Harry Turtledove

American author (born 1949)

Harry Norman Turtledove (born 14 June 1949) is an American novelist, best known for his works in several genres, including that of alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.

Many things are possible. Few things are certain.
Fiction has to be plausible. All history has to do is happen.
Bureau of Ordnance, Richmond
January 17, 1864
General Lee:
I have the honor to present to you with this letter Mr. Andries Rhoodie of Rivington, North Carolina, who has demonstrated in my presence a new rifle, which I believe may prove to be of the most significant benefit conceivable to our soldiers. As he expressed the desire of making your acquaintance & as the Army of Northern Virginia will again, it is likely, face hard fighting in the months ahead, I send him on to you that you may judge both him & his remarkable weapon for yourself. I remain,
Your most ob't servant,
Josiah Gorgas
"Mighty generous of you," Lincoln said with cutting irony. "And one fine day, I reckon, we'll have friends in Europe, too, friends who'll help us get back what's rightfully ours and what you've taken away." "A European power- to help you against England and France?" For the first time, Lord Lyons was undiplomatic enough to laugh. American bluster was bad enough most times, but this lunacy- "Good luck to you, Mr. President. Good luck."
"I'm Jake Featherston, and I'm here to tell you the truth."
June 21 passed through to June 22. All that coffee made Jake's heart thud and soured his stomach. He gulped a Bromo-Seltzer and went on. At a quarter past three, the drone of airplane engines and the thunder of distant artillery- not distant enough; damn those Yankee robbers!- made him whoop for sheer glee. He'd waited so long. Now his day was here.
"No epilogue here, unless you make it;
If you want your freedom, go and take it."
A great roar, a roar full of triumph, rose from the men in front of him as they passed the crest of the hill and swept on towards the Tower Ditch and the walls beyond. And when Shakespeare crested the hill himself, he looked ahead and roared too, in joy and amazement and suddenly flaring hope. Will Kemp had been right, right and more than right. All the gates to the Tower of London stood open.
"Think you're the only mother's son born a fool in England?"

Quotes edit

  • I see people who write characters who are loonies and make them convincing and believable, and I envy them tremendously. I don’t really understand them. It’s funny, because I’ve created my own monster. In the ‘Great War’ and ‘American Empire’ books, I’m writing the person who is the functional equivalent of Adolf Hitler. I’m inside his head — and that’s a very strange place for somebody who thinks of himself as a fairly rational fellow to be. That’s alarming
  • I suspect S.F. has an individualistic, antiauthoritarian trend to it not least because so many of the people who read and write it (not all by any means, but quite a few) are innerdirected introverts who make neither good leaders nor good followers. Am I talking about myself? Well, now that you mention it, yes. But I ain’t the only one, not even close.

