Terra Ignota Quotes

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Is it not miraculous, reader, the power of the mind to believe and not believe at once?
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Books, even made-up stories, can't all have happy endings because they reflect the real world, and the real world isn't always happy.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
What we choose means more than what is handed to us by chance.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Observe, Chagatai, the protagonist of every work of fiction is Humanity, and the antagonist is God.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Oh, miraculous chameleon, science, who can reverse your doctrine hourly and never shake our faith! What cult ever battered by this world of doubt can help but envy you?
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Now, the penis is round, and the anus is round, while the vagina’s opening is long and narrow; clearly then Nature designed the penis to fit into the anus, not into the vagina.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Celibacy is the most extreme of sexual perversions, after all.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Our modern moths have bounced so many times off lightbulbs, they aren’t prepared for torches, and forget that wings can burn.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Hubris it is, reader, to call one’s self the most anything in history: the most powerful, the most mistreated, the most alone.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
Man is more ambitious than patient. When we realize we cannot split a true atom, cannot conquer the whole Earth, we redefine the terms to fake our victory, check off our boxes and pretend the deed is done. Alexander
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
We all imagine happy endings to such books, pick out the page, the paragraph, in which we would step in and pluck the innocents to safety.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
It doesn’t take a declaration, or an invasion, to start a war, all it takes is an ‘us’ and a ‘them.’ And a spark.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
The more people insist that feminism has won, the more they blind themselves to its remaining foes.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
If history is written by winners, fiction like that is written by bystanders trying to guess what the victims would have said if they’d survived.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
It was an intense embrace, no awkwardness, no holding back, the kind of hug two people can only achieve after long intimacy, but anyone can give in an instant to a stuffed bear.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Child: "The Major and the soldiers and Mycroft told me what war is like. They say it's the second worst thing in the world." Man: "That's an interesting definition. What did they say is the worst thing?" Child: "Not having anything worth fighting for in the first place.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Never create a personal enemy. Always keep layers of minions between yourself and someone you destroy, it’s safer that way.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
No nation, whatever its power, can be called great when it imposes tyranny upon its citizens—worse, upon people it claims as its citizens, not
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
In darker ages Justice stood alone before courthouses, but in Carlyle’s vision her sister Temperance stands to one side holding back her sword, while from the other side Reason lifts away her blindfold, so Justice can finally see the contents of her scales.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
I think all human beings, even I who have no right to ask more of the world, wish to see the future. I don’t mean the whole future; after a millennium history must progress beyond one’s ability to understand
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Complacency is the enemy, Mycroft, not xenophobia. An old phoenix needs burning
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
No one comes to stone the servant when they could watch the execution of the king.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
One straying angel won’t make God tremble.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
I wanted it so much. So much sometimes it felt like I couldn't breathe. Sometimes I would cry, not because I was sad, but because it hurt, physical pain from the intensity of wanting something so much. I'm a good student of philosophy, I know my Stoics, Cynics, their advice, that, when a desire is so intense it hurts you, the healthy path is to detach, unwant it, let it go. The healthy thing for the self. But there are a lot of reasons one can want to be an author: acclaim, wealth, self-respect, finding a community, the finite immortality of name in print, so many more. But I wanted it to add my voice to the Great Conversation, to reply to Diderot, Voltaire, Osamu Tezuka, and Alfred Bester, so people would read my books and think new things, and make new things from those thoughts, my little contribution to the path which flows from Gilgamesh and Homer to the stars. And that isn't just for me. It's for you. Which means it was the right choice to hang on to the desire, even when it hurt so much.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
