Early in season five, when the script for Whispers was in its earliest stages, I was presented with a concept drawing for one of the episode’s featured creatures. It was delightfully monstrous. In fact, too much so, I thought. As much as I liked the initial creature design, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.  I didn’t want something grotesquely otherworldly. I wanted something unsettlingly familiar, identifiably human yet somehow…wrong. Something like…a zombie.

Forget vampires or werewolves or giant spiders living in the sewers. When I was a kid, zombies were what scared me. What they lacked in speed and smarts they more than made up for in singleminded, relentless determination. AND  what really made them uniquely freaky was that, every so often, they were someone you knew. A friend, a family member, a neighbor, that guy who used to play the harmonica in the subway – it didn’t matter because they were beyond caring, beyond death. The trappings of their past lives no longer held meaning for them. The only thing your former Aunt Imogene or those adorable twins from across the street cared about was the nice juicy brain sitting inside that walnut-shell skull of yours.

Yep, a big fan of zombies. So I was thrilled to discover that someone (that someone being editor John Joseph Adams in this case) had assembled a compendium of zombie fiction, a veritable Greatest Hits of the Undead. Had it not been a January book of the month club selection, I probably would have read it months ago, but seeing as how I wanted it fresh in my mind for this very discussion, I held off, impatiently awaiting the night I could finally sink my teeth into the collection.

And when that night came, I positively devoured the first story. This Year’s Class Picture by Dan Simmons, so impressed that, rather than read on, I went right to sleep, the dark flavors of the macabre little tale redolent in my mind.   Simmons, besides being a wonderful SF writer, is an accomplished horror writer as well. His Song of Kali and Summer of Night easily make my Horror Top Ten. And This Year’s Class Picture, the story of one teacher’s refusal to give up on her students regardless of how stubborn or zombified they may be, is Simmons at his best: suspenseful, terrifying, and surprisingly poignant.

Despite being a collection of zombie fiction, The Living Dead offers an interesting and varied treatment of the subject matter, touching on themes typical (isolation, survival, revenge) and atypical (art, politics, abortion rights). And, like most anthologies, this one offers a mixed bag. A few I loved. A few I hated. And plenty in between.

The opening story by Dan Simmons was my favorite. That said, there are some terrific entries here by the likes of Clive Barker (Sex, Death and Starshine in which the undead hunger…for the spotlight of the stage), Jeffrey Ford (Malthusian’s Zombie in which an enigmatic neighbor bequeaths the story’s protagonist with an unsettling house guest), Joe R. Lansdale (Deadman’s Road, an Old West tale of redemption and revenge), Poppy Z. Brite (Calcutta, Lord of Nerves, a captivatingly chilling account of a dank and corruptive journey), and Scott Edelman (Almost the Last Story By Almost the Last Man, a delicious piece of zombie metafiction).

On the flip side, I wasn’t enamored of Sherman Alexie’s Ghost Dance which felt too on-the-nose. I had a similar problem with Lisa Morton’s Sparks Fly Upwards that, though engaging, read like it was trying a little too hard to make a point. While I nevertheless did find elements to enjoy in both these stories, Douglas E. Winter’s Less Than Zombie was the sole offering in the entire collection that left me cold, striking me as disgtrubingly nasty for nasty’s sake.

Back to that other side of the coin, I also enjoyed Michael Swanwick’s The Dead (focusing on the not-to-distant future in which corporations get in on the zombie action), Brian Evenson’s Prairie (another tale of Old West cowboys running afoul of zombies), Nancy Holder’s Passion Play (a shocker in which a zombie is drafted to “play the lead”), and Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg’s The Song the Zombie Sang (which demonstrates what can happen if an artist doesn’t get his intellectual property rights sorted out before his death).

Overall, a fun and freaky foray into the eerie world where things go bump in the night – and then thud against the dresser, then kzzzzzz-kzzzzz as they unwittingly drag the table lamp across the floor because the electric cord has gotten wound around their shuffling feet.

So, what did everybody else think? What were your favorites? Which stories didn’t sing for you? Editor John Joseph Adams will be coming by to answer your questions so let’s see ’em!

