"Until this moment, she would have had to slip a skin over her perceptions to point to the Andromeda galaxy in the sky. But now it seemed like the most important thing in the world that, two and a half million years away, somebody had shouted across the void before they died.
"'We're here,' Ferron said to the ancient light that spilled across the sky and did not pierce the shadow into which she descended. As her colleagues turned and stared, she repeated the words like a mantra. 'We're here too! And we heard you.'"
- Elizabeth Bear, "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns," from Asimov's Science Fiction, January 2012
"Time has not softened my opinions on this matter. It is my belief that, as a rule, creatures of Happy's ilk — I am thinking here of canines and men both — more often run free than live caged, and it is in fact a world of mud and feces they desire, a world with no Art in it, or anyone like him, a place where there is no talk of books or God or the worlds beyond this world, a place where the only communication is the hysterical barking of starving and hate-filled dogs."
- Joe Hill, "Pop Art," collected in American Fantastic Tales, volume 2
"'It's a knowledge guild,' he said soberly. 'The bosses, the big'uns, they can take all manner of things away from us. With their bloody laws and factories and courts and banks. ... They can make the world to their pleasure, they can take away your home and kin and even the work you do. ..." Mick shrugged angrily, his lean shoulders denting the heavy of fabric of the greatcoat. 'And even a rob a hero's daughter of her virtue, if I'm not too bold in speaking of it.' He pressed her hand against his sleeve, a hard, trapping grip. 'But they can't ever take what you know, now can they Sybil? They can't ever take that."
- William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine
"'Oh I don't know about,' he replied, implying that he had had several successful affairs to enhance her opinion of him. Similarly Rosanette did not confess to all her lovers, so that he would think more highly of her. For in the midst of the most intimate confidences, false shame, delicacy, or pity always impose a certain reticence. We come across precipices or morasses, in ourselves or in the other person, which bring us to a halt; in any case, we feel that we would not be understood; it is difficult to express anything exactly; perfect unions, for that reason are rare.
"The poor Marshall had never known anything better than this."
- Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education, translated by Robert Baldick and Geoffrey Wall