What not to read when

When pushed back in your narrow seat by the necessary acceleration, having listened to the attendant describe the location of the emergency exits and the lifejacket, trying not to look out the window while the world is at a 45 degree angle:

DO NOT READ Millennium by John Varley

Testimony of Louise Baltimore

The DC-10 never had a chance. It was a fine aircraft . . . But when you lose that much wing you’re no longer in a flying machine, you’re in an aluminum rock. That’s how the Ten came in: straight down and spiraling.

But the 747 . . . retained a surprising amount of structural integrity as it belly-flopped and rolled over . . . The proof of this could be seen in the state of the passengers; there were upwards of thirty bodies without a single limb detached. If it hadn’t caught fire, there might even have been some faces intact.

When sitting in the ophthalmologist’s waiting room, with widely dilated pupils, waiting for some extensive investigation of one’s left eye:

DO NOT READ Mindfield by William Deverell

“Do you know what the ancient masters teach?” Meyers said with his cheery smile. “Do you know what they say to do with greedy little loaths?”

Sloukos saw fireworks from the pressure on his eyeball.

“They teach that greedy men must be illuminated by bold action, forcing them to look inward.” With an expert tug of his thumb Meyers scooped out the eyeball, and blood gushed from the socket, the accountant’s face compacting into a little ball of pain.

At times other than those indicated above, these are both excellent reads.


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