Well, my morning got off to a most inauspicious start, leading me to wonder whether I was the victim of bad luck – or, perhaps, very good luck in the guise of bad luck.  To begin with, a bird crapped on me.  Now most would consider this bad luck and yet there are those who would consider this a good omen.  “That’s great!”was my wife’s enthusiastic response.  “Did you buy a lottery ticket?!”  I cleaned up, buckled the dogs into the back seat, turned the key in the ignition – and the car wouldn’t start (bad luck).  I considered taking the day off and simply working at home (good luck?).  But, after repeated attempts, the Audi grudgingly started and I was finally on my way (good luck?).  On the way into work, I hit a patch of black ice (bad luck!) but, fortunately, there were no other cars around (good luck) and I was able to regain control in time to avoid sideswiping a mailbox (good luck).  I arrived at the doggy daycare, opened the door to unbuckle the dogs, and had Bubba hop out.  He’d somehow managed to slip his harness (bad luck).  Normally the crazy one who will chase down anything, he seemed equally bewildered by his newfound freedom, giving me the opportunity to scoop him up and deposit him back int the car where I was able to slip him back into his harness (good luck).

The rest of the day’s events proved neither remarkably fortunate nor unfortunate.  Watching auditions is, after all, a bit of a grey area.  Minimal writing accomplished but I have manged to move into the third act.  This script is one of the toughest I’ve written and it’s going painfully slow.  Of course, that just mean it’ll be perfect once it’s done.  “Don’t change a thing!”they’ll no doubt tell me before awarding me a cash bonus and a parade in my honor.

Well, it’s been several hours since I wrote the above and I can now confirm that it, in fact, bad luck.  I sat down to post to my blog after dinner and discovered I couldn’t connect to the internet.  After runing through my troubleshooting repertoire (unplugging the modem, plugging the modem back in, unplugging the ADSL cable, plugging the ADSL cable back in, running a diagnostic, screaming at my laptop) I called up the gang at tech support who had me: unplug the modem, plug the modem back in, unplug the ADSL cable, plug the ADSL cable back in, run a diagnostic, etc.  No dice.  They finally told me they’d be sending someone by to address the problem tomorrow.  As a result, I’m posting this entry from a friend’s place (in case you noticed something subtly different about today’s post).

Hmmm.  What’s even more annoying (read: alarming) is that I can’t even connect to the internet via my laptop here with a ground connection.  I’ve had to use my wife’s laptop and rewrite this entire entry.

Yep.  Definitely bad luck.

59 thoughts on “January 19, 2009: The Living Dead, edited by John Joseph Adams

  1. Hi Joe,
    That spout of bad luck really sucks. Though the fact that you were able to post this (eventually) is good luck! (For us readers, at least).
    I didn’t notice anything discernibly different though about the post. I know how you feel about the internet. A few months ago, the local cable provider (which gives us our internet too), had their local directory or something go down. Needless to say, ALOT of people were without internet in southern california. Ah here, http://newsosaur.newsvine.com/_news/2008/12/09/2195578-time-warner-cable-internet-outage-hits-12-million-users
    Anyways, it was bad. And I couldn’t use my neighbors’ wireless because they had the same company too. So I finally resorted to using a dial-up phone line. Super slow. But it works. Especially when a teacher expects you to complete an internet assignment. Anyways, that’s enough of my little rant, I hope that your internet is back working really soon so you can approve my comment!
    (And thanks to Mr. Cooper for the guest blog a couple days ago!)


  2. I’m thinking that you won’t get to see many of the comments for awhile, but I hope you get your computer working and have better luck tomorrow!
    Sometimes it is better just to stay home.
    Take care,

  3. Hi, Joe
    Why not announce the other two female cast members yet?
    Will they announce the other two before the end of this month?
    And when they release the design of the Destiny?

  4. Hi, Joe.

    Yikes! What a day. Did you buy the lottery ticket?

    So, Joe, just in case my question was lost in all the comments yesterday, was that photo of Coop and Carl taken inside a corridor of SGU’s Destiny? Just curious.

    Best wishes for a luckier – or luckless? — tomorrow.

  5. That’s Mondays for you. Though in my case it’s Fridays, as my “weekend” starts tomorrow/today. I’ll join in the book discussion later tonight, once I have my copy in hand to refresh my memory. here’s hoping karma balances out with some definite good luck your way.

