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"Our opponent is an alien starship packed with atomic bombs," I said. "We have a protractor."
- Anathem, page 320.
"Can you even have an Ark, if you're not sure you're right? Isn't it just a social club, in that case?"
- Page 883.
"So I looked with fascination at those people in their mobes, and tried to fathom what it would be like. Thousands of years ago, the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this: not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who'd made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story. If their employees came home at day's end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing. The Powers That Be would not suffer others to be in stories of their own unless they were fake stories that had been made up to motivate them."
- Page 414.
"I spent the entire journey to orbit convinced that the rocket had failed and this was what dying was. The designers hadn't had time or budget to put in fripperies like windows, or even speely feeds: just a fairing, a thin outer shell whose functions were to shield the monyafeek from wind-blast; to block out all light, ensuring we'd make the trip in absolute darkness and ignorance; and to vibrate. The latter two functions combined to maximize the terror."
- Page 755.
"Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways."
- Page 109.
If I disturbed him just so that I could fetch my shoes, he would turn me into a newt or something.
- Page 313.
- Fraa Jad, page 313.
"As soon as you're sure you're right, there's no point in your being here."
- Page 925.
"Early in the Reticulum — thousands of years ago — it became almost useless because it was cluttered with faulty, obsolete, or downright misleading information."
- Page 832.
"Suur Ala came in with an armload of rags, most of which she threw on the floor to cover the blood-puddle. She and Cord used the rest to wipe the blood off Arisbalt's lips and chins. The whole time, they were appraising each other, as if in a competition to see which was the scientist and which was the specimen. By the time I got my wits about me to make introductions, they knew so much about each other that names hardly mattered."
"I wouldn't have looked twice if this hadn't been Apert. But there were visitors on the meadow, watching, pointing, laughing, and speelycaptoring. Another useful function of Apert: to be reminded of how weird we were, and how fortunate to live in a place where we could get away with it."
"...I drank anyway. The stuff was tremendous, like drinking your favorite book."
"'I hadn't known that,' I said. 'I always tend to assume there's an infinite amount of money out there.' 'There might as well be,' Arsibalt said, 'but most of it gets spent on pornography, sugar water, and bombs.'"
People who couldn't live without a story had been driven into the concents or into jobs like Yul's. All others had to look somewhere outside of work for a feeling that they were part of a story, which I guessed was why Saeculars were so concerned with sports, and with religion."
"'Well--don't beat yourself up.' 'I'm not beating myself up. That's you putting emotions on me. Like clothes on a doll.'"
"That sounds like bulshytt!"
- Fraa Orolo