise. although without Young and Rush and maybe Greer or Eli, you wont have the same show anymore. remember Elizabeth Weir? oh that reminds me, no more explosion death thing please! because to us it seems like the writers thought:
    “hey lets kill someone, im in a killing mood today”
    “okay lets put some explosion somewhere.”
    “make it a big one so they wont think we’re pulling a John Sheppard!”
    “yeah that guy is immune to explosions”

    so it just has to be a creative decision.

  23. I tried to watch SGU but I just don’t care about the characters or the plot. It’s too bad — like Star Trek Enterprise, the show had so much potential, but I couldn’t sit through an episode.

  24. SGU is fab. I can understand some of the criticism that has been made so far, but I really can’t find any huge flaws that would detract me from following the show.

    I remember the excitement I felt when SG-1 was announced back in the nineties, since I heard about it just a short time after I saw the original movie. Since then, I’ve seen every episode of SG-1 and SGA. The thing is, ever since SG-1 killed off the Goaul’d, the show was never the same. It changed from being a show about exploring the universe (and fending off a superior force) to a superhero show where the guys from earth force were superior in every way. So, SGU feels refreshing, and more in tune with the early SG-1.

  25. thnx for the answers about that hiatus. seems like i might have to wait patiently during the hiatus. until christmas season pass, right?

    i’ll miss universe then~

  26. Hmmm….I think I’m onto something with that question I asked. Very interesting twist. Well unless you come out & totally discount it…hahahahaha

    Folks, don’t bother going back to see what it was. Looks like it’s too hot for the screen.

    Cheers, Chev

  27. Hey, Joe.

    Looking forward to Earth tonight! Got loads of positive hype from my American buddies so far!

    Out of curiosity, how old is Icarus Base? Refreshing my memory with the “Air” transcript on GW, Rush said that it took them two years to find the site; two years ago from “Air” was roughly “Ark of Truth” sort of time. Did the SGC start looking pretty soon after AoT (in which case, Icarus is brand new), or is the base a bit older than that (with them starting to look before/during the Ori shindig)?

    Also, did the Icarus planet have a Stargate already, or did the SGC bring one there?

  28. Mr. M, have you tried getting a new router? We went through two routers and the third one worked like a charm (the more expensive one, of course). Sometimes it’s the hardware, not the os or the drivers (per hubby).

    I have to bow to your magnificence. I would not be able to read all the odd ball comments.

    I apologize to Carl for not giving Pocahontas a chance. I have a new niece (2lbs, 12ozs) and I’ll buy the movie for her at Christmas. Will money make up for my criticism?

    T

  29. Hey Joe

    Some questions:

    1. Do you regret calling the SGA movie Extinction?

    2. Will they be eating proper food aboard Destiny soon?

    3. Do the stones work on certain frequencies? Is that why the ones on Destiny work with the ones on Earth?

    4. At the moment Eli is showing up the other scientists. Do Volker & co get a chance to shine in the future?

    5. How’s your Japanese going?

    Cheers, Chev

  30. And one more thing – getting Carlyle on board was a tremendous scoop. He’s a fantastic actor.

  31. Ah, cookies. My hubby makes and gives away candles as a hobby. He made a lovely sugar-cookie scented one for the gal who runs the fuel desk at a truckstop in Cedar City. the next time he was through there she told him her kids were ticked at him. “Why?” “Because they came home from school and piled in the kitchen looking for fresh cookies. All they found was the candle burning, and boy, were they mad at you!”

    I’m a frequent cookie baker as hubby takes them on the truck so he’ll have breakfast and nibbles each day.

    @Seahen I have a theory about Riley. He’d taken his exams and had been promoted to Sargeant on paper, and was waiting for the actual date of promotion and the handshake ceremony in order to change his insignia. They’d started calling him Sargeant anyway, sort of a joke. But then Destiny and the 9th chevron happened, and now he’s stuck with his old airman insignia. Works for me.