  6. Aw Joe I’m sorry you have had a crappy day. If it helps I did too. (Well not literally like you did but it was bad.) Yep tomorrow will be better for us. Not sure how but it will. You have to have crumby days every now and aging to know the value of the good ones. (Don’t you just hate optimistic people?)

    We have been with out water for 4 days now and we actually had to load the water troughs onto a trailer and take them to work to fill them there just so the horses and dogs would have something to drink tonight and tomorrow.

    I also called my job last night to get my schedule for the week and was told that I was going to be opening the store Tue- Sat. I received a phone call about 7 am this morning from the owner. He was spitting mad because I didn’t open up at 5:30. Apparently I was told the wrong schedule. I was supposed to have opened today and then closed the rest of the week. We lost about 2 hours worth of revenue. Although it was made up via the unexspected bus loads of people on their way to D.C. for the inauguration tomorrow.

    I also took the last of my thyroid meds yesterday and was lethargic today. I can’t afford them or the others anymore now that I’ve lost insurance. I know it will work out so I’m not too worried at this time, just very tired.

  7. I’m back! Don’t know what I did (if I did anything) but my internet connection has been magically restored!

    I’ve always been a firm believer in the see-saw effect: lucky one day, unlucky the next – and, more importantly, vice versa. Have bird crap on you, experience car troubles, almost get into an accident, lose your dog, spend your whole evening trying to chase down an internet connection on the one hand. Win $33 million on the other. I’m buying that lottery ticket!

  8. Hi Joe:

    I have had bird crap on me. One of the stupid pigeons in Vancouver got me outside a mall. Right on the top of my head. That is the most disgusting experience I have ever had.

    If you win that 33 million, I trust you will give 1 million of it to me for sending you something to help you sleep. The package is on its way.

    Patricia (AG)

  9. Hm. I’ve had days like that. I attribute it to the particles of the universe being out of alignment.

    So far, your tidbits about Universe have been interesting, especially the part about being a more character-driven series. I like that concept, but I worry that you (the collective you, writers and directors, etc) will be driven to create an angst-ridden drearfest a la Battlestar Galactica, in a misguided bid for critical acclaim. Please, for my peace of mind, say it is not so.

  10. **IF** I won $33million… A ginormous honking rock would probably whack the planet upside the ice cap a couple hours right after the cheque cleared! [*really* bad luck!!]

    So, zombies, huh? …sounds to me like your computer and internet decided to join the ranks on the Undead…

    Hmm… maybe I shouldn’t have killed that Iratus Bug sized spider in my room this morning… Ahh… so, about what time exactly were you targetted from on High…?

  11. anybody else having a hard time getting onto the Baen Library?

    I’ve had people tell me the same line, having been bird-shat. I guess in that situation you have to see it as a good thing. Otherwise it’s just yecchy.

    Lottery advice: I’m not sure if this applies to all scratch-and-win tickets, but in Tennessee you can go to the state lottery website and re-enter losing ticket numbers for another drawing. Winnings would vary, but anybody who buys scratchers should wait before chucking ’em.

    I’ll have to get The Living Dead tomorrow. As luck would have it, there’s a couple long-standing bookstores going out of business. They’ll pass the savings onto me!

  12. Dear Joe,

    If the Antartica Ancient Chair is destroyed why don’t they take the one from the Tria to replace it? That ship disappeared from the SGA plot without any good reason,

    What do you think buddy?

  13. Yay, Joe, you’re back! Glad you didn’t let the poop get you down. You gotta figure you just got hijacked by a sitcom and everything was pure comedy thereafter. (That’s gotten me through more than one bad day!)

    Some belated hellos…

    @ AnneTeldy
    (This is a repeat, in case ya didn’t see the verry late post from t’other day.) It’s sa guid ta see ya back on the blog, Major Teldy! So ya say ya have no squawk and only one wing, but we can hear your “voice” in writing just fine, ma dear. Hang in there and do all tha things ya know to do that make ya feel better. It sounds like ya are watching DVDs. That’ll always cheer a pairson up.

