I’ve often said that I like SF, fantasy, and horror – but, in fact, that’s not entirely true. Yes, I’m more receptive to genre fiction, but that certainly doesn’t mean I enjoy every SF, Fantasy, and horror that crosses my plate. So what then makes certain works of fiction more enjoyable than other? Well, a number of things: an interesting premise, an engaging story, believable dialogue and, most important of all, characters I can care about. In fact, I’d say the latter is so important that it can excuse a lot of other narrative shortcomings. If an author can get me to care about his/her characters, then I’m along for the ride through good times and bad. This is true for film and television as well where audience members return time and again to touch base with characters who have become like a second family to them: James Bond, the doctors of Seattle Grace, the members of the Atlantis expedition.

For this reason, one of the sub-genres of horror that particularly appeals to me is the “small town horror” that Stephen King does so well. In short: a tiny isolated community is besieged by some unspeakable terror that brings out the very best and very worst in its citizens. Although it seems fairly straightforward enough storytelling, this particular sub-genre is the trickiest of all to pull off because it all rests on the characters. Not stalwart heroes or intrepid reporters in search of the truth, but ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances. If the characters are grounded and believable, then the audience connects with them. If the characters are small town clichés, then the audience may as well be reading the phone book.

Which brings us to Sarah Langan’s The Missing…

Interesting premise: Check!

Engaging story: Check!

Believable dialogue: Check!

Characters I can care about: And check!

Langan does a wonderful job of setting up the town of Corpus Christi and its colorful denizens, from the grade school teacher bitterly disheartened by a relationship gone wrong to a town drunk who may not be as wacked-out as he appears. She takes her time setting them up, introducing their disordered lives, developing them over the course of the book’s first half and then, suddenly, upending their world. And, as events rapidly devolve around them, one can’t help but empathize with the likes of Meg, Fenstad, and Danny because they are as familiar as friends, neighbors, and co-workers we have known.

A field trip to an abandoned mill in the neighboring town of Bedford takes a horrific turn when a young boy goes missing. A search party is organized but its best efforts turn up no sign of James Walker. Well, no sign provided one discounts the report of Danny Walker who claims he spotted his brother in the dead of night, wide-eyed and bloodied, loping through the darkness on all fours. Soon, other inhabitants of Corpus Christi begin to disappear as the town is stricken by a mysterious illness. And when partially eaten corpses start turning up, the local authorities realize they’ve got a big problem. Unfortunately for everyone, by the time they mobilize, it’s already too late.

On the surface, The Missing would seem to be a well-executed zombie offering, but it’s much, much more. Beside the aforementioned depth of the characters, the narrative is lent further richness by the author’s decision to get inside the heads of the afflicted. These are no mindless zombies staggering stupidly around town in search of brains. They retain, at their core, the individuality that personified them before they were infected. They’re conflicted, confused, yet stricken by a ravenous hunger. Most unsettling of all – they’re smart, and organized.

Langan does a great job of building suspense, capping the slow, uneasy burn with terrifying finality. The horror is not overly graphic. She parcels it out in disquieting little bursts that leave the reader to imagine the worst. And they do.

I had two minor quibbles with the book. The first was the source of the entity that strikes the town. Its backstory is touched upon early on but never really pursued. As a reader, I don’t need all the answers and would have accepted the mysterious origin of the plague if a possible explanation hadn’t been teed up. Then again, since this novel is a follow-up to The Keeper, the answers may well lie in the first book (which I fully intend to check out). My second bump was Maddie’s willingness and ability to protect her mother at book’s end. Given that Albert Sanguine was made to pay for sympathizing with the survivors, I can’t imagine Lois and her horde would stand for Maddie doing much the same. In fact, with the emphasis placed on their hunger and the scarcity of meat, it seems to me that Lois and co. would set their sights on Meg much sooner than later.

Those issues aside, I very much enjoyed The Missing and found the bleak, open-ended conclusion very effective.

A smart horror novel.

Your thoughts?

Hey, I’ve received some emails from blog regulars who are wondering whether my failure to answer their questions suggests I harbor some sort of grudge against them. Well, I can assure you all that it’s nothing personal. If it was, I wouldn’t be approving your comments in the first place. Rather, when it comes to selecting which questions I’ll respond, I tend to apply a complicated and laborious Wiccan system that involves ground water, two teaspoons of cardamom, six inches of twine, and an eight-side die – in addition to whatever strikes my fancy on a given day. As for which questions I tend to avoid:

1. Questions that have already been asked. Since I’m working toward my 700th blog entry, one can assume I’ve answered more than a few questions. Sometimes, more than once. Take the “What’s the deal with Teyla naming her son Torren?” question. I believe I’ve answered that one three times already and, thus, have no intention of answering it a fourth time. So what if you missed my answer? Are you expected to wade through some 700 entries to find it? Nope. Just use the search function. Type in Torren and then check out the entries that pop up as results.

