Robert Stone

I’ve been waiting my whole life to fuck up like this.

I've always remembered. This fellow said to me - if you think someones' doing you wrong, it's not for you to judge. Kill them first and then God can do the judging.

What you're trying to do when you write is to crowd the reader out of his own space and occupy it with yours, in a good cause. You're trying to take over his sensibility and deliver an experience that moves from mere information.

That's the great thing about literature -- it makes the world less lonely.

It’s hard to stay away from religion when you mess with acid.

If you haven't fought for your life for something you want, you don't know what's life all about.

If you couldn't tell the difference between what hurt and what didn't, you had no business being alive. You can't have any good times if you can't tell.

The term [Americanization] invokes the transformation of the landscape into unnatural mechanical shapes, of night into day, of speed for its own sake, an irrational passion for novelty at the expense of quality, a worship of gimmickry.


Thomas Berger

If you want to really relax sometime, just fall to rock bottom and you'll be a happy man. Most all troubles come from having standards.

Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.

You got to knock a man down and put your knife at his throat before he'll hear you, like I did to that trooper. The truth seems hateful to most everybody.

The truth is always made up of little particulars which sound ridiculous when repeated.

Time is the bastard offspring of an incestuous act that God committed upon reality." Merlin to Arthur in "Arthur Rex.

 The buffalo eats grass, I eat him, and when I die, the earth eats me and sprouts more grass. Therefore nothing is ever lost, and each thing is everything forever, though all things move.

I expect Custer was crazy enough to believe he would win, being the type of man who carries the whole world within his own head and thus when his passion is aroused and floods his mind, reality is utterly drowned.

I have a belief that a man's real relatives are scattered throughout the universe, and seldom if ever belong to his immediate kin.


William Kennedy

Love, is always insufficient, always a lie. Love, you are the clean shit of my soul. Stupid love, silly love.

Well-lit streets discourage sin, but don't overdo it.

Roscoe was spiritually illegal, a bootlegger of the soul, a mythic creature made of words and wit and wild deeds and boundless memory.

But after awhile you stand up, wipe the frost out of your ear, go someplace to get warm, bum a nickel for coffee, and then start walkin' toward somewheres else that ain't near no bridge.

Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate.

But fear is a cheap emotion, however full of wisdom. And, emotionally speaking, I've always thought of myself as a man of expensive taste.

It's quite uncanny what one sets in motion by being oneself.

Do something new and you are new. How boring it is not to fire machine guns.


Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Perhaps true faith is a form of insanity.

Like Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake and Robert B. Parker and oh so many others, I want to die with my boots on, facedown on my keyboard if possible, in the middle of a sentence.

Our subconscious works in metaphors, stories, and word play. That's why a particular story or movie may mean more to some people than to others. Have you considered why you quest for this tale now?

The only way to build a fan base is to have a lot of material out there for readers to find. You can't manufacture a fan base. You create it, one story at a time.

Reese, honey, victims are victims when they remain quiet. They gain power when they speak out.

[Discipline] It’s the ability to overcome the urge to grab the bright and shiny and interesting to finish what you’ve started.

For each rule of thumb, there is something that breaks that rule.


Alison Lurie

There's a rule, I think. You get what you want in life, but not your second choice too.

Though most tourists accepted the occasional comic misadventure, it was important to them that overall their vacation should be pleasant. When you spend money on a holiday you are essentially purchasing happiness: if you don't enjoy yourself you will feel defrauded.

In this culture, where energy and egotism are rewarded in the young and good-looking, plain aging women are supposed to be self-effacing, uncomplaining--to take up as little space and breathe as little air as possible.

As we leave the tribal culture of childhood behind, we lose contact with instinctive joy in self-expression: with the creative imagination, spontaneous emotion, and the ability to see the world as full of wonders.


Larry McMurtry

If you want one thing too much it’s likely to be a disappointment. The healthy way is to learn to like the everyday things, like soft beds and buttermilk—and feisty gentlemen.

If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.

The older the violin, the sweeter the music.

Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back.

I'm sure partial to the evening,' Augustus said. 'The evening and the morning. If we just didn't have to have the rest of the dern day I'd be a lot happier.

