Top 29 Iain M. Banks Quotes

The trouble with writing fiction is that it has to make sense, whereas real life doesn’t.


The History Of The Universe In Three WordsCHAPTER ONEBang!CHAPTER TWOsssssCHAPTER THREEcrunch.THE END


What, anyway, was he to say? That intelligence could surpass and excel the blind force of evolution, with its emphasis on mutation, struggle and death? That conscious cooperation was more efficient than feral competition?


A temple was worth a dozen barracks; a militia man carrying a gun could control a small unarmed crowd only for as long as he was present; however, a single priest could put a policeman inside the head of every one of their flock, for ever.


The trick, he supposed, was never to lose sight of the theoretical possibility while not for a moment taking the idea remotely seriously.


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.


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


[M]y determined and strenuous endeavours to take in absolutely nothing of what I had regarded as entirely the most irrelevant part of my schooling had patently not met with total success


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.


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


[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.


Darkness came like a black flag waved over the canyon, drawing back the grayness from the shores of the city, then pushing forward the individual specks of street and building lights as though in recompense.


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


By the usual reckoning, the worst books make the best films.


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.


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


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


The Culture gives us so much, but in fact it’s only taking things away from us, lobotimizings everybody in it, taking away their choices, their potential for being really good or even slightly bad.


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


That’s what we’ve lost, you know. What you’ve lost; all of you. A sense of wonder and awe and . . . sin. These people know there are still things they don’t know, things that can still go wrong, things they can still do wrong.


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.


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


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.


Oh, adjust yourself. You people have spent ten millennia playing at soldiers while becoming ever more dedicated civilians. We’ve spent the last thousand years trying hard to stay civilian while refining the legacy of a won galactic war.


In life you hoped to do what you could but mostly you did what you were told and that was the end of it.


One should never regret one’s excesses, only one’s failures of nerve.


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.


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.


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.



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