  32. Heard about the ratings. Bummer. Hope time’s ratings go back up. That episode looks epic!!!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  33. Shadow Step writes: “What about the one where she practices putting it on a broomstick first – will it be a DVD extra?”

    Answer: Kino scene.
    Mwahaha! Can’t. Stop. Laughing.

    E writes: “It was late night and Jack was sitting in his office? Not at home with Sam?”

    Answer: She was keeping dinner warm for him and running a hot bath.
    Thanks for answering. I can smell cute fics being written based on this.

  34. Sorry didn’t get to the book, but looking fwd to the Q&A. People here always ask such good questions of the authors, many beyond the book, that interest me enough to want to see answers.

    I haven’t commented on SGU because I’m not liking it very much. Latest ep, the pet rocks are killing it for me, I’m having too hard a time keeping track of where consciousnesses are and I don’t like them as a plot device (didn’t like em in SG1 either). Even your characters (Eli) are complaining about the mind rubber banding! 😉 seriously though, as someone commented above me, so far the feel is too far removed from the “Stargate” that I did like. I love the sets, but if I can’t care about the characters and thus the stories then it isn’t enough. I think I’ve been giving it a fair shot.
    Because you’ve said they are “really really good” in a pretty unbiased way, I’ll watch the 3 episodes you mentioned before deciding if I want to watch any more.
    DD

  35. Hi Joe,

    Love SGA, have entire series (even though they are only upto series 4 on tv here in Australia). Also I have to admit that I am enjoying SGU. I it is completely different from the other two series. The filming is darker and a there is a lot more motion (which I gather is a reflection on the confined space of the Destiny). I love the contrast between being on board the Destiny and going off world, is the difference in filming styles between the two deliberate. It is a noticable difference, dark of the ship VS lightness of the world?

    Earth isn’t shown here until this Friday so I cant comment on it, but I enjoyed ‘water’.

    I must say Dr Rush’s moral compass is futher off than any other main character from SG that I’ve seen, I think he and Greer will be interesting to watch. They seem to be the exact opposite of each other. Rush, self serving and a loner whilst Greer is absolutely loyal to Young and Scott and it will be interesting to see just how far he is willing to go for them.

    What about TJ and Young?

    My 7 year old son is devestated SGA is gone. He so wanted to be John Sheppard, he has even gotten his hair cut like Joe Flanigans’ (man we go through some gel to get it to stay up, he can’t quite get it as messy though).

    I really miss SGA, but i’m glad i gave SGU a chance.

    Anyway thanks for all the awesome shows!

    Love your work!

  36. PS wait, did I just read that the IOA leader’s name is Dale Strom? LOL! I also disagree that John Sheppard was a “true hero”. Yeah he got the jobs done but my oh my, at what costly mistakes!
    DD

  37. Joe, why do people perpetuate stupid rumors and urban legends via email? Is it really that hard to check how factual the email is before forwarding it on to every single person in your address book??

    Okay, that’s uh…not really a question for the mailbag. I just felt like complaining. Nothing more to see here, carry on!

  38. Hi Joe, getting old sucks. I was reading yesterday’s comments and accidentally posted on there. Nothing important, mind you, but you could please give Kabra my email address? Very much appreciated! xoxo

  39. Hello Mr. Mallozzi,

    i want to ask, do you read Mangas? If you do, what series do you read?

    I’ve read that you are waiting for the call for the movies. So I’m asking myself, I really don’t wan’t to be offending or something else, why do you don’t call them? It confuses me little bit.

    So I wish you a nice day, ah and how are the dogs?

  40. In response to the ratings of last week’s episode here in the States, I’ve been doing a little research (or rather, others have and I’ve kept up with it) and it seems a lot of shows were down. It was a bad week for several gigs. Hopefully we see an uptick for the first time since the premiere for ‘Time’, or there might be an issue. If the uptick happens, though, I think we’ll be doing just fine.

