A good fantasy series is hard to find; a great one an outright rarity.  Rare, perhaps, but certainly not impossible to find.  George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series is one.  Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law is another.  And now, with the publication of the second book in his Acacia trilogy, author David Anthony Durham can lay claim to the mantle as well.  The Other Lands picks up where The War with the Mein left off.  The war has ended, Hanish Mein is dead, and our various players have settled down to an uneasy peace.  Queen Corinn now rules the land with the help of her surviving siblings – Mena, the warrior princess, and Dariel, the former pirate turned unlikely diplomat.  But complicating matters for the new Acacian ruler are a restless populace, suspect allies, and an abhorrent treaty, in place for generations,  that has seen the empire ship thousands of young children to an unknown fate at the hands of the mysterious foreigners known as the Lothan Aklun.

Like the first book in the series, the narrative hopscotches between the various players be it Mena and her fellow warriors charged with the task of ridding their homeland of fearsome abominations, the young Dariel discovering deception and death on his first diplomatic foray, or Corinn dealing with the mounting threat from within the Acacian borders.  And there are other throughlines as well – the machinations of the seafaring mercenaries known as The League, the hidden agenda of the brutish Numrek, the maneuverings of the enigmatic Santoth, and, most shocking of all, the rise of a far greater enemy – each offering a different piece to a fast-developing narrative puzzle.

Intrigue, action, and surprises abound.  Established characters are re-discovered and further explored while new, equally colorful players are introduced (my favorite being the plotting Delivegu, Queen’s mercenary).  It all makes for a thoroughly absorbing and thrilling read and, while The Other Lands lacks The War with the Mein’s stand-alone unity, the stunning developments at novel’s end have me eagerly awaiting this epic’s third and final chapter.

Stargate: Universe second season episode titles…




#4: PA******

#5: C*********

My intensive new workout regimen is yielding definite results.  For example, my last routine  resulted in intense shoulder pain and various pulls, strains, and possible tears.  Yes, I’m definitely “feeling the burn”.  Also shooting pains and a dull, throbbing ache.  There’s got to be a better way of getting in shape.  Short of not eating as much.

I’ve not only fallen behind in my reading, but my t.v./movie-watching as well.  On my ever-growing viewing list:

Evangelion : 1.01 – You Are Not Alone, Howl’s Moving Castle, Origin, Kite: Liberator, My Neighbor Totoro, A Tree of Palme, Whisper of the Heart, Only Yesterday, Patlabor WXIII

District 9, Thirst

Breaking Bad (season one), Lost (seasons 3-5), MI-5/Spooks (seasons 4-6), Sons of Anarchy (season one), Tudors (season 3), Wire in the Blood (seasons 4 and 5).

Anything I’ve missed?  Anything I SHOULD miss?


Alexander of Houston writes: “I have started Culinary School, when I graduate and if I decided to open my own restaurant, would you dine there?”

Answer: Of course!  What are you making me?

Susan the Tartan Turtle writes: “When is Brie moving out? Lulu will miss her.”

Answer: We’ll all miss little Brie.  Annoying little Brie.  She’ll be heading east in the coming weeks.

Tanie writes: “How is the ’script from hell’ going?”

Answer: Fabulous.  I haven’t touched it since receiving notes last week.

Flagitious writes: “3. Two part question:

a.) Do gates have a set phone number in relation to where they are originally placed? Like a cellphone, you get an area-code, so no matter where you are, people can connect to your phone.

b.) If that is the case, how do gates take on the addresses of planets they are near, or on, and how did the gate bridge actually work in the void between galaxies?”

Answer: Gate addresses are location-based, which is why you have a dominant gate taking precedence over a lesser gate when they are in relatively close proximity (ie. Solitudes).  Creating the gate bridge required Earth to gather gates from both galaxies (Pegasus and Milky Way) and reprogram them in a way that allowed them to direct-dial one another once the initial gate was activated.  In other words, only one address is dialed and the message is forwarded through the link to its eventual destination – the midway station.

4. Three part question:a.) Does Destiny’s gate physically have a limited range?

b.) Is Destiny’s gate range a power issue?

c.) Is Destiny’s gate locked out of some gates, and it’s range purposely limited by a computer program?”

Answer: yes, Destiny’s gate does have a limited range (as opposed to the far greater range of the Milky Way and Pegasus gates).  This is why, often, only a handful of planets are within range when the ship drops out of FTL.  Although we have yet to officially establish why this is so, it stands to reason that it is a power issue rather than any programmed attempt to limit gate access.

72 thoughts on “January 18, 2010: David Anthony Durham’s The Other Lands!

