Tomorrow’s the day so you’re going to want to head down to your local bookstore and camp out in order to make sure you get your copy of…

Masked: An awe-inspiring anthology of all-original superhero fiction edited by Lou Anders!

Publishers Weekly says: “Anders (Fast Forward) delivers an ambitious collection of superhero tales that provide top-notch plots and characterizations while honoring their four-color roots.”

I09 says: “This book could teach Hollywood to do superheroes right.”

Booklist says: “every author here provides abundant creative vision and a sure sense of heroic storytelling”

SFRevu says: “Lou Anders has assembled a collection of engaging, entertaining and sometimes even thought-provoking stories about the human (and superhuman) condition. Many of these characters will stay with the reader long after the book is set down.”

Baron Destructo says: “Curse you, human scum!  The day fast approaches when all will bow down and recognize the superiority of the League of Aliens and Mutants for Evil. But until then, kick back, relax, and read a good book.  The Baron highly recommends Masked.”

Cookie Monster says: “Me like bookie.  Rhyme with cookie!”

Need I remind anyone that Masked is our September Book of the Month Club selection?  Pick it up, read it, then join in the discussion that will include appearances by editor Lou Anders and several surprise guest authors including – if I’m available – myself.

Oh and if you’re attending Comic Con, be sure to check out:

10:00-11:00 With Great Power Come Great Stories— Authors discuss creating superhero superfiction, including novels and stories in anthologies like Masked and Wild Cards. Authors include Lou Anders (Masked), Jackie Kessler (the Icarus Project novels), Caitlin Kittredge (the Icarus Project novels), Gini Koch (Touched by an Alien, the Katherine “Kitty” Katt series), Kevin Andrew Murphy (the Wild Cards series), Chris Roberson (Book of Secrets), Caroline Spector (Wild Cards contributor), and Matt Sturges (Justice Society of America). Moderated by Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy. Room 32AB

Author Daryl Gregory (whose “Message from the Bubbles Gum Factory” is one of my favorite stories in Masked and who will be joining us to field your reader questions in support of his novel, The Devil’s Alphabet, our August Book of the Month Club selection), assures me that he and Fables scribe Bill Willingham will be on hand to heckle.

I seem to have stalled on the script front.  It would seem that lately, the greater part of my day is spent: a) fixing things around the house, b) booking a repairman, c) waiting for said repairman, d) re-booking the repairman so that he can return and complete work on the defective whatsit because he didn’t have a replacement part in his truck when he came the first time, e) anxiously waiting the repairman’s return and jumping up to answer the door whenever I hear a car pull up only to discover its a family checking out the open house across the street .  Yes, in that order.  I also managed to squeeze in some hiragana study, filing, work on my tax installments, and this blog.  Tomorrow, however, is the day I finally make progress on The Hunt.  Onward to Act the Second!

Well, because somebody asked nicely (a.k.a.: reminded me because I’d completely forgotten), here are some behind the scenes photos from Stargate: Atlantis’s final days.  All photos courtesy and copyright MGM Television…

Akemi made cooked oysters for dinner today.  Okay, in some instances half-cooked.  Normally, I wouldn’t worry.  After all, I eat raw oysters all the time.  Except that these particular oysters contained a warning on the package that read: “These oysters are for cooking!  NOT to be consumed raw!”.  I’m going to take that as more of a suggestion and hope for the best.

Mailbag:

Eagle writes: “What is the ‘for sure’ date for season 2 premiere?”

Answer: Sorry.  All I know is we’re moving to Tuesday nights and we’re premiering in the last week of September.

Narelle from Aus writes: “Do pugs come in a skinny version?”

Answer: Sure, but they’re about as common as four leaf clovers and humble NBA stars.

sylvia writes: “Now where did you two go for your Dim Sum?”

Answer: Sun Sui Wah on Main St.  It’s always very good, but she prefers the more high-end offerings of Sea Harbour Seafood in Richmond.

Debra writes: “Joe are you seeing any improvements yet with Jelly?”