    @ Pol
    I’m sa sorry to hear about your Da. And he introduced you to the “Honor-vairse” as a youngster? How poignant that David Weber’s Q&A coincided with your visit to tha hospital. Did your Da enjoy it? Even in life, things tend to coom full circle, don’t they? Our best wishes to your Da, you, and your family…

  14. Boy, have we been spoiled with all the good Q&As lately. I can understand why Rob Cooper was answering criticism leveled at writers that seems to be prejudicial rather than rational. “(You Keller hating Beckett fans know who you are.)”

    As an obvious appreciator of Carson Beckett, I’ll throw my two pennies in. I don’t hate Jennifer Keller and never did. Joining Atlantis wasn’t easy for her. No newcomer is going to gel as nicely as the tight team already has. And there were logic gaps in the writing that do make it an uphill climb, i.e., her obvious youth, and the coincidence of the genetics specialty that’s acquired after at least a few year’s experience. It wasn’t wrong for the writers to graft her onto the team, however. As Chief Medical Officer, Carson was (and still is) an integral teammate and in nearly every episode from seasons 1-3. The difference now is that his character is much stronger and more decisive. He’s still happiest with his teammates, as we see in the season 5 episodes, but especially in “Outsiders.” (Joe, will Paul McGillion be doing “Outsiders” commentary on the DVD? I saw a clip on YouTube where he insightfully compares the situation to an Anne Frank type of moral dilemma.)

    Similarly, it shouldn’t be wrong for Dr. Keller to take part in team action. It would be much more believable if she bonded with someone else besides Rodney. Normally women do stick together, if for no other reason than to get a task accomplished. This is where having a female writer on staff would be helpful. By now, Teyla and Keller should have had at least some playful repartee/bonding about gals outperforming the guys on the team. I like being around testosterone as much as any girl, 😀 but there are times when girls need to hang out and take a break from it. That would be realistic, especially if a woman wrote it.

    The writers are working to help us like Keller, but because it’s harder for them to think the way a woman would think, they’re trying to do it in obvious ways that do make Keller look more like “Mary Sue” than Jennifer Keller. The unfortunate overuse of the “damsel in distress” scenario in “The Seed,” “Tracker,” “Brainstorm,” and “Identity” only reinforces that image. But, given that the writers are taking a step back and re-evaluating, and are open to positive suggestions, it may be that will change in the upcoming movies. After all, since Dr. Carson Beckett became such a well-loved teammate that he’s now simply “Carson,” it’s totally possible for Dr. Keller to become accepted as “Jennifer.”

  15. Glad to see your luck restored as well as your internet. While the rest of the world is watching the Inauguration in anticpation of something dramatic happening, I’m going to be committing serious housework as nothing has been done since saturday when I went arse over tit with dinner plate and drink in hand and buggered my already buggered knee up some more, I can only rest it so long and if I leave it any longer I’m not going to be able to find the front door for all the detritus the kids keep dumping!

  16. ‘awarding me a cash bonus and a parade in my honor’

    *snorts with laughter*

    I am going to ask my boss to do the same thing the next time I work masses of overtime, don’t think it will work somehow.

    Some would see the return of your internet connection as the final highlight of your day but fingers crossed for the lottery ticket.


  17. First a belated welcome back for our Anne Teldy, may her health improves so that we get more posts from her.

    @Mr M it appears you got lock out of your IP address until the modem resets after a period of time. Same thing happen to me with Bell/Sympatico just before Christmas. Everything was looking fine after I booted up the computer. Then the bloody DSL modem wouldn’t synced up with my ISP server. Try everything to connect up to the Internet with zilch results. The DSL modem was fully functional. I suspect that the ISP server got overloaded by online activities and lock out unconnected users until some active users dis-connected. This means your modem is a paperweight until the lockout time period ended. Sure enough everything goes back to normal after a couple of hours. Just think of this as load-shredding by our ISP when encountering excessive bandwidth usage. Don’t think my suspicion will not be acknowledge by the ISP to the public or even to it’s own employees. As there are legal issues with an ISP failing to deliver contracted for Internet service.

    After your day of eventful happenings. Have you heard of the Chinese expression – “May you live in an interesting time”? Hope you win something with the lottery ticket. Hopefully not the retirement jackpot. We posters selfishly want your blog to be our continue bullpen.