  1. These have probably already been guessed but

    #4 Patience

    #5 Conversion

    Sorry you’re ‘feeling the burn’. I just started a work out routine and then promptly proceeded to get sick. Excellent excuse not to work out but not highly recommended.

  2. @Major D. Davis: Yeah, Cliff Simon (aka Baal) was in the first episode! Of course, Jack offed him, but he’s come up in the world! He has a middle initial now!

    Hey, Joe, are you harassing the SGU cast about doing Q&A’s? If not, why not? If yes, are any lined up?

  3. #4a – PATTERNS
    #4b – PATIENCE
    #4c – PAINTING
    #4d – PALETTES
    #4e – PASSIONS

    #5a – COMPROMISE

  4. Hi Joe, I gave up on District 9 about halfway through. I felt so sorry for the aliens, the poor buggies. The movie made me feel like I was watching one of those ASPCA commercials and should adopt one of the bugs. No idea how that one turned out. Oh, “Moon” was horrible, and I kindasorta had high hopes for that one, mostly due to a lack of quality, entertaining science fiction. Mr. Deni rented “The Hangover” (something I’d probably never do) and it was actually funny in places. Haven’t been watching tv at all lately, there’s just nothing that gets my attention. The two shows I liked, “V” and “Defying Gravity” are gone, and everything else feels like “been there, done that”. Hey, at least “Burn Notice” is coming back soon! I’m curious to see how “Lost” ends, so I’ll be watching that one as well, but it’s been so long since it was on I’ll have to refresh my memory and watch the last few episodes. For tonight, seeing how I’ve managed a whole two hours worth of sleep and will more than likely be up till 3 or 4 a.m., it’ll be some SG1 with a little ST DS9 thrown in for good measure 🙂

    By the way, your mom looks great – she must be one tough cookie! Have a good night!

  5. How do you get a good workout at home and how many different type’s of equipment do you have at home ?? Versus going to a gym???

  6. @Joe: You are missing Bones!!! (And Castle, but that’s more for Firefly fans [at least one shout-out in every episode!] and Nathan Fillion fans. I do not know if you fall in either of those categories.) Bones is really a must-see. I recommend watching any random episode from the first season to meet the characters, then watching “Aliens in the Spaceship.” Then, of course, going back and watching all of season 1 and 2-5 as well. But “Aliens in the Spaceship” is one of my top ten TV favorite episodes of all time…even if you don’t have time for all 5 seasons thus far, at least find time for that. (It’s episode 02.09 if you wanna know which season to rent.)

    David Anthony Durham won the Campbell Award last year for best new fantasy/scifi writer. Exciting! (Following in the footsteps of writers like Orson Scott Card, Cory Doctorow, and John Scalzi!) The Other Lands sounds great.

    4: Particle
    5: Camouflage
    Cantaloupe (just because it’s a fun word 😉 )

  7. Recommendations: Mad Men (3 Seasons [3rd out in DVD early 2010]), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (5/6 seasons), Flight of the Conchords (2 seasons).

    Question: If the crew found an exotic power source, from another alien race’s technology (minus the messiness of Wraith biotech), and adapted it to Destiny; would they be able to a – access/power more areas in Destiny and b – widen the Gate’s dialing range?

  8. Hi this is my first comment and I would like to start of
    with a guess.
    #4 Parallel
    #5 Conclusion

  9. Hey Joseph-

    Long time SG fan. I really dislike SGU on several levels so it does not work for me when i need a SG fix per say. Saying this I wanted to ask if production on the next SG1 or SGA movies is actually moving forward or are the efforts all geared towards SGU? It would be a real shame to abandon the two previous series legacy in such a way.

    anyways, /salute on all the work you and your teams have done with the SG franchise. I hope to see SG1 or SGA content come back in some form or another.

  10. Hey Joe

    I’d pass on Breaking Bad. It sounds good, but, in reality, not so much. By the fourth or so episode it was grating and by the sixth I was done with it.


  11. hey, looking from your list, i think you’re a Ghibli’s fan, are you? my, i just looooove~~ Only Yesterday. if i’m not mistaken, that’s the only Ghibli movie which haven’t been translated into english dub yet.

    cheers for Ghiblies!

  12. If you want to see something funny with witty dialog, have a look at Outer Space Astronauts. You can find the 5 Episodes on syfy.com / Full Episodes. I know everyone has a different humor, but I think you could like this one.

    Hm, the first word which came to mind when I saw the title PA… was Pachyderm :-p

    Question: Have you finished Tad William’s Otherland yet? How do you like it?