Answer: She’s back to her limpy pre-treatment self.  I look forward to seeing if she shows any progress when she’s finished her meds.

Debra also writes: “And WHEN will SyFy announce the Atlantis crossovers?”

Answer: That’s a question for SyFy.

Kymm writes: “So is Mr. Gero making you jealous with his New York Foodie experiences?”

Answer: He did while he was there.  Now he’s making me jealous with his L.A. Foodie experiences.

Garbriele writes: “1. What happened to the Goa’uld infiltrated on Earth? Are they still here or have they been all captured and extracted by the Tok’ra?”

Answer: We can assume they’ve been captured – until a story comes a long that upends that assumption.  I don’t think we’ve heard the last of goa’uld Kinsey.

Gabriele also writes: “2. Will you introduce another Daedalus-class vessel in the future or the existing ships are more than enough?”

Answer: It’s certainly possible but, at present, there are no plans to do so.

Gabriele writes: “3. Destiny is older than Atlantis. In “The Lost City” we come to know that Atlantis is about 30 million years old. The gate aboard Destiny is older than the ones in the Milky Way. In “Frozen” we come to know that the gates in the Mily Way are about 50 million years old. Is the Destiny about 60 million years old?”

Answer: Damn that’s old.  If Destiny is older than the Milky Way gates then yes.

Gabriele writes: “4. We know that in the Ori galaxy there are gates. The Priors used them to come through the Milky Way gates and probably the people in that galaxy use them to get to other planets. Is it possible that the seeder ships reached the Ori-Ancient home galaxy long ago and seeded the Destiny gates on those planets? So, is it possible that the gates in the Ori galaxy are of the same model as the gates that we see in “Stargate Universe”?”

Answer: I don’t believe they were.

Elminster writes: “I’ve been craving southern fried chicken. Anyone got a recipe they use/like? I’ve been searching the web but they are either simple (flour, salt, pepper) or crazy.”

Answer: Okay, here’s a variation of a fantastic pork chop recipe from America’s Best Test Kitchen.  Get yourself a chicken breast and pound it flat.  Dip it in a bowl of egg whites, then dredge it in flour, garlic powder, pepper, salt, paprika (or cayenne powder), dried oregano, and thyme.  Make sure it’s well coated, then set it aside. Fry up five strips of bacon over medium heat in a cast iron pan.  Set the bacon aside and add vegetable oil to the bacon drips and bring the heat up to medium-high.  Re-dredge the chicken in the flour mix, shaking off the excess, then set it down in the pan.  Cook until the underside is golden brown (usually 2-3 minutes) then flip and do the same.  Set it aside and let it sit for five minutes, then serve with a side of roasted yams and gravy and/or top with caramelized onions.  Oh, and don’t forget to turn off the stove.

Trish writes: “Do the dogs every try to steal your chocolate?”

Answer: No but Bubba once negotiated a veritable Rude Golberesque series of steps to get at a bag of milk chocolate-covered almonds.  He succeeded.  And had explosive diarrhea for two days.

Tammy Dixon writes: “You know Mr. M., those left over chunks could be melted down for strawberry dipping.”

Answer: Too late.

dasNdanger writes: “Now that I’ve gotten over my initial jealousy, how do you rate Pralus chocolate over the others you’ve tried?”

Answer: I rate them right up there – although Amedei remains my favorite.

Collegeboy8907 writes: “Since Mitchell and Carter got promoted to full colonel following the defeat of the ori will we see John Sheppard and Major Lorne get promoted to Full Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel since they saved earth from the wraith attack in Enemy at the Gate or will they have to defeat the wraith for them to get promoted?”

Answer: Alas, no promotion for either but something just as good: a hearty handshake, a thank you for a job well done, and half-price season tickets to the Clippers.

Tuskin writes: “I don’t know if this was answered before, but was the MALP props on SG-1 and SGA actually remote controlled?”

Answer: Yes, and it would make this ungodly whining/whirring sound whenever it crept along.

Tuskin also writes: “Another question, was the ancient writing on the atlantis stairs ever decided to say something, but never used in story? Or was it just for decoration?”