2. Technical questions. Only the art department knows the exact measurements of a goa’uld mother ship. I gathered questions for Production Designer James Robbins a couple of weeks ago. Hope you remembered to ask.

3. Questions that either contain spoilers or request spoilers. In the case of the former, I simply don’t approve the question. Nothing personal but many readers of this blog didn’t see the SciFi promo that – as is typical of most SciFi promos – completely ruins the surprise twist in an upcoming episode. Also, be assured I will not reveal whether we are wrapping up any specific storylines in future episodes or the movie.

4. Questions I don’t have the answer to. For instance, if someone asked me a year ago whether we would ever see the character of Kolya again, my instinct would have been to answer “No”. And yet, this is scifi and, as we’re so fond of pointing out, no one is ever really dead on scifi. Take Kolya for instance. In the past, I’ve answered such questions as they’ve come along but after being called a liar for saying we had no plans to revisit a certain storyline – only to revisit said storyline a year and a half later – I’ve decided to avoid these types of questions altogether.

5. Questions that don’t really interest me. Have I read Horatio Applebottom’s new book? Do I watch Celebrity Bathroom Break? Have I ever waxed my eyebrows? Feel free to ask away but if I don’t answer, chances are the response I’d offer wouldn’t be all that interesting.

6. Questions from people I’m secretly mad at. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

Well, that’s it for today. Start posting your questions for author Sarah Langan. What led her to the horror genre? Who were her literary influences? What are the exact measurements of the town of Corpus Christi? Does she watch Celebrity Bathroom Break? And, of course: Why did Teyla say her father’s name was Torren when it was suggested in the pilot that his name was Tagan?

57 thoughts on “September 29, 2008: The Missing

  1. SGA apparently had an affect on the U.S. presidential debate on Friday. I watch the Rachel Maddow Show, which is a politcal commentary. At the very end this evening, the last guest said that the ratings for the debate were very low in Arizona and one of the reasons was that SGA was on.

  2. Thanks for the much needed laugh Joe.
    It also answered a lot of questions for me.

    Joe wrote:

    I tend to apply a complicated and laborious Wiccan system that involves ground water, two teaspoons of cardamom, six inches of twine, and an eight-side die

    What happened to the lucky 8 ball? I thought that carried all of the answers to the universe and which blog questions to answer.

    Joe wrote:

    6. Questions from people I’m secretly mad at. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

    Is it because you now know I have a thing for elves? I know it’s kind of creepy. Or was it the question about you being fur free right? Or maybe the one about whether your dogs are jealous of your laptop? Perhaps because I always go on about my Sony Reader? Maybe just because I ask really annoying and pointless questions?

    You can stay angry at me all you like, you’re stuck with me I’m sorry. This blog is bookmarked and hooked into an RSS feed. There is no escape from my annoying comments! mwahahahaha.

    Ever read any Matthew Reilly? Really, I’m serious on this one.

    I’ve refrained from checking out the major spoiler. It’s tough can I tell you. With the way Sci Fi have been conducting themselves of late I have this mental image of a bunch of people running around an office with pots on their heads banging into each other. Am I close?

    Have a good night and enjoy the latest episode of Celebrity Bathroom Break.

  3. Color me an idiot. Or I will blame you, for not having a flashing, scrolling sidebar that highlights the monthly selections. I’m appalled to have found myself reading the wrong horror novel for the month (having polished off Necroscope in a couple of sittings), and leaving The Missing lost in my too-large pile to “to be read” books. At least your review will get me to move Missing up into the top ten books in the stack. And I regret not being able to ask any questions of Ms. Lagan, not having read any of her other works either.
    The posting of the “reasons why I don’t answer your questions” is appreciated, though you’ve touched on the topic before. While I am naturally greedy, I’m happy to take what answers you do give. It’s not like you’re being paid to put up with us, after all(and if you are, we want a cut of the action!). Besides, it’s hard enough to read the daily posts and all the responces every day, as well as carry on with daily life. The time you have to invest is even more, and I’m thankful you’re willing to devote your valuable free time to such an undertaking. So, off to knock out the rest of the October BotM club readings, and double back on Missing.

  4. An eight-sided die? Hmmmph. Some Wiccan you are.

    Gasp. You don’t answer all the questions? No, really, no? But … but … but I was going to ask what is Daniel Jackson’s middle name!!!! And you won’t answer it, will you, you big mean thing! Sniff sniff sniffle.

    I think it is Quincy. Or Xerxes. Or Claire, which is my FIL’s middle name, so it can too be a guy’s name. Neener neener.

