Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill me in on their viewing habits.  Some wildly varied tastes out there.  Keep those t.v. lists coming!

To those who may have missed it (ie. anyone who lives outside of Canada), here’s a link to the Stargate: Universe segment that aired on Canada AM this morning – (or check the right sidebar for the link).

Thanks to Craig and Cat4444 for the heads up!

Some great reviews of SGU episode #207, The Greater Good.



And here:

While Robert Carlyle (SGU’s Dr. Nicholas Rush) talks about the episode with Show Patrol’s Curt Wagner here:

And, if you’re hankering for a (potentially spoilerific) sneak peek at next week’s episode, Malice, take a look over here:

In non Stargate-related matters (aka – my life), I’ve almost finalized my Tokyo restaurant list.  Unlike previous years when I’ve booked Michelin starred restaurants for both lunch and dinner, I’m only going to go with a few high-end choices requiring reservations and will play the rest by ear.  More or less.  Even though I won’t book the tables, I have a rundown of places I want to check out, covering the gamut of Japanese cuisine – restaurants specializing in: ramen, soba, sushi, unagi, anago, tempura, yakitori, kushiage, and maybe (when my travel buddy Ivon isn’t looking) even suppon.

With the cast in Toronto for food and fun, today was a production holiday.  I celebrated by doing a little shopping and, again, adding to my burgeoning to-read pile:

Clockwise from left to right starting from the top:

First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks: I vary my reading and, occasionally, like to dabble in high fantasy.  To be honest, I don’t know much about this book but picked it up on the recommendation of Robert Cooper’s wife who, apparently, is a bit of a fantasy junkie.

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind: Another heavy-hitter of the fantasy genre and another author I’ve been looking to check out.  In the case of both Goodkind and Brooks, I’ll start with the first book in a series and see where it takes me.  In the case of some past fantasy authors (ie. Joe Abercrombie and George R. R. Martin), this particular strategy has taken me quite far.

The Attraction by Douglas Clegg: I’m a sucker for good horror novels and this one, about a group of young travelers who run afoul of a horrific roadside attraction, sounds like good, creepy fun.

Plan for Chaos by John Wyndham: A never-before published novel from the man who gave us The Midwich Cuckoos, Chocky, and The Day of the Triffiids.

Apartment 16 by Adam Nevill: In describing the novel in a recent SFSignal MindMeld discussion of horror novels (, writer/film critic Gemma Files writes it “centres around the perception-altering works of long-dead and -forgotten painter Felix Hessen, who Nevill describes as being a cross between Francis Bacon and Wyndham Lewis. Of course, these visions are never actually *seen* at all, only described, in much the same way Nevill uses a classic M.R. Jamesian web of suggestion to project horror far beyond the human capacity to properly process; something mammoth, Lovecraftianly alien, glimpsed only partially, through either a tiny aperture or a variety of filters.”  Intriguing.

Black Butterflies by John Shirley: The one thing I enjoy even more than a good horror novel is a good collection of horror fiction.  John Shirley, one of the masters of the genre, offers up 16 works of macabre short fiction.

Transition by Iain M. Banks: The latest from one of my favorite SF authors – although, to be honest, I’m not going to be getting around to this one until I finally make time for Matter.

So, what are you all reading?

If you answered Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story, November’s book of the month club selection, then weigh in with your comments and questions for author Christopher Moore.  You have until the weekend.


conniepoint writes: “One quick question, will we ever see a Peter Kelamis/Brody centric episode? Or at least get more information about him? He’s my favorite character and I’d love to see more of him. I’ll beg if that’ll help.”

Answer: No need to beg.  While we won’t be seeing a Brody-centric episode any time soon, there’s plenty of Brody to come in upcoming episodes.

Gary writes: “In retrospect do you think it was a mistake to spend so much time developing the characters in season 1, perhaps at the expense of action and plot which seem to have a more immediate payoff?”

Answer: If you’re asking whether I think we should have sacrificed character development in favor of action in season 1, my answer would be no.  It’s the groundwork we laid in that first season that makes these season 2 developments that much more effective and stirring.

Xyla writes: “I notice you keep answering people that the best way to get the network’s attention is to watch SGU live. But more and more people are wising up the the fact that only a handful of viewers (the people with neilson boxes) actually get counted. Wouldn’t it be more productive to say something like “Everyone with a neilson box, make sure you watch it live. Everyone else, watch it through another system that is counted”.”

Answer: My professional standing prohibits me from suggesting you track down someone with nielsen box, invite yourself over to their place, and make them watch SGU under threat of karaoke or other equally ghastly punishment, but I can advise viewers to get the word out and tune in live in the hopes that their enthusiasm (and timely viewing) will prove catchy.  And, yes, it wouldn’t hurt to download the episodes as well now that you mention it.

MNP writes: “In regards to publishing the ending on this blog:

Now that is interesting. Definitely not. Why would that be? I’m not saying it to demand an ending or anything, I’m just curious. Is it a rights issue? Would the group want to save it for a novelization or something?”

Answer: Ideally, we’ll be able to finish telling the story we started back in Air I, II and III on a timeline that will please the network, studio, fans, and the production.  In the event of a worse case scenario, it will be up to the studio and the show’s creators to decide how to proceed.  I doubt very much one of those options will be: Joe posts the ending on his blog.

Oreol writes: “Are you, guys, planning to deliver the ending in a movie, a book, perhaps something else?”

