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Unascended Spoiler/Discussion Thread

Ok, folks! Since some people have sprinted to the end in less than ten hours after it came out, this is the Unascended Spoiler/Discussion thread!

What did you think? What did you like/dislike? What are you wondering about? What are you speculating about? What did you think of the backstory? Of the Vanir? Of the view of Pegasus? Anything!

Warning that there will be spoilers in comments!

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Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
Stuart McCarthy
Jul. 10th, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)
I liked the use of Eva to explore the main characters more. I liked the Elizabeth interludes, and the wider view she gave us of Pegasus cultural interactions was really good. I LOVED the idea of Ran and the attempts of the Vanir to fix their problem, very interesting, I never saw that coming! I just generally liked it all. It was over too quickly though, but that might just have been my voracious reading speed.
jo_graham
Jul. 11th, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
That makes me happy since I wrote all the Elizabeth interludes! :)

I'm glad you didn't see it coming, that the Vanir wanted to make Ran unascend in order to get her genetic material. Which is creepy, if you think about it!
geonncannon
Jul. 11th, 2014 12:38 am (UTC)
I plan to start it tonight! It was perfect timing since I just finished a book last night. :D
jo_graham
Jul. 11th, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
Yay! I hope you enjoy it!
hiveshipmist
Jul. 11th, 2014 02:32 am (UTC)
Cliffhanger!!! XD

I loved Ember working with the team, Ember meeting Newton, and the character of Ran and her putting a friendly face to the Asgard again. I also liked seeing the more international addition to the Stargate program.

I look forward to seeing what details start to some together. It feels like there are puzzle pieces each group has and needs to work together (Wraith, Genii, Lanteans) and even knowledge gleaned from Dekaas might matter. I also liked seeing Dekaas again, knowing he had a fascinating, education-filled life on board the hive in both realities.

Oh, and I am wondering who "The Wolf" is... Ford, maybe???

Edited at 2014-07-11 02:43 am (UTC)
Shawn Edwards
Jul. 11th, 2014 03:38 am (UTC)
It could also be Kiryk the other runner who kidnapped Jennifer Keller.
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vickicass
Jul. 11th, 2014 03:26 am (UTC)
oh gosh just finished the book, so many amazing bits in its its hard to pick one. though ember and newton was cute.
so would like to see how he was at first with the cat.

darn clif hangers........so when is the next book out? >.>

amazing work as always its nice to see stargate.
jo_graham
Jul. 12th, 2014 11:57 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

The next book will be out next spring. And I'm glad you liked Ember and Newton. That was fun to write.
Shawn Edwards
Jul. 11th, 2014 03:37 am (UTC)
My first reaction is ... wow... then it's NO!!!!!!! One more book?!?

A couple points
1. who are the Ka-NI? The only thing we know is the Travelers know them as a space faring civilization.

2. Sora outlasted her welcome a long time ago. She needs her just deserts fed to her immediately.

3. When I first read about unascension I had wondered if it were possible to unascend someone. Even fantasized about forcing the Ancients to unascend so they could clean up the messes they fled from. But this... it's a form of rape-to make a sentient being de-evolve just so they can have the use of her physical body as a genetic template. It struck me with a sense of revulsion that a group of individuals would be willing to do this.

I can understand the Vanir desperation but some things are unforgivable! I doubt the Vanir would care about forgiveness. I wonder if this option occurred to the Ida Asgard?

4. Wouldn't the other Ascended beings react to the sudden disappearance of one their own? Or would they consider it just deserts for helping Elizabeth Ascend?

5. I loved reading about some of some of Elizabeth's back story. It was so cool to read them. It doesn't surprise me she could ascend.

6. The Asoka, why do the Indians want to base their ship permanently in the Pegasus Galaxy rather then the MW? Or do they trust the Americans enough not to worry about protecting their own backs? I think there is a typo/error. You stated that the Russian vessel is based in the MW. I thought it wasn't built yet. Unless you mean the Chinese vessel? Were they able to repair the Sun Tzu? I wonder where the Europeans will base their ship...

I will post more as I ponder some more.


Edited at 2014-07-11 04:58 am (UTC)
jo_graham
Jul. 12th, 2014 12:03 pm (UTC)
"WOW NO One more book?" Yes. :)

1. The Ka-Ni are the guys in the powered suits in the Daedalus Variations. We haven't met them in our version of the Pegasus Galaxy -- yet.

2. Sora's always good for a comeback!

3. Yeah. That's what it is, alright. Ran, just like a human female, carries thousands of eggs in her body, each with the potential to be a genetically unique individual, each uncontaminated by later Vanir problems. If they could be harvested from her.... Yeah. That's really, really wrong.