Answer: Apparently, there was a secret message hidden in the stairs, and the only reason I know is because some enterprising fan actually translated it! Don’t recall what it said but I believe it was “Don’t forget to eat your ovaltine”.

Don writes: “I had asked before if there was an approach you could see to take with the Ancients that would make them more interesting from your point of view.”

Answer: Fear not.  There are plenty of Ancient fans in the writers’ room more than willing to keep the dream alive – so I don’t have to.

Lewis writes: “The Ancients built both Destiny and Atlantis… I take it that Destiny is older than Atlantis, but by how much?”

Answer: Brad and Robert are the keepers of the official timeline.  If you’re going to Comic Con, get Rob to give a detailed rundown.

Lewis also writes: “Did Janus have anything to do with the Destiny (any secret labs, etc.)?”

Answer: Unlikely.

Lewis also writes: “Is there a chance of any kinos ever being discovered in Atlantis or did that technology get abandoned by the time the Ancients built Atlantis?”

Answer: The kinos were originally planned for Atlantis, but never made it into the series.  Chances are some may exist in some distant Atlantean storage closet.

Lewis also writes: “Since Carter & Vala are currently no longer going on SG-1 missions, who do you think would be the current day SG-1 team members (Cam, Daniel, T’ealc, and…. )? Would they incorporate Atlantis teams into SG teams (i.e.- a possible team of Cam & T’ealc w/ Shepherd & Ronan would wreak some serious havoc)?”

Answer: Two weeks ago, I would have said no but given the change in the timeline of events then I would say, yes, it’s probable that Atlantis personnel have been incorporated into SG teams.

Melissa writes: “I just wanted to say thanks for everything. You’ve put up with a lot of crap, some of which I’ve even probably added to, and I just wanted you to know that I do appreciate what you do here.”

Answer: No problem and I appreciate your taking the time to post, critiques and all.

Melissa also writes: “I wish I could win the lottery, I’d offer to fund the SG1/SGA movies. Then, I’d buy my island in the Caribbean. If there was enough left over after that, I’d buy you a house in Japan…”

Answer: That’s totally unnecessary.  A simple condo in Tokyo would be fine.

Quade writes: “Hey I was just thinking about picking up Masked on tuesday when I noticed you were a contributing author. So I have since decided against it, but I digress.

Probably some questions for Lou but maybe you could anwer them, since I don’t know much about the industry. Have you read through it yet, like an advance copy, or did Lou send out all the stories to all the authors for input? And what exactly was Lou’s job in this project? When I hear “edited by” it makes me think he just runs spell check and looks for grammatical errors.”

Answer: Check the blog’s sidebar.  Masked is September’s Book of the Month Club selection!  Editor Lou Anders will be swinging by the blog (along with a few other guest authors) to field your questions.  I may even answer a few as well.  To answer your question – I was sent an advance copy of my story which I proofread.  I sent the requested changes to Lou who passed them on to the publisher.

Stuart writes: “How cost effective is it to create Internet only Stargate shorts and various micro-series?”

Answer: It all depends on who is paying for them and what kind of a return they get on that investment whether it be monetary or in the form of more eyeballs.  At present, I don’t think there’s money to be made and their impact on viewership is debatable.

metalfan20 writes: “First, Will we see the SGC any time soon on SGU?
Second, Is there anything us fans can do to help get the movies off the ground?”

Answer: No plans on seeing the SGC in the near future.  As for the movies – the only thing any of us can do is be patient.

Marius writes: “How long will this show go on for? Do you have a plan at all?”

Answer: Nope, no plan.  The writers usually come in every morning, think up a scenario (ie. the team visits a planet ruled by minotaurs) then head down to set and inform the actors who basically make up the dialogue while the director shoots.  So far, this approach has served us well.

Marius also writes: “I have a hard time seing the importance to the story, because unlike SG1, we dont get to see what earth gets out of this at all. Is it just gonna be an action-show?”

Answer: We will be seeing more of the impact you’re alluding to in the back half of season 2.

