November 6, 2016

Iain Banks Quotes

“…in every age and every state, there has seldom if ever been a shortage of eager young males prepared to kill and die to preserve the security, comfort and prejudices of their elders, and what you call heroism is just an expression of this fact; there is never a scarcity of idiots.”

“…there came a point when if a conspiracy was that powerful and subtle it became pointless to worry about it.”

“A human exposed without protection to the conditions required to support Affronter life would be dying in at least three excitingly different and painful ways anyway without having to worry about being crushed by a cage of leg-thick tentacles.”

“As a writer, you get to play, you get alter time, you get to come up with the smart lines and the clever comebacks you wish you’d thought of.”

“As long as a film stays unmade, the book is entirely yours, it belongs to the writer. As soon as you make it into a film, suddenly more people see it than have ever read the book.”

“By the usual reckoning, the worst books make the best films.”

“Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot.”

“He looked up from it at the stars again, and the view was warped and distorted by something in his eyes, which at first he thought was rain.”

“I still find it hard to understand that anyone could argue that you can’t have machines that exhibit consciousness.”

“I think the future stopped looking American when you think back to Blade Runner and Neuromancer, when it started to look more Japanese.”

“I wouldn’t like to be a character in one of my books!”

“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.”

“I’m not a great believer in awards-of course the fact that I’ve never won one has nothing to do with it at all!”

“Is all this serious? Gurgeh said, turning, amused, from the screen to the drone. Deadly serious, Flere-Imsaho told him. Gurgeh laughed and shook his head. He thought the common people must be remarkably stupid if they believed all this nonsense.”

“It looks perverted and wasteful to us, but then one thing that empires are not about is the efficient use of resources and the spread of happiness; both are typically accomplished despite the economic short-circuiting—corruption and favoritism, mostly—endemic to the system.”

“It was used mainly as a regimental mess and dining hall and so was hung with flags, banners, the hides of enemies, bits and pieces of old weapons and military paraphenalia.”

“Pity they didn’t devote a little more ingenuity to staying alive rather than conducting mass slaughter as efficiently as possible.”

“Serious up-cannoning on our part, for all its for all its intrinsic vulgarity and first-principle undesirability, may be the only way to prevent scalar inter-civilization conflicts…”

“Something in your voice tells me we approach the question of remuneration.”

“Technology determines the possibilities of society. It doesn’t matter whether you start out from a fascist state or a communist state or a free-market state.”

“That was how divorced from the human scale modern warfare had become. You could smash and destroy from unthinkable distances, obliterate planets from beyond their own system and provoke stars into novae from light-years off…and still have no good idea why you were really fighting.”

“The combination of modern ordnance and outdated tactics had, as ever, created enormous casualties on both sides.”

“The double-sun system was relatively poor in comets; there were only a hundred billion of them.”

“The underlying point held; experience as well as common sense indicated that the most reliable method of avoiding self-extinction was not to equip oneself with the means to accomplish it in the first place.”

“You have to have something worth saying and then the ability to say it- writing’s a double skill, really.”