Mindplayers didn't really address a lot about the criminal element of this particular world. Everybody in the Mindplayers world couldn't possibly live like the few people that you saw. A lot of times, a culture almost seems to float on top of its own black market, and things from that filter up through the culture. I get the feeling that this law-abiding peaceful thing that I live in now is almost never-never land - to a certain extent it's not even really real. I spent a decade working for Hallmark cards, which is supposed to epitomise sweetness and light and good living and ethics and morals. But Hallmark, like many American manufacturers, has a lot of things like toys and ornaments manufactured in the Far East, by people in sweat-shops. These are children, old people, poor people, people who don't have enough to eat; we get these things so cheaply because we simply use these people and throw them away. This is what I mean about our culture, our never-never land, floating on top of our underworld.
All page numbers from the paperback first edition published by Bantam Spectra
If you’re really going to die on me, you could at least rub my neck before you go.
Chapter 1 (p. 2)
“‘Truth is cheap, but information costs.’ I can’t remember who said that.”
“Vince What’s-His-Name,” said Sam. “Died in a terrorist raid or something. I thought you said all information should be free.”
“It should. It isn’t. Knowledge is power. But power corrupts. Which means the Age of Fast Information is an extremely corrupt age in which to live.”
“Aren’t they all?” Sam asked him.
Chapter 5 (pp. 52-53)
Keep your best whiskey in a bottle marked ‘mouthwash.’
Chapter 5 (p. 57)
The authenticity may have been dubious, but the excitement had been real.
Chapter 9 (p. 93)
The Beater has still been young enough to feel immortal, at least on his better days. It was all, Wow, if we don’t slow down, we’re gonna die before we get old, except somehow it hadn’t happened that way. So they’d all assumed it never would, not dying, not getting old—hell, not even growing up.
Chapter 11 (p. 109)
Nothing stays the same, Gina, nothing works forever. If I don’t like it, that’s too bad. If you don’t like it, that’s still too bad.
Chapter 11 (p. 113)
It was a lonely thing. There was no way to be sure if it meant the same thing to both of you. He’d forgotten that part of making love, how you couldn’t assume that intent was as joined as bodies were.
Chapter 22 (p. 234)
Everything seemed to happen when you were looking the other way.
Chapter 22 (p. 238)
The only place to go now is into the context. If you can find it. Between the context and the content, between the mainline and the hardline, falls the shadow.
Chapter 29 (p. 334)
If you can’t fuck it, and it doesn’t dance, eat it or throw it away.
Chapter 29 (p. 334; catch phrase repeated several times in the book)
Reaching in, he wrapped the exposed wires around his fingers and ripped them out. The locks released, letting the door fall open a crack.
“That’s what we call a Luddite hack.”
Chapter 29 (p. 338)
He had the sudden urge to put his arms around her, but the look on her face said that if he made a move toward her, she would move away, and maybe she would keep moving away from him until the distance between them was too great to cross again in one lifetime.
Chapter 29 (p. 339)
That was it, then, civilization was officially collapsed if the cops had stopped ticketing abandoned cars and roosted on them instead.
Chapter 31 (p. 364)
Fez gave her a squeeze. “You’re a genius, Sam-I-Am.”
She squirmed away from him uncomfortably. “It just makes sense, is all.”
“Sometimes that’s all it takes to be a genius.”
Chapter 32 (p. 387)
Ninety percent of life was being there, and the rest was being there on time.