The Land of Laughs

Going into this book, I had no idea what to expect. I selected it on the basis of several strong recommendations and a rather whimsical cover depicting an anthropomorphic kite and a six armed creature eating ice cream on a front porch while some malevolent-looking fellow glares out at them from inside the house. Going on the aforementioned, I anticipated some weird and wonderful Alice in Wonderland-like narrative, a gentle Young Adult adventure I could digest like buttered popcorn – light, pleasing, yet ultimately inconsequential.

How wrong I was. Imagine discovering that popcorn is actually caramel coated. And then discovering that nestled alongside each kernel is the tiniest of habanero peppers. And THEN, once you’ve almost finished eating, discovering the fist your neighbor has slipped in through the bottom of the popcorn bag that suddenly spring up and cold cocks you in the face. It’s sort of like that. Except with talking bull terriers.

English teacher Thomas Abbey leads a fairly banal existence, living in the shadow of his famous father, a legend of the silver screen. Then, one day, he decides to change things up. Inspired by the books he loved so much as a kid, he sets out to write the definitive biography of famed children’s author Marshall France. His publisher warns him that the going may be tough, however, given that the last guy to visit France’s hometown received a less than cordial welcome from the townsfolk in general and the late author’s niece, Anna France, in particular. Undaunted, Thomas journeys to the modest community of Galen, Missouri accompanied by his lover, research assistant, and marionette collector Saxony Gardner, an equally avid France fan.

Once there, they meet with Anna who, contrary to expectations, proves surprisingly friendly and immediately warms to the idea of a biography based on the life and career of her father. Thomas begins work on the book and, eventually, romance blossoms between him and Anna.

But as he struggles to juggle research, writing, and two relationships, Thomas begins to suspect that something is a little off about the community. Something is up…but he can’t quite put his finger on it. Maybe it’s the way many of the townsfolk are anxiously following his progress. Or the downright bizarre reactions to the accidental death of a local boy. Or the fact that he just caught his landlady’s bull terrier talking to himself…

What starts off as a quiet and comical little story takes a turn into Twilight Zone-terrain, then winds its way into a weird magical Wonderland before careening headlong into dark and twisted territory. And yet throughout the wild ride, The Land of Laughs proves incredibly engaging, one of those rare books that draws you in and keeps you reading – and reading – and reading – until you realize it‘s ticking past two a.m. and you have to wake up early for work tomorrow. It boasts unique, well-defined characters and some terrific dialogue, in a shifting narrative that undermines any hope of second-guesses.

At the heart of the story is this notion of an innate ability to control one’s environment. When we first meet Thomas he is a victim of circumstance, a man with little if any control over a life buffeted and bundled by elements seemingly beyond his control. And then, after years of living on auto-pilot, allowing himself to be defined by who his father was, he decides enough is enough and opts to take charge of his life. Despite his publisher’s attempt to warn him off, he forges ahead with the planned biography, developing a relationship with, curiously enough, a woman who collects puppets. In time, he forms a relationship with another woman who, in her own way, collects puppets as well – Thomas, as he eventually discovers, being her latest strung-along acquisition. But in discovering the town’s secret – that its inhabitants are the manifestations of a late, great author – Thomas discovers a power existing within himself. It’s a power he uses to save the town – and, at book’s end, himself. 

Lots to love and lots to discuss. I’ve weighed in with my initial thoughts and would love to hear what everyone else thought. Let’s see those comments – and questions for author Jonathan Carroll.

A Memorial Day dedication to all of the men and women serving in our armed forces.


Sandra writes: “I was watching “Bounty,” and I noticed several campaign posters on the walls of the high school recommending Peter DeLuise and Damian Kindler for class officers. Were you running for Homecoming King?”

Answer: I was running for President of the Dungeons and Dragons Club. I lost to Carl Binder, a.k.a. elf druid Morgo,  wielding his magic cudgel.

Cat4444 writes: “So which one of the pups posted this Tweet? The post doesn’t say.


They’re really learning to type well. Are you tutoring them or are they just naturals?”

Answer: No, it’s all them. And, ooooooh, look closer. There are a couple of words in there you missed.

Dana writes: “Since when has Teyla become Kanaan’s wife?”

Answer: Didn’t you watch the very special wedding episode? Sheppard gives the bride away. No? Hmmm. Maybe that scene didn’t make the final cut. Okay, in that case, I guess it’s not canon and, at the end of the day, Teyla has yet to make an honest man of Kanaan. Maybe in the movie…a big Teyla-Kanaan/McKay-Keller Weddding! Who’s with me?!!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!

SciFan writes: “When did Kanaan and Teyla get married?”

Answer: As stated above, they’re not married (yet?). She was holding off in the hopes that something better would come along. Like, say, someone capable of holding down a steady job.

E writes: “Have Brad and Carl shared any updates on SG-1 movie?”

Answer: Not a one. And that’s just as well. I want to be surprised like everyone else when the movie finally comes out.