  18. It’s funny how the internet does that. It could have been a problem with your provider rather than at your end. It would have been spooky if it had come back on at midnight… the swing of bad day to good day.

  19. Hey there Mr M!

    Glad you had success in re-establishing ‘net connection. Can totally empathise! This is a regular occurence here… Leading to many strings of oaths and moderately bad language.

    Is that the Destiny we see RCC and Mr B peering out of?

    Any news re: Super Duper projec? When can you go official and tell us what it is? Also, how is Marty G? We haven’t seen him in a while!!

    Best to all


  20. Congrats that everything is working again 🙂

    Mr. Mallozzi,

    how do you feel about all the racial issues comming up now when talking about the cast of SGU. I must say I haven’t even thought about it before I read it and now it makes me kinda sad that some people really concentrate on that issue. I’ve never ever considered Stargate to be exclusive. Stargate includes everybody, and when there is a message that should go out to all, then that only teamwork, working together is the key to our salvation…no matter how different we are. Gus, think about the beginnings (and I’m not talking about the race or sex, I mean, look at Jack, Daniel, Sam and Teal’c. Presenting four COMPLETELY different people (leader, history, future and religion/believe) and still they become best friends. Think about the differences that really matter people!

    Well, what is your feeling as a show runner about it?

  21. I’ve had decidedly BAD luck over the last week. I blame it on the moon. It was apparently 14% closer last week than usual.

    Monday 1/12/09 – I get home from a hard day at the office. My wife & I are settling in for a few hours of Warhammer. And…my computer will not boot. 3 hours later, after I’ve rebuilt all of my Windows System files, viola! Bootability.

    Tuesday 1/13/09 – A former employee @ my company managed to hack into our email server. I resolve the problem, but the company president wants to pursue legal action, and he wants me to contact Microsoft (live.com) to obtain the guy’s information. I explain that they will not give it. It takes a court order for that to happen. Well, he doesn’t want to hear that from me. He wants to hear it from them.

    Wednesday 1/14/09 – Amazingly (!), no one from Live.com has replied to my repeated attempts to obtain information on the hacker. Boss thinks I’m being a slacker. Is not happy about it, and thinks that a good verbal lashing will somehow cause Live.com to contact me faster. I consider quitting, and taking a position as a petroleum transfer engineer.

    Thursday 1/15/09 – Live.com and Microsoft’s legal department answer my requests for information with the anticipated reply. They will not give info without a court order. A small victory for the little guy (me). Does the boss apologize for mother f’ing me? Hell no.

    Friday 1/16/09 – Cool. It’s Friday! Nothing could go wrong today! Wrong. Our main systems server crashes @ 3PM. (a whole one hour before quitting time) I and the IBM phone tech determine that it’s a failed power supply. So, I wait around until 7:30PM. Power supply arrives. I replace it. NOT the problem.

    Saturday 1/17/09 – I meet the IBM service tech @ the office bright and early. Server fixed. I head for home @ 11:30AM.

    The week sucked. The weekend is shot. I was very thankful for that bottle of tequila.

  22. Oh I definitely have to comment on that good luck/ bad luck story. My mother used to tell me a story as soon as I talked about being very lucky or having extremely bad luck.

    There was once a farmer. One day he found a wild horse in the forest and took it home. The villagers said “You lucky man!” The very next week the horse ran away and the villagers cried “Too bad!” But the horse returned with a whole herd and the farmer kept them all. The villagers said: “You lucky man!”
    The farmers son then tried to tame the wild horses. But he fell off and broke is leg and… guess what… the villagers cried out: “Too bad!” But the very next day all sons of the village were drafted, only the farmers son of course not.
    “You lucky man!”

    And the moral of the story would be…
    I don’t know that’s for everyone else to see. I think that it says, that there is no bad or good luck. Things just happen as they do and you never know the outcome although it might seem to you like good/bad luck at first.

  23. Hi Joe,

    Sorry to hear about your bad day. The internet went down here on campus the one day and everyone freaked out because they couldn’t get on facebook! Anyway, I was wondering if you could answer a quick request for me. My one professor assigned an essay where we have to analyze a Science Fiction novel, short story, movie, etc. Basically we have to compare how close our present world is to the fictional one and what circumstances might lead us down that path. Most people are reading 1984 or watching WALL-E but I was wondering (since you are kind of an expert on this sort of stuff) if you had any other suggestions that might be different or interesting to try. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!

