Quotes from Mirror Dance

Lois McMaster Bujold ·  560 pages

Rating: (16.1K votes)


“Since no one is perfect, it follows that all great deeds have been accomplished out of imperfection. Yet they were accomplished, somehow, all the same.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“I do think, half of what we call madness is just some poor slob dealing with pain by a strategy that annoys the people around him.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“It’s important that someone celebrate our existence," she objected amiably. "People are the only mirror we have to see ourselves in. The domain of all meaning. All virtue, all evil, are contained only in people. There is none in the universe at large. Solitary confinement is a punishment in every human culture.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“I don't confuse greatness with perfection. To be great anyhow is…the higher achievement.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“All true wealth is biological (Aral Vorkosigan)”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance



“Realize this, though. Half my genes run through your body, and my selfish genome is heavily evolutionarily pre-programmed to look out for its copies. The other half is copied from the man I admire most in all the worlds and time, so my interest is doubly riveted. The artistic combination of the two, shall we say, arrests my attention.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“Learn everything that existed in the universe, and whatever was left, that
dwarfish-man-shaped hole in the center, would be him by process of elimination.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“Modern warfare wasn't supposed to have this much blood in it. The weapons were supposed to cook everyone neatly, like eggs in their shells. (Mark Vorkosigan's first experience with warfare, on seeing Miles Vorkosigan splattered before him)”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“He didn't think he was edging into dementia. He suspected he was edging into sanity, the long way around. The hard way.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“In fact, since no one is perfect, it follows that all great deeds have been accomplished out of imperfection. Yet they were accomplished, somehow, all the same.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance



“There are, as you have just seen, two agendas being pursued here tonight," the Countess lectured amiably. "The political one of the old men—an annual renewal of the forms of the Vor—and the genetic agenda of the old women. The men imagine theirs is the only one, but that's just an ego-serving self-delusion. The whole Vor system is founded on the women's game, underneath. The old men in government councils spend their lives arguing against or scheming to fund this or that bit of off-planet military hardware. Meanwhile, the uterine replicator is creeping in past their guard, and they aren't even conscious that the debate that will fundamentally alter Barrayar's future is being carried on right now among their wives and daughters. To use it, or not to use it? Too late to keep it out, it's already here. The middle classes are picking it up in droves. Every mother who loves her daughter is pressing for it, to spare her the physical dangers of biological childbearing. They're fighting not the old men, who haven't got a clue, but an old guard of their sisters who say to their daughters, in effect, We had to suffer, so must you! Look around tonight, Mark. You're witnessing the last generation of men and women on Barrayar who will dance this dance in the old way. The Vor system is about to change on its blindest side, the side that looks to—or fails to look to—its foundation. Another half generation from now, it's not going to know what hit it.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“He was shaken by an unwelcome insight. Lives did not add as integers. They added as infinities. I”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“Captain Quinn have the details, as usual?” She cocked a furry eyebrow at him. “Captain Quinn . . . will not be coming on this mission.” He swore her gold eyes widened, the pupils dilating. Her lips drew back baring her fangs further in what took him a terrifying moment to realize was a smile. In a weird way, it reminded him of the grin with which Thorne had greeted that same news. She glanced up; the bay had emptied of other personnel. “Aah?” Her voice rumbled, like a purr. “Well, I’ll be your bodyguard any time, lover. Just give me the sign.” What sign, what the hell— She”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“Well, you go straight back to bed, then!” “Yes.” He wheeled. She swatted him on the butt. He bit his tongue. She said, “At least you’ve been eating better. Take care of yourself, huh?” He”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“Lady Peace is the first hostage taken when economic discomfort rises.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance



“What is this?” demanded Sergeant Framingham. Quinn took a deep, slow breath. “Framingham, we left the Admiral downside.” “Have you lost your mind, he’s right there—” Framingham’s finger sagged in mid-point at Mark. His hand closed into a fist. “Oh.” He paused. “That’s the clone.” Quinn’s eyes burned; Mark could feel them boring through to the back of his skull like laser-drills. “Maybe not,” Quinn said heavily. “Not as far as House Bharaputra has to know.” “Ah?” Framingham’s eyes narrowed in speculation. No! Mark screamed inside. Silently. Very silently.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“So what's the test?"
"Ah, that's the trick of it. It's not a test. It's real life.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“All right—” He made to rise, but she stopped him. She kissed him. It was a long, long kiss, which at first delighted and then worried him. He broke away to ask, “Rowan, what’s the matter?” “. . . I think I love you.” “This is a problem?” “Only my problem.” She managed a brief, unhappy smile. “I’ll handle it.” He captured her hands, traced tendon and vein. She had brilliant hands. He did not know what to say. She drew him to his feet. “Come on.” They held hands all the way to the entrance to the penthouse lift tube. When she disengaged to press the palm-lock, she did not take his hand again. They rose together, exiting around the chromium railing into Lilly’s living room. Lilly”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“He stood paralyzed with panic. Whatinhell was it? He stared at a flashing belt buckle, then tilted his head back, straining his neck. The freaking thing was eight feet tall. The enormous body radiated power that he could feel almost like a wave of heat, and the face—the face was a nightmare. Tawny yellow eyes, like a wolf’s, a distorted, outslung mouth with fangs, dammit, long white canines locked over the edges of the carmine lips. The huge hands had claws, thick, powerful, razor-edged—enameled with carmine polish . . . What? His gaze traveled back up to the monster’s face. The eyes were outlined with shadow and gold tint, echoed by a little gold spangle glued decoratively to one high cheekbone. The mahogany-colored hair was drawn back in an elaborate braid. The belt was cinched in tightly, emphasizing a figure of sorts despite the”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“When he came in sight of the prisoner he stopped short. The man sat with his hands bound behind him, securely strapped into a seat and guarded by two Yellow Squad troopers, a big fellow and a thin woman who made Mark think of a snake, all sinuous muscle and unblinking beady eyes. The prisoner looked a striking forty or so years of age, and wore a torn brown silk tunic and trousers. Loose strands of dark hair escaped from a gold ring on the back of his head and fell about his face. He did not struggle, but sat calmly, waiting, with a cold patience that quite matched the snake-woman’s. Bharaputra. The Bharaputra, Baron Bharaputra, Vasa Luigi himself. The man hadn’t changed a hair in the eight years since Mark had last glimpsed him. Vasa”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance



“Those five days we were locked up together at Vasa Luigi's, that wasn't an effect of the imprisonment, was it? That's the way you really are, when you're well?"
"Pretty much," he admitted.
"I've always wondered what adult hyperactives did for a living.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“Quinn keyed up a three-dimensional holovid schematic of Vega Station and its neighbors. The jump routes were represented by sparkling jagged lines between hazy spheres of local space systems.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“People are the only mirror we have to see ourselves in. The domain of all meaning. All virtue, all evil, are contained only in people. There is none in the universe at large. Solitary confinement is a punishment in every human culture.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“The officer hurried up to him, and half-saluted. “Admiral Naismith?” Iverson was no one he knew; at this level of the echelon the man must take him for a valued, but non-Barrayaran, ImpSec hireling. “The one and only. You can tell your men to relax. The installation is secured.” “You secured it yourself?” Iverson asked in faint disbelief. “More or less.” “We’ve been looking for this place for two years!” Miles”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“I admit, he has far too much on his mind at the moment. Suppressed panic turns him into a prick every time; it's what he does instead of running in circles screaming. A way of coping, I suppose.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance



“What . . . a hopeful precedent for me,” Mark choked. “How did Count Midnight do? Compared to the average count.” “Lord Midnight. Alas, no one found out. The horse predeceased the Vortala, the war petered out, and the son eventually inherited after all. But it was one of the zoological high points of the Council’s varied political history, right up there with the infamous Incendiary Cat Plot.” Count Vorkosigan’s eye glinted with a certain skewed enthusiasm, relating all this. His eye fell on Mark and his momentary animation faded. “We’ve had several centuries to accumulate any precedent you please, from absurdities to horrors. And a few sound saving graces.” The”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“If anyone was sane here, he swore it was by accident.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


“His name is, uh, Ninny.” At Mark’s look he added, “A sort of pet or stable name.” Its name is Fat Ninny. You edited it. Ha. “So what do I do? Stand here and yell ‘Here, Ninny, Ninny’?” He felt a fool already. “Three times.” “What?” “Miles always repeated the name three times.” The horse was standing across the pasture, its ears up, looking at them. Mark took a deep breath, and in his best Barrayaran accent called, “Here, Ninny, Ninny, Ninny. Here, Ninny, Ninny, Ninny!” The”
― Lois McMaster Bujold, quote from Mirror Dance


About the author

Lois McMaster Bujold
Born place: in Columbus, Ohio, The United States
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