Sean D. writes: “How old is Jelly now?”

Answer: The old gal is eleven.

Juergen writes: “1. Will the crossover SGU/SGA be a bigger thing than SGU/SG-1 was? It’s only one episode, so it would be kind of sparsely only to bring 2 Characters via stones to destiny?!”

Answer: 1. The script is in the process of being written so I can’t compare page count, but going on what we discussed in the room – yes, it will be bigger.

“2. Can we hope, to see anything of Atlantis itself in this episode?”

Answer: Possibly.

“3. If yes, can we expect to see the Gateroom of Atlantis? I mean, the set is big. Would you build it up only for one episode?”

Answer: We wouldn’t build the set for one episode and instead use pieces presently in storage and green screen.  That is, of course, if we plan on seeing the Atlantis interior.

steph writes: “Hypothetically, if you really, really wanted to read a book and you enter a bookstore only to find that they have no science-fiction section, which genre do you go to next?”

Answer: I’ll hit SF first, followed by Fantasy, then Horror.  I’ll also head over to the Fiction section as some of my fave authors (ie. Jeffrey Ford) are occasionally shelved there as well.

Major D. Davis writes: “Given MGMs financial situation, the DVD market, the economy, SGUs shooting schedule, actor’s schedules, when do you think (Educated guess) that the movie(s) will go into production.”

Answer: I couldn’t even hazard a guess.

Major D. Davis also writes: “So you told us what ep of SGU the SGA characters would be in, could you maybe tell us what SGU episode the SG-1 characters will appear in (Brad wright said there would be SG-1 characters in season 2)?”

Answer: He did?

Negolith writes: “I followed your blog regularly while SGA was on the air, and there were times when someone would bring up a glaring continuity error, where something even went completely against long established SG-1 canon, and your reply would come across as very churlish and snide as opposed to a clever repartee.”

Answer: In which case I’m sure it’ll be no problem for you to dig up an example of my replying in a “churlish and snide” manner to someone who politely asked a question.

Negolith also writes: “And that coy little comment about feeding cranky fans to Todd? That’s a bit of a kick in the teeth for longtime fans of the entire franchise.”

Answer: Really?  How interesting that, only days earlier, you were accusing me of being thin-skinned.  Allow me to take a moment to apologize if my comment about feeding cranky fans to Todd hurt your feelings or frightened you in any way.  I’d like to make it clear that I have no intention of feeding cranky fans to Todd or any wraith for that matter.  The truth is the wraith are fictitious characters that exist solely within the fantasy setting of the t.v. show you and fellow cranky fans are expending an impressive amount of time and energy decrying.  For what it’s worth, given the opportunity, I would not feed cranky fans to the wraith.  I would feed them to crazed baboons instead.

Sorry to hurt your feelings again.  Just kidding.

No, I’m not.

Yes, I am.  Just kidding.

Negolith also writes: “I seem to recall one comment roughly around SGU’s mid season in response to people not being happy with the show as something along the lines of “that’s the way it is, it’s not going to change, and if you don’t like it, tough”.”

Answer: You paraphrase but, yeah, at the end of the day the show is what it is, darker tone, flawed characters, communications stones and all.  What do you want me to say?  Many fans have enjoyed the second half of the first season because they felt that some of the issues they’d brought had been addressed in the back ten, but those episodes were simply a progression of what we’d already established rather than an overhaul in the creative.

gordon writes: “Feeding cranky fans to Todd might work, though I suspect he’d find them so bitter he’d sooner starve.”

Answer: Sorry.  I just couldn’t leave this one to flounder in yesterday’s comments section.

Eric.Stewart writes: “thas is a very short mini skirt !!!”

Answer: How do you know what I’m weari- ?!  Oh, you’re referring to Akemi’s picture.  Uh, right.  Yeah, they’re all the rage in Tokyo.  (P.S. Looking forward to that return trip in December).

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Shadow Step
Shadow Step

No you are not wink

Jeff
Jeff

Your Answer: We can assume they’ve been captured – until a story comes a long that upends that assumption. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of goa’uld Kinsey.