  24. Hi Joe! I’m glad your internet is back. Yep, after a day like that, I’d go for the lottery ticket.

    Sorry to say, I can’t contribute to this week’s book discussion because I don’t read horror books. Well, lmost never. Sometimes I can deal with them if they are set far away in time or place, like “The Keep”. For now, I am finishing up “City of Saints and Madmen” so I’ll be ready for that discussion and just started Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War.”

    @susiesbluefeather: I hope things get better for you. May those unexpected blessings keep coming your way!

  25. This reminded me of “Fortunately”, one of my favorite books as a kid.

    It ends on a good note, so there is hope for you….

    I’m thinking, though, that I better update my zombie plan & make sure I have plenty of pointy things about.

  26. I am reading a book right now called “Counterknowledge” and it’s pretty interesting. It’s not sci-fi and it doesn’t involve zombies or anything but it is a pretty good book about how we are all too eager, as people, to believe what we hear when it is stated as fact.

    Anyway, it’s Obama day at the office so we are all set to have some kind of weird coffee cake thing that is apparently Lincoln’s or Obama’s favourite…I can’t remember whose.

    I suppose I am lucky to be able to watch the inauguration at the office on one of our LCD’s but I find the whole thing kind of weird. Being Canadian it is very strange for me to be getting all wrapped up in this hoopla, historical or not.

    Oh yeah, Joe, I wanted to ask you a grammar question. I was wondering when it became okay to use the contraction “there’s” incorrectly? ie. There’s a bunch of apples in the fridge if you want one. “There is apples”… just doesn’t make sense!

    You are a writer so I was wondering if you had noticed this too, it’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I know I am not the greatest at writing properly but that one really bugs me. What ever happened to there are? Or the fake contraction there’re?

  27. Joe: I agree on the Simmons story. It’s one of my favorites in the book. I recently read his Drood, which is a doorstopper but very engaging. I’m pretty ignorant of his other work but I hear great things about it and would like to read more. Another favorite one for me was the John Langan story, “How the Day Runs Down” — a sort of Our Town monolgue, zombie style. Langan’s got a first collection of stories coming out I think those in the book club who like classic horror/ghost stories would go for — Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters. Adams did a wonderful job in assembling the zombie anthology.

  28. I have to chime in on the bird poop thing – years ago, just before hubby and I were about to embark on invitrofertilization, we took a vacation in Disneyworld. One of the days we were there, a bird pooped on his shirt. A week later we found out we were pregnant – it was either the bird poop or the Disney pixie dust 🙂

  29. Speaking of the net and bad luck …

    If anyone’s been trying to reach me via my google email (or sequentialtart, since it forwards it to the google), my account seems to have been highjacked! 🙁 I was working on a google document when it said I needed to relog in, and when I went to do so, my password didn’t work (nor did any of my alternates) and I didn’t recognise the security question!! 🙁 And it supposedly sent “instructions” to my yahoo, but I haven’t see any such email. 🙁

    If you’ve recieved any emails from me timestamped after around 6:30 PM (possibly earlier), it wasn’t me, and if you sent me anything after that, I didn’t get it. 🙁 Please use wolfenm at yahoo (or any other email you may have for me besides the gmail or sequentialtart) instead.

    Deni in particular, please note the above — if you replied to the email I sent yesterday, I didn’t get it.

  30. I had a seagul crap on my head and I definately didn’t see it as a good omen. My friends kept saying that it was good luck and I just said well then let one crap on your head. Somehow just being crapped on in itself is a bad thing, so, I don’t know where they get the good luck thing. I am sure someone made it up just to make the “chosen” person feel better. No good luck came that day to me at all, the day ended with walking in the sand near the water and the skies opened up and the lightening began, definately bad luck.

    Nice of you to go to a friends to post your blog. Did you check your internet card on the computer to see if it is on (mine is in the front and sometimes I click it off when handling the computer). However, some peoples are internal and then you’d have to have the computer looked at. Good Luck!

  31. Bonjour Joseph!

    oui…il’y a des jours comme sa!! On se demande si le sort ne s’acharne pas contre nous^^!

