Jim C. Hines

American writer

Jim C. Hines (born April 15, 1974) is an American fantasy writer.

Jim C. Hines, 2017


All italics as in the books
All page numbers from the mass-market edition published by DAW Books, November 2006, ISBN 0-7564-0400-2
  • A wizard am I, whom many dread,
    With power like a God.
    So come with me to yonder bed,
    And see my mighty rod.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 42)
  • The most difficult part was letting yourself ignore the lies your eyes told. Eyes were like children. If they had nothing to say, they made things up.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 128)
  • “Earthmaker sounds like a useful person to have around,” Jig said.
    “Aye. He’s one who rewards his followers. Over a hundred years I’ve offered up my sacrifices and prayed to him for guidance. Far be it from me to guess the mind of a god, but I’m thinking he’ll not repay a century of service by letting us all die here.”
    Ryslind strolled to the dwarf’s side. “Yet for all of your devotion, your magic is still limited to those powers your god grants you. To be so dependent on the whim of a deity would be disturbing, to say the least.”
    “It’s called faith,” Darnak snapped. “And it’s a far cry safer than your wizardry. When’s the last time you heard about a priest blowing himself up after trying a new spell and waving three fingers instead of four?”
    • Chapter 8 (pp. 134-135)
  • Goblins didn’t pray. They had no use for gods, a disinterest matched only by the gods’ disdain for goblins.
    • Chapter 9 (p. 161)
  • Better the lesser of two oddities.
    • Chapter 9 (p. 168)
  • Logically, Jig knew he was safe. Logic, however, had only a single small voice, and was easily overwhelmed by panic.
    • Chapter 11 (pp. 203-204)
  • “Everywhere I go, I meet men like him,” Riana muttered. “Follow them into Straum’s lair or let them toss me into the dungeons. They offer you a choice between hells and expect you to thank them for it.”
    • Chapter 13 (p. 233)
  • Madmen in the noble line are as common as rat turds in the grain shed.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 238)
  • He hoped he hadn’t killed the guard. He had come here to help the goblins. Though eliminating some of the stupider guards might be construed as helping. He would have to think about that later.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 279)
  • Plans were for adventurers. He preferred the goblin approach. Blind panic might not work all the time, but at least it saved you the stress of planning.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 279)
  • Unfortunately for you, ignorance makes a poor shield.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 306)
  • He seemed to think that killing was something to be done only as a last resort. It was a strange philosophy, one that would take some getting used to.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 333)
All page numbers from the mass-market first edition published by DAW Books, ISBN 978-0-7564-0442-0
  • Despite common belief, the goblin language did include a word for trust. It was derived from the word for trustworthy, which in the goblin tongue, was the same as the word for dead.
    • Chapter 1 (pp. 19-20)
  • No night is so dark, no situation so dire, but the intervention of the gods cannot make it worse.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 42)
  • What do I do?
    Tymalous Shadowstar didn’t answer.
    Hello? A little help would be nice. Still nothing. It figured. There was never a god around when you needed one.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 49)
  • The difference between a Hero and an ordinary man is that when the ordinary man comes upon a flaming death swamp full of venomous dragon snakes, he turns around and goes home. The Hero strips down and goes for a swim.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 60)
  • Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer. That way your friends are between you and your enemies.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 117)
  • Jig’s life would be much simpler if she were dead. That more than anything else, convinced him she was still alive.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 183)
  • No plan survives the first encounter with your enemy, so why bother to make one?
