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"The Pasho", in Asimov's Science Fiction (September 2004)
- An untrampled scorpion troubles no one.
- Knowledge is simply a terrible ocean we must cross, and hope that wisdom lies on the other side.
- We write dust epitaphs for our vanquished enemies and watch them blow away in the desert wind.
"The Tamarisk Hunter", High Country (26 June 2006)
- A desert's a stupid place to put a river.
- At first, when California started winning its water lawsuits and shutting off cities, the displaced people just followed the water—right to California. It took a little while before the bureaucrats realized what was going on, but finally someone with a sharp pencil did the math and realized that taking in people along with their water didn't solve a water shortage.
The Windup Girl (2009)
- All page numbers from the hardcover edition published by Night Shade Books
- Sex and hypocrisy. They go together like coffee and cream.
- p. 41
- Laws are confusing documents. They get in the way of justice.
- p. 55
- Nothing is certain—that is the first lesson.
- p. 67
- Every time he makes plans for his future, he seems to fail. Every time he reaches forward, the world leans against him, pressing him down.
- p. 77
- Food should come from the place of its origin, and stay there. It shouldn’t spend its time crisscrossing the globe for the sake of profit. We went down that path once, and it brought us to ruin.
- p. 93
- If you bargain when they squeeze your balls, they will only squeeze again.
- p. 94
- All life produces waste. The act of living produces costs, hazards and disposal questions, and so the (Environment) Ministry has found itself in the center of all life, mitigating, guiding and policing the detritus of the average person along with investigating the infractions of the greedy and short-sighted, the ones who wish to make quick profits and trade on others’ lives for it.
- p. 121
- The symbol for the Environment Ministry is the eye of a tortoise, for the long view—the understanding that nothing comes cheap or quickly without a hidden cost.
- p. 121
- You're saying that you yoked the world to your patented grains and seeds, happily enslaved us all—and now you finally realize that you are dragging us all to hell.
- p. 151
- If you act like a servant, you will die like a dog.
- p. 159
- She does not know how little anyone cares to separate wheat from chaff, when all anyone wants to do is burn a field.
- p. 204
- Laws are a fine thing on paper, but painful when no bribery can ease their bind.
- p. 212
- Nature has become something new. It is ours now, truly. And if our creation devours us, how poetic will that be?
- p. 247
- Politics is ugly. Never doubt what small men will do for great power.
- p. 280
- They say in the military that a good battle plan can last as long as five minutes in real fighting. After that, it comes down to if the general is favored by fate and the spirits.
- p. 306
The Drowned Cities (2012)
- Disarm to farm.
- No one had ever come for him... not his mom, not his dad, not his brother, not a dozen people who he'd called his friends back in his town on the coast, not a one of them had ever come looking for him, trying to get him back. They'd just let him go. That was the difference. But this castoff cripple-hand civvy girl had come all the way in. Ocho scowled down at her limp body. See what loyalty gets you? See?