    Don’t mind me, it is late and my brother had to stay in the hospital after all. He’s not doing quite as well as anticipated. Actually, it isn’t that late, I’m just wiped out because when I grabbed my pill bottles this morning and chucked my meds down my throat, I managed to toss one of my Ambien in too. NOT the way to start the day. Not at all.

  5. Could I get tomorrow’s blog entry dedicated to me as it will be my 20th birthday?

    I also appreciate that you screen the comments with spoilers as I have not seen the aforementioned trailer, and fully intend to avoid ALL spoilers for the next episode.

  6. “And, of course: Why did Teyla say her father’s name was Torren when it was suggested in the pilot that his name was Tagan?”

    Oh! Oh! Oh! I know this one! I remember reading your answer! Maybe Tagan was Teyla’s mother’s name (because she had to have a mother, right?), and in Teyla’s culture maybe they do the lineage through the mother. Or something like that.

    Funny how it’s Tayla, Tagan, and Torren. That family likes the letter T, kind of like that one family that has 16 kids and they all have names that start with K or L (can’t remember that one).


  7. Since I always have problems with this site’s search function, if I want to find something in your blog archives, I use Google’s Advanced Search. I put josephmallozzi.wordpress.com in the bottom field (“Search within a site or domain”) and it only searches your blog. “Easy-peasy” as a certain Scottish doctor would say.

    Anne Teldy

  8. =)

    So I’m guessing that “Why is iTunes selling me a different version of what was aired on SciFi?” is under category number 4… questions you don’t have the answer to.
    I’m kind of glad I missed the friday airing of First Contact, though… I managed not to see the major spoiler! And I refuse to watch the SciFi channel until next friday at 10… no earlier!!! I might even buy it from iTunes just to spite SciFi’s spoiler-happy butootie!!!

  9. I am so very glad that you aren’t accepting questions about Celebrity Bathroom Break as I hate to be spoiled about that show.
    It just killed me when the network revealed Britney’s Toilet Paper Surpise in the preview. Completely ruined the next ep.

  10. Ok, is there really a show called Celebrity bathroom breaks? I am probably being very naive right now, right?

    As for spoilers, it amazes me how everyone finds out what they do. I guess I live in a bubble. I consider reading your blog as my first step outside that world. Hey, I try to keep up.

    I think most of the time I am under #5 and maybe sometimes #6 lol.

  11. I’m kinda mad tonight. Not angry mad, just irritated mad. I don’t watch much tv, but last year hubby and I started watching Life, a new show on NBC. Tonight was the ‘special time’ season premiere, but instead of airing on Wednesdays like it did last year, it’s moving to 10 pm, on Fridays. Damn. Sure, I have a DVR and all, and can watch it at any time, but I tend to be a ‘watch when it airs’ type. Well, at least they’ll only be in competion for ten more episodes… 🙁

    @ TAM_MYST – Thanks. I won’t send you that little fella from the car insurance commercials, then. 😉 I think the only reason I’m not too afeared of snakes is because we don’t have any poisonous ones here (we do have rattlers around, just not where I am). If I thought the thing could kill me, I doubt I’d be so brave. And I never see big lizards around…although, we do have quite a few skanks…I mean, skinks…here in Jersey.

    Joe wrote: “Also, be assured I will not reveal whether we are wrapping up any specific storylines in future episodes or the movie.”

    See, although I didn’t ask the question, just being the negative nelly that I am, that screams ‘don’t bother watching, das, you’ll be gutted!’ Why? Because you didn’t say ‘whether or NOT’. You must learn to use the magic words! 😉

    Ugh…don’t mind me, Joe. Blame Todd for making me all melancholy this week. And blame Kenny for being so pretty. And blame that Wraith transport for being the sexiest dang ship in the galaxy. You just can’t get rid of these guys and leave those pompous, fashion-challenged boring ol’ Ancients around. It just wouldn’t be fair.

    Joe also wrote: “6. Questions from people I’m secretly mad at. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!”

    Whew!! At least you didn’t say ‘questions from people I’ve secretly taken restraining orders out on…’ 😉


  12. Still taking some considerations for under appreciated SF authors? If you are, then I’ve got a list I’ve had some time to compile. Setting aside the fact that I think the vast majority of SF authors are under appreciated (because if you’re not Neil Gaiman no one knows you), here’s a list including some authors who may have been recognized by critics, but not by the public. At least not in my estimation.

    Michael Swanwick (multiple Hugo awards and not mainstream)

    Karen Miller (fantastic imagery in her works)

    China Mieville (read ‘Perdido Street Station’ for a Uni class surprisingly)

    Clifford Simak (‘Way Station’ ’nuff said)

    Thomas Disch (‘334’)

    Kim Stanley Robinson

    That’s really all for now, but I’ll continue to peruse my library. I wanted to mention Czernada simply because I love her work, but she’s not really very under appreciated, is she? Of course, she could always stand to be appreciated more 🙂

  13. Joe,

    Hold a grudge if you must, but I’ve apologized and the requested cash is in the mail. I don’ t know what more I can do to make amends.

