Terry Pratchett on Family Feuds

Monkey Typing

The Oggs were what is known as an extended family—in fact not only extended but elongated, protracted and persistent. No normal sheet of paper could possibly trace their family tree, which in any case was more like a mangrove thicket. And every single branch had a low-key, chronic vendetta against every other branch, based on such well-established causes célèbres as What Their Kevin Said About Our Stan At Cousin Di’s Wedding and Who Got The Silver Cutlery That Auntie Em Promised Our Doreen Was To … [Read more...]

On Tyranny

Being an absolute ruler today was not as simple as people thought. At least, it was not simple if your ambitions included being an absolute ruler tomorrow.— Terry Pratchett, Going Postal (On Lord Vetinari's philosophy of government.) … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: The Check’s in the Mail

Monkey Typing

If, somewhere, any possible world can exist, then somewhere there is any letter that could possibly be written. Somewhere, all those checks really were in the mail.— Terry Pratchett, Going Postal … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: On Using Magic

Oh, you could do it all by magic, you certainly could. You could wave a wand and get twinkly stars and a fresh-baked loaf. You could make fish jump out of the sea already cooked. And then, somewhere, somehow, magic would present its bill, which was always more than you could afford.That’s why it was left to wizards, who knew how to handle it safely. Not doing any magic at all was the chief task of wizards—not “not doing magic” because they couldn’t do magic, but not doing magic when they co … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: On Murder

Monkey Typing

“You mean you knew there was going to be a murder before it even happened?” Ribaud said in disbelief. “Didn’t somebody do something?”“Son, around here, you always know about a murder ahead of time,” Parry replied calmly. He drained the rest of his soda in a great swallow. “That don’t mean it’s healthy to mix in another man’s quarrel.”— David Drake, Night & Demons … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Cat Maintenance

Monkey Typing

After we do the washing-up, I get to spend the rest of the evening reading FAQs on cat maintenance on the web. It takes about half an hour to come to the unwelcome realization that they’re almost as complex as home-brew gaming PCs, and have even more failure modes. (When your gaming PC malfunctions it doesn’t stealthily dump core in your shoes.)— Charles Stross, The Rhesus ChartBob Howard, computer geek, comes to terms with owning a cat. … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: The Meds Don’t Need Adjusting

Monkey Typing

I stretched my legs and studied the intricate architecture of the building. It was a remarkably depressing structure considering how much good the Nelsons were trying to accomplish. The building was hideously dark. The walls were thick blocky stone, with carved designs on the edges, and the look was completed by the pair of massive stone gargoyles that sat on the building's roof. "Maybe it's the setting? This place looks more like a haunted castle than an institution dedicated to helping … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Beware of Little Old Ladies!

Monkey Typing

A little old woman came hobbling along, her crooked cane feeling for the cracks between the slick cobblestones. Because she had a black cloak huddled around her and a black cowl over her head— and so seemed a part of the dark fog— one of the merchants almost collided with her in the shadows. He helped her around a slimy puddle and grinned commiseratingly when she complained in a quavering voice about the condition of the street and the manifold dangers to which an old woman was exposed. She went … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Humming

Monkey Typing

Miss Hisselpenny found most of the books in Alexia’s father’s library shameful to read. She covered her ears and hummed whenever Miss Tarabotti even mentioned her papa, but she never hummed so loudly she could not hear what was said.— Gail Carriger, SoullessSouless is what you might call a steampunk paranormal romance novel. I can't precisely recommend it, but it made me laugh despite the plethora of refrigerator moments. I might have more to say about it on another day. … [Read more...]


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