Questions tagged [quotes]

Questions about popular quotes from a work.

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26 votes
3 answers
23k views

In what context did Tolkien say "evil cannot create anything new"?

Evil cannot create anything new, they can only corrupt and ruin what good forces have invented or made. I see this quote a lot in the comments under the new Amazon The Rings of Power teaser trailer. ...
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25 votes
2 answers
6k views

Was Douglas Adams specifically joking about British small talk?

There's this paragraph in the book: “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as ...
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7 votes
1 answer
251 views

What is the significance of the title "Fiat Voluntas Tua" (a quote from the Latin "Our Father") as a section title in A Canticle for Leibowitz?

When Walter M. Miller Jr. originally wrote the novelettes that he later fixed up to become A Canticle for Leibowitz, they were titled: "A Canticle for Leibowitz" (The Magazine of Fantasy ...
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21 votes
3 answers
3k views

Who said, "The only way to model an infinitely complex system is with the system, itself"?

I debated whether or not to ask this question here or on History. I concluded to try it here because I'm fairly sure it was said by someone like Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov, and a great many of ...
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17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Source of the quote "I will blurb your book, or I will read it, but not both"

This is a quote I heard in the mid to late 1980's, attributed to a famous SF author (I usually think it's Larry Niven). But the quote appears to have fallen into the dreaded Internet Late 1980s ...
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9 votes
1 answer
250 views

How many times were there "Klingons on/off the starboard bow"?

There two excellent parodies contain either the phrase "Klingons on the starboard bow" or "Klingons off the starboard bow". How many times, if ever, did this exact phrase occur in ...
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  • 4,249
22 votes
4 answers
3k views

Need source for the inverse of "Clarke's Third Law"

I'm looking for the source of a quote that is the inverse of the third of Clarke's Three Laws. It was in a book, article or short story from the late 1990's to early 2000's. I remember that the ...
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  • 7,464
28 votes
1 answer
4k views

Did Douglas Adams say "I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe."?

I like the quote: I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe. It seems to sum up some of the weird things and coincidences I encounter in life. The quote is allegedly from ...
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which sci-fi book is this quote from? [duplicate]

I vaguely recall a quote that I was sure was from Ender's Game -- but it's not, as I just finished reading it. It could be from one of the other books in the saga. It says something along the lines of:...
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  • 249
4 votes
1 answer
96 views

Need a quote from The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick

Having read it 20+ years ago in a very different language, I can offer only my own translation back to English: "Hellgate is not a place, it's a state of mind." Appears close to the end of ...
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  • 313
26 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is there a conversation regarding heroes and common people in "The Lord of the Rings"?

I recall an exchange early in "The Lord of the Rings" regarding heroes. One character laments that there is not a hero available to handle the task laid before them, and another character ...
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4 votes
2 answers
176 views

What Marx Bros. production does Manhunter watch in "New Frontier"?

In DC's New Frontier, J'onn watches the Marx Brothers on TV. Is it an actual movie or show, and if so, what's the name? I'm trying to match the quote (specifically, who's speaking to Groucho), but ...
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  • 51
2 votes
0 answers
161 views

You know this Ben Grimm/Thing quote?

I watched a Marvel AMV video on YouTube. In one of the Marvel comics, the Thing teams up with a few superheroes to take down a villain. They were maybe the Hulk, Gladiator, and the Silver Surfer. The ...
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  • 567
5 votes
0 answers
109 views

What author joked that his writing skill came from a magical amulet

About 10 years ago I read a great quote from a scifi/fantasy writer. Unfortunately I have forgotten both where I read it and who wrote it, but I would like to find it again. The quote was, as far as I ...
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18 votes
3 answers
1k views

Looking for a Neal Stephenson passage on religion as inoculation / vaccination / prophylactic

I recall a section in a Neal Stephenson book where a couple that secretly went to church (or at least didn't make it known) with their kids. As I recall it, they did this not because they were ...
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  • 283
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Heinlein, "Everything not compulsory was forbidden," in "Coventry?"