The Guns of the South (1992) edit

  • Robert E. Lee paused to dip his pen once more in the inkwell. Despite flannel shirt, uniform coat, and heavy winter boots, he shivered a little. The headquarters tent was cold. The winter had been harsh, and showed no signs of growing any milder. New England weather, he thought, and wondered why God had chosen to visit it upon his Virginia.
    • p. 3
  • Keeping the Army of Northern Virginia fed and clothed was a never-ending struggle. His men were making their own shoes now, when they could get the leather, which as not often. The ration was down to three-quarters of a pound of meat a day, along with a little salt, sugar, coffee- or rather, chicory and burnt grain- and lard. Bread, rice, corn... they trickled up the Virginia Central and Orange and Alexandria Railroad every so often, but not nearly often enough. He would have to cut the daily allowance again, if more did not arrive soon. President Davis, however, was as aware of all that as Lee could make him. To hash it over once more would only seem like carping.
    • p. 4
  • A gun cracked, quite close to the tent. Soldier's instinct pulled Lee's head up. Then he smiled and laughed to himself. One of his staff officers, most likely, shooting at a possum or squirrel. He hoped the young man had scored a hit. But no sooner had the smile appeared than it vanished. The report of the gun sounded- odd. It had been an abrupt bark, not a pistol shot or the deeper boom of an Enfield rifle musket. Maybe it was a captured Federal weapon. The gun cracked again and again and again. Each report came closer to the one than two heartbeats were to each other. A Federal weapon indeed, Lee thought: one of those fancy repeaters their cavalry like so well. The fusillade went on and on. He frowned at the waste of precious cartridges- no Southern armory could easily duplicate them. He frowned once more, this time in puzzlement, when silence fell. He had automatically kept track of the number of rounds fired. No Northern rifle he knew was a thirty-shooter. He turned his mind back to the letter to President Davis. -Valley, he wrote. Then gunfire rang out again, an unbelievably rapid stutter of shots, altogether too quick to count and altogether unlike anything he had ever heard. He took off his glasses and set down the pen. Then he put on a hat and got up to see what was going on.
    • p. 4
  • Bureau of Ordnance, Richmond
    January 17, 1864
    General Lee:
    I have the honor to present to you with this letter Mr. Andries Rhoodie of Rivington, North Carolina, who has demonstrated in my presence a new rifle, which I believe may prove to be of the most significant benefit conceivable to our soldiers. As he expressed the desire of making your acquaintance & as the Army of Northern Virginia will again, it is likely, face hard fighting in the months ahead, I send him on to you that you may judge both him & his remarkable weapon for yourself. I remain,
    Your most ob't servant,
    Josiah Gorgas
    • p. 5
  • Walter Taylor asked, "Mr. Rhoodie, what do you call this rifle of yours? Is it a Rhoodie, too? Most inventors name their products for themselves, do they not?" "No, it's not a Rhoodie." The big stranger unslung the rifle, held it in both hands as gently as if it were a baby. "Give it its proper name, Major. It's an AK-47."
    • p. 13
  • Lang kept at it until everyone had had a turn shooting an AK-47. Then he said, "This weapon can do one other thing I haven't shown you yet. When you move the change lever all the way down instead of to the middle position, this is what happens." He stuck a fresh clip in the repeater, turned toward the target circle, and blasted away. He went through the whole magazine almost before Caudell could draw in a startled breath. "Good God almighty," Rufus Daniel said, peering in awe at the brass cartridge cases scattered around Lang's feet. "Why didn't he show us that in the first place?" He was not the only one to raise the question; quite a few shouted it. Caudell kept quiet. By now, he was willing to assume Lang knew what he was doing. The weapons instructor stayed perfectly possessed. He said, "I didn't show you that earlier because it wastes ammunition and because the weapon accurate past a few meters- yards- on full automatic. You can only carry so many rounds. If you shoot them all off in the first five minutes of battle, what will you do once they're gone? Think hard on that, gentlemen, and drill it into your private soldiers. This weapon requires fire discipline- requires it, I say again."
    • p. 31
  • "It is an evil, sir, an unmitigated evil," Lincoln said. "I shall never forget the group of chained Negroes I saw going down the river to be sold close to a quarter of a century ago. Never was there so much misery, all in one place. If your secession triumphs, the South will be a pariah among nations." "We shall be recognized as what we are, a nation among nations," Lee returned. "And, let me repeat, my being here is a sign secession has triumphed. What I would seek to do now, subject to the ratification of my superiors, is suggest terms to halt the war between the United States and Confederate States." Lincoln refused to call Lee's country by its proper name. As a small measure of revenge, Lee put extra weight on that name. Lincoln sighed. This was the moment he had tried to evade, but there was no evading it, not with the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia in his parlor. "Name your terms, General," he said in a voice full of ashes.
    • p. 176-177
  • The crowd of ragged Confederates on the White House lawn had doubled and more since he went in to confer with Lincoln. The trees were full of men who had climbed up so they could see over their comrades. Off in the distance, cannon occasionally still thundered; rifles popped like firecrackers. Lee quietly said to Lincoln, "Will you send out your sentries under flag of truce to bring word of the armistice to those Federal positions still firing upon my men?" "I'll see to it," Lincoln promised. He pointed to the soldiers in gray, who had quieted expectantly when Lee came out. "Looks like you've given me sentries enough, even if their coats are the wrong color." Few men could have joked so with their cause in ruins around them. Respecting the Federal President for his composure, Lee raised his voice: "Soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia, after three years of arduous service, we have achieved that for which we took up arms-" He got no further. With one voice, the men before him screamed out their joy and relief. The unending waves of noise beat at him like a surf from a stormy sea. Battered forage caps and slouch hats flew through the air. Soldiers jumped up and down, pounded on one another's shoulders, danced in clumsy rings, kissed each other's bearded, filthy faces. Lee felt his own eyes grow moist. At last the magnitude of what he had won began to sink in.
    • p. 180
  • "With these victories to which you refer, the Confederate States do seem to have retrieved their falling fortunes," Lord Lyons said. "I have no reason to doubt that Her Majesty's government will soon recognize that fact." "Thank you, your excellency," Lee said quietly. Even had Lincoln refused to give up the war- not impossible, with the Mississippi valley and many coastal pockets held by virtue of Northern naval power and hence relatively secure from rebel AK-47s- recognition by the greatest empire on earth would have assured Confederate independence. Lord Lyons held up a hand. "Many among our upper classes will be glad enough to welcome you to the family of nations, both as a result of your successful fight for self-government and because you have given a black eye to the often vulgar democracy of the United States. Others, however, will judge your republic a sham, with its freedom for white men based upon Negro slavery, a notion loathsome to the civilized world. I should be less than candid if I failed to number myself among that latter group." "Slavery was not the reason the Southern states chose to leave the Union," Lee said. He was aware he sounded uncomfortable, but went on, "We sought only to enjoy the sovereignty guaranteed us under the constitution, a right the North wrongly denied us. Our watchword all along has been, we wish but to be left alone."
    • p. 182-183
  • "And what sort of country shall you build upon that watchword, General?" Lord Lyons asked. "You cannot be left entirely alone; you are become, as I said, a member of the family of nations. Further, this war has been hard on you. Much of your land has been ravaged or overrun, and in those places where the Federal army has been, slavery lies dying. Shall you restore it there at the point of a bayonet? Gladstone said October before last, perhaps a bit prematurely, that your Jefferson Davis had made an army, the beginnings of a navy, and, more important than either, a nation. You Southerners may have made the Confederacy into a nation, General Lee, but what sort of nation shall it be?" Lee did not answer for most of a minute. This pudgy little man in his comfortable chair had put into a nutshell his own worries and fears. He'd had scant time to dwell on them, not with the war always uppermost in his thoughts. But the war had not invalidated any of the British minister's questions- some of which Lincoln had also asked- only put off the time at which they would have to be answered. Now that time drew near. Now that the Confederacy was a nation, what sort of nation would it be? At last he said, "Your excellency, at this precise instant I cannot fully answer you, save to say that, whatever sort of nation we become, it shall be one of our own choosing." It was a good answer. Lord Lyons nodded, as if in thoughtful approval. Then Lee remembered the Rivington men. They too had their ideas on what the Confederate States of America should become.
    • p. 183
  • The Federal commissioners sat down across the mahogany table from their Southern hosts. After a couple of minutes of chitchat meant to be polite- but during which the three Confederates managed to avoid speaking directly to Butler- Seward said, "Gentlemen, shall we attempt to repair the unpleasantness that lies between our two governments?" "Had you acknowledged from the outset that this land contained to governments, sir, all the unpleasantness, as you call it, would have been avoided," Alexander Stephens pointed out. Like his body, his voice was light and thin. "That may be true, but it's moot now," Stanton said. "Let's deal with the situation as we have it, shall we? Otherwise useless recriminations will take up all our time and lead us nowhere. It was, if I may say so, useless recriminations on both sides that led to the breach between North and South."
    • p. 226
  • Judah Benjamin said, "The nations of Europe continue to abhor our policy, try as we will to convince them that we cannot do otherwise. Mr. Mason has written from London that Her Majesty's government might well have been willing to extend us recognition two years ago, were it not for the continuation of slavery among us: so Lord Russell has assured him, at any rate. Mr. Thouvenel, the French foreign minister, has expressed similar sentiments to Mr. Slidell in Paris." Slavery, Lee thought. In the end, the world's outside view of the Confederate States of America was colored almost exclusively by its response to the South's peculiar institution. Never mind that the U.S. Constitution was a revocable compact between independent states, never mind that the North had consistently used its numerical majority to force through Congress tariffs that worked only to ruin the South. So long as black men were bought and sold, all the high ideals of the Confederacy would be ignored.
    • p. 234
  • President Davis said, "The 'free' factory worker in Manchester or Paris- yes, in Boston as well- is free only to starve. As Mr. Hammond from South Carolina put it so pungently in the chambers of the U.S. Senate a few years ago, every society rests upon a mudsill of brute labor, from which the edifice of civilization arises. We are but more open and honest about the nature of our mudsill than other nations, which gladly exploit a worker's labor but, when he can no longer provide it, cast him aside like a used sheet of foolscap."
    • p. 234
  • Lee wondered how Jefferson Davis had ever managed to inveigle him into accepting the Confederate Presidency. Even without counting the armed guards who surrounded the presidential residence on Shockoe Hill, he found himself a prisoner of his position. To do everything that needed doing, he should have been born triplets. The one of him available was not nearly enough; whenever he did anything, he felt guilty because he was neglecting something else.
    • p. 458
  • "But there is no such thing as possessing a little freedom," Lee mused. "Once one enjoys any whatsoever, he will seek it all."
    • p. 512

