Jack L. Chalker
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Midnight at the Well of Souls (1977)
- All page numbers are from the mass market paperback first edition published by Del Rey ISBN 0-345-25768-5, 2nd printing (March 1978)
- The chapters are not numbered in the book. They are numbered here for ease of reference.
- You can’t be a nonconformist if you don’t wear the proper uniform.
- Chapter 1, “Dalgonia” (p. 7)
- He had often wondered if there was something deep in the human psyche that insisted on tribalism. People used to fight wars not so much to protect their own life-style but to impose it on others.
- Chapter 1, “Dalgonia” (p. 7)
- Even the people were bred without imaginations. The imaginative ones were fixed—or gotten rid of. Too dangerous to have a thinker unless he thought the government’s way.
- Chapter 2, “Another Part of the Field” (p. 21)
- To tell the truth, the only thing more exhausting than doing something is doing nothing at all.
- Chapter 2, “Another Part of the Field” (pp. 25-26)
- He was firmly convinced of his uniqueness in the universe and his general superiority to it, although he was occasionally bothered by the universe’s lack of appreciation.
- Chapter 2, “Another Part of the Field” (p. 32)
- “All magic means is a line between knowledge and ignorance,” Ortega responded. “A magician is someone who can do something you don’t know how to do. All technology, for example, is magic to a primitive.”
- Chapter 3, “Zone” (p. 66)
- “Do you drink ale, stranger?” the aged centaur asked Brazil.
“I’ve been known to,” Brazil replied. “What do you make it out of?”
“Grains, water, and yeast!” said Yomax, surprised at the question. “What else would you make ale out of?”
“I don’t know,” Brazil admitted, “but I’m awfully glad you don’t either.”
- Chapter 11, “Dillia—Uplake” (p. 148)
- “Throughout the history of men there’s always been some kind of drug, and the people stuck on it. The people who push the stuff are on a different kind of drug, one so powerful that they are not aware of its own, ravaging, animalistic effect on them.”
“Power and greed,” he told her. “The ugliest—no, the second ugliest ravager of people ever known.”
“What’s the ugliest then?” she asked him.
“Fear,” he replied seriously. “It destroys, rots, and touches everyone around.”
- Chapter 11, “Dillia—Uplake” (p. 155)
- “Well, he seems to be on our side,” Bat said optimistically.
“Nobody’s on any side but his own,” Brazil snapped back. “Not you, not me, not anybody.”
- Chapter 17, “Murithel—Somewhere in the Interior” (p. 239)
- I remembered him as one hell of a womanizer—particularly for a mathematician.
- Chapter 23, “Ivrom” (p. 281)
- “It reduces all the revolutions, the struggles, the pain, the great dreams—everything—to nonsense! It means that life is pointless!”
“Not pointless,” Brazil put in suddenly. “It just means that the grand schemes are pointless. It means that you don’t make your own life pointless or useless—most people do, you know. It wouldn’t make any difference if ninety-nine percent of the people of the human race—or any other—lived or not. Except in sheer numbers their lives are dull, vegetative, and non-productive.”
- Chapter 23, “Ivrom” (pp. 283-284)
- And, of course, men have just as many problems and hang-ups as women. The grass isn’t greener, just different.
- Chapter 24, “West Ghlmon” (p. 295)
- I found that the rich whom I’d envied dreamed of greater riches, and that power came not from obeying the law but from not getting caught.
- Chapter 25, “The Avenue—at the Equator” (p. 312)
- “I don’t think you’re God, Nate,” Ortega replied evenly. “I think you’re crazy.”
- Chapter 26, “Midnight at the Well of Souls” (p. 331)