Answer: Actually, the plan is deliver the ending at the conclusion of season 5.

Sean D. writes: “Any chances of having interdimensional stories in SGU?”

Answer: Not this season.

@iom666 writes: “One might have thought that Canadians would have downloaded the episode from Tuesday and not watch it at all on Friday’s night, and on the contrary, it’s not that happening!”

Answer: I know.  Given the population of Canada, the numbers SGU does on Space would extrapolate to the equivalent of approximately 3 million viewers on SyFy.

Philly writes: “The real risk these days is making a show that goes so long-haul you put people off, and so simple that you don’t engage them.

What ideas and thoughts did you guys and girls throw out to avoid these pitfalls when crafting SGU?”

Answer: As I said in yesterday’s mailbag, we strive to strike a fair balance between arc-driven plots and standalone stories.  The aim is to reward fans of the show but, at the same time, not make the show inaccessible to first time viewers.  It’s a tricky line to walk but, so far, I think we’ve been successful.

dasNdanger writes: “@ Narelle – Dare I ask – how big are your orb webs?”

Answer: Das, I needn’t remind you that kids occasionally read this comment section.

Fred Kiesche writes: “But mostly…reading. About 90 books YTD. Last year was over 200. Next year? Probably somewhere in between.”

Answer: Damn!  You reader faster than I do!

nate writes: “Since you watch Top Chef…what do you think of Top Chef: Just Desserts?”

Answer: Haven’t seen it.  I don’t think it’s aired in Canada yet.  Marty G. loves it though.

snakey writes: “With that said, then wouldn’t you need to know at the beginning of the producing season if that was going to be the last season or not instead of in December when you are nearly done with said season? Does this mean you already know that there will be a season 3 and not telling?”

Answer: Nope, still no word on season 3.  I’m hoping we’ll know in mid-December, but wouldn’t be surprised if we had to wait until mid-January to find out.

Bailey writes: “Considering how well SGU is doing in Canada compared to the US, and the fact that most of the writers/production folk are Candadian, do you think that SGU is a show that appeals more to Canadian sensibilities than US-American?”

Answer: I don’t think so.  I believe North Americans in general share like sensibilities.  Still, I’m not sure what to make of the difference in the ratings.  Historically, the numbers have always been very similar (comparatively speaking).

Jon writes: “After watching The Greater Good I couldn’t help wondering, how you planned the episode to play out back in the day, when it was written for the first season?”

Answer: Back then, it was just this basic notion: Rush and Young are in the damaged shuttle when its engine engage and its set adrift, away from Destiny.  With (at this point) no way of controlling the ship and the jump clock ticking down, Eli leads the rescue op by sending one of the service robots after the shuttle on a repair mission while, aboard the shuttle, Rush and Young spend quality time together.

Jonathan writes: “Will we be seeing a return of Col. David Telford?”

Answer: Boy, I sure hope so.  I’m a huge fan of Lou Diamond Phillips.

Major D. Davis writes: “In terms of finales.. which one do you think is better (and tells a bigger story).. Gauntlet or Incursion.. you gotta give me a tease here.. Gauntlet sounds EPIC!”

Answer: Gauntlet is definitely more epic…and gut-wretching a cliffhanger.

65 thoughts on “November 12, 2010: Some Stargate: Universe links! What are YOU reading? Mailbag!

  1. I really have to recommend Wizard’s First Rule. I couldn’t put it down when I first read it.

  2. Hey Joe,

    I know you get tired of the ratings talk and everything. But shows like W13 and Eureka have aired in the exact same timeslot and dayslot within a week of eachother and have done literally double the viewers.

    My question and point is, do you think because SGU is a more serial type show and it is not as casual viewer friendly as say shows as W13 and Eureka it may be effecting the ratings? I am only asking because you mentioned about SGA would be getting similar ratings to SGU, I disagree, because I think for the kind of show SGA was, it put it in between shows like Eureka/W13 and SGU/Caprica. So it could get, imo say around what Sanctuary is getting now, maybe even a little better?

    You did an amazing job on SGA and you carried that amazing work over to SGU. Some of my favorite eps are like Space, Subversion, Intervention, Awakening, Divided, and Trial and Error which were written by you and/or Paul. The concern I have , is that I feel it is more the show than the other factors like the fans, timeslots, lack of advertisment, time of year, day of airing, and etc. The decline started in the first half of season one, and has been in a steady decline. So the viewers were there last year at this time, but not so much this year, and even DVR has been flat from last year, which was about a 500K viewer addition from the Live+SD to Live+7. I hope SGU gets renewed, and I hope we get those movies greenlighted as well. That way will have plenty of Stargate to enjoy.

    Sorry to sound blunt, just trying to be more realistic like I was for Season 4, hoping for a 5th season. I was too optimsitc that there would be a 6th season of SGA, and well the end results were not good. So maybe being realistic will result in a SGU renewal, lol.



  3. Joe, the season 2 finale is a cliffhanger? By god we better have a season 3 to SGU! 😉

    What am I reading?

    Well, right now a bunch of stuff for my dissertation. I had to put the fiction aside for the time being.

    That’s pretty interesting that you’ve added Terry Goodkind’s “Sword of Truth” to your collection (or at least the 1st book of that series). An interesting thing about those books is that they don’t come off as feeling like your typical “magic and wizards” type stuff. There is a more human element that, despite the occasional insertion of actual magic-stuff, feels rooted and believable.

