303. “This was the fundamental problem with rockets – and no one had ever discovered any alternative for deep-space propulsion. It was just as difficult to lose speed as to acquire it, and carrying the necessary propellant for deceleration did not merely double the difficulty of a mission; it squared it.”
317. “Only Time is universal; Night and Day are merely quaint local customs found on those planets that tidal forces have not yet robbed of their rotation. But however far they travel from their native world, human beings can never escape the diurnal rhythm, set ages ago by its cycle of light and darkness.”
322. “The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its contents seemed to be. Accidents, crimes, natural and man-made disasters, threats of conflict, gloomy editorials – these still seemed to be the main concern of the millions of words being sprayed into the ether. Yet Floyd also wondered if this was altogether.”
326. “For relaxation he could always engage Hal in a large number of semimathematical games, including checkers, chess, and polyominoes. If Hal went all out, he could win any one of them; but that would be bad for morale. So he had been programmed to win only fifty percent of the time, and his human partners pretended not to know this.”
330. “For it was their world, not Man’s. However he might shape it for his own purposes, it would be his duty always to safeguard the interests of its rightful owners. No one could tell what part they might have to play in the history of the universe. And when, as was one day inevitable, Man himself came to the notice of yet higher races, he might well be judged by his behaviour here on Mars.”
331. “Behind Alystra was the known world, full of wonder yet empty of surprise, drifting like a brilliant but tightly closed bubble down the river of time. Ahead, separated from her by no more than the span of a few footsteps, was the empty wilderness – the world of the desert – the world of the Invaders.”
336. “But was even this the end? A few mystically inclined biologists went still further. They speculated, taking their cues from the beliefs of many religions, that mind would eventually free itself from matter. The robot body, like the flesh-and-blood one, would be no more than a stepping-stone to something which, long ago, men had called “spirit.” And if there was anything beyond that, its name could only be God.”
339. “Tom hated to admit defeat, even in matters far less important than this. He believed that all problems could be solved if they were tackled in the right way, with the right equipment. This was a challenge to his scientific ingenuity; the fact that there were many lives involved was immaterial. Dr. Tom Lawson had no great use for human beings, but he did respect the Universe. This was a private fight between him and It.”
344. “She was certain that it was wise to prevent Wilson and Brown from working closely together during sorties inside Rama. Nicole chastised herself for not having raised the issue with Borzov on her own. She realized that her mission portfolio included mental health as well, but somehow she had difficulty thinking of herself as the crew psychiatrist. I avoid it because it’s not an objective process, she thought. We have no sensors yet to measure good or bad mental health.”
346. “I hope you’re right. Apart from that, won’t there be trouble when he discovers what you’re trying to do? Because he will, you know.” “I’ll take that risk. Besides, we understand each other rather well.” The physicist toyed with his pencil and stared into space for a while. “It’s a very pretty problem. I like it,” he said simply. Then he dived into a drawer and produced an enormous writing pad, quite the biggest that Stormgren had ever seen.”
350. “It is not easy to run a shipping line between destinations that not only change their positions by millions of kilometers every few days, but also swing through a velocity range of tens of kilometers a second. Anything like a regular schedule is out of the question; there are times when one must forget the whole idea and stay in port – or at least in orbit – waiting for the Solar System to rearrange itself for the greater convenience of Mankind.”
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