Monday, April 15, 2024

100 Beautiful Quotes By C. J. Cherryh

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1.“Ignorance killed the cat; curiosity was framed!”

2.“Trade isn’t about goods. Trade is about information. Goods sit in the warehouse until information moves them.”

3.“It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly.”

4.“Not advisable is spread thickly over this entire situation.”

5.“A year of ending and beginning, a year of loss and finding…and all of you were with me through the storm. I drink your health, your wealth, your fortune for long years to come, and I hope for many more days in which we can gather like this.”

6.“Intimidation needs response, bait needs biting. If you do neither, the attacker has nothing to build on.”

7.“Science fiction is a dialogue, a tennis match, in which the Idea is volleyed from one side of the net to the other. Ridiculous to say that someone ‘stole’ an idea: no, no, a thousand times no. The point is the volley, and how it’s carried, and what statement is made by the answering ‘statement.’ In other words — if Burroughs initiates a time-gate and says it works randomly, and then Norton has time gates confounded with the Perilous Seat, the Siege Perilous of the Round Table, and locates it in a bar on a rainy night — do you see both the humor and the volley in the tennis match?”

8.“Yes, aiji-ma.” “What is this agreement? You are most valuable when you argue, paidhi! Do not say yes to me!” “I shall most strenuously object when you are wrong, aiji-ma. You have been infallibly right at least this last hour.” “Ha.”

9.“Jane leaned back against the counter and stared at the ceiling. At the traditional location of God, no matter what the planet.”

10.“Remember, constantly, that when you talk about ‘tense of a subjunctive,’ you’re not talking about time. You’re slipping through degrees of reality.”

11.“But his political sense kept up a persistent itch that said: A, Given ignorance in the mix, stupidity was at least as common in politics as astute maneuvering; B, Crisis always drew insects; and, C, Inevitably the party trying to resolve a matter had to contend with the party most willing to exploit it.”

12.“Also, a foreign accent if at least intelligible can sound quite sexy.”

13.“Watch out for a man whose enemies keep disappearing.”

14.“Watch out for a man whose enemies keep disappearing.”

15.“Trouble didn’t just come in threes: it gathered passengers as it went, and crashed nastily into bystanders.”

16.“And she learned to do that, be very nice to people she knew quite well were the Enemy, and even like them sometimes: it didn’t mean you weren’t going to Get them, because they were bound to do something that would remind you what they were sooner or later.”

17.“I would suggest that you remember she is old because some of her enemies are dead.”

18.“But there was someone she knew who could speak with a special knowledge on the Cross-Lexcorp controversy. Someone she’d rather not deal with. Someone she’d as soon not see again as long as she lived. Her former fiancé. Lex. Lex Luthor. – Lois Lane”

19.“I’m not a person who stands still well. But the the earth is always in motion, and I like keeping up with it. I don’t want just to exist. I want to know. I want to see. I want to understand.”

20.“Poisoning us,” Bren said, faced with what was a truly attractive service, and with the servants still in the room, “is a process of inconveniently many steps, though conservative of the furniture. One believes we may just have breakfast this morning, nadiin-ji.”

21.“Honor to the earth,” the abbot said, “honor to the dead in the passing of the year; honor to the living, in the coming of the new. A Great Year passes tonight. A new one begins. Let the good that is old continue and let the rest perish….”

22.“One tribe moves out and one tribe stays. History broadens, and philosophy shifts, develops a rift, splits one population from the other . . . and a schism happens, minor or major. It’s the way humankind has always proliferated. We go over the next hill, live a few hundred years, change our languages to accommodate things we never saw before—and before we know it, our cousins think we have an accent. Or we think they have a strange attitude. And we don’t really understand our cousins any longer.”

23.“There was a certain wisdom in doing little, when one was obliged to act in ignorance.”

24.“Before is the only time you own, the only before you can trust is now, and you don’t even know how long before is.”

25.“Is that the end,” asked Melein, “of all the races and the civilizations, and the dreams of the world, to be able to leave a few stones buried beneath the sands, to tell the Dark that we were here?”

26.“What the visual media could not carry into living rooms, the general public could not long remain exercised about. Statistically, a majority of the electorate could not or did not read complicated issues; no pictures, no news; no news, no event; no great sympathy on the part of the public nor sustained interest from the media: safe politics for the Company.”

