“Your explanation for anything slightly odd is aliens,’ said Lister. ‘You lose your keys, it’s aliens. A picture falls off the wall, it’s aliens. That time we used up a whole bog roll in a day, you thought that was aliens.”
~Grant Naylor, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
“When Lister got drunk, he really got drunk! After celebrating his birthday with a Monopoly-board pub crawl around London, he came to in a burger bar on one of Saturns [sic!] moons, wearing a lady’s pink crimplene hat and a pair of yellow fishing waders, with no money and a passport in the name of ‘Emily Berkenstein’.
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“Time was simple, is simple. We can divide it into simple parts, measure it, arrange dinner by it, drink whisky to its passage. We can mathematically deploy it, use it to express ideas about the observable universe, and yet if asked to explain it in simple language to a child – in simple language which is not deceit, of course – we are powerless. The most it ever seems we know how to do with time is to waste it.”
~Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
“No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.
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“Once there had been joy, but now there was only sadness, and it was not, he knew, alone the sadness of an empty house; it was the sadness of all else, the sadness of the Earth, the sadness of the failures and the empty triumphs.”
~Clifford D. Simak, City
“Simak’s City is a series of connected stories, a series of legends, myths, and campfire stories told by Dogs about the end of human civilization, centering on the Webster family, who, among their other accomplishments, designed the ships that took Men to the stars and gave Dogs the gift of speech and robots to be their hands.” More on Goodreads
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“Now the deer moved through snow, snow that blew sideways, frosting the perfectly upright walls of Detroit’s dead and monumental heart, vast black tines of brick reaching up to vanish in the white sky. They made a lot of nature shows there.”
~William Gibson, All Tomorrow’s Parties
“Colin Laney, sensitive to patterns of information like no one else on Earth, currently resides in a cardboard box in Toyko [sic!]. His body shakes with fever dreams, but his mind roams free as always, and he knows something is about to happen. Not in Toyko [sic!]; he will not see this thing himself. Something is about to happen in San Francisco…
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“…but since I realised that peace and freedom were unattainable on earth, my spirit aspired aloft, and everything that my chosen path required ceased to conflict with my conscience, because my conscience was calling me out into space, and was not much interested in what was happening on earth.”
~Victor Pelevin, Omon Ra
“Victor Pelevin’s novel Omon Ra has been widely praised for its poetry and its wickedness, a novel in line with the great works of Gogol and Bulgakov: ‘full of the ridiculous and the sublime,’ says The Observer [London].
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“Anyway, that’s what life is, just one learning experience after another, and when you’re through with all the learning experiences you graduate and what you get for a diploma is, you die.”
~Frederik Pohl, Gateway
“Gateway opened on all the wealth of the Universe… and on reaches of unimaginable horror. When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the Heechee spacecraft, he decided he would know which was the right mission to make him his fortune.
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