  13. Question to everyone:
    Where do you get all those smilies from? Is it a letter and key combination or is there actually a menu somewhere and I just haven’t seen it?

  14. Thanks for the heads up on The Other Lands, though for a moment you caused a heart palpatation. I was thinking that I’d missed a BotM club entry, and would be left out in the rain, so to speak. For shame.
    District 9 was…interesting. When the movie was over I still had questions, and it’s apparant that there had been a sequel planned. I suspect it will not get produced given the lackluster performance of the movie. Not a top of the list viewing, but might be worth the watch eventually. Saw Avatar, and definitely must see. The storyline is straightforward, no suprises or twists, but the visuals are fantastic. Sometimes it’s ok to see a classic story told over again, especially when it’s this nicely dressed up.
    Have you picked up on the Mentalist yet? If so, worth the watch.I’d love to watch the new Spartacus show on Starz, but don’t have that network. I’ll be seeing if I can download from ITunes when it starts.
    Sore muscles are good. Right now I am enjoying a pulled neck muscle, making me lean over at an odd angle to avoid triggering one of those lovely stabbing pains into my skull. Wish I could claim it was from exercise, but alas, I don’t have any clue how I pulled it. If the discomfort gets too bad for you, Aleve/Naproxin really does work pretty well.
    You’ve had a good read, you were kind enough to do another mailbag, and you are sticking to your workouts. Lots of gold stars for you. Now, PLEASE. Pounce on that script and beat it into submission…

  15. wah! I thought I posted yesterday, went to the crapper,eh, well anyway,
    Glad to see your mom is up and about on the walker. She is a strong woman, best wishes for a speedy return to her busy schedule. And back cooking those wonderful dishes. yummy. Hugs to mama and sis, !!
    TV watching, you are not missing anything as far as I can see. A lot of reruns, not sure why, but no need to rewatch most.
    Get out the heat wraps for your body and good luck with that. ouch.. or better yet, have a massage to help out. have a piece of chocolate, or a macaroon. Did you send any of that chocolate back(from your trip) to have for your famous Chocolate Party?!? Have a great day and luck with the *&^* script..

  16. How’s Mama Mallozzi? Is she doing better?

    Here’s my guesses……

    #4: PATIENCE
    #4: PANIC
    #4: PASSION
    #4: PATCHES
    #4: PATTERN
    #4: PAPER

    #5: CATCH
    #5: CAPTURE
    #5: CAPTIVE
    #5: COMPUTE

    Am I close?

  17. Hello Joe,

    You’ve missed HOUSE of course and should I suggest “Farscape”all 4 seasons and Peacekeepers War if you have not seen yet.

  18. “Bubba prefers a stack of human pillows to the dog bed. Incidentally, so would I.”

    The picture was NOT what I was expecting to see.


  19. “Anything I’ve missed?”

    I’ll put a plug in for The Big Bang Theory, although I’m not sure or your opinion of sitcoms.

  20. I’m glad to see your mom looking so well! Tell her we are still thinking of her and wishing her a speedy recovery.

    I just started reading Acacia and am enjoying it very much so far.

    Okay, I surrender.




  21. No pain no gain. But it seems that excessive pain should yield excessive gain. Oh, well.

    So glad you have watched Wire in the Blood – one of my all time favorites. But you should also watch Dexter.

    I know you are not a serial killer/procedural guy but that show is so good – you shouldn’t miss it. The writing and performances are some of the best on TV. Great plot twists – and it can be equally dramatic as well as funny.

  22. Most of the thin “gents” I know don’t “work out”. They do marathons instead of hitting the gym. “Eat less and move more”. AND remember that Aleve and Caffeine are your friends!

    Deni: have you tried watching Fringe? It’s kind of like X-files. We’ve only seen four shows but we are hooked.

    Much luck on your exercise regime and please say hi to your mom!

  23. Joe, have you watched Southland, now on TNT. It is an excellent police procedural that has engaging and thoughful characters.

  24. More guesses for episode 4:

    PAROXYSM (more because I just like the sound of it, and not so much because I think it’s the title)
    PASTORAL (title of my favourite Nevil Shute novel)

    Oh, and of course, there’s PARSNIPS! (a.k.a. carrots done right 🙂 )

    Episode 5, I waiting on the second letter reveal. *grin*

  25. Careful with your shoulders, Joe, don’t want surgery to be the next thing on your agenda.

    Really busy today…gotta run!

    Have a good one, Joe & Co.!