4. I don't think they're that tight, actually. And Ran goes her own way from those who were a different species to begin with.

5. I'm so glad you liked her backstory! I did those parts, and I'm really proud of them. There was a lot of research and thought in some fairly short scenes. What struck you in particular?

6. The Indians feel like they're not going to get a hand in in the Milky Way -- the US and the Russians are too entrenched. There's more future out there -- in the Pegasus Galaxy.
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glaucon2063
Jul. 11th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
Loved the book and can't wait for Endless! It was nice to see the team back exploring again, and to see Teyla taking charge in a non-Wraith environment. Daniel adds something new to the team dynamic as well - hope he ends up getting to stay permanently!

I loved getting the bits and pieces of Elizabeth's backstory, and it was smart to fit in her experience in Bosnia and compare it with the situation in Pegasus.

It was great that we got to focus on other Pegasus societies given that the Wraith & Genii had a lot of 'airtime' in the first six books, though given the situation with Sora I imagine we'll be seeing Ladon Radim again soon. I'm a big fan of the Travelers, and the Vanir are intriguing too. Lorvine was a nice little addition to the galaxy as well!

A few questions about the setting of Unascended/Endless - as a history student who's into keeping things in date order, did you all come up with a timeframe for books 7&8 as you did with books 1-6? I know Unascended takes place several weeks after Inheritors, so does that mean we're into early 2010 now? Do Unascended/Endless constitute the start of 'season seven', or are they a sort of epilogue to season six?

Also, will Sheppard and Lorne ever be promoted? Jack led a team of four as a full-bird colonel, while Sheppard commands a military contingent of probably several dozen as a lieutenant colonel, and poor Lorne has been a major since season seven of SG-1! (I got excited when I saw Woolsey refer to 'Colonel Lorne' at one point, but I'm guessing that was just a typo as he's 'Major' everywhere else.) If Major Davis can finally receive a long overdue promotion, surely Sheppard & Lorne can too, without being transferred off Atlantis! Or is that a 'You have to put them back in the box as you found them' kind of thing from the powers that be?

I'm intrigued by the expansion of the expedition and the assignment of the Asoka as a future plot point - will we see additional gate teams join the expedition too, perhaps from other countries? On a parochial note, I'd love to see a British gate team! We've got Marines too, you know, although we call them bootnecks rather than jarheads! ;-)

Lastly, will any deleted scenes be posted *elsewhere*?
jo_graham
Jul. 13th, 2014 12:02 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you enjoyed it! I wrote Elizabeth's sections, and it was a real pleasure to work on her backstory. Recent history, as it were!

Yes, there's a timeframe for the books. Unascended takes place in late February 2010, a year after the early parts of Homecoming, so yes, this would be season seven. Again, recent history, as this isn't 2014 and the differences are subtle. This is during the surge in Afghanistan and before the 2010 election.

Lorne seriously needs a promotion. One thing we talked about, but I don't know if it will get MGM approval or if it will work with the SG-1 books, is Lorne getting SG-1 when Cam gets Odyssey. I think that would be Lorne's promotion, as SG-1 is a colonel or lieutenant colonel.

John, on the other hand, has really mixed feelings about promotion. He doesn't want to leave Atlantis and going up will eventually mean that. I think that's one reason he's "stalled." Eventually he'll be a full bird, but he never wants to go to a desk job on Earth as Jack did. He'd retire if that happened. Sam gets that, and I'm sure Jack has heard her on the subject and that it might be a good idea to put off the day of John's choice as long as possible.

*g* You anticipate me! My story from the anthology that's out this fall features Lt. Jillian Draper and her gate team, a female British Marine!
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hiveshipmist
Jul. 11th, 2014 03:09 pm (UTC)
Thinking more about Lorvine... If there are still hostile or reluctant hives out there (and it sounds like there are less progressive ones by the way Bronze spoke), I would imagine a lot of Pegasus humans are going to want to move to planets in Waterlight's territory, after they start seeing culls no longer happening and people being healed with exchanged lifeforce.

I'm also curious if anything will come of Ronon and Eva's informal chats about him not being comfortable around allied Wraith.
jo_graham
Jul. 13th, 2014 12:04 pm (UTC)
It's a mess, yes. There are going to be refugee issues and how do you feed people arriving and what if they're not wanted and what about preventing them from leaving where they came from and do they form an underclass on the worlds they settle and the economic strain....

Looks like this needs someone experienced with these issues, doesn't it?