Southern Victory (1997-2007) edit

How Few Remain (1997) edit

All page numbers from the mass market edition published by Del Rey in June 1998, ISBN 0-345-40614-1, fifth printing
Italics as in the book
  • Getting men to give officers the respect their rank deserved was a battle the army hadn’t won yet and wouldn’t anytime soon.
    • Prelude (p. 2)
  • A low murmur came from his audience, more frightening in its way than the fury they had shown before. Fury didn’t last. Now Lincoln was making them think. Thought was slower than anger to flower into action, but it was a hardy perennial. It did not bloom and die.
    • Chapter 1 (pp. 21-22)
  • He’d turned fifty-seven earlier in the year, and the past had a way of looking better and the present worse the older he got.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 29)
  • When a politician, which was what the president of the CSA had long since become, said he was personally in sympathy with something, Jackson had learned, he meant the opposite.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 35)
  • “How many Mormons are polygamists, truly?” Lincoln asked. “They write all sorts of things in the eastern papers.”
    “They say all sorts of things here, too,” Hamilton answered. “The truth is devilish hard to find, and they don’t keep any public records of marriages past the first, which makes it harder yet. I’d say it’s about one in ten, if that, but the polygamists have influence beyond their numbers. If you’re going to support more than one wife and family, you need more than the common run of money, you see.”
    “Oh, yes,” Lincoln said. “A case similar to that of slaveholders in the Confederate States.”
    • Chapter 3 (p. 69)
  • He realized, belatedly, that he had been less than diplomatic. That did not bother him, either: he was less than diplomatic.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 87)
  • No one argued with him, which was a pleasant novelty.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 107)
  • Like South Carolina, Utah is too large to be an insane asylum and too small to make a nation, and, unlike South Carolina, lacks other nearby states full of zanies to join her in her madness.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 124)
  • But, at the moment, the urge to write was not upon him. He shook his head and grimaced wryly. As a veteran newspaper man, he knew you wrote when you had to write, not when the Muse sprinkled fairy dust in your hair and tapped you with a magic wand.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 157)
  • “So you’re one of the ones who still say ‘if there be,’ are you, Three-Card? I know the fancy grammarians like it better, but ‘if there are’ has always been good enough for me.”
    “I’m an old man.” Jesperson ran a pudgy finger along the gray walrus mustache he wore. “The things the modern generation does to the English language are a shame and a disgrace, nothing less.”
    • Chapter 7 (p. 188)
  • War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it. Its glory is all moonshine.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 239)
  • Custer paused and sent Tom a quizzical look. “‘Scoops’? What’s a scoop?”
    “A Mormon. Heard it the other day,” his brother answered. After removing his hat, Tom mimed removing the top of his skull in the same way and scooping out a large portion of its contents. “Have to have most of your brain missing to buy what they’re selling, don’t you think?”
    “Mm, you’re likely right.”
    • Chapter 8 (p. 240)
  • The Mormons habitually dissembled about their plural marriages.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 242)
  • “I see that this photograph shows me you have been imperfectly truthful here,” he told them, having been too well brought up to call a woman a liar to her face.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 244)
  • “So this is the famous George Cannon of whom you telegraphed me, is it? He doesn’t look so much like a wild-eyed fanatic as some of the ones we snared before.”
    “No, sir,” Custer agreed: close enough for his superiors to hear him, he made a point of agreeing with them. “But without their coldhearted, coolheaded comrades egging them on, the wild-eyed fanatics could not do so much damage.”
    • Chapter 10 (p. 275)
  • He rode forward at the gallop, brave but stupid. A moment later, he was brave and stupid and dead.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 281)
  • Blaine hated the Confederate States because they were a rival, not because they were tyrants. Had they been exemplars of purest democracy, rivals they would have remained, and he would have hated them no less.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 287)
  • He knew what he imagined and what was real were not one and the same. Knowing it and coming to terms with it were not one and the same, either.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 292)
  • Then he laughed at himself. If Fort Benton counted for civilization, he’d been out in the wilderness too long.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 322)
  • “Oh, they are great ones for taking a high moral tone, the Confederate States,” Douglass said. “Taking a high moral tone costs them nothing. Living up to it is something else again.”
    • Chapter 11 (p. 329)
  • War was rapidly doing what war did—making ugly everything it touched.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 330)
  • “You wouldn’t bring me fifty dollars. You’re too damn old and too damn uppity.”
    “I can’t help being old, and I am proud to be uppity,” Douglass said.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 331)
  • Every so often, though, the passing years up and ambushed him. They had more skill at it than any Yankees. One day, they would shoot him down from ambush, too.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 336)
  • “What’s the war news?”
    “They’re killing people,” Sam said, and let it go at that.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 343)
  • “Why do we have such a pack of confounded dunderheads running this country?”
    “My theory used to be that we get the government we deserve,” Sam said. “Bad as we are, though, I don’t think we’re that bad. Right now, I’m taking a long look at the notion that God hates us.”
    • Chapter 12 (p. 344)
  • We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some, the word means for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and with the product of his labor. With others, the same word means for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. The fullness of time, I am convinced, will prove to the world which is the true definition of the word, and my earnest hope remains that the United States of America show yet lead the way in the proving.
    • Chapter 12 (pp. 353-354)
  • The worst revolutionaries today are those reactionaries who do not see and will not admit that there is any need for change.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 355)
  • An army that was winning had little backbiting. When things went wrong, everyone was at pains to prove the misfortune could not possibly have been his fault.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 363)
  • Apart from the Volunteer companies, a lot of men in San Francisco carried guns for self-protection—not least, for protection from other men carrying guns.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 395)
  • Martyrdom was easier to contemplate in the abstract than to embrace in the flesh.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 401)
  • We must deal with life as it is, not with life as we wish it were or as it may be ten years or fifty years from now.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 405)
  • “Give me two synonyms for ‘idiots,’” Clemens said, and then gave them himself: “‘Fools’ and ‘Republicans.’”
    • Chapter 15 (p. 428)
  • “You done opened my eyes, and I reckon I can go and open some other folks’ eyes my own self. You got yourself a—what’s the Bible word?—A disciple, that’s what it is.”
    “Good luck to you, Mr. Blackford,” Lincoln said. “Be the truth’s disciple, not mine. Follow the truth, wherever it may lead you.”
    • Chapter 15 (p. 432)
  • Impasse. Stuart hated impasses. He hated ambiguity of any kind. The older he got, the more ambiguity he saw in the world. He hated that, too.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 446)
  • When was the last time you heard a Republican speak up for a fair shake for the working man or for justice and equality for all men? Those are the ideals we espoused when we were young. Have they changed from boons to evils as we grew old?
    • Chapter 16 (p. 451)
  • Courage and the goodness of one’s cause, unfortunately, do not always go hand in hand.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 466)
  • Longstreet, as far as Jackson was concerned, made a better politician than a soldier; he was full of the deviousness politics required.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 471)
  • Anxious, he asked, “My dear, how are you?”
    “As the good Lord meant me to be,” she answered, to which he found no response. She went on, “Pretty soon I’ll see Him face-to-face, and I intend to have a good long talk with Him about the way things do go on in this here world.”
    “Good,” Douglass said. “I’m sure He could have made a much better job of things had He had you to advise Him.”
    • Chapter 17 (pp. 495-496)
  • “You’re a Democrat, aren’t you general?” somebody asked.
    “What sensible man isn’t?” Custer returned.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 517)
  • “Won’t it be fine, getting to spend Christmas somewhere near the edge of civilization?”
    “Yes, sir,” his aide-de-camp agreed enthusiastically. “If El Paso isn’t civilization, at least it’s on the railroad line to it.”
    • Chapter 18 (p. 518)
  • But, aside from that grumbling, without which they would hardly have been soldiers, they went where they were ordered.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 522)
  • Radicals hire bomb-throwing maniacs. Rich men hire lawyers. They’re more expensive, but they ought to be, because they do more damage.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 529)
  • An idea may be a good one no matter who propounds it.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 539)
  • “You notice he does not do anything about it. The first amendment to the Constitution protects our right to speak freely.” He let out a chuckle the wind flung away. “The first amendment also protects his right to speak freely, however distasteful I find his opinion.”
    • Chapter 19 (p. 549)