    And no, I’m not changing my name to Jennifer Keller.

    Still sending you my best anyway,


  14. So I did a “search” and I’m still not finding an answer to: do the Jumpers come with toilets?!

    Seriously, after several hours *under* water looking for drilling platforms, flying over 16 hours to the next planet, being stuck between galaxies for how many days?… Didn’t think that the ATA gene included super-human bladder control!

    Or, is the Ancient definition of “there is a Flotation Device under your seat cushion” a tad different from us ‘regular’ folks?

    Curious kidneys are cramping to know!

  15. I take it you will still take questions about books, right?

    I’ve been thinking about the relatively unknown or under-appreciated authors and I couldn’t think of any in scifi, horror, and fantasy, so I asked my mom. She wanted to know (and lent me the book to read) if you’ve ever read A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.? She said it was the first scifi book she read and loved it and so did my brother. They both read a lot of scifi and fantasy (and horror on my mom’s part – she’s a Stephen King nut) so I usually take suggestions from them. It is now at #3 on my To Read List on Goodreads.

    Oh and by the way, my mom loved The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden. I’m making her wait until I read the second book, In the Cities of Coin and Spice, so that she can read it. I know I’m evil when it comes to books. I can’t help myself. I learned it all from her.

  16. thank you for answering my question, I know you didnt have to. I m reading Harry Potter thanks to your journal

  17. Mornin’, Joe

    Wow. You respond to emails from the peasantry? That’s kinda like waking up to find a note from the Queen stuck in my spam box. Not that i’m aliking you to her in any way. I mean, she’s THE Queen. And you’re Joe, right? And.. I think i’m gonna stop digging out this little trench whilst i’ve still got some rungs left on my ladders. Royalty does that to me. What can I say? Apologies.. Tis early morning, too little coffee and i’m suffering from brainfade.. >.>

    Talking of dumb questions, i’ve had a fair few thrown my way in recent years. I think the most popular by far is the usual, ‘How do you cope?’ To which i’m usually tempted into poking said person firmly in the eyes and replying with a politely spoken, ‘Like this.’

    I did have a dear, old lady ask me something I simply couldn’t respond to a few years back. She lives just up the road and at the tender age of 93yrs, still holds onto the belief that anything not horse-drawn, is the spawn of the devil. Naturally, she also doesn’t quite grasp the concept of IT.. nor Guide Dogs apparently. After trying to extract myself from the latter end of a debate focused on the Industrial Revolution and ‘wouldn’t it be nice if the Mills went back to gainful employment of the rowdy kids hanging around on the streets nowadays’, she politely turned conversation in favour of my trusted companion and enquired as to how difficult I found it when Jenks had to translate the screen for me.

    Fairy nuff. I left the conversation shortly thereafter.

    Soo, uh… going back to the Queen Lizzie thingy..

    If you recieved and accepted an invite to dinner with her Royal Imperviousness, what would you expect to see served up on your plate (outside of the odd Anti-royalist head, that is)?

  18. You USA lot have Celebrity Bathroom Break? No wonder your economy is in tatters! 😀

    On that subject, I have just received an enquiry for one of our products from a customer with the email of cannedpoo@…

    I would never, ever use that email addie!

    Unless… oh please don’t tell me there is a product out there. I’m too afraid to Google it!

  19. Hello! I have a question. I would like to know who came up with the name Adria och how? the reason for this is that I’m having a baby and if it’s a girl we’re gonna name her Adria, but there’s a small problem. In Sweden, Adria is a brand of trailers… And most people wonder why I would wanna name the baby after a trailer. Also, have you ever tried our Swedish strange foods, pickled herring and of course fermented herring? If you haven’t, you really should! The pickled herring is excellent!

  20. I am not a big fan of horror novels, so I was surprised to find myself starting to enjoy The Missing more and more as I went along. And then it occurred to me that The Missing wasn’t so much a horror story as a zombie movie in book form, and since I like zombie movies…

    I was initially put off by the complete unlikeability of James Walker, who struck me as a somewhat stereotypical bad kid with no redeeming qualities. But then it occurred to me: in most horror stories, the chances of a given character surviving tend to be based on their inherent moral goodness. Bad people die horribly while the heroes live to tell the tale. So James being, uh, consumed by the darkness kind of acts to lull the reader into a false sense of security — which makes Lois’ takeover that much more horrible.

