I’d like to start off today’s entry by announcing June’s Book of the Month Club –

Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner

From the publisher: “On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless–until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.”

“Hailed by critics as “a bravura performance” (Locus) and “witty, sharp-eyed, [and] full of interesting people” (Newsday), this classic melodrama of manners, filled with remarkable plot twists and unexpected humor, takes fantasy to an unprecedented level of elegant writing and scintillating wit. Award-winning author Ellen Kushner has created a world of unforgettable characters whose political ambitions, passionate love affairs, and age-old rivalries collide with deadly results.”

Discussion the week of June 14th with author Ellen Kushner – who, by the way, sounds like a real sweetheart in the emails we’ve exchanged.  She also forwarded me a heads-up which will undoubtedly prove of interest for readers already familiar with her work:

“I am thrilled to announce the publication of my new story, “The ManWith the Knives,” in a limited edition chapbook from Temporary Culture.

The book is 32 pages, exquisitely bound & designed, with an original frontispiece & interior decorations by Thomas Canty.  Canty’s work has long been associated with mine, beginning with the amazing cover he painted for my first novel, Swordspoint.  The new story concludes the events begun in Swordspoint, but can be read on its own.

The official pub date is Monday, May 3rd.  All are invited to the party in Manhattan, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at James Cummins Bookseller, 699 Madison Avenue, 7th floor (between 62nd & 63rd), NYC.

Temporary Culture is printing 420 books only.  When they’re gone, they’re gone, so it is recommended that you order yours now.  400 books will be bound in handsome paper covers, at a price of $15.00 each (+ postage).  21 copies will be hand bound, offered by subscription at $250.00 (+postage).  A few copies will be offered with an inserted original pencil drawing by Thomas Canty for the book (price upon request).

For details, including ordering information, please go to: http://www.avramdavidson.org/themanwiththeknives.html

With good wishes,

Ellen”

If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to drop by.

Also, a reminder that you have approximately two weeks to finish up May’s Book of the Month Club: The Prisoner, by Carlos J. Cortes.  Discussion on the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated novel the week of May 8th.

Hey – Cynthia, my house guest visiting from London, cooked for me last night, serving up a splendid four course black truffle dinner which saw her use every pot, pan, plate, and utensil in my kitchen.  The blow by blow –

Tonight's secret ingredient......BLACK TRUFFLES!

Black Truffle Custard with Olive Cracker. Tasty but a little too much butter. Wasn't a fan of the olive cracker.

Black Truffle Lemon Risotto. Perfectly cooked but a tad too lemony. The crunchy sliced truffles added a nice textural accompaniment to the risotto.

Roast Chicken with Black Truffles. The wait between courses was almost an hour (!). Still, the chicken was wonderful - the skin crispy, the meat moist, tender, and redolent with the earthy flavor of black truffle.

Black Truffle Zabaglione. Alas, the ingredients never attained their frothy finish, instead coagulating down to a tablespoon serving - that proved tasty nevertheless.

While the execution of some of the dishes were wonting, all of the flavors were there and the meal ultimately proved both memorable and satisfying.  Service throughout was professional and friendly.  Recommended.

Let’s cap today’s entry with puppy pics –

Lola - cousin Tania's new addition to the family. I'm really tempted to get one.

And, of course, Stewie in T.O. who seems to be growing out of his puppy fat.

Brie and Stewie snoozing.

Some mailbag:

Trae writes: “Who wrote the violin music? It didn’t sound like Joel, but he has done some surprising things before. Who played the violin? Whose idea was it?”

Answer: It’s actually a classical piece, one so challenging that the production had to hire a virtuoso to play it (source: Lawren Bancroft-Wilson.  I need to get him to do a Q&A).

Eric.Stewart writes: “so she tried the plant in a tea and realized it made her headache go away so she decided to give it to Wray! didn’t she get the warning not to ingest “crap” :? in the first trimester of a pregnancy!!”

