Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reeling backward, Paul experienced every moment splintered into a million shards of nanoseconds. Each event had been as carefully laid out as the puzzle pieces in a Chusuk mosaic. Either the plan had originally been designed in extravagant and impossible detail, or Fenring had enhanced the scheme with so many branch points and alternatives that all possibilities had intersected in this single crux point.

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Paul of Dune (498)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cigarettes were to Bette Davis what a bottle of Southern Comfort was to Janis Joplin or a half-unbuttoned black shirt is to Tom Ford: a mundane prop elevated by sheer force of personality to the level of a stylized autograph. Davis smoked eminently onscreen - Charlotte Vale's romanticized oral fixation in Now, Voyager; the pungent fumes of Margo Channing - but, if anything, she was ever better known in real life as the world's most famous nicotine addict. Only Winston Churchill and his cigars could come close, but Davis takes the prize if only because she inhaled.

Ed Sikov, Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis (332)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

When he rolled off her body, Lucy huddled into one corner of the bed and began to cry. She felt so ashamed. And then she was shockingly surprised to hear Jules laugh softly and say "You poor benighted Eye-talian girl, so that's why you kept refusing me all these months? You dope." He said "you dope" with such friendly affection that she turned toward him and he took her naked body against his saying, "You are medieval, you are positively medieval." But the voice was soothingly comforting as she continued to weep.

Mario Puzo, The Godfather (331)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My point, and I do have one, is that having a vagina is not an accomplishment. It may be what makes you biologically female, but what does that have to do with feminism? Women had vaginas before they could vote or own property, and they didn't get those rights by pinning needle-felted vajayjays to their mantalets.

April Winchell, Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF (55)
She smiled grimly. The Islanders hadn't exactly taken over Great Achaea's Sicilian colony by landing and proclaiming liberation. They had turned it into a three-cornered exercise in massacre and countermassacre, as natives and slaves and Achaeans fought each other like crabs in a bucket. It reminded her of what she'd read about Haiti during the slaves uprising there in the 1790s, years of terror and madness. However discouraging the Nantucketers' problems looked, she didn't think the other factions felt particularly victorious, either.

S.M. Stirling, On the Oceans of Eternity (582)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Alice Hong's smile wasn't a snarl. It was bright and cheery, and far, far worse than that. She pulled a concealing cloak and mask off the figure standing beside her. Ian Arnstein took one look, and knew that however long he lived he would wish he hadn't. He quickly turned his eyes above Hong's head, concentrating on not humiliating himself by vomiting or fainting.

S.M. Stirling, Against the Tide of Years (426)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"How does it cock?" Ian asked. There was a steel claw arrangement hooked to the center of the wire string stretched across the shallow cord of the bow. He pulled at the string with a tentative hand. It was like a solid bar, immovable.

"That's a stiff draw," he said.

"Over three hundred and fifty pounds," the machinist said. "Brace the stock against your hip and hold the grip. Now put your other hand on the forestock, through that oval metal loop that sticks out beyond the wood. Feel that catch under your thumb? Press it down."

Ian obeyed. A steel lever came out of its slot in the forestock, hinged at the rear a few inches ahead of the trigger guard.

"Pump it back and forth, like the lever on a car jack."

There was a soft heavy resistance with every stroke, and the crossbow's string inched backward. At the sixth it clicked home near the trigger action and the rear sight, the heavy steel bow bent and ready.

S.M. Stirling, Island in the Sea of Time (63-64)