Mark Twain – Fables of Man (1972)

If you will look at the matter rationally and without prejudice, the proper place to hunt for the facts of His mercy, is not where man does the mercies and He collects the praise, but in those regions where He has the field to Himself.

(quoted in The Portable Atheist)


Robin McKinley – Dragonhaven (2007)

And how I feel, here, in a cavern full of dragons, is that it’s all so interesting. Which maybe you’re thinking is an anticlimax, but in that case I feel sorry for you because that just means you don’t really know about interesting. Interesting is as good as it gets…

Susan Cain – Quiet (2012)

…It’s also why exhortations to imagine the audience in the nude don’t help nervous speakers; naked lions are just as dangerous as elegantly dressed ones.


J.R.R. Tolkien – The Two Towers (1954)

Real names tell you the story of the things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.

Gene Wolfe – intro to The Sandman, vol. 6 (1993)

What is important and central here is that, time after time, the stories themselves are true. I don’t mean simply that Neil Gaiman’s history is good history and that his myth is good myth—although they are. I mean that you will understand yourself and the world better for having read them, and that you will have been both ennobled and troubled by the experience; that this is not just art—all sorts of ugly and foolish things are art—but great art.