I'm glad I've been wrong enough to keep in practice. . . You can't avoid it, you've got to learn to handle it. If you only come face to face with your own mistakes once or twice in your life it's bound to be extra painful. I face mine every day--that way they ain't usually much worse than a dry shave.

It's a fine world, though rich in hardships at times.

It's like I told you last night son. The earth is mostly just a boneyard. But pretty in the sunlight, he added.

I think its a sickness to grieve too much for those who never cared a fig for you.

The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.

I never met a soul in this world as normal as me.


Mary Doria Russell

I do what I do without hope of reward or fear of punishment. I do not require Heaven or Hell to bribe or scare me into acting decently.

How can you hear your soul if everyone is talking?

There's an old Jewish story that says in the beginning God was everywhere and everything, a totality. But to make creation, God had to remove Himself from some part of the universe, so something besides Himself could exist. So He breathed in, and in the places where God withdrew, there creation exists.

The Jewish sages also tell us that God dances when His children defeat Him in argument, when they stand on their feet and use their minds. So questions like Anne's are worth asking. To ask them is a very fine kind of human behavior. If we keep demanding that God yield up His answers, perhaps some day we will understand them. And then we will be something more than clever apes, and we shall dance with God.

Rain falls on everyone, lightning strikes some. What cannot be changed is best forgotten. God made the world, and He saw that it was good. Not fair. Not happy. Not perfect. Good.

I believe in God the way I believe in quarks. People whose business it is to know about quantum physics or religion tell me they have good reason to believe that quarks and God exist. And they tell me that if I wanted to devote my life to learning what they've learned, I'd find quarks and God just like they did.


Harry Turtledove

You count snouts,” Straha said. “Whichever side can persuade most snouts to join it prevails. It does not have to be clever. It does not have to be wise. It only needs to be popular.

People were as they were, not not as he wished them to be.

Well, I might even get used to the idea that she had no tail.

Somewhere near the Alamo, a bugle brayed: either that or McCulloch’s men had found some reason to torture a poor, defenseless donkey.

He gathered enthusiasm when he thought of the goal, and not the means by which he had accomplished it.

When you thought of permanent oblivion, temporary oblivion was the only foxhole you had.

A horsefly can't do a horse much damage, but it can drive it wild anyway.

The difference between bad and worse is a lot bigger than the difference between good and better.


Joe Haldeman

Bad books on writing tell you to "WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW", a solemn and totally false adage that is the reason there exist so many mediocre novels about English professors contemplating adultery.

Reality becomes illusory and observer-oriented when you study general relativity. Or Buddhism. Or get drafted.

Tonight we're going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man

There's no such thing as writing about the future. The future hasn't happened yet.

Doctors don’t seem to realize that most of us are perfectly content not having to visualize ourselves as animated bags of skin filled with obscene glop.

Science fiction as a genre has the benefit of being able to act as parable, to set up a story at a remove so you can make a real-world point without people throwing up a wall in front of it.

Heaven was a lovely, unspoiled Earth-like world; what Earth might have been like if men had treated her with compassion instead of lust.

So here we were, fifty men and fifty women, with IQs over 150 and bodies of unusual health and strength, slogging elitely through the mud and slush of central Missouri, reflecting on the usefulness of our skill in building bridges on worlds where the only fluid is an occasional standing pool of liquid helium.


Donald Barthelme

The aim of literature ... is the creation of a strange object covered with fur which breaks your heart.

Write about what you're afraid of.

He is mad about being small when you were big, but no, that's not it, he is mad about being helpless when you were powerful, but no, not that either, he is mad about being contingent when you were necessary, not quite it... he is insane because when he loved you, you didn't notice.

The death of God left the angels in a strange position.

There is no moment that exceeds in beauty that moment when one looks at a woman and finds that she is looking at you in the same way that you are looking at her. The moment in which she bestows that look that says, "Proceed with your evil plan, sumbitch."

And I sat there getting drunker and drunker and more in love and more in love.

There was no particular point at which I stopped being promising.

Well chaps first I'd like to say a few vile things more or less at random, not only because it is expected of me but also because I enjoy it.