    I really liked that, in this novel, none of the characters is particularly good, and with the exception of James, none of them is all bad. I loved seeing how the characters changed as a result of the darkness in the woods: Lois starts off as kind of a doormat, and ends up being the uber-queen of the missing, for example. At the start, Meg’s pulling away from Fenstad; by the end, it’s Fenstad who is pulling away from Meg even as she’s trying to get closer to him.

    Like Joe, I think I’d have liked a bit more of an explanation for why Lois allowed Maddie to get away with protecting Meg. It made for a nice ending, but it didn’t really make sense to me.

    I also wondered a bit as to how the darkness spread so quickly across the world. I mean, the infected seemed to turn very quickly, and I couldn’t really see how they’d get on a plane without arousing suspicions…especially once they started trying to eat the other passengers. Perhaps I misread, though, and it was a purely North American phenomenon — lucky you! 🙂

    Questions for Sarah Langan:

    1) Corpus Christi and Bedford are very well realized little towns. Are they based on real places?
    2) What do you like best about writing horror? And what do you find hardest?
    3) Any chance there’ll be more books set in the Missing universe, exploring the fall-out of this book in greater detail?

    Um, yeah, sorry the questions aren’t more interesting. And thank you for an entertaining read — I look forward to reading more of your books in the future.

  21. Hi again Mr M!

    Thanks for the laugh… Who are you secretly mad at? I’m intrigued! Any more on the whole tap water vs bottled water debate?



  22. Fair enough buddy, you cleared a lot of doubts in your last entry. Thanks!

    A little question regarding Sga movie: will you guys operate with the same budget as the other two Sg1 movies ( ~$7 million)?

  23. I found The Missing to be an incredibly interesting book. It’s definitely not my normal fare, but it had an intriguing premise that kept me with this book.

    From a construction standpoint I thought the book was superb. The descriptions were well-balanced and the characterization was thorough without being overdone. The pacing was perfect. I loved the slow build of suspense through the tension of the characters rather than the overall description of the actions. It made me feel more attached to the characters, their lives, and their decline.

    I really liked the Wintrobs in particular. The progression of their relationships before, during, and in Meg’s case, afterwards was fascinating. At the beginning, with Meg and Maddie, their fears and issues are typical for a suburban family. Their yo-yo through hating each other and loving each other, then in the end the infected daughter guarding the mother, it was endearing and heartbreaking.

    Fenstad (whose name I loved) was a whole different kettle of fish. He added a whole different dimension to the story in that he wasn’t infected but he still broke down and became homicidal. His madness was natural rather than a result of the infection. I thought it provided a nice counterpoint to the insanity of the virus. The parallels were stunning. It seemed to show that the disease was not changing people as much as it was leading them to their base nature.

    This leads me to my absolute favorite character of the book, the virus. The virus was totally cool. It was manipulative, constantly keeping everyone off guard, and it was adaptable, recognizing it situation and adjusting to not only survive but thrive. It was sneaky and insidious, and evil, and awesome.

    My questions for Sarah Langan…

    1) As a scientist I have to appreciate a feasible scientific explanation for what was going on. Where did you get the idea for a sentient virus carried through sulfur-fixing bacteria?

    2) This may be a bit obtuse of me, but I was a little unsure as to who was talking in the prologue. Was it Meg Wintrob? Who was the daughter slipping into the waves? Is it some sort of allegory that I am missing?

    Thanks again for a wonderful book.

  24. As blogs get bigger they get harder to tag, organize and control and for this reason the WordPress search is an excellent tool.

    But I guess the bottom line here is this, you’re not running a service, it’s ‘your’ weblog and you don’t have to do any of this in the first place. You certainly don’t owe us a thing and frankly while you allow the venting of frustrations, I think it’s a little to much for you to be expected to field some of the SGF questions you do.

    While this blog is very informative, humorous and interesting, (and I’m only guessing here) there must be quite a bit of pressure knowing that so many people at Bridge also read it.

    While people may disagree and argue, as I once wrote a note to the same effect – Thankyou Joe for taking the time to do this blog and answer questions so directly and I meant it.

    Theres no point in getting mad people, it’s just a blog, it’s just a blog that has a connection to a tv show and when it comes down to it – a tv show is just a tv show(albeit a very good one), it’s not the ‘be all’ of our lives!

  25. Since you like SF, fantasy and horror, have you read C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire trilogy? It manages to combine all three with some of the best worldbuilding and characterisation I know.

  26. Mr. Mallozzi:

    I have to congratulate you on First Contact. I thought it was one of my favorite episodes so far. there were so many things I had fantasized about in the show, and here they are! And I’m also extremely happy about the “major spoiler”…. I can’t wait to see the continuation!

    A couple of random Stargate related questions:

    1. What is Home World Security? I’ve heard it mentioned in both Sg-1 and Atlantis, but never knew what it was.

    2. Is the weakness in wraith technology talked about in First Contact the same as the intel in the communique (sp?) the captain of the Aurora was bringing, and Janus just figured it out in his own experiments?

