Iain Banks Quotes
Born: February 16, 1954
Died: June 9, 2013
I'm a devoted husband. That must strike you as totally deviant.
It was a truism that all civilizations were basically neurotic until they made contact with everybody else and found their place within the ever-changing meta-civilisation of other beings, because, until then, during the stage when they honestly believed they might be entirely alone in existence, all solo societies were possessed of both an inflated sense of their own importance and a kind of existential terror at the sheer scale and apparent emptiness of the universe.
What is any achievement, however great it was, once time itself is dead?
Reason shapes the future, but superstition infects the present.
All you ever were was a little bit of the universe, thinking to itself. Very specific, this bit, here, right now. All the rest was fantasy.
Most people are not prepared to have their minds changed, and I think they know in their hearts that other people are just the same, and one of the reasons people become angry when they argue is that they realize just that, as they trot out their excuses.
One of the advantages of having laws is the pleasure one may take in breaking them.
Truth, I have learned, differs for everybody. Just as no two people ever see a rainbow in exactly the same place - and yet both most certainly see it, while the person seemingly standing right underneath it does not see it at all - so truth is a question of where one stands, and the direction one is looking in at the time.
A guilty system recognizes no innocents.
Perdition awaits at the end of a road constructed entirely from good intentions, the devil emerges from the details and hell abides in the small print.
Political correctness is what right-wing bigots call what everybody else calls being polite
I think I know the real reason.' 'Which is?' 'Alcohol in the dust clouds. Goddamn stuff is everywhere. Any lousy species ever invents the telescope and the spectroscope and starts looking in between the stars, what do they find?' He knocked the glass on the table. 'Loads of stuff, but much of it alcohol.' He drank from the glass. 'Humanoids are the galaxy's way of trying to get rid of all that alcohol.
Look at these humans! How could such glacial slowness even be called life? An age could pass, virtual empires rise and fall in the time they took to open their mouths to utter some new inanity!
I'm from out of town,' he said breezily. This was true. He'd never been within a hundred light-years of the place.
Empires are synonymous with centralized if occasionally schismatized hierarchical power structures in which influence is restricted to an economically privileged class retaining its advantages through usually a judicious use of oppression and skilled manipulation of both the society's information dissemination systems and its lesser as a rule nominally independent power systems. In short, it's all about dominance.
Any such inklings were like a few scattered grains of truth dissolved in an ocean of nonsense, and were anyway generally inextricably bound up with patently paranoid ravings which served only to devalue the small amounts of sense and pertinence with which they were associated.
Maybe it wasn't anything remotely to do with religion, mysticism or metaphilosophy after all, maybe it was more banal, maybe it was just...accounting.
I am, as I have always been, of the opinion that while the niceties of normal moral constraints should be our guides, they must not be our masters.
I am not being obtuse. You are being paranoid.
If you have any helpful suggestions I'd be pleased to hear them. If all you can do is make snide insinuations then it would probably benefit all concerned if you bestowed the fruits of your prodigious wit on someone with the spare time to give them the consideration they doubtless deserve.