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Stepping Through the Stargate: Science, Archaeology and the Military in Stargate SG1 (Smart Pop series) [Paperback]

By P. N. Elrod (Editor) & Roxanne Conrad (Editor)
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Item description for Stepping Through the Stargate: Science, Archaeology and the Military in Stargate SG1 (Smart Pop series) by P. N. Elrod & Roxanne Conrad...

The questions What mind-set is at the heart of the television series Stargate? and What really goes into the creation of each episode? are examined in this anthology. Featuring essays from such noted contributors as archaeologist Sue Linder-Linsley, astronomer Sten Odenwald, parasitologist Francine M. Terry, philosopher Daniel Dennett, and science fiction author Melanie A. Fletcher, this collection delves into every aspect of the series with the same humor and intellectual curiosity of the show itself. Commentary from the show's special effects head, James Tichenor, and actor Tom McBeath is also featured.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   244
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2004
Publisher   Benbella Books
ISBN  1932100326  
ISBN13  9781932100327  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Performing Arts > Theater > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Television > Guides & Reviews
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Television > History & Criticism
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Television > Shows > General
5Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Authors, A-Z > ( E ) > Elrod, P.N.
6Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Stepping Through the Stargate: Science, Archaeology and the Military in Stargate SG1 (Smart Pop series)?

A Fact and Fun filled look at SG-1  May 28, 2008
This book continues the trend of having authors/teachers/and others writing essays about TV popular culture. This book seemed to have a wider range, from physists, USAF Colonels, and popular writers, for the authors. Most of the essays were humorous and examined a wide range of topics. Even the more serious essays, that actually attempted to teach you the physics of the Stargate, did so with a little humor and a reasonable voice, not to dumbed down but not expecting you to know anything that the ususal E=mc2 information.

If you like these type of books and like SG-1, you'll enjoy this. If you never read a book of essays on popular TV, try this one out. It's a nice friendly introduction to the genre.
22 Essays covering a variety of topics  Dec 4, 2006
This book is a fun collection of musings/essays about various topics related to Stargate SG-1. Though written by authors who do indeed go on about how much the love the show, most of the essays also pick the show apart to demonstrate that it isnt based on reality and that it contains many things that will Never be true in reality. I was kinda hoping for something that gave me little hopeful bubble dreams that someday, somewhere, the stargate could actually work. Oh well, back to Earth.

It starts with a faux research report that dissects the Jaffa Staff Weapon for analysis as a practical military weapon. Kinda cute.

Next is a compare/contrast essay between Star Trek and Stargate SG-1; the main conclusion is that Star Trek is in love with itself while Stargate tries hard to escape the formulaic trap of standard sci-fi.

The next essay explains the physics that are involved in the theories of wormholes and ends with "physics, as we currently know it, greatly limits the possibilities of wormhole travel."

The next essay analyses the dialogue of SG-1 (technobabble, humor, and character development) and includes a bit of gossip that "a number of Jack's comebacks can also be attributed to the fact that Richard Dean Anderson can't remember his lines and has to ad-lib half of the time."

Next is a detailed nit-pick about Dr. Daniel Jackson as the ultimate omniscient linguist, anthropologist, and archaeologist.

Following this is an essay that characterizes the SG-1 team members based on thier portrayal of different types of intelligence. There's the "Egghead" Samantha Carter (reason, logic, book knowledge), the "Empath" Daniel Jackson (intuition, understanding the thoughts/emotions/motivations of others), the "Practical Philosopher" Teal'c (practical problem solving), and the "Knight" Jack O'Neill (determining /why/ a goal should be accomplished).

Next is a medical doctor who tries to puzzle out the realities of how any intelligent species could invade a human and actually take control of the human's mind and body. In my opinion this was one of the more dull essays and one of the most damaging to those of us who LIKE to suspend our disbelief in order to enjoy a show.

Next is a history of time travel in science fiction along with the physics of wormholes and time travel... have to admit that this one was so dense that I skimmed most of it.

The next essay is almost snarky as it explains the science fiction tendency to declare one character as absolutely essential to the solution of ...that no one else in the entire galaxy could possibly be useful. The comparison is applied both to Daniel and to Jack.

Next is a humorous analysis of the dating potential of various Stargate characters because "everyone knows that Stargate is all about sex."

