" 'Mind if I smoke?' he said.
'Smoke?' said Kin, puzzled. 'Go ahead. I don't mind if you burst into flame.'"
- Jago Jalo and Kin Arad
" 'You didn't tell them that the universe is unfair. They were too young
to be properly paranoid.'"
- Bjorne Chang
" Some worlds made space flight a prime target, hoping to achieve early interstellar recognition. It never worked. Even sub-orbital machines were the apex of a pyramid, huge and old, resting on things like subsistence agriculture. It was no good trying to fly before you could eat."
"The bar was called The Broken Drum.
'Why?' she asked the kung behind the bar. Saucer-eyed he fixed her with the bland stare of barmen everywhere.
'You can't beat it,' he said."
"There was a brief moment of nausea as the computer flicked the ship a few million miles for a parallax measurement."
" 'Just a planet,' said Kin.
'Rather brightly lit for this distance out,' agreed Marco. 'Highly polished ice?'
Silver coughed apologetically. 'I am no astronomer,' she said, 'but surely this is wrong?'
'Not ice?' said Marco. 'Could be Helium IV, I suppose.'
'You misunderstand me,' said the shand. 'Surely the light hemisphere should be pointed towards the star?'"
- discovering the flat earth
"'There's a whole lot of gods about, but the top god is called Christos. The high priest
lives at Rome. There was also another kind of god who created this world in six days.
This creator-god has a lot of minor assistant gods with wings, and there's another
lesser being called Saitan who sounds like an agitator. There's a lot of other usual
religious stuff too,'
'Six days is too fast,' said Kin. 'It'd take the Company six years even with prefabricated parts. Frankly, I'd put it all down as a myth.'
'It's unusually straightforward,' Silver pointed out. 'In most myths the world is usually made from the supreme being's step-father's pancreas or the blood of the sacred beetle or something.'"
- the flat earth's religion, discussed by aliens
"Generally Company people, being in the creation business, didn't bother with religion or went along with something basic and non-controversial, like Wicca or Buddhism."
"Life had once resided in the vast spinning dust clouds that became the stars - every star was the skeleton of one of the great dust-accreting dinosaurs of the universe's Jurassic."
"The universe was tombs upon graves upon mausoleums. The comet that brightened the pagan skies was the abraded corpse of a scientist, three eons ago."
" 'The water was ice cold,' she stated. 'There were crystals in it. Show me iced water,
and I'll show you civilisation.'
'Anywhere else it would mean a refrigerator,' Kin admitted, 'but here, I'd bet they've got hot-and-cold running demons in all rooms.'"
- Silver and Kin about Ali Baba's palace
"The races of the galaxy look towards mankind as the essential lunatic element."
"People had always dreamed of a unified world. We thought it would be a richer one. It wasn't. It meant that the Eskimo got educated and learned cost accountancy, but it didn't mean that the German learned to hunt whales with a spear. It meant everyone learned how to press buttons, and no one remembered how to dive for pearls."