27.“What we individually deserve isn’t as much as what we collectively merit.”

28.“the necessity of getting up. He made it that far. Ended up with Banichi’s arm around him, Banichi standing on one leg. The dowager-aiji said something rude about young men falling at her feet, and go sit down, SHE was in command of the plane.”

29.“Myself, I love the woods. I love the wild places. Ask me where I’d go for a vacation and it invariably involves the open country. Ask me where I’d live, however, and it would always be in the center, in the beating heart of a city.”

30.“Belief… was its own magic-so long as it was carefully placed, often examined, like a bridge kept in careful repair.”

31.“Trust was a word you couldn’t translate. But the atevi had fourteen words for betrayal.”

32.“The world was so beautiful, and there was so much of it: he could gaze forever at the wonder of leaves and not see them all: could inhale the wind and not smell all its scents, hear the sounds of men and horses and not hear all the sounds of the woods, and taste the thousand flavors in stale water and still find it wonderful… because it was not the darkness.”

33.“Brains and sex fight each other to control your life, and thank God brains get a head start before sex comes along.”

34.“You know its shape, since you have it. Give it up, and be paid. Or don’t—and be paid, hani, be paid then too.”

35.“He had no wish to be killed by a bogle in which he resolutely did not believe.”

36.“Figure it. If there were two humans, there were two sides, and if both had a pulse, politics would be at work somewhere in the business.”

37.“It was a monumental achievement that the serpentine tc’a had once upon a time gotten the knnn to understand the concept of trade: so nowadays knnn simply contacted a station, rushed onto its methane-dock and deposited whatever they liked, grabbed whatever they wanted and left. This was an improvement over their former behavior, in which they simply looted and left.”

38.“Oh, man,’ Azdra’ik said. ‘This is what our eldest saw. This is what our legends say. Who could know, but us?”

39.“When it is necessary to survive, then one cannot be brave anymore.”

40.“Change, son of mine, should be applied like salt to a dish—best taste it, understand it, and then decide.” “Is”

41.“There is your best path, if you can get on it and direct it as best you can. The direction it may take yet is not in your power: but what sort of man walks that path, when you are a man, that you can decide.”

42.“Were the seeds of next things always there, in the circle of the year, and was that how the world worked its miracles?”

43.“Clark. Superman. She loved two men. It was extraordinary how alike and how different they were.-Lois Lane”

44.“He could be distracted, still, by beauty, by the wonder of a stroke of sunlight. Perhaps at such times he made himself open to wizardry-or conversely, was as warded and safe at such moments as Ynefel at its strongest. Perhaps threats simply slid past his attention and he made himself immune.”

45.“Flying was no cure for want of sleep. The brain wanted time to recycle: when it became all one long, uninterrupted day, the ability to keep going and to keep thinking was no warrant it was healty even for Superman.-Superman”

46.“A fine lady she weren’t, oh, but a damn fine woman and a brave one….”

47.“For another—you can move faster than she can. You are as recognizable as she is. And you are willing to take cover. We are not so certain about the dowager.”

48.“He had read about evil in Efanor’s little book, and how it permeated the doings of Men, but he had never foud such doings evil, rather good and bad…but none without self-interest, none he could not understand even in terms of his own will to have his way.”

49.“We cannot say what we would have been, but we can still say what we will be. We are making up that sentence as we go, and we shall never be through with that statement.”

50.“The world was full of life, more life than they could hold back with guns or fences; it came into the town at night; it seduced the children and year by year crept closer.”

51.“Atevi could laugh at it. Humans could. Humor at the most outrageous hate-mongering did everyone good, and poked holes in assumptions that otherwise would lie unventilated.”

52.“seeing the mystery of forest leaves and the wonder in a water-polished stone, a light had come on him, a bright, bright hope, that this was the true world, all around him, truer than his darkening sight. And ever after that and forever, he hoped for himself, and whenever he thought of dark and practical deeds, why, that light distracted him toward this dream he had….”

53.“It is of course, always an age of wonders. The true gift is remembering to look out the windows, and to let the thoughts run backward and forward and wide to the breadth and height of all that’s ever been and might yet be— Once upon a time, I tell you.”

54.“A bizarre hysteria, perhaps, that point which many reached here, when anger was all that mattered. It led to self-destruction.”