    You might also consider checking out Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series if you haven’t already. Good stuff, though in contrast to the more straight-forward writing (or I suppose reading) style of Goodkind, the stories in Jordan’s books are layered, plot within plot, intertwined with subplot within subplot. It can get confusing if you don’t pay close attention.

    Some people have fussed that there are too many similarities between those two authors’ series, though, meh, whatever. They’re still pretty good in their own ways. 🙂

    I’m still looking forward to checking out books by Iain M. Banks, though I’ve gotta get through the torture of writing this dissertation and finishing up this doctoral project before I dive back into the fiction.

    Anyway, that’s a bummer about no interdimensional stories in any upcoming SGU episodes. That’d rock to see something like that in season 3. 😀

    Sean D.

  4. @dasNdanger Of course they pop! And eww gross, it’s a sound/sensation that stays with you for decades, only to be brought to the forefront of your brain when someone talks about it on a blog comment! Thanks a lot!

    @Lou Zucaro Eww, eww, EWW! That is the grossest frog guts story I’ve ever heard!!

    I forgot to say my husband adores “The Good Guys,” so we watch it quit a bit. It probably helps that it’s the only cop show that I don’t criticize as we’re watching (I mean, gee whiz, where would I start??).

    Also, I watched “NCIS: Los Angeles” today, and it crystallized the issue: the plots bore me, but I really like the characters. Especially Hetty. When I grow up, I want to BE Hetty! We have the same china pattern, too.

  5. I have a vague memory of the Day of the Triffids movie, something to do with creepy ivy shaking angrily.

    I am loving the Peppermint Shortbread cookies, from Maddy’s Sweet Shop. I’m having some with hot chocolate and wondering where Peppermint Shortbread cookies have been all my life.

  6. Let me post the “What are you watching?” since I missed yesterday’s post:

    Stargate Universe
    Hawaii 5-0
    Lie to Me (although I’m less than thrilled with this year’s incarnation)
    Any Top Chef (currently Just Desserts)
    The Daily Show
    The Colbert Report

    When they are on:
    Warehouse 13
    Project Runway
    Human Target

    Other cancelled shows I’ve rewatched: Did marathons (from episode 1 season 1 until finished of: Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Jericho, Miracles, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1, Babylon 5 and now I’m on Farscape). This was over the course of a year.

    The joys of insomnia.

  7. Hey, just so you know, First King of Shannara isn’t the first book in that series. The first was The Sword of Shannara. First King took place first chronologically when it was published, and some reading lists placed it at the top because of that… but reading it first isn’t a good idea.

    I’d pick up the second book, The Elfstone of Shannara. It’s the first good, solid Shannara book. The first one was a beat-by-beat ripoff of Tolkien. Terry Brooks kind of had to find his own groove, which he did in the second book. (The first three books in the series are essentially standalone).

  8. I noticed you mentioned First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I highly recommend you read the entire Shannara series because I think it is the best fantasy series ever written. If you don’t like it and want a dark and contemporary fantasy, read Terry Brook’s trilogy that starts with Running with the Demon. You won’t be disappointed!

  9. Some questions/comments for Chris Moore:

    1.) They say (semi-) autobiographical stories — and deadlines! — make some of the best stories. Bloodsucking Fiends is one of those, with hysterical results. It’s the funniest anti-romance I’ve read, and at the same time you created hilarious characters that I really cared about by story’s end. I almost teared up over the brass turtles. My turtles! (Stargate joke.) This is first of your books I’ve read, and I can’t wait to read the sequel, You Suck, over the weekend.

    2.) So you also left home in the Midwest at the age of 19, and landed in San Francisco to become a writer. But Incontinence, Indiana? Dude! You were born in Ohio! How could you do that to the state one of your favorite authors was born in? (I’m from Vonnegut’s hometown.)

    3.) I loved every one of the characters. They were not only fully developed, but real. Since you really live in Frisco, how many of the book’s characters have you met in real life there? Did you ever meet the Emperor of San Francisco? What was he like?

    4.) In another autobiographical detail, one of your previous jobs was working in a grocery store, just like C. Thomas Flood. (Safeway was terrific, another world-within-a-world.) Since it’s nearly Thanksgiving time in the U.S., what was your all-time high score in Turkey Bowling?

    5.) Your humor and parody are a riot. 😀 Nothing is sacred, but everything is given value, i.e., deaths by vampire, homelessness, and the faith of one of the grocery store Animals. The “fish eye” you give the world had to have reared its head/attitude early on. Do you have a favorite writing memory from H.S., an essay that shocked the teacher but made them laugh and give you a good grade anyway?

    6.) You’ve mentioned that all of your books have been optioned or had the rights sold for a movie, but none have ever been made. Too hard to streamline for the screen, or something. Would so love to see Bloodsucking Fiends in a movie theater. 😎 Chris Columbus did a fantastic job with the intricate world building in the first 2 Harry Potter movies, while still making the story marketable for Hollywood. Bloodsucking Fiends would be a complete — and delightfully twisted — left turn. Just a hope… 😀

    Thanks for writing the story about “a guy whose girlfriend is a vampire.”


