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Top 500 Neal Stephenson Quotes (2024 Update)
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Neal Stephenson Quote: “The world has actually been wired together by digital communications systems for a century and a half. Nothing that has happened during that time compares in its impact to the first exchange of messages between Queen Victoria and President Buchanan in 1858. That was so impressive that a mob of celebrants poured into the streets of New York and set fire to City Hall.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It became sort of obvious that one of them was the boss. Tall guy, a little older than the others, in a Manu jersey.” “Manu jersey?” “Manu Ginobili,” Peter said, almost angry that Zula did not understand the reference. “He plays for the Spurs.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Then she felt shock and shame over the fact that she was thinking about coffee while her planet was being set on fire.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “We’re like meridians, all beginning and ending in the same place. We spread out from the beginning and go our separate ways, over seas and mountains and islands and deserts, each telling our own story, as different as they could possibly be. But in the end we all converge and our ends are as much the same as our beginnings.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “There was silence around the big table in the Banana.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Ng blows out more smoke, thinking. “As we learned in Vietnam, high-powered weapons are so sensorily overwhelming that they are similar to psychoactive drugs. Like LSD, which can convince people they can fly – causing them to jump out of windows – weapons can make people overconfident. Skewing their tactical judgment. As in the case of Fisheye.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It is heavy enough to stun a muskellunge.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “When later generations come to read about our history they will think they are reading a romance, and not believe a word of it.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The modern world’s hell on haiku writers: “Electrical generator” is, what, eight syllables? You couldn’t even fit that onto the second line!”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Any information system of sufficient complexity will inevitably become infected with viruses – viruses generated from within itself.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It wasn’t just a matter of hiding what you really felt. If you hid your feelings well enough, it actually changed you. A.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I was wondering when I was going to end up like this.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “What is BFR?” asked Pete Starling. For the graph’s vertical scale was labeled thus. “Bolide Fragmentation Rate,” Doob said. “The rate at which new rocks are being produced.” “Is that a standard term?” Pete wanted to know. His tone was not so much hostile as unnerved. “No,” Doob said, “I made it up. Yesterday. On the plane.” He was tempted to add something like I am allowed to coin terms but didn’t want things to get snarky this early in the meeting.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Dr. Harris was now wishing that the late Doc Dubois had never opened his big fat mouth.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It’s daytime. A wall of billowing orange flame grows up silently from the tank farm a mile away, like a time-lapse chrysanthemum. It is so vast and complicated in its blooming, uncontrolled growth that Rife stops halfway up the stairs to watch.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The damn bells kept ringing through the fog. Bud mumbled a command to his music system, a phased acoustical array splayed across both eardrums like the seeds on a strawberry. The volume went up but couldn’t scour away the deep tones of the carillon, which.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Then he reminded himself that he was already part of the biggest adventure ever, and that, so far, it had been altogether miserable.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Don Donald was clearly accustomed to addressing people whose only way of responding was to nod worshipfully and take notes.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Modern people are calibrated for a whole different level of danger acceptance.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Their morning training was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of a plainly dressed man. Lugo, the youngest initiate at the chapter house, noticed him first and nearly received a blow to the head as a result of his inattention. Shouting at the rest of the men to stop their drill, Andreas glared at the man who was standing inside the chapter house gate. “How might we assist you?” he called across the yard, more than a little annoyed at the interruption.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I’m surprised at you! If it will take ten years to make the machine with available technology, and only five years to make it with a new technology, and it will only take two years to invent the new technology, then you can do it in seven years by inventing the new technology first!”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “That merely glimpsing three good wooden boxes on a baggage-wain could lead to such broodings made Daniel wonder that he could get out of bed in the morning. Once, he had feared that old age would bring senility; now, he was certain it would slowly paralyze him by encumbering each tiny thing with all sorts of significations.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He was already thinking about the videos he was going to make to teach his baby about calculus when he climaxed.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “As your demeanor has been nonaggressive and you carry no visible weapons, we are not authorized to employ heroic measures to ensure your cooperation,” the first MetaCop says. “You stay cool and we’ll stay cool,” the second MetaCop says.