"But since an investigator invariably has to do his work undercover, it means he has to have a real job that provides legitimate cover." "So you became"But since an investigator invariably has to do his work undercover, it means he has to have a real job that provides legitimate cover." "So you became a real librarian?" "I like the work." He put the pot down on the hot plate. "I believe in learning from history. And the profession provided convenient camouflage for my investigations, regardless of the location. Every Guild has a historical archive. It never ceases to amaze me how people are inclined to underestimate folks who work with books and manuscripts" (128)....more
Above the noise of the river and the occasional drip of water from the ceiling they could all hear, now, the steady slosh-slosh of another craft headiAbove the noise of the river and the occasional drip of water from the ceiling they could all hear, now, the steady slosh-slosh of another craft heading toward them. "Someone's following us!" hissed Magrat. Two pale flows appeared at the edge of the lamplight. Eventually they turned out to be the eyes of a small gray creature, vaguely froglike, paddling toward them on a log. It reached the boat. Long clammy fingers grabbed the side, and a lugubrious face rose level with Nanny Ogg's. "'ullo," it said. "It'sss my birthday." All three of them stared at it for a while. Then Granny Weatherwax picked up an oar and hit it firmly over the head. There was a splash, and a distant cursing. "Horrible little bugger," said Granny, as they rowed on. "Looked like a troublemaker to me." "Yeah," said Nanny Ogg. "It's the slimy ones you have to watch out for." "I wonder what he wanted?" said Magrat. (64)...more
"Belief is one of the most powerful organic forces in the multiverse. It may not be able to move mountains, exactly. But it can create someone who can"Belief is one of the most powerful organic forces in the multiverse. It may not be able to move mountains, exactly. But it can create someone who can" (120).
"There were the old favorites--the square dances, the reels, the whirling, intricate measures which, if the dancers had carried lights, would have traced out topological complexities beyond the reach of ordinary physics, and the sort of dances that lead perfectly sane people to shout out things like 'Do-si-do' and 'Och-aye!' without feeling massively ashamed for quite a long time" (329).
*Although not common on the Discworld there are, indeed, such things are anti-crimes, in accordance with the fundamental law that everything in the multiverse has an opposite. They are, obviously, rare. Merely giving someone something is not the opposite of robbery; to be an anti-crime, it has to be done in such a way as to cause outrage and/or humiliation to the victim. So there is breaking-and-decorating, proffering-with-embarrassment (as in most retirement presentations) and whitemailing (as in threatening to reveal to his enemies a mobster's secret donations, for example, to charity). Anti-crimes have never really caught on. (50)
*[Autocondimentor:] Someone who will put certainly salt and probably pepper on any meal you put in front of them whatever it is and regardless of how much it's got on it already and regardless of how it tastes. Behavioural psychiatrists working for fast-food outlets around the universe have saved billions of whatever the local currency is by noting the autocondimenting phenomenon and advising their employers to leave seasoning out in the first place. This is really true. (74)...more
"So, while the Dewey system has its fine points, when you're setting out to look something up in the multidimensional folds of L-space what you really"So, while the Dewey system has its fine points, when you're setting out to look something up in the multidimensional folds of L-space what you really need is a ball of string" (184).
"Books bend time and space. One reason the owners of those aforesaid little rambling, pokey secondhand bookshops always seem slightly unearthly is that many of them really are, having strayed into this world after taking a wrong turning in their own bookshops in worlds where it is considered commendable business practice to wear carpet slippers all the time and open your shop only when you feel like it. You stray into L-space at your peril. "Very senior librarians, however, once they have proved themselves worthy by performing some valiant act of librarianship, are accepted into a secret order and are taught the raw arts of survival beyond the Shelves We Know. The Librarian was highly skilled in all of them, but what he was attempting now wouldn't just get him thrown out of the Order but probably out of life itself. "All libraries everywhere are connected in L-space. All libraries. Everywhere. And the Librarian, navigating by booksign carved on shelves by past explorers, navigating by smell, navigating even by the siren whisperings of nostalgia, was heading purposely for one very special one. "There was one consolation. If he got it wrong, he'd never know it" (188-9).
"You have the effrontery to be squeamish, it thought at him. But we were dragons. We were supposed to be cruel, cunning, heartless, and terrible. But this much I can tell you, you ape,--the great face pressed even closer, so that Wonse was staring into the pitiless depths of his eyes--we never burned and tortured and ripped one another apart and called it morality" (253)....more