The Hydrogen Sonata Quotes

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The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture #10) The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks
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The Hydrogen Sonata Quotes Showing 1-30 of 42
“One should never mistake pattern for meaning.”
Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“One should never regret one's excesses, only one's failures of nerve.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“So basically you're sticking around to watch us all fuck up ?"
"Yes. It's one of life's few guaranteed constants.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“There was something comforting about having a vast hydrogen furnace burning millions of tons of material a second at the centre of a solar system. It was cheery.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Once one survives the trough that comes with the understanding that people are going to go on being stupid and cruel to each other no matter what, probably for ever – if one survives; many people choose suicide at this point instead – then one starts to take the attitude, Oh well, never mind.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“One should never mistake pattern … for meaning.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Thing about emergencies,” he said, sounding weary. “Rarely occur when they’d be convenient.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Oh, adjust yourself. You people have spent ten millennia playing at soldiers while becoming ever more dedicated civilians. We've spent the last thousand years trying hard to stay civilian while refining the legacy of a won galactic war.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“However, there is another reaction to the never-ending plethora of unoriginal idiocies that life throws up with such erratic reliability, besides horror and despair.” “What’s that?” “A kind of glee. Once one survives the trough that comes with the understanding that people are going to go on being stupid and cruel to each other no matter what, probably for ever – if one survives; many people choose suicide at this point instead – then one starts to take the attitude, Oh well, never mind. It would be far preferable if things were better, but they’re not, so let’s make the most of it. Let’s see what fresh fuckwittery the dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Happily, I am not human, Parinherm thought, and this is only a simulation.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“obsession is just what those too timorous to follow an idea through to its logical conclusion call determination.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“faith is belief without reason; we operate on reason and nothing but. I have zero faith in my crew, just absolute confidence.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Meaning is everywhere. There is always meaning. Or at least all things show a disturbing tendency to have meaning ascribed to them when intelligent creatures are present. It’s just that there’s no final Meaning, with a capital M. Though the illusion that there might be is comforting for a certain class of mind.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Sometimes what goes without saying is best said anyway.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“And in all of this, to what end?” “No end save itself: I pass the time to pass the time, and stay involved to stay involved.” “Yes, but why?” “Why not?”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Where do you keep your memories of love, past lovers?” QiRia looked at her. “In my head, of course.” He looked away. “There are not so many of those, anyway,” he said, voice a little quieter. “Loving becomes harder, the longer you live, and I have lived a very long time indeed.” He fixed his gaze on her again. “I’m sure it varies across species – some seem to do quite well with no idea of love at all – but you soon enough come to realise that love generally comes from a need within ourselves, and that the behaviour, the… expression of love is what is most important to us, not the identity, not the personality of the one who is loved.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Promises take many shapes, and the more … momentous they are, the more they might look like threats. All great promises are threats, I suppose, to the way things have been until that point, to some aspect of our lives, and we all suddenly become conservative, even though we want and need what the promise holds, and look forward to the promised change at the same time.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Thing about emergencies,” he said, sounding weary. “Rarely occur when they’d be convenient.” “May”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“The Sublime. The almost tangible, entirely believable, mathematically verifiable nirvana just a few right-angle turns away from dear boring old reality: a vast, infinite, better-than-virtual ultra-existence with no Off switch, to which species and civilizations had been hauling their sorry tired-with-it-all behinds off to since - the story went - the galaxy had still been in metaphorical knee socks.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“It seemed perverse to some, but for all their apparent militarism the Gzilt had remained peaceful over many millenia; it was the avowedly peaceful Culture that had , within living memory, taken part in an all-out galactic war against another civilisation.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Living either never has any point, or is always its own point; being a naturally cheery soul, I lean towards the latter.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“I have a whole regimental intelligence service that’s developed a fine line in rumour-mongering and story-placing over the last few years, and the ear of every media player you’ve courted so assiduously over the decades; they will ask the questions we’ve suggested, they will listen, and they will repeat what we tell them. The issue is whether people believe it.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Others reckoned that as long as the termination was instant, with no warning and therefore no chance that those about to be switched off could suffer, then it didn’t really matter. The wretches hadn’t existed, they’d been brought into existence for a specific, contributory purpose, and now they were nothing again; so what? Most people, though, were uncomfortable with such moral brusqueness, and took their responsibilities in the matter more seriously. They either avoided creating virtual populations of genuinely living beings in the first place, or only used sims at that sophistication and level of detail on a sustainable basis, knowing from the start that they would be leaving them running indefinitely, with no intention of turning the environment and its inhabitants off at any point. Whether these simulated beings were really really alive, and how justified it was to create entire populations of virtual creatures just for your own convenience under any circumstances, and whether or not – if/once you had done so – you were sort of duty-bound to be honest with your creations at some point and straight out tell them that they weren’t really real, and existed at the whim of another order of beings altogether – one with its metaphorical finger hovering over an Off switch capable of utterly and instantly obliterating their entire universe… well, these were all matters which by general and even relieved consent were best left to philosophers. As was the ever-vexing question, How do we know we’re not in a simulation? There”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“She'd asked him what it was like to be in there, doing nothing but then being woken up to speak to somebody you couldn't see. He'd said that it was like being woken from a deep and satisfying sleep, to be asked questions while you kept your eyes closed. He was quite happy. Sight was over-rated anyway.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“All these people seemed to do was talk! It supposed it was just what biologicals did. If you wanted to feel you were still somehow in control of a ship or a fleet or even your civilisation, talking amongst yourselves seemed to be the way you convinced yourself of it. Finally”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“Nice people who are beginning to live to a great age - as it were - react with such revulsion to the burgeoning horrors that confront them, they generally prefer suicide. It's only us slightly malevolent types who are able to survive that realisation and find a kind of pleasure - or at least satisfaction - in watching how the latest generation or most recently evolved species can re-discover and beat out afresh the paths to disaster, ignominy and shame we had naively assumed might have become hopelessly over-grown.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“In the dying days of the Gzilt civilisation, before its long-prepared-for elevation to something better and the celebrations to mark this momentous but joyful occasion, one of its last surviving ships encountered an alien vessel whose sole task was to deliver a very special party-goer to the festivities.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“I’m sure it varies across species – some seem to do quite well with no idea of love at all – but you soon enough come to realise that love generally comes from a need within ourselves, and that the behaviour, the … expression of love is what is most important to us, not the identity, not the personality of the one who is loved.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
tags: love
Warm, Considering likes to think it is very protective of me.” QiRia drank from his glass. “It is very protective of me. But certain sorts of protection, even care, can shade into a sort of desire for ownership. Certainly into a feeling that what is being protected is an earned exclusivity of access for the protector, not the privacy of the protected.” He looked across at her. His eyes were the colour of the sea, she remembered. Dark now. “Do you understand?”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata
“It is very protective of me. But certain sorts of protection, even care, can shade into a sort of desire for ownership. Certainly into a feeling that what is being protected is an earned exclusivity of access for the protector, not the privacy of the protected.”
Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

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