Hmmm, if thats the case, the only way this potential storyline could be wrapped up is in Stargate Revolution…….which would be awesome since I loved Kinsey……

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Damn. Won’t get to my regular book supplier before next week. Guess I’ll have to drop in the local big box bookseller and grab a copy of the book. The pics are greatly appreciated. Atlantis has always been my favorite show of the franchise, and to see cast and crew in your photos always brings a feeling of wistful nostalgia.
Very nice mailbag also, snark and all. Perhaps you should pick a day for a mailbag, with the caveat that any and all answers will be snark-filled. Sure, your detractors will use this as proof of your callous disregard for fandom, but they will believe that no matter what you say or do. But for the rest of us, we would get to watch a master wordsmith at work. Plus, it would be fun trying to come up with the questions to provide you the fodder for the quips, cuts, putdowns, and verbal flayings. Just something to consider.
Thanks for a satisfying way to end the evening, and best wishes for Jelly.

Elminster
Elminster

Hey Joe

Thanks for the recipe! I have all the ingredients execpt the paprika tho I do have the cayenne… so, judging by the lack of eating the bacon it’s for drippings only, for flavour? I have, and use, the cast iron skillet almost daily so I’ll give it a try. Thanks again!

Elminster

majorsal
majorsal

if the atlantis movie’s timeline has been changed to fit sgu, will that be the same for the sg1 movie?

Collegeboy8907
Collegeboy8907

Question about the status of the sg-1 team: one of your mailers said that vala left sg-1 so my question is When did Vala leave sg-1? Is she atill part of the SGC or did she leave and revert back to how she was in season 8 and 9?

DP
DP

Super Congrats on the book coming out! That has to be exciting.

Oh, you can actually list on one hand what distracts you from writing? Try my day – two small kids. It’s not that I don’t ever get 15 straight minutes to think, but I don’t know when I sit down if the call to action will come in ten seconds or ten minutes so getting on a roll is pretty tough.

It takes me days to fail to write what I can write if I can just slip away to Tim Horton’s for a few hours. Even without the 2 small children, my last trip to TH was cut short by false labor – oh, the irony that #3 is already distracting me.

cat4444
cat4444

Gabriele writes: “4. We know that in the Ori galaxy there are gates. The Priors used them to come through the Milky Way gates and probably the people in that galaxy use them to get to other planets. Is it possible that the seeder ships reached the Ori-Ancient home galaxy long ago and seeded the Destiny gates on those planets? So, is it possible that the gates in the Ori galaxy are of the same model as the gates that we see in “Stargate Universe”?”

Answer: I don’t believe they were.

I think the gates were probably developed in the Ori galaxy based on “The Ark of Truth”. The ring technology definitely existed at the time the Ancients left the Ori galaxy, since the one group ringed to their ship from the underground base before leaving.

Also, I think it was the Ori that started the plague in the Milky Way to eradicate the Ancients once and for all, which is what precipitated their leaving for Pegasus. Doubtlessly the Ori thought the Ancients had been destroyed long before they ever returned to the Milky Way after the disaster with the Wraith.

So, if the gate technology already existed when the Ancients left the Ori galaxy, and the Ori were determined to wipe out the Ancients, I would think that Destiny would have been sent in the opposite direction to that of the Ori galaxy pursuant to the “why tempt fate” school of thought..

daniel fleming
daniel fleming

Hi Joe, this is no way to sound rude, do you read all the posts/ questions, i’m just wondering as there are a lot of posts, as I’ve asked many questions and non have been answered recently, I’m not trying to be rude, I know your too busy to answer every question people have given you. In other words, have I offended you in any way in any of my comments? Thanks, and sorry if this sounds confrontational, its not ment to.

daniel fleming
daniel fleming

P.s, well done with the book!

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

Answer: No plans on seeing the SGC in the near future.  As for the movies – the only thing any of us can do is be patient.

You don’t think the stargate movies campaign and mailing letters is any good? It’s better then sitting around and just waiting right? wink sad

Thanks so much,
Major D. Davis

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

Thanks for answering my questions btw.

