P.N. Elrod &
Roxanne Conrad, editors,
Stepping Through the Stargate:
Science, Archaeology & the Military
in Stargate SG-1

(BenBella, 2004)

Let me just say up front that I have read a number of the books in BenBella's Smart Pop series and I love them. They're like geeking out with highly literate, extremely articulate fellow fans.

This collection of 22 highly literate and extremely articulate fans include science-fiction and fantasy writers, scientists of all stripes, people involved with the filming of the series and a retired Air Force colonel. With such a wide variety of people, essay topics range from the academic to the absurd.

On the academic end of the spectrum, we have essays such as Catherine Asaro and Dr. John K. Cannizzo's "Through the Apple," which takes a look at what physicists currently understand about wormholes. Sue E. Linder-Linsley takes a look at Daniel Jackson's skills in "Exploring the Archaeology of Stargate SG-1," deciding that while his indepth skills might be a bit too much for one person, he does apply them believably. Meanwhile, the Goa'uld get an examination from Dr. Fran Terry in her essay "Help! The Aliens Have Landed & Taken Over My Brain."

Over on the absurd side, we have Roxanne Conrad's essay "When in Rome, Don't Wear That," in which she accuses Goa'uld Hathor of being "the most blatant example of Egyptian Hooker Chic in the Stargate universe," while calling Samantha Carter a "goddess among TV women." Susan Sizemore's "I Think He's Called Homer" mentions some of the more obvious pop culture references, including Sam's reference to "MacGyver" in the first episode. My favorite essay, though, is David Gerrold's "Stargate Trek," in which the writer, who was very involved with Star Trek, compares the two shows. Stargate may just come out ahead.

If you're a fan of Stargate SG-1 (and this book doesn't deal with Stargate Atlantis), I can't recommend this anthology highly enough. And if you're looking for me, I'll be over in the corner, geeking out with my friends.

by Laurie Thayer
18 November 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.