Answer: There are many potential test subjects aboard Destiny.  Also, for a time there, Tamara didn’t realize she was pregnant.

Eric.Stewart also writes: “Beside where did Young found the thread and the needle to sew socks. I don’t recall seing him jump throw the gate with his sewing kit !!”

Answer: Needle and thread would have no doubt been included in any survival kit they had the foresight to take with them when they evacuated Icarus Base.

Sean D. writes: “Who are your top 5 favorite authors (who are currently alive)?”

Answer: Hmmm.  Off the top of my head: Joe Abercrombie, John Scalzi, Jeffrey Ford, George R. R. Martin, and Iain M. Banks.

fsmn36 writes: “I realize you aren’t involved in the business aspect of Syfy as a network, but have they ever given you a reason for the long hiatuses for shows?”

Answer: I believe it’s a way for them to offer their viewers year-round original programming.

John writes: “In relation to a question answered today about how Stargate Universe is in no danger of being delayed or shelved, then why have Stargate Revolution and Stargate Extinction been put on hold indefinitely?”

Answer: The industry-wide slump in DVD sales definitely figures into this particular equation given that the success of both Ark of Truth and Continuum were built on direct-t0-video models.

Hugh writes: “If either of the films are rejected by the studio and are not made, can you release the scripts for them?”

Answer: That’s not up to me.  MGM owns the script.

Snakey writes: “What is the difference, if any, of posted credits saying; Story by… or Teleplay by… or Written by… ???”

Answer: Someone receives a Story by credit for coming up with the idea for an episode but not writing the script.  Someone receiving a Teleplay by credit wrote the script based on someone else’s idea.  Someone receiving a Written by credit came up with the story idea AND wrote the script.

Shawn Cassidy writes: “I notice watching old episodes that in the end credits there is a name for “Casting” the next screen shows “Canadian Casting”. Since the show in made in Canada, why are there two casting people and does the first guy get paid for doing nothing (Sweet job! must be a Union thing)?”

Answer: Since we shoot in Vancouver, Canada, we try to cast locally whenever possible – thus the need for a Canadian casting director.  Occasionally, however, we may not find what we’re looking for in Canada or wish to cast a particular established actor (like, say, a Robert Knepper) – in which case we’ll use our American casting director.

Kymm writes: “Due to online viewership, we, Science Fiction fans, are our own worst enemy.”

Answer: Something we are all painfully aware of.  SF fans tend to be more tech savvy consumers, and tech savvy consumers are more likely to download or DVR their shows.

Shannon writes: “Maybe you (or someone in the comments section) can point me to this if you’ve already mentioned it – which eps did you write this season?”

Answer: Space and the two-parter season-ender – Incursion I and II.

54 thoughts on “April 27, 2010: June’s Book of the Month Club! Cynthia Cooks! Puppy Pics! Chotto Mailbag!

  1. So who are you rooting for left in The Amazing Race? You did say you followed it…right? I’m rooting fot the Cowboys, Jet and Cord, some great names. Everytime Cord says, “My gravy!” I just crack up!!!!!

    Also do you really think the troll will win Survivor???

  2. I know it’s too late for the mailbag, but I was wondering…

    You suggested a fantasy series to me (by Martin), and this new BotM looks like another fantasy story, but I remember back when we were discussing Elric, you said you were not a big fan of fantasy. So, what gives? Is it that you’re not a big fan of a certain type of fantasy? Or do you just like it in smaller doses?

    (I did look into Ice and Fire and the character you suggested – looks interesting – I might just give it a try! But only after I’m done with you-know-who…I still have a few books to get through…which I could if I stopped reading your blog instead. 😛 )

    das

  3. It is nice to see Brie cuddling up with her little brother.

    Stewie has lost his puppy-ness – but is still cute.

