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In the Heart of Darkness (1998)
- Co-written with David Drake
- The plans and schemes of tyrants are broken by many things. They shatter against cliffs of heroic struggle. They rupture on reefs of open resistance. And they are slowly eroded, bit by little bit, on the very beaches where they measure triumph, by countless grains of sand. By the stubborn little decencies of humble little men.
Frank Jackson: So who the hell is Wellington?
Jeff Higgins: He's the guy they named your favorite boots after.
John Simpson [thoughts about Eddie Cantrell]: The entire concept of discipline was alien to his very nature. Worse, he bubbled. No, he didn't just "bubble." He boiled. He frothed.
Gretchen Richter [after being invited to a clandestine meeting]: "The prince of Orange can kiss my sweet German ass. Discreet is fine. *He* can wear a disguise. The servants' entrance is out."
[Grantvillers mentally sneer at the cowardly Princes of Germany] Fact one. We whipped Emperor Ferdinand at Breitenfeld. Fact two. You ran like dogs.
1634: The Galileo Affair (2004)
Reverend Simon Jones [Regarding Father Augustus Heinzerling]: Not so much like a proper Jesuit, perhaps, but he could certainly fake being a decent parochial priest on a good day. With a following wind.
1634: The Ram Rebellion (2006)
The expression on Melissa's face today was the same one Mike remembered from years before. The aloof, questioning eyebrow-lift with which she greeted a student who approached her with a problem after class. A facial gesture which, somehow, managed to combine three different propositions:
- One. You wish?
- Two. Yes, I will be glad to help you.
- Three. You will almost certainly wish I hadn't.
"Do you know what the epitaph of a successful civil servant is?" "He never did anything that got his name in the paper."
1635: The Cannon Law (2006)
"Indeed, Father Gonzalez," he said, as smoothly as he could manage, mentally adding the words "you pious prick" as he did to everything he said to the man.
Certainly, the sight of an inquisitor being riddled with bullets would have placated the crowd like little else.
1634: The Bavarian Crisis (2007)
The bottom floor was painted red, with the shutters trimmed with red and pink zigzag stripes; the middle floor was painted pink, with the shutters ditto; the top floor was a positive explosion of gables and Fachwerk beams painted red, with the stucco in between them painted pink. There was a lost commercial opportunity for Grantville right in front of him. Whoever built this place would have paid a fortune for pink plastic lawn flamingos.
Mike Stearns was rather enjoying the reports coming out of the diplomatic pouches, which so clearly demonstrated that the rest of the world did not understand that Veronica Dreeson was a walking embodiment of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
One could not smite the papal nuncio's footman. No matter how sincerely one might wish to smite him. One could think it, though. Smite, smote, smitten. So there. Arrrgh.
The admiral would never be rude enough to yell at Tanya. He might very well, however, yell at Ed — and Simpson was fully capable of yelling in Morse code if he was sufficiently provoked.
The Philosophical Strangler (2001)
[a monster insists]"... he was not an ogre, but a troll... It was a bit too much like a murdering fiend insisting he was really a homicidal maniac."
"You wouldn't cross the street to piss on a man dying of thirst unless he paid you in solid coin..."
"Using a few words and some gestures, I indicated my plan. (Well. Okay. Hopping up and down and shrieking like a maniacal monkey, I indicated my plan.)"
Forward the Mage (2002)
- Co-written with Richard Roach
The leftenant's speech ended [abruptly], as invariably happens when a speaker's head is bitten off.