    3. Can you confirm if we’ve seen the Furlings before? I read on Wiki that Rob Cooper said that we had already met the Furlings, any idea which race that could be?

  27. Hey Joe.

    Seeing Rodney and Daniel together was a dream come true!!!! As Sheppard said they do make a good pair. It saddens me to think that this might be the one and only time to see them together.

    I don’t think I ever saw Daniel smile so much. Love the smirk Ronan gave Rodney when he walked off with Keller. Atlantis certainly took quite a bit of damage this time around. Glad the wait is only two weeks and not until 2009.

    My question, if you think it is worthy ; ), is:

    Did you get the chance to check out the webisodes of SANCTUARY and Will you be watching the premiere?
    As far as I know it is only playing on the Movie Network or on the West Coat that would be The Movie Channel.

  28. Joe said:

    As for which questions I tend to avoid:

    6. Questions from people I’m secretly mad at. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

    LOL! Preachin’ to the paranoid Joe.

    Seriously, I get about 10% of my questions answered which is 10% higher than I used to when I first starting asking. So please accept 10% of my thanks. 😀

    Joe also said:

    I had two minor quibbles with the book. The first was the source of the entity that strikes the town. Its backstory is touched upon early on but never really pursued. As a reader, I don’t need all the answers and would have accepted the mysterious origin of the plague if a possible explanation hadn’t been teed up. Then again, since this novel is a follow-up to The Keeper, the answers may well lie in the first book (which I fully intend to check out).

    Books in a series should totally have a “previously on” chapter at the start, that you could read in a deep voice. What do you think?

    Cheers, Chev

  29. Coucou =)!! Sa va joseph!!

    Moi oué!! Mais je ne trouve pas de stage =(, j’ai appeler pleins de monde et il mon dit non. Mardi prochain j’irais en ville pour faire toute les banques et cabinet de comptable. Dommage que je n’habite pas a Vancouver, j’aura demande au service comptabilité du studio lol XD!

    Merci pour ces précisions, je pense vous avoir deja poser de nombreuses questions”qui ne servent a rien” lol…Mais il ne faut pas croire, certaine chose de la vie intérésse bien plus les gens que l’on croit.

    Genre une quetsion vital: Mais que déjeunez vous le matin?

    éhéhé moi sa me paraît intéréssant lol^^!

    Bon aller, j’y vais. Bisou! je vous adore!

  30. A question Joe. What is your take on MGM/SciFi’s decision to air the SGA movie first on TV versus DVD? I can’t help but feel in some way that would hinder sales. Many may not want to buy it if they can copy it or don’t like it. And if another movie is dependent on sales….well. I realize there are always extras on the DVD but will it be enough for a second movie. Or am I looking at this wrong? Will the third SG1 movie air first on TV also?

    I think you know where I am going with this but I will refrain. Be kind in your reply, if there is one. I’m the one that gave you the dog poem. Still miss mine terribly.

  31. Hey Joe!

    After bringing up your list of questions you don’t answer, I just have to ask this: If you were going for Prime Minister, what would your cabinet strive for?

    😛 Couldn’t resist. 😉

    “The Missing” sounds like an intriguing novel. I know somebody from Corpus Christi who would probably love to read this book, thanks for the recommendation!

    As always,

    – Enzo Aquarius

  32. I now intend to go about and ASK every question that you won’t answer. That way there’ is absolutely no way for me to get disappointed.

    1. Questions that have already been asked.

    So, is McKay really allergic to lemon?
    How did you get started being a writer?
    What school did you go to?
    Favorite episode?
    What will you do after SGA?
    Are you going to be involved in SGU?
    What’s the deal with SGU anyway?

    2. Technical questions.

    If I were to go about building my own stargate exactly how much lighting would I need inside the gate itself? What’s the scale anyway? And what if I wanted to build it half-scale, what then?

    The ships, wow, they’re cool. Tell me all about them. No, everything. No more than that! C’mon, man, give it up!

    3. Questions that either contain spoilers or request spoilers.

    So, I heard that everyone’s going to die at the end of the season and the movie is actually just going to be a montage of favorite scenes played to sappy music. Say it ain’t so!

    (Okay, so I really don’t have any spoilers to fully utilize this question to its potential)

    4. Questions I don’t have the answer to.

    Cancer. I know you know the cure. You know you know the cure. Just go ahead and spill it, you greedy bugger.

    5. Questions that don’t really interest me.

    So, this new show, where the people dive through foam cutouts of people forms and try not to fall into water? How long did that last? Tell me you saw it.

    And The Power of Now, this really awesome book, since you’ve obviously expressed your love of spiritual self help books, I’d totally like to hear your thoughts on it.