Trish writes: “I may or may not have entered your dogs into the Mr. Twitterverse competition. Depending on how you feel about it, that is.”

Answer: The dogs thank you. Also, Lulu chews your shoe into a gummy mass.

AnneTeldy writes: “Can you tell us which role he was offered in which episode so we GV-fans can try to imagine him in it?”

Answer: Nope, sorry. I don’t think that would be fair to the actor we did cast.

AnneTeldy also writes: “Mr. M, you said you got my letter and added “I’m on it”. Status update, please? Soon?”

Answer: Soon.

Michelle writes: “ So will there be romance at all in the movie? You don’t have to say between whom. We’ll all make ridiculous assumptions and outrageous demands anyway. Eg, please no McKeller! hee hee”

Answer: Well, now that you mention it, some romance, yes.

Agent_xsley writes: “My question is, has Weir’s story been completed or will we ever see that character again in the movies?”

Answer: Weir’s story ended in Ghost in the Machine. The character will not be appearing in the movie.

DasNdanger writes: “So, are the masked Wraith warriors capable of independent thought, or are they totally under the mind control of the more advanced Wraith? And are they completely sentient, or is that debatable?”

Answer: It’s debatable (insofar as we never actually sat down and decided one way or another) but given the way the conversations in the room went, it’s safe to say that the warriors are on the dimmer end of the wraith intellectual spectrum. They are controlled by verbal command and occasional mental prodding.

Major D. Davis writes: “Are we cool or are you in any way irritated or mad at me?”

Answer: No, no. We’re cool. Especially me. Need proof? I wear sunglasses indoors!

Drldeboer writes: “I’m sad to say it’s also a personal memorial day, my mom passed this weekend after a long illness with bone cancer.”

Answer: Condolences, Donna. Hope you draw some comfort from knowing you’re in the thoughts of many of this blog’s regulars.

68 thoughts on “May 25, 2008: The Land of Laughs, by Jonathan Carroll

  1. Well i think i posted too late today, so here goes again– Hi deni , nice to hear from you, hi trish, joe we have our own Florida fan club, want to join? @anne teldy, nice to see you post, feel better!! Sheryl

  2. @Drldeboer: My sympathy and empathy. Went through that passage three years ago.

    Joe, you may pass my contact info to Donna if she’d like.

  3. More books.. Ughh. I will never be able to keep up. Oh and did i ever tell you your sense of humor is awesome. Oh and can us fans have some more pics of guns and characters and uniforms off set. Those rocked. Also don’t you find it funny Sci fi( oh pardon my language….. Syfy) asks you to be the no1 source of info for sgu and then they don’t let you post pics. Wow!?! Oh and can you post some more doggy pics please

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  4. Romance in the SGA movie??! Wot? Todd and Sheppard finally getting a room? 😉

    Anyhoo…thanks much for the Wraithy answer. So…if these masked soldiers aren’t the brightest chevrons on the stargate, could they be an acceptable alternative food source, since Wraith have been known to feed on their own kind anyway?? And with being so long-lived, wouldn’t a soldier supply a Wraith with an abundance of life-force, perhaps allowing them to go for longer periods of time between feeds?

    Have a good evening, sir. 🙂


  5. Maybe in the movie…a big Teyla-Kanaan/McKay-Keller Weddding! Who’s with me?!!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!

    Do it! Doooo eeeeet! I would be in hysterics, of laughter that is, I’m not generally prone to hair pulling and clothe rendering.

    If the movie doesn’t end up them all getting married (don’t forget Ronon/Amelia, John/Sockpuppet on Right Hand), while Hive ships blow up in the distance showering them with fireworks, I’ll be bitterly disappointed. Caldwell can preceed over the ceremony, Radek can be the caterer, and Lorne can trundle up the aisle bearing the rings. Then the Replicators can beam down and lead the drunken robot dancing at the reception.

    Who but someone with a heart of stone could not love this?!

  6. To Drldeboer:

    You will never get over your feelings. You will learn to live with them. It’s not a bad thing, since it is a way to remember someone you loved very much. My condolences.

    To Joe:

    Watching Vegas again (on Superchannel) Sheppard had some 6’s and a 7 in his hand, I believe, with more of the same on the table. I know very little about poker. Was that a good hand or not?


  7. You say there will be a little romance, but will there also be friendship? A bit of bonding between colleagues here and there? That’s what I’d love to see. 🙂

  8. Mr. M I see you are still baby sitting Brie…does he harrass the other dogs???I saw the pic on twitter he is a handsom one….

  9. attentionhog

    Seems little Miss Lulu is getting jealous.

    Also, can we expect more spoilers from the pups on the SGA movie?

    And who did post “stargateeggstinction”? You never said. Or do you not know?

    My condolences to Drldeboer. Cancer is long past the time it needed to be eradicated. Hopefully it will be soon so no one else has to go through this kind of loss.