The "Great War" Trilogy edit

The Great War: American Front (1998) edit
All page numbers from the hardcover edition published by Del Rey, ISBN 0-345-40615-X, first printing
Italics as in the book
  • The ability to see what is, sir, is essential for the leader of a great nation.
    • Prelude (pp. 8-9)
  • He was a pretty fair officer, no doubt about it, but he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was.
    Of course, when you got right down to it, who was?
    • Chapter 1 (p. 20)
  • “Putting the best face on things doesn’t make them right,” Flora said with a stern rectitude of a temperance crusader smashing a bottle of whiskey against a saloon wall.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 28)
  • Whenever you throw away what’s right for what’s convenient, you end up losing both.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 28)
  • What should matter and what does matter, monsieur, are not one and the same thing, I regret to say.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 41)
  • “What is the younger generation coming to?” she exclaimed: the cry of the older generation throughout recorded history.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 126)
  • At sixteen, you knew you could do the impossible.
    At forty-three, you knew damn well you couldn’t.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 144)
  • He’d always been glad he wasn’t an infantryman: if you were a mudfoot, war, and the death and the maiming that went with war, were random and impersonal. What had he just been doing but dealing out random, impersonal death? He thought of himself as a knight in shining armor. What sorts of filthy things had knights done that never got into the pages of Malory and Ivanhoe? He didn’t know. He didn’t want to find out, not really.
    He looked down at himself. His imaginary suit of armor seemed to have a patch or two of rust on it. No matter who you were or what you did, you couldn’t stay immaculate, not in this war.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 166)
  • That was something else war was about: not caring.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 180)
  • If you started thinking the whole world was like the part of it where you lived, you were going to be wrong a lot of the time.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 198)
  • The countryside looked as if hell had been there, but had gone away on vacation.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 241)
  • War would have been a much simpler, easier business with politics out of the mix.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 282)
  • Being sure wasn’t the same thing as being right.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 325)
  • Scott said, “If things had gone the way they were supposed to, we’d have been in Philadelphia a long time ago.”
    “Yeah, and if pigs had wings, we’d all carry umbrellas,” Featherstone replied with a snort “When you’ve been through even a little more fighting, kid, you’re going to see that things just don’t go the way they’re supposed to.”
    • Chapter 14 (p. 341)
  • Isaac might have been emboldened by the whiskey, for he asked Yossel Reisen, “What—is it like at the front?” Emboldened or not, he sounded hesitant.
    Yossel looked into the depths of his glass as he had looked through Flora. At last, he answered, “Think of all the worst things you know in the world. Think of them all in one place. Think of them as ten times as bad as they really are. Then think of them ten times worse than that. What you are thinking about when you do that is one ten-thousandth of what the front is like.”
    Nobody asked him any more questions.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 349)
  • “How come they get to call us names whenever they please and we don’t get to call them names whenever we please? That’s not fair.”
    “Because they have more guns than we do, and they drove our soldiers out of this part of the country,” he told her. “If you have more guns in a war, you get to say what’s fair.”
    • Chapter 15 (p. 375)
  • Know what you’re doing and you’ll never need to cheat.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 383)
  • Shouldering the bag, Moss made for the canvas tents that housed his new squadron. Such arrangements were all very well now, with the weather warm, but could you live in a tent in the middle of winter? Maybe the war would be over and he wouldn’t have to find out. He clicked tongue between teeth. He believed nonsense like that the year before. He was a tougher sell now.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 384)
  • The Book of Mormon is no more the word of God than is an advertising circular for stomach powders.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 440)
  • The paper was shipped up from the USA, and full of lies; since the demise of the Rosenfeld Register (which had been only half full of lies), no local paper had been permitted. But even lies could be interesting if they were new lies: why else did people read so many books and magazines?
    • Chapter 19 (p. 463)
  • Nobody was supposed to shoot at people wearing Red Cross armbands, but bullets, as he’d learned too well, weren’t fussy about whom they hit.
    • Chapter 20 (p. 484)
The Great War: Walk in Hell (1999) edit
All page numbers from the hardcover edition published by Del Rey, ISBN 0-345-40561-7, first printing
Italics as in the book
  • He’d learned to strip and clean and reassemble the machine gun till he could do it with his eyes closed. It was an elegantly simple means of killing large numbers of men in a hurry, assuming that was what you wanted to do.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 5)
  • When war reached out its hand, what did wealth and power matter? A fool with a gun could take them away. A fool with a gun had just taken them away.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 11)
  • “How am I supposed to surprise you, Lucius?”
    He spread his hands and shrugged. “As long as we’ve been married, and you still expect to surprise me? You make me happy. That is enough, and more than enough. What do I need of surprises?”
    • Chapter 1 (p. 23)
  • The lad was at an age where he was inclined to believe things would turn out as he wanted for no better reason than that he wanted them to turn out so.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 70)
  • When you were fifteen, you knew everything always turned out fine in the end. Arthur McGregor was a good deal past twice fifteen. He knew how foolish you were at that age.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 71)
  • “We’d never—” Alexander began, but he didn’t finish the sentence. When you were in a war, who could say what you might be driven to do?
    • Chapter 3 (p. 72)
  • He truly did not seem to realize that terrorizing everyone who was not ardently on his side to begin with would ensure that he drew few new supporters.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 98)
  • But destroying white privilege only boosted white fear.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 98)
  • When Cassius was optimistic about the way the fighting was going, he was often wrong; when he was pessimistic, he was always right.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 101)
  • Any time you could split the difference between what you really wanted and what you would settle for, you weren’t doing too bad.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 174)
  • No, he hadn’t a clue. She studied him—perfect coif, perfect clothes, perfect confidence. Inside, where it didn’t show, she smiled a hunter’s smile. Perfect target.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 184)
  • Something does stink down in Richmond. If we try to root it out now, we are liable to lose the war in the confusion that would follow. But if we don’t try to root it out, we are liable to lose the war from the confusion it causes.
    • Chapter 9 (p. 198)
  • The newspapers extolled every skirmish as one Bonaparte would have admired (clumsy propaganda, in a province that had never reconciled itself to the French revolution), but anyone who believed all the newspapers said deserved nothing better than he got.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 219)
  • “Life is hard.” Rodriguez shrugged. “And after life is done, then you die.” He shrugged again. “What can anyone do?”