Then there's a chapter that is a bizarre philisophical mind experiment like those I remember from Philosophy 101 in college. The author spends 15 pages showing us how to work out where the "Self" of a person it in the physical brain or in the soul (and where does the soul reside exactly)? Not really sure how this relates to Stargate at all... it is forced into the book by plopping a quote at the front of the chapter which is from the episode where Sg-1 has been cloned into robot bodies.

Moving on, next we get an analysis of the pop culture references sprinkled throughout the episodes, then an in-depth look at the astronomy and astrophysics of various plot devices (black holes, blowing up suns, solar flares, and alternate universes). Next is a silly little commentary on the costume fashions of the various planets, alien races, and even civilian clothing that we've seen on SG-1 characters.

The next essay analysis the SG-1 team to place them in Jungian myth archetyepes: Teal'c is the "Warrior" archetype, Samantha is the "Scientist", Daniel is the "Hero", and Jack is the "Pragmatist".

Next is a detailed nit-pick of the planet Cimmeria (where Thor's Hammer was found); then a few diary entries from James Tichenor (visual effects director) mostly saying how incredibly busy they are year-round. Then there's an analysis fo the villains in Stargate: the Jaffa, the Goa'uld, the Replicators, the Aschen, the Re'tu, the Tok'Ra, the NID, etc. Then a rather boring essay about how continuity of storyline is important when creating licensed comic books based on the Sg-1 world. Next is a nit-pick analysis of how strange it is that humans could become "the fifth race", and why would we even want to (considering that the Nox and the Asgaard have so many quirks). Then there's a neat little history of women in the Air Force (especially the duty stations near Cheyenne Mountain) and then a "letter" from the actor who plays Col. Harry Maybourne. Basically, this letter says the actor feels that fan clubs are kinda crazy and that Stargate is not the center of his universe. You actually learn a lot more about two anonymous gals who interviewed him than you do about him and his experiences on Stargate... it left me with the feeling that he really didnt have anything good to say so he said nothing!
Calling All Corners  Mar 4, 2006
I ordered this book because I was looking to get a bit more information on Stargate: SG-1 when becoming more active in the fandom. I was pleasantly surprised to find a compendium that included information by a variety of contributors in all of the fields I had questions about. It's got a chapter that might as well be titled "The physics of Stargate", it's got a critical appraisal of everything from the costumes to the plot themes and use of popular culture, it has a chapter on the medical feasibility of the Goa'uld parasites, and it has a few more light-hearted offerings as well.

I seriously recommend this for anyone from the casual SG-1 fan to the die-hard SG-1/SGA afficianado.
A not-too-serious book on Stargate.  Mar 25, 2005
Made by science writers and experts of science this book is a must for any Stargate fan. There are two essays which focus on wormholes, one essay debates fashion, one essay even gets into parasites and much more. Not a lot on the military but with such authors as Bill Fawcett, Susan Sizemore and P.N. Elrod I could not help but buy this book. Full of humor and a love for the Stargate. And everybody talks like Jack! Ya think?
For the Stargate aficionado  Dec 17, 2004
Are you one of those people who love picking holes in plot lines? Someone who goes, say.. "That couldn't really happen... a lightening bolt doesn't contain enough power to activate the stargate" while blindly ignoring the fact that a stargate doesn't exist in the first place... if so, this is the book for you.

Basically the book does its best to pin real science to the fiction/fantasy stuff from the show:
* what sort of technologies would be needed to really create a wormhole.
* how could a goa'uld navigate a human's neck (without doing serious damage) to get to the spin column and brain and take overall control
and stuff like that.

It's amusing to read these scientists try their best to come up with imaginative scientific theories that could underpin the show's plot devices.

On the down-side, it is a collection of essays from different authors and there is often an overlap in what they say. (There aren't that many theories around that could viably allow wormhole creation, so they get liberally mentioned!). I got a strong sense of deja-vu after a while. I also got a little feeling that the authors were almost competing on who was the most avid Stargate fan, never missing an opportunity to supply a quote from the show or mention a fact. I guess it does get you to reminisce and I found myself going "Oh yes, I remember that episode" but it was a little tiring after a while.

All in all, it is a nice piece of light reading. It's cheap and cheerful and it lets you joyful linger in the suspension of disbelief that it all could ... just ... really ... happen, before returning to the real world and laugh it off with a "whatever!".

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