  10. Arctic Goddess: He had a full house. It’s a good hand. My guess is the Wraith gave him the whammy to make him toss in his cards . . . OR . . . he simply figured “eh” and threw the hand.

  11. To Drldeboer: my deepest sympathies. No matter how prepared we think we are to the loss of a loved one, the pain is no less.

    Onto the book review. Mr. M. you have a different cover than my edition of Land of Laughs. I was treated to a grinning bull terrier with a creepy kite attached staring at me. Not exactly creepy, but…disquieting.
    The first person narrative in not my favorite literary convention, but it works effectively here. Through Thomas Abbey’s eyes, we are introduced to the wonderful creations of Marshall France. Given his less than idyllic childhood, Thomas’ obsession with the author rings true. As the story unfolds and he sets off on his search for the history of his idol, events flow with torpid speed of a hand-pushed railcar.
    What we as readers don’t realize is that railcar is on a gentle slope, and its gradual increase in speed goes almost unnoticed until near the end. Thomas works his way to Galen Missouri, picking up a confederate and a lover as he does so. One of the many strengths of this book is how true the relationships feel. There is no sense of the characters rushing into improbable relationships. There is no “uberromance” with the characters finding their one true loves. The characters, especially Saxony and thomas, reveal very human flaws, foibles, and strengths as they deal with one another and the quest they are on.
    By midway through the book my interest was fully engaged. What was the secret of Galen, and of its most famous native son? At first the town seems nice enough, with the kinds of mildly eccentric residents that are almost stereotypically small townish. There is the unsettling incident of the child already mentioned. what is the big secret?
    Possibly my favorite character is Anna. The puppet master of the book, she is the one character possessing all the information that makes sense out of the increasingly bizarre things that begin to happen. Her seduction of the protagonist is pulled off startlingly well by the author, as is the awkward and conflicted reactions of Thomas.
    The last fifty or so pages fly on by, as masks begin to come off and final truths are revealed. It doesn’t take much to realize something aweful is going to happen, yet when it does it is still a shock.
    The final pages bring the whole story to a satisfying end. It stops at a logical place, but leaves me wanting more. Now that Thomas has discovered what he is capable of, will he attempt to wield that power? Will those he saved continue to be a threat, or will they be content to go on their own way?
    I found the analogy to the popcorn to be very apt. Except that when you’re punched, the fist that struck you leaves little barbs in your skin. There are a LOT of philisophical and religious issues embedded in this tale. From free will to what is a man to power and corruption, the author leaves the reader with a slew of things to consider. I’ve found I’m still finding new considerations coming to mind well after I’ve read the book. And all done so well I wasn’t even aware of how complex a story this really was. Kudos to Mr. Carroll for a job VERY well done.
    I managed to get the review in and I’ll see if I can get some questions up by tomorrow night if that’s ok.

  12. @drldeboer

    You have my deepest sympathies. I just lost my mother last month and I know what you’re going through. Take care.


  13. @Joe and Everyone, Thanks so very much for your condolences. My mom was also a huge sci-fi fan, and was the one who got me hooked as a kid. I’m glad to be here in the company of so many people who love it as much as she did, and I do.

    I hadn’t a chance to read this months books but I do have Elric in hand for that discussion and am hugely looking fwd to Mr Moorcock’s Q&A. I’m quite intimidated by what I might ask him, I’ve been such an enormous admirer of his work and tastes its hard to think of something… simple.

    @Anne Teldy thinking of ya, feel better
    DD (Donna)

  14. Hey Joe,

    Not sure if I missed it, but have you seen Star Trek yet? If so, did you like it? If not, any plans to see it?

    Also, with your dogs on TwitPic, I decided to put up some pictures of our little one:

  15. ” Maybe in the movie…a big Teyla-Kanaan/McKay-Keller Weddding! Who’s with me?!!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!”

    ONLY if Kavanaugh wears some Pegasus “traditional” outfit in PINK while being in charge of The Guest Book AND later catches the Bouquet!! OH, *AND*, while “plastered” Ronon & Todd play several rounds of “Hangman” IN said Guest Book!

    Better yet, nix the whole wedding thing, but have a scene with Teyla and Keller leaving “Girls’ Chick Flick Night” discussing the pros and cons of “RUNAWAY BRIDE”… just as Shep and McKay pass them in a corridor… [closeup on Rodney’s neurons-sparking-deer-in-the-headlights expression and John’s single-raised brow/evil plans to one up Kanaan look…]

  16. Since we haven’t seen much of SGU in terms of footage other than the trailers, this question may be way off base. Anyway:

    You have repeteadly hinted at the fact that SGU has a more “real” vibe to it, particularly in the way it is shot. Since the SGA and SG1 movies will go into production well after most, if not all, of SGU’s 1st season is shot this begs the question if SGU will cause any stylistical changes on the other StarGate projects down the line. Short version of that question: Will the SGA and SG1 movie look like the SG we know, or more like the SGU we will come to love?

