I’m busy outlining a 13-episode first season for a new SF series.
But more on that in another blog entry.
In the meantime, when’s the last time I did a mailbag?
Tam Dixon writes: “He likes them well done and you know how hard it is to retain the tenderness when cooked that way?! Thanks to foodnetwork, I almost have it down (at least with fillets).”
Answer: Well, now you got me curious. How do you serve a tender steak well-done?
Denise McInerney writes: “Did she mix the watermelon with the gelatin? Sorry to say, the food for the pups looks better than some of the stuff that came out of my kitchen this past month.”
Answer: Yes, it’s a gelatin watermelon. And, to be honest, the food Akemi prepares for the dogs OFTEN looks better than anything I eat.
Denise McInerney also writes: “Having said that–just made a pretty decent low-fat, pork tenderloin shredded barbecue. Season a 2-lb tenderloin with sea salt, pepper and a little thyme, then toss in slow-cooker with bottle of root beer for 7-8 hours on low. Ok, I hear you laughing from all the way over on this coast! The RB acts as a tenderizer. Really.”
Answer: I believe it. I occasionally do a slow-roast with coca cola. Don’t have a slow cooker but it’s next on my list. My friend Ivon is a slow-cooking expert!
whoviantrish writes: “Well.. I had some absolutely fabulous lemon ricotta pancakes topped with lemon curd, strawberries and fresh mint. I know you’re not a fan of mint, Joe.”
Answer: Actually, I’m finding I do like fresh mint on certain desserts.
whoviantrish also writes: “My youngest is 13 today! Erin is a teenager now. ”
Answer: Congrats to both of you! How are you celebrating?
Jovanna writes: “Sitiawan and Lumut in Perak, Malaysia are interesting places to go that not many people go to. It’s a lot more suburban now and you’d definitely need a tour guide or you might get mugged or ripped off…”
Answer: The potential for getting mugged or ripped off is a definite con when I put together potential vacation destinations. Oh, and add kidnapping to that list.
skua writes: “About the Yak beef i think is more a Beef aging problem this type of beef need a long dry maduration only few providers do nowadays. I think this yak need 4 week of controled dry-agging before you can cook it properly.”
Answer: Interesting! I’m going to mention this to my butcher as he had no idea how best to prepare the yak steaks. He just brought them in because they were unique and is now looking for feedback from his customers.
Michael Carney writes: “Like you and many of your readers/reviewers, Joe, I suffered my way through “The Rich and the Dead”. Reading your follow-up column and its comments helped (a little) with the trauma that ensued.Just realised, however, that any publicist worth his/her salt could mine both column and comments and come up with some quotable quotes:
“dazzled … a great idea … A tremendous achievement” – Joseph Mallozzi
“Liv Spector is the next Dan Brown!” Kathode”
Answer: I laughed out loud. Brilliant.
Line Noise writes: “The most interesting (if you could call it that) thing I cooked/ate last month was my Volcano Roasted Blackened Pork Belly.”
Answer: Well, it sounds delicious anyway.
dasndanger writes: “In fact, the best thing I’ve made lately was out of a box: gluten-free brownies from http://xobakingco.com/”
Answer: Akemi has been making gluten-free brownies of late. They taste…good for you!
JeffW writes: “The real problem though, is the whole presupposition (such as it was) falls apart if Teddy was already back in time himself; he could just stake-out the property and observe. He could’ve also hired a couple of PI’s to track escape vehicles. There was no need to send Lila back in that case.”
Answer: Which, as someone already pointed out, would have meant no story and no book. Which is not at all a bad thing.
JeffW also writes: “To fix this, the author could have provided some back story and also made up some rules to justify the premise better…”
Answer: If only YOU had been her editor instead of whoever “edited” her book (Her father? Her best friend? A table lamp?).
arcticgoddess writes: “What I do not understand about really bad books is one detail – how the heck do they get published?”
Answer: The same way bad shows get made = terrible decision making.
Erick writes: “I had a friend who was a mid-level manager of sorts at a major book chain in Toronto. She was always transfered calls from media outlets whenever they called to survey what novel or book was their topseller, top pick or on their most recommended list. She would just list off whatever she felt like or remembered seeing in the store. It was that scientific.”
Answer: It’s now my new favorite thing to do = calling staffers on their staff picks. BTW – How go things in Montreal?
N writes: “I think the craziest part for me was seeing all the good reviews on Goodreads. Really?”
Answer: Yeah, I’m always dubious about those 5 star reviews.
skua writes: “I wonder if she need the hazmat suit to prevent the almost certain dead during the transport, why? returns without the f… suit?.”
Answer: Very good point. I guess it’s like a visit to Yemen. Only going is dangerous.