  26. Like Kuro-Syamito, I’m a Ghibli fan, so I’ve seen them all. Some are better than others, but if you really haven’t seen Tonari no Totoro then by all means do so soon. It was the film that got many of my friends and me into anime to beign with, all those years ago. I know you don’t have a heart of coal, so I’ll be curious to know if you tear up at all during it. I’ve seen it countless times and it still gets me. It’s the patented Ghibli magic that combines whimsy, nostalgia, melody, fantasy and humanity all together in the simplest, most unexpected moments that just make you catch your breath a little.

  27. I stayed in town for our Olympics, and had a blast! First off, so many people left that the traffic was the best ever; everyone who stayed has having a great time. I went over to the stadium and hung out and met atheletes.

    Oh, sad news: for Babylon 5 fans, Jeff Conaway has been hurt, it sounds serious: http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2010/01/19/Jeff-Conaway-hospitalized-after-fall/UPI-14791263912878/

    10 letter word beginning with C, huh? I was going to guess Catastrophe but that doesn’t work..


  28. 1) Will we see any Supergates in SGU?
    2) Does the Supergate to the Ori Galaxy still exist and if it is can it be redirected to another galaxy away from Ori galaxy?
    Thank You.

  29. Hi Joe!

    4a: PATRONUS!

    4b: PANDEMIC

    4c: PARANOIA/D

    4d: PATHWAYS





    5e: CHARLATANS (see a pattern?)


  30. I’m thinking Parasite for episode #4! It could be anything from a human parasite, to something sucking the life from the ship…epic potential.

  31. Quite a few of those are Studio Ghibli films, have you seen many of them, which one is your favourite?

    Howl is definately up there on mine but I think Spirited Away will always be my favourite.

    The only name I can think of for the ep title is
    for ep #5

  32. Since you’re talking about Destiny’s stargate… when will we know more about its symbols?

  33. The hubby and I just finished “Wire in the Blood” and now are looking for something new. I hate serial killers. Ugh. But the show was excellent, and I closed my eyes at the really gory parts.

    4. OK, now my money is on Paranoia, as someone else already suggested.

    Too bad it wasn’t Pregnancy and Contraception. Seriously, eventually you’d run out of “protection” (if you remembered to grab that at all in the 10 minutes you had to evacuate Icarus).

  34. You’ve probably answered these before, but anyway – have you seen Whisper of the Heart and Spirited Away? If so, what do you think about them?

  35. Well I remember the days when I could do all that ‘work out’ stuff. Glad it’s over! hehehe

    I would suggest to watch Doctor Who from 2005 onwards. It’s specifically written for children but with the quality of the writing there are double meanings everywhere and I found it thoroughly enjoyable. For something more adult, try Torchwood. And for something that has been locally produced in Aust, try Underbelly. I don’t believe you have to be a local to ‘get it’.

    Tan 🙂

  36. @Hugh: I just started watching “The Unit” on Sleuth. Somehow or other, I missed its original run on CBS.

    I had expected a run of the mill action/adventure and was pleasantly surprised by the moral complexity, and the sparse, dramatic storytelling.

    I don’t know how long Sleuth is running the show, but not all of it is in order, so that’s driving me a little crazy. Plus episodes are piling up on my DVR (I think they aired like 8 eps yesterday). I might just make the plunge and see how much the DVDs cost.

  37. I’ll try my hand at episode 4’s title. Is it ‘Pasadena’? A sequel episode of sorts to SGA’s ‘Vegas’?

  38. Hi Joe, noticed a couple of British shows there… Are you a fan, or do you watch any other British Shows, like Torchwood, for example?

  39. @noelm

    I mentioned in my previous post, Wire in the Blood, is my all-time favorite show (bought all the dvds).

    I was worried that I wouldn’t find anything as good as that to watch. But Dexter is the first thing that has come close. (It actually has less blood and guts in it.)

    Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan is excellent. He says that Dexter is on the “supply side’ of the death-equation.

    Would be interesting to see a Tony Hill / Dexter Morgan tete-a-tete. Hard to tell who would outsmart who.

  40. @Tammy Dixon: Haven’t seen it yet, although I keep hearing wonderful things about it 🙂 Now, if I can figure out when/where it’s on…

    @Shery: You home safely? Lovely time yesterday, chatting the day away 🙂

  41. Netflix has to be the best invention. We signed up a few months ago and for 9.00 a month, we can watch movies online streamed on the flat screen and we can have one movie out at a time but as many times as we want during a month. Netflix has some great Indie films, we watched My First Mister last night – it was really good. Netlfix even has Marty G.’s YPF. Need to put that in queue.

