Gordon R. Dickson

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Gordon R. Dickson in 1974

Gordon Rupert Dickson (November 1, 1923January 31, 2001) was a Canadian-American science fiction writer.



Short fiction

  • Even as she lay dreaming these dreams, however, a sane part of her mind was still on duty. Realistically, she knew that what she was thinking was nonsense.
    • The Mortal and the Monster, in Stellar Short Novels edited by Judy-Lynn del Rey, p. 23

Dorsai! (1960)

Page numbers from the version included in the omnibus hardcover edition Three To Dorsai! published by Doubleday
The sections in the book are named, but not numbered. Section numbers are added here for ease of reference.
  • “And someone that brilliant must be a devil?” queried Galt, dryly.
    “Not at all,” explained Donal, patiently. “But having such intellectual capabilities, a man must show proportionately greater inclinations toward either good or evil than lesser people. If he tends toward evil, he may mask it in himself—he may even mask its effect on the people with which he surrounds himself. But he has no way of producing the reflections of good which would ordinarily be reflected from his lieutenants and initiates—and which, if he was truly good—he would have no reason to try and hide. And by that lack, you can read him.”
    • “Mercenary II” (section 4, p. 386)
  • “It’s not often I make mistakes,” he said. “Perhaps I can console myself with the thought that when I do they turn out to be on the same order of magnitude as my successes.”
    • “Veteran” (section 8, p. 411)
  • “I don’t pretend to be anything but a soldier,” growled Galt.
    “And it’s precisely that that makes you dangerous in negotiations,” replied William. “Politicians and businessmen always feel more at home with someone who they know doesn’t mean what he says. Honest men always have been a curse laid upon the sharpshooter.”
    “A pity,” put in Anea, “that there aren’t enough honest men, then, to curse them all.”
    • “Protector II” (section 19, p. 488)
  • Why should there be some sort of virtue always attributed to a frank admission of vice?
    • “Protector II” (section 19, p. 490)
Page numbers from the version included in the omnibus hardcover edition Three To Dorsai! published by Doubleday
  • In a climate of confusion, one of the surest ways of confounding the enemy is to tell him the plain truth.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 36)
  • With the situation fully and correctly understood, it becomes entirely reasonable that the very small fraction of a second preceding a violent death could be a trigger to speculative thought.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 67)
  • Gradually there broke on him the understanding that this was a contest that he perpetuated by the very act of fighting in it. The way to victory here was to deny the enemy. He laughed.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 78)
  • The original role of the machine started to get perverted around the time of the industrial revolution. It came to be regarded not as a means to a desired end, but as part of the end in itself. The process accelerated in the nineteenth century, and exploded in the twentieth. Man kept demanding more in the way of service from his technology, and the technology kept giving it—but always at the price of a little more of man’s individual self-contained powers. In the end—in our time—our technology has become second thing to a religion. Now we’re trapped in it. And we’re so enfeebled by our entrapment that we tell ourselves it’s the only possible way to live. That no other way exists.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 93)
  • Actually, each generation likes to think of itself as at the pivot point in history, that in its time the great decision is made which puts man either on the true road or the false. But things aren’t really that serious. Truthfully, the way of mankind is too massive to be kinked, suddenly; it only changes direction in a long and gradual bend over many generations.
    • Chapter 22 (p. 142)
  • Blunt nodded slowly, like an old man. It was not clear whether he had understood and was agreeing, or whether he had given up the attempt to understand and was merely being agreeable.
    • Chapter 22 (p. 145)
Page numbers from the version included in the omnibus hardcover edition Three To Dorsai! published by Doubleday
  • Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger...
    • Epigram (p. 153)
  • The immediate teaching of philosophers may be gentle, but the theory behind their teaching is without compunction—and that’s why so much bloodshed and misery has always attended the paths of their followers, who claim to live by those teachings. More blood’s been spilled by the militant adherents of prophets of change than by any other group of people down through the history of man.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 195)
  • “You don’t quench ambition by feeding it any more than you quench a fire the same way,” said Cletus. “To an ambitious man, what he already has is nothing. It’s what he doesn’t have that counts.”
    • Chapter 16 (p. 280)
  • “Exaggeration of confidence,” he said, “is a fault in people who don’t know their business.”
  • Plainly he was one of those rare people who burn with an inner fire—but the inner fire that never failed in James Arm-of-the-Lord was a brand of woe and a torch of terror to the Unrighteous. Nor was it lessened by the fact that the ranks of the Unrighteous, in James’ estimation, included all those whose opinions in any way differed from his own.
    • Chapter 22 (p. 328)
  • It’s a dirty, damn universe, and every once in a while I get a chance to hit back at it. That’s all. If I knew in the morning when I started out that I was going to be killed that day, I’d still go—because I couldn’t die happier than to go down hitting back.
    • Chapter 22 (p. 334)
  • “Good luck to you, too, sir.”
    “I make it a point not to know the lady,” said Cletus. “I can’t afford to count on her.”
    • Chapter 24 (p. 349)
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