    It was a good question. It was, when Pinkard thought about it, a very good question. If there were any better questions out there, he had no idea what they might be. “You do the best you can, is all,” he answered slowly, and then looked around at the hole in the ground in the middle of nowhere he was currently inhabiting. “If this here is the best I can do, I been doin’ somethin’ wrong up till now.”
    • Chapter 13 (p. 310)
  • “What’s obvious,” Morrell observed, “isn’t always true.”
    • Chapter 14 (p. 324)
  • Anytime a politician said he wouldn’t beat around the bush, you were well advised to keep your hand on your wallet.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 329)
  • Anyone who forces something on someone and then says he will be better for it—you will, I hope, understand me when I say this is difficult to appreciate.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 355)
  • They’d kill him or he’d kill them. War reduced everything to a brutal simplicity.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 379)
  • Whites are so mystified, they put race ahead of class.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 384)
  • “It’s not the way it was any more,” he said, half to himself. “Nothing is the way it was anymore.”
    • Chapter 18 (p. 422)
  • Martin was convinced the military police attracted self-righteous sons of bitches the way spilled sugar drew ants.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 428)
The Great War: Breakthroughs (2000) edit
All page numbers from the hardcover edition published by Del Rey, ISBN 0-345-40563-3, first printing
Italics as in the book
  • Fashion made a harsh mistress.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 29)
  • The War Department had never forgiven Jake for being right.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 43)
  • “Major Potter isn’t a pal—not exactly, anyhow.” As far as he could see, the only thing he and the bespectacled major had in common was an unbounded contempt for the bluebloods who, because of who their grandfathers had been, got a higher rank and a bigger arena in which to display their blunders than they deserved.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 45)
  • “The War Department has all sorts of opinions,” he said, sneering as he had when Dowling announced the Roosevelt was there. “A few of them bear a discernible relation to the real world—but only a few, mind you.”
    • Chapter 4 (p. 84)
  • You have a fine stump speech there, Congresswoman, and I think you are sincere in it, but it doesn’t altogether match the way the world works.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 102)
  • When you lose, Sis, the last war’s never over and done with.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 117)
  • A fisherman who wasn’t a born pessimist hadn’t been going to sea long enough.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 131)
  • Moss sighed and nodded. Might-have-beens was a stupid game, when you got right down to it. Look back on things, and you couldn’t help but see they’d come out the way they had to come out.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 146)
  • The bullet doesn’t care who shot it, only where it’s going.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 154)
  • He sees the country going forward. He doesn’t see the suffering he’s creating to make it go in the direction he wants.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 157)
  • She was only eight years old, and still confused the way things should have been with the way they were.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 171)
  • Lieutenant Crowder reported that submersible as probably destroyed, and if you don’t think Lieutenant Crowder knows everything in the world, well, shit, just ask him.
    • Chapter 9 (p. 202)
  • Some of those men were black, the new units going forward along with the white troops who have been in the field for years. The Negro soldiers charged straight at the U.S. trenches; they weren’t skilled in the fire-and-move tactics the veterans had learned by painful experience. And they went down in gruesome numbers. When they screamed, Bartlett couldn’t tell their voices from those of white men.
    • Chapter 9 (p. 214)
  • I’ll tell you, though, this whole business of war would be a hell of a lot more fun if you didn’t get shot.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 245)
  • Potter studied him. “I never have figured out how smart you are, Featherston, but you’ve made it plain you’re shrewd enough and to spare. If you hadn’t made the fatal mistake of being right at the wrong time, we might have the same rank by now.”
    • Chapter 12 (p. 266)
  • The only people who love a war are those who have never fought in one.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 270)
  • “Maybe we’ll get some use out of battleships in the next war after all.” He didn’t doubt there would be a next war; there would always be a next war.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 298)
  • “I must conclude that my views on the subject are also the views of the large majority of the American people.”
    That was probably true. Because of it, Flora did not have a good opinion of the political wisdom of the large majority of the American people. Nationalism kept too many from voting their class interests.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 311)
  • Don’t do anything to make things worse was the eleventh commandment of the ghetto, at least as important as the original ten.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 312)
  • Down near the Florida border, Georgia could give South Carolina lessons in heat and humidity.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 329)
  • Scipio would sooner have gone on without the revolution than the other way around.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 343)
  • It was like dying and going to hell, except a little hotter and a little stickier. July in Tennessee was not the ideal weather in which to fight in a barrel.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 363)
  • “I’ve been thinking,” George Enos said….
    Beside him, Carl Sturtevant was panting more than a little. “Probably won’t do you any lasting harm,” he said.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 378; ellipsis represents elision of a sentence of description)
  • What people believe and what they’ll do because they believe it is a big part of what’s real, especially in politics.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 394)
  • “You’re still learning the difference between being an agitator and being a politician. Listen to me, Flora.” He sounded very earnest. “Compromise is not a dirty word.”
    “Maybe it should be,” she answered.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 395)
  • “Pretty damn soon, the Rebs’ll pack it in here, too, I expect,” Carlton said.
    “Every blasphemy that passes your lips means a hotter dose of hellfire in the world to come,” McSweeney answered.”
    I’ve seen enough hellfire right here on earth,” Carlton said. “The kind of the preachers go on about don’t worry me as much as it used to.”
    • Chapter 17 (p. 395)
  • “Do I tell you how to arrange your life, Carlton?” he demanded.
    “Only when you open your mouth,” Ben answered. “Sir.”
    • Chapter 17 (p. 397)
  • She looked so angelic, any real angel who saw her would have been extremely suspicious.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 441)
  • “I never knew any Sonorans before you. You’re a good fellow. You ever get tired of trying to scratch out a living down where you’re at, you bring your family on up to Alabama. Plenty of good farm country there. You’d live high on the hog.”
    “Thanks, amigo, but no thanks.” Rodriguez’s smile was sweet and sad. “I want to go home. I want to talk español, to see my friends and family. And in Sonora, I am a man. In Alabama, I am a damn greaser.” He tapped a brown hand with a brown finger to remind Pinkard of what he meant.
    In the trenches, Jeff had long since stopped worrying about their being of different colors. Hip was right, though; it would matter in Alabama.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 445)
  • “Has anyone ever told you, sir, that you may be too damn smart for your own good?”
    “A whole raft of people, Colonel Landis,” Morrell answered cheerfully. “Once or twice, they’ve even been right.”
    • Chapter 19 (p. 457)
  • A man who couldn’t see truth when it tried to shoot him wouldn’t live long, and didn’t deserve to.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 459)

