Mike > Mike's Quotes

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  • #1
    Neal Stephenson
    “Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”
    Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

  • #2
    Neal Stephenson
    “Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo---which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn't a stupendous badass was dead.”
    Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

  • #3
    Neal Stephenson
    “This "sir, yes sir" business, which would probably sound like horseshit to any civilian in his right mind, makes sense to Shaftoe and to the officers in a deep and important way. Like a lot of others, Shaftoe had trouble with military etiquette at first. He soaked up quite a bit of it growing up in a military family, but living the life was a different matter. Having now experienced all the phases of military existence except for the terminal ones (violent death, court-martial, retirement), he has come to understand the culture for what it is: a system of etiquette within which it becomes possible for groups of men to live together for years, travel to the ends of the earth, and do all kinds of incredibly weird shit without killing each other or completely losing their minds in the process. The extreme formality with which he addresses these officers carries an important subtext: your problem, sir, is deciding what you want me to do, and my problem, sir, is doing it. My gung-ho posture says that once you give the order I'm not going to bother you with any of the details--and your half of the bargain is you had better stay on your side of the line, sir, and not bother me with any of the chickenshit politics that you have to deal with for a living. The implied responsibility placed upon the officer's shoulders by the subordinate's unhesitating willingness to follow orders is a withering burden to any officer with half a brain, and Shaftoe has more than once seen seasoned noncoms reduce green lieutenants to quivering blobs simply by standing before them and agreeing, cheerfully, to carry out their orders.”
    Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

  • #4
    Neal Stephenson
    “But then, Cap'n Crunch in a flake form would be suicidal madness; it would last about as long, when immersed in milk, as snowflakes sifting down into a deep fryer. No, the cereal engineers at General Mills had to find a shape that would minimize surface area, and, as some sort of compromise between the sphere that is dictated by Euclidean geometry and whatever sunken treasure related shapes that the cereal aestheticians were probably clamoring for, they came up with this hard -to-pin-down striated pillow formation.”
    Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

  • #5
    Alan Moore
    “All we ever see of stars are their old photographs.”
    Alan Moore, Watchmen

  • #6
    Neil Gaiman
    “Hey," said Shadow. "Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are."
    The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.
    "Say 'Nevermore,'" said Shadow.
    "Fuck you," said the raven.”
    Neil Gaiman, American Gods

  • #7
    Neal Stephenson
    “There’s a bed, a little fold-out table, and cabinets made of actual wood. These in combination with the photographs of family and friends give it a cozy, domestic flavor which is, however, completely ruined by the framed picture of Adolf Hitler on the wall. Waterhouse finds this to be shockingly poor taste until he remembers it’s a German boat.”
    Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

  • #8
    Terry Pratchett
    “He'd noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination - but at the end of the day they'd settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato.”
    Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant

  • #9
    Stephen King
    “The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high... but no great thing was ever attained easily. A long tale, like a tall Tower, must be built a stone at a time.”
    Stephen King, The Dark Tower

  • #10
    Stephen King
    “All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. These are the rooms of ruin where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one...”
    Stephen King, The Dark Tower
    tags: dead

  • #11
    Terry Pratchett
    “There were a lot of things he could say. "Son of a bitch!" would have been a good one. Or he could say, "Welcome to civilization!" He could have said, "Laugh this one off!" He might have said, "Fetch!" But he didn’t, because if he had said any of those things then he’d have known that what he had just done was murder.”
    Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant

  • #12
    Neil Gaiman
    “The Priestess

    Her skin was pale, and her eyes were dark, and her hair was dyed black. She went on a daytime talk show and proclaimed herself a vampire queen. She showed the cameras her dentally crafted fangs, and brought on ex-lovers who, in various stages of embarrassment, admitted that she had drawn their blood, and that she drank it.

    "You can be seen in a mirror, though?" asked the talk show hostess. She was the richest woman in America, and had got that way by bringing the freaks and the hurt and the lost out in front of her cameras and showing their pain to the world.

    The studio audience laughed.

    The woman seemed slightly affronted. "Yes. Contrary to what people may think, vampires can be seen in mirrors and on television cameras."