  41. Hi Mr M!

    My PC is very ill! Hence my silence over the past week….I know you’ve been up nights thinking why have I left?…Ok maybe not…

    Anyhoo, just a post to say hi and to wish you the best with the packing for the upcoming trip to Japan. How goes the packing?

    Am dodging spoilers to SGU also.

    Earth airs here in just over 2 and half hours….Looking forward to it.

    Am off to the fan run AT4 over in London on Friday. So hi to all the blog regulars who may be attending….Please come over and say hi!! (I don’t bite…usually)

    Best to all. I hope to have a repaired PC by next week, but will drop in from the Con.

    S’n’T

  42. Hey! Duct Tape! Give back my keyboard!!!!

    Duct Tape: *hurriedly types before Mom can get keyboard back* “Maximus, sexy scar! I keep telling Mom to give you messages but I don’t think she does! *flutters eyelashes* “Oops, here comes Mom. Gotta go.”

    Mom: *wipes dog spit from keyboard* Sorry ’bout that fellow posters, guess you can’t stop true love from happening!

  43. @ Karen – WI “The reason I loved John Sheppard was because the dude was always screwing it up and doing his best to make it better. ”

    Well, yeah that’s one of the reasons I like Sheppard too. How about the time he went over Weir’s head and had a military office open the door to the sparing room when there was some kind of infection floating around – I can’t remember the name of that episode at the moment. Despite the fact they lost a few of their members as a result – the day was saved. That was kind of a questionable “who is in charge” situation.
    What was the name of that episode?? Did the Golden Boy write that?

    Oh yeah those ” elfish” ears – I knew there was another reason I liked him.

  44. I think this sleep thing is overrated. I got 7-8 hours solid but woke from a busy, anxious dream feeling pounded, masticated, and spit out.

    We now return you to Joe’s blog.

  45. Gilder: so sorry! I hope tomorrow morning will be better.

    maggiemayday: cute story. Now you have me thinking about making sugar cookies, mmmm.

    May: I liked Star Trek Enterprise.

    I’m almost finished with “The Misenchanted Sword” and enjoying it. Thanks again.

    T

  46. Joe, just wanted to say Earth was my favorite episode yet after the 3 part premiere. Though O’Neill didnt seem quite like himself in the episode, I’m crediting that to the political pressure thats weighing in on him from the president and the senators wife. Oh, and i hope to see more of Carl Rota in future episodes as the head of the I.O.A. I loved his work on 24 and think he’s a good actor.

    my question is, since the ship is fairly old, and even looks like to me has been inhabited or boarded at one point, will the crew discover any remains or evidence in the ship that suggests or proves they may not be the first ones to show up there?

  47. Just recovering from Chevron 7.3 with David Blue…that guy is amazing…he is sweet, charming, funny…and a totally geek/nerd…LOL…we actually had a descussion on who we had met as I have been going to conventions since 81 so a long time…

    They also announced that the guests for the next con will be Brian J Smith and David Hewlett….I can’t unfortunately I can’t go as I would love to meet David but hopefully there will be another chance…

    Kriss 🙂

  48. An Emissary from the dead eh, that’s gotta be Ender Wiggin

    “Kino scene.”

    *lol* – so less DVD extras, eh? 😉

    “Go figure.”

    Well its a bit like a bank robber going up to the teller an saying “I really respect you man” and then shoots him. The headline is still going to be “teller killed” 😉

    “Lean beef.”

    Aww, not chicken? 🙂

    @Shannon
    “suppose letting Young get freaky while in his body would be a small price to pay”

    I wonder if we’ll hear either of them enviously comment the other is better endowed 😉

  49. hi! i understand according to the stargate SG1 episode (200) , that the show wromhole X-treme had the same success that SG1 had in our reality, however Eli didn’t seem to make any connection with it when seeing the gate activating, what do you think?

