Robert Charles Wilson quotes

  • Some pious men may find this truth unorthodox and bitter: But Nature, Chance, and Time ensure survival of the fitter!
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Men #Survival #May

  • To fire a bullet into the heart or brains of one's fellow man even a fellow man striving to do the same to you creates what might be called an unassimilable memory: a memory that floats on daily life the way an oil stain floats on rainwater. Stir the rain barrel, scatter the oil into countless drops, disperse it all you like, but it will not mix; and eventually the slick comes back, as loathsomely intact as it ever was.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Memories #Rain #Heart

  • The Dutch at close proximity looked much like Americans, apart from their peculiar uniforms, and so it was their uniforms I fired at, half convinced that I was killing, not human beings, but enemy costumes, which had borne their contents here from a distant land; and if some living man suffered for his enslavement to the uniform, or was penetrated by the bullets aimed at it well, that was unavoidable, and the fault couldn't be placed at my feet. The private charade was not equivalent to Courage, but it enabled a Callousness that served a similar purpose.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Men #Land #Feet

  • Evolution can't be predicted, Julian used to tell me; it's a scattershot business; it fires, but it doesn't aim.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Fire #Evolution #Used

  • There's no drug that'll make a stupid man smart.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Stupid #Smart #Men

  • [There was] only one news channel, overseen by a bland and complexly multicultural board of advisors. It broadcast in fifteen languages and was, as a rule, interesting in none of them.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Interesting #Fifteen #Boards

  • We'll do what life always does defy expectations.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Expectations #Doe

  • I don't believe money is evil, but it can be terribly corrosive.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Believe #Evil

  • It was the kind of experience, Molly said, that would grow calluses on an angel's ass.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Angel #Kind #Ass

  • The suicidally disgruntled were legion, And their enemies included any and all Americans, Brits, Canadians, Danes, et cetera; or, conversely, all Moslems, dark-skinned people, non-English-speakers, immigrants; all Catholics, fundamentalists, atheists; all liberals, all conservatives...For such people the consummate act of moral clarity was a lynching or a suicide bombing, a fatwa or a pogrom. And they were ascendant now, rising like dark stars over a terminal landscape.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Suicide #Atheist #Stars

  • We live in an enlightened age, however, an age that has learned to see and to value other living things as they are, not as we wish them to be. And the long and creditable history of science has taught us, if nothing else, to look carefully before we judge to judge, if we must, based on what we see, not what we would prefer to believe.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Believe #Judging #Long

  • Promises were like bad checks, easy to write and hard to cash.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Writing #Promise #Cash

  • I suppose every decade gets the music it deserves.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Deserve

  • Personally, I don't believe in anything more supernatural than what you read about in the Bible, and I only believe that one day out of seven.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Believe #One Day #Seven

  • You never stop being a parent, Adam, no matter how old or wise your child becomes you'll see.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Wise #Children #Parent

  • Do you want to tell the truth, or do you want to tell a story?
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Stories #Want #Telling The Truth

  • Is there any evidence to the contrary? I don't need certainty in order to act on a well-founded suspicion.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Order #Needs #Certainty

  • Some things are taken away from you, some you leave behind and some you carry with you, world without end.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Taken #World #Away From You

  • I would confront the thieves, I thought, and the self-evident justice of my case would cause them to crumble before me. I don't know why I expected such extravagant results from the application of mere justice. That kind of calculation is seldom borne out by worldly events.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Self #Justice #Thieves

  • If I am an agnostic, Calyxa, it's because I'm also a realist.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Agnostic #Realist

  • Average people seldom talked about anything interesting and often hurt each other savagely.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Hurt #Average #Interesting

  • What we cannot remember, we must rediscover.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Remember

  • An honest book is almost as good as a friend.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Book #Honest

  • I loved Molly. Or at least I told myself I did. Or, if what I felt for her was not love, it was at least a plausible imitation, a convincing substitute.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Imitation #Substitutes #Convincing

  • This would have been less annoying had it been untrue.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Annoying

  • Understanding is better than ignorance. Ignorance, unlike life, unlike narrative, is static. Understanding implies a forward motion, thus the possibility of change.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Ignorance #Understanding #Narrative

  • When does loyalty become martyrdom?
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Loyalty #Doe #Martyrdom

  • There's no point living if you can't, at least occasionally, live.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

  • Ah, books." Ziegler, smiling, came up behind me. "They bob like corks on an ocean. Float between worlds, messages in bottles.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Book #Ocean #Bottles

  • Does it strike you, Mr. Keller, that we live every day in the science fiction of our youth?
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Fiction #Doe #Youth

  • I understand so very little. But I am not afraid to look: I am a good observer at last. My eyes are open, and I am not afraid.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Eye #Littles #Lasts

  • One doesn't have to understand in order to look. One has to look, in order to understand.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Order #Looks

  • Ecstasy hates company.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Hate #Ecstasy #Company

  • Goddamn you," Jacob said. "There's no damnation, Jacob. No Heaven but the forest and no God but the hive.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Heaven #Forests #Damnation

  • To capture the pawn, threaten the queen.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Queens #Pawns #Capture