  10. Thanks for such great mailbag days, Joe.

    As to what I am reading: Copies of my anesthesia record (not a good experience) from my Oct 1st laser litotripsy kidney stone surgery since I’m having a different surgery for it/them coming up Friday Nov 19 in….wait for it…wait for it….


    I thought certainly she must mean the equipment was in the truck and being brought into the hospital to be set up, but no, I am being taken to the truck (like a blood donation van I guess). It better not be cold; you know how those gown butt flaps are. So I need all your bloggers to help me come up with hysterical comments to tease the doctor (who has a great sense of humor). These are a few I’ve come up with:

    1. Gives new meaning to “doc-in-the-box.”
    2. I’m a truck-surgery virgin; please be gentle with me.
    3. My husband has implanted a GPS locator on me, just so you know, and he has his TomTom ready.
    4. Is this a front for human trafficking?
    5. Tacos? Cupcakes? Lithotripsy?
    6. And you are sure the emergency brake is on?

  11. Wizard’s First Rule is a great book, a good beginning on an okay book-series(well at least until Naked Empire, I just finished it, gonna start on chainfire this weekend).

  12. Hey Joe,

    Just thought you’d want to know, I am one of the people with a Nielsen box. I guess I’m one of the fans that really does have the fate of the show in their hands eh?

    I’ll send over a list of my demands shortly…

  13. Hmmmm…okie dokie…what am I reading…

    1. Preston/Child’s Agent Pendergast series, starting with Relic. Reliquary is next in the series, just waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

    2. Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles by Michael Moorcock. I’ve never read any Doctor books, but I think I’ll like this one because it’s very much in the Moorcockian style.

    3. Sexton Blake: Detective, edited by George Mann. Okay, I admit, I’ve only read a couple Zenith-themed stories for now, but I may get around to reading some more when I can find some extra time.

    4. Monsieur Zenith the Albino – Since I’ve read this one before, I just tote it around with me for ‘fluff’ reading when I’m in waiting rooms, and such, since it doesn’t matter if I get distracted a bit…I know exactly what’s going on, regardless.

    5. The Adventures of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot. I started this a few months back, then got side-tracked. It’s basically an homage to Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius.

    6. Casanova by Matt Fraction. This is an ongoing comic book that’s basically an homage to Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius.

    7. Sweets by Kody Chamberlain. Best comic book I’m reading right now – shame it’s only a 5-ish mini. Both the story and the art come together to create this perfect gritty New Orleans pre-Katrina atmosphere.

    8. Secret Six by Gail Simone, et al. My next favorite comic behind Sweets. Great character development (some of the best I’ve seen in mainstream ‘superhero’ books lately), and a very entertaining read. Of course, I’m a bit partial to this fella Ragdoll, so if he was dropped from the character list not sure I’d continue to read.

    9. Cowboy Ninja Viking by A. J. Lieberman. How do I describe this book? Okay…it’s about these people with Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities) that were trained by the government for black ops. Each one has three distinctive personalities, with the main character – Duncan – having the personalities of a cowboy, a ninja, and a viking. Just try fighting someone who changes styles/personalities in the middle of the smack down! I grabbed it because I was bored with comics and figured ‘what the heck’, and so glad I did – it’s now one of my favorites.

    10. The rest of my comic book list includes Daken: Dark Wolverine, Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny X-Force, Wolverine, X-23, Invincible Iron Man and Iron Man Legacy. I’m dropping Spider-Man and Avengers titles because – well…like I said, I’m getting bored with them. Might drop a couple more if things don’t start picking up. The one in that bunch that I do have hopes for is Uncanny X-Force, with it’s new line-up of Wolverine, Deadpool, Fantomex, Archangle, and Psylocke.

    I think that’s about it.


  14. I haven’t read anything by Terry Brooks in a long time. I might have to pick that one up, but not until December because this month I am participating in NaNoWrimo. Are you familiar with it?

  15. There are about 35 shows I watch, but my favourites in no particular order are:

    Of course. I’ve been watching it since I was 9 years old.

    I loved the x-files and liked Lost and this is more or less a combination of the two.

    Despite its obvious CW heritage, the characters’ whining and angst almost never overwhelms the positives of the show

    Just about the most original (to the best of my knowledge) premise for a tv show I’ve seen. Love the way the audience is convinced to root for a serial killer.

    The Walking Dead
    This one has grabbed my interest and made it onto this list very quickly indeed.

    At first I was unimpressed, but a few episodes later I wasn’t any more.

    Also Caprica still counts because the last few episodes haven’t aired yet.

  16. what am i reading?

    cat in an orange twist by carole nelson douglas (one of the midnight louie mysteries)

    as for the previous question, what i’m i watching?
    mostly the amazing race. with some castle now & then

  17. Edit for above: *its, not it’s. 😛

    Also, there is a new Wolverine book coming out next month that looks promising…I *think* it’s called The Best There Is, or something.

    AND…I’m still working on Masked. 😛 I really have way too much on my plate right now.

    ALSO…found an EXCELLENT red wine! It’s called Predator, an old vine zinfandel (Lodi appellation – 2008). Wow. I think it’s the best I’ve had in ages! Smoky (bacon-y??) vanilla hit me right off the bat, just delicious! It has a 91 pt. rating which = exceptional, and I agree! AND, best of all, it’s cheap – between $12-$15 a bottle. If you like a full-bodied red wine, check this one out (this is NOT a watered-down ‘white’ zinfandel, but a delicous dark red zin. It’s great with dark chocolate!).