    Lola – what breed is she? Pug, Frenchie, miniature boxer ? Seeing such a cute little puppy makes me a little broody – for some reason human babies don’t have this effect on me.

  4. food, dogs, mailbag, mailbag talking about Stargate. Ok, this is as good a blog post as they get. Hope you don’t catch too much grief from your guest chef for your almost brutal honesty. Or was her revenge in having you clean all those pots?
    Thanks for the daily dose, and have fun with your usual insanely packed work schedule.

  5. I like that Rush is evidently aware of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That made me smile.

  6. Woot! A BOTM book I not only own, but have also read. And I might even have time to reread it again before the discussion in June thanks to vacation time. \o/

    (You’d think owning books = having read them, but no. My current backlog stands at approx. 100 books. *ducks head in shame*)

  7. Thanks, Joe! Also, dinner looks very tasty (you’d probably hate me if I ever made something lemon; I LOVE lemon, there can never be too much) and the puppies are cute as ever.

    And, hey, I might actually be able to participate in the June BOTM! School will be over and thus far, I don’t have a summer job lined up. Know anyone hiring for a 3 month stint?lol

  8. Just call me Captain Obvious eh?

    So could you tell I was trying to avoid doing my Income Tax Return today? I succeeded, but it apparently didn’t do itself. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow? Heavy sigh…
    *mutter grumble mutter*

    That puppy is sooooo cute! How come single women get called The Crazy Cat Lady when they have more than two cats? There is a guy at work, that when you ask him how many cats he has, he will lie and say two, but he actually has three. What do you call a guy with 5 dogs?

    I think you bit the hand that fed you!!

    Have a good one!
    Kymm

  9. Hey Joe just was wondering something. I do not know if it would be considered spoilers for the two written scripts but will there be any mention of Stargate Commands current workings? I just recall after the Gould were defeated several people wanted to cut the budget way down at the SGC now that they “won”.

    And now that the Ori is gone and the only real bad guy save the LA is the Wraith in another galaxy. So is there even an SG1 team anymore? Or do you think Mitchell is leading a new team? I mean after the Gould SG1 did fully break up till Mitchell did bring “the band back together”.

  10. Coucou Joseph! ça va bien? moi super!

    J’ai pensé à vous car hier j’ai finit un livre qui parlait du Japon et surtout des Japonnais, il s’appelle “Stupeur et Tremblements” d’Amélie Nothomb..je l’ai trouvée moyen.

    Tiens c’est rigolo, pourquoi dans votre liste d’auteurs préférés il n’ya pas de femme.s?.quelles differences voyez vous entre l’écriture d’une femme et d’un homme?

    Merci pour toutes ces photos, je n’ai jamais mangée de truffes, je me demande quel goût ça à? Mais au vu du prix je pense que ça doit être très bon^^!

    Gros bisou
    Anais.

  11. In regards to your answer about Stargate Revolution and Stargate Extinction, if DVD sales are very important in choosing when to produce the movies, what happens if it does not improve? Are Stargate fans to miss out on these movies and just wonder what could have happened?

  12. ello ellay Lola… L L L L L Lola…. oh she’s a cutey and I can see why you’d be tempted!!!!

    But you’ve got enough dogs eh??

    Just wanted to know as I’ve been curious. When you go out dining and order MASSIVE meals like whole duck and beef, plus the whole chicken we see in this blog.. do you take the left overs home in a puggybag?? Do the pugkids actually get to eat it or are they relegated to doggy chow ?? (I can’t see that happening without some nasty, nasty retaliation in the form of pugpoo on your bed)

    Love the pics (wonder what truffles taste like)

  13. the needle and thread thing was a nice touch showing us his feminine side, i think Young is a well-rounded character, i dont know why everyone is so upset with him. the guy is just awesome. he done questionable things but i dont seem to mind which is weird for me.