There is a satirical phrase, "Everything not forbidden is compulsory," which seems to have been a part of popular culture (in varied form) in the English-speaking world in the early 20th century. It ...
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-11 votes
1 answer
424 views

Source for Frodo/Gandalf exchange about wounds in "The Return of the King"

Could someone kindly tell me exactly where in the book this quote is found? I need it for an exam tomorrow. 'Are you in pain, Frodo?' said Gandalf quietly as he rode by Frodo's side. 'Well, yes I am,'...
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  • 9
11 votes
2 answers
524 views

Robert Heinlein character quote about Hell and kittens

I keep vaguely remembering a character in one of Robert Heinlein's books saying something along the lines "there was a special place in hell for child molesters and people who drown kittens." I just ...
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  • 1,003
34 votes
1 answer
4k views

What does this quote in Small Gods refer to?

In Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett, the following quote appears: It was something he shared with tortoises. Watch any tortoise walking, and periodically it will stop while it files away the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Origin of "and so it goes" quote in science fiction

Most online searches for the phrase "and so it goes" lead to Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut published in 1969. However it is used a few times in 'Repent Harlequin said the Tick-tock man' by ...
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5 votes
1 answer
430 views

Source of this quote in "The Algebraist" by Iain M. Banks

There is a section in the book where the Archimandrite Luseferous is reading aloud to a captive preserved enemy head. The passage he reads is:   It is a given amongst those who care to study such ...
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5 votes
1 answer
245 views

What is the source of this quote about Doombreed?

On the Spanish Wiki page, we have this quote about the Daemon Lord Doombreed, attributed to Richter Kless: Un antiguo Príncipe de Khorne llamado Doombreed empujará a los mejores y más puros de la ...
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  • 111k
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Meaning of the quote: "Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things."?

Would someone mind explaining this quote? “Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things” It seems to be at complete odds with the title "Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker" ...
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13 votes
0 answers
370 views

Story with quote about oral sex and eyelashes, possibly Heinlein

Maybe fifteen years ago I read a story in which a character says, of the act of performing oral sex on a woman, that if your eyelashes don’t get wet, you’re doing it wrong—or words to that effect. In ...
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6 votes
1 answer
299 views

What novel is this quote from?

I have been trying to figure out what this quote is from. It's almost definitely from a fantasy novel, but I've checked likely books that I'm familiar with (Tolkien, Sanderson) and I can't figure it ...
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3 votes
1 answer
955 views

In Empire Strikes Back, does anyone directly quote the Godfather?

In my mind I can remember Han Solo or Lando saying "he made us an offer we couldn't refuse" in reference to Darth Vader. Did I imagine it?
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  • 237
-6 votes
1 answer
359 views

Is it stated in Shadow or Mordor / War (outside the appendix) that Celebrimbor gave Sauron's One Ring it's own will

In the appendix of Shadow of Mordor for The One Ring it says "The One Ring was forged at Orodruin and perfected by his captive, the Elven lord Celebrimbor. Sauron invested much of his power into ...
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-4 votes
4 answers
17k views

What is "DON'T PANIC" a reference to on the dashboard of Elon Musk's car?

SpaceX recently launched the Falcon Heavy into space while carrying Elon Musk's car to be sent into orbit around Mars. (News article reference) During the launch, footage was shown of a space suit ...
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  • 1,532
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

Can wizards throw around raw magical energy without any spell?

According to Toby's comment on this thread: There was some mention (in Order of the Phoenix, I believe) about them being able to throw around raw magical energy without it actually being "focused"...
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  • 85
13 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is this quote from Robert Heinlein's writing? "I never learned from a man who agreed with me"

Can anyone provide a source for this quote, supposedly from Robert Heinlein or from one of his works? "I never learned from a man who agreed with me." Or similar wording. I don't recognize it, and I'...
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  • 4,938
8 votes
1 answer
602 views

What fantasy movie is this quote from?

with one cherry you may pass to the world behind the glass I remember the girl moves into her grandmas house and she finds an old standing mirror. Behind the mirror, stuck to it, there are some ...
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34 votes
5 answers
9k views

Looking for quote about the absurdity of people driving cars

I remember reading a book where the Author described an aliens point of view of how absurd it was that people transported themselves around in metal boxes that were much bigger than what they needed. ...
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  • 443
34 votes
1 answer
7k views

Who said "One person, one vote. I just happened to be the person voting"?

This quote is probably misquoted, but I remember this as a Blake's 7 quote from Servalan. However, I have also read elsewhere a similar quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Is there a quote like ...
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  • 465
27 votes
3 answers
3k views

Daneel or Giskard quote about functioning more efficiently, similar to happiness

For an article I'm writing, I'm looking for a quote from Asimov's Daneel or Giskard (I don't remember which one). In this quote, one of the robots explains that he can't feel happiness, but his ...
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  • 596
5 votes
1 answer
273 views

Who said Rebels are not necessarily dead?

