I'm Margarita Staples." She bowed in her harness. "Extreme librarian. Bookaneer.

I have danced with the spider. I have cut a caper with the dancing mad god.

Dismissing fantasy writing because some of it is bad is exactly like saying I'm not reading Jane Eyre because it is a romance and I know romance is crap.

William Gibson told only half the story: like the future, the past is also here in the present, and just as unevenly distributed.

A Kedis troika approached afterward, colourcells winking in their frills, and the shemale speaker thanked him in her curious diction, shaking his hand with her prehensile genitalia.

Part of the appeal of the fantastic is taking ridiculous ideas very seriously and pretending they're not absurd.

Fantastic fiction covers fantasy, horror and science fiction - and it doesn't get the attention it deserves from the literati.

Why should we not shep naches from the accomplishments of our machines? This vicarious joy or success sounds somewhat odd, but it shouldn't be. We get excited when our sports team wins a game; why should it disturb or disappoint us when our creations turn out to be more accomplished than ourselves?

She was intelligent enough to realize that her excitement was childish, but not mature enough to care.

If you didn't know, you wouldn't take him for part-ghost—but you'd know he wanted to be somewhere else.

Fortune-telling was quantum betting, a competitive scrying of variably likely outcomes.

My Google-fu is strong.

Everything, even the dirt, was poised.

The light was going: some cloud cover arriving, as if summoned by drama.

Either way, it is a curio of the moment that hard-left advocates of ‘all power to the soviets' were delegated by a soviet opponent to defend the Soviet currently arguing furiously against taking the power they wanted it to take. Those.

Twilight, even remembered twilight, is better than no light at all.

That's defeatist talk. I'll cobble something together. A scholar can never let mere wrongness get in the way of the theory.

Well I don't feel sectarian against sparseness, although I sometimes get a little chippy about this. I resent the way that a certain notion of parsimony has become the norm for skilful literary writing.

Standing there on his new perch, Sham was overwhelmingly bored of feeling overwhelmed. The more he worked, he realized, the quicker he worked.

The best way to write a novel is to do it behind your own back.

He hurled another vast pot of unstable thaumaturgic compound at the militia. It fell short, but burst with such violence that it splashed onto and over the shields, mixing with the distillate and sending two officers screaming to the floor as their skin became parchment and their blood ink.

That's what gets converts these days," Baron said. "It's a buyers' market in apocalypse. What's hot in heresy's Armageddon.

When he had first started at the center, he had liked to think that he was unexpectedly cool-looking for such a job. Now he knew that he surprised no one, that no one expected scientists to look like scientists anymore.

There is no case, he told her. There's a series of random and implausible crises that make no sense other than if you believe the most dramatic possible shit. And there's a dead girl at the end of it all.

My father didn't look at me. He dropped more stones upon a random-looking cairn. The townspeople were slow to get out of our sight. He waited and watched them and didn't look at me and kept adding to the substance of the hill with the substance of the hill.

We could just turn our phones and computers off – but we don't. And we don't blame ourselves for our lack of self-control: we blame our technology for being too addictive.

It had acquired a name, Spatters, that reflected the desultory randomness of its outlines: the whole stinking shanty-town seemed to have dribbled like shit from the sky.

If the techs are on it we're fine, but Briamiv and his buddy could fuck up a full stop at the end of a sentence.

The moon made horns, the sky was gnarly. The cults were skittish.

I closed my eyes then but it was too dark to clearly see that vision that my body would conjure out of blood and the inside of skin when light hit it, but I'd seen it so often, examined it so carefully, that it wasn't hard for me to call to mind.

My dad hates umbrellas, said Deeba, swinging her own. When it rains he always says the same thing. 'I do not believe the presence of moisture in the air is sufficient reason to overturn society's usual sensible taboo against wielding spiked clubs at eye level.

Time was doing what time always does, going faster & faster as if downhill.

Oh for God's sake, he said. The men and women stared. He could see them attempting exegesis on his outburst.

I love monsters.

It had the side-to-side proportions of a small sitting room, but its floor was way below. Absurdly deep. Steps angled down. It was a shaft of roomness, shelved with books. Ladders dangled from the stacks. As the church's holdings grew, Billy thought, horizontal constraints required generations of kraken worshippers to dig for their library.

They looked like people-shaped clay in the moments before God breathed out.

Into sleep's benthos and deeper. A slander that the deepest parts are lightless. There are moments of phosphor with animal movement. Somatic glimmers, and in the trench of sleep those lights were tiny dreams.

Only humans dread. Dread is appropriate to nothing. It's the surplus of animal fear, it's never indicated, it's nothing but itself.

Cooking and eating were growing to irritate her with their relentless necessity.

Why's there a pharos here? he said. You don't put a lighthouse where no one's going to go. You put it somewhere dangerous where they have to go.

It had not been a long journey, but the memory of it filled her like an infection. She had felt tethered by time to the city behind her, so that the minutes stretched out taut as she moved away, and slowed the farther she got, dragging out her little voyage.

The problem with most genre fantasy is that it's not nearly fantastic enough. It's escapist, but it can't escape.

I didn't move: I had no moving left in me.

Subby Subby Subby," whispered Goss. "Keep those little bells on your slippers as quiet as you can. Sparklehorse and Starpink have managed to creep out of Apple Palace past all the monkeyfish, but if we're silent as tiny goblins we can surprise them and then all frolic off together in the Meadow of Happy Kites.

He was cheered by this. He was a scientist, not a mystic.

Stated most simply, New Death is the condition whereby human corpses now lie always on a horizontal vector—no matter the angle of the surface or the substance of the matter below them—and now orient so that their feet are facing all observers, all the time.

And Lublamai no longer thought of screaming but only of watching as those dark markings rolled and boiled in perfect symetry across the wings like clouds in a night sky above, in water below.

We have to establish our credentials as an explorocracy; so to survive and rule ourselves, we have to explore.

Now the Ariekei were learning to speak, and to think, and it hurt.