The great breakthrough of our age is supposed to be that we measure success by happiness, admiring a man for how much he enjoyed his life, rather than how much wealth or fame he hoarded, that old race with no finish line. Diogenes with his barrel and his sunlight lived every hour of his life content, while Alexander fought and bled, mourned friends, faced enemies, and died unsatisfied. Diogenes is greater. Or does that past-tainted inner part of you—the part that still parses ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ and ‘he’ and ‘she’—still think that happiness alone is not achievement without legacy? Diogenes has a legacy. Diogenes ruled nothing, wrote nothing, taught nothing except by the example of his life to passersby, but, so impressed were those bypassers, that, after the better part of three millennia, we still know this about him.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Heartless reality does not grant humans the lifespan necessary to master every specialty of science, so no one genius in his secret lab can really bring robots, mutants, and clones into the world at his mad whim--it takes a team, masses of funds, and decades. But one man can love all sciences, even if he cannot wield them, and he can inspire children with the model of the mad genius, even if he cannot live it.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Nothing under Providence is ever certain until an agent goes and tries and makes it so.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Golden Ages always end with Dark ones.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Predators need the right to tear out each other’s throats.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
I cannot offer wine without the poison of the alcohol within.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
people feel as if the past is the best solution to the present, kings and emperors and coats of arms to stand firm now that the democracies are teetering.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
Death, of course, has many weapons, and, if they have deprived him of a hundred million, he still has enough at hand to keep them mortal.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Truth is water in a sieve. It’s not enough to put your hand across the holes and hope.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
I am nowhere near understanding Time. It seems to be a direction in which sentience can only move one way and perceive the other, but it also destroys, and twists, and swallows, making legacies differ from, or even oppose, intent. It annihilates, repeats, erases. It is too alien to me.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
As Machiavelli observed, Rome showed, tyrant after tyrant, how those reared in palatine luxury, expecting to be master of the world, basely abused the godlike authority that fell to them unearned, while those promoted through merit—Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius—made judicious use of the Imperium of which they considered themselves, not owners, but custodians. It is not power that corrupts, but the belief that it is yours.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
Mr. Smith is a banker, Mrs. Christian is a nurse, as if those twenty or forty or sixty hours made the other hundred of each week nothing. How do you introduce yourself at parties, reader? Are you a cook? A hiker? A reader? A moviegoer?
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Just because some of what led Earth to this crisis is our fault, yours mine, doesn't mean we can't still do real good. We're still here. Alive. We have the ability to act, and choose, and achieve. That's real. Even if it seems dwarfed by past mistakes, those mistakes aren't a negative number, they don't cancel out the good things we do now, don't make an insurmountable pit we have to climb back out of to start at zero. We can do good, and our pasts don't take that possibility away, not while we still live and breathe. And try.
Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota, #4))
when our Twenty-Second-Century forefathers created the Servicer Program, offering lifelong community service in lieu of prison for criminals judged harmless enough to walk among the free, were they progressive or retrogressive in implementing a seven-hundred-year-old system which had never actually existed?
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
What I have read of war suggests that the most devastating mistakes are often made either in war’s inception, when the front lines take their shapes, or after the surrender. In the latter case, exaltation and vendetta often have clouded victors’ judgments as they laid the architecture of their postwar worlds.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
Ah, reader, I understand it is your kindness which fills you with this hubris, but it is hubris still. You presume, not only to advise your Maker, but to demand that He respond to your advice by revising the infinite and perfect Plan of His Creation precisely as you--with your flawed and finite wisdom--recommend?
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
I could ask any contemporary here, ‘Are you a majority?’ and I know what he or she would answer: Of course not, Mycroft. I have a Hive, a race, a second language, a vocation and an avocation, hobbies of my own; add up my many strats and you will soon reduce me to a minority of one, and hence my happiness. I am unique, and proud of my uniqueness, and prouder still that, by being no majority, I ensure eternal peace. You lie, reader. There is one majority still entrenched in our commingled world, a great ‘us’ against a smaller ‘them.’ You will see it in time. I shall give only one hint—the deadliest majority is not something most of my contemporaries are, reader, it is something they are not. «
