Iain M. Banks Quotes

/ Author List / Iain M. Banks

1. “A new collection of matter and information to present to the universe and to which it in turn will be presented; different, arguably equal parts of that great ever-repetitive, ever-changing jurisdiction of being.”

Tags : Birth Changing Ever Changing Ever Repetitive Jurisdiction Of Being Pregnancy Procreation Repetitive The Universe
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Excession

2. “They speak very well of you".- "They speak very well of everybody."- "That so bad?"- "Yes. It means you can´t trust them.”

Tags : Culture Cynical Dialogue Paranoid
Author : Iain M. Banks

3. “Strange that people are happy to adopt epithets they would fight to the death to throw off had they been imposed.”

Tags : Self Deprecation Slurs
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Look to Windward

4. “the Culture had placed its bets—long before the Idiran war had been envisaged—on the machine rather than the human brain. This was because the Culture saw itself as being a self-consciously rational society; and machines, even sentient ones, were more capable of achieving this desired state as well as more efficient at using it once they had. That was good enough for the Culture.”

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Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Consider Phlebas

5. “A federated disgust, a galaxy of scorn. Us with our busy, busy little lives, finding no better way to pass our years than in competitive disdain.”

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Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Consider Phlebas

6. “It was the Culture’s fault. It considered itself too civilized and sophisticated to hate its enemies; instead it tried to understand them and their motives, so that it could out-think them and so that, when it won, it would treat them in a way which ensured they would not become enemies again. The”

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Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Consider Phlebas

7. “The only desire the Culture could not satisfy from within itself was one common to both the descendants of its original human stock and the machines they had (at however great a remove) brought into being: the urge not to feel useless. The Culture’s sole justification for the relatively unworried, hedonistic life its population enjoyed was its good works; the”

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Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Consider Phlebas

8. “Marain, the Culture’s quintessentially wonderful language (so the Culture will tell you), has, as any schoolkid knows, one personal pronoun to cover females, males, in-betweens, neuters, children, drones, Minds, other sentient machines, and every life-form capable of scraping together anything remotely resembling a nervous system and the rudiments of language (or a good excuse for not having either). Naturally, there are ways of specifying a person’s sex in Marain, but they’re not used in everyday conversation; in”

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Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Player of Games

9. “I just took [my cancer diagnosis] as bad luck, basically. It did strike me almost immediately, my atheist sort of thing kicked in and I thought "ha, if I was a God-botherer, I'd be thinking, why me God? What have I done to deserve this?" and I thought at least I'm free of that, at least I can simply treat it as bad luck and get on with it.”

Tags : Atheism Atheism And Attitude Bbc Cancer Death
Author : Iain M. Banks

10. “By the usual reckoning, the worst books make the best films.”

Tags : Banks Genius Writers Science Fiction
Author : Iain M. Banks

11. “Somehow, later, exhausted and dismayed by these sapping, abrasive, attriting episodes, they came to a sort of truce; but it was at the expense of any closeness.”

Tags : Discord Relationships
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Excession

12. “It could always all be unreal - how could you ever tell otherwise? You took it on trust, in part because what would be the point of doing anything else? When the fake behaved exactly like the real, why treat it as anything different? You gave it the benefit of the doubt, until something proved otherwise.”

Tags : Doubt Reality Scepticism Virtual Reality
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Surface Detail

13. “One believed what one was told to believe, what it made sense to believe. Unless one was a foreigner, of course, or a philosopher.”

Tags : Belief Cognitive Dissonance Confirmation Bias Foreigners Philosophy
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Inversions

14. “It was a warship, after all. It was built, designed to glory in destruction, when it was considered appropriate. It found, as it was rightly and properly supposed to, an awful beauty in both the weaponry of war and the violence and devastation which that weaponry was capable of inflicting, and yet it knew that attractiveness stemmed from a kind of insecurity, a sort of childishness. It could see that—by some criteria—a warship, just by the perfectly articulated purity of its purpose, was the most beautiful single artifact the Culture was capable of producing, and at the same time understand the paucity of moral vision such a judgment implied. To fully appreciate the beauty of the weapon was to admit to a kind of shortsightedness close to blindness, to confess to a sort of stupidity. The weapon was not itself; nothing was solely itself. The weapon, like anything else, could only finally be judged by the effect it had on others, by the consequences it produced in some outside context, by its place in the rest of the universe. By this measure the love, or just the appreciation, of weapons was a kind of tragedy.”

