January 13, 2009: Production Developments, Literary Discussion, and A Debacle of Olympic Proportions

 Well, just a quick blog entry today as I’m off to have dinner with author John Scalzi and wouldn’t want to besmirch the image of the polite and prompt Canadian. Suffice it to say that today was an interesting day. We walked through Stage 4, the Destiny standing set, and it’s looking mighty impressive. And big! Over on Stage 5, it was a bittersweet stroll through what was once the SGC control room and briefing room.


Brad and Rob put out the revised Air two part opener. Paul has apparently finished his outline. I’m motoring along, hitting the sixteen page mark of the first part of the mid-season two-parter. I’ll be writing from home tomorrow as Brad and Rob are in meetings all day tomorrow as prep begins on Air I, II and III.

Yes, I’m still on the program (Sugarless Day 10) and don’t plan on abandoning it so close to the finish line despite the fact that we have reservations at Fuel.

Finally, to anyone surprised by the enormous cost overruns suddenly presented by the upcoming 2010 Olympics = told you so. To those who, like me, made a point of voting against the games, I feel your pain. To those who voted for the games and are now whining about the fact that taxpayers will have to foot the half a billion dollar price tag for construction of the Olympic village = Suck it up. It’s your fault we’re in this mess.

And, on that note, let’s move on to some On Basilisk Station discussion:

Jon K. writes: “I also like the way Weber handled the role of gender in this novel, i’ve read many scifi/militray novels that make most women the “had to face all the hardships of being a woman in the military type”. Yet in this novel all respect Honor earns from her crew is all earned on her actions.”

Answer: Yes, this is an aspect I really appreciated. Honor is unique not because she’s a woman in a command position but an exceptional individual in a command position…who just so happens to be a woman.

Iamza writes: “One of the things I like most about Honor Harrington’s universe is that gender doesn’t seem to be a huge issue. Women are captains and soldiers and engineers and doctors, and some of them are great at their jobs and some of them (the doctor, for example) suck.”

Answer: Exactly. With the exception of Pavel, no one ever targets her for the fact that she is a woman in the military. Those who admire her, like those who despise her or take issue with her, do so because of her character and not because of her gender.

Thornyrose writes: “I love the loathsome evil of Pavel Young, and the type of aristocracy he represents.”

Answer: Agreed. One of my favorite moments in the book comes when Pavel learns of Honor’s successes in clamping down on smuggling in the region. Utterly humiliated, he is desperate to return to Basilisk Station but, with his ship under repairs, he’s screwed.

Antisocialbutterflie writes: “The thing that stuck out to me was that the “captain” barrier was always maintained. It would have been simple to let her turn emotionally to her XO or her chief engineer, seeking more personal interactions, but like a true captain she kept her pride and pain separate from the crew.”

Answer: Yes, which made our glimpses into her thought processes all the more effective in allowing us to get to know her. The fact that her tough, by-the-book exterior belied a very human capacity for self-doubt made her that more endearing.

Antisocialbutterflie also writes: “My one complaint was in the character of Nimitz. While normally I am all for semi-sentient non-human characters, Nimitz didn’t exactly seem to serve a purpose. Any of the parts of the books where he might have been significant, Honor left him in her room. I suspect this may be one of those situations where he will be a bigger player in a later book…”

Answer: I liked the fact that Nimitz, as a creature empathically bonded to Honor, reflected her inner thoughts, in a sense tipping her true feelings despite her otherwise unfathomable front.

Shirt ’n Tie writes: “ I loved the character of Dame Estelle, perfectly drawn as the faded and jaded doyenne of the system though politically isolated, a very capable politico.”

Answer: Next to Honor, my favorite character in the book.

Sparrow_hawk writes: “I felt like I could really understand McKeon: he had been hoping to finally be given command of the ship he loved, but found himself passed over in favor of the younger, less experienced Honor Harrington.”

Answer: My next favorite after Dame Estelle. I appreciated the fact that, exactly as you said, he resented the fact that he had been passed over by someone younger and less experienced. The fact that she was a woman was never an issue for him.

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday fan Specter177.

Today’s video: Paul laments his pairing in the show’s finale scene…