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
On a scale of one to pissed I'd rate them pissed.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
I am a Humanist because I believe in heroes, that history is driven by those individuals with fire enough to change the world.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
There has to be an Outsider or the next strangest will be named Outsider.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
slim and ancient like a cliff-face tree that keeps its trunk pole-thin as it puts the growing strength of centuries into its roots.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
I told you before how hard I fight to make myself believe in this drifting dream you call the present. Now I lost that fight.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
I trust my doctor with my life, but not my dirty laundry.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
The sensayer frowned. “You’re saying you discuss theology while having sex.” “For beginners it’s before and after mostly, managing it during sex takes skill and concentration.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Apollo thought that we need suffering to create people capable of enduring suffering. World Peace does not breed heroes.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
I think all human beings, even I who have no right to ask more of the world, wish to see the future.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Secrets pour out like water, even from a single hole
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Except ants" is Mushi's motto. Humanity is forever boasting of its 'unique' achievements: "Humans are the only creatures who build cities, use agriculture, domesticate animals, have nations and alliances, practice slavery, make war, make peace; these wonders make us stand alone above all other creatures, in glory and in crime." But then Mushi corrects, "Except ants.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Now, though, the command he gave made two vaguenesses congeal into one threat, distant, amorphous, but unmistakable, as when, against a background of city dawn and back alley clatter, one click and one clack come together into the telltale click-clack of a ready gun, and echo won't tell you whether the enemy's perch is left, or right, or high, or low, only that it is near.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Such mercy!” Hobbes too marvels, “to say that thought without deed is not a crime! In my day almost as many were executed for opinion as for deed, and even to imagine the king’s death constituted treason.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
A constellation of Utopians is a group which only seems a group to us because we seek familiar institutions in their government, as we use the shapes of beasts and heroes to make false sense of the sea of stars.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
This world is far from perfect, but people have never been happier, healthier, more productive, more free, more equal. We have a lot of improvements still to make, but we’ve come a long way compared to any older era.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
Have you never watched a death, reader? In slow cases like blood loss it is not so much a moment as a stretch of ambiguity—one breath leaves and you wait uncertain for the next: was that the last? One more? Two more? A
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Legend says that Emperor Constantine, converted on his deathbed, willed the Roman Empire to the Christian Church, and in one act both ensured that Church’s immortality and doomed Europe to nineteen centuries of wars for God;
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Our Kind Dictator rarely dictated Himself, as word-clumsy as ever, sentences like origami as His thoughts as vast as cosmic planes compress fold on fold, tighter, tighter, into the deceptive smallness of a crane, or frog, or noun.
Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota, #4))
Color-coded rank hats? Those are worse than wearing a bull’s-eye on your chest! If you want your commanders to survive a week, you want no difference in uniform visible from more than a few meters away. Marking them out like this is madness!
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
Carlyle had come fluttering to the flame, lured by the false invitation Dominic had sent in Eloise's name and lured, too, by Eloise's conclusion that J.E.D.D. Mason was something not unlike a miracle. How confident the cousin was that in this golden age of peace and ever watching trackers, a virgin with a bag of gold could walk across this earth without danger. Our modern moths have bounced so many times off light bulbs they aren't prepared for torches and forget that wings can burn.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
I think there is no person, myself aside, so hated by the ambitious of this world as Bryar Kosala, since those who fight viciously to grasp the reins of power cannot forgive the fact that she could rise so high and still be nice. Think of Andō struggling make himself the main head of the Mitsubishi hydra, think of Europe’s Parliamentary campaigns, of the glitter and furor of Humanist elections. Bryar Kosala just likes helping people, and is good at running things, and when invited to become the world’s Mom she said, “Sure.” That
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Even MASON froze a moment. “Bridger built a satellite that built a robot capable of blasting missiles halfway to the Moon?” Cato smiled gently, so gently. “Bridger made resurrection potions, and a magic crystal ball, and Achilles. This is marginally less impossible.
Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota, #4))
If God made Man and Man made this, it is still a Self-portrait. And if, as some say, God made Man in His Image, and His Image then made this, it is a portrait’s portrait. And if Nature is the face of God, another Portrait, and Man is the spawn of Nature, it becomes a portrait’s portrait’s portrait. The Nature we see on Earth too is a microcosm, one might say a portrait of the Cosmos, and the Cosmos a portrait of the Laws of Nature, portraits spawning portraits like the spiral chambers of a nautilus repeating the face of God. Such a Creator seems desperate to show Himself to someone. And yet He hides Himself.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Perhaps your better age is finally past it, reader, but my society—despite our neuter efforts—still shoves gender down our throats, imbibed in toddlerhood when a child whom the adults label ‘girl’ gets chided just a little more for getting her nice clothes muddy than a child we see as ‘boy’ and associate with snails and muddy puppy tails.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Imagine, reader, in primordial days some vicious dinosaur, heavy with nightmare jaws, which chases a shimmering lizard up a slope, and the predator rejoices, already tasting the kill in its blood-starved mind, when, all at once, its slim prey spreads its feathered fins and takes to the air in a world that had not yet realized life could fly. You
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
More than sixty years ago we instituted floating citizenship, so children of mixed parents would not be compelled to choose between several equal fatherlands. It was not the end of our countries. Almost everyone still prefers to have a homeland to love and return to, and the legal possibility of life without a homeland does not destroy the bonds of culture, language, and history which make a homeland home.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
You will criticize me, reader, for writing in a style six hundred years removed from the events I describe, but you came to me for explanation of those days of transformation which left your world the world it is, and since it was the philosophy of the Eighteenth Century, heavy with optimism and ambition, whose abrupt revival birthed the recent revolution, so it is only in the language of the Enlightenment, rich with opinion and sentiment, that those days can be described. You must forgive me my ‘thee’s and ‘thou’s and ‘he’s and ‘she’s, my lack of modern words and modern objectivity. It will be hard at first, but whether you are my contemporary still awed by the new order, or an historian gazing back at my Twenty-Fifth Century as remotely as I gaze back on the Eighteenth, you will find yourself more fluent in the language of the past than you imagined; we all are.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Does it distress you, reader, how I remind you of their sexes in each sentence? ‘Hers’ and ‘his’? Does it make you see them naked in each other’s arms, and fill even this plain scene with wanton sensuality? Linguists will tell you the ancients were less sensitive to gendered language than we are, that we react to it because it’s rare, but that in ages that heard ‘he’ and ‘she’ in every sentence they grew stale, as the glimpse of an ankle holds no sensuality when skirts grow short. I don’t believe it. I think gendered language was every bit as sensual to our predecessors as it is to us, but they admitted the place of sex in every thought and gesture, while our prudish era, hiding behind the neutered ‘they,’ pretends that we do not assume any two people who lock eyes may have fornicated in their minds if not their flesh. You protest: My mind is not as dirty as thine, Mycroft. My distress is at the strangeness of applying ‘he’ and ‘she’ to thy 2450s, where they have no place. Would that you were right, good reader. Would that ‘he’ and ‘she’ and their electric power were unknown in my day. Alas, it is from these very words that the transformation came which I am commanded to describe, so I must use them to describe it. I am sorry, reader. I cannot offer wine without the poison of the alcohol within.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Histories say scared Majorities hurt Minorities. That’s why you hide. Utopia pretends ut because they’re openly giving Implants to U-beasts they aren’t secretly giving them to humans too, and you pretend ut because you don’t make Set-Sets anymore you aren’t making other, stranger Things. They make U-Beast Jokes to make Others forget Mars will be real; you make Number Puzzles to make Others forget your Machine-Brain-Copy will be real too.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
...we all have asymmetrical relationships with people far away, in space, in time, across the barrier between our real world and the shadow world which contains both our past and Holmes’s Valhalla. Worlds which are not real (past or imaginary) can still teach us, warn us, just as friends who are not with us can inspire us, push us, draw us into the unending teamwork of humanity, which has always crossed time’s diaspora. Sometimes we’re too tired, the friends around us absent or just tired too. But Thomas Hobbes is not too tired, nor loyal Watson, and while dead hands and imaginary hands can’t mend our pavement cracks, they can still sit beside us on the roughest nights and help us make it through. And if we love our imaginary worlds, if they stir passions in us, love, I think that makes us love this world the more, this world that created them, and that we remake with them.
Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota, #4))
Since ancient days there has been a name for Senatorial recommendations that carry the force, not of law, but of the Will of the Leviathan, but the name is Latin, and we cannot say Senatus Consultum without implying that the Latin-speaking Masons somehow own this, much as we half believe they own all Romanova, built for us by MASONS past. So we instead say 'Senatorial Consult,' which translates to 'Let's pretend we aren't thinking about Masons right now.' Of course we are.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
Have you come to help Me?" The sensayer waited, uncertain whether the words were meant for her. "Help you how?" she asked. The stone-still Speaker did not turn. "To understand the God Who made this portrait of Himself." Carlyle looked to the altarpiece, the choirs of Heaven shimmering in their concentric circles of cracking paint and gold. "People made that, human beings searching for their own understanding." "If God made Man and Man made this, it is still a Self-portrait.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
The Universal Laws still make it criminal for them to prey on children, take trackers away, or jeopardize the world with toxic chemicals, or fire, or religion, but they feel in their hearts that humans are a predator, and predators need the right to tear out each other’s throats. You must not think they rape and murder daily. Most rarely more than duel, and it is a strong deterrent knowing you have no armor in this wide world but the goodwill of peers who could kill you where you stand.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
I Hate Death. I Hate … Death. I Hate Death. I Hate when thinking beings end and are no more. I think it is sane to hate Death. I Love you and I Hate it when you die. I try to understand when you say there are causes worth killing and dying for, but I do not understand. I Hate Death.” [...] “War is the thesis that there is a special time when causing death is normal, legal, heroic, accepted, right; I Hate this thesis and I cannot call it justice.” [...] “Billions have just acted on this thesis, killing as if killing were normal now because we named this five hundred and four days ‘war’ and this naming alone suspended ethics and made a blood-carnival time when death was not an evil. No. I do not accept war’s thesis. We do not need to accept war’s thesis. War’s thesis is not of this era [...] “This is terra ignota. We get to make new laws of war for this new age. We do not have to make our laws of war exempt the soldier from the truth that we should not kill when we do not have to. I say killing is a crime. If it is war and there is such a thing as war crime, then I say killing should be a war crime, every killing, exempting only those we would exempt in peacetime, too. [...] “This is terra ignota. We get to make new laws of war for this new age. We do not have to make our laws of war exempt the soldier from the truth that we should not kill when we do not have to. I say killing is a crime. If it is war and there is such a thing as war crime, then I say killing should be a war crime, every killing, exempting only those we would exempt in peacetime, too. [...]
Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota, #4))
Kids aren’t learning science right these days! The teachers teach it like it’s just supposed to be useful, like, here, learn this geometry so you can design a building, here, learn this chemistry so you can make a plastic bag. Of course kids don’t like it! No kid comes home from school and says, ‘I want to make plastic bags when I grow up!’ We already have plastic bags, and comfy chairs, and flying cars, we’ve had them for centuries, and they aren’t getting better because they work already so no one’s interested in replacing them, just making them cheaper, or with more games. That isn’t science! Science is figuring out where the universe is going! Science is noticing that the ants crawling up the picnic table like your sandwich better than your ba’sib’s and asking, ‘Why?’ Not ‘How is this useful?’ not ‘Can I make this into a plastic bag?’ but ‘Why?
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Hobbes tells us that war consists not in Battle only, but in that tract of time wherein the Will to Battle is so manifest that, scenting bloodlust in his fellows and himself, Man can no longer trust civilization’s pledge to keep the peace. If so, we are at war. We have been these four months, since Ockham’s arrest and Sniper’s bullet revealed too much truth for trust to stay. But we do not know how to turn the Will to Battle into Battle. We have enjoyed three hundred years of peace, World Peace, real peace, whatever the detractors say. This generation has never met a man who met a man who marched onto a battlefield. Governments have no armies anymore, no arms. A man may kill another with a gun, a sword, a sharpened stone, but the human race no longer remembers how to turn a child of eighteen into a soldier, organize riot into battle lines, or dehumanize an enemy enough to make the killing bearable.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
We discussed what we want from you now,...you who had power and used it to burn the world. You burned a lot. You didn't just burn trees and cities and each other. You burned our admiration for the governments we grew up respecting. You burned our sense of safety in your care. You burned our patience, our ability to believe that the great things in this world you promised to protect will still be there for us and future generations. You burned our trust as you misused the data and surveillance we let you collect, first for O.S. and the Canner Device, then for the war, its propaganda and its lies. You burned our self-trust, too, since we know we are infused with your values, values we thought made both you and us people who would never do what you just did. We have to be afraid of ourselves now, vigilant against what you've taught us to be, since now we know we are something to be afraid and ashamed of. And even if you didn't personally kill in the war, if you carried arms, if you participated, you helped burn what nothing can bring back. No sentence can repair any of that. So, we want you to repair what you can. That's our sentence. We want you to rebuild the cities, replant the trees, replace the art, relaunch the satellites, fix the bridges you can fix to make up for the ones you can't. We want you to rebuild the system, too, fixing the holes this has exposed and making more safeguards so no one can misuse the cars and data and surveillance and trackers and such again. We want you to build it all back but better than it was, and faster than any past war has rebuilt. You weren't as good at peace as you thought you were, but maybe you can be as good at rebuilding. Everyone, even Minors like Tribune MASON who took part, if in your heart you know you were complicit, then build back what you burned with your own hours, your own efforts, your own hands. That's our sentence.
Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota, #4))
I camerunesi, i nigeriani, gli ivoriani, ma anche i burkinabé, considerano il Sahara la fine dell'Africa: l'inizio di quella terra ignota abitata dagli arabi […] un mare sconosciuto in cui si avventurano con il terrore di fare naufragio […]
Stefano Liberti
still prefer her in her home clothes, loose and lazy like the lax wings of a flying squirrel forever ready to cuddle back in bed. It
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Sade writes the least erotic sex scenes you might imagine, alternating with long stretches of dialogue on moral philosophy, politics, religion, family life, the origins of the state and patriarchy, much as one might find in Locke or Montesquieu,
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Yes, reader, you are here too, inside Mukta, or rather you watch through the eyes of someone hidden within, our witness for this secret conference, spying from inside the ancient car.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
It can never change that peace is endangered if one man tries to reserve to himself some Right which he will not share with everyone else, or if, in cases of revenge, men dwell on the greatness of the evil past, instead of thinking of the greatness of the good to follow, and so let private vendetta grow into public ruin.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
presenting her breasts like a platter of pudding
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
you seized my borderlands, you executed my hero, you conquered me a thousand years ago and I remember. All Europeans are equally guilty, English, Flemish, Kurdish, myself no less, for I catch myself from time to time rejecting good sense just because it came from a Turk’s lips. The
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
It isn’t only the Utopians who become a little more immortal with every blade they take away. It isn’t only they who delight in seeing unicorns and wingrays in the street, who gaze through Griffincloth into enchanting nowheres, and ride the shuttles to the brave, bare Moon, which their efforts make a little less bare every day. We all enjoy these wonders, all of us, all Hives, all Hiveless. Reader, you should not have barred Apollo Mojave from the Pantheon.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Revenge heeds instinct, not evidence.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Ἄναξ
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
understood then, but these past years, seeing Bridger’s powers, I let myself fall into the delusion that Providence might be simple.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
Conflict's resurgence does not require us to accept war's thesis and call war's deaths justice just because we wear the words and uniforms of a past which assented to this.
Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota, #4))
If we the portrait alphabet of our many-faced Maker cease our restless aim, that means the First Mover, the One Who aimed across a darkness no being had senses tuned to see, will someday Move no more.
Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota, #4))
I asked myself, reading this over, why I describe the King of Spain less vividly than all the others. In truth he is less vivid, always restrained and stately, trained from infancy to do nothing he could not be seen doing on a coin.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
In the last centuries of the Exponential Age gender began to be liberated from biology, but that process wasn’t nearly finished when the Church War came. The worst cults in the war were also associated with gender oppression, so after the war the nascent Hives tried to purge all gender differences so abruptly that there was no time to come up with substitutes for all the other social functions gender used to have.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
He was much changed from an hour before, relaxed and energized by having mastered the data, as a musician is relaxed and energized by having instrument in hand.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
Variables are pandoras.
Ada Palmer (Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota, #2))
I closed my eyes. “Tully, while it’s true I’ll never rest in peace until I’ve killed you, you’re low on the list of reasons I will never rest in peace.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
That’s the thing about gore, Bridger, if you don’t let yourself look at it then your imagination twists it in your mind and makes it into a kind of nightmare instead of letting you learn from it. You have to look at it, see what they did exactly, blood for blood, or you’ll never understand it.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
What are humanity’s great dreams? To conquer the world? To split the atom? When Alexander spread his empire from the Mediterranean to India, we say he conquered the world, but he barely touched a quarter of it. We lie. We lie again when we say we split the atom. ‘Atom’ was supposed to be the smallest piece of matter—all we did is give that name to something we can split, knowing that there are quarks and tensors, other pieces smaller that we cannot touch, and only these deserve the title ‘atom.’ Man is more ambitious than patient. When we realize we cannot split a true atom, cannot conquer the whole Earth, we redefine the terms to fake our victory, check off our boxes and pretend the deed is done. Alexander conquered Earth, we tell ourselves, Rutherford split the atom, no need to try again. Lies.
Ada Palmer (Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1))
If Ockham Saneer told me that my death would save ten thousand lives," Quarrimann interrupted flatly, "I'd let them kill me. Would you?
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))
The fittest survived, but with the conquered within them, as conquered bacteria became the mitochondria which feed the cells that crawl through volvox, trilobite, and coelacanth toward Mars.
Ada Palmer (The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3))