Tags : Guns Military Morality Technology Weapons
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Excession

15. “When in Rome; burn it.”

Tags : Turn Of Phrase
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The State of the Art

16. “Yes," I said. "Temudjin Oh." I'd long got used to the fact that my Mongolian-extraction surname could cause some amusement amongst English speakers determined to extract a toll of discomfiture from somebody whose name was not as banal or as ugly as theirs. However, there was something about the way she pronounced it that immediately brought a blush to my cheeks. Perhaps the sunset would cover my embarassment.”

Tags : Name
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Transition

17. “The breaks and the times when he slept were irrelevant; just the intervals between the real life of the board and the game. He functioned, talking to the drone or the ship or other people, eating and sleeping and walking around...but it was all nothing; irrelevant. Everything outside was just a setting and a background for the game.”

Tags : Games Playing
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Player of Games

18. “The trouble with writing fiction is that it has to make sense, whereas real life doesn't.”

Tags : Fiction Fiction Writing Writing Writing Craft
Author : Iain M. Banks

19. “Zakalwe, in all human societies we have ever reviewed, in every age and every state, there has seldom if ever been a shortage of eager young males prepared to kill and die to preserve the security, comfort and prejudices of their elders, and what you call heroism is just an expression of this simple fact; there is never a scarcity of idiots.”

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Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Use of Weapons

20. “At one end of the vast C bitten from the castle a sin­gle great bastion-tower stood, almost intact, five kilometres high, and casting a kilometre-wide shadow across the rum­pled ground in front of the convoy. The walls had tumbled down around the tower, vanishing completely on one side and leaving only a ridge of fractured material barely five hundred metres high on the other. The plant-mass babilia, unique to the fastness and ubiquitous within it, coated all but the smoothest of vertical surfaces with tumescent hanging forests of lime-green, royal blue and pale, rusty orange; only the heights of scarred wall closest to the more actively venting fissures and fumaroles remained untouched by the tenacious vegetation.”

Tags : Castle Fastness Serepha
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Feersum Endjinn

21. “But then, as she knew too well, the more fondly we imagine something will last forever, the more ephemeral it often proves to be.”

Tags : Ephemeral Ephemerality
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Excession

22. “I have seen people who find that grief gives them something they never had before, and no matter how terrible and real their loss they choose to hug that awfulness to them rather than push it away.”

Tags : Grief Self Pity Wallowing
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Look to Windward

23. “An intelligence completely dissociated from the physical, or at least an impression of it, was a strange, curiously limited and almost perverse thing, and the precise form that your physicality took had a profound, in some ways defining influence on your personality.”

Tags : Body Intelligence Personality Physical Spiritual
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Surface Detail

24. “Promises take many shapes, and the more … momentous they are, the more they might look like threats. All great promises are threats, I suppose, to the way things have been until that point, to some aspect of our lives, and we all suddenly become conservative, even though we want and need what the promise holds, and look forward to the promised change at the same time.”

Tags : Promises
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Hydrogen Sonata

25. “Any theory which causes solipsism to seem just as likely an explanation for the phenomena it seeks to describe ought to be held in the utmost suspicion.”

Tags : Philosophy Solipsism
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Algebraist

26. “War, famine, disease, genocide. Death, in a million different forms, often painful and protracted for the poor individual wretches involved. What god would so arrange the universe to predispose its creations to experience such suffering, or be the cause of it in others? What master of simulations or arbitrator of a game would set up the initial conditions to the same pitiless effect? God or programmer, the charge would be the same: that of near-infinitely sadistic cruelty; deliberate, premeditated barbarism on an unspeakably horrific scale.”Hyrlis looked expectantly at them. “You see?” he said. “By this reasoning we must, after all, be at the most base level of reality – or at the most exalted, however one wishes to look at it. Just as reality can blithely exhibit the most absurd coincidences that no credible fiction could convince us of, so only reality – produced, ultimately, by matter in the raw – can be so unthinkingly cruel. Nothing able to think, nothing able to comprehend culpability, justice or morality could encompass such purposefully invoked savagery without representing the absolute definition of evil. It is that unthinkingness that saves us. And condemns us, too, of course; we are as a result our own moral agents, and there is no escape from that responsibility, no appeal to a higher power that might be said to have artificially constrained or directed us.”