    But I’m with Deni, not much grabbing my attention either. miss Flash Forward, V, The Mentalist,have to admit I like Ugly Betty but I don’t think it’s doing very well. And believe it or not Men of Certain Age, gotta watch the Bac (Bakula). He looks pretty good for a guy his age. Oh and SGA, oh yeah that’s right, it was canceled. But I have completed the seasons,I own all 5 now. ahhhh.

    Ok speaking of work outs, any suggestions for the triceps?? I am killing myself with skull crushers, push ups, and you know the extensions, over head, behind – feeling the burn but I don’t feel like it’s toning up. Any suggestions?

  42. Joey, when you’re done watching Wire in the Blood, can you lend ’em to me? I’ve only seen a handful of them, but really like Robson…though, I think I liked Touching Evil with Robson a bit better. It wasn’t quite as violent as Wire.

    I had a question…and now I’ve forgotten it. Rats. And now Mr. Das is calling…so…later!


  43. Hey Joe a few questions if you don’t mind.

    1. Is Rob directing Aftermath?

    2. Is Will directing Awakenings?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  44. Hey Joe, been reading your blog for a while, and I’ve finally thought of a question for you.

    Why is there a timer for when the Destiny jumps back into hyperspace every time it stops? I get the part where you need it for dramatic purposes, but what’s the practical reason for it?

    Destiny knows there are people on it, otherwise it would not stop at the planets it has stopped at. Why not stay long enough to let them get what they need? Is Destiny really in such a hurry?

  45. As for your viewing list, Mr. M., I personally think you should skip Whisper of the Heart. I first watched The Cat Returns (Whisper of the Heart’s sequel) and loved it, since it’s fast-paced, funny, and well-written. Whisper of the Heart, on the other hand, is long (over 2 hours, as I recall), a little slow-moving, and quite cerebral. Basically it involves a girl who wants to be a writer…but I found that there was really nothing to it aside from angst, drama, and a very small bit of fantasy. My Neighbor Totoro is similarly slow at times, but for some reason was more interesting to me. (Plus it has catchy opening and ending themes!)

    On the TV front, I actually can’t think of anything. I do however have a couple of Studio Ghibli suggestions: if you haven’t seen Porco Rosso, you should definitely try it, and although I haven’t seen it yet, Ponyo sounds and looks pretty good.

    And last but not least, glad to hear that your mother’s feeling better 🙂

  46. Hi Joe and everybody, please send healing thoughts to Elway tonight, he’s in hospital after having the worst seizure EVER. He lost bladder and bowel control and the damned thing went on forever. I’m worried and sad, and I miss him in my bed 🙁 We’re just praying he gets through this again. Have a good night, all. Deni

  47. For episode #4, how about “Payback.” Maybe Rush gets some payback on Young for what happened in the last episode before the break.

  48. It’s nice when someone else can find books I would find interesting and tell me whether they are good or not. Whenever I go looking for a good book, I come up empty – but of course, I only wander in the library like a losty. Thank you, thank you.

    I have found this interesting site. Whether you have heard of it before, I do not know. The author makes some interesting food. Some simple, some complex. They’re also a clothes designer. Personally, I find the food posts so much more interesting (if you go through the archives) – such as the birds’ nest (April 2009), Imitation (June 2009), Pie pops (July 2009), Parfait (October 2009), November 2009 posts on black truffles and others on Thanksgiving dinners, then the January 2010 post on Crayons.

    This person does interesting things with food. Seriously. The post titles don’t tell you much and I found the writing a little difficult to read, but there are good pictures. It’s at: luxirare.com

  49. @Narelle: Thanks, all of you! I really wish I could get some sleep, but it’s hard w/o him here…oi, gotta get up at 6 to pick him up by 7 a.m. Stupid schedule they have in that place, they actually close at 7 a.m. and you’d better pick the dog up or, well, I don’t know what they do. Worst thing is that if you have an animal who is seriously ill or hurt, you have to wait an hour or two for your regular vet to open for follow-up. You’d think they’d close at 8 a.m.! Hugs and squishes to Ralph and Jack 🙂

  50. Just thought I’d drop by for a sec. just to write this down. The most amazing things have been happening to me since my last blog entry. It ‘s the way all these things happened all at the same time that made me question
    at times my state of awakeness. Can’t say much more for now; ….don’t want to jinx it! Still can’t believe that these things are really happening…. Some people have been doing the nicest things for me …..and I still don’t understand why they’re doing it …

  51. Spooks has seasons 7 & 8 now as well, tho 6 is my favorite. and if you enjoyed Wire in the Blood I highly recommend the books.

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