    • Chapter 13 (p. 243)
All page numbers from the mass-market first edition published by DAW Books, ISBN 978-0-7564-0493-2
  • Jig had never worried about pursuing his destiny. Generally, destiny pursued him. Then it knocked him down and kicked him a few times for good measure.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 20)
  • The royal children have skulls of granite, it’s true, but they come by that honestly.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 51)
  • Maybe this was why gods stayed on another plane of existence. If they stayed here in the mortal world, their followers would be too tempted to punch them in the face.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 64)
  • If a god ever decides to talk to you, the best thing you can do is pretend you don’t hear him.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 144)
  • Cowardice is a far better survival trait than heroism.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 254)
  • Nobody dies faster than a tired soldier.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 276)
  • I’m told it’s very difficult to escape death once he adds your name to his list.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 301)
  • Don’t let your newfound title worry you. Having lived among goblins and their backstabbing, treacherous ways, you’re far better prepared for politics than most.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 331)
All page numbers from the first mass-market paperback edition published by DAW Books, ISBN 978-0-7564-0817-6 (August 2013), 6th printing
  • If books are indeed magic (and does anyone really believe otherwise?), then they are a collaborative magic between author and reader.
    • Acknowledgments (p. viii)
  • I leaned closer and whispered, “a librarian’s gotta do what a librarian’s gotta do.”
    • Chapter 1 (p. 6)
  • “Besides, is it really stealing if you’re stealing from an asshole?”
    “I’d have to double-check, but I don’t think the criminal code includes an asshole clause.”
    • Chapter 4 (p. 68)
  • “The biggest liar in the world is They Say,’” I muttered. “Douglas Malloch.”
    • Chapter 5 (p. 78)
  • “What happened?”
    “Nothing serious, as long as I’m careful.”
    “You’re doomed,” she said.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 107)
  • Power makes people believe they’re invulnerable.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 187)
  • “How do you fight them?”
    “The same way you fight any enemy. With knowledge.”
    • Chapter 23 (p. 335)
All page numbers from the first mass-market paperback edition published by DAW Books, ISBN 978-0-7564-0839-8 (August 2014), 1st printing
  • Every Porter was required to see a therapist on a regular basis. It seemed a wise precaution for people who routinely rewrote the laws of existence to suit their whims.
    • Chapter 3 (p. 41)
  • Do you remember the moment you first realize you were mortal? That no matter what happened, you would never live long enough to read every book you wanted to read? That you’d die having accomplished only a fraction of your goals?
    • Chapter 6 (p. 105)
  • She paused, then added, “Besides, you don’t really want to know what I think. You’ve already come to your own conclusion. You just want me to talk you out of it.”
    I had forgotten how annoying Nidhi could be when she was right.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 224)
  • Librarians: Kicking Ignorance in the Balls for Over 4000 Years.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 226)
  • I wanted to bring the author back from the grave purely so Lena, Nidhi, and I could take turns punching him in the face.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 257)
  • The more we narrow the definition of beauty, the more beauty we shut out of our lives.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 282)
  • Copper River was a small, tightly knit town. If gossip was a competitive sport, we’d have been sending teams to the Olympics and bringing back gold.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 286)
  • Every religion I’ve studied has laws or commandments against killing.
    Historically, humanity has shown tremendous creativity in finding every possible loophole, rationalization, and justification to ignore these commandments.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 296)
  • The behavior of animals does not provide moral justification for human beings to do the same.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 296)
  • The mistakes of the past do not excuse the mistakes of the present.
    • Chapter 22 (p. 361)
  • There were always people eager for attention who were happy to confirm whatever explanation the reporters wanted, so long as he gave them their fifteen minutes of fame.
    • Chapter 22 (p. 366)
All page numbers from the first mass-market paperback edition published by DAW Books, ISBN 978-0-7564-0969-2 (January 2015), 2nd printing
  • In the words of a coworker, my give-a-shit gauge was stuck on Empty these days.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 9)
  • “Do you, um, happen to have a copy of that Wells novel here?”
    “Priorities,” Lena whispered.
    Right. The end of the world took precedence over an unpublished H. G. Wells. Barely.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 142)
  • The hotel offered a complimentary continental breakfast. My first thought upon seeing it was rather less than complimentary.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 225)
  • Those forced to make impossible choices are rarely loved. If it’s approval and reputation you care about, then you have no place here.
    • Chapter 15 (pp. 284-285)
  • We all know Pastor Tom Briggs is a walking skidmark in a bad suit, and his congregation is a stain on Christians everywhere….
    Freedom of speech is easy when it’s speech we approve of. The true test of freedom is what we do when people like Briggs and his ilk mount their soapboxes and and show their asses to the world.
