Thank You For Your Fucking Patience

There will be a delay of 90 minutes. We apologize for the delay. 

We have an update on the delay. We are experiencing technical difficulties. It is now three hours. Thank you for your patience.20140711_181020Can I have a water please?

There is no service until we reach cruising altitude. Thank you for flying Delta. 

Just a water.

We have begun our descent. Please replace all tray tables and put your seats in the upright position.

Is there any water? 20141130_073127We apologize, but we will not be able to land. We will go to our alternate destination, which is also our departure point. Please remain in your seat while the seatbelt light is illuminated..

Is it possible to have a water?20141130_073403

Please replace all tray tables and put your seats in the upright position. Anyone making connections should report to the gate agent. 

Connections? From where we left?

We will remain at the gate until we have clearance to return to our destination. We do apologize and thank you for flying Air Canada.

Is there any…?20141130_073401

The crew has exceeded the maximum shift hours permitted. We will have to debark here.

Is there…?

Any questions should be directed to the call center. However they will not be able to take your calls until the flight cancellation is processed.

How long…?

Thank you for flying People’s Express.20161031_004419


Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion”: WTF is with Sci-Fi?

Dan Simmons’ epic novel Hyperion is a Hugo Award winner, highly praised in the science fiction world and evidence of why I cannot read anymore of the genre. hyperionSci-fi should lend itself to dynamic narratives, to worlds beyond our repetitively predictable laws, but instead becomes mired in the same dreadful aspects: unimaginative writing, flat characters, ill-thought plot and unbelievably stupid words put together in the guise of world-building.

The second law of writing (after Keep It Simple Stupid) would have to be Never begin with “It was a dark and stormy night”. 20151003_070935_resizedAnd yet Simmons opens: Bruise black clouds silhouetted a forest of giant gymnosperms while stratocumulus towered nine kilometers high in the violent sky. Lightning rippled along the horizon. (3) 

Simmons’ protagonist, The Consul, is singularly bland: (He) turned and dropped into the cushions…nodded and absently raised the scotch to his lips…went to pour another scotch…went outside to lean on the railing…the only sentient being on an unnamed world. (4-6) Sentient? Really?20150301_141816The story jolts forward, Chaucerien style, with each of the seven characters debating whether to share their back-stories:

“Those in favor of telling our tales?”

“I wouldn’t miss this little farce for a month in the orgasm baths at Shote.”

“I think it’s stupid,” said Brawne Lamia.

“The ayes have it. Who wants to start?”

(It’s a shame that they agreed; otherwise Hyperion would have been 400 pages lighter.)

They arrive on the planet Hyperion where the innkeeper informs them: “No food. No wine. No ale.” (113) And yet…a page later: Somehow Leweski had managed to send up a tankard of beer and a basket of bread and cold beef. (114) foodTruth is, the comically bad narrative often acts as a relief against a backdrop of nonsensical babble: If the fleet did construct a farcaster in time and the Hegemony committed the total resources of FORCE to defending Hyperion, the Worldweb ran the terrible risk of suffering an Ouster attack….yeah, and on.