July 31, 2010: Locus weighs in on Masked! Yet another guilty pleasure! Bubba, cool and crazy! Mailbag!

Well, this is beyond awesome.  Locus, THE Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, has a review of Masked (that superhero-themed anthology edited by Lou Anders I’ve been strongly urging you all to pick up) in its August issue.  It has plenty of nice things to say about the collection and even makes special mention of my story, “Downfall”, which reviewer Rich Horton describes as “nicely twisty […] involving throughout, with some worthwhile surprises.”  So swing by your local magazine shop and pick up the latest issue or, better yet, head on over here – http://www.locusmag.com/ – and get yourself a subscription.

I celebrated today by doing something I’ve wanted to do for a long time…

From left to right: milk chocolate, vanilla, and dark chocolate.

That’s right.  Make ice cream sandwiches from scratch!  I made the three custard bases this morning churned them this afternoon and popped them in the freezer, then made a batch of chocolate chip cookies just before dinner.

I leave the cookie-making to the expert.

I couldn’t decide between the vanilla and the two chocolates so I ended up having all three along with the accompanying six chocolate chip cookies for sandwiching purposes.  Coincidentally, not too long after, I suddenly started feeling under the weather: nauseous, headache, slightly dizzy.  I suspect the bean sprouts in the ramen I had for lunch.

Hey, check it out.  Bubba’s no ear style makes him look ten dog years younger –

Anyone else getting a Marlon Brando vibe?

Anyway, yes, he’s the epitome of cool when he’s chillin’ on the couch.  But, come walk time, he’s anything but –

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to Narelle.  Don’t be a stranger!

Mailbag:

link022 writes: “oris and ancients formed only one before.  We have never had the opportunity to be able to observe one of alteran ship.
given that the destiny is the oldest ancient ship we have ever known.  Is that possible he could looks be like the ships were before the seperation of ancients and oris.”

Answer: Hmm.  Apologies.  I’m not sure I understand the question.  We did encounter an Ancient ship back in the Atlantis’s third season, the warship Aurora.

link022 also writes: “A generator of supplement was used by o neil to join ida’s galaxy.  Is you it as powerful as the E2PZ of the ancients?”

Answer: I would imagine it was as powerful as a ZPM – but not powerful enough to dial Destiny.

Fangsong writes: “Nope, we’re actually going to do a story where Destiny topples off the edge of the universe. Either that or reaches the end of the universe and has to turn around and go back the way they came.” I feel your reply was somewhat ironic but a lot of people are taking it quite litteraly (at least on French forum), should I do so?”

Answer: Really?  They think we’re going to end the series by having Destiny topple off the edge of the universe?  If anything, it would ride the waterfall at the edge of the universe down through the ravine of time.

Runciman writes: “I know you have the audi which is a nice car do you have an interest in them at all?”

Answer: Unlike Mercedes and BMW, Audi has yet to piss me off so I will continue to purchase their product.

Runciman also writes: “Hows jelly doing now shes had her stiches out? has there been any more improvement.”

Answer: She continues to improve.  Although she moves around with obvious discomfort, she is doing more of it.

Runciman also writes: “would there be any possiblility of seeing a vfx screenshot of the whole of the destiny or are you keeping certain parts of it a secret?”

Answer: We’re definitely not holding anything back.  If we have a VFX shot of the Destiny, we’ve used it in the show (and are continuing to add shots as well as we head into season two).

Runciman also writes: “or could we see the concept art like the one you released fro episode 10 Justice.”

Answer: I’ll see what I can dig up in the Art Department when I get back.

Runciman also writes: “P.s. Have you ever eaten pigeon or rabbit? both are very nice in pies lol (i’m from the uk its normal here)”

Answer: Yep.  Pigeon is a menu mainstay at most high end Chinese restaurants, although they call it squab to throw you off.  And my mother makes the best rabbit.

Escyos writes: “Is the Destiny Expedition going to find some supplies of alien coffee, and then become addicted to said alien coffee?”

Answer: Have you hacked into our Season 2 Stories database?

Major D. Davis writes: “1. Just curious, why do you film episodes out of order? Specifically why did you film Visitation out of order?

2. When you film the movies, will it be over hiatus or is it possible shooting (or at least prep) will overlap with SGU?

3. A few months ago you said…. “As I’ve been saying all along, the hold-up in the movies comes not from a lack of desire on anyone’s part. It’s a result of several market factors that will hopefully see a turnaround in the coming months”….. So, did they see a turnaround for the better?

4. MGMs latest Debt extension goes to mid september, so its unlikely they’ll greenlight any projects till then. However, if you received the greenlight for the movies in late September or October, could you still film the movies over SGUs season 2 hiatus?”

Answers: 1. It can be anything from actor availability, timeline for set construction, or scheduling issues for whoever happens to be producing the episode. In the case of Visitation, Brad was producing the episode and since he had already finished Twin Destinies, which he was also producing, he decided to put TD in the #9 slot which gave him time to do a pass on Visitation.

2. No idea.

3. That response was to positive rumblings with regard to the SGA movie.  Since then, I haven’t heard anything re: Extinction.

