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What sort of egomaniacal monster are you? A human being * Orson Scott Card – Wyrms Quote

225px-Richard_Nixon's_Head.jpgThis is the discussion between Patience and the head of her father from Orson Scott Card’s 1987 book called Wyrms. She found out that she is the prophecy female destined to make the world or kill it as the destined lover of Unwyrm. When her father died, the king ordered to have truth worms implanted in the head so he could only speak the truth and act as an adviser for centuries to come. Patience sneaks in covered by darkness and starts querying her father about her destiny:

Excerpt

“What would you rather? That I tell you that I thought your life was more important than the whole world?

What sort of egomaniacal monster are you?”

“A human being,” she said.

“The worst kind of monster,” he said. “We’re all monsters, living in utter isolation, sending out words like ambassadors that beg for tribute, for worship. Love me, love me. And then when the words come back, ‘I love you, I worship you, you are great and good,’ these monsters doubt, these monsters know that it’s a lie.

‘Prove it,’ they say. ‘Obey me, give me power.’ And when they are obeyed, the monster grows hungrier. ‘How do I know you aren’t manipulating me?’ cries the monster.

‘If you love me, die for me, kill for me, give all to me and leave nothing for yourself!’

“If human beings are all monsters, why should I sacrifice anything for them?”

“Because they are beautiful monsters,” he whispered.

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American Gods – There was a girl, and her uncle sold her – Excerpt

There was a girl, and her uncle sold her. Put like that it seems so simple.

No man, proclaimed Donne, is an island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other’s tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived and then by some means or other, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes- forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There’s not a chance you’ll mistake one for another, after a minute’s close inspection) but still unique.

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American Gods – I Believe – Book Excerpt

I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.

I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

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American Gods Excerpt

The main character, Shadow, has just come to a small Wisconsin town, and he decides to walk into town to buy some warmer clothes and groceries.

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In a lot of ways, I guess Satan was the first superhero * Horns * Joe Hill

“In a lot of ways, I guess Satan was the first superhero.” “Don’t you mean supervillain?” “Nah. Hero, for sure. Think about it. In his first adventure, he took the form of a snake to free two prisoners being held naked in a Third World jungle prison by an all-powerful megalomaniac. At the same time, he broadened their diet and introduced them to their own sexuality. Sounds kind of like a cross between Animal Man and Dr. Phil to me.”

 

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Never let me go * Kazuo Ishiguro Quote

Driving around the country now, I still see things that will remind me of Hailsham. I might pass the corner of a misty field, or see part of a large house in the distance as I come down the side of a valley, even a particular arrangement of poplar trees up on a hillside, and I’ll think: “Maybe that’s it! I’ve found it! This actually is Hailsham!” Then I see it’s impossible and I go on driving, my thoughts drifting on elsewhere.

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Cat’s Eye * Margaret Atwood – Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space

The book starts off with this gorgeous quote about time and dimensions of space but the entire discussion about time and space happens between a 9th grader and an 11th grader. Brother and sister pin down time in a manner that would make Stephen Hawking proud. Excerpt is from Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood – a great Canadian writer who has not shied away from the most peculiar of Sci-Fi theories in her book Margaret Atwood – In other worlds.

Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. If you can bend space you can bend time also, and if you knew enough and could move faster than light you could travel backwards in time and exist in two places at once.

Other works include Margaret Atwood – MaddAdamOryx and Crake * Margaret Atwood and Year of the Flood * Margaret Atwood * Book review

Excerpt below:

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Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past

'"Who controls the present controls the past,"' said O'Brien, nodding his
head with slow approval. 'Is it your opinion, Winston, that the past has
real existence?'

Again the feeling of helplessness descended upon Winston. His eyes flitted
towards the dial. He not only did not know whether 'yes' or 'no' was the
answer that would save him from pain; he did not even know which answer he
believed to be the true one.

O'Brien smiled faintly. 'You are no metaphysician, Winston,' he said.
'Until this moment you had never considered what is meant by existence. I
will put it more precisely. Does the past exist concretely, in space? Is
there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects, where the past
is still happening?'

'No.'

'Then where does the past exist, if at all?'

'In records. It is written down.'

'In records. And----?'

'In the mind. In human memories.'

'In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all records, and we
control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?'

'But how can you stop people remembering things?' cried Winston again
momentarily forgetting the dial. 'It is involuntary. It is outside oneself.
How can you control memory? You have not controlled mine!'

O'Brien's manner grew stern again. He laid his hand on the dial.

'On the contrary,' he said, 'YOU have not controlled it. That is what has
brought you here. You are here because you have failed in humility, in
self-discipline. You would not make the act of submission which is the
price of sanity. You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one. Only the
disciplined mind can see reality, Winston. You believe that reality is
something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe
that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into
thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the
same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external.
Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual
mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the
mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party
holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by
looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got
to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the
will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.'

He paused for a few moments, as though to allow what he had been saying to
sink in.

Excerpt from George Orwell’s 1984

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John Galt’s Speech * Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged

For twelve years you’ve been asking “Who is John Galt?” This is John Galt speaking. I’m the man who’s taken away your victims and thus destroyed your world. You’ve heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis and that Man’s sins are destroying the world. But your chief virtue has been sacrifice, and you’ve demanded more sacrifices at every disaster. You’ve sacrificed justice to mercy and happiness to duty. So why should you be afraid of the world around you?

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Francisco’s Speech in Atlas Shrugged: Money is the root of all evil

Rearden heard Bertram Scudder, outside the group, say to a girl who made some sound of indignation,

“Don’t let him disturb you. You know, money is the root of all evil – and he’s the typical product of money.”

Rearden did not think that Francisco could have heard it, but he saw Francisco turning to them with a gravely courteous smile.

“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Aconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?