    6. Questions from people I’m secretly mad at. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

    [see above]

  33. p.s. Putting in yet another application for employment today.

    Adios, retail! Hello…more retail.

  34. How about questions that you have seen repeated so many times that you only THINK you must have answered them?

  35. After reading your blog entry, I will reprhase this former-question into a simple suggestion: maybe we could see an alien animal of a sort that’s not so very vital to teh storyline in the movie…or in one of the following movies…maybe they could ride on alien horses or I don’t know it’s just that we never get to see animals (except for evil bugs or other life-threating animals)…I think I’d like to see alien-horses/-pugs or whatever. Maybe you could get your own dogs into the movie and receive some extra cash!…so, no question mark, no question, no answer expected. Although I wonder whether you do reply to suggestions.
    Best wishes, Yeo

  36. Dear Joe Mallozzi,

    Do you know if the world is really going to end in 2012? That’s what I’ve been told because, you know, the Mayan calendar ends then and that’s when the black hole that started to form when the hadron collider was fired up will come to maturity. I figure you must know? No? Surely questions about the apocalypse will get a hit from your Wiccan system?
    I previously offered six names of authors who may be underrated (Karin Lowachee, Sandra McDonald, Jim Kelly, Ted Chiang, Paolo Bacigalupi and Megan Whalen Turner). I wanted to throw at least one more out there: Carol Berg. Her novel, Restoration (first in a series but stands alone) was one of my favorite reads last year.

    Would you consider Guy Gavriel Kay underrated? I think he should get as much attention as George R.R. Martin for such novels as Tigana and Lions of Al-Rassan.

    I just can’t limit the list to five.

    As for “The Missing,” it seems my opinion may be in the minority.

    In most horror novels that are set in small towns, I prefer stories that allow you a moment or two to get to know the characters and to become familiar with the ‘norm’ before the norm is flipped upside down. It helps if the first character you meet is sympathetic. My biggest challenge with “The Missing” is that this did not happen. I found the grade school teacher annoying and frankly hoped she’d be the first to go, at least until I met James Walker. Since we jumped from one sightly off-balance character to another, I found it difficult to engage with the characters or to care much when things started to unravel.

    I did find the actual horror part of the novel creepy and disturbing and liked the open-ended ending. However, because my level of engagement with the characters and my disinterest in their plight or in the events happening to them, I was overall disappointed in this novel.

    My questions for Ms. Langan:

    why is Maddie able to protect Meg? Why does she do so?

    What authors do you enjoy reading?

  37. Finally finished catching up. Wasn’t able to watch First Contact until last night and didn’t want to spoil the experience.

    Really loved the episode and can’t wait for the conclusion. My husband (doesn’t watch regularly) really liked it as well. He started watching with his laptop in front of him and one eye on the TV screen and closed his laptop within the first 5 minutes saying “this looks like a good one”. He was so caught up by the end that he was bummed it was a 2 parter and would have to wait 2 weeks for the conclusion.

    One question for you and I hope it hasn’t been asked already. If it was – please accept my profound apologies. Was that a Dr. Who Tardis sound effect I heard when the alien device revved up? Sounded vaguely familiar and, if it was, it was such a great surprise to my little ears.

    Also feel the need to echo so many comments in saying that this season has been really extraordinary which on its own is great news but seeing that it is the last season… also makes it sad.


  38. p.p.s. (that’s right, two posts. Don’t ask)

    Actually the job is for a sign writer at Trader Joe’s! That’s right. I’m moving up in the world! I’m a trader now. That’s gotta come with some sort of power up juju.

  39. Joe said:

    6. Questions from people I’m secretly mad at. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

    Oo-oo! I think I know now. Was it the question I asked of Robert Picardo about Hula dancing?

    So while Joe said it was “blog regulars”, everyone knows I’m not the type to send Joe threatening emails.

    Sarcastic font! Where are yooooooou??!!

  40. 1. Just use the search function.
    I seem to remember it not existing a few months ago when I wanted to search for something, or if it did, I couldn’t find it.
    So maybe people just didn’t notice it at the top of the page now.

    I tend to apply a complicated and laborious Wiccan system that involves ground water, two teaspoons of cardamom, six inches of twine, and an eight-side die – in addition to whatever strikes my fancy on a given day.
    This sounds like a complex ritual that also involves D&D 🙂

  41. So I already suggested the new debut of Brent Weeks—The Way of Shadow—he has moved right up next to Joe Abercrombie for me…I have already had several WTH moments and can’t put it down. THankfully the next two in the trilogy come out in November and December but leave it to Amazon to put spoilers up…
    I know being a new writer does not put in you in underated but he definitely needs to have more readers…

  42. Joe said:

    4. Questions I don’t have the answer to.

    5. Questions that don’t really interest me.

    6. Questions from people I’m secretly mad at. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

    I just knew there was a reason or 3 that you didnt answer my questions.