    "Well, that's one thing you finally got right, honey," said the hostess of the daytime talk show. But she put her hand over her microphone as she said it, and it was never broadcast.”
    Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

  • #13
    Terry Pratchett
    “William: "I'm sure we can all pull together, sir."
    Vetinari: "Oh, I do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.”
    Terry Pratchett, The Truth

  • #14
    Terry Pratchett
    “Vimes, listening with his mouth open, wondered why the hell it was that dwarfs believed that they had no religion and no priests. Being a dwarf was a religion. People went into the dark for the good of the clan, and heard things, and were changed, and came back to tell…
    And then, fifty years ago, a dwarf tinkering in Ankh-Morpork had found that if you put a simple fine mesh over your lantern flame it'd burn blue in the presence of the gas but wouldn't explode. It was a discovery of immense value to the good of dwarfkind and, as so often happens with such discoveries, almost immediately led to a war.
    "And afterwards there were two kinds of dwarf," said Cheery sadly. "There's the Copperheads, who all use the lamp and the patent gas exploder, and the Schmaltzbergers, who stick to the old ways. Of course we're all dwarfs," she said, "but relations are strained.”
    Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant

  • #15
    Stephen King
    “Mister, we deal in lead.”
    Stephen King, Wolves of the Calla

  • #16
    Neal Stephenson
    “To condense fact from the vapor of nuance.”
    Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

  • #17
    Neal Stephenson
    “They say that in D.C., all the museums and the monuments have been concessioned out and turned into a tourist park that now generates about 10 percent of the Government's revenue.

    The Feds could run the concession themselves and probably keep more of the gross, but that's not the point. It's a philosophical thing. A back-to-basics thing. Government should govern. It's not in the entertainment industry, is it? Leave entertaining to Industry weirdos -- people who majored in tap dancing. Feds aren't like that. Feds are serious people. Poli-sci majors. Student council presidents. Debate club chairpersons. The kinds of people who have the grit to wear a dark wool suit and a tightly buttoned collar even when the temperature has greenhoused up to a hundred and ten degrees and the humidity is thick enough to stall a jumbo jet. The kinds of people who feel most at home on the dark side of a one-way mirror.”
    Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

  • #18
    Neal Stephenson
    “The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallow subcategory. He's got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night. His uniform is black as activated charcoal, filtering the very light out of the air. A bullet will bounce off its arachnofiber weave like a wren hitting a patio door, but excess perspiration wafts through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest. Where his body has bony extremities, the suit has sintered armorgel: feels like gritty jello, protects like a stack of telephone books.”
    Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

  • #19
    Neal Stephenson
    “It’s, like, one of them drug dealer boats,” Vic says, looking through his magic sight. “Five guys on it. Headed our way.” He fires another round. “Correction. Four guys on it.” Boom. “Correction, they’re not headed our way anymore.” Boom. A fireball erupts from the ocean two hundred feet away. “Correction. No boat.”
    Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

  • #20
    Neal Stephenson
    “Jack the sound barrier. Bring the noise.”
    Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

  • #21
    Bill Bryson
    “Tune your television to any channel it doesn't receive and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.”
    Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • #22
    Terry Pratchett
    “Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.”
    Terry Pratchett, Jingo

  • #23
    Terry Pratchett
    “Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.”
    Terry Pratchett, Jingo

  • #24
    Stephen King
    “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I aim with my eye.

    I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I shoot with my mind.

    I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
    I kill with my heart.”
    Stephen King, The Gunslinger

  • #25
    Ray Bradbury
    “That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.”
    Ray Bradbury

  • #26
    Terry Pratchett
    “It was Carrot who'd suggested to the Patrician that hardened criminals should be given the chance to 'serve the community' by redecorating the homes of the elderly, lending a new terror to old age and, given Ankh-Morpork's crime rate, leading to at least one old lady having her front room wallpapered so many times in six months that now she could only get in sideways.”
    Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

  • #27
    Terry Pratchett
    “Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.”
    Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

  • #28
    Terry Pratchett
    “Mister Teatime had a truly brilliant mind, but it was brilliant like a fractured mirror, all marvellous facets and rainbows but, ultimately, also something that was broken.”
    Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

  • #29
    Terry Pratchett
    “This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts...”
    Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

  • #30
    Neil Gaiman
    “He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn't occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.”
    Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere



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