4. Theoretically possible but very, very tight.

Tim Lade writes: “In the past we haven’t really judged the food based on anything other than taste.  What would you suggest – as a foodie – to base the judging model around?”

Answer: Well, taste is obviously of paramount importance.  I’d also judge the look of the dish (ie. plating) and the dish’s complexity (textural and flavor contrasts, how challenging to prepare, etc.).

steph writes: “Have you read ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’?”

Answer: I did.  I thought the time travel worked well and the ending was great.

Valaur writes: “1. If someone were to use the stones and they had a symbiote or a tok’ra or goa’uld, would the consciousness of that being also be transferred?”

Answer: No idea.  I would think the dominant consciousness (ie. the symbiote) would be the one to switch out.

“2. Has Dr. Perry’s condition improved through the use of technology and knowledge acquired by the SGC? Tritonin? Symbiote? Experimental procedures?”

Answer: No.  And we’ll be seeing Dr. Perry again this upcoming season.

“3. What are your favorite stories, or preferences, to write for Stargate-related episodes? New civilizations and their culture? Ancients? Character-centric? One-offs? Tok’ra? Jaffa? Arcs? Techno-related?”

Answer: I’ve always preferred the stand-alone episodes. Team heads off-world, encounters a problem, solves it, and heads home.  I also prefer the more character-oriented episodes although.

“4. Will we see any hand-held Ancient energy weapons similar to the Zat or wraith stun gun?”

Answer: Possibly.

“5. Will SG: Extinction use the kino? You said in an earlier post that the Kino was originally planned for Atlantis but some difficulties came up and used the MALPs instead, I believe.”

Answer: Nope.  No kinos in Extinction.

“6. I’ve read many bloggers who hate the show yet still watch it for some strange reason that bringing an Atlantis cast member or so into SGU for an episode really means that SGU is a sinking ship and are desperate for a ratings boost. Any comment?”

Answer: As I already said, if that was the case, the guest casting would take place in the first ten episodes because those first ten will decide the fate of the show.

“7. When an episode is spun, do you use story boards? And does the person who receives an episode to write require a dexterous hand for drawing? Or is that done by a separate department? For that matter, could you explain how an episode of Stargate goes from the drawing board to our viewing pleasure?”

Answer: Nope, no storyboards, but we do board our stories (write the various beats up on the white board).

Jim of WVa writes: “How did you learn about Alastair Reynolds?”

Answer: I’m a voracious reader, particularly in the field of SF, and you can’t get much bigger in SF than the Banks-Reynolds-Scalzi triumvirate.  I’d heard great things about Revelation Space, read it, and loved it.

Adam Rosalky writes: “One question I have for you – will we be seeing Eli get out of that “You Are Here” t-shirt?”

Answer: For sure.  Oh, you mean “and into something else”.  Unlikely.  Actually, no, scratch that.  There’s an early season two episode…well, judge for yourself.

victor writes: “1.Is earth basicly deffensless if an attack from the Lucian allience were to occure? or from any other enemy for that matter?”

Answer: There are defenses in place to intercept incoming ships – but they are far less effective than what he had in the past.

“2.If so will the lucian alliance or other enemy make a run for earth in future episodes?”

Answer: Stay tuned.  An interesting scenario, no?

“3.Any chance of finding out what happened to the ori followers and there ships in the milkyway following there defeat, in the future?”

Answer: Alas, no plans to revisit the Ori storyline in SGU.

Arctic Goddess writes: “Since I’m taking things easy while I recover from a 10 day hospital stay, I’m reading Stephen King’s “Under The Dome”.
I like Stephen King, although, at 1072 pages, I find him a bit wordy. He seems to have trouble telling a story in 500 pages or less. I know you said you wanted to read this book once it was in paper back. Have you picked up a copy yet?”

Answer: Yep.  It’s sitting on my to-read pile – which I intend to dive into just as soon as I’ve finished the 1200+ Essential Ellison.

riley writes: “And why do you assume people with a social conscience don’t practice what they preach?”

Answer: A few do but most are very selective about the sacrifices they make.  All I’m saying is I don’t feel like being lectured to by anyone who isn’t willing to walk the walk.

Rex Carter writes: “Hey Joe do you like any british sci-fi like Doctor Who or Torchwood or Ufo?”

Answer: I watched the first two seasons of Dr. Who (Eccleston and Tennant’s first year).  I’ve been meaning to check out a few of the later episodes written by Paul Cornell.

Alexander of Houston writes: “I am thinking of a venue in Japan or S. Korea and Tex-Mex cuisine, or some similar “American” Cuisine being the featured food. I need your help, in your opinion as a foodie as well as Akemi’s opinion as a Japanese, would there be a market for that in Japan?”

Answer: Hate to say it but Akemi is dubious.  I think it would really depend on the marketing as the Japanese consumer is very finicky yet drawn to exclusives.  I recall a Tokyoite telling me that one Starbucks in the neighborhood was always busy while another, only two blocks down, did barely any business at all.  The reason?  People went to the busy Starbucks because it was busy.