Adam writes: “I would like to ask, if there is any chance for Stargate Universe Soundtrack release (for both seasons). What would be necessary for the release? ”
Answer: You would have to get in touch with MGM. The studio owns the rights to Stargate and all its related merchandise. But, for what it’s worth, I agree. An SGU soundtrack that shows off the incredible talent that was Joel Goldsmith is long overdue.
cat4444 writes: “It was also a bit too convenient that Lila noticed the tattoo on the arm of the man that shot Dylan and just happened to notice the same tattoo, and the design on the coat of arms, after she returned to 2018 and went to Dylan’s home.”
Answer: Oh, don’t get me started. Convenient is one way of putting it. Incredibly contrived is another.
cat4444 also writes: “Personally, I thought that Lila herself would turn out to be the killer and that her reason for it would be something she discovered on her jaunt into the past. After all, what better way to explain the complete lack of evidence and suspects than to have a killer that travelled through time?”
Answer: See, now I like your version so much more.
cat4444 writes: “Teddy seems to have chosen Lila to go back in time to investigate the murders, but never actually states why it has to be her and only her.”
Answer: Yes, I was waiting to find out what made her so special. Maybe he felt sorry for her because she was too incompetent to solve it the first time around?
cat4444 writes: “Also, if Teddy has a time machine, why didn’t he simply go back to a few minutes before the murders to find out for himself who the killer was? Why the whole charade with Lila?”
Answer: Because Liv Spector wanted to write a book, logic be damned.
cat4444 writes: “I also don’t quite see how a bunch of rich people decide to create a “murder club” for philanthropic purposes.”
Answer: Yeah, at that point why not just reveal they’re actually philanthropic aliens who need to feed on human flesh – which is why they created the murder club. To get more victims for their banquets!
cat4444 writes: “Then, too, if the murders have been going on for 100 years, why has no one made any connection between the killings and the Society or its members? I can’t imagine that rich philanthropists are all that skilled at murder and that at least one of them would have left some evidence behind in all that time. ”
Answer: The wealthier you are, the better you are at killing people. It’s common sense!
cat4444 writes: “Any killer worth the title would have told the Clod that his theory was a nice one, but that that was all it was – a theory – and since there was no evidence there was no case.”
Answer: But this killer is in love, and love makes people do stupid things. Stupid, completely illogical, unbelievable things.
Kathode writes: “What I don’t get, though, is why it never occurred to Past Lila that Camilla Dayton was a suspect in the murder. Why had this “genius” detective never heard of Camilla in 2 years of investigating the case?”
Answer: Lila Day – Idiot P.I.!
whoviantrish writes: “Florida homes don’t have basements. I’m pretty sure that includes Star Island. The water table is just too high here.”
Answer: They’re so rich, they PAID to have the water table lowered.
kathode writes: “I can see maybe a fourteen-year-old writing this and thinking it were possible to try and convict someone posthumously, but any adult has lived long enough that she should know that this has never happened, and will never happen. Aside from the ridiculous expense of a court trial for someone who is dead and can’t be punished, you cannot convict someone who has no opportunity to take the stand in his own defence.”
Answer: But this is the future. Anything is possible!
Ponytail writes: “I was also thinking how could 12 super rich people get murdered all at once and the crime not be solved.”
Answer: Because, as I pointed out in my review, the murderer’s plan was so damn brilliant.
kathode writes: “This woman has to be one of the worst detectives I’ve ever read. When she goes back in time and begins to meet various members of the Janus Society (the super-duper-secret society all the murder victims belonged to), she finds it odd that there’s this guy, Dylan, whom all the victims know and associate with semi-regularly, but whom she has never heard of. She, who investigated this crime obsessively for over 2 years. She, who supposedly interviewed any- and everyone who had anything to do with the murder victims. She should immediately be suspicious of him and think of him as a new potential suspect. But she doesn’t. Why not? Because he’s hot.”
Answer: Also charming. You forgot charming.
kathode writes: “Only by sheer dumb luck (when she guiltily confesses her failed rescue attempt to her time-travel patron Teddy upon her empty-handed return to the present) do the pieces get put together, and by someone other than the “genius” detective!”
Answer: I wondered if she loaded her own gun. Or dressed herself in the morning.
kathode writes: ” I don’t know about you, but the first thing I think of when I hear the name Janus is “two-faced”. But not Lila! She persists to the end in thinking the society purely philanthropic and its members “innocent victims”. Liv Spector even tries to justify Lila’s denseness by telling us the society “had been named for a Roman god, the god of beginnings…” as if that were all any normal person would think of when contemplating the society’s name. Sorry, Ms. Spector, but readers are, shockingly, often well read – much more so, at least, than your moronic detective.”
Answer: It’s like the old X-Men comic books when Magneto would insist he was fighting the good fight against humanity because his fellow mutants were misunderstood. Seriously, buddy. Step #1 to avoid having people assume you guys are bad people: DON’T call yourselves The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!