Tags : God Simulation Hypothesis Solipsism
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Matter

27. “The right place; that was what he was looking for. The right place. Place was all important, place meant everything. Take this rock…"Take you, rock," he said. He squinted at it.Ah yes, here we have the nasty big flat rock, sitting doing nothing, just amoral and dull, and it sits like an island in the polluted pool. The pool is a tiny lake on the little island, and the island is in a drowned crater. The crater is a volcanic crater, the volcano forms part of an island in a big inland sea. The inland sea is like a giant lake on a continent and the continent is like an island sitting in the seas of the planet. The planet is like an island on the sea of space within its system, and the system floats within the cluster, which is like an island in the sea of the galaxy, which is like an island in the archipelago of of its local group, which is an island within the universe; the universe is like an island floating in a sea of space in the Continua, and they float like islands in the Reality, and…But down through the Continua, the Universe, the Local Group, the Galaxy, the Cluster, the System, the Planet, the Continent, the Island, the Lake, the Island… the rock remained. AND THAT MEANT THE ROCK, THE CRAPPY AWFUL ROCK HERE WAS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, THE CONTINUA, THE WHOLE REALITY!”

Tags : Humor Science Science Fiction
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Use of Weapons

28. “The Sublime. The almost tangible, entirely believable, mathematically verifiable nirvana just a few right-angle turns away from dear boring old reality: a vast, infinite, better-than-virtual ultra-existence with no Off switch, to which species and civilizations had been hauling their sorry tired-with-it-all behinds off to since - the story went - the galaxy had still been in metaphorical knee socks.”

Tags : Cynical Humor Sublimation
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Hydrogen Sonata

29. “It seemed perverse to some, but for all their apparent militarism the Gzilt had remained peaceful over many millenia; it was the avowedly peaceful Culture that had , within living memory, taken part in an all-out galactic war against another civilisation.”

Tags : Culture Cynical Humor
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Hydrogen Sonata

30. “Socialists, charity workers, carers, people who volunteer to help others; they're all - and he's quite convinced about this - they're all in reality mean-spirited bastards, either self-deceiving bastards or - for their own filthy left-wing reasons - deliberately trying to destroy the self-esteem of normal, healthily ambitious people like him. Because if only everybody looked after their own interests everything would be fine, see? Level playing field, with everybody nakedly ambitious and selfish; everybody knows where they are. If some people aren't totally selfish, or, even worse, 'pretend' not to be selfish, then it messes up the whole system. It makes it more unfair, not fairer, the way they'd claim. He calls people like that do-gooders, and they make him angry. I think he would actually prefer do-badders, which is a pretty fucked up attitude when you think about it. He feels quite strongly about them. Never misses an opportunity to complain that they're liars and frauds. Frankly, Ade, altogether, it makes him sound like - and I firmly believe he actually is - a complete cunt.”

Tags : Cunts Do Gooders
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Transition

31. “Theirs is a civilization of deprivation; ours of finely balanced satisfaction ever teetering on the brink of excess.”

Tags : Decadence Privilege Western Civilization
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The State of the Art

32. “Everything was a metaphor; all things were something other than themselves. The pain, for example, was an ocean, and he was adrift on it. His body was a city and his mind a citadel. All communications between the two seemed to have been cut, but within the keep that was his mind he still had power. The part of his consciousness that was telling him the pain did not hurt, and that all things were like other things, was like...like...he found it hard to think of a comparison. A magic mirror, maybe.”

Tags : Metaphor Pain
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Use of Weapons

33. “There is something about the very idea of a city which is central to the understanding of a planet like Earth, and particularly the understanding of that part of the then-existing group-civilization which called itself the West. That idea, to my mind, met its materialist apotheosis in Berlin at the time of the Wall.Perhaps I go into some sort of shock when I experience something deeply; I'm not sure, even at this ripe middle-age, but I have to admit that what I recall of Berlin is not arranged in my memory in any normal, chronological sequence. My only excuse is that Berlin itself was so abnormal - and yet so bizarrely representative - it was like something unreal; an occasionally macabre Disneyworld which was so much a part of the real world (and the realpolitik world), so much a crystallization of everything these people had managed to produce, wreck, reinstate, venerate, condemn and worship in their history that it defiantly transcended everything it exemplified, and took on a single - if multifariously faceted - meaning of its own; a sum, an answer, a statement no city in its right mind would want or be able to arrive at.”