    George R. R. Martin’s stuff is the only fantasy i can take, even though my favorite book of all time is the golden compass.

    and you wrote Space? sweet, that episode alone sparked more interest than the the first 10 episodes combined. i wish you guys had done that Today show bit to promote the second half of the season because the long break made people think it was over.

    and you said this:

    “Answer: Something we are all painfully aware of. SF fans tend to be more tech savvy consumers, and tech savvy consumers are more likely to download or DVR their shows.”

    well yeah thats true but wasnt the point of the whole thing to attract non-SF fans? did you see how AVATAR did? this proves that mainstream audience are willing to watch Sci fi you just need to bring the story home to them alittle and ancient comm device is not the way to do it, it in fact further complicates things for them. maybe it will help if you dont treat stargate as a futuristic “star trek” show and make it more of a james bond, you know what i mean? anyway dont listen to me, following my advise would ruin stargate for me.

    one last thing, those aliens in SGU, ive been trying to think about why they need destiny so much, so could it be that destiny has info on a lost home planet, one they have been looking for like in BSG? so i guess what am says is are they lost in space as well?

  14. you said that MGM is worried about profit from dvd selling, and that’s why they hold SG: Revolution and SG: Extinction. well then, what if MGM do it on the bigger screen? put it on cinema perhaps? then they’ll get more money from people watching, and those who gonna buy the dvd when they are released.

    don’t you think?

  15. Thank you, Joe, for answering my question.
    If you can at some point, could you please tell us more details? The name of the piece, the composer, the name of the violinist. Thanks.

    And I swear, those pigeons looked CGI. But I can’t believe that it would be cheaper to insert virtual pigeons into a shot than use live pigeons.

  16. Joe,
    Cynthia can prepare dinner for me any time! I love truffles…my fiance, not so much. So I don’t cook with them as often as I would like. I use black truffle oil as a condiment quite a bit though, as I can add it to my plate.

  17. -Joe, hello, did you get the black truffles there or did Cynthia bring them with her. The chicken does look great, all browned,yum. Nice dishes, white matches everything. Hope your dishwasher is working.
    -Will Stewie get his ears clipped or keep them til he grows into them? He is getting big fast, must be eating good. And Brie is cute as always. Lola is adorable, lap size.
    @das, whoa, small apt,(thx4link) not sure I could live there, although the concept is functional. Can’t have a lot of “stuff”. Like here in Fla, not everyone parks their car in the garage(we do) coz they have so much stuff stored in it. What would we do without our stuff?!? Build another garage???
    Have a great day!!

    Air

  18. In watching Faith again, a flurry of questions related to the Seeding Ships come to mind:
    Will we see one anytime this season or the next? (Make for a good ep for them to find one)
    How far are they ahead of the Destiny and just how many of them are there?

  19. @iamza. No shame. As time goes on my own backlog has increased. At one time I could honestly say I had read every book on my shelves. But as the number of shelves grew, and the number of books per shelf also increased, that’s no longer the case. When I have disposable income, I buy more books. in the unlikely event I’ll ever get to settle down to a prosperous retirement I will be able dig into the backlog. Until then though I’ll still accumulate books, and get to them the best I can.

  20. Truffles eh? Never had one, I should save some money and buy them, though it’s tight already 😕

    Custard looks like the oven cheese my mom & grandma make. I have no idea what a Custard is 🙁

    Lemon Risotto eh? Risotto… Hmm… I think I’ve had some once, twice or perhaps trice? Don’t remember. The truffles on it look like pieces of Chocolate :3

    Cool, never had stuffed chicken.

    Black Truffle watchamacallit? Looks… Interesting. I presume the Black Truffles were ground in the dish?

    Awwwwwwwwww[infinitum]wwww, so cute :3 Wait, another one? How many do you have?

    Haww, look at the ears :3 Yet, he looks sad somehow 🙁
    (The dog behind Stevie and the couch(?) the said dog is on, kind of look like an R18+ poster of sorts due to the reflection and my dirty mind :ohdear: )

    I guess you don’t sit in that chair a lot, due t the reservance, no?