    How is the writing staff liking the more character based approach? Personally I’d venture the guess that it is “easier” to have stories inspire other stories based on character developments rather than having to come up with a “alien X is totally going to kick our ass untill we turn it around last minute” stories of the week. Am I right in assuming that this kind of fatigue was reason why the writers (yourself included) wanted to shake it up up a bit?

  17. My condolences to drldeboer – I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Dovil, I’d like to add a hearty ‘hell, yes!’ to your suggestions – although I’d like to add in a request for a little Woolsey/Todd slowdance. And Ronon can catch the bouquet, setting up the next film for the fantabulous Ronon/Amelia wedding. Whaddya think, Joe? Maybe Chuck could be the wedding planner? I bet that boy knows his colour schemes.

  18. Hey Joe. Can I recommend a book for your BOTMclub. It’s not SF but it is supposed to be very good. And i have to read it for english so i would like your opinion on it; it is called Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan.(If you could ever find the time in your ever so tight schedule.)

  19. I read the all of the first law series; and the old man’s war book. you owe me, atleast a suggestion. Good books btw; really enjoyed reading them

  20. @Drldeboer: My heartfelt condolences. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

  21. @Drldeboer: I’d like to add my condolences to those of everyone else who has extended them. I sincerely hope that you and your family and close friends will be able to comfort each other and work through your loss as well as can be.

    @Anne Teldy: I’ve thought of you often, and realize it’s been a long time since I said how much I hope you get better and even fully overcome your health issues — and for you to be aided by inner strength in getting through each day.

    @dovil: Your whole post put a huge smile on my face. I’m still laughing. 😀 You’re one of the funniest people I’ve ever encountered (“gifted humorist” sounds so stilted, but it’s true) on the ‘net or anywhere else. — That scenario you’ve given, oh man, that is hysterical!!! “John/Sockpuppet” had me wiping tears from my eyes.

    @Joe: “Teyla has yet to make an honest man of Kanaan.” That was inspired. Thanks for the switch and the resulting grin. – I wish I could watch a vid of all the writer-producers spoofing the material, since I know I’d be laughing so hard I’d be crying (even though hubs finds that a bit disturbing) and for at least a week would probably wake myself up from laughing in my dreams. Truly.

    Your review of Carroll’s book intrigues me, so I’ll look forward to reading everyone’s comments and, I hope, reading the book myself at some point.

  22. Comments on The Land of Laughs

    I definitely have mixed feelings about this one. I equate it to the feeling I had after finishing A Handmaid’s Tale. I’m not sure if I like it or not. It is one of those books that takes awhile to settle in your head, especially the ending. There were definitely parts that I liked a lot, parts that where unsettling and parts that I found wanting.

    My favorite part of the book was the way the author introduced us to Marshall France. The slow building introduction of the character was interesting. I think it was the parallel development of the plot and the characters that caught me. The bits of biographical data we were shown drove the story for me much more than the actions of the main characters.

    On that vein, I didn’t really connect to any of the main characters in this book Thomas was whiny, Saxony was wishy-washy, Anna was kinda skanky. I wanted to like them. I really tried, but like the whole book I couldn’t settle into the characters enough to envelop their point of view. I liked Nails a lot, but that is probably because I am a giant sucker for talking animals.

    You know what I wanted but never got. I wanted little bits of Marshall’s books maybe as a C plot. They sounded pretty cool and I might have fleshed out the plot a bit more. Added a bit more depth to the overall story, letting us see the town’s characters in the same light as France saw them.

    I can’t say that the ending surprised me much. It seemed to me that the man to re-create Marshall France must also have the power of creation. I like the fact that he recreated his super famous absentee father. It’s kind of apropos that the man who essentially stole his hope of having his own life would inevitably save it. I wondered for awhile why Thomas did not just un-write the entire town of Galen instead of running away to Europe to be hunted down. I eventually concluded that he needed Saxony to affect France’s world. They were two halves to that creative whole, but his father existed separately from Saxony therefore he could recreate his father without her help.

    Like I said, I’m pretty sure that I really like this book, but I think I need a little more time to decide.

    Questions for Jonathan Carroll:

    1)Why did Thomas not destroy the people of Galen after they killed Saxony? Did he need Saxony to affect France’s creation?

    2)Did you know the contents of Marshall France’s books as you were writing the story or were they just some nebulous idea of children’s novels?

    Thank you for an interesting story and answering our questions.

  23. @Drldeboer: I’m very sorry to hear that. 🙁 My condolences.


    “Maybe in the movie…a big Teyla-Kanaan/McKay-Keller Weddding! Who’s with me?!!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!”

    Could that be?! Okay, I think I’ve figured out the *real* plot of the Stargate Extinction now.

    — On the Earth the massive wedding – Teyla and Kanaan, McKay and Keller, Ronon and Amelia, Radek and Lorne (it *can* be in California after all) . . mhm, who else … Sheppard and heated up Elizabeth the Replicator , Woolsey and his Work … Chuck as the best man ..