55.“So it fed him his courage back. He drew a deeper breath, reassessed himself and the pathetic ridiculousness, the childishness of the things stored in comp, the nature of the sealed compartments and the relics he lived among. So if she thought that, so if she felt that, then she would not laugh—and the others, these strangers they went to meet—she could handle. As long as she was with him; as long as she found nothing humorous in a man trying to be what he was not—who listened to voices instead of family, who had never had the strength to clear out all the debris of the past; who kept a secret voice that talked to a child who should have long ago grown up; excruciating things. A lifetime of illusions.”

56.“There was a wicked man once who called a hatani. ‘Kill my neighbor,’ he said. ‘That’s not hatani business,’ the hatani said and went away. The wicked man found another hatani. ‘My life is wretched,’ the wicked man said. ‘I hate my neighbor. I want to see him die,’ ‘That is a hatani matter,’ the hatani said. ‘Do you give it into my hands?’ ‘Yes,’ the wicked man said. And the hatani struck him dead. Do you understand the solution?” Thorn”

57.“Murder has been done for far lesser things than thrones. Most dangerous when the possessors of thrones forget how they came by them.”

58.“He was home, but he wasn’t. He had gotten where he had to go, but he hadn’t. He had found out who he was, but he didn’t know why it had failed to satify his questions.”

59.“It’s the being there; the working of it; the feel of moving through what could surprise you at any moment. It’s being a dust speck in that scale and pushing your way through all that Empty on your own terms, that no world can do and nothing spinning around one.”

60.“It represents a real point of consensus we haven’t got now, and a lot of people were willing to give up things they wanted so they could get that agreement. It was a point in human history where all of Union agreed to a set of priorities, and now we’ll either prove that agreement still binds everybody, or we’ll prove somebody with enough guns can run everything at any given moment; and that means no peace, even for them.”

61.“But how could anybody of her generation pull all those hours of recorded history up, and listen to all of it, and understand it? You’d have to live all the hours of all those negotiations, and all the simultaneous other hours of every other record, and you still wouldn’t get the gestalt of having grown up in it. You knew more, viewing it from the perspective of another generation, because the hidden things came out, but you knew less, too, because the context that made it all make sense had gone away.”

62.“Bren turned back to the room, somewhat easier about the boy, and realizing only then that he and the dowager had both just leaped into order-giving regarding the aiji’s own son, in the aiji’s and the consort’s presence and in front of witnesses.

63.“It was the moment of shadow, of half-real things.”

64.“It was a scientific success, bringing back data enough to keep the analysts busy for years… but there was no glib, slick way to explain the full meaning of its observations in layman’s terms. In public relations the mission was a failure; the public, seeking to understand on their own terms, looked for material benefit, treasure, riches, dramatic findings.”

65.“But once out of Tabini’s immediate presence the spell was broken, the excitement ebbed, and adrenaline was shifting from second-to-second performance to the raw fear that he had a human situation on his hands and that he’d given atevi far too much information.”

66.“Their minds were geared to the old problems and to their own problems and their own politics.”

67.“Pizza, that food of sociality and good humor, had been the very thing”

68.“We are the Face that Looks Outward. We are makers of paths, walkers on the wind”

69.“What is, is, and that’s what we know. What will be is a fine pursuit, but fraught with too damned many possibilities. Fortune-telling, I tell you, is not what it’s surmised to be.”

70.“He knew that he wielded magic as well as iron, and yet looked away from it, and made himself fables to explain his own presence in the world, and sought gods who might be more powerful than himself. It would be very comfortable if there were someone more powerful than himself, on this Road, on this particular morning, someone to guide him, even someone to blame….”

71.“Creator Gods, if you made that, you must’ve had something in mind. But what?”

72.“Unquestioning believers who thought they questioned everything, unhearing believers who heard nothing that in the least degree questioned the tenets of their sacred quest toward a salvation they predetermined to exist.”

73.“Creator Gods, if you made that, you must’ve had something in mind. But what?”

74.“damn, if we die, we die moving, don’t we, not sitting still and letting our lives fade out?”

75.“Honesty,” Machigi drawled in his thickest Marid accent, “is a truly frightening power. He has it. Do you dare, Giti-sa? Do you dare deal with a man who will not lie to you? He will tell the truth to you, and he will tell it to me, and to Lord Bregani and to the aiji-dowager. So get your story straight and be very honest in that list-making. You would not want to leave something out that could come back to haunt you.”