The "American Empire" Trilogy edit

American Empire: Blood and Iron (2001) edit
All page numbers from the hardcover edition published by Del Rey, ISBN 0-345-40565-X, first printing
Italics as in the book
  • He hated parliamentary procedure, but he’d started learning it anyhow, even if he did think it was only a way to cheat by the numbers.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 85)
  • There’s no such thing as glory, near as I can tell. If the machine guns didn’t kill it, the artillery did.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 88)
  • That held enough truth to be provocative, not enough to be useful.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 114)
  • “I’ll be all right,” Nellie said. “This is something God meant women to do.” And if that doesn’t prove God is a man, I don’t know what does.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 122)
  • He was still very young, young enough to believe in the tooth fairy, the common sense of Congress, and a great many other unlikelihoods.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 130)
  • Your deplorable taste in politics aside, you’re an intelligent man.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 141)
  • Anne saw his attention focus on her. It still wasn’t the look a man gave an attractive woman: more like the look a sniper gave a target.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 147)
  • “I don’t hide anything I aim to do; I just come right out and say it.” An alarm whistle went off in Anne’s head; any man who said something like that was almost bound to be lying.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 148)
  • Anne took her own attractiveness so much for granted, a man who showed he wasn’t completely in her grasp often succeeded in piquing her interest by sheer contrariness.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 185)
  • Proclaiming they had the answers was the easy part. Really having them, and making them work—that looked harder. That looked a hell of a lot harder to him. But some people would buy castles in the air because they were short of beans on the ground.
    • Chapter 9 (p. 205)
  • Agnes might know what she was doing heading into this marriage, but he didn’t. He had no clue; marriage wasn’t part of the curriculum at West Point. Maybe it should be, he thought. It might not produce better officers, but was very likely to produce happier ones.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 277)
  • Falling asleep in a corset was impressive proof of what exhaustion could do.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 284)
  • You can’t get along with somebody who’s bound and determined not to get along with you.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 388)
  • They wouldn’t understand no matter what, any more than they would understand what life in the trenches was like. Experience brought understanding. Nothing else came close.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 445)
  • “Something wrong, sir?” Lieutenant Jenkins asked.
    “No good deed goes unpunished,” Morrell answered.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 460)
American Empire: The Center Cannot Hold (2002) edit
All page numbers from the hardcover edition published by Del Rey, ISBN 0-345-44421-3, first printing
Italics as in the book
  • “What’s Guinness?” Hirskowitz asked Carsten.
    “It’s what they make in Ireland instead of beer,” Sam said helpfully. “It’s black as fuel oil, and almost as thick. It tastes kind of burnt till you get used to it. After that, it’s not so bad.”
    “Oh.” Hirskowitz weighed that. “Well, I’ll see. They make real beer, too?”
    • Chapter 1 (p. 15)
  • He spent years alternately chasing her and trying—always without much luck—to get her out of his mind. Now that he’d finally got her, finally found out just how much woman she was, losing her was the last thing he wanted. But two had to say yes. One was plenty for no.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 45)
  • Soldiers don’t make policy. We only carry it out, and get blamed when it goes wrong.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 87)
  • Yes, I know I haven’t told you anything. No offense, Sis, but you like running people’s lives so much, you don’t like it when they try and run their own.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 97)
  • When he came up for air, he gasped, “You never kissed me like that before.”
    “Well, you never asked me to marry you before, either,” Rita answered.
    He laughed. They kissed again. Heart pounding, he asked, “What else don’t I know?”
    “You’ll find out,” she said. “After the wedding.”
    • Chapter 5 (p. 113)
  • She knew the sea too well ever to trust it.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 142)
  • “God bless you, suh, for what you done there.”
    “I don’t believe in God, anymore than I believe in Mother Goose,” Darrow said. “Foolish notion. But I do believe in justice, and you deserve that. Everyone deserves that.”
    • Chapter 7 (p. 154)
  • They eyed each other in perfect mutual incomprehension.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 154)
  • Flora wasn’t sure she liked that in the abstract; whom a man knew shouldn’t have mattered so much as what he knew. But that didn’t change reality one bit.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 160)
  • The Confederate States had been founded on the principle that change was a bad idea.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 164)
  • In a way, misery loves company. In another way, if everyone’s in trouble, nobody can help anybody else get out of it.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 232)
  • “God done made this happen. He kin make us come through it, too, so long as He take it in His mind He want to do dat.”
    “Amen,” Athenaeus said. Scipio made himself nod. He didn’t want to seem out of place—seeming out of place was one of his greatest fears, because it was deadly dangerous. But if God had really wanted to do something about this disaster, couldn’t He have stopped it in the first place?
    • Chapter 10 (p. 240)
  • Some people had a vested interest in trouble. If it looked as if calm threatened to break out, people like that would do anything they could to thwart it.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 286)
  • “That’s logical. That’s a rational,” Hosea Blackford said. “Politics, unfortunately, is neither.”
    • Chapter 12 (p. 291)
  • A war is a disaster whether you win or you lose—it’s only a worse disaster if you lose.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 321)
  • Of all the sins in this world, which is more unforgivable than the sin of not having enough money? None I can think of.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 322)
  • “Your trouble, Major, is that you think people spell prosecute and convict the same way,” Moss said. “That’s not how it works. Even in military court, the defendant’s entitled to a fair shake.”
    • Chapter 14 (p. 336)
  • That wasn’t even close to fair, and Sylvia knew it. But she’s already seen that political campaigns weren’t designed to be fair. They were designed to convince, by whatever means possible.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 356)
  • The only happy people she saw coming out of the place were a young couple, the man carrying a crying baby. Maternity wards are different, Nellie thought as she went past them. I bet they’re the only place in a hospital where people win instead of losing.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 392)
  • Beauty didn’t last. Brains did.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 418)
  • Some people, though—some people think yelling something loud enough makes it so.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 424)
  • Early summer in Nashville made a good practice ground for hell.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 446)
  • “Sir, don’t you think Utah is a special case?”
    “Every case has partisans who insist it is special,” Hoover answered. “I recognize none of them. I believe none of them. The same principles must apply throughout the United States.”
    • Chapter 19 (p. 457)
  • “He lies. How can you trust a man who lies? You cannot. And any man who comes on the wireless and says, ‘I am going to tell you the truth’—well, what else can he be except a liar?”
    • Chapter 19 (p. 473)
American Empire: The Victorious Opposition (2003) edit
All page numbers from the hardcover edition published by Del Rey, ISBN 0-345-44423-X, first printing
Italics as in the book
  • Manicheism, n., The ancient Persian doctrine of an incessant warfare between Good and Evil. When Good gave up the fight the Persians joined the victorious Opposition.
  • But, as often happened, the official and the real had only a nodding acquaintance with each other.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 18)
  • Like a lot of jailers, he was convinced the police who hunted down criminals couldn’t find a skunk if it was spraying their leg.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 42)
  • Maybe not thinking about the price of failure was what marked a hero. On the other hand, maybe it just marked a damn fool.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 84)
  • You kill everybody who doesn’t want to see reason, people will get mighty thin on the ground mighty fast.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 156)
  • Hoover is one of the best men we’ve ever had for getting things done,” David said, “and one of the worst for figuring out what to do.”
    • Chapter 7 (p. 171)
  • “They can’t say anything against the government, not in public they can’t.”
    “Is it a country or a jail?” Carsten asked.
    “Near as I can tell, sir,” the second yeoman said, “it’s a jail.”
    • Chapter 9 (p. 209)
  • The party and the CSA could get by without a lot of fellows who brought only fanaticism. Losing somebody with brains would have hurt much more. Brains were harder to come by.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 256)
  • “Sir, you have been poking your nose into matters that do not concern you,” Abell said. “We discourage that.”
    We? You have a tapeworm? Dowling wondered.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 309)
  • You can have as much fun in a library as you can at the cinema, and it doesn’t cost you anything.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 339)
  • She hated the calendar, hated the mirror and what it showed her every morning. A handsome woman, that’s what you are. She would almost rather have been ugly. Then she wouldn’t have to remember the beauty she had been not so long ago.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 351)
  • “You see?” he said. “You just wanted me to tell you I was wrong.”
    “Well, of course,” Anne answered, and poked him in the ribs. “What else does a woman want to hear from a man?”
    “How about, ‘I love you’? How about, ‘You’re beautiful’?” Potter suggested.
    “Those are nice, too,” she agreed with a smile. “As far as I’m concerned, though, nothing’s better than, ‘You were right.’”
    • Chapter 15 (p. 358)
  • Death is never dignified.” O’Doull spoke with a doctor’s certainty. “Never. Dignity in death is something we invent afterwards to make the living feel better.”
    • Chapter 18 (p. 432)
  • Peacetime, though, felt like summertime. Even as you enjoyed it, you knew it wouldn’t last.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 450)
  • He’d escaped the last dragnet as much by luck as by anything else. You could tell a man not to be stupid, and maybe—if he wasn’t stupid to begin with—he’d listen. But how the devil could you tell a man not to be unlucky?
    • Chapter 19 (p. 460)
  • Everyone marched everywhere at Fort Custer. Armstrong had begun to think Thou shalt march' was in the Bible somewhere right below Thou shalt not kill and Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain—two commandments he was learning more about violating every day.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 460)
  • Only two promotions really mattered: the one up from buck private and the one to general’s rank.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 466)
  • As happened too often in politics, never turned out not to be so very long after all.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 469)

The "Settling Accounts" Tetralogy edit

Settling Accounts: In at the Death (2007) edit
  • Soldiers, by an agreement between General Ironhewer and me, the troops of the Army of Kentucky have surrendered. That we are beaten is a self-evident fact, and we cannot hope to resist the bomb that hangs over our head like the sword of Damocles. Richmond is fallen. The cause for which you have so long and manfully struggled, and for which you have braved dangers and made so many sacrifices, is today hopeless. Reason dictates and humanity demands that no more blood be shed here. It is your sad duty, and mine, to lay down our arms and to aid in restoring peace. As your commander, I sincerely hope that every officer and soldier will carry out in good faith all the terms of the surrender. War such as you have passed through naturally engenders feelings of animosity, hatred, and revenge. But in captivity and when you return home a manly, straightforward course of conduct will secure the respect even of your enemies. In bidding you farewell, rest assured that you carry with you my best wishes for your future welfare and happiness. I have never sent you where I was unwilling to go myself, nor would I advise you to a course I felt myself unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers. Preserve your honor, and the government to which you have surrendered can afford to be and, I hope, will be magnanimous."
    • C.S. Army General George S. Patton's final address to the Army of Kentucky in July 1944, p. 339
  • "Still very erect, he saluted his men. Some of them cried out his name. Others let loose with what they still called the Rebel yell. Tears now streaming down his face, Patton waited for the tumult to die down a little. Then he stepped into the ragged ranks of the rest of the POWs. Defeated Confederate soldiers shook his hand and embraced him."
    • p. 339