Well twitter is down so I can’t get you the link… But this is what scifitv tweeted.

#SGA and #SG1 stars will appear in #SGU Season 2, says Brad Wright.

So will there still be SG-1 characters in season 2?

Thanks so much,
Major D. Davis

Airelle
Airelle

Joe thanks for the promised pictures. Great to see.
I was going to ask how the book gets people to review it b4 its out, now I know they ship copies to famous people like Baron and Cookie (rhymes with bookie, funny!!)
@das, I hope I get my copy soon,was that from Amazon? They say they mailed it…

Randomness
Randomness

@Major D. Davis

Personally I think you should continue. It’s the thought that counts in all. I remember us discussing this just over a week ago I believe saying exactly the same thing, It won’t make a difference, it’s more a waiting game. But show your passion as a fan. It’l work.

Randomness
Randomness

Oh and good luck on your script Joe.

Tim Lade
Tim Lade

Postcard from Tokyo? To add to my collection? Yes?

Ponytail
Ponytail

Hard to get too excited about Masked coming out when my copy will take at least 10 days for the US Postal Service to walk it from NJ to TX. Maybe they should start riding horses again.

And by the way, your chocolate blog yesterday looked heavenly. (How does Akemi stay so slim hanging around you?) Suddenly the Kit Kat I was eating didn’t taste so good.

You and your “explosive diarrhea”! Everytime you say that I start giggling…

Also: I thought “feeding cranky fans to Todd” was hilarious!

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Airelle – Yup, got mine from Amazon – a preorder. I started to read the first paragraph of Joe’s story, realized it was probably gonna be better than I expected. (No offense, Joe…but I had my reservations…a weird kind of ‘nervous for YOU’ thing that I usually only get when someone in the family has to stand up in front of everyone and give a speech, or something. I think this might officially make you my kid brother. grin ) So, anyway, I decided to wait until I have a full evening or afternoon to read the entire story, without interruption.

@ Joe – You are so very, VERY naughty! lol

das

Ponytail
Ponytail

Oh, and it would have been funny to see Jason’s wig on one of your pugs. (seems like he was always sticking it on somebody) Too bad you couldn’t have taken it home with you for one day to snap a couple of photos. Whatever happened to that wig? Gathering dust in props?

Gilder
Gilder

@Joe:

1. Check your Yahoo account(s), please.

2. Give poor Marius a break. I don’t think he’s a blog regular.

@Marius: Hope you understand that Joe was joking about not having a plan. The short answer is, yes, there is a plan for SGU, but it is subject to change.

Gilder
Gilder

Good News Dept.: Vancouver-area SG fan and talented artist /photographer Beth B. was just hired by the Sears Portrait Studio, Metrotown. If you are in that area, please support this deserving young lady.

Joe, perhaps a formal portrait with the pups for your Christmas card?

Don
Don

How much are we going to find out about the blue aliens in Season 2? I assume they have an agenda beyond “Hijack Big Ship. Wreak Havok Laugh Maniacally!

Also, FTL is different than Hyperspace, but how much slower is it? In the past the ship has stopped when there was a need to refuel or to get needed supplies, are we going to see more of that? As things stand, the crew has to guess what the ship stopped to restock. Is the ship ever going to communicate more directly…like say via a certain missing crew member?

Bailey
Bailey

Joe, thanks so much for the BTS Atlanis pictures!
Loved them all – especially the Ronon Wig on Bob razz
And the Rachel/Joe pic is sooo sweet.

ganymede

Well… I think the FanFic “SHEYLA” fans just get *ballistic* with that Rachel/Joe pic!!

Nice one, BTW! grin

Sue Jackson
Sue Jackson

Hey…Joe! I think you ought to put out a cookbook. You always make me hungry when you talk about food on your blog. Especially, when you use pictures.

Is there a way we can encourage MGM to green-light Extinction (SGA movie)….or even 3rd SG-1 movie? I’m starting to lose hope. But…I don’t want to lose hope. Please…say something encouraging.