Lawrence M. Schoen

American writer and klingonist

Lawrence M. Schoen (born July 27, 1959) is an American author, publisher, psychologist, hypnotist, and expert in the Klingon language.


Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard (2015)Edit

All page numbers from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-7702-9
Nominated for the 2016 Nebula Award.
  • I’m dead, Jorl. You can’t tell me what to do.
    • Chapter 2, “Possibilities and Myths” (p. 24)
  • I mean, sure, like all prophecy the wording is vague.
    • Chapter 2, “Possibilities and Myths” (p. 27)
  • She hated politics and she had no patience for the ultra-serious, wide-eyed dreamers who wanted to change your world whether you wanted to live with those changes or not.
    • Chapter 4, “Solutions in Memory” (p. 53)
  • “Besides, prophecies are tricky stuff. It’s only after that people recognize them as important. At the time they’re spoken most people don’t want to hear about them.”
    “Really? But aren’t they truth?”
    “Especially then. Truth is tough.”
    “Why? I mean, it’s the truth. It just is.”
    “I think that’s so, in the abstract, but none of us get to really know the abstract. We only know what we think.”
    • Chapter 7, “Parental Disappointment” (p. 84)
  • “So you’re saying, people not only may not want to hear a thing that’s true, that sometimes they make sure other people can’t either?”
    “Yeah. Not all people, and not all the time, but yeah.”
    • Chapter 7, “Parental Disappointment” (p. 85)
  • There’s a part of you that insists reality follow the same parameters it always has, even here. That attachment to the way things work in the living world precludes this kind of manipulation. I, on the other hand, had the privilege of spending a good portion of time, when I was alive, in the paroxysms of my own insanity. Rather liberating, in its own way.
    • Chapter 8, “Venue and Vision” (p. 98)
  • As a historian, he understood that what in hindsight were taken to be grand events really consisted of a myriad of tiny, seemingly inconsequential choices. Often as not, great moments hung on coincidences and random luck.
    • Chapter 12, “Ancestral Lands” (p. 119)
  • I’m not accusing you of anything, but we both have studied too much history to ignore coincidence.
    • Chapter 17, “Dead Voices” (p. 170)
  • It seems to me, that the most unlikely events almost have to happen, or life would just be dull and no one would write anything down.
    • Chapter 17, “Dead Voices” (p. 171)
  • In all the rest of my life’s wanderings, I never met another person who spoke words to rival the beauty of mathematics.
    • Chapter 17, “Dead Voices” (p. 171)
  • Your sense of volition, or the lack of it, is an illusion. Everything you’ve done needed doing and was set in motion long ago. Let go of your self-pity. Your feelings in these events matter no more than a leaf’s desire to steer the wind!
    • Chapter 18, “One-Sided Conversation” (p. 175)
  • Ah, self-interest at last. Despite all of our differences, of race and time and distance, we achieve commonality. I understand self-interest.
    • Chapter 18, “One-Sided Conversation” (p. 176)
  • “Oh! This isn’t possible. You’re dead.”
    “So are you, but we’re not going to let that get in our way.”
    • Chapter 24, “Dead to Dead” (pp. 230-231)
  • Was all of the universe a fixed game, if one only knew where and how to look?
    • Chapter 27, “Blind Endgame Beginning” (p. 251)
  • We’ve met, and it wasn’t the highlight of my being dead.
    • Chapter 29, “Choice and Sacrifice” (p. 265)
  • It all seemed like madness, but was madness anything other than desperation blended with hope?
    • Chapter 29, “Choice and Sacrifice” (p. 270)
  • The Archetype of Man had not leaped to any false conclusions, had not mistaken Jorl for a deity. Rather, it withheld judgment until it had compiled sufficient explanation.
    • Chapter 32, “Ghost in the Machine” (p. 298)
  • There will be paperwork, no government action can occur without it, but that can come later.
    • Chapter 38, “Loose Ends” (p. 354)
  • I gave destiny a push to make it happen. You study history, so stop your pathetic whining. You know better than most that destiny happens to us, it is never something we call forth.
    • Chapter 38, “Loose Ends” (p. 354)
  • Prophecy is first and foremost a self-serving gift.
    • Chapter 38, “Loose Ends” (p. 354)
  • “You didn’t do any of these things because they were necessarily good unto themselves, but because you saw them as means to shape events to serve your own ends. The entire legacy of the Matriarch is the exploitation of others like pieces in some great game.”
    She laughed in his face. “You can see it that way if you like. The weak usually do, if they see it at all. But you disappoint me. Despite your study of history, you fail to understand power. It’s obvious you never will...There’s really only one choice you ever have to make in any act of creation. Will you be the instrument or the artist? If you’re only now coming to realize that you’ve been a tool all your life, there’s no one to blame for it but yourself. If you don’t like that state of affairs, then act! Impose your will upon the world and walk your own path. If you don’t, you’ll just end up being a token in someone else’s game; you’ll continue to be used as they see fit. That’s how the universe works. You don’t have to like it, but you’d do well to get used to it.”...
    “No, maybe that’s the way the world looks once you’ve already decided to take your path. Or maybe it’s just you’re so jaded, or you’ve bought into your own delusions. I don’t know which, and I don’t care. Those aren’t the only choices: use of be used. There is more than being tyrant or servant. I reject both options and I reject you. You’ve been dead for centuries, Margda, it’s about time you accepted that.”
    • Chapter 38, “Loose Ends” (pp. 362-363; ellipses represent elisions of descriptive sections)

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