  50. Hey Joe,

    Been on vacation since Thursday and was only now able to sit down and watch the latest episode of SGU. I want to love this show…I really do…but I’m growing weary of being totally confused by the drama and grossed out by the love scenes. My hubby–the die-hard Stargate fanatic who introduced me to the Stargate world–is almost ready to give up on the show. I’ll hang on a little longer. I’ll give you til the end of the season…

    Also–Eli and Chloe wasting the military’s time with the communication stones to go to a concert? Pretty unbelievable if you ask me.

    Thanks for taking the time to read all the comments from your fans. That’s pretty awesome.

    Alicia.

  51. Hey Kabra…the ep. name is Hot Zone… I loved that ep too for the clash of military v civilian. Well written and acted perfectly.

    Cheers, Chev

  52. Hi Joe, it’s a very dark and gloomy afternoon (we’re supposed to get slammed with storms today from the tropical storm), so I’m watching SGA Season 4 “Special Features” and Paul Mullie says “Ultimately, even though it’s a science fiction show and there’s visual effects and big explosions and lots of action, if the people/fans don’t care about the characters, the rest is just a waste of time, right?”. Just sayin’ 😉

  53. Hello Joe,

    Two questions regarding two answers:

    1. Regarding:
    “duneknight writes: ‘so the best three episodes are next? shouldn’t you love all your episodes just the same?’
    Answer: Nope. Episodes are like children – you have your favorites and then you have those that didn’t turn out quite like you’d hoped they would.”

    Are you being serious or facetious? :-p

    2. Regarding:
    “E writes: ‘It was late night and Jack was sitting in his office? Not at home with Sam?’
    Answer: She was keeping dinner warm for him and running a hot bath.”

    Thank you for that awesome answer, regardless of if you were kidding around. Many of us would love to see Jack & Sam finally make it official on screen. We know that Jack’s “semi-retired”. Maybe there’s a way to work in their relationship, his retirement, and him still being involved in the Stargate program. Is there a possibility that we’ll get to see Jack & Sam livin’ it up (finally) after the massive 12+ year tease?

    🙂

  54. Hi Joe,

    I have been very busy recently but am finishing Emissaries from the Dead today and will send my thoughts and questions in a day or two. I have really enjoyed this book so far.

  55. Joe wrote:

    Answer: Not at all. I’d wait for you to go down and settled in first, THEN show up and mooch off you and your hubby. Smart, no?

    Hmmm, yeeeeah, ok, you can come and crash with us for a while. The more the merrier. Once I send the secretly coded blog comment letting you know we’ve arrived and settled, fly to Koh Samui and look for the blonde doing her best impersonation of an inanimate object, enjoying the serenity and wearing a vacant look (like so). Strike that about the vacant look, that could be any blonde. Bring the dogs, togs and a towel. The secret marker is the rock with the sad face. We’ll be nearby. Don’t tell anyone you know where we are….

  56. *waves at DarrenDuncan*

    Long time no see nor type! Are you still in Victoria, BC, or am I mis-remembering?

  57. *waves at Gilder*

    Yes, I recognized your name on this board too, the only one I recognized so far. And yes, I’m still in Victoria, BC.

  58. Etagrats said:
    “, that the show wromhole X-treme had the same success that SG1 had in our reality, however Eli didn’t seem to make any connection”

    Alternate timeline? Would explain a LOT…!

  59. Since I brought up Ronny “Kinsey” Cox…

    Did we ever have a name for the Go’auld that Kinsey received? I’ll check GW and ask Ronny, but perhaps someone remembers?

  60. So, Joe … this may be an indelicate question, but of course I’ll ask it anyway.

    If the SGA movie doesn’t get made (Horrors! and God Forbid!) do (or did) you and Paul still get paid for the script?

    And just for the record – I am already enjoying SGU and since reading your comments, am really looking forward to the last 3 eppys.

  61. @Tammy Dixon – Congrats on the new niece. 2 lbs 12 oz. – did I read that right? I wish her health and happiness.