Ruled Britannia (2002) edit

  • Dying Boudicca managed a feeble nod, and sent her last words out to a breathlessly silent Theatre:
    "E'en so; 'Tis true. Oh!- I feel the poison!
    We Britons never did, nor never shall,
    Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
    But when we do first help to wound ourselves,
    Come the three corners of the world in arms,
    And we shall shock them. Naught shall make us rue,
    If Britons to themselves do rest but true."
    She fell back and lay dead. Shakespeare strode forward, to the very front of the stage. Into more silence, punctuated only by sobs, he said,
    "No epilogue here, unless you make it;
    If you want your freedom, go and take it."
    • p. 375
  • And then, to Shakespeare's amazement and dismay, Burbage and Will Kemp tramped forward together, both of them plainly intent on marching on the Tower of London, too. Shakespeare seized Burbage's arm. "Hold, Dick!" he said urgently. "Let not this wild madness infect your wit. Can a swarm of rude mechanicals pull down those gray stone walls? The soldiers on 'em'll work a fearful slaughter. Throw not your life away." Before Burbage could answer, Will Kemp did: "The soldiery on the walls may work a fearful slaughter, ay, an they have the stomach for't. But think you 'twill be so? A plot that stretcheth to the Theatre surely shall not fall short of the tower."
    • p. 376
  • But no line of ferocious, lean-faced, swarthy Spaniards appeared. Shouts and cries and the harsh snarl of gunfire suggested the dons were busy, desperately busy, elsewhere in London. When chance swept Shakespeare and Richard Burbage together for a moment, the player said, "Belike they'll make a stand at the tower." "Likely so," Shakespeare agreed unhappily. Those frowning walls had been made to hold back an army, and this... thing he was a part of was anything but. Up Tower Hill, where he'd watched the auto de fe almost a year before. A great roar, a roar full of triumph, rose from the men in front of him as they passed the crest of the hill and swept on towards the Tower Ditch and the walls beyond. And when Shakespeare crested the hill himself, he looked ahead and roared too, in joy and amazement and suddenly flaring hope. Will Kemp had been right, right and more than right. All the gates to the Tower of London stood open.
    • p. 379
  • Someone bumped into Shakespeare: Will Kemp. The clown made a leg- a cramped leg, in the crush- at him. "Give you good den, gallowsbait," he said cheerfully. "Go to!" Shakespeare said. "Meseems we are well begun here." "Well begun, ay. And belike, soon we shall be well ended, too." Kemp jerked his head to one side, made his eyes bulge, and stuck out his tongue as if newly hanged. With a shudder, Shakespeare said, "If your wind of wit sit in that quarter, why stand you here and not with the Spaniards?" "Why?" Kemp kissed him on the cheek. "Think you're the only mother's son born a fool in England?"
    • p. 394
  • For the Spanish Armada to have conquered England in 1588 would not have been easy. King Philip's fleet would have needed several pieces of good fortune it did not get: a friendlier wind at Calais, perhaps, one that might have kept the English from launching their fireships against the Armada; and a falling-out between the Dutch and English that could have let the Duke of Parma put to sea from Dunkirk and join his army to the Duke of Medina Sidonia's fleet for the invasion of England. Getting Spanish soldiers across the Channel would have been the hard part. Had it been accomplished, the Spanish infantry, the best in the world at the time and commanded by a most able officer, very probably could have beaten Elizabeth's forces on land.
    • Historical Note, p. 457

Opening of the World (2007-2009) edit

Beyond the Gap (2007) edit

All page numbers from the hardcover first edition published by Tor, ISBN 978-0-765-31710-0, first printing
Ellipses as in the book, unless noted
  • What people believed often turned out to be true just because they believed it. Charlatans and mages were quick to take advantage of that.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 8)
  • And Ulric was a man of parts, no doubt about it. Just what the parts added up to…Yes, that was a different question.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 10)
  • Hopes were only shadows that too often vanished in the pitiless light of reality.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 19)
  • Believe worked well enough when a man could not measure it against facts. But when he could…Facts crushed to belief like a mammoth crushing a vole.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 20)
  • “Knowledge is strange,” Eyvind Torfinn said. “You never can be sure ahead of time what you may need. Someone who is going to a strange place will carry different tools on his belt. Should he not carry different tools in his head as well?”
    • Chapter 2 (p. 29)
  • Ulric Skakki’s smile was so charming, it made Hamnet distrust him on sight—as if he didn’t already.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 38)
  • “And do you know of opossums? Have they come this far north?”
    “I have seen one or two.” Sarus made a face. “Horrible things, like big rats with pointed faces.”
    • Chapter 4 (p. 59)
  • Mosquitoes laid eggs in those ponds and then rose in buzzing, biting swarms. Sometimes the clouds of them were thick enough to dim the sun. It was as if the soul of a vampire were reincarnated in a million beings instead of just one.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 72)
  • “Foolishness,” Ulric Skakki said. “Everything that goes on between men and women is full of foolishness.”
    • Chapter 5 (p. 76)
  • A man who gets angry at the truth will have a hard time in life, don’t you think?
    • Chapter 6 (p. 81)
  • Hamnet Thyssen wondered if Witigis was a holy man or simply a madman. His vacant features didn’t promise much in the way of brains.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 84)
  • If they had lawyers instead of teeth, they’d be as bad as people.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 91; referring to wolves)
  • “By God, you are a hateful man!”
    “Anyone who tells you anything you don’t want to hear is a hateful man,” Hamnet answered.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 106)
  • He thought she was the most wonderful woman in the world. Of course he did—she agreed with him.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 142)
  • If Earl Eyvind wanted to talk nonsense, he was welcome to, as far as Hamnet was concerned.
    If he wanted anyone else to take him seriously when he did…that was another story altogether.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 146)
  • Women are what made me the way I am now. I do not believe the illness is also the cure.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 149)
  • “Mammoths make me believe in God,” Trasimund said… “How could mammoths make themselves? God had to do it.”
    “You could say the same thing about mosquitoes.” Eyvind Torfinn punctuated the observation by slapping. “You could even say God liked mosquitoes better than mammoths, because he made so many more of them.”
    • Chapter 10 (p. 150; ellipsis represents the elision of a sentence and a half of description)
  • “You believe in reincarnation, then?” Eyvind Torfinn asked eagerly. “Have you evidence to support your belief?”
    • Chapter 12 (p. 170)
  • From what I’ve seen, people who brag a lot are usually trying to convince themselves even more than other people.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 180)
  • “And if you don’t bet, how do you expect to win?”
    Hamnet Thyssen didn’t look at things that way. To him, not betting meant you couldn’t lose. He hadn’t even thought of winning.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 181)
  • He didn’t care what she thought, and, in not caring, he felt as if a curse were lifted from his back.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 184)
  • “Sometimes I think I don’t know everything that’s going on,” Ulric Skakki said in tones full of mock self-pity.
    Count Hamnet reached out and set a consoling hand on his arm. “Don’t worry about it. Sometimes I don’t think you know what‘s going on, either.”
    • Chapter 14 (p. 211)
  • Liv worried less about how important other people thought she was and more about things that really mattered.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 214)
  • If you were half as funny as think you are, you’d be twice as funny as you really are.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 229)
  • If barbarians recognized that they were barbarians, they wouldn’t be so barbarous any more.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 232)

Atlantis (series) (2007-2009) edit

The United State of Atlantis (2008) edit

  • A horsefly can't do a horse much real damage, but it can drive it wild anyhow.
    • p. 127
  • People you don't like are pigheaded. Your friends are stubborn, or hold to their purpose.
    • p. 184