  18. Squall, they were in day and time in SUMMER, not against heavy hitting new shows so no comparison!

    :::::::::here’s a link to the Stargate: Universe segment that aired on Canada AM this morning –

    The cast of ‘Stargate Universe’ (or check the right sidebar for the link).:::::::::

    Joe, there is no link in side bar and the one in blog doesn’t work… get:

    :::::Ooops…Where did you get such a link ?

    Server cannot locate what you are looking for!
    Ooops…Where did you get such a link ?::::::::

  19. Let’s say, hypothetically, that I was one of those people with a Neilson box. Since I’m out of the “demo” age-wise (by one year darn it – I no longer feel validated as a person for some reason…), would it help or hurt to watch a show? If I watch, your total numbers go up, but also your demo goes down as a percentage.
    (Unfortunately, I do not really have an N Box)

  20. to PBMom;

    you could try;
    1. i hope the meter isn’t running for this.
    2. this is what i get for going with discount health insurance.
    3. can we go & pick up a few things after surgery?
    4. how many surgeries does this get to the gallon?

  21. Good luck with Terry Goodkind, I gave up on his stuff 2 books in. Childishly plotted with cliche writing. The sisterhood of S&M (whatever their called) just drags the whole thing into the gutter. I don’t know how this guy is such a successful writer, he sucks.

    With Brooks I’d recommend backing up even further and starting with Sword of Shannara his first book. His later books suffer from what I call “success” bloat. This is where their success has put them in such a place that editors can’t do much editing and the needed chainsaw treatment never happens to the manuscript. All his work is long but his later work does suffer from his success.

    Or if you want a more breezy read with tighter writing his series of Magic Kingdom (SOLD) books are a fun read.

  22. I’m actually a big fan of Terry Brooks and the Shannara series…reading the current book right now. Haven’t read First King of Shannara since I was 13 or 14…I’ll definitely re-read it if it becomes a Book of the Month.

    However, I don’t know how well it works as an intro to Terry Brooks or Shannara. Granted, The Sword of Shannara is the most Tolkien-esque of his books, and First King is the prequel to Sword/Elf Stones/Wishsong/Heritage series, so it should work as an introduction…but if you were interested in starting from the very very beginning, chronologically, I’d recommend Running With the Demon.

  23. “Answer: If you’re asking whether I think we should have sacrificed character development in favor of action in season 1, my answer would be no. It’s the groundwork we laid in that first season that makes these season 2 developments that much more effective and stirring.”

    I’m sure it does make season 2 more effective but season 1 can make or break a show – it seems like the audience who would eat up the season 2 developments couldn’t make it through season 1.

  24. Hey Joe,
    I’m re-reading Terry Goodkind’s series I’m on Naked Empire! If you like the first it only gets better. My least fav was Pillars of Creation. I’d be more then happy if you just want to borrow mine we could swap books in the mail. The television series that they made from the books was good but toned down for obious reasons. Sad that it got canned 🙁
    Might have to scope out some other books you got pictured there.

    During the interview on InnerSpace Robert said that he thinks that Dr Rush is working towards assension

  25. That was a great episode, and the post show was very cool. First season 2 episode I finally caught live.

    We just got khula back from the vet, she had bladder stones removed and is doing awesome.

  26. Sorry Joe! I’m writing this on my iPhone hit the “done” button before I was done!!

    I was trying to ask what you think about having Dr. Rush’s character ascend? I know that is his own personal opinion but I never thought of that and I like that idea. Would or could it be something to explore either in a alternate story line or as lime something to save as a series finale? Not that SGU is going to EVER end, lol!

    Thanks for sharing and allowing us to do the same!!

  27. dasNdanger, thanks for the tip!

    Joe, one warning on Wizard’s First Rule: a character gets captured and then is repeatedly raped by the captors for 100 pages straight. Someone told me this and I thought, “Nah, that’s an exaggeration!” Then I read it, and counted the pages. Yep…100 pages. (Actually, slightly more.) I found it…offputting. (The TV show is a very different animal.)

    I just read Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation, which covers three of our assassinated US presidents and is frequently hilarious. (Not exactly a combo you’d expect!) Read it in 4 hours flat, and can’t recommend it enough, although it would perhaps be less interesting to a non-USAnian.

    I’m currently reading The Cheese Monkeys, a lighthearted romp about an art student in 1957 at an unnamed state school. People either love it or hate it; so far I love it.

  28. Currently reading:

    Relic – (see Das’s entry, she made me do it! ;))

    The Wolf Age by James Enge: another of his Morlock tales, so if you liked The Blood of Ambrose, you might want to check it out.

    The Blood Knight by Greg Keyes, book 3 of The Kingdom of Thorn and Bone.

    Soon to be reading The Alchemist in the Shadows by Pierre Pevel, sword and sorcery (more of the former than the latter) in a Three Musketeers setting. It’s the sequel to The Cardinal’s Blades: if Dumas had done fantasy, this would be it.

    @das: Thanks for the wine tip, I’ll have to look for that one. It has a great name, too.

  29. Hey Joe

    Interest in my TV viewing…hmmm…excluding the show that Patrick Gilmore is on…Fringe, NCIS, Bones, Criminal Minds, V, Sanctuary…Syfy, TNT & USA….love their marathons.