Maybe. Ronon's never going to be comfortable around the Wraith. But he may learn to live with certain individuals.
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kaviiq
Jul. 11th, 2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
I just finished it, so it might be a while before I can come up with any really meaty questions - but what happened with Ember? He was just there in the middle of Chapter 15, and then there's no mention of him afterward. Is he still on Atlantis? Did he get sent back home? Did he get scooped up by the city's board games club, and just hasn't come up for air yet?

Also, not a question, but I loved the bird-aliens. It was refreshing to see a sapient alien species that wasn't humanoid, wasn't advanced to an Earthlike tech level, and didn't understand or even really care about the humans messing up their hunting operation. Well, beyond getting pissed. I would be too, if someone came and kicked over my hypothetical food-gathering operation.
Shawn Edwards
Jul. 11th, 2014 07:39 pm (UTC)
It was cool to see another proto-sentient species, wasn't it? I would love to know what is going on with the Sakkari race!

Edited at 2014-07-11 08:57 pm (UTC)
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mysra
Jul. 11th, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
I loved it. Bought it last night and couldn't stop until I was done. Some really interesting twists. Ronon talking to Eva LOL.
Love the Interludes and when the team finally finds Elisabeth.
The End had me writing in my What's App group and complain about how evil you are to stop there *chuckles* But that also means we get at least one more book which is just fine with me. You could write another thousand ... Thank you so much again for keeping them alive. And I so loved the exchange between John and Carson especially the Newton bits.
jo_graham
Jul. 13th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! Even though you think I'm evil. :)

Yes, one more book! Probably next spring, is my guess.
innogen
Jul. 11th, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, please! Don't ever put Daniel Jackson in charge of Atlantis! He seems to get in trouble just by *breathing* and I shudder to think how he might give away the entire city during a trade negotiation.

Am I the only one who wanted to smack him during this 'episode'? I love that Teyla verbally reprimanded him, and it was funny when she sent him back to the puddle jumper.

vickicass
Jul. 11th, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
I shudder to think how he might give away the entire city during a trade negotiation.

now that would be funny to hear about.
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Well, if the IOA... - innogen - Jul. 22nd, 2014 04:20 am (UTC) - Expand
George Herbert
Jul. 13th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
I don't undertand
I don't understand the passage below (at about 78% in the UK Kindle version). The four walk through the Stargate and in the next sentence they land in a jumper?
“Absolutely,” Jackson said. “Then you’ve got a go,” John said. He watched regretfully as the four of them walked through the Stargate. Daniel peered out the viewscreen as Rodney landed the jumper next to the much bigger ship that had to be the Durant.
Enjoyed the book, quite emotional when Elizabeth recognised Major Lorne and Dr. Zelenka.
jo_graham
Jul. 23rd, 2014 03:24 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't undertand
That is what you would call an error! Amy wrote one scene and I wrote the other, and even in edits nobody caught that I had them walk out through the gate when Amy needed them in the jumper for the next scene. Ooops. *hangs head*

I'm glad you enjoyed the book!
Corbin Laitipaya
Jul. 21st, 2014 03:50 am (UTC)
Loved the book, it really gave the feel of a SGA episode(s). I just had to stay up all night to finish it, my sleeping schedule may have been wrecked but it was completely worth it, I can't wait for the next one.

On another note I was wondering if the atlantis team will get any new tech, maybe some reverse-engineered wraith/traveler/ or Vanir stuff. Or maybe since earth now has all that tech from the Asgard computer, they could make some cool tech. When I say tech I mean something like new weapons or utility devises for the gate teams. I know when this was a show they kept it very modern, in regards to weapons and the like, because they needed it to not be too Scifi and therefore unrelatable to the watchers. They did add more one off things like the weapons for the Kull warriors and the ARGs for the replicators, but maybe some more permanent tech upgrades are due for the gate teams. There is the prototype X-699 weapon that Carter used, maybe a more portable version. It could be for when they battle the Vanir, in their suits, just to make it easier to take them down. The current weapons the gate teams have now were woefully underwhelming in combating one Vanir.

Thank your for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.
jo_graham
Jul. 23rd, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thank you.

They might. There are some things that are possibilities right now. We do have to be careful, of course. If we introduce anything too high tech it will upset the balance of the story by making them supermen rather than just really smart people. So that's got to be really carefully handled. (My great example for carefully handling it is Death Knell.)
amycat8733
Jul. 26th, 2014 06:25 am (UTC)
I have a couple of questions.

First, what's the deal with the five foot long drones in chapter 11? Are they an older version? Plus, if they put off that much heat from ignition, wouldn't Grodin have been flash fried in Rising?</p>

Second, chapter 16. I love John placing Teyla in charge of the team. Hope we see more romance between them in book 8 or further (hint hint). But the trip to Manaria. They walked through the Stargate then the jumper sets down near the Traveler ship. Did I miss something? And love Teyla chewing Daniel and Ronon out. Cherie needs to get his head back in the game quick.

