Quotes from Altered Carbon

Richard K. Morgan ·  526 pages

Rating: (57.3K votes)


“The personal, as everyone’s so fucking fond of saying, is political. So if some idiot politician, some power player, tries to execute policies that harm you or those you care about, take it personally. Get angry. The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here – it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft-. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide from under it with a wink and a grin. If you want justice, you will have to claw it from them. Make it personal. Do as much damage as you can. Get your message across. That way, you stand a better chance of being taken seriously next time. Of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous marks the difference - the only difference in their eyes - between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people they liquidate. And time and again they cream your liquidation, your displacement, your torture and brutal execution with the ultimate insult that it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life and that it’s nothing personal. Well, fuck them. Make it personal.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“If they asked how I died tell them: Still angry.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“Culture is like a smog. To live
within it, you must breathe some of it in and, inevitably, be
contaminated.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“A weapon is a tool," she repeated, a little breathlessly. "A tool for killing and destroying. And there will be times when, as an Envoy, you must kill and destroy. Then you will choose and equip yourself with the tools that you need. But remember the weakness of weapons. They are an extension--you are the killer and destroyer. You are whole, with or without them.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon



“There are some arenas so corrupt that the only clean acts possible are nihilistic.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulse and precariously stacked carbon code memory. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“Take what is offered and that must sometimes be enough.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“... it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life and that it’s nothing personal.
Well, fuck them.
Make it personal.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“Pull on the new flesh like borrowed gloves
and burn your fingers once again.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon



“You live that long, things start happening to you. You get too impressed with yourself. Ends up, you think you’re God. Suddenly the little people, thirty, maybe forty years old, well, they don’t really matter anymore. You’ve seen whole societies rise and fall, and you start to feel you’re standing outside it all, and none of it really matters to you. And maybe you’ll start snuffing those little people, just like picking daisies, if they get under your feet.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“Reality is so flexible these days, it’s hard to tell who’s disconnected from it and who isn’t. You might even say it’s a pointless distinction.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“I lay still for a while, picking up the scattered garments of my mind and trying to assemble some kind of reasonable outfit from them.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“The past is relevant only as data.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“The personal, as every one’s so fucking fond of saying, is political. So if some idiot politician, some power player, tries to execute policies that harm you or those you care about, TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Get angry. The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here—it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide out from under with a wink and a grin. If you want justice, you will have to claw it from them. Make it PERSONAL. Do as much damage as you can. GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS. That way you stand a far better chance of being taken seriously next time. Of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous marks the difference, the ONLY difference in their eyes, between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people they liquidate. And time and again they cream your liquidation, your displacement, your torture and brutal execution with the ultimate insult that it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life and that IT’S NOTHING PERSONAL. Well, fuck them. Make it personal.

 
QUELLCRIST FALCONER

Things I Should Have Learnt by Now

Volume II”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon



“You’ll always have morons like that, swallowing belief patterns whole so they don’t have to think for themselves.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“It was the single forgiving phrase in the syntax of weaponry I had strapped about me. The rest were unequivocal sentences of death.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“You are still young and stupid. Human life has no value. Haven't you learned that yet, Takeshi, with all you've seen? It has no value, intrinsic to itself. Machines cost money to build. Raw materials cost money to extract. But people?" She made a tiny spitting sound. "You can always get some more people. they reproduce like cancer cells, whether you want them or not. They are abundant, Takeshi. Why should they be valuable? Do you know that it costs us less to recruit and use up a real snuff whore than it does to set up and run the virtual equivalent format. Real human flesh is cheaper than a machine. It's the axiomatic truth of our times.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“like all men of power, when he talked of prices worth paying, you could be sure of one thing. Someone else was paying.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“Overhead soft-bellied clouds panic toward the horizon like whales before the harpoon, and the wind runs addict's fingers through the trees that line the street.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon



“Like Bancroft, MacIntyre had been a man of power, and like all men of power, when he talked of prices worth paying, you could be sure of one thing. Someone else was paying.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“Two of them drifted over to intercept me with the easy calm of big cats that have been fed recently.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“Where is the voice that said altered carbon would free us from the cells of our flesh? The vision that said we would be angels.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“Is it a wolf I hear,
Howling his lonely communion
With the unpiloted stars,
Or merely the self importance and servitude
In the bark of a dog?
How many millenia did it take,
Twisting and torturing
The pride from the one
To make a tool,
The other?
And how do we measure the distance from spirit to spirit?
And who do we find to blame?”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“There's a sameness to streetlife. On every world I've ever been, the same underlying patterns play out, flaunt and vaunt, buy and sell, like some distilled essence of human behavior seeping out from whatever clanking political machine has been dropped on it from above.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon



“In the Envoy Corps, you take what is offered, Virginia Vidaura said, somewhere in the corridors of my memory. And that must sometimes be enough.”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


“I walked beside the woman I had killed last week and tried to hold up my end of a conversation about cats. There”
― Richard K. Morgan, quote from Altered Carbon


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About the author

Richard K. Morgan
Born place: in London, England, The United Kingdom
Born date September 24, 1965
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