  62. Okay, I’m not a fan of ongoing series and it wasn’t until I picked up Emissaires from the Dead that I realized it was the first in a series. It’s not that I didn’t think the book would be well-written but more that my past experience has shown first books in a planned ongoing series tend to be all set-up with little pay-off and a whole bunch of unanswered questions. I even considered not reading it…

    But boy am I glad I did. I loved it. And, for a first book in a series, it delivered a satisfying stand alone story that answered all the questions in set up while also leaving the door open for more.

    I agree that the author’s world-building is some of the best and most imaginative I’ve come across in some time, and the story and characters were very compelling.

    Questions for the author:

    1) I read that elements of this world appeared in your previous published short stories. Which elements exactly? Andrea? The indentured system? One One One? Do all of your stories take place within the same established setting?

    2) You write female characters very well. What sort of advice would you offer another male writer who would like to capture the female voice.

    3) Someone is going to ask this question so it might as well be may. This was a murder mystery. Did you know whodunit when you sat down to write Emissaries or was it something you discovered in the process?

    Thanks

  63. @Sven

    “getting Carlyle on board was a tremendous scoop. He’s a fantastic actor.”

    Won’t you be surprised if he is killed in episode 10 😉

  64. Just watching “Earth” (again). I can’t really say much more than wow: such a fantastic character episode!

    One question that springs to mind – what nationality is Strom? I know the actor is Canadian, and born in London; he doesn’t seem to be wearing a handy US flag or anything to give it away. Is he a replacement for Mr Coolidge from “Midway”, or is he British, Canadian, etc?

  65. @Gilder

    Spoiler for McCaffrey novels
    o
    o
    o
    .
    .
    .
    o
    o
    o
    The underprivileged, talented character shows up the overprivileged, shallow character.

  66. Hi Joe,

    Hope all is well…. A couple of question please:

    1. What exactly powers the SGU stargates on the planets the cast visits, I figure there isnt a DHD or anything else?

    2. Theoritically, the Destiny was supposed to carry how many people… that is if the Ancients did come aboard…. sorry let me pose the question again: What is the max capacity in terms of people of the Ship?

    3. Concerning Atlantis…. if the movie gets done ( I pray to God every night for that by the way) how much time will it take you guys for production and post production… I assume the pre-production is done?

    Thanks

    Your Original Montreal Fan

  67. @ chevron7 – Thanks – you’d think I’d remember it since I have it on dvd and watched it a several times.

  68. @ Deni – hope the weather doesn’t get too bad for you. My niece is getting married on Sat – did I mention ON THE BEACH!!!!! We are gonna get blown away!!!!!!!! I suggested last year when the plans began to wait until after hurricane season, no one listens to me.

  69. Dear joe,

    I don’t know if news like that would reach you in Canada. But only a few hours ago Robert Enke (32), Germans most likely goalkeeper number 1 for the south african World cup died. Everything points towards a suicide.
    Everyone in GErmany is shocked and it would be great if you could dedicate your blog to Robert Enke and his Family or something like that…

    Can’t think straight right now… this all so overwhelming…

  70. Hey Mr. Mallozzi. Obviously i just hit submit before i could finishing typing this, sorry about that. I just was wondering if you would answer a question for me regarding the Destiny. In your opinion, are the power reserves still below designed capacity because the Destiny is so old, and is no longer capable to storing as strong a charge as it once could? Or is it more likely because so many power conduits were damaged, as mentioned in Earth, resulting in reduced efficiency as we saw in SGA when the power conduits there were damaged as well. Thanks for your time, and hope your enjoying the weather here in lovely Vancouver!

  71. Joe —

    If you have any contact with Brian J. Smith, tell him congrats on being cast in Poirot’s Murder on the Orient Express. I hope working with the marvelous David Suchet is a great experience for him.

  72. Narelle: Wow! My son was 9lbs 4ozs, so anything under that seems small but under two lbs is scary small!
    Your hubby grew up well, and I hope my niece does as well.
    Loved your instructions for Mr. M!