    Have you read any of the Mass Effect novels? They shed some light on the characters and events that happen before/between the games, and are a nice read, even if you’re not interested in the games (at least according to my friend who doesn’t play Syfy games)

    :ohdear: it’s my longest comment ever…

  21. Hi Joe

    You mentioned not too long ago that there had been ‘rumblings’ on the SG-1 movie front. Anything more of note going on behind the scenes that you can share with us? 🙂

    Regards
    Les Fez

  22. @ Trae,

    There first violin work was Bach’s 3rd Partita, while the music through most of the later sections of the episode was taken from Bach’s Chaconne.

    You would definitely need a well-established violinist to play these well.

    The other piece that Rush’s ‘wife’ played in the episode was an operatic aria. The name of the opera and aria escape me at this very moment.

  23. re: in regard to the sewing kit answer:” Answer: Needle and thread would have no doubt been included in any survival kit they had the foresight to take with them when they evacuated Icarus Base.”
    Joe, do you really want me to answer to this one 😀 I think I’m gonna ask my cousin who’s in the army about this one !

    I saw Human last night. It was really late. I had a lot of problem attaching files to an e-mail. The files were to big and I didn’t want to send them in 2 different e-mail. I was watching Human while the file were being attached.
    I liked it. Nice script/ nice camera angles/nice acting ( of course, I wouldn’t still be watching if it wasn’t the case).
    Just wondering if the 4 main characters that were left on the planet are going to re-appear in this week’s episode with no explanation 😕

  24. Yay…puppie pix.
    Kinda impossible to offer comment regard taste, etc., but the food pix – prepared by Cynthia looked yummy.
    Remember she is not a contestant on Iron Chef and needs some latitude in a kitchen that she is not used to.
    And, as others have asked….who did the dishes?

  25. Woah.. just realized I hadn’t posted yet. I swore I already did. Thats weird.

    Oh and

    @das

    I remember you asking Joe if he was going to watch happy town. Will you be watching it? I just read the review of the show in the USA today just an hour ago.. it made me laugh so hard. The USA today gave it 1 star. They bashed it so bad, just like they have with several 24 episodes. You should read it if you can. Soo funny. 🙂 Id like to maybe watch the pilot, but I don’t think my parents will be happy about that. They hate horror so much. 😉

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  26. Hi Joe,

    I’ve been searching your blog this afternoon and haven’t been able to find what I thought I’d read in one of your past mailbags, so hopefully you won’t mind if I re-ask a question:

    Do the events of Enemy at the Gate immediately precede the events of Air? You’ve mentioned that Extinction takes place concurrently with the beginning of the SGU timeline and I’m curious as to whether the movie picks up close to when EatG ended. Also, if that’s the case, does that mean that the Hammond’s mission to deliver Eli and the others to Icarus Base is Sam’s first mission as commander?

    Thank you!

    SBS

  27. Re chocolate:
    One of my SG friends in Spain posted this on her Facebook, thought I’d share. Posting both English and Spanish to forestall link failure.
    http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=28372593
    http://tec.nologia.com/2010/04/28/ipad-de-chocolate/

    Looks like I’m going to miss this week’s ep as well as “Human”.

    Too bad I’m not one of those tech-savvy types. I even missed the disclaimer on Hulu:
    “Availability Notes:The first three episodes will be available the day after air; subsequent episodes will be available 8 days after the initial broadcast. ”

    Oh, well, we still own a working VCR.

  28. A question about the selection of the Bach “Chaconne” for the scenes between Rush and his wife (perhaps this could be better answered by Lawren?): Was the selection of that music in particular because it is both thought to be written by Bach in memory of his deceased first wife and that the complex set of variations that it contains parallel the many combinations that Rush has to evaluate to get the “code” to access Destiny’s systems? Or did it just sound appropriately emotional and haunting for those scenes and just selected on its aesthetic merit?