    Lol j’aime pas les zombies, le seul moment que j’aime c’est quand je peut tous les massacrés sur la Playstation^^!

    Mince pour l’oiseaux, sa arrive rarement, on peut dire en quelque sorte que vous avez eu de la chance.

    Alalal les problémes de connéxion internet…. rassurez vous sa arrive à tout le monde, mais bon, j’espere que ce sera trés vite rétablit!

    Gros Bisou, je vous adore!

  32. You poor guy! We all have days like that. Hope today is better!

    (Though I must admit, the bird crap is rather hilarious. But I’ll try not to laugh for your sake.)

  33. I also started to lose interest while reading Ghost Dance. It started off well enough, but I also felt like the author was beating me with his idea. Unfortunately after getting through that story, I put it back on the shelf for a while.

    Loved the first story. It reminded me of World War Z– if you haven’t read this book it is highly recommended. It’s written as a historical document of different people’s experiences during the Zombie Outbreak. Extremely entertaining (and I’m not a fan of either horror or zombie movies or fiction).

    Also, Joe, you might find this site amusing:

    Greeting cards for the zombie apocolypse. “Because once they’re a zombie, it’s too late to say you care”

  34. Perhaps that bird pooped on you as revenge for your evil foi gras(sp) eating ways.

  35. I never received a bird offering on me but once I was eating in a waterfront restaurant and had a sea gull make an addition to my ice tea.

    Another waterfront restaurant – waitress was bringing my food and a sea gull swooped in a stole a piece of fish off my plate.

    She actually asked if I wanted another plate or just another piece of fish. Since I didn’t completely trust the bird’s accuracy and ability to only touch one piece, I asked for another plate.

    Sea gull (and pigeons) – pretty rats with wings.

  36. There a chance you can post the original artwork look for the creatures from Whispers at some point, or would that be undo-able?

  37. Just read Mr. Cooper’s Q&A. Now I want to go back and watch Vegas…

    My mother believes a bird pooping on you is good luck as well, so Fondy has at least one supporter.

  38. So… you’ve cast all the men for Universe – when are you going to cast the babes? 🙂

  39. Hey Joe,

    I’ve also heard a bird pooping on you is good luck. I’ve taken it to mean it’s good luck that cows don’t fly.

    For me and my family Murphy’s Law seems to apply most of the time. Whatever can go wrong WILL go wrong at any given moment.

    As for zombies: I’m not really a fan. They scare the crud out of me. I am more of a *horror light* kind of girl. But I do thoroughly enjoy “Shaun of the Dead.” Best zombie movie I’ve ever seen. I guess I like to be startled and then I like to laugh.

    Here’s hoping you’ve found a way around Murphy’s Law. 🙂


  40. When the Zombie Revolution comes, we all know brains are served raw… but how do you cook Zombie? With garlic?

  41. I find it terminally sweet that you think the sign of your bad luck was not being able to sign onto the internet since we bug you all so much here, I’m sure. 😉

    Dan Simmons is a very talented writer. I loved his Summer of Night too. A perfect horror novel since I love tales of kids ganging up on monsters.

    I haven’t had the chance to read this collection yet but will keep an eye open for it. I love Barker and Lansdale to no end. Can anyone say “Imajica” and “Bubba Ho Tep”?

    I have heard the bird poop is good luck. My manx grandfather swore by it. I hope that it comes your way soon again! Good luck. Not bird poop. 🙂

  42. Hmmm, so the three cold sores that appeared on my lips yesterday and hurt like holy hell, and our car is not fixed on time, are indicators that I should tremble before the gods and be thankful for my birthday trip tomorrow?

    Here’s to the giant toilet in the sky, may it bring us luck!

  43. You actually had a good day…

    1) The bird didn’t have bird flu, nor was it one of those giant seagulls, nor did it hit you in the eye (well, assuming it didn’t).
    2) Car didn’t start? But it eventually did, and when you hit the black ice, you didn’t go into the oncoming path of a logging truck.
    3) Your dog escaped, but briefly, and did not run out into the road and get hit by anybody skidding on black ice.
    3) Your computer didn’t work? Well, no techie intoned ominously “sorry, but you picked up the such-and-such Trojan and now we’ll have to wipe the hard drive clean to fix it, that, or take it out to the north forty and shoot it.” (but then again, who knows what they’ll tell ya tomorrow – you do back up, right??)