    I cannot believe it has been a year since your trip to Japan. So enjoy all your show-n-tell. Can’t wait…not so planned sounds adventurous. *smiles*

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl. 🙂

    I am on vacation for two months visiting family. My book list includes Winnie the Pooh, Jungle Book, WALL-E..well I think you get the idea. Fun time of year for me.

  30. I finished The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes a week ago and really liked it. I returned it to the library and now I’m waiting on my library to get Barnes’ second book, the Domino Men, from another library (hopefully it’ll appear on Monday).

    I also want to read Stephen King’s new book of novellas, Full Dark, No Stars. Hopefully my library will get that soon.

    Sooner or later, I want to read Dresden Files: Side Jobs too.

    While I’m waiting for Barnes book though, I’ve been reading some Neil Gaiman short stories from the two collections of his that I own (Smoke & Mirrors & Fragile Things). Great books!

  31. Hello Joe

    Some questions for you if thats cool

    1. Is the Wormhole Extreme Show still showing in the universe of Stargate. What are _its_ ratings like.

    2. What is the total elapsed time from leaving the naquada planet to the last episode of SGU

  32. OMG @archersangel! Those are awesome. Thank you so much. I almost have enough to give him a Top 10 list. This is going to help me take my mind off my INTENSE anxiety right now. Thank you SO much! I knew there were great creative minds here.

  33. @Debra said “Squall, they were in day and time in SUMMER, not against heavy hitting new shows so no comparison!”

    The finale of Warehouse 13 went up against the season premieres of NCIS L.A. and those other big shows only one week before SGU premiered in the same slot against the same big shows with 1.2 million viewers if you round it up. Warehouse 13 had about twice that number just the week before so Squall78 is right.

    I also share his/her opinion that SGA would do much better than SGU in the same slot because of the type of show SGA was. SGA is more like Warehouse 13 and Eureka (and even the NCIS shows) and SGU is not because I think it is not supposed to be like those shows. I too want to thank the creators for making SGA. SGU is not for me but I’m sure the people it was made for are thankful for it.

  34. Didn’t get to post for yesterday’s blog. The library closed early. So…

    I watch:
    Dr Who (when its on)
    Recently saw all of Firefly (cos I finally got my hands on the DVD)
    I’d like to watch SGU, but for now, I’m stuck with just going on transcripts from Malice sounds like its gonna be a very interesting episode

    Atm, I’m reading:
    ok, reading nothing atm, except for my own stories, cos I’ve run out of books
    Gotta get more books
    Problem is finding the time to read. If I read, it will be for 4 hours a day, minimum and I mean without pause. These days my timetable goes, get up at 6, go to work at 7, come home and eat, go straight to bed. No time for anything else. Sigh.

  35. Here are the numbers if people want to know:

    Tuesday September 21, 2010

    Dancing with the Stars (9pm, 61 minutes, ABC network)
    – 18.518 million viewers
    – 11.6/18 HH
    – 4.4/11 A18-49

    NCIS: Los Angeles (9pm, CBS network)
    – 15.757 million viewers
    – 9.7/15 HH
    – 3.4/9 A18-49

    Biggest Loser (8-10pm, NBC network)
    – 7.225 million viewers
    – 4.2/7 HH
    – 2.9/8 A18-49

    Raising Hope (9pm, 31minutes, Fox network)
    – 7.309 million viewers
    – 4.4/7 HH
    – 3.1/8 A18-49
    – 3.2/10 A18-34

    Warehouse 13 (9pm, Syfy network)
    – 2.448 million viewers
    – 1.5/2 HH
    – 0.8/2 A18-49


    The very next week on Tuesday September 28, 2010

    Dancing with the Stars (9pm, 61 minutes, ABC network)
    – 17.338 million viewers
    – 10.9/17 HH
    – 3.8/10 A18-49

    NCIS: Los Angeles (9pm, CBS network)
    – 16.505 million viewers
    – 10.0/16 HH
    – 3.7/10 A18-49

    The Biggest Loser (8-10pm, 120 minutes, NBC network)
    – 7.193 million viewers
    – 4.5/7 HH
    – 2.7/8 A18-49

    Raising Hope (9pm, Fox network)
    – 7.085 million viewers
    – 4.2/7 HH
    – 3.1/8 A18-49
    – 3.0/9 A18-34

    Stargate Universe (9pm, Syfy network)
    – 1.175 million viewers
    – 0.8/1 HH
    – 0.5/1 A18-49

    Before anybody goes there, I’m not putting these numbers up to compare Warehouse 13 and SGU (which are both cable shows) against broadcast network shows.

    I’m just showing that SGU premiered and got its numbers just one week after Warehouse 13 ended against the same shows, and premieres no less. I think Syfy was maybe trying to be nice to SGU because they probably could have scheduled it against those other big premieres and they didn’t.

    I guess I’m just trying to show that a week couldn’t have made that much difference because both Warehouse 13 and SGU went up against the same broadcast juggernauts and Warehouse 13 did better. I can’t say for sure why but I think at least part or most of it is the difference in the type of shows they are. That’s not saying that one is better than the other because what people watch is all about taste.

  36. Wow; I didn’t know there might be any John Wyndham I might have missed: and I’ve read I thought all of them – even the ones he wrote under the name of ‘John Beynon’ and ‘John Harris’. I’ll have to look out for that one but if you’ve not read it, check out a rare Wyndham book entitled ‘The Secret People’: very good!

