“That would be great,” he said, and nodded. “The … the thing you call a belief proposition. I’ve written it here. I want to believe this.” He pulled a neatly folded piece of paper from his breast pocket.
Keiko Yamasuki wanted to explain that according to the PDC resolution, the mental seal was only permitted to operate on one proposition, the one written on the monument at the gate. It had to be done exactly as written, and any alteration was prohibited. But Hines gently stopped her. He wanted to take a look at the proposition the man had submitted first. Unfolding the paper, he read what was written on it:
Katherine loves me. She has never and will never have an affair!
Keiko Yamasuki stifled a laugh, but Hines angrily crumpled up the paper and tossed it in the drunken man’s face. “Get the hell out!”
(The following article has major spoilers for The Three Body Problem and moderate spoilers for The Dark Forest. Both books are good; read them first if you want.)
Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: The Dark Forest”
“In stories, those who hope to do harm call attention to themselves. They kidnap public figures; they steal potent potions from scientific labs and unleash monsters of their own creation on the general populace. But what about the small and quiet criminals who hope to make no noise in their work? How to save someone from himself?” Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: The Night Gwen Stacy Died”
“But from a narrative point of view, in 105 pages nothing happens. Except this: ‘What with one thing and another, three years passed.'” Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: The Princess Bride”
“Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it. All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives—all that was over.”
Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: The Time Machine”
“All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.”
“I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.”
“The basis of optimism is sheer terror.”
Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: The Picture of Dorian Grey”
One learning, though: my big flaw is fear. In a world where you’re supposed to be a psycho, I just didn’t yell loud enough to get ahead. I was too darn embarrassed to play God. Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: Vernon God Little”
For three days the rains came and went, three days of infuriating confinement. If the Jinni had been able to go outside, and chase himself to the ends of the earth, then his growing obsession with the world of men might have dissipated, and he might have gone to visit the jinn habitations of his youth, as planned. But when the clouds exhausted themselves and the Jinni at last emerged to a newly washed landscape, he found that all thoughts of returning to his own people had vanished with the oceans.
Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: The Golem and the Jinni”
“Now that I have seen the larger world, I wish to change it, as does Mata. But while he wishes to restore the world to a state that never was, I wish to bring it to a state that has not yet been seen.” Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: World War Z and The Grace of Kings”
Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: Dune”
“Anything can happen to anyone, but it usually doesn’t. Except when it does.”
(This post contains spoilers. The book is very good and you should read it now if you want to be fully surprised.)
Continue reading “Odds and Ends Shelf: The Plot Against America”