Drainage tubes ran out of his belly and side, and there was a catheter the size of a pencil coming out his penis. Nothing particularly hurt, so he had to assume he was on pretty nearly all the narcotics there were.
A few generations living and dying without a sky, and enclosed spaces lost the atavistic terror of premature burial.
In the artifacts that are conscious, memories of vanished lives still flicker. Tissues that were changed without dying hold the moment that a boy heard his sister was leaving home. They hold multiplication tables. They hold images of sexuality and violence and beauty. They hold the memories of flesh that no longer exists. They hold metaphors: mitochondria, starfish, Hitler’s-brain-in-a-jar, hell realm. They dream. Structures that were neurons twitch and loop and burn and dream. Images and words and pain and fear, endless.
War without end. Well, what was history without that? And how would having the stars change anything?
The messages coming back flooded the comm buffers with rage and sorrow, threats of vengeance and offers of aid. Those last were the hardest. New colonies still trying to force their way into local ecosystems so exotic that their bodies could hardly recognize them as life at all, isolated, exhausted, sometimes at the edge of their resources. And what they wanted was to send back help. He listened to their voices, saw the distress in their eyes. He couldn't help, but love them a little bit. Under the best conditions, disasters and plagues did that. It wasn't universally true. There would always be hoarders and price gouging, people who closed their doors to refugees and left them freezing and starving. But the impulse to help was there too. To carry a burden together, even if it meant having less for yourself. Humanity had come as far as it had in a haze of war, sickness, violence, and genocide. History was drenched in blood. But it also had cooperation and kindness, generosity, intermarriage. The one didn’t come without the other.
He is, however,” Amos continued, “keeping a constant rail gun lock on the Israel’s reactor.”Holden ran his fingers through his hair. “So not too generous, then.”“Say pretty please, but carry a one-kilo slug of tungsten accelerated to a detectable percentage of c.
His strike force stood around him, craning their necks, in awe of the massive emptiness all around. He was almost sorry to pull his attention back to the small, vaguely intimate necessities of violence.
We were full of righteous anger and dreams of vengeance when we got here, and a couple of blowjobs and hangovers later it's like nothing ever happened
Holden was starting to feel like they were all monkeys playing with a microwave. Push a button, a light comes on inside, so it’s a light. Push a different button and stick your hand inside, it burns you, so it’s a weapon. Learn to open and close the door, it’s a place to hide things. Never grasping what it actually did, and maybe not even having the framework necessary to figure it out. No monkey ever reheated a frozen burrito. So here the monkeys were, poking the shiny box and making guesses about what it did.
Posthuman. It was a word from advertising copy, breathless and empty, and all he’d ever thought it really meant was that the people using it had a limited imagination about what exactly humans were capable of.
No one lived forever. But you fought for every minute you could get. Bought a little more with a lot of hard work.
All of nature was a record of crisis and destruction and adaptation and flourishing and being knocked back down again. What had happened on New Terra was singular and concrete, but the pattern it was part of seemed to apply everywhere and maybe always.
That’s what peace is, right? Postponing the conflict until the thing you were fighting over doesn’t matter.
It was some of Solomon’s favorite music because it was dense and intellectually complicated and he wasn’t expected to dance to it.
It throbbed with an inhuman power, tidal and deep and painful. Look at this too long, Elvi thought, and I will lose my mind in it. She took a step toward it, feeling the structures in the blackness respond to her. She felt as if she could see the spaces between molecules in the air, like atoms themselves had become a thin fog, and for the first time she could see the true shape of reality looming up just beyond her reach.
And somehow, that changed everything about sex. The movements might all be the same, but the desire to communicate affection rather than demonstrate prowess changed what everything meant.
The sex,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure that we were okay. That things were all right between us.”“Well,” she said, “orgasm does release a lot of oxytocin, so I’m probably more fond of you than before.
The OPA man, Anderson Dawes, was sitting on a cloth folding chair outside Miller's hole, reading a book. It was a real book - onionskin pages bound in what might have been actual leather. Miller had seen pictures of them before; the idea of that much weight for a single megabyte of data struck him as decadent.
The margins of the space were bright without illuminating anything or casting shadows, sharp and terrible. It reminded her of the way schizophrenics and people suffering migraines would describe light as assaulting and dangerous.
Tilly screamed. Anna’s shocked brain only registered annoyance at the sound. Really, when had someone screaming ever solved a problem? She recognized her fixation on this irritation as her own way of avoiding the horror in front of her, but only in a distant and dreamy sort of way.
Reputation never has very much to do with reality. I could name half a dozen paragons of virtue that are horrible, small-souled, evil people. And some of the best men I know, you'd walk out of the room if you heard their names. No one on the screen is who they are when you breathe their air.Chrisjen Avasarala
If we accept the premise that we’re always wrong, it really removes the incentive to spend a lot of time trying to make good guesses because even the good guesses turn out to be wrong. So, make plausible guesses… and tell a good story.
The moral high ground is a lovely place. It won’t stop a missile, though. It won’t alter the trajectory of a gauss round.
I mean, yes, I did ask that. But that’s not the part that you should be caring about right now. You lied to me. Your involvement with weaponizing the Protogen project is fully exposed, and that question is like asking what color Tuesday was. It’s meaningless.
Or was that fatalism another good move in design space? Did the universe evolve eyes and wings and sense organs and bitter amusement at the prospect of death all the same way?
Show a human a closed door, and no matter how many open doors she finds, she'll be haunted by what might be behind it.
A woman's voice ululated on the sound system, somewhere between an Islamic call to prayer and orgasm with a drumbeat.
They loved scenes of righteous Godly vengeance on sinful mankind. They loved to show God’s chosen people safe from harm, watching with happy faces as they were proved right to the world. But they never showed the aftermath. They never showed weeping humans, crushed and dying in pools of their own fluids. Young men smashed into piles of red flesh. A young woman cut in half because she was passing through a hatchway when catastrophe hit. This was Armageddon. This is what it looked like. Blood and torn flesh and cries for help.