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Quotes of the day: Lois McMaster Bujold

Published Saturday, November 01, 2014 @ 7:33 PM EDT
Nov 01 2014

Lois McMaster Bujold (b. November 2, 1949) is an acclaimed American speculative fiction writer. She has won the Hugo Award four times, matching the record of science fiction master Robert A. Heinlein's record. Her novella, The Mountains of Mourning, won both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. In the fantasy genre, The Curse of Chalion won the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature and was nominated for the 2002 World Fantasy Award for best novel. Paladin of Souls won both her fourth Hugo Award and second Nebula Award. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A price is something you get. A cost is something you lose.

A weapon is a device for making your enemy change his mind.

Aim high. You may still miss the target but at least you won't shoot your foot off.

All true wealth is biological.

An honor is not diminished for being shared.

Biology is Destiny.

Check your assumptions. In fact, check your assumptions at the door.

Children might or might not be a blessing, but to create them and then fail them was surely damnation.

Do it for yourself. The universe will be around to collect its cut later.

Experience suggests it doesn't matter so much how you got here, as what you do after you arrive.

God's not here. Somebody's got to fill in.

Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.

How could I have died and gone to hell without noticing the transition?

I could take over the universe with this army if I could ever get all their weapons pointed in the same direction.

I have an aversion to closed doors anyway. You never know what's on the other side.

I take it as a man's duty to restrain himself.

I would fight the world for you, but I'm damned if I can figure out how to save you from yourself.

I've always thought tests are a gift. And great tests are a great gift. To fail the test is a misfortune. But to refuse the test is to refuse the gift, and something worse, more irrevocable, than misfortune.

If we shouldn't do it, we shouldn't be able to do it.

If you ever have to make a choice between learning and inspiration, choose learning. It works more of the time.

Ignorance is not stupidity, but it might as well be.

In my experience, the trouble with oaths of the form, 'death before dishonor,' is that eventually, given enough time and abrasion, they separate the world into just two sorts of people: the dead, and the forsworn. It's a survivor's problem, this one.

It's an ancient and honorable term for the final step in any engineering project. Turn it on, see if it smokes.

It's never too late while you're breathing.

Just because we're adults doesn't automatically mean we can save you...

Leadership is mostly a power over imagination, and never more so than in combat. The bravest man alone can only be an armed lunatic. The real strength lies in the ability to get others to do your work.

Live, and so confound our enemies.

Most days it's just stumbling around in the dark with the rest of creation, smashing into things and wondering why it hurts.

One step at a time, I can walk around the world. Watch me.

Power is a live thing, by which you reach out to grasp the future. Revenge is a dead thing, reaching out from the past to grasp you.

Seems to me the only difference between your friends and your enemies is how long they stand around chatting before they shoot you.

Suicidal glory is the luxury of the irresponsible. We're not giving up. We're waiting for a better opportunity to win.

The cream pie of justice flies one way.

The gods give no gifts without hooks embedded.

The gods' most savage curses come upon us as answers to our own prayers, you know.

The good face pain. But the great- they embrace it.

The man who assumes everything is a lie is at least as mistaken as the one who assumes everything is true.

The principle difference between heaven and hell is the company you keep there.

The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in that future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present- they are real.

The will to be stupid is a very powerful force, but there are always alternatives.

There is no safety. Only varying states of risk. And failure.

Those who do not know their history are doomed to keep stepping in it.

We see the world not as it is, but as we are.

What you are is a question only you can answer.

When the time came to leap in faith, whether you had your eyes open or closed or screamed all the way down or not made no practical difference.

When you give each other everything, it becomes an even trade. Each wins all.

With all this manure around, there's got to be a pony someplace.

You can say a lot in a little time, if you stick to words of one syllable.

You cannot push back the darkness with reason. You have to use fire.

Categories: Lois McMaster Bujold, Quotes of the day


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