    I need to get around to reading ‘Matter’ too but have heard good thinks on the new book by Banks: any chance of Destiny meeting up with a Culture ship, maybe a GSV or two? Ooo, a stand off with the Affront would be awesome!

  37. Thanks for answering my question!

    Wizard’s First Rule is an amazing book and a great start to one of my favorite book series. I can’t wait to see what you think about it. 🙂

  38. Hi Joe – Interesting to read that you’re getting into some fantasy classics after so much time spent delving into cutting-edge sci-fi. But variety is a good thing, no? I’ll look forward to hearing your opinions; after Tolkien, I went on to Anne McCaffrey and then British/Welsh mythology, and never did check out the Shannara stories. (I’ve always been sort of a slow reader, but I still love reading.)

    Current read: S.L.A. Marshall’s World War I. Supposedly it’s the best comprehensive text, covering everything from pre-war events to post-war dealings, and deals with everything from the not-so-grand alliances to details of ordnance. To me, WWI history is complicated and arcane. But I really want to know more about this incredibly gruesome, gut-wrenching, sadly unnecessary ordeal that apparently was set in motion by the jaw-dropping deceit of a few sociopathic diplomats, plus some incompetent or fatigued, apathetic, reality-evading rulers. I think once I get a better understanding of that war, what I know of WWII will make much more sense. — Somehow, knowing a bit about history makes me feel less uprooted and more involved with the world – if that makes sense.

    I’m also rereading The Android’s Dream. I really need to read more by John Scalzi, since – as you know very well – he’s such an incredible storyteller. (What a coup for SGU to have him on board as creative consultant!) Another reread that I’m doing a bit at a time because the atmosphere is so dense and rich and incredibly rewarding (like flourless chocolate cake) is Jeff Vandermeer’s City of Saints. I can’t thank you enough for your recos of both these books.

    Revisiting The Far Side via anthologies is proving helpful these days following catch-ups with the news.

    TV watching: SGU as always, both this season and S1 (and loving both!), Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock, and Penguins of Madagascar. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about that last pleasure. Those dudes crack me up.

    I hope this finds you, Akemi, your mom and sis, and the pooches doing well. Hope eye surgery recovery for – Jelly? (sorry, memory fail) proceeds apace.

  39. Joe, The Greater Good was… good and greater!!!

    but now i want to direct your attention at our friend KEK his youtube video became no.1 most viewed worldwide and guess what, it got SGU trailers in its response for everyone to see.

  40. Huh! Just realized I have the Sword of Shannara on my bookshelf but have never read it. Will have to try it out.

    I read the Terry Goodkind series. Generally enjoyed it, got about three or four books in. But at that point, started to feel like the series was getting repetitive. As Nicole Gustas said above, yes, the author does like to torture the hell out of the protagonist. I think I skipped through a lot of pages at that point.

    (Brief aside: I’m one of those folks that enjoyed the TV series based on the books. Shame it got canceled.)

    I am not reading much of anything right now, and I blame my iPhone. When I’m waiting for an appointment, or in the car (NOT driving), I click on the phone and surf. Read blogs, news. I need to put the damned thing down and pick up a book again.

    But if you are in a fantasy sort of mood, may I suggest Guy Gavriel Kay’s Summer Tree trilogy?

  41. I don’t recall seeing you at the Inner Space SGU special ? They seemed to have everyone else.

    As for the show lastnight I liked it mostly. When they realize Rush found the control room and Young is listening then walks in. That was well done.

    Only thing that didn’t make sense to me was how Rush goes from keeping the bridge a secret (which I touched on previously) to getting his ass kicked for doing so then telling Young everything and pretty much asking him to help.

    I don’t think he’s being sincere. What was all that crap about a shape at the center of the universe ? Seemed like he was throwing whatever he could think of at Young to avoid another beating.

    The other thing I’m wondering is… what happens when they complete Destiny’s mission ? Show ends ?

  42. Hey Joe, loved ‘the greater good’ and season 2 as a whole. I also think if sgu came back for a 3rd year the ratings would improve. I read in an interview with brad wright saying that if sg1 hadn’t had a two year deal at the start with showtime then they probaly would have been cancelled at the end of the first, basically what im saying is that the ‘stargate team’ has always delivered and you deserve a 3rd year . Ha im halfway through apartment 16. Its. . . . .different, some good parts in it but not a page turner for me.

  43. The problem with unnagi is that it is a summer dish. In winter, it will not be the best choice. As for ramen, nothing beats the late night noodle carts when the bars are closing. Yakisoba is a street food, best at festivals, eaten out of the plastic box with splintery hashi. Seriously, it never tastes good indoors to me. Suppon? That’s just sad.

    Trivia: If anyone can track down a neilsen family and make them watch SGU, they can punch in the age and sex of visitors viewing a show with them.

    @ for the love of Beckett Nobody calls The City, “Frisco”. Stop it.

    I tried a Shannara once, ages ago. Bleh. I cannot read Tolkien ripoffs. I read LOTR at age ten, and nothing else ever compared. LOL, even when the writing was better. I am also enamored of anything involving Fafhrd and Grey Mouser by Fritz Lieber. Currently reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Lush.

  44. Answer: I don’t think so. I believe North Americans in general share like sensibilities. Still, I’m not sure what to make of the difference in the ratings. Historically, the numbers have always been very similar (comparatively speaking).

