Robert Boswell

American short story writer and novelist (1953- )

Robert Boswell (born December 8, 1953) is an American short story writer and novelist.

Quotes edit

Virtual Death (1995) edit

Published under the pseudonym Shale Aaron
All page numbers are from the mass market paperback first edition published by Harper Prism ISBN 0-06-105430-5
Nominated for the 1995 Philip K. Dick Award
Orthography and italics as in the book
  • Making liberty tradable merchandise paves the way to ending independence. Everything becomes a commodity, even freedom.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 74)
  • “Why isn’t the government already whole-hog totalitarian?”
    Frizz cocked his head slightly, peering at her, happy she had asked. “Because they stumbled upon something better. No need to forcibly hold back the people. You don’t even need to prevent information from getting out—although sometimes, stupidly, they still do. Instead, you set up a megaMedia so pervasive that other news doesn’t really count.” He was getting worked up not, throwing his arms around while he spoke. “If the megaMedia doesn’t cover something, it ain’t news. Who cares what some intellectual magazine has to say, or some tiny alternative news channel. You let everybody talk, but you make sure only a few folks are listened to.
    • Chapter 4 (pp. 74-75)
  • People didn’t entirely believe the story, but they acted as if they did. It was like campaign promises—you chose your candidates on the basis of promises you knew they wouldn’t keep. The ability to hold contradictory ideas had become central to getting by in the world.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 76)
  • He flashed me a beautiful smile, which made me recall for a moment 1 of the advantages of fame—good-looking groupies.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 84)
  • It looked strange enough to pass for fashion.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 91)
  • But his feelings for me seemed more political than personal. I was a cause, a means by which he could make a name for himself. That hurt.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 110)
  • Ersatz rights led to ersatz economics—prosthetic loans, junkmoney xFunds, WallaDough, CapitalStinge, Reaganomics.
    • Chapter 6 (pp. 110-111)
  • I had heard somewhere that dreams didn’t exist the way we remembered them, that we pieced them together from fragments and imposed a story when we woke. It occurred to me that this was the same way we made our lives coherent.
    • Chapter 6 (pp. 116-117)
  • Some of the brilliance of my argument escaped my words. Wind whistled through the logical gaps.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 123)
  • Hollywood doesn’t want the customer to think, you know what I'm saying?
    • Chapter 7 (p. 135)
  • Everyone wanted a piece of me…And me? What did I want from me?
    A normal life would have been nice, but I couldn’t even imagine what that was like. Normal had become 1 of those archaic words like thou, spinster, gentleman, decorum.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 158)
  • The proliferation of weaponry in this country is obscene. But very profitable—capitalism just means moneyism, you know.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 188)
  • We arrived in Colorado the day the state legalized cannibalism. Chic restaurants were charging a small fortune for a 6-ounce human steak, and the ludicrously wealthy or hopelessly fashionable paid for the thrill of breaking yet another taboo.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 227)
  • I think you’re getting paranoid. Let me correct that: you've been paranoid your whole life, and it’s starting to show again.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 238)
  • Nowism refutes psychology. It says that who you are is who you are. Don’t blame your parents, your upbringing, your culture. Once you are accepting the Now, you’re in control.
    • Chapter 13 (pp. 243-244)
  • “I know what the worst sins are,” Madeleine said, “and there are only 2 of them: doing nothing, and doing too little.”
    • Chapter 14 (p. 269)
  • Art,” Frankly goes on, “has always been a polite form of terrorism.”
    • Epilogue (p. 286)
  • All I really know about death is precisely what I know about the future: it can’t be predicted, and the more you think you know, the less prepared you are for the surprises.
    • Epilogue (p. 289)

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