I remember hearing something a few months ago, in which a [perhaps] Disney executive said basically: Just because they were not in the Original Trilogy does not mean they're dead. This was in ...
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  • 6,802
20 votes
1 answer
4k views

Which Harry Potter novel is the quote "Things are gonna get serious for you" from?

I read this quote from Harry Potter in the book or on the Internet, I don't remember. I think I read it 3-4 years ago. It was like Things are gonna get serious for you. This quote was a play on ...
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  • 962
10 votes
1 answer
397 views

Is Schönweiser, the author of the quote on religion in "The Screwfly Solution", a real person?

The Screwfly Solution is a short story by Raccoona Sheldon, in which men all over the world start killing women because they feel a religious voice is telling them it is the right thing to do. ...
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  • 101
6 votes
1 answer
473 views

What is the source of the phrase "that's the thing about journeys, when you return, you are never the same"?

While watching The Lord of the Rings again, a phrase ringed in my head. It was something like... But that's the thing about journeys, when you return, you are never the same. (These might not be ...
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  • 261
27 votes
2 answers
62k views

Does the quote "The spice must flow" appear in the original Dune series?

I just finished reading Chapterhouse: Dune, so I read the whole original series. I can't remember the quote "The spice must flow." that appears in the Lynch's Dune. Is it the books? If so, in which ...
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3 votes
0 answers
199 views

The Magicians Series - a passage about how hard and frustrating studying magic is

There is a passage in The Magicians Series about how hard and frustrating is studying magic. It describes the hard work Quentin puts in the learning magic and staying a lot in the library. I ...
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  • 1,247
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

What did James Cameron mean by "Aliens" being "40 miles of bad road"?

James Cameron referred to Aliens as forty miles of bad road in the intro to the DVD Special Edition: "What you're about to watch is the Special Edition of ALIENS. I actually preferred this ...
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52 votes
1 answer
6k views

Pratchett Quote about Research and Development

I'm looking for a quote by Terry Pratchett. I'm pretty sure that the patrician was speaking about Leonard of Quirm and giving funds to Research and Development. It was something along the lines of: ...
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  • 777
53 votes
2 answers
59k views

What is the linguistic challenge Louise uses in the beginning of "Arrival"?

What I remember is, in the beginning of the movie, Louise gives the military guy a linguistic challenge to give to the translator he is going to see next, after the military guy says he will give the ...
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  • 6,684
2 votes
1 answer
299 views

Who introduced the term "the Northern Thing" for fantasy works inspired by Germanic mythology?

The works particularly of Tolkien and some other writers like Robert Howard and Poul Anderson are sometimes described as being influenced by "that Northern Thing", meaning mythology and medieval tales ...
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  • 366
11 votes
1 answer
749 views

Quote by Science Fiction writer: peace and prosperity are the exception, not the norm

There is a semi-famous quote by a science fiction writer that basically asserts that peace, prosperity, industry and maybe democracy are a fluke in history and poverty and violence is pretty much the ...
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  • 1,180
32 votes
1 answer
4k views

Looking for a Discworld book a quote is from (and the full quote)

I've been thinking about a quote from one of the Discworld books which went something like (from memory and not in the tone of Terry): The thing about insurmountable mountains is that they are ...
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  • 423
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

Terry Pratchett quote about what authors look like

I once read a funny quote from Terry Pratchett about authors (maybe fantasy authors specifically?) and their appearance, which I'm trying to find again. It was something like: Most authors look ...
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  • 131k
6 votes
1 answer
164 views

Help finding a passage from one of the Ender Wiggin books

In one of the books in the Ender Wiggin series, a character is using a computer that is dynamically changing to accommodate his physical disabilities. The passage describes in some detail how the ...
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  • 481
3 votes
1 answer
310 views

Only a poor knife cuts one way

A Science fiction book, possibly from Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat series, includes a quote something like, "Only a poor knife cuts one way" or perhaps "'Tis a poor knife that cuts one way". ...
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6 votes
2 answers
360 views

Searching for a dialogue from one of the books from Belgariad or Mallorean

I don't have access to my books and have no PDF version of them, nor being able to find it using Google (seems I'm good at find anything with Google except from book quotes) I'm searching for a ...
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