    Meanwhile, zombies. No mention of zombie flicks? I’d say the original Night of Living Dead was the best, as it was the original, really, and Shaun of the Dead is a hoot. Any zombie movie with superfast twenty-gazillion-zombies via CGI effects just lacks the menace of the originals, where the zombie chased you into a storeroom, very slowly, but you still couldn’t get away before he chomped on an ankle.

    I gather since you’re doing auditions the ladies of SGU aren’t as yet cast???

  44. Hi Joe,

    So glad to see that you survived your bad day!!
    Reading your run of rotten luck, it reminded me of the song from Hee-Haw:
    “Gloom, despair, and agony on me
    Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
    If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all
    Gloom, despair, and agony on me.”

    Hope it only gets better from here on out! 🙂

  45. When I have a day like that it feels like the Universe has got out it’s slapping glove, filled it with rocks, hit me over the face a few times, points an accusing finger at me and says, “See, now imagine what life would be like if I always treated you like this. So be thankful.” Then storms off in a huff.

    On our wedding day we had raaaaaaaaaaaaain.
    Monsoon rain.
    Day before and day after – sunny and beautiful.

    Everyone was telling us, “Oh, that’s good luck”. Of course they have to say that because you can’t say, “Wow it really sucks how wet it is when you’re having a beach wedding”.

    Then when we got dressed up again two days later to fly out to Whitehaven Beach for our photo’s (which was meant to happen on our wedding day but no helicopter could take off in that weather) we were standing at the pier waiting for our photographer to turn up, I rubbed my head and a bird pooped on my wedding rings. My extremely new Husband at the time thought it was hilarious and started rolling around in the golf buggy (mode of transportation on the island) clutching his stomach.

    The photographer shows up, sees me cleaning my rings and says “Oh, that’s good luck”. I guess if I hadn’t have scratched my head at that exact time the bird poop would have gone all down my dress so, glass half full, I guess it was. Although I’d had all the luck I could stand for a little while.

    Here’s to a better day today.

    I could just imagine the expression on Bubba’s face. “Who? What? Where? How?” Next thing he knows he’s back in the car.

  46. Even with all of your bad luck, I appreciate you rewriting the entry for all of us! Hope your luck improves…think of it this way…it can’t get much worse!

  47. Hey Joe,

    Recently you answered a question regarding the Stargate sets: “The SG-1 corridors, control and briefing room are no more. The gate room is in the process of being re-done.” Were these sets simply taken apart and put in storage or actually destroyed? Thanks 🙂

  48. Hey Joe,

    Some of us were wondering, Is the picture of Robert and Carl in your previous entry taken on the “work in progress” set of Stargate Universe?

    Just curious. 😛

  49. Joe,
    I’m a little behind in my reading but I wanted to say thanks to Robert Cooper for answering the questions about “Vegas,” an episode I like more and more the more I watch it.

    Hope your luck straightens out.

  50. Is Stargate Universe going to have any kind of presence at the New York Comic Con in February (6-8)? I ask because the other studios are now realizing that NYC is a great place to promote their shows 🙂

  51. Had a deja vu feeling when I read about your internet woes. Hasn’t this happened to you before? In any case for a laugh have you ever seen The IT Crowd? – This, Jen, is the Internet.

    The other thing I always wonder is if you have bad luck does someone else have to have good luck to balance things out?

    Cheers, Chev

  52. Dear Joe,

    Sorry to hear about your bad day. I hope your day was better today. At least it wasn’t worse than what it was.

    I was wondering why you don’t hire a nanny or dog sitter. Wouldn’t that be easier than taking them to a doggie day care? This way you wouldn’t have to worry about them escaping or getting sick in the car. And they would feel more comfortable at home. The money you use for the doggie daycare could be use to pay for the dog sitter. And it would save you a lot of time of not having to load them in the car every morning. Or have you tried this before? Was just wondering?


  53. hi joe.

    talking of dan simmons…. was he ever approaced about SGU? i remember reading once in one of his short story collections that he once pitched an episode for ST:V that was rejected for being too off the wall…

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