Tags : Berlin Cities Diziet Sma Mankind Marterialist Apotheosis Multifariously Faceted Realpolitik The Berlin Wall The West
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The State of the Art

34. “Imagine a vast and glittering ocean seen from a great height. It stretches to the clear curved limit of every angle of horizon, the sun burning on a billion tiny wavelets. Now imagine a smooth blanket of cloud above the ocean, a shell of black velvet suspended high above the water and also extending to the horizon, but keep the sparkle of the sea despite the lack of sun. Add to the cloud many sharp and tiny lights, scattered on the base of the inky overcast like glinting eyes: singly, in pairs or in larger groups, each positioned far, far away from any other set.”

Tags : Ftl Hyperspace Imagery Ocean
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Consider Phlebas

35. “First person singular obtaining colloquial orgasm within a Caledonian sandwich' it said, then looked annoyed, and spoke incoherently into a grille set in its belly which replied. It looked up and said, 'Sorry, as I was saying: I come in peace”

Tags : Cleaning Up Funny
Author : Iain M. Banks

36. “They left Puonvangi at the 303rd in the company of a riotous party of Binlisi conventioneers. The Birilisi were an avian species and much given to excessive narcoticism; they and Puonvangi were guaranteed to get on. There was much fluttering.”

Tags : Drugs Humor Narcotics Scifi Humor
Author : Iain M. Banks

37. “Escape is a commodity like anything else.”

Tags : Commercialism Consumerism
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Player of Games

38. “He tried to decide if he was really ashamed of being afraid, and decided that he was not. Fear was there for a purpose. It was wired into any creature that had not completely turned its back on its evolutionary inheritance and so remade itself in whatever image it coveted. The more sophisticated you became, the less you relied on fear and pain to keep you alive; you could afford to ignore them because you had other means of coping with the consequences if things went badly.”

Tags : Fear Fight Or Flight Human Nature Instinct
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Look to Windward

39. “Most people are not prepared to have their minds changed," he said. "And I think they know in their hearts that other people are just the same, and one of the reasons people become angry when they argue is that they realize just that, as they trot out their excuses.""Excuses, eh?" Well, if this ain't cynicism, what is?" Erens snorted."Yes, excuses," he said, with what Erens thought might just have been a trace of bitterness. "I strongly suspect the things people believe in are usually just what they instinctively feel is right; the excuses, the justifications, the things you're supposed to argue about, come later. They're the least important part of the belief. That's why you can destroy them, win an argument, prove the other person wrong, and still they believe what they did in the first place." He looked at Erens. "You've attacked the wrong thing.”

Tags : Arguments Belief Erens Excuses Instinct Justifications
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Use of Weapons

40. “On Earth one of the things that a large proportion of the locals is most proud of is this wonderful economic system which, with a sureness and certainty so comprehensive one could almost imagine the process bears some relation to their limited and limiting notions of either thermodynamics or God, all food, comfort, energy, shelter, space, fuel and sustenance gravitates naturally and easily away from those who need it most and towards those who need it least. Indeed, those on the receiving end of such largesse are often harmed unto death by its arrival, though the effects may take years and generations to manifest themselves.”

Tags : Comfort Economics Energy Food Fuel Limited Limiting Shelter Space Sustenance
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The State of the Art

41. “Now, quite apart from the fact that, from the point of view of the Earther, socialism suffers the devastating liability of only exhibiting internal contradictions when you are trying to use it as an adjunct to your own stupidity (unlike capitalism, which again, from the point of view of the Earther, happily has them built in from the start), it is the case that because Free Enterprise got there first and set up the house rules, it will always stay at least one kick ahead of its rivals.”

Tags : Capitalism Earthers Economics Free Enterprise Socialism
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The State of the Art

42. “The one on the left," Worthil said, "is a male, carrying the testes and penis. The middle one is equipped with a kind of reversible vagina, and ovaries. The vagina turns inside-out to implant the fertilised egg in the third sex, on the right, which has a womb. The one in the middle is the dominant sex."Gurgeh had to think about this. "The what?" he said.”