Sorry for the ranting. I love the entire series, especially any parts with John and Teyla getting closer.

jo_graham
Jul. 27th, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
This is indeed a different version of the drones, and they're intended to do a different thing. They're bigger, heavier, and hotter for a reason -- a different enemy!

I wish we could show more development of John and Teyla's relationship. Unfortunately, MGM won't let us address this. So we can really only show oblique snapshots. :(

No, you didn't miss something. That is in fact a mistake. I wrote the first part and Amy the second, and while we usually manage to get everything consistent, this time we didn't. They should have been in the jumper when they went through and I goofed.

I'm so glad you love the series! Thank you!
chinj07
Aug. 1st, 2014 04:12 am (UTC)
Unascended was a huge and wonderful surprise for me! I had no idea it was coming out. I hadn't visited your site in sometime and just decided to see what was new with you -- and there was your post that book 7 was out.

Love the book. Love Elizabeth's story and the way it helps unfold other parts of the Pegasus Galaxy. Love the Eva character, Love bringing Daniel to the Pegasus Galaxy again - though he was getting on my nerves at times. In all, I just love the chance to continue to Stargate Atlantis stories. I'll admit I was disappointed with the ending of the last book because it left Rodney (my favorite character) in a very sad place - his relationship with Jennifer on hold, his position as science chief lost, and him still showing the after effects of having been a Wraith. And I was afraid the book series was going to end on that note. So I'm glad his story, and the other character stories, continue.

Of course having to wait until Spring to read the resolution of the cliffhanger is no fun :-)

Great work. Thanks.

jo_graham
Aug. 5th, 2014 12:52 pm (UTC)
I am so glad! I'm delighted that you enjoyed Unascended. Rodney is getting back on a more even keel. He's been through a lot and it's hard. But it's really nice to write Rodney relying on his friends and finding his way to some new things -- he could be the telepathic Rodney McKay!
gelbes_gilatier
Nov. 26th, 2014 11:37 pm (UTC)
Okay, my two cents, just a liiiittle late after the fact.

First of all, I loved Elizabeth's parts. Being a graduate and grad student of security policy issues, I couldn't get enough of Elizabeth's past and how she became who she is. All of those were spot on and perfect. I also kept bouncing up and down in my seat the closer Elizabeth got to encountering the Lanteans (and I just loved that it were Lorne and Zelenka who finally found her totally by accident. That was one of the best scenes in the entire book). That was just perfect.

I also became a big fan of Ember and I keep hoping that he'll stick around for a little while longer.

And OMG, the going away party for Woolsey nearly had me in tears. I always had a soft spot for him and it made me so happy to see people in Atlantis accepting him as one of their own and even telling him that they're going to miss him. I have a feeling that's not something he's is very accustomed to and it really made me happy to read it. I'm also glad he got appointed as the new US representative to the IOA. On that note, it was interesting to read about the Indian participation in the Stargate program and their ship being Pegasus based instead of being MW based. Also made me wonder how far away declassification is...

I honestly hope that they don't make Daniel his successor. I love Daniel but let's face it, he has zero adminstrative talent and potential and I have a feeling he'd much rather explore the Pegasus galaxy than lead the expedition. As much as I love him, he'd be an absolute disaster as Woolsey's successor so I'm hoping the story won't go that route.

Also, Lorne and his team. Totally ♥ them and Lorne being all "Just once, working with professionals would be nice..." Poor Harper, though. First getting used as Rodney's packhorse, then being stuck on the planet with the plastic eating bacteria (I assume that they're going to make a reappearance in the next book?). I hope we're going to see more of them (also, in my head, Lorne is keeping in touch with Cadman and she's going to get a lot of interesting letters...).

I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to see how Mel was faring on Sateda but seeing new faces and places in the Pegasus Galaxy almost made up for that. I loved how you used Elizabeth's journey back to tthe Lanteans to give us a deeper look into Traveller society (I'll totally be dancing a little victory dance if The Wolf really turns out to be Ford, after all) and a look at new societies. That was a lot of fun!

Eva's appearance was very nice, and I was afraid I'd be missing her as well. I found it interesting to see her paired with Ronon but given his problem it made sense to put them in a conversation. I'm really interested to see where it's going to lead and what Ronon's decision re: the team will be.

So, all in all, I really enjoyed Unascended (although I just really wanted to slap Sora at some point. I always found her character interesting but honestly, Sora, let it go >( ) and I can't wait for the next book!
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