The Man With the Iron Heart (2008) edit

  • Himmler steepled his fingers. "Well, Reinhard, what brings you up from Prague today?" His voice was fussy and precise, like a schoolmaster's.
    • p. 7
  • Finally the Reichsfuehrer said, "Well, you've given me a good deal to think about. I can hardly deny that. We'll see what comes of it." "The longer we wait, the more trouble we'll have doing it properly," Heydrich warned. "I understand that," Himmler said testily. "I have to make sure I can get it moving without... undue difficulties, though." "As you say, sir!" Heydrich was all obedience, all subordination. Why not? Himmler played the cards close to his chest, but Heydrich was pretty sure he'd won.
    • p. 11
  • He and Don came up to the corpse of the German truck. The scrounger who'd been messing around there was gone. "Who's that asshole gonna sell his scrap to?" Charlie said. "Us- you wait and see. We're dumb enough to pay good money to put these mothers back on their feet now that we stomped 'em." "Yeah, that's like us, all right," Dom agreed. "We-" The truck blew up. Next thing Charlie knew, he was sprawled on the ground a surprisingly long way from the road. Dom- no, a piece of Dom- lay not far away. Charlie tried to reach out. His arm didn't want to work. When he looked down at what was left of himself, he understood why. It didn't hurt. Then, all at once, it did. His shriek bubbled through the blood filling his mouth. Mercifully, blackness enfolded him.
    • p. 17
  • What will we do when they start capturing our people?" Klein asked. "They will, you know, if they haven't by now. Things go wrong." Heydrich's fingers drummed some more. He didn't worry about the laborers who'd expanded this redoubt- they'd all gone straight to the camps after they did their work. But captured fighters were indeed another story. He sighed. "Things go wrong. Ja. If they didn't, Stalin would be lurking somewhere in the Pripet Marshes, trying to keep his partisans fighting against us. We would've worked Churchill to death in a coal mine." He barked laughter. "The British did some of that for us, when they threw the bastard out of office last month. And we'd be getting ready to fight the Amis on their side of the Atlantic. But... things went wrong." "Yes, sir." After a moment, Klein ventured, "Uh, sir- you didn't answer my question." "Oh. Prisoners." Heydrich had to remind himself what his aide was talking about. "I don't know what to do, Klein, except make sure our people all have cyanide pills." "Some won't have the chance to use them. Some won't have the nerve," Klein said. Not many men had the nerve to tell Reinhard Heydrich the unvarnished truth. Heydrich kept Klein around not least because Klein was one of those men. They were useful to have. Hitler would have done better had he seen that. Heydrich recognized the truth when he heard it now; one more thing Hitler'd had trouble with.
    • p. 56-57
  • Eisenhower climbed down from his jeep. Two unsmiling dogfaces with Tommy guns escorted him to a lectern in front of the church's steps. The sun glinted from the microphones on the lectern... and from the pentagon of stars on each of Ike's shoulder straps. "General of the Army" was a clumsy title, but it let him deal with field marshals on equal terms. He tapped a mike. Noise boomed out of speakers to either side of the lectern. Had some bright young American tech sergeant checked to make sure the fanatics didn't try to wire explosives to the microphone circuitry? Evidently, because nothing went kaboom. "Today it is our sad duty to pay our final respects to one of the great soldiers of the 20th century. General George Smith Patton was admired by his colleagues, revered by his troops, and feared by his foes," Ike said. If there were a medal for hypocrisy, he would have won it then. But you were supposed tp only speak well of the dead. Lou groped for the Latin phrase, but couldn't come up with it. "The fear our foes felt for General Patton is shown by the cowardly way they murdered him: from behind, with a weapon intended to take out tanks. They judged, and rightly, that George Patton was worth more to the U.S. Army than a Stuart or a Sherman or a Pershing," Eisenhower said. "Damn straight, muttered the man standing next to Lou. He wore a tanker's coveralls, so his opinion of tanks carried weight. Tears glinted in his eyes, which told all that needed telling if his opinion of Patton.
    • p. 61-62
  • "I have one more message for you men, and for the SS goons who skulk in the woods and in the darkness," Eisenhower said. "It's very simple. We are going to stay here as long as it takes to make sure Germany can never again trouble the peace of the world." He probably expected more cheers then. He got... a few. Lou was one of the men who clapped. The guy in the tanker's coveralls edged away, as if afraid he had something contagious. That saddened him without much surprising him. He wondered how many of the others who applauded there were also Jewish. Quite a few, unless he missed his guess. Yes, Eisenhower had looked for more in the way of approval there. He'd acted professionally grim before. Now his eyes narrowed and the corners of his mouth turned down. He wasn't just grim any more; he was pissed off.
    • p. 63
  • Lieutenant General Vlasov had looked and acted like a son of a bitch the last time Bokov and Shteinberg called on him. He seemed even less friendly now. For twenty kopeks, his expression said, both of the other NKVD men could find out how they liked chopping down spruces in the middle of Siberian winter.
    • p. 412
  • "I know what the two of you are here for," Vlasov rasped. "You're going to try and talk me into sucking the Americans' cocks." "No, Comrade General, no. Nothing like that," Shteinberg said soothingly. Yes, Comrade General, yes. Just like that, Vladimir Bokov thought fiercely. He wanted to watch Vlasov squirm. Maybe they could have kept the crash from happening if only the miserable bastard had put his ass in gear. "Don't bother buttering me up, zhid," Vlasov said. "Nothing but a waste of time." "However you please... sir." Moisei Shteinberg held his voice under tight control. "My next move, if you keep dicking around with us, is to write to Marshal Beria and let him know how you're obstructing the struggle against the Heydrichite bandits." "You wouldn't dare!" General Vlasov bellowed. "Yes, I would. I've already done it," Shteinberg said. "And if anything happens to me, the letter goes to Moscow anyway. I've taken care of that, too... sir." "Fuck your mother hard!" "Maybe my father did," Shteinberg answered calmly. "But at least I know who he was... sir." Could looks have killed, Yuri Vlasov would have shouted for men to come and drag two corpses out of his office.
    • p. 412-413
  • "If it works, he'll take the credit," Bokov warned once they were safely outside NKVD headquarters. "Oh, sure," Shteinberg agreed. "But he'd do that anyway." Bokov laughed, not that his superior was joking- or wrong.
    • p. 413
  • Outside the building, Lou smoked a last cigarette and shot the shit with one of the German gendarmes who'd be taking over the place once the Americans were gone. Rolf was a pretty good guy. He'd been a corporal during the war- but Wehrmacht, not Waffen-SS. In his dyed-black U.S. fatigues and American helmet, he looked nothing like a German soldier. So Lou tried to tell himself, anyhow. "We will miss you when you go," the gendarme said. "You are the only thing standing between us and chaos." "You guys will do fine on your own," Lou answered. You always assured a sickroom patient, even- especially- when you didn't think he'd make it.
    • p. 528
  • Rolf Halbritter coughed from the dust the retreating convoy kicked up. He shook his head in wonder not far from awe. The Amis were really and truly going- no, really and truly gone. Which meant... He had a badge pinned on the underside of his collar, where it didn't show. Now he could wear it openly again. It was round, with a red outer ring that carried a legend in bronze letters: NATIONALSOZIALISTISCHE DEUTSCHE ARBEITERPARTEI. The white inner circle held a black swastika. Every Party member had one just like it. Pretty soon, they'd all be showing it, too.
    • p. 528
  • There really was a German resistance movement after V-E Day. It was never very effective; it got off to a very late start, as the Nazis took much longer than they might have to realize they weren't going to win the straight-up war. And it was hamstrung because the Wehrmacht, the SS, the Hitler Youth, the Luftwaffe, and the Nazi Party all tried to take charge of it- which often meant, for all practical purposes, no one took charge of it. By 1947, it had mostly petered out.
    • Historical Note, p. 531

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