    In the meantime, Todd runs away from his prison and hooks up with the furious Band of Shippers. They steal the Daedalus and when colonel Caldwell on Earth says “speak now or forever keep ur silence …” Todd (hurt by Shep’s betrayal) and his bunch of shippers throw a ZPM powered bomb on Earth.
    Earth no more.
    Final shot on heartbroken Todd, sitting in the captain’s chair on Daedalus, fiddling with one Shep’s wrist band he stolen from him. “Solitary Man” playing in the background.

    *after the credits*

    The Shippers have a ‘what-have-we-done’ moment and start to write a new shipper fanfic immediately.

    The Milky Way explodes right away.


    Close? Not close?

  24. Please Joe, no McKeller romance and promise me you will do something with Kanaan like… kill him. Sorry, but the character has no chemistry with Teyla. Ok, if you can’t do that can you turn him back to a bug.

  25. Michelle writes: “ So will there be romance at all in the movie? You don’t have to say between whom. We’ll all make ridiculous assumptions and outrageous demands anyway. Eg, please no McKeller! hee hee”

    Answer: Well, now that you mention it, some romance, yes.

    Cool, but will it be icky-romance or hello!!?

    To clarify and I’m sorry to say Joe but I define icky-romance as the balcony scene at the end of EatG with Rodney and Jennifer. I define hello!! as Shep’s hallucination of dinner with Teyla from Search & Rescue. Oh I just thought of something, there’s not a wedding is there? Hmmm..maybe you can’t say.

    Cheers, Chev

  26. LOL! Sorry I missed the rest where you asked for support for the double wedding. In your dreams buddy!

    Maybe Kanaan can run off with Jennifer. That would shock everyone.

    Cheers, Chev

  27. I totally agree with on the your view of “The Land of Laughs” The idea the “story takes a turn into Twilight Zone-terrain” is spot on! I admit I didn’t see that turn happening (duh!) and the whole idea that “God” preplaned what was going on-sure. Might as well said “he” did that for the entire world. Overall Thomas was a great character in any fact.

    As for a bit on SGA : “Maybe in the movie…a big Teyla-Kanaan/McKay-Keller Weddding! Who’s with me?!!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!”

    Love the sarcasm. 😉

  28. I’ve read quite a few of Jonathan Carroll’s books, and I always return to the most cliched question any writer can possibly receive: Where do you get your ideas? But maybe, for “The Land of Laughs,” he could answer the question if I make it more specific: How did you come to bring together so many bizarre, disparate concepts to create this charming, whimsical, and offbeat story?

  29. DasNdanger: Ick, how would a wraith/human match work?

    Drldeboer: Even when a death is expected, you learn to live with it but you never get over it. You sound a lot further a long than myself. My sympathies go your way.

    I’m getting into the Elric novel. It is amazying to me that this book was written so long ago! Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis really blazed the trail. Now I can add Moorcock to this list of pioneers. Thanks Mr. M. for this recommendation.


  30. Hi Joe,
    Long time lurker (really! truly!) first time poster…

    Why does there need to be romance in the SGA movie at all? Isn’t this a sci-fi adventure series? You know, action, drama, tension, hijinks, all awesome – but kissing and cooing? Yeah, no thanks. (Especially if it’s McKeller – seeing as they have the chemistry of a cold, wet, moldy dish rag. IMHO, of course.)

    I just want an awesome TEAM movie!
    All the best,


  31. Coucou Joseph =) vous allez bien?
    Ce livre doit être sympas, j’aime beaucoup la couverture!

    Ahhh s’il y’a bien quelque chose que je détéste dans sga c’est Kanan, il sert vraiment à rien et il est arriver dans l’histoire comme un cheveux sur la soupe. Je préfére encore qu’il n’y ai pas de film de sga que de voir Kanan et Teyla ce marier ..eurkk l’horreur (et beaucoup de personne pense comme moi^^)

    Passez une bonen journée!!!
    A bientôt!

  32. @ Tammy Dixon – I’d like to think that a Wraith/human relationship would be all about sucking life, and regurgitating it back as a ‘gift’…mainly because I’m sick of everything being about sex. This one diddles that one, that one diddles this one…as if it hasn’t been going on since the dawn of time, yet we treat it like it’s some new activity we’ve just discovered! 🙄 There are other ways an individual can make another feel good. I say this as someone who believes nothing – I say, NOTHING – in the world feels as wonderful as a GOOD BACK SCRATCHIN”!!!!!



    Well…okay. Maybe a good foot massage does. Let’s call it a tie. 😀

    As far as Moorcock goes – I think he’s far more complicated than the other authors you’ve mentioned. His ‘multiverse’ is mind-boggling…I’m still trying to get my head around the Champions and their connection to one another – are they all the same man, reincarnated throughout time, or are they many men who are just aspects – like personality traits – of the Eternal Champion. Even Moorcock won’t give me a straight answer on that one! 😆

    But from what I’ve read, Elric is my personal favorite for his angsty self-destructive nature, amongst other things. The hair helps, too. 😉


  33. I REALLY like Chevron7’s suggestion that Kanaan and Keller run away together – maybe they could get married in Vegas?
    Hope this isn’t getting on your nerves yet or being too mean, it’s kind of fun to read people’s suggestions. 🙂
    Seriously, though, the McKeller and Teyla/Kanaan pairings upset so many established SGA shipper contingents that you’d make quite a few people very, very happy!

