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The Falling Woman (1986)
- All page numbers from the trade paperback edition published in August 1993 by Orb, ISBN 0-312-85406-4
- Do not look for revelations in the ancient ruins. You will find here only what you bring: bits of memory, wisps of the past as thin as clouds in the summer, fragments of stone that are carved with symbols that sometimes almost make sense.
- Notes for City of Stones by Elizabeth Butler (p. 10)
- “Picture postcards never show the bugs,” I told her. “Stinging ants, wasps, fleas, roaches the size of your hand. Postcards never show the heat.”
- Chapter 1 (p. 13)
- Metaphor is reality once removed.
- Chapter 5 (p. 76)
- Someone once told me that archaeologists are anthropologists who don’t like live people. They dig up dead ones because dead ones can’t talk back. That’s not quite true. But I think live people are too fast for most archaeologists. We’re a slow-moving lot. We look at a change in pottery technology that took a hundred years and say that’s pretty quick. We’re used to taking our time.
- Chapter 6 (p. 84)
- From the book I got the impression that that the Maya’s strength was not in their military prowess, but in their ability to absorb invaders, adopt some of the new customs, retain some of their own. For the most part, they held their own until the Spanish came along. The Spanish conquistadors overcame the Mayan armies; the Catholic Church subdued the survivors. The friars seemed, from the book’s account, to be concerned with saving the heathens’ souls even if it meant ending their lives.
- Chapter 6 (p. 87)
- “People always talk about human sacrifice as if it were an unusual and aberrant activity,” she said thoughtfully. “Over the centuries, it’s really been fairly common in a number of societies. Think about it. There’re a number of religions in the United States whose worship centers on a particular human sacrifice.” She glanced at me.
“Jesus Christ on the cross,” I said slowly.
“Certainly. Thousands of people consume Christ’s body and blood each Sunday.”
She shrugged. “Not really. Christ died long ago in a faraway place, and that might make it seem different. His worshipers claimed he was God incarnate, but the Aztecs claimed the same for the god-king they sacrificed. It happened only once, and that speaks for moderation on the part of the Christians, but that’s not a fundamental difference, just one of degree.”
- Chapter 10 (p. 131)
- What do you do when you are falling? Do you reach out and try to grab for support? If you aren’t careful, you will pull others down with you. Unless you are very careful.
- Chapter 23 (p. 268)
There and Back Again (1999)
- All page numbers from the mass market paperback edition published in October 2000 by Tor
- “Let it be. These things have a way of becoming clear over time,“ Gyro said. And then he shrugged. “Or not. In the end, it doesn’t really matter does it?”
- Chapter 3 (p. 50)
- Gyro smiled. “There’s an old pataphysical saying: ‘An adventure is only an inconvenience, rightly considered.’ Adventure is never convenient. And everything is an adventure, if you take the right perspective.”
“So everything is inconvenient?” Bailey grumbled.
“Oh, yes. That’s exactly it! Life is terribly inconvenient, which makes it quite entertaining.”
- Chapter 3 (p. 61)
- “You’ve passed the first test of leadership. You’ve disagreed with me.”
- Chapter 3 (p. 66)
- “You may learn a few things,” she said. “And that’s always good.”
- Chapter 7 (p. 123)
- Gazing at those beautiful stars, Bailey realized that nothing mattered to them. All the achievements of humankind were insignificant. Love and hate, death and life, honor and dishonor, knowledge or ignorance—what did any of that matter in the face of this austere and heartless splendor?
- Chapter 10 (p. 183)
- Piero was the sort of person that every religion needs but no religion likes. Thoughtful, rational, scientific. He asked questions and did not accept the easy answers on faith.
- Chapter 10 (pp. 197-198)
- “Imaginary solutions work quite well, as long as you realize that problems are also imaginary.”
- Chapter 15 (p. 259)
- Every point is a turning point.
- Catch phrase, often repeated