    Could be both I suppose and if so, I give great credit to whoever selected it!

  29. Hi Joe, very cool list of top 5 fav (living) authors! I wasn’t familiar with a couple of the names but I’ll definitely be checking it out. 🙂

    On another note… one question…

    Syfy goes SmackDown, moving SGU to another night… the network certainly didn’t “jump the piranha” with the “quantum” cooking show (sarcasm), though it really did with wrestling. It’s getting to a point where science fiction productions supposedly “aren’t good enough” for a once-science-fiction-centered network.

    What chances might there be of SGU going to NBC or another major network at some point in the future?

  30. @ Major D. Davis – I’m going to give it a look-see…but I’m not a fan of horror, either. However, I do like mystery and suspense – things that are more along the lines of an old-fashioned ‘thriller’, so I’m interested to see if this is more thriller-ish than horror-ish. It also depends on whether or not it has any sort of humor in it…scary and fun[ny] is much easier to take then scary and dead serious.

    das

  31. To be honest, if there weren’t a bunch of sewing kits, going from the rather basic, to the highly advanced in those packs, I would be surprised.

    One, sewing kits can be adjuncts to your medical kit. Boiled cotton thread can be used in place of regular medical thread in case of need.

    Two, I doubt there is anywhere to get repairs done on your uniform on base. Sure you probably have laundry service but you know that they aren’t going to be giving a rat’s ass about making sure all your buttons are still on when you get it back. Then you have the daily wear and tear that your sargeant will not accept your being in deep space or in the middle of a 6 month cruise for an excuse.

    Finally, there are a great many sewing fools in the military who are deep into one or more of the various needle-work disciplines. The materials take up limited space and can be quite engrossing. I know that the craft store I visit does a heck of a military mail-order business, mostly with those in the fleet but they have plenty of business from the land-side as well.

  32. Is the ring that Rush wears one of Robert Carlyle’s own or is it part of his costume? I am only asking because the ring he wears in Trainspotting looks very familiar to the one he wears in SGU.

  33. @Thornyrose: I thought I was being so clever by buying a kindle, because, hey, digital books! No need to buy more bookshelves to stockpile books, and if I ever move, I don’t have to worry about carting about tons of heavy boxes full of books.

    The downside, I am discovering, is that I now don’t worry about overloaded shelves cracking under the strain and burying me beneath an avalanche of unread books, or worry about whether I’ll have time to finish reading all the books I already own before the next big transatlantic move. Nope, now I just buy, and my backlog continues to grow. My bank account, on the other hand… 🙂

  34. I cannot get over that Lola pic, she just looks sooo sweet.

    I bet whoever thought up the needle and thread scene(s), didn’t know that it would become such a hot topic.

    I think I gave the Punctuation Police a case of the twitches yesterday. *tee hee*

    Taxes finished and filed mwah ha ha!!

    Speaking of truffles…truffled popcorn
    http://www.susanricetruffles.com/

    Kymm

  35. Mailbag question:

    I really love Dr. Rush. Not least, because I’ve been trying to write essentially that character for about fifteen years. (Without, it should be noted, any discernible success.)

    Question, though: Will he ever grow a sense of humor? Or will he eternally remain disconnected from common human connection? (Puts me in mind of some theoretical mathematicians I know.)

  36. Happy news. The Montreal Canadiens have advance to the next round after upsetting the Capitols.

    @Mr M is the hockey rivalry with Kerry with a Y about whose team can last longer in the Stanley Cup playoffs on again this year? There is a possibility of a Canucks Habs final. Hopefully thoughts.

    My regrets to the supporters of the Maple Leafs on the Harold Ballard curse. [snickering off in laughter].