  34. Teyla-Kanaan/McKay-Keller wedding WOOHOO (looks around and notices no one else is excited…)

    How about you just pitch another movie and call it Stargate: Bridezilla (or in honor of the replicators Bridecator) – we could have a huge wedding with Teyla-Kanaan, McKay-Keller, Daniel-Vala, Jack-Sam AND then you could switch halfway through to an alternate universe where Teyla-Sheppard get married and Keller ditches McKay for Zelenka while Daniel and Jack run off to Iowa… too complicated??)

    The previous question about Weir left me wondering – do you think the robot Weir is awake while floating through space or did she shut down? Do you think it’s possible that in 10000000 years or so, some alien race could accidentally wake them up and then we’d have another Replicator problem on our hands (which might be a good plot for say for your 50th Stargate spin-off??)?

    (And in all my poking fun, I am a huge SG fan and look forward to Universe and the two movies – the latter partly because of RDA and Bob Picardo.)

  35. @Drldeboer Sorry to hear the bad news, it must be really hard on you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


    1. Will the midseason 2 parter be between Justice and Space, or Space and Divided?

    2. If you get a quick moment, could you ask Carl the exact date of MGM’s 85th B-day please?

    3. Will Andy be Directing Space?

    4. Heres the link to the video So what do you think? (We actually did this back in november, so it was like the second video we ever made).

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  36. Glad to see love for “The Land of Laughs.” I also highty recommend Carroll’s “Voice of our Shadows” for creepiness. I did not enjoy (nor finish) Carroll’s “Bones of the Moon.”

    Two other writers remind me of Carroll’s ‘flavor’. William Browning Spencer’s “Resume with Monsters” and “Zod Wallop” are extraordinary. His short story collection “The Return of Count Electric” has several stories that may be better for the time-pressed.

    Sean Stewart’s “Galveston” hit a darker tone than Carroll, but also sits in the magical-realism category. Gavelston won either the Stoker or World Fantasy award. I also dug Stewarts “Resurrection Man.”

    – Mike (First time poster and recent reader that has put this blog on my list to check several times per week)

  37. Just because Kanaan is a house husband doesn’t mean he’s not a viable breadwinner. He brews delicious teas, chops copious amounts of wood and is a skilled hunter. His cured boar meat and aged leathers are sought after throughout many worlds. And he never misses playdate at Gymboree.

  38. I must be one of the very few fans that don’t want to see any romance in the either of the films. Give me lots of team and I will be a very happy camper.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind all the ships in SG-1 and Atlantis, it’s just that you don’t have to give us Canon romance. I always liked it more when shows just hinted at it rather then showed it. Maybe that’s just me?

    But the episodes I liked the most and the ones I will always remember is the ones that focused on the team, and their strong bonds. In both SG-1 and Atlantis.

    That is what I hope will be in both films. I will actually be very dissepointed if I see a Jack/Sam and/or McKay/Keller wedding. I want too see an action sci fi Stargate film, not a romantic romcom. If I want that I’ll rent “While you were sleeping” or something like that.

  39. If I could have a Stargate movie written the way I like it, it would have:
    1. Lots of Team moments
    2. Lots of action/adventure
    3. No outright romance, just UST and hints
    4. Fair number of supporting character moments
    This goes for both series.

  40. Dear Joe,

    Answer: “As stated above, they’re not married (yet?). She was holding off in the hopes that something better would come along. Like, say, someone capable of holding down a steady job.”

    Well, hopefully she doesn’t settle for a part-time invisible babysitter who is afraid of saving her and her child. lol. How about a full time hero that occationally saves her life and is so busy working that he doesn’t have time to get his hair to stay down? lol Please don’t think I’m insulting teh hair… I love it that way. 😀
    I also want to say thank you for answering me question yesterday.

  41. Okay you can hate me if you want but I just can’t get behind a McKay/Keller anything. Let alone a wedding! I’d love to see a Teyla/Kanaan wedding though!

  42. @DasNdanger: I’m with you and Miz about too much romance in a show. However, I would have to disagree with das on the backscratchin.


  43. Oh, just finished Chapter 1 of Land of Laughs, now I know what I’ll be doing this evening. Too bad grass, I won’t be cutting you…unless I can find away to read and push the reel mower at the same time. I feel 16 again just thinking such a thing.

  44. Me revoila, en ce moment il n’y a plus de new de stargate, c’est déprimant =(…vous pouvez pas nous révéler une bonne petite new sur sgu?? Please….

