Matthew Stover

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Mattew Stover in 2009

Matthew Woodring Stover (born 1962) is an American fantasy and science fiction novelist.


Heroes Die (1998)[edit]

  • Fairy tales--simple stories for simple minds, a breath of air to cool brows overheated by the complexities of real life.
  • It's customary, at times like this, to say a few words. A man shouldn't die with no understanding of why he's been murdered. I do not pride myself on my eloquence, and so I will keep this simple.
    • The Acts of Caine, Heroes Die (The Acts of Caine: Act of Violence) (1998)

Blade of Tyshalle (2001)[edit]

  • When the gods would punish us, they answer our prayers.
    • Del Rey p. 92
  • I read once, somewhere, that the way you know you've grown up is when your future death becomes a stone in your shoe: when you feel it with every step.
    • (0.8) Del Rey, p. 23
  • A human life is defined by its relationship with others: by its duty to its species. In the face of this duty, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless. What you call individual rights are merely the cultural fantasy of a failed civilization.
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 74
  • Can't trust a fascist--truth is always your first sacrifice to the welfare of the state
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 74
  • Don't care about gods. Gods are irrelevant. What counts is people. What counts is having respect for each other.
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 75
  • "I respect what is repectable," Tan'elkoth replied. "To ask for respect where none has been earned is childish maundering.And what is repectable, in the end, save service? Even your idol Jefferson is, in the end, measured by how well he served the species. The prize of individualism--its goal--is self-actualization, which is only another name for vanity. We do not admire men for achieving self-actualization; we admire self-actualization when its end result is a boon to humanity."
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 75
  • "The problem with happy endings," Tan'elkoth said, "is that nothing is ever truly over."
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 89
  • Anyone who is of a thoughtful, philisophical cast of mind will occasionaly be struck by the appearance of certain organizing principles of history. The forms these principles seem to take inevitably depends upon one's specific obsession. For a mornachist, history is a struggle of classes of economic civil war. An agriculturalist sees the dynamic of populations, land, and availability of food; a philosopher might speak of the will to power or the will to sythesis; a theologian of the will of God.
    • (II.2) Del Rey, p. 100
  • Life is mere chance only when one allows it to be.
    • (V.8) Del Rey, p. 214
  • A religion that teaches you God is something outside the world--something separate from everything you see, smell, taste, touch, and hear--is nothing but a cheap hustle.
    • (VIII.4) Del Rey, p. 282
  • "Maybe. A powerful. Enough. Metaphor. Grows. Its own. Truth."
    • (VIII.4) Del Rey, p. 284
  • "All true stories end in death."
    • (X.6) Del Rey, p. 380
  • He did understand. Finally, fatally, he did. He had thought he was the master of history, that his fractal world-tree had grown according to his will. He had allowed himself to be deceived.
    • (XI.6) Del Rey, p. 404
  • The man did not move because only immobility could hurt more than motion: the man held himself still because to move might lessen his suffering, and that he could not bear. For him only pain had meaning.
    • (XII.1) Del Rey, p. 408
  • "Reasons are for peasants."
    • (XII.2) Del Rey, p. 411
  • "...I suspect that pain means little to you as your life--but both your life and your pain are very important to me."
    • (XII.2) Del Rey, p. 412
  • Caine was no longer the icon of evil, the Enemy of God, the author of all the world's ills. He had become simply what he was: a ruthless, amoral man, now beaten--crushed by the world, just like any other.
  • Only human, after all.
    • (XII.4) Del Rey, p. 417
  • His destiny had betrayed him, had made him a destroyer on a scale that humbled even Caine. Destiny, he understood with bitter certainty, could not be trusted.
  • He had no idea what he should do now. Without destiny to guide him, he was lost in a vast, whistling darkness. Any direction he might choose was purely abitary; it would make no more sense, offer no more hope, than would sitting still. Which offered neither sense nor hope at all.
    • (XII.7) Del Rey, p. 426
  • "We can each sit and wait to die, from the very day of our births. Those of us who do not do so, choose to ask--and to answer--the two questions that define every conscious creature: What do I want? and What will I do to get it? Which are, finally, only one question: What is my will? Caine teaches us that the answer is always found within our own experience; our lives provide the structure of the question, and a properly phrased question contains its own answer."
    • (XIV.3) Del Rey, p. 472
  • The capacity for personal freedom is a rare talent. Talent exists to be used. We do not ask sheep to be wolves; we, the wolves, do not ask ourselves to be sheep. Sheep can make such rules as happen to suit them--but it's foolishly naive to expect wolves to obey."
  • And in the name of this gospel of freedom, she had imprisoned herself; in the name of "living life honestly," she would go to her death. It was, he supposed, the only way she could make herself feel special.
    • (XIV.4) Del Rey, p. 473
  • "Shit, kid, thinking about that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, like I just ate a kitten."
    • Del Rey 1st Ed p. 599
  • A powerful enough metaphor grows its own truth.
    • Del Rey 1st Ed p. 734

Traitor (2002)[edit]

