Tuesday July 24th: Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Me Me Me

I guess I’ll start with the end. I forgot to give the key back at my last hostel. I really liked that place, it wasn’t the nicest as far as buildings and facilities, but it was a good place, fun people, roof top table.

It was crazy raining (I have video), which caused some train delays. It also turns out the train that goes to where I am now, only runs twice a day. Google has usually been quite reliable in Taiwan, today, not so much. It was also slower than Google had suggested.

The moment I realized I was going to be just slightly later than the 10PM cut off for arrivals at the hostel, I sent an email to them with my Kindle from the train station at 2:10PM. I didn’t hear back from them. Walked the slightly further than a kilometer or so carrying my 30kgs of luggage to find it dark, closed, and locked.

I might have been slightly irritated. I’m still not sure if I’m going to cancel my 3 other nights with them out of spite for their lack of professionalism. They had 8 hours to reply with a “Nope, we close at 10. Too bad.” That would have saved me time, as there were motels just outside the train station.

So here I am at a hotel down the block because I was exhausted, and after they gave me a lower price (only 3 times what the motel a km away costs) my will gave in. They then upgraded me to the large room for no extra cost, and there’s breakfast included.

On the bright side, I can mail the key back from the hotel. The bathroom in this room, is bigger than at least one of the hostel dorms I’ve stayed in. Seriously. I’m frustrated with my weak will, weak body, and the expense, but… that’s pretty neat. Also gorging myself on the included breakfast sounds good. Get my money’s worth.

Oh yes, my other disappointment for the day: Post-Human. It was on the first page of the Kindle Lending Library for science fiction. I didn’t want something long, but in hindsight, I should have grabbed the first book of The Mongoliad. Post-Human… for everything I complained about in The Hunger Games, it was mostly a frustration seeing a gem almost gleaming, a solid concept, and even some neat narrative tricks so that the reader might question their reaction to things.

Post-Human is just bad. Like, mediocre fan-fiction bad. It’s clear the author did no research for any of the science involved, and at one point gets some geography messed up having a character fly to San Francisco from Vancouver BC… passing through Oregon before Washington. It’s strewn with bad clich├ęs and very faint characters. The most memorable characterization is setting up the main character’s wife as a bitch so that we don’t feel sorry for her when the main character cheats on her and then humanity is killed a chapter later. I can’t believe I wasted my July rental on this.

I think the Amazon ratings for it may have been… shilled? The top review even claims it to be hard sci-fi. I can assure you, it is in fact, filled with magic. Seriously. While not using the word magic, there are “magnetic fields” that are magic. They require no fuel source and each person’s field generator can encapsulate and accelerate two people up to the speed of light, protecting them from pressure, gravity, inertia, projectiles, explosions, heat, all forms of radiation… Also they can be projected as arbitrarily sized and positioned fields (so that you can talk through them) and can be “fired” like a projectile, which will disable electronic devices and incapacitate a person. The explanation for that? They’re magnetic fields.

MAGNETS, HOW DO THEY WORK?

Don’t even get me started on the poor understanding of human intelligence, comparative evaluation there of, and neural interfacing of computers with the human mind (all it does is act like a smart phone while otherwise making the person “smarter”).

I’d add a link, but I really don’t want to encourage this, it already has a second book.

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