  45. Hey Joe,

    So THAT explains what happened to my shoe. For a moment I thought you’d turned it into a gummy mass. Or maybe you did and Lulu’s an easy scapegoat.

    Everyone else has been asking *interesting* questions about the SGA movie. And by interesting I mean some that are hilarious.

    I finally have an honest question about the SGA movie:

    Will we get to see some gang action of the Scooby-Doo persuasion? I loved the show “Buffy” because of the Scoobies. Why I loved Scooby-Doo as a kid was because of the Scoobies. My mom introduced me to SG-1. Again: SCOOBIES-goodness! I was uber excited about SGA and again was treated with more SCOOBIES! So… are we going to have that lovely group interaction in the movie? I think some of the best epis are Scooby ones.

    And yes, if anyone’s interested I actually did have a Great Dane named Scooby when I was a child. She was blue though, not brown with big black spots. Also she didn’t speak English.

    @Anne Teldy: I hope you feel better. ((((hugs)))) from me to you.

    Also: Anyone else wanting to vote for Jelly, Maximus, Bubba and Lulu for Mr. Twitter Universe can click on the linky:

    You can vote once every 20 minutes.

    @Nadine: It should be illegal for a puppy to be that cute. Oh my LORD but I want to hug her and kiss her and love her forever!!! I’ll do you a favor and NOT show her pics to my sister Jessie. She is liable to find out where you live and steal your gorgeous girl away from you. In other words: Awwww! She’s SOOOOOOO cuuuuuuuuute!!!! 😀 You gave her the perfect name. She is a beauty.


  46. Hey Joe,

    Considering SG-U is going to open with a 3 parter (Air), Does this mean some of us are going to have to dig up our straightjackets to record the 1st 2 parts somewhen in October and NOT watch them untill the 3rd part airs a week later just to get the full experience?

    Or is the 3rd part of Air not as mind-blowing as the 1st 2 parts?

  47. @ Trish: Thank you so much! It’s always nice to know that you’re not just biased about how cute your own pets are. LOL. Funny thing is we thought we were being so original calling her “Bella” and we’ve met several more English Bulldogs named Bella. 😛

    Did you check out any of the other pics?

  48. Drldeboer, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with everone in your family.

    Anne Teldy, I hope you ge better soon.

  49. @drldeboer, Sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  50. @ Tammy Dixon – Obviously, you haven’t had the right people scratch your back… *wriggles eyebrows*


  51. @drldeboer – sorry to hear of your loss. Just remember that your Mothers love will always be a part of your life.

    Hi Joe – Heres a suggestion for you. How about a “Rocky Horror” type production for an Atlantis film/musical or
    whatever. The material could come from the people who write to your blog – hilarious!

  52. @Nadine: I saw three picks of Bella. I mean, how could I stop at one? And how on earth can you put her in a crate? LOL!! I am all about crates. But it’s been a long while since we’ve had a little puppy. Ziggy was Godzilla sized when we rescued him. Even though he was maybe 6 months old. He’s a pretty boy. But not charming enough to keep himself out of the crate. 😆 And no. You’re not biased. I’ll be the judge of all things adorable. And she’s adorable. 😀

    @das: Wow! And I thought I got into trouble with you all on my own. I am now blaming you for the infamous *pantRies* incident. 😈 Just kidding. Actually, I have to agree.. back scratching can lead to other things. 😉

  53. Joe you always talk about how great the actors/crew are to work with. Would you say working on the show made the people so great, or that the people working on the show made it great?

    Is it too much to ask for a zombies story in SGU? I love zombies, well not love as in procreate love, which would be weird, but love as in enjoy watching them chase people around and hopefully eat their flesh.

  54. @JoanieC: I so love that idea! You have no clue how awesome that sounds to me!

    Can I vote that It’s Ronon in fishnets? Oh pretty please???!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

  55. @ Trish
    We knew that we needed her crate trained so that we could put her in when we go to school/work. She didn’t like it at first, but now she’ll actually go in there on her own on a weekday.
    She’s pretty good now with not having accidents in the house, but she wasn’t always; we could probably leave her on her own during the day, but my parents want her to stay crate trained.

    What kind of dog is your Ziggy? (great name btw). Shall I upload more pics? We’ve quite literally got hundreds. Drives my dad crazy ’cause he’ll plug in his camera and find a ton of pics of the dog 😀

  56. @Nadine: Very adorable. My Maddie (golden retriever) will be 2 years old on Friday. I plan to post a Twitpic there on Friday. I’m now following you on Twitter.

  57. @Nadine: We rescued Ziggy from the Great Pyrenees rescue near us. His name was Ziggy so I can’t take the credit for it. Although we thought it suited him and didn’t want him having to go through more changes than he already had in his life. He weighs about 100 pounds now. And he just turned one about two months ago.