    Fortunately, freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from mockery and other consequences.
    • Introduction to Chapter 16 (p. 294; ellipsis represents the elision of ancillary information)
  • I had said before that all stories were magic. It had never occurred to me that all magic was stories.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 297)
  • Modern fantasy is little more than juvenile escapism and anachronistic longing for a time that never existed. I’ve never understood the appeal.
  • “This is the worst excess of conjecture and wishful thinking,” snapped Jackson. “We don’t know if Isaac is capable of any of this.”
    “He believes he is,” said Bi Wei.
    “I once met a woman who believed she was abducted by aliens who looked like the Teletubbies,” Jackson shot back. “That doesn’t make it true.”
    • Chapter 16 (pp. 307-308)
  • “What are you doing?” asked Nicola.
    “Making sure I know what I’m doing.”
    “Better late than never,” Lena murmured.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 316)
  • In short, Fahrenheit 451 was never meant to be an instruction manual.
    • Introduction to Chapter 20 (p. 355)
All page numbers from the hardcover first edition published by DAW Books, ISBN 978-0-7564-0970-8, 2nd printing
Italics and ellipsis as in the book
  • Young Isaac had dreamed of fame.
    Young Isaac was an idiot.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 8)
  • “That’s…that’s magic.”
    “Pretty cool, isn’t it? If I had more time, I’d tell you how it worked.”
    “He would,” Lena said. “Even if you ask him to stop.”
    • Chapter 2 (p. 26)
  • “Are you a doctor?”
    “Better. I’m a librarian.”
    • Chapter 2 (p. 35)
  • “Hey, I’m just playing devil’s advocate.”
    “Since when did the devil need your help?”
    • Chapter 4 (p. 56)
  • History is the world’s most egotistical gossip.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 88)
  • The nice thing about people like Jellybean Man was that I knew exactly where I stood. There was no subtlety, no subterfuge or second-guessing. It was a refreshing change from talking to politicians.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 111)
  • “Damn, Boss. See, this is why everyone likes it better when you’re away on your road trips.”
    “Don’t call me Boss. Also, staff meeting upstairs in the Wheeler room in 30 minutes.”
    “That’s cold, Boss. What did we do to deserve that?”
    “Keep it up, and I’ll make you sit through a PowerPoint presentation.”
    He raised his hands in surrender. “Cruel and unusual punishment.”
    • Chapter 7 (p. 113)
  • If there ever comes a day when I deliberately embrace ignorance, I’ll have lived one day too long.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 117)
  • Change is a difficult, often violent process, both for individuals and for whole species. The more rapidly change, the uglier the conflict.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 121)
  • I knew the one thing that truly mattered. I knew it could be done.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 123)
  • Hon, nobody eats fried chicken because it’s good for them.
    • Chapter 9 (p. 138)
  • This would be an excellent time for you to shut up.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 162)
  • You want to know if it was worth it. I can’t answer that, Isaac. We can know what was, but not what might have been.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 187)
  • Human ignorance has never needed help.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 187)
  • “You mean you just let him go?”
    “What did you want me to do?” I snapped. “Castrate him on the spot? Execute him?”
    “Both. Both is good.”
    • Chapter 13 (p. 207)
  • “It’s not going to come to that,” I said.
    “Nobody ever believes it will,” so the driver. “That’s why it does.”
    • Chapter 13 (p. 208)
  • You don’t do what’s right because you know it will work out. You do it because you know it’s right.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 213)
  • Judge not, lest ye be punched in the face for being a self-righteous prick.
  • “Your fear is all too human. Accept it, but as you walk this path, let your hope guide you.”
    “And what if hope guides me off the edge of a cliff?”
    “I said let hope guide you. I never said stop paying attention to where you’re going.”
    • Chapter 18 (p. 281)
  • She didn’t argue. That, more than anything else, told me she hadn’t fully recovered from everything she’d been through. A year ago, she would have argued with me on principle, secure in her teenage sense of immortality and invulnerability.
    • Chapter 18 (p. 285)
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