Stuart Hill · 519 pages
Rating: (2.1K votes)
“Why else is politics the perfect refuge for every liar, cheat, and self-serving toad that was ever born? All you need is a good set of teeth and the ability to smile convincingly with them.
“But you are human, and just like the rest of us you have the potential to be both a devil and an angel. There's no such thing as an evil race, just a human race.
“I'd never describe even myself as safe when I go into the Magical Realms; no one's safe in there, not even if they're armed and armored with every protective charm on the planet. The place has this habit of changing the rules and pulling the rug from under your feet...."
"Is it carpeted, then?" asked Tharaman.
"The Magical Realms, are they carpeted? It's just that you mentioned pulling a rug from somewhere and I just wondered if perhaps..."
"I think it's a figure of speech, my dear," said Krisafitsa. "I do believe it means to be taken by surprise when you least expect it."
"Oh, I see....Odd expression...”
“Could you please explain to me exactly what the staff is that you carry?"
Cronus proudly held the symbol of his power and authority aloft. "It is the scepter that denotes my control of the Physical Realms. All who defy me should look on it and tremble."
"Oh, I see! Do you know, I thought it was a giant toothpick, or perhaps something you shoved into other parts of you anatomy. I never realized it represented your supposed right to rule," said Her Vampiric Majesty lightly.”
“Aren't there going to be any refreshments?" Tharamn interrupted. "I always think better with a little snack to keep me going."
"I'm with you there," said Grishmak. "Bring on the nibbles!"
"There aren't any!" Cressida snapped. "This is all far too important, and besides, once you lot start easting, it'll only turn into a party."
"Can't say I have a problem with that myself," said Tharaman. "What about you, Grishy?"
"None at all. Bit of food and fun helps the boring bits along, in my opinion. Let's call a chamberlain and order some grub."
"No!" Cressida insisted. "We all need to concentrate, and I for one find it difficult to think one you and Tharaman start cracking bones and spitting out gristle."
"I never spit out gristle!" said Tharaman in miffed tones. "A terrible wast of protein. It just needs a little extra chewing, that's all."
Thirrin had watched the exchange in silence, but now she sat forward in her chair. "Actually I wouldn't mind a sandwich myself."
Cressida looked at her thunderously.”
“Better to suffer the loneliness of the cold throne room than endure the isolation to be found within the crowds of facile courtiers.”
“All right then," said the savage defiantly, I'm claiming the right to be unhappy."
"Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat, the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind."
There was a long silence.
"I claim them all," said the Savage at last.”
“MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 Port St. Lucie, Florida First impressions are important, and in his first full meeting with”
“It's laughable, looking back, to see the processes I went through, pretending to make a reasoned decision. No choice is ever made on the basis of logic; the logic is fabricated around the impulse, the initial desire which is innate and incontrovertible. All the time, I knew where I was going, the elements of my fulfillment or ruin were always present; I only had to work my way into that seam of desire and find the hidden vein of dross or gold. It's not a question of predestination, it's just that free will and destiny are illusions, false opposites, consolations. In the end, they are one and the same: a single process. You choose what you choose and it could not have been otherwise: the choice is destiny. It was there all along, but any alternative you might have considered is an absurd diversion, because it is in your nature to make one choice rather than another. That is identity. To speak of freedom or destiny is absurd because it suggests there is something outside yourself, directing your life, where really it is of the essence: identity, the craftwork of the soul.”
“His colleagues at the Bar called him Filth, but not out of irony. It was because he was considered to be the source of the old joke, Failed In London Try Hong Kong. It was said that he had fled the London Bar, very young, very poor, on a sudden whim just after the War, and had done magnificently well in Hong Kong from the start. Being a modest man, they said, he had called himself a parvenu, a fraud, a carefree spirit.
Filth in fact was no great maker of jokes, was not at all modest about his work and seldom, except in great extremity, went in for whims. He was loved, however, admired, laughed at kindly and still much discussed many years after retirement.”
“imagine Winter singing! I wonder if he can scowl and sing and look darkly handsome and mortally offended all at the same time. Probably.”
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