  37. Ack! I forgot about the May BotM selection. The next one “Swordspoint” looks like it may be a winner.

    @das: I love George RR Martin’s work and I think that Jaime Lannister is your kind of guy. However, be warned: it is a work in progress. There are 4 books published to date and book 5 was supposed to be out in 2008. Two years later, there is still no sign of it.

    I really enjoyed “Human” – I especially like that Rush used the opportunity to spend more time with his wife. So who came up with the “46”? It worked well and I liked the little cultural references that spun off of it.

  38. @ Major D – It was okay. Quirky – and I like quirky. It had a kind of cheesy camp feel to it, too, like it wasn’t taking itself as serious as it should (not sure if that was on purpose, or not). Violent death in the beginning, people going crazy, strangers, threats, rooms you can’t go into, all sorts of things. If I had to compare it to anything, it’s something like Twin Peaks meets Lost. There was a lot squeezed into this ep – so many character intros, and stuff – that I think it would have been better as a two-hour premiere. I’ll give it about 6 eps before I decide (unless the network decides for me – their last mid-season quirky-type show didn’t last 6 episodes). It held my attention, though.

    @ Sparrowhawk – If I do look into the Martin series, it won’t be for a while. I just started Elric’s dream quest trilogy, but finding it hard to make time to read novels lately…just not much ‘down time’…and when I do find time to read, Mr. Das decides to get all talky and there goes the evening. 🙄 Also, I’m going to dive into the Dark Tower: Gunslinger graphic novel series – I hear Roland’s a bit like Elric, though certainly not an exact copy. But at least I have some idea where to go when I finish up what I’m reading now (of course, I just might stick with Mike’s other Eternal Champions – there’s plenty of goodness right there!).

    das

  39. did I ever mentioned that I don’t have the internet. My mom does. She got intermediate speed. Did I ever mentioned how much of a pain that slow internet is.
    A lot of nonsense, I’m getting BELL.
    i’m feeling a bit guilty, I think I’m being too hard on you….
    ….The feeling is gone. Feeling much better 😀
    All that time waiting for the internet made me hungry… I almost burned my snack.

  40. Answer: It’s {violin piece} actually a classical piece, one so challenging that the production had to hire a virtuoso to play it.

    Catching up on the blog…thanks for answering this, Joe. As a violinist myself (my fun release) I was blown away by the piece and the performance of it.

  41. Joseph & friends: It’s a real honor to be picked for BoTM! I hope you like Swordspoint; I look forward to answering your questions.

    BTW, the cover above is not the one the publisher ended up using – too bad! The revised one is kinda . . . pink. Don’t be scared.

    These days, I think my favorites are the French cover:
    http://www.sff.net/people/kushnerSherman/Kushner/frenchswordspoint.html
    and the Spanish one:
    http://www.alamutediciones.com/alamut/titulos/puntaespada.htm
    ….tied for first place. (And both based on the photo that the amazing Theo Black did for my webpage. That guy.)

    Dunenight: I love Philip Pullman, too. Swordspoint is not Regulation Fantasy – it caused a minor scandal when it was first published, because it didn’t follow any of the rules. (And does it help or hurt that it’s subtitled “A Melodrama of Manners”?)

  42. Hi Joe,
    I was so impressed by your chocolate party. Envious actually. But I was surprised that you did not have a few chocolatiers there that should be represented. Firstly, Pierre Marcolini. I encountered this store on a visit to Brussels. You must invite them. They have the best chocolate ever.
    Also, Taza Chocolates. Look them up. They are local for me.
    I really appreciate your enthusiasm for food and wine. I was a sommelier and maitre d’ at the best restaurant in Boston for 6 years.
    Any way I could attend your next chocolate fest?

    About SGU…..

    The violin piece that Rush’s wife played was Vissi d’arte, from Puccini’s Tosca. I am sure you know it. After all, you are Italian.

    I really enjoyed the Rush centered episode. I think it was the best so far, actually. Truly one of the greatest SG characters. He is beyond great. What a talented actor.
    Thank you for your work.

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