  • The attacking piece displaces its victim. The vanquished piece leaves the plane of the board entirely. But it does not, in a higher sense, cease to exist.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Pieces #Doe #Boards

  • For such people the consummate act of moral clarity was a lynching or a suicide bombing, a fatwa or a pogrom. And they were ascendant now, rising like dark stars over a terminal landscape .
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Suicide #Stars #Dark

  • John Scalzi is a fresh and appealing new voice, and Old Man's War is classic SF seen from a modern perspective—a fast-paced tour of a daunting, hostile universe.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #War #Men #Voice

  • It's partly the Southernization of America, in that the Southern working-class version of redneck is becoming the national version, and it's good-natured, it has humor and, in some ways, it's a performance.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Redneck #Class #America

  • The world is what it is and won't be bargained with.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #World

  • The conversation was mesmerizing, not for its content but for the cadences of the talk, the rhythm we fell into when we were alone, now as before. Every conversation between friends or lovers creates its own easy or awkward rhythms, hidden talk that runs like a subterranean river under even the most banal exchange.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Running #Rivers #Awkward

  • We're as ephemeral as raindrops. We all fall, and we all land somewhere.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Fall #Land #Ephemeral

  • There are so many kinds of time. The time by which we measure our lives. Months and years. Or the big time, the time that raises mountains and makes stars. Or all the things that happen between one heartbeat and the next. Its hard to live in all those kinds of times. Easy to forget that you live in all of them.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Stars #Years #Mountain

  • Children wear their natures like brightly-colored clothes; that's why they lie so transparently. Adulthood is the art of deceit.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Art #Children #Lying

  • You must not make the mistake of thinking that because nothing lasts, nothing matters.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Mistake #Thinking #Matter

  • We're all born strangers to ourselves and each other, and we're seldom formally introduced.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Stranger #Born

  • And death? I don't fear death. I dread the absence of it.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Absence #Fear Of Death #Dread

  • Consciousness," according to current scientific thought, was something the higher mammals had evolved in order to help them reproduce, much the way a garden slug secretes slime. It had no special ontological status. The "self" was a genetically modulated and biologically useful illusion.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Garden #Self #Order

  • The Mysteries are the Mysteries, and ultimately personal maybe the most personal thing in the universe. Evangelism, in my opinion, is a failure of the imagination. Beware of prophets: the best visions are the ones they leave in the desert.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Imagination #Vision #Desert

  • It was amazing how these events lost their impact, translated through the flat gaze of a video screen.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Impact #Video #Events

  • From this new point of view, the universe I had inhabited became an object I could perceive in its entirety. It was a hypersphere embedded in a cloud of alternative states the sum of all possible quantum trajectories from the big bang to the decay of matter. "Reality" history as we had known or inferred it was only the most likely of these possible trajectories. There were countless others, real in a different sense: a vast but finite set of paths not taken, a ghostly forest of quantum alternatives, the shores of an unknown sea.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Real #Taken #Views

  • What had been released into the desert vacuum and starry oases of the galaxy was the inexorable logic of reproduction and natural selection. What followed was parasitism, predation, symbiosis, interdependency chaos, complexity, life.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Oasis #Desert #Symbiosis

  • Since Deacon Hollingshead's arrival in town last July the Dominion had been hard at work, cleansing New York City of moral corruption. "Corruption" is a popular word with the enthusiasts of the Dominion, usually uttered as a prelude to the knife, the docket, or the noose.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #New York #Knives #Cities

  • I suppose the pursuit of fashion has always carried a price, monetary or otherwise.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Fashion #Pursuit #Monetary

  • These movies belonged to the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries that period of great, unsustainable, and hedonistic prosperity, driven by the burning of Earth's reserves of perishable oil, which culminated in the False Tribulation, and the wars, and the plagues, and the painful dwindling of inflated populations to more reasonable numbers.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #War #Oil #Numbers

  • I believed there were no Hypotheticals in the sense of consciously acting agents conscious entities. There was only the process. The needles of evolution, endlessly knitting.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Knitting #Acting #Agents

  • We spent a lot of time discussing cosmology first. I think that was your father's unique way of evaluating people. You can tell a lot about a person, he once said, by the way they look at the stars.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Stars #Father #Unique

  • Along with a dozen other students I had dissected a human cadaver and sorted its contents by size, color, function, and weight. There was nothing pleasant about the experience. Its only consolation was its truth and its only virtue was its utility.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Color #Weight #Dozen

  • Everybody falls, and we all land somewhere.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Fall #Land

  • Nobody wants to conduct an autopsy on a dead saint.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Saint #Want

  • Times like this, with the wind moving the grass and curling around her like a huge cool hand, Tess felt the world as a second presence, as another person, as if the wind and the grass had voices of their own and she could hear them talking.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Moving #Talking #Wind

  • It was possible at last to hear the silence to appreciate that there was a silence, deep and potent, out there beyond the pretension of the light.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Light #Appreciate #Silence

  • I won't put my ignorance on an altar and call it God. It feels like idolatry, like the worst kind of idolatry.
    -- Robert Charles Wilson

    #Ignorance #Kind #Worst