Darrell Schweitzer

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Darrell Schweitzer (2006)

Darrell Schweitzer (born August 27, 1952) is an American science fiction, fantasy, and horror writer, as well as an editor and critic in the field of speculative fiction.


  • If you don't know it, don't write it.

Short fiction[edit]

We Are All Legends (1981)[edit]

Page numbers from the trade paperback first edition, published by The Donning Company, ISBN 0-89865-062-3, first printing
See Darrell Schweitzer's Internet Science Fiction Database page for original publication details
Capitalization and ellipses as in the book
  • Men called me a philosopher once, but as the years burdened me further I cared less and less for the pressing questions of astronomy and geomancy and metaphysics and the like. They had been pressing since long before I was born, and I knew they would continue to be so as long as there were two students left to argue over the difference between the real and the ideal.
    • Island of Faces (p. 33)
  • This place was not divine. It was enchanted, which was a different thing altogether.
    • Island of Faces (p. 33)
  • Nothing frightens a miser more than the prospect of not getting paid.
    • The One Who Spoke with the Owls (p. 60)
  • “Have I come to a second Bedlam? Are you all mad here?”
    “Madness is the order of the day,” the lord replied. “Even God is mad. We follow divine example.”
    • The Castle of Kites and Crows (p. 75)
  • “Were you not at the Holy City when the army of the faithful burst in? Did you not yourself partake in the slaughter of the pagans, and the women and infants of the pagans, those who were born in lands where the gospel never reached? Did you not do this and much more, all for the glory of God? And does not that same All Mighty and All Merciful God damn men for sins of weakness and ignorance when He himself made them imperfect and prone to weakness, and taught them not so that they remained ignorant? Did He not allow the serpent to enter the Garden, make no move to stop it, then punished severely his beguiled servants?”
    “Lady, as you said, you know the answers. All these things are true.”
    “Then I ask you, Julian, are these actions of a loving God?”
    “Know! But you do. This knowledge is the heritage of all men. You know they are not, and yet more shall you know. God is mad, Julian. He babbles on his throne of light, and the sound of his gurgling fills his angels with fear. He sends them forth with flaming swords to raze the cities of men, and when thousands upon thousands have been slain, and the smoke of their pyres rises into the heights of the sky, when pestilence and famine slay thousands more, then God laughs and roars like some mindless beast, ‘THIS IS PLEASING TO ME!’”
    “Why do you tell me these things? Why have I been brought here?”
    “Because you are to join us in our war against the Father. He has grown weak in his madness, so preoccupied with dreaming new ways to torture men that he will not notice when the very gates of Hell fly open and the armies of his old Adversary issue forth.”
    • The Castle of Kites and Crows (p. 78)
  • Behind her, far away, filling the skies that were not of Earth, was the face of another, a mountainous Dark One who sat awash in a lake of molten metal with a sword in his hand. When I gaze upon him I knew the truth of all. I knew that if God is mad, and the signs show that he is, his Foe is mad also, and there can be no hope for the world between them, for creation is but a battleground for two maniacs in their death struggle.
    • The Castle of Kites and Crows (p. 80)
  • So now the tale is done. What moral? There was in the abbey a learned man who insisted that all things have a greater meaning, that life is but a symbol of motions on a higher plane. Nothing, he said, is random. Nothing is without purpose. Yet I blundered into my adventure and out of it, seeking only to save my own life. I came to the only place a wretched fugitive could have come on such a night, and my escape was miracle enough. A meaning? A purpose? When others, as the ballads tell, pass into Faerie, or into the lands of the dead, it is for some lofty purpose, to learn some deep wisdom, or to rescue a loved one, or to save a kingdom. It was not like that with me. My life will make a poor amusement if it is ever told. There is no form to it, no order. No conclusion, no moral, no answers. Only more questions.
    • The Riddle of the Horn (p. 98)
  • “Christ and Satan!”
    “Swear by whomever you like,” laughed the King. “Why not Jupiter, Thor, Mithra, and Ahura-Mazda also? It’ll do you as much good.”
    • Divers Hands (pp. 110-111)
  • I listened to all this with the dull incomprehension of a pig in the slaughterhouse overhearing the talk of two butchers.
    • Divers Hands (pp. 118-119)
  • “One more thing I will tell you, the great secret I learned through my experience.”
    “What was that?”
    “Never listen to idle tales. They make you mad and lead you through the bowels of a god.”
    “Of course,” said one of the disciples after he had left, “it is the nature of the madness that one never heeds these warnings.”
    • Into the Dark Land (p. 156)
  • I lost my faith on a foreign shore, in the shade of the conscience tree. In the shade of the conscience tree, on a foreign shore, where the sand ran wet with the blood of children.
    • Midnight, Moonlight and the Secret of the Sea (p. 172)
  • I saw again in the morning with the holy Tancred, Bishop of Anjou, of Averoigne, and Poictesme, stood before the troops in the dim light of dawn with the walled city at his back. There was complete silence, save for the cawing of expectant crows and the flapping of banners in the brisk wind. He spoke:
    “Soldiers of Christ, in yonder city wait ten thousand pagans, idolaters, devil-worshipers, atheists, and Jews, each of them by every breath he breathes an affront to the God who created him and a triumph for the Adversary who corrupted him. This is your task, mighty men of valor and virtue, your task set for you by God on high, to rid the land of this infection, to cleanse with fire and sword the very pavement on which the unclean ones walk. I have prayed for victory this day, and just before I came to you I had a vision. I saw in the sky, above the hills and above the pagan city, the great sign of the Cross, blazing as it did for Constantine when he embraced the Saviour, in this sign we too shall conquer. Jesus looks on. His Holy Mother waits to take any who die today in her own arms into paradise. Onward! For Christ and the Cross!
    “Christ and the Cross!” The cry returned from every throat, and the host surged thunderously forward like an inexorable tide. The first wave broke against the stone walls of the city, and the battle was joined. “Christ and the Cross!” men shouted as they fell screaming beneath curtains of molten iron poured from above. “Christ and the Cross!” resounded once more as mangonels, catapults, and ballistas filled the air with death.
    • Midnight, Moonlight and the Secret of the Sea (p. 177)

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