  • You can kill me, but you can't make me obey.
    • Jacen Solo, p. 65
  • "I guess heroes feel like they've accomplished something."
    "And you haven't? Several thousand slaves might disagree."
    • Jacen Sollo and Vergere, p. 121
  • The feeling he'd had, that he was about to get himself killed, swelled into an overwhelming premonition of doom. Ganner's knees went weak, and a very large part of him wanted to bolt down the corridor and get away-but though he hadn't been much of a hero, the one virtue he'd never had to fake was courage.
    • Ganner Rhysode, p. 215
  • Here was the weapon of a hero. A real hero. Not a playactor. Not a pretend-hero, like Ganner had always been. But this weapon was now in Ganner's hand.
    • Ganner Rhysode, p. 261
  • I don't have to be a hero, he thought in silent wonder. All I have to do is pretend.
    • Ganner Rhysode, p. 261
  • This is the most valuable lesson one can teach a fanatic: that fanaticism is self-defeating.
    • Vergere, p. 291

Shatterpoint (2004)[edit]

  • Mace stared at the man as though he'd never seen him before. And he hadn't: only now, finally, was he seeing him. An undistinguished little man: soft face and uncertain voice, shaky hands and allergies: an undistinguished little man who must have had resources of toughness that Mace could barely imagine.
    • Mace Windu, p. 17
  • Mace flipped up a thumb. "You think being armed and ruthless means you can do whatever you want." He folded his thumb and flipped up his forefinger. "You think nobody will stand up to you when they're naked." He folded that one again and flipped up the next. "And you think you're going to look inside my bag."
    • Mace Windu to corrupt customs guards, p. 40
  • He was moderately sure that a thirteen-year-old boy who'd load up four other children and set out in a steamcrawler across the Korunnai Highland at night-a boy who'd rather die than leave an unconscious girl behind-had guts enough for just about anything.
    • Mace Windu, p. 146
  • If no mistake you have made, yet losing you are... a different game you should play.
    • Yoda, p. 150
  • When all choices seem wrong, choose restraint.
    • Mace Windu, p. 176
  • When you save someone's life. It's always temporary, y'know?
    • Nick Rostu, p. 177
  • I gave them the word of a Jedi Master that if they surrendered I would keep them from harm. I will not be made a liar.
    • Mace Windu, p. 202
  • "You're in the jungle, now. There are no rules."
    "Of course there are. Don't be an idiot."
    • Nick Rostu and Mace windu on Jungle Rules, p. 206
  • Do you solemnly swear to serve the Republic in thought, in word, and in deed; to defend its citizens, resist its enemies, and champion its justice with the whole of your heart, your strength, and your mind; to foreswear all other allegiances; to obey all lawful orders of your superior officers; to uphold the highest ideals of the Republic, and at all times to conduct yourself to the credit of the Republic as its commissioned officer, by witness of, aid from, and faith in the force?
    • Mace Windu's Oath of Office, p. 213
  • Jedi are supposed to stand for something, aren't you? You're supposed to stand up for what's right. No matter what.
    • Nick Rostu, p. 251
  • It dawned on me then that Nick was proud of himself. Proud of what we had done. It may have been an unfamiliar feeling for him: that peculiarly delicious pride that comes from having taken a terrible risk to do something truly admirable. Of overcoming the instinct of self-presrvation: of fighting our fears and winning. It is the pride of discovering that one is not merely a bundle of reflexes and conditioned responses; that instead one is a thinking being, who can choose the right over the easy, and justice over safety.
    • Mace Windu, p. 251
  • "Depa is right: Jedi are insane."
    "Ever since I came to this planet, people have been telling me how crazy I am. They've told me this so many times that I had started to wonder if it might be true. Now, though, I understand: you don't say this because it's true. Not even because you think it's true. You say it because you hope it's true. Because if I am insane, you aren't really the revolting slime-hearted vermin that, down deep, you know you are."
    • Kar Vastor and Mace Windu, p. 286
  • "But... but... you can't fight the way things are..."
    "But we do. Every day. That's what Jedi are."
    "You can never win-"
    "We don't have to win. We only have to fight."
    • Depa Billipa and Mace Windu, p. 313
  • "They lit us up! Missiles incoming! Six count, closing, dead astern!"
    "Back-trace the missile lock and feed it to the computer for counter-fire."
    "Great idea! I'll get right on that first thing as soon as I graduate from gunnery school!"
    • Nick Rostu and Mace Windu, p. 330
  • The troopers had not been fighting for themselves; they knew their lives were over. But they had never stopped. They were fighting for the regiment.
    • CRC-09/571, Clone Commander, p. 337
  • We always volunteer, sir. All of us. It's who we are.
    • CRC-09/571, p. 355
  • "I think that you are a very brilliant man. I think that you have more courage than you have ever guessed. I think that you truly care about this city, and the people in it. I think your cynicism is a fraud."
    "What-what-really, this is astonishing-"
    "I think that if you were truly as corrupt and venal as you pretend, you would be in the Senate."
    • Mace Windu and Colonel Lorz Geptun
  • Our enemy is power mistaken for justice. Our enemy is the desperation that justifies atrocity. The Jedi's true enemy is the jungle.
    • Mace Windu, p. 410
  • The first thing they did was pick up survivors. Because we are equipment, too. As long as the Republic takes care of us, we'll take care of it.
    • CT6/774, p. 411

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