Tags : Feminism Patriarchy
Author : Iain M. Banks

43. “[M]aking a show was better cover than trying to stay inconspicuous; Western capitalism in particular allowed the rich just about the right amount of behavioural leeway to account for the oddities our alienness might produce.”

Tags : Privilege
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The State of the Art

44. “[A]ll her hardships had been self-inflicted and recreational in the past.”

Tags : Privilege
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Excession

45. “His jaw was slack and his mouth open, and he wondered if perhaps he would drown eventually; drowned by the falling rain.”

Tags : Melancholy
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Player of Games

46. “All food, comfort, energy, shelter, space, fuel and sustenance gravitates naturally and easily away from those who need it most and towards those who need it least.”

Tags : Free Market Inequality
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The State of the Art

47. “But there we are. Some things never do make perfect sense. There must be some explanation, and it is perhaps a little like the Doctrine of the Perfect Partner. We must be content to know that she exists, somewhere in the world, and try not to care overmuch that we will probably never meet her.”

Tags : Love Soulmate
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Inversions

48. “Welcome to the future, she thought, surveying all this wordage and tat. All our tragedies and triumphs, our lives and deaths, our shames and joys are just stuffing for your emptiness.”

Tags : Emptiness Future Life Tragedies Triumphs
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Matter

49. “He might come in useful.''Yeah. So's a broken leg if you want to kick yourself in the back of the head.”

Tags : Broken Bones Unwanted Usefulness
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Against a Dark Background

50. “Nice people who are beginning to live to a great age - as it were - react with such revulsion to the burgeoning horrors that confront them, they generally prefer suicide. It's only us slightly malevolent types who are able to survive that realisation and find a kind of pleasure - or at least satisfaction - in watching how the latest generation or most recently evolved species can re-discover and beat out afresh the paths to disaster, ignominy and shame we had naively assumed might have become hopelessly over-grown.”

Tags : Wisdom In Fiction
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Hydrogen Sonata

51. “Lying here, during all this time after my own small fall, it has become my conviction that things mean pretty much what we want them to mean. We’ll pluck significance from the least consequential happenstance if it suits us and happily ignore the most flagrantly obvious symmetry between separate aspects of our lives if it threatens some cherished prejudice or cosily comforting belief; we are blindest to precisely whatever might be most illuminating.”

Tags : Beliefs Meaning Prejudice
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Transition

52. “This is the story of a man who went far away for a long time, just to play a game. The man is a game-player called “Gurgeh.” The story starts with a battle that is not a battle, and ends with a game that is not a game.”

Tags : Game Story
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Player of Games

53. “The game’s the thing. That’s the conventional wisdom, isn’t it? The fun is what matters, not the victory. To glory in the defeat of another, to need that purchased pride, is to show you are incomplete and inadequate to start with.”

Tags : Games Victory Winning
Author : Iain M. Banks

54. “I could try composing wonderful musical works, or day-long entertainment epics, but what would that do? Give people pleasure? My wiping this table gives me pleasure. And people come to a clean table, which gives them pleasure. And anyway" - the man laughed - "people die; stars die; universes die. What is any achievement, however great it was, once time itself is dead? Of course, if all I did was wipe tables, then of course it would seem a mean and despicable waste of my huge intellectual potential. But because I choose to do it, it gives me pleasure. And," the man said with a smile, "it's a good way of meeting people. So where are you from, anyway?”

Tags : Achievement Choice Death Meeting People People Pleasure Stars The Universe Time Utopia Wiping Tables
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Use of Weapons

55. “Patience can be a means of letting matters mature to a proper state for action, not just a way of letting time slip away.”

Tags : Patience
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Inversions

56. “As a matter of fact I did flirt with Socialism, in my youth.""That when you were in university, was it?"He smiled. "Yes. University. But then I saw how much more comfortable life could be as one of the exploiters rather than one of the exploited. Plus I decided that if the proles were so stupid as to let themselves be exploited, who was I to stand in their way?”

Tags : Communism Exploitation Proles
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Transition

57. “We are a race prone to monsters, she thought, and when we produce one we worship it.”