    T

  73. Wow, it is not often that I take the time to comment on forums regarding television programming, but am compelled to do so here. To say I’m a huge fan of SG1 and SGA is an understatement. I have loved scifi since the days of Lost in Space, Space 1999, Land of the Giants, Star Trek, etc… I own completed DVD seasons of many scific series, attend conventions, and online fan forums, including this blog. The amount of money I have spent on the SG franchise could finance a small country. That being said, I have watched every episode of SGU that has aired in the hopes of getting “hooked” and making SGU most see TV. So far I can say is “meh”… As a professional, liberal, intelligent woman and mother, I am disgusted with the female characters to date. Chloe…seriously her father just died, she stranded on a spaceship on the other side of the galaxy and the first thing on her mind is sex??? I’m not a prude but simply insulted!! One of my grown sons who watched with me, just called her a tramp. yikes!! and he thinks she’s hot. The concept of the communication stones is intriguing but a strange guy shows up at a woman’s house, claims to be her husband and she beds him?? Really??? Guys everywhere are taking notes. SG1 and SGA worked because the stories were fascinating and the characters real. I’m not saying sexuality shouldn’t exist in scifi…I would have loved to see the Sam/Jack or Daniel/Vala steamy scenes, but because their stories were developed and the characters were real. Not sex for sex sake. I am liking Eli, Rush and Col Young very much and plan to watch the rest of season 1 to give it a fair chance. I understand the marketing of younger, edgier, sexier, etc…but not at the expense of the loyal audiences that have made the scifi genres the lucrative franchise masterpieces they are. If you read these comments please understand if we didn’t care about the success of the show we wouldn’t bother to comment. Sincerely.

  74. Tammy – The prems have a tough start but they’re fighters! Nath had two holes in his heart and had to go to speech therapy until High School. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him (other than the scars from the heart operations – but he tells kids it was a croc) or hear him speak. Apparently the nurses said he was the smiliest prem they’ve ever seen, but that’s one thing you could tell if you saw him now. He beams. My friends say it’s like he smiles with his entire being. I like that 🙂

  75. @ian – I notice you wrote “Vala and Teyla’s pregnancy were both similar in that, their child was the “devil child” or similar type thing…”

    Rachel Luttrell’s character, Teyla Emmagan, was pregnant with a child that the Michael character (who’s kind of devil-like) wanted to take from her because the child had a genetic gift that Michael wanted to exploit.

    Teyla’s child, later born and known as Torren John, was in no way devilish. Right now, my understanding is that he is a perfectly normal and sweet little toddler. It will be interesting to see how he has grown if and when the movie is made. I personally think that Teyla could use a few more character moments (since someone else touched on the subject); this keeps me crossing my fingers for the movie.

    Vala’s (Claudia Black) child was, granted pretty bad but, not a complete devil. She (Adria) had the opportunity to kill Vala when Vala was going to reluctantly shoot her as she was putting Daniel in mortal danger. All she did was to stop Vala from killing her, and then she expressed her disappointment in knowing that Vala would have. Then Adria ascended and left Vala unharmed and with her team. I don’t know about Sha’re.

    So far, I think TPTB have done a pretty good job with the pregnancies I’ve seen.

    @Tammy – Congrats on your niece! And best wishes too:0)