    Pity, I thought they were quite intelligent!!

    Although I do know that #6 doesnt apply to me, as I haven’t had any ‘official’ notification 🙂

  43. Hey Joe…you crack me up and the regular readers of this blog crack me up….I am so not witty, but I do appreciate it…

    I’ve had a few questions answered and fully appreciated it. I think it’s wonderful that you actually stay in touch with “the little people”

    I am looking forward to “Sanctuary” as the webisodes were cool….

    Needed the laughs, as I have been miserable with a double ear infection for over a week…as I teach those germ laden beings known as third graders…it has not been a great week….

    Well so “The Missing” I bought the book fully intending on reading it…just like the “The Lies of Locke Lomarr” which I never finished. However my husband snagged it and starting reading it, so alas no questions for the author….Will have to read it in the future….

    Okay technical question…I so am technilogically behind when it comes to recording shows…trusty ole VCR…however, did not tape “First Contact” One VCR is broke and the other is just stupid…anyhoo, is there anyway to get the ep legally online. For some reason SciFi doesn’t have SGA ep’s available. I do not have an ipod or any of those other little do-hickies……Anyone know?? Thanks..Then again I’d have to figure out how to burn it onto a disc, never done that either….

  44. Gracey wrote:is there anyway to get the ep legally online. For some reason SciFi doesn’t have SGA ep’s available. I do not have an ipod or any of those other little do-hickies……Anyone know??

    I get them on Amazon Unvbox on my computer from Amazon.com. $1.84/episode and available less than 24 hrs after airing on SciFi.

  45. Oh, Joe…tomorrow I am going to the State Fair of Texas! Boy howdy!

    I will be eating chicken fried bacon, deep fried grilled cheese, corny dogs, funnel cakes, deep fried jelly belly beans, smoked turkey legs, and everything else I can get my hands on.

    Of course I’ll also be on the lookout for the butter sculpture of King Tut and going to the new car show while I’m there, but the food…oh yes…the fine fair food is the real reason!

    I’ll be sure to take lots of pics and post them to my blog upon my return.

    If you want to check out the State Fair, go to http://www.bigtex.com

    Chicken fried bacon, yee-haw!

  46. Quick comment, thanks for not highlighting big spoilers in your blog, I don’t see the Sci-fi promo’s or check ANY general spoilers abotu episodes/movies in general. In fact if you were more open to posting those I probably wouldn’t visit your blog. So cheers, always keep those who like to appreciate TV like it’s meant to be appreciated in mind 😉

  47. Being known to ask the not so obvious and off the wall questions. I ask you this one.

    When will you be writing your Scifi book? or in the alternative, when will you be writing “any” book?

    Have a great week!
    Lady Conure

  48. 2008 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists

    1. Fernie’s All-American Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich
    2. Fried Banana Split *
    3. Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls
    4. Deep Fried S’mores
    5. Fire and Ice (deep fried pineapple ice cream)
    6. Fried Chocolate Truffle
    7. Chicken Fried Bacon *
    8. Texas Fried Jelly Belly Beans


    Oh, my, holy cow, goodness. I can’t wait. I printed a map of the fairgrounds. First stop–chicken fried bacon–the stand that sells it is just north of the Cotton Bowl.

    Wish me luck.

  49. Heh. The book sounds absolutely fascinating and I’m wishing I’d had the time to read it; though, I’m not entirely sure I’d like the idea of reading a book about zombies crawling through the city I live in. I have weird enough dreams as is. Let’s hope it’s a different Corpus Christi?

  50. And @ Jenny Robin:

    Oh my god… that menu— -why- in the world would anyone fry perfectly good chocolate? I just died a little inside.

  51. Some questions for Sarah Langan: You’re characters are very detailed and very realistic. What I find especially interesting about them is the way you present them, warts and all. As a matter of fact, I don’t think there’s one character in the book that doesn’t have at least one flaw or shortcoming. So my question is how do you build your characters? Do you base them on people you know and or do they completely reside in your imagination? And when it comes time to creating them, do you come up with character breakdowns that you flesh out before starting to write, or do the characters take on lives of their own as the story progresses?

    And keeping with that line of thought – how do you approach the novel-writing process. Do you know where you’re going to end up before you start? Do you start off with some sort of road map like an outline? Or do you discover the story as you go along?

  52. Hi Joe!

    Having driven through Corpus Christi and stayed in nearby Rockport, I’d have to say that drunks, zombies, and mysteries are pretty much the norm. Oh! Not that Corpus Christi? Never mind. ;P

    Have a lovely evening until I write again – in about two minutes.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.