Last modified on 13 August 2014, at 17:53

Matthew Stover

Matthew Woodring Stover (born 1962) is an American fantasy and science fiction novelist.


Heroes Die (1998)Edit

  • Fairy tales--simple stories for simple minds, a breath of air to cool brows overheated by the complexities of real life.
  • It's customary, at times like this, to say a few words. A man shouldn't die with no understanding of why he's been murdered. I do not pride myself on my eloquence, and so I will keep this simple.
    • The Acts of Caine, Heroes Die (The Acts of Caine: Act of Violence) (1998)

Blade of Tyshalle (2001)Edit

  • When the gods would punish us, they answer our prayers.
    • Del Rey p. 92
  • I read once, somewhere, that the way you know you've grown up is when your future death becomes a stone in your shoe: when you feel it with every step.
    • (0.8) Del Rey, p. 23
  • A human life is defined by its relationship with others: by its duty to its species. In the face of this duty, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless. What you call individual rights are merely the cultural fantasy of a failed civilization.
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 74
  • Can't trust a fascist--truth is always your first sacrifice to the welfare of the state
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 74
  • Don't care about gods. Gods are irrelevant. What counts is people. What counts is having respect for each other.
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 75
  • "I respect what is repectable," Tan'elkoth replied. "To ask for respect where none has been earned is childish maundering.And what is repectable, in the end, save service? Even your idol Jefferson is, in the end, measured by how well he served the species. The prize of individualism--its goal--is self-actualization, which is only another name for vanity. We do not admire men for achieving self-actualization; we admire self-actualization when its end result is a boon to humanity."
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 75
  • "The problem with happy endings," Tan'elkoth said, "is that nothing is ever truly over."
    • (I.3) Del Rey, p. 89
  • Anyone who is of a thoughtful, philisophical cast of mind will occasionaly be struck by the appearance of certain organizing principles of history. The forms these principles seem to take inevitably depends upon one's specific obsession. For a mornachist, history is a struggle of classes of economic civil war. An agriculturalist sees the dynamic of populations, land, and availability of food; a philosopher might speak of the will to power or the will to sythesis; a theologian of the will of God.
    • (II.2) Del Rey, p. 100
  • Life is mere chance only when one allows it to be.
    • (V.8) Del Rey, p. 214
  • A religion that teaches you God is something outside the world--something separate from everything you see, smell, taste, touch, and hear--is nothing but a cheap hustle.
    • (VIII.4) Del Rey, p. 282
  • "Maybe. A powerful. Enough. Metaphor. Grows. Its own. Truth."
    • (VIII.4) Del Rey, p. 284
  • "All true stories end in death."
    • (X.6) Del Rey, p. 380
  • He did understand. Finally, fatally, he did. He had thought he was the master of history, that his fractal world-tree had grown according to his will. He had allowed himself to be deceived.
    • (XI.6) Del Rey, p. 404
  • The man did not move because only immobility could hurt more than motion: the man held himself still because to move might lessen his suffering, and that he could not bear. For him only pain had meaning.
    • (XII.1) Del Rey, p. 408
  • "Reasons are for peasants."
    • (XII.2) Del Rey, p. 411
  • "...I suspect that pain means little to you as your life--but both your life and your pain are very important to me."
    • (XII.2) Del Rey, p. 412
  • Caine was no longer the icon of evil, the Enemy of God, the author of all the world's ills. He had become simply what he was: a ruthless, amoral man, now beaten--crushed by the world, just like any other.
  • Only human, after all.
    • (XII.4) Del Rey, p. 417
  • His destiny had betrayed him, had made him a destroyer on a scale that humbled even Caine. Destiny, he understood with bitter certainty, could not be trusted.
  • He had no idea what he should do now. Without destiny to guide him, he was lost in a vast, whistling darkness. Any direction he might choose was purely abitary; it would make no more sense, offer no more hope, than would sitting still. Which offered neither sense nor hope at all.
    • (XII.7) Del Rey, p. 426
  • "We can each sit and wait to die, from the very day of our births. Those of us who do not do so, choose to ask--and to answer--the two questions that define every conscious creature: What do I want? and What will I do to get it? Which are, finally, only one question: What is my will? Caine teaches us that the answer is always found within our own experience; our lives provide the structure of the question, and a properly phrased question contains its own answer."
    • (XIV.3) Del Rey, p. 472
  • The capacity for personal freedom is a rare talent. Talent exists to be used. We do not ask sheep to be wolves; we, the wolves, do not ask ourselves to be sheep. Sheep can make such rules as happen to suit them--but it's foolishly naive to expect wolves to obey."
  • And in the name of this gospel of freedom, she had imprisoned herself; in the name of "living life honestly," she would go to her death. It was, he supposed, the only way she could make herself feel special.
    • (XIV.4) Del Rey, p. 473
  • "Shit, kid, thinking about that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, like I just ate a kitten."
    • Del Rey 1st Ed p. 599
  • A powerful enough metaphor grows its own truth.
    • Del Rey 1st Ed p. 734

Shatterpoint (2004)Edit

  • When all choices seem wrong, choose restraint.
    • Mace Windu p. 176
  • It dawned on me then that Nick was proud of himself. Proud of what we had done. It may have been an unfamiliar feeling for him: that peculiarly delicious pride that comes from having taken a terrible risk to do something truly admirable. Of overcoming the instinct of self-presrvation: of fighting our fears and winning. It is the pride of discovering that one is not merely a bundle of reflexes and conditioned responses; that instead one is a thinking being, who can choose the right over the easy, and justice over safety.
    • Mace Windu p. 251

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