    @PBMom: You can vote for Joe’s dogs, too! I put them on the twitterwall. Go to:
    I entered them in the Ms. Twitterworld by accident. But it’s appropriate since two of the dogs are females. So I’m having fun bumping them up the ranks! Oops… time to vote again! The dogs made it to the bottom of the first page.

  58. Hi Joe,
    Long time SG fan here- sad to see SG1 & Atlantis go.

    1. When will we ever know a DEFINITE answer to the question that’s been with us for the entire span of SGA? (see below)
    2. Will John ever open up about how he feels for Teyla? And vise versa?
    It’s obvious from the very beginning there’s something greater than a friendship between them- but Canoe (as many fans have named Kanaan) appearing to explain the pregnancy really squished all hope something would happen between them.

    3. How much of a role will Kanaan have in the SGA movie? More or less than in S5? (I think we only saw him a handful of times)

    Thanks for reading my post- & I hope to read a response from you.

  59. I tried to go to the Twitterverse thing. It won’t take the Twitter name and then I tried to do a search on the existing wall and that doesn’t work.

  60. @PBMom: the dogs are around 26 votes right now and on page one. If you scroll down you should be able to see their icon. For the Ms. Twitter World they are at 12 votes and on page three. Try that. 🙂

  61. @Trish

    MGM said there would be a few stargate suprises (probably the thing Mr. M and Brian were talking about) So I was just wondering when exactly it would happen (Its been a month and a half since we saw any visual updates on SGU).

  62. Donna,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my father in February to brain cancer and I can truly understand your pain. Sending virtual hugs your way {{{{}}}}.


  63. @drldeboer: I’m very sorry for your loss. I lost my father 18 years ago to brain cancer and although I’m glad he was finally at peace and free of suffering, I still miss him even now. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Now to the book. I loved Land of Laughs and like Joe, found it hard to put down. In fact, I think I mentioned that here on the blog after I had stayed up waaaay too late one night reading it and spent a very groggy day at work.

    The characters, especially Thomas, drew me into the story. It wasn’t that he was especially charming or endearing, but he was interesting and very, for lack of a better term, real. Saxony was more of an enigma and I found her quirkiness interesting, but I think that if I met her, I would have a low tolerance for her neediness. I wasn’t sure at first whether she was a good guy or a bad guy. She almost seemed to know too much about France and until they actually got to Galen, I wondered if she might be France’s daughter, Anna. Then the seductive and manipulative Anna appeared and proved to be the antithesis of the rather mousy Saxony. However, neither of them could cook. Poor Thomas.

    I agree with Thornyrose, and since she summarized it so beautifully, I’m not going to repeat it here.

    I think my favorite subplot was that of Thomas and his relationship with his late father. And I love the way that worked out in the end. That final scene took me completely by surprise, though, in looking back I could see all of the bits of foreshadowing that had set it up. And it wasn’t until I was typing this that I understood why Thomas was able to use his power solo at the end, when in Galen he needed Saxony there with him to do it: the obsession with France was a joint venture for Thomas and Saxony. But Thomas needed no one else when it came to writing about his father. It was interesting that Thomas collected masks. It think it was another of his reluctant connections to his actor father. I hadn’t really picked up on the fact that both of Thomas’ lovers were puppeteers of one sort or another until you mentioned it, Joe. At least, both collected puppets; the difference was that for Anna, the puppets were living beings.

    I loved the book. It was eerie, but the eeriness crept up on me slowly and insidiously. And in a good way. If the tale had ended differently, I think I would feel as ambivalent about it as antisocialbutterfly, but the ending really made me smile. But, I couldn’t help wondering if Thomas had made any improvements in his resurrected “father.”

    By the way, I’ve always found the blank, expressionless faces of bull terriers a little unnerving.

    Questions for the author:

    1. Was there a special reason that you chose to make France the writer of children’s books?

    2. Why bull terriers?

    3. I think that Thomas needed Saxony when he was bringing France back to Galen because the obsession and research was a joint venture, but did not need her to bring his father to Europe in the end since it was all Thomas’ (and his mother’s) personal knowledge so he was able to do it himself. Do I have it right or am I totally mistaken in this? If so, where did I go wrong?

    4. I know that you have written a lot of other books; do Thomas Abbey and Marshall France have any encore performances?

  64. My God!!! Teyla not with Kannan. John and Teyla very good. Por favor , eles tem que se declarar um para o outro; por que Teyla não pode ser a nova lider de Atlantis? Ela é inteligente, conhece bem Pegasu, quando ela tivesse que sair com a equipe ela saberia se defender mesmo sendo lider . Rodey e Daniel poderiam ensinar sobre os antigos para ela. Atlantida pertence a Pegasus, ela é mais util lá do que aqui na terra.Um grande abraço e muito obrigada,espero sinceramente que alguem entenda português do Brasil. PS: Talves Kannan queira continuar com a ideia de Michael, sobre uma raça superior,que sejam hibridos mais fortes. Teyla vai odiar; que tal o Todd ser um cientista que sabe das experiencias feitas com os ancestrais de Teyla?

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