    @Becketts Patient – Hang in there:0(

    Peace & Love,

    j

  76. Hi Joe, I’m BACK!! The stargate/farscape LA con. was WONDERFUL!! Just amazing, All the actors were very nice, funny, and “What eye candy” – Did I say that outloud?! No really, I had a backstage pass, (which I bid on and won), so that gave me access to many things and people!! I will also send a private e-mail with some info. for you. I kept my buds- kabra and deni up to date, but I was in overdrive and don’t think I made sense some of the time! Yes I’m also a farscape person so it was a double WOW!! And of course BB and CB were in both!! Met Martin Gero, cool dude, still having a problem with the hand but doing much better- or so I got that impression after I asked him about it. He was very nice to sign a picture to me. These people were very “down to earth” so that made me even think more of them. They had such stories to tell, one about JF, PM , and JM “LYING” and telling Robert Cooper that JM was arrested in Seattle , and listening to him almost have a heart attack over the phone, before they finally told him the truth!! You had to be there but it was a hoot to hear! A surprise was in store for everyone, I was in the bar, and trying to give a tip to the bar tender and made a general comment and the guy next to me answered me, well when I looked up to see the man’s face, I was staring at RYAN ROBBINS, and we had a nice conversation for the next 20 minutes. Very nice man . He had his wife and daughter with him- no the child was NOT in the bar!! His 2 friends – Patrick Gilmore aka Dale Volker and Peter Kelamis aka Adam Brody from SGU were with him also. I was also able to speak with them as well as take a picture with them, Lovely and funny guys, and I told them I knew they read Joe’s blog and I wish them all the best in the future. It’s all a blur, but what a weekend. Sheryl

  77. another question.

    Some people in a forum i am in are debating about destiny and atlantis. Destiny is first right? and we know that Atlantis has to be a few million years old, since they wiped out life in the milky way and then restarted it and left for pegasus. So would you be able to give a range of years like Destiny is 30-35 million years old and Atlantis is 10-15 million years old??

    Sidenote (I don’t care if you answer this one) How long ago did the Ancients leave the Milky Way? We know they abandon Atlantis 10,000 years ago.

  78. The lizard people that run the world insisted on the mini-series V to create plausible deniability when anyone complains, sort of a Wormhole Xtreme! tactic. What aspects of SG-1/SGA/SGU were included because of directives from the lizard people?

  79. Hi Joe!
    “Answer: If you eat hot dogs, you already have.”
    That explains why Wray didn’t want one in Earth!

    I’m eagerly anticipating Time. I decided to to watch any promos for it so I’ll be more surprised.
    I’m visting friends this weekend who are gatefans who haven’t had the opportunity to see any of SGU yet so we’ll be having an 8-episode mini marathon!

    Another of my friends (he got me into the franchise a bit over 2 years ago actually) was married last weekend and told me after the ceremony that he’s a little annoyed that he’ll be waiting 2 weeks before he gets to catch up with Universe 😛

    Here’s an interesting point many people miss: the first full on ‘Capital ships shooting at each other in space” space battle in Atlantis is at the start of season 2, while SG-1 didn’t have any intership shootouts until season 4 episodes 14 as far as I can tell. I don’t know why so many people are complaining about a ‘lack of space battles’ in SGU as we’ve only had 7 episodes. Yes it’s set on a ship but that doesn’t mean it’s going to devote all it’s time to blowing up other ships.
    Stargate isn’t (primarily) about space battles, it’s about going to unreachable places through the stargate. SGU has definitely delivered on that 😀

  80. Hey Joe, so much drama surrounding SGU its rediculous! I never read reviews for things before I see them because I dont want people telling me I’m going to dislike something, but after watching the first 7 episodes I caught up and do have to agree with some of the comments. Now before I seem like a ‘hater’ I want you to know I grew up watching Stargate SG1, it has been one of my favourite shows since I was 12 (I’m 23 now and doesn’t admiting that make me feel old!) and I want to love SGU I really do but there is something about it that leaves me wanting. After the third episode of Atlantis I was psyched and pretty sure it was the best TV show ever! but with SGU I don’t really feel that way, I like it and I enjoy watching it but new episodes don’t fill me with the child like anticipation that new episodes of SG1 and Atlantis did. I like Col. Young, adore Eli, and Col. Telford infuriates me (but I like him for the drama) and while there have been a few excellent episodes (Light and Earth were particually squee inducing) I feel we haven’t really got much of a feel for most of the characters yet so its hard to get caught up and involved in the situation when a characters life is in danger, if you know what I mean…(Its 3:37am and I’m waffling sorry) but I was just wondering how much we can expect in the way of character development for the central cast in the remainder of this season and the growing relationships between people on the ship (and I don’t mean the romantic kind)

    Sorry…that was a long comment…all the best with the show and I look forward to Season 2!