76.“Baiji was sweating. Visibly. And Ilisidi sat there with the smile of a guardian demon, staring straight at him, with Cenedi standing by her side.”

77.“Machigi had been practicing the old Momentum theory of leadership: start a war, keep everyone facing the enemy—and avoid discussing domestic problems for another decade.”

78.“He watched the desert slip under the airship’s nose, and the land roughened into highlands over which he had traveled at great cost, in great pain – dreamlike, such speed, looking down on a world where time moved more slowly, where realities were different and immediate and he had learned for a time to live.”

79.“That’s the trouble getting involved in politics, nobody wears a name badge!”

80.“I couldn’t yet see the limits of my life, but he could see the limits of his. His life was thin, and he had a hunger for recognition.”

81.“The world was getting scary. That was the truth. And it was moving fast. And it wasn’t a good morning. Not at all.”

82.“If I can make you angry… I have passed your guard again. I have given you something to think about besides the Game”

83.“A lot of new money— paid out in the least educated provinces, to elect fools who’ll take orders, who can only see ways to entrench themselves and make sure contracts go to the right companies. Some of these fools are evident, and shrewd country-folk keep voting them in because the powers in their districts might buy one ten times worse and far more subtle.”

84.“Don’t mourn might-have-beens . Magic can’t work backwards , only forward . I taught you better than that .”

85.“Thee will not appoint thyself my conscience, Nhi Vanye. Thee is not qualified. And thee is not entitled.”

86.“People who do something can always make a mistake. So can people who do nothing.”

87.“You are not to tell my parents,” he said, with his arm over his eyes, “but I drank a little brandy from a glass someone left and I am not feeling well this morning. One does not think it was poisoned.”

88.“It lent a Man a certain peace of mind… to ride through threats and terrors unhearing: it even lent a man a certain real protection, for he could not hear temptation and bad advice to be swayed by it, but it was no protection at all when power reached out with tangible results and brought down the lightning.”

89.“But it was safety he had found at Uwen’s back, at long last, after long running. Uwen offered him protection, a trusted, a kindly presence, strong enough to chase the shadows for him.”

90.“The t’ca [ship] left them, rolled and slewed off in a maneuver that made sense to a multi-brained snake.”

91.“There was no hurry. There was nowhere in particular to go; and everywhere, of course. <> was now awake, lazily considering galactic motion and the likely center of that ancient supernova. Such star-deaths begat descendants.”

92.“It had been a parting-gift, from a man he had begun to love, one he had wished had been his father. But in Morgaine’s service there were only partings – and deaths.”

93.“The worst atrocities began with half-measures, with apologies, compromising with the wrong side, shrinking from what had to be done.”

94.“Change, son of mine, should be applied like salt to a dish—best taste it, understand it, and then decide.”

95.“That’s why the forms matter. People have to see things done by the rules. We’ve got to make people feel safe again and make them believe that compromises are going to be binding.”

96.“I will give you the hearts of your enemies.”

97.“Multiple sets of golden eyes lit up in anticipation. Fried fish, in the style of Mospheiran street vendors, was his aishid’s favorite of the new flavors they’d discovered on the island.”

98.“When you begin to prefer old quarrels to new opportunities, you have begun to die, Tati-ji! You have begun to sink, forgotten, into the slough of history. We, we, on the other hand, fully intend to live forever!”

99.“While the world had been under kif guns, they had tidied up the house, cooked dinner, and started replanting the garden. Pyanfar lowered her ears at the thought, how little real the larger universe was to downworld hani, who had never thoroughly imagined what had almost happened to them; who heard about the terrible damage to the station as they might hear about some earthquake in a remote area of the globe, shaking their heads in sympathy and regretting it, but not personally touched—worried for their own kin, of course worried; and there would be hugging and sympathy at homecoming. But they set the world in order by replanting the garden and seeing Kohan fed. Gods look on them all.”

100.“Be at ease,” Tabini said, which surely meant it was not bad news in the offing, so he felt free to draw an easier breath. “You cannot think, nand’ paidhi, that your actions are in any sense disapproved. You should by no means seem so ill at ease.”
Did it show that badly? He tried to settle. “One hopes that this is the case, aiji-ma,” he said, “but it was a long voyage, and the aishidi’tat has seen a great deal of disturbance in the interim.”

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