Imraan Coovadia

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Imraan Coovadia (born 1970) is a South African novelist, essayist, and academic.


A Spy in Time (2018)[edit]

All page numbers are from the trade paperback first edition published Rare Bird Books, ISBN 978-1947856561
  • The twentieth century had actors and actresses. They didn’t rely on acting algorithms or fantasize about digital actors. For all its cruelty, I find the old world sympathetic for that reason alone.
    • Chapter 1, “Marrakesh, 1955” (p. 20)
  • In Abacha Reef Home, you were kept as safe as humanly possible—assuming it is safe to be bored out of your wits.
    • Chapter 2, “Jupiter 10^5” (p. 78)
  • “The real question you should be asking is quite different: Why is Section able to function at a time when the larger Agency is paralyzed?”
    I said, “I don’t like riddles. Why is it?”
    “Because, for centuries, Section has kept its files on paper, not inside a machine. Muller couldn’t wipe them out….
    “We’ve learnt that you cannot control information once it’s in electronic form. You can trust a key; you can trust a lock because it has a defined physical location. It can be made in such a way that it is difficult to duplicate. Numbers, no matter how difficult they are to guess, can be copied perfectly. We use physical objects.”
    • Chapter 3, “Constitution Hill, 2271” (p. 93; ellipsis represents the elision of a brief descriptive passage)
  • Controlling the leakage of information is always the key to success in counterintelligence.
    • Chapter 3, “Constitution Hill, 2271” (p. 108)
  • I wondered how he could be so trusting of the universe to lie asleep in the middle of it.
    • Chapter 4, “Rio, 1967” (p. 136)
  • I prayed that, for once, the predictions of the brassheads would turn out to be as hollow as the ravings of forgotten saints and prophets, medicine men and bone throwers. Everybody wanted to know the future but it made us miserable when we did.
    • Chapter 4, “Rio, 1967” (p. 150)
  • “I want to find out who is supplying items to a government agency. Is there an easy way to find out?”
    The librarian folded his handkerchief into a square on his palm before he answered.
    “This is Brazil. There is no easy way to find out anything.”
    • Chapter 4, “Rio, 1967” (p. 154)
  • The power of prime numbers: the key to the new world and the solution to the mysteries of the infinite.
    • Chapter 6, “The Day of the Dead 11 March 2472” (p. 196)
  • The Mother Superior came forward and put her hand out to me. She was as tall as me, her stony-green eyes highly dilated. No doubt she was under the influence of one or another compound meant to enhance the quest for divinity and ready the soul to make a reckoning. The religious orders were legendary for their chemical dependencies.
    • Chapter 6, “The Day of the Dead 11 March 2472” (p. 208)

External links[edit]

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