Tags : Human Nature Leaders Monsters
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Against a Dark Background

58. “[H]e was one of those people who got to the top of an organisation through luck, connections, the indulgence of superiors and that sort of carelessness towards others that the easily impressed termed ruthlessness and those of a less gullible nature called sociopathy. But sometimes, just through his sheer unthinking brusqueness and inability to think through the consequences of a remark, he said what everybody else was only thinking. A comic poet working in obscene doggerel.”

Tags : Buffoonery Incompetence
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Algebraist

59. “One should never regret one's excesses, only one's failures of nerve.”

Tags : Life Experience
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Hydrogen Sonata

60. “Division was the only order.”

Tags : Order State Of Nature
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Inversions

61. “All you ever were was a little bit of the universe, thinking to itself.”

Tags : Cosmos Existence Universe
Author : Iain M. Banks

62. “...a guilty system recognizes no innocents. As with any power apparatus which thinks everybody’s either for it or against it, we’re against it. You would be too, if you thought about it. The very way you think places you among its enemies. This might not be your fault, because every society imposes some of its values on those raised within it, but the point is that some societies try to maximize that effect, and some try to minimize it. You come from one of the latter and you’re being asked to explain yourself to one of the former. Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.”

Tags : Ethics Ideology Metaethics Politics Power
Author : Iain M. Banks

63. “He lay, often, looking at her sleeping face in the new light that fell in through the open walls of the strange house, and he stared at her skin and hair with his mouth open, transfixed by the quick stillness of her, struck dumb with the physical fact of her existence as though she was some careless star-thing that slept on quite unaware of its incandescent power; the casualness and ease with which she slept there amazed him; he couldn't believe that such beauty could survive without some superhumanly intense conscious effort.”

Tags : Beauty Incandescent Power Love Shias Engin Star Thing
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Use of Weapons

64. “You been mud wrestling..?' 'Only with my conscience.' 'Really? Who won?' 'Well, it was one of those rare occasions when violence really doesn't solve anything.”

Tags : Witty
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Use of Weapons

65. “It gripped her hand gently. 'Regret is for humans,' it said.She laughed. 'Really?'The machine shrugged and let go of her hand. 'Oh, no. It's just something we tell ourselves.”

Tags : Regret
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Against a Dark Background

66. “the ignobility of thought and action that desperation born of indigence produces.”

Tags : Dignity Poverty
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Excession

67. “[B]ecause of all his previous attempts to integrate with the rest of society and what he had learned about himself through them - he wanted to be who he was, not the person he would become if he lost the one trait that distinguished him from everybody else, no matter how perverse that decision seemed to others.”

Tags : Deviants Truth To Self
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Excession

68. “[T]here can be a form of vanity in grief that is indulged rather than suffered.”

Tags : Grief Self Pity Wallowing
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Look to Windward

69. “It was clear that the delight being taken...was not the vicarious pleasure of watching people enjoying themselves and identifying with them, but in seeing people being humiliated while others enjoyed themselves at their expense.”

Tags : Vicarious Experience
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Player of Games

70. “I love writing and can't imagine not being able to do it. I want an easy life and if it had been difficult doing it I wouldn't be doing it. I do admire writers who do it even though it costs them.”

Tags : Genius Hero Legend Science Fiction
Author : Iain M. Banks

71. “[I]t would be a niceness that was enforced leniently, patiently and gracefully, with the sort of unflappable self-certainty [they] couldn't help displaying when all its statistics proved that it really was doing the right thing.”

Tags : Certainty Confidence Science Statistics
Author : Iain M. Banks

72. “[E]very society imposes some of its values on those raised within it, but the point is that some societies try to maximize that effect, and some try to minimize it. You come from one of the latter and you’re being asked to explain yourself to one of the former. Prevarication will be more difficult than you imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence.”

Tags : Indoctrination
Author : Iain M. Banks

73. “[I]f I suffered only one fool gladly, I assure you it would be you.”

Tags : Backhanded Compliment Insult
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : Look to Windward

74. “By being unknowable, by resulting from events which, at the sub-atomic level, cannot be fully predicted, the future remains malleable, and retains the possibility of change, the hope of coming to prevail; victory, to use an unfashionable word. In this, the future is a game; time is one of the rules.”

Tags : Science Fiction
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Player of Games

75. “So basically you're sticking around to watch us all fuck up ?""Yes. It's one of life's few guaranteed constants.”

Tags : Cynicism
Author : Iain M. Banks
Source : The Hydrogen Sonata