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “There’s a bed, a little fold-out table, and cabinets made of actual wood. These in combination with the photographs of family and friends give it a cozy, domestic flavor which is, however, completely ruined by the framed picture of Adolf Hitler on the wall. Waterhouse finds this to be shockingly poor taste until he remembers it’s a German boat.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “A more down-to-earth project run by the Soviets had determined that eight square meters of algae – an expanse of pond scum about the size of two ping-pong tables – was needed to keep a single human supplied with oxygen.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “For a fraction of a second he was a yellow blossom of flame in the stream of light, and then he was one with it. All that remained of what he’d been was a wisp of steam coiling above the torrent of fire.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “My son, in the eyes of Heaven, we are all as little children. No one of us is more important than another. In fact, the more important we think we are, the less we stand out in the eyes of the Lord.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Has anyone you know ever been ritually mutilated because they were seen reading a book?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The place was empty ‘cause of the Hanging. I didn’t want to stay and – ” “And what?” “Get more ahead of the others than I was already.” “If you are ahead, the correct thing is to get used to it – not to make yourself into an imbecile. Come, you belong in school.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “They went inside. The young ones shuffled to a stop as their ironic sensibilities, which served them in lieu of souls, were jammed by a signal of overwhelming power.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “And this all fits very well with the modern way of thinking about stuff in which all you need to do, in order to attain a sense of personal accomplishment and earn the accolades of your peers, is to demonstrate an ability to slot new examples of things into the proper intellectual pigeon-holes.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Passing through the utility section she considered getting herself a cup of coffee. Then she felt shock and shame over the fact that she was thinking about coffee while her planet was being set on fire. Then she poured herself a cup of coffee anyway and stepped into the Farm.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Your ability to have empathy with the Geometer – to imagine what it would be like to be someone else – isn’t a mere courtesy. It is an innate process of consciousness.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “That was his youngest. Hadley, the girl in the middle, was in Berkeley; she’d been doing volunteer work for an organization in Oakland and had a lot of free time.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Southern California doesn’t know whether to bustle or just strangle itself on the spot.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “But this was how the mind worked. The mind couldn’t think about the End of the World all the time. It needed the occasional break, a romp through the trivial. Because it was through trivia that the mind was anchored in reality, as the largest oak tree was rooted, ultimately, in a system of rootlets no larger than the silver hairs on the president’s head.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Eventually the visitors were treated to a thoroughly non-ironic dinner at an Applebee’s.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “I think I’m in love,” she said. He clapped a bag over his mouth and threw up.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “What are you doing?” Dengo would ask him. “Observing,” father would say. “But how long can you observe the same thing?” “Forever.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The ability to make judgments, to believe things, is the entire point of having a culture. I.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Technically speaking, the pond should be full of carp, but Hiro is American enough to think of carp as inedible dinosaurs that sit on the bottom and eat sewage.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “My colleague Bruce Sterling has defined a thriller as a science fiction novel that includes the President of the United States.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “The four-day elevator ride might be nothing more than a prelude to further journeys, some of which might take her to places with little to no bandwidth, and nothing was worse than getting stuck in a situation like that with nothing to read.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “She had stayed inside so that she could watch it on the TV in the room, let him know how it had looked on video, how the commentators and pundits had framed it. It.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “When you say ‘plugged it in,’ could you please tell me everything you plugged into it?” Peter had now dropped, improbably, into a polite, clinical mode, like a customer service rep in a Bangalore cubicle farm.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He had spoken with such absolute confidence that I knew he had to be blowing this out of his rectal orifice.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “It’s just like the reviews promised – other people’s ordinariness is more rewarding than your own. Their banality is soothing to your own sense of failure. Because being you is so much more interesting than being me.”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “Why would that cause him to pack up his bolt, chord, and sphere, and hurry to Ecba, of all places?”
Neal Stephenson Quote: “He did not seem to grasp something that was clear enough to me and Cord: namely, that there were extras who would beat up avout simply because it was more entertaining than not beating them up – not because they subscribed to some ridiculous theory of what we were. He was assuming that rapscallions bothered to have theories.”
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