    I also believe the sensibilities are the same – it’s the channels that are different. When you look at the types of things that SPACE does for example, it’s not hard to see that science fiction does so well in Canada because of this station….and Canada rules! Okay, it’s out of my system 😀

  45. Are the cast and crew still in T.O.? If so, maybe you could ask them to bring back for you an absolutely fabulous veal and eggplant sandwich 😉 It’s from a place called Mustachio’s, at the bottom level of St. Lawrence Market. Really, really great sandwich.

    Going back to the “What are you watching?” question (I’m a bit behind, I know), my shows tend to be wildly eclectic:

    – SGU (of course)
    – SG-1 (re-runs on Space)
    – Sanctuary
    – What Not to Wear
    – The Simpsons
    – Dragons Den
    – Divine Design
    – Love It or List It

    Occasionally (time permitting):
    – Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives
    – Rick Mercer
    – Masterpiece Theatre

  46. Hi Joe, I’ve been chatting with people on gateworld about some of the physics about destinys mission and the message itself, so I wanted to pose this question:

    other than the message itself, is the CMB, according to the ancients, any different to our understanding of it? i.e. is it uniform everywhere else other than the message.

    i’m also assuming the message in the cmb is location based, i.e. when you look at the cmb mapped to the sky, the message would be at a particular location on the sky, as opposed to a time varying cmb where the signal cools very slowly over time (but for our sake its constant), and then there’s a blip on the observation screen of the ancients where the message pops up and then you never see it again.

    thanks for your help and your dedication to the show, fans, and franchise

  47. Thanks for the mailbag! To clarify, I meant that if you take all those books to Japan, it will cost you.

    When is your Japan trip? Who is watching the dogs?

    I’m reading John Grisham’s new book “Confession” now.

    Das: Thanks for the wine tip!

  48. Here’s my “What are you watching?” list:

    Lie to Me
    Top Chef
    Project Runway
    Dr. Who
    Criminal Minds
    Law and Order UK
    Top Gear

  49. I am reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman at the moment.

    By the way I have a question/proposal for you Joe: I think that you could change the look of Eli in order to express that the life on Destiny and his experience with Ginn etc. have made him more mature. Here is my concept:
    What do you think? Would you consider such a change?

  50. Okay, Ginn is very sweet but Amanda Perry is just adorable, what a sweetie. Her only flaw is her attraction to Rush (Rush?!) Very interesting to see what happens there; hoping that she’ll be okay and so will Ginn.

    I once knew a Nielsen family; the husband and kids refused to punch in the code (you have to keep updating the box with your user info when you change the channel, so they can track age/gender etc of the viewer) Their box was taken away for non compliance. I tried to get the Nielsen lady to give me a box, but she more or less implied I needed a pack of grubby kids and a minivan to qualify for one.

    Excellent ep this week, loved Eli timing those jumps with that newfound confidence of his; the right lady will put a swagger in her guy.

  51. Lets see — so far this week I’ve read:
    “I Shall Wear Midnight” by Terry Pratchett
    “The Sins of the Wolf” by Anne Perry
    “Dangerous to Know” by Tasha Alexander
    “The Lost Hero” by Rick Riordan
    “Red Slippers” by Dennis L. McKeirnan
    “The Mischief of the Mistletoe” by Lauren Willig
    “Foundation” by Mercedes Lackey
    and I just started “The Blade Itself” by Joe Abercrombie — I’ve heard it’s pretty good.;)

  52. Oh God, Wizard’s First Rule. I usually don’t comment, but I felt the need to send a warning. This is one of the few fantasy series I stopped reading mid-series.

    I liked the first few books. Then the author decided to do a whole book introducing a new character, without including any of the previously established characters until the last few pages. Very frustrating for someone who was reading the books as they were released and wanted to know what was going on with the main characters.

    Then I think the author may have become deranged. I don’t know how else to explain the sudden loss of talent. All of a sudden our hero is spouting huge speaches about how if you don’t fight against the enemy you enable the enemy, and you can’t be timid in the face of evil, and if protesters to your actions get in your way they are the enemy too. All of which culminates in our hero charging through a line of unarmed protesters with an army at his back and slicing off their heads as he goes. And really, the problem isn’t that the hero says these things, it’s that he says them over and over. The same point will be made five times in a seven page speech. The same speech is made about six (or seven or eight, I lost count) times throughout the book. It gets so incredibly tedious, I was thinking “shut up shut up shut up!” and skipping ahead every time another speech started.

    Oh, and that character that took a whole book to set up? Completely wasted here. That was the last book I read.

    But I thought Wizard’s First Rule was a good book on its own.

  53. The Greater Good was an excellent development for SGU, the camaraderie is coming together, an interesting scifi plot is rearing its head, now if we can just have a few Stargate-esque missions thrown in, we might win back some of the dissenters! Keep up the good work!

  54. Thanks for the CANADA AM link. I love how much attention STARGATE is finally getting here in CANADA. I love that SPACE is just advertising the heck out of it. Maybe SYFY could take some pointers from SPACE.

    Still, I’m not sure what to make of the difference in the ratings. Historically, the numbers have always been very similar (comparatively speaking).

    Do you think the fact that SPACE airs it on Friday night while SYFY has moved it to Tuesday makes the difference?

    CONGRATS: Robert Carlyle won THE GEMINI for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role!!!!!

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