  81. Hey Joe,

    Are you concerned about the 1.3 HH rating, and 1.6 Million viewers “Earth” got? SGA was averaging higher than this for their last season. 1.7 Mil last time I checked. I hope the naysayers don’t win this battle, because they tried it for SGA and the numbers rebounded by a nice amount and so they lost that battle.

    Also, why do you sell yourself short producing and showrunning SGA? You did one hell of a job, and I really wanted that one more season. Unless I am mis-reading something I apologize.

    Anyway good job on SGU. Robert Carlye is just amazing and I had a feeling he was going to be.

    Best,

    Squall78

  82. So….tell Kerry I said better luck next time cuz the Canucks got whooped by the Blues.

    1-6 Blues.

  83. Also Joe, try resetting your Wireless Network key on your router, to something shorter but make sure it is strong key.

  84. How long is the hiatus supposed to last? I’m sad that there is going to be one. I suppose I’ll just have to rewatch all the aired episodes…=(

    Do you know when they might announce season 2? I really hope it’s soon. I can’t wait to see more of SGU!!

  85. Great book! I’m looking forward to the author Q&A. Here are some questions for him:

    1. As people have already pointed out, the world-building in your book is phenomenal. You’ve given a lot of detail to many facets of your world while others have been referred to but not really pursued. The Diplomatic Corps that Andrea works for, for instance. What else can you tell us about DIPS and will we learn more about it in your next book.

    2. I hear you started off writing short fiction and that this is your first novel (and a great one, might I add). I’d like to know what made you decide to write a novel. Was it always your intent and were short stories something you were cutting your teeth on or was it a desire that evolved after writing so much short fiction? Did you always think you had a book in you?

    3. I found Emissaires from the Dead a very unique book. Would you say you were influenced by any other SF works or works outside of the SF realm?

    4. When’s the follow-up being released?

  86. Hats off to Adam-Troy Castro on a cracking first novel. Even though I considered the possibility very early only to dismis it, among many possibilities I considered and dismissed, the revelation at the end of the book was a nice surprise. I liked the human element of the investigation set agains the backdrop of the bizarre artificial world, but didn’t care for the the prospect of the AISource’s involvement in the murders. Even though a fine line was walked to make sure the AI didn’t become a Deux Ex Machina, I found the prospect that it could have decided matters either way troubling. Its sort of like Superman, or the Asgard, as incredibly powerful beings who are introduced and then the creators have to come up with clever reasons why they can’t just use save the day. The AISource knew what the problem was all along but wanted Andrea to solve it when they could have just solved it themselves.

    Questions for Adam Troy Castro:

    1) Will you be exploring the dissident faction of the AISource in your next book?

    2) I’d also like to know if you’re next book will explore more of Andrea Cort’s entry into the Diplomatic Corps. Given her infamous background, I’d have thought she’d be the last one to join or be recruited by anything called Diplomatic. But maybe there’s an irony there that is hinted at in EftD, that the Diplomatic Corps is not quite as “diplomatic” as we would assume.

    3) Among the aspects I loved about this book were the sentient alien races like the Brachiators and the Bocai. The Brachiators were an engineered race and I’m assuming native only to One One One, but the Bocai were an established alien race who, forgive me if I misread, were seen as second-class citizens by many humans. I’d really love to know more about the Bocai and their struggles and was wondering if we would learn more about them, and not just their involvement in the colony from Andrea’s youth, in coming books. If not, what can you tell us about them?

    Thanks for taking my questions and I can’t wait for the second book to come out. Oh, and one more question. When is it coming out? *Taps foot impatiently

  87. Hey, all. I’ll be right with you. Just not tonight.

    Joseph. Email me about how you want me to address these questions. Should I wait til they’ve achieved critical mass, should I just wade in here, or do you want to send me a collection of them to forward to you? Any option is fine; dunno your preferred procedure.

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