Thoughtful Thursday: Fantastic Quotes!

It’s time again to share some of our favorite (new or old) quotes from speculative fiction.

They can be deep, poignant, witty, hilarious, or otherwise memorable.

You can choose quotes from books you’ve read, or from interviews or blog posts from the authors who write those books. SFF films and shows are fine, too.

Give us the quote and the source (book or film title, link to interview or blog, etc).

Here are a few of the fantastic quotes that readers mentioned last time we did this. Click the book cover to read our review.

The Divine may have created many hells, but I think they pale beside what men create for themselves.


~City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

Branching paths. The turning of days and seasons and years. Life offered you love sometimes, sorrow often. If you were very fortunate, true friendship. Sometimes war came.


You did what you could to shape your own peace, before you crossed over to the night and left the world behind, as all men did, to be forgotten or remembered, as time or love allowed.


~ Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay


Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

“I’m not a drug salesman. I’m a writer.”


“What makes you think a writer isn’t a drug salesman?”


“I’ll accept that. Guilty as charged.”


Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut


Jingo by Terry Pratchett

Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.


~ Jingo by Terry Pratchett


One random commenter wins a book from our stacks!

We look forward to reading your favorite quotes! We’re making this a regular annual column (we mean it this time!), so as you find new fantastic quotes, you can either leave them here, or save them up for next year.

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  1. “You must begin by first believing that you’ve already arrived.” Jonathon Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach.

  2. John Smith /

    “You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” “The Dispossessed” by Ursula Le Guin

  3. “There were some things that only time could cure. Evil men could be destroyed, but nothing could be done with good men who were deluded.”
    ― Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood’s End

  4. “You can’t skip to the end of the story just because you’re tired of being in the middle. You’d never survive.”
    ― Seanan McGuire, Middlegame

  5. “A book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. Treat them with respect.”

    -Mark Lawrence, Red Sister

  6. Noneofyourbusiness /

    “We are all born as molecules in the hearts of a billion stars. Molecules that do not understand politics or policies or differences. Over a billion years, we foolish molecules forget who we are and where we came from. In desperate acts of ego, we give ourselves names, fight over lines on maps, and pretend that our light is better than everyone else’s. The flame reminds us of the piece of those stars that lives on inside us. The spark that tells us: ‘You should know better.’ The flame also reminds us that life is precious as each flame is unique. When it goes out, it’s gone forever. And there will never be another quite like it. So many candles will got out tonight. I wonder some days if we can see anything at all.” — Delenn, Babylon 5 “And All My Dreams Torn Asunder”

  7. Drew McCaffrey /

    “Memory is immortality of a sort.

    In the night, when the wind dies and silence rules the place of glittering stone, I remember. And they all live again.

    Soldiers live. And wonder why.”

    – Glen Cook, Soldiers Live

  8. Lady Morar /

    “A long, long time ago,” the flowery woman began, “our Childlike Empress was deathly ill, for she needed a new name, and only a human could give her one. But humans had stopped coming to Fantastica, no one knew why. And if she had died, that would have been the end of Fantastica. Then one day—or rather one night—a human came after all. It was a little boy, and he gave the Childlike Empress the name of Moon Child. She recovered, and in token of her gratitude she promised the boy that all his wishes in her empire would come true—until he found out what he really and truly wanted. Then the little boy made a long journey from one wish to the next, and each one came true. And each fulfillment led to a new wish. There were not only good wishes but bad ones as well, but the Childlike Empress drew no distinction; in her eyes all things in her empire are equally good and important. In the end the Ivory Tower was destroyed, and she did nothing to prevent it. But with every wish fulfillment the little boy lost a part of his memory of the world he had come from. He didn’t really mind, for he had given up wanting to go back. So he kept on wishing, but by then he had spent all his memories, and without memories it’s not possible to wish. So he had almost ceased to be a human and had almost become a Fantastican. He still didn’t know what he really and truly wanted. It seemed possible that his very last memories would be used up before he found out. And if that happened, he would never be able to return to his own world. Then at last he came to the House of Change, and there he would stay until he found out what he really and truly wanted. You see, it’s called the House of Change not only because it changes itself but also because it changes anyone who lives in it. And that was very important to the little boy, because up until then he had always wanted to be someone other than he was, but he didn’t want to change.”
    – Michael Ende, The Neverending Story

  9. Jillian /

    “Jam should not have lore or mythology. It should be sweet colorful and delicious” -Shallan from the stormlight archives. Best quote haha

  10. The Distinguished Professor /

    “Well, I don’t want any today, at any rate.”

    “You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the queen said. “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday—but never jam today.”

    “It must come sometimes to ‘jam today,’ ” Alice objected.

    “No, it can’t,” said the queen. “It’s jam every other day: today isn’t any other day, you know.”
    – Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There

  11. A.G. ,if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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