Terry Pratchett


"The Curious Squid were very small, harmless, difficult to find and reckoned by connoisseurs to have the foulest taste of any creature in the world. This made them very much in demand in a certain kind of restaurant where highly skilled chefs made, with great care, dishes containing no trace of the squid whatsoever."

"As every student of exploration knows, the prize goes not to the explorer who first sets foot upon the virgin soil but the one who gets that foot home first. If it is still attached to his leg, this is a bonus."

"`My mum's uncle was a sailor,' said Nobby. `But after the big plague he got press-ganged. Bunch of farmers got him drunk, he woke up next morning tied to a plough.'"

"Sergeant Colon had had a broad education. He'd been to the School of My Dad Always Said, the College of It Stands to Reason, and was now a post-graduate student at the University of What Some Bloke In the Pub Told Me."

"`There's al-gebra. That's like sums with letters. For ... for people whose brains aren't clever enough for numbers, see ?'"

"The controlled panic that is normal sailing became the frantic panic composed of darkness, spray and too much rigging coming unrigged."

"Leonard's incredible brain sizzled away alarmingly, an overloaded chip pan on the stove of Life. It was impossible to know what he would think of next, because he was constantly reprogrammed by the whole universe. The sight of a waterfall or a soaring bird would send him spinning down some new path of practical speculation that invariably ended in a heap of wire and springs and a cry of `I think I know what I did wrong.'"

"After all, when you seek advice from someone it's certainly not because you want them to give it. You just want them to be there while you talk to yourself."

"It is a long-cherished tradition among a certain type of military thinker that huge casualties are the main thing. If they are on the other side then this is a valuable bonus."

"There was one of those silences that happen when everyone has to reprogramme their faces."

"One of the universal rules of happiness is: always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual."

"People were milling about on deck in the manner particular to non-sailors on board ship, not sure of what they should be doing or where they should refrain from doing it."

"The food was ... dog food. In Ankh-Morpork terms, it meant something that you wouldn't even put in a sausage, and there are very few things that a man with a big enough mincer cannot put in a sausage."

"`The ship's just a dot,' said Carrot. `Why aren't we gaining on them ?'
`It's a bigger ship so it has got what we technically call more sails,' said Jenkins."

"Do you know the difference between port and starboard ? I don't. I've never even drunk starboard."

"The beach was a lot closer now. The watchmen couldn't help noticing that the sailors were all hurrying to the blunt end of the ship and hanging on to any small, lightweigth and above all buoyant objects they could find."

"It was, the crew agreed later, one of the strangest landings in the history of bad seamanship. The shelving of the beach must have been right and the tide as well, because the ship did not so much hit the beach as sail up it, rising out of the water as the keel de-barnacled itself on the sand. Finally the forces of wind, water, impetus and friction all met at the point marked `fall over slowly'."

"It was the sound of many women laughing, which is always a disquieting noise to men.*
* Usually because they suspect the joke's on them."