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Thread: Fantasy Literary Quote Contest

  1. #1
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    Fantasy Literary Quote Contest

    Okay, folks. Let's get this started. Something not too easy, but not too hard.

    I turned my head away unhappily, but the rows of books tugged unrepentantly at the edges of my sight. I walked like one bewitched to the nearest shelf. "I didn't know there were so many books in the world," I said caressingly, and [the other character's] answer was heard only in my ear and did not register in my brain: "Well, in fact, there aren't," he said.
    That's a nice, appropriate quote to start with.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  2. #2
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    Neil Gaiman? Sounds like the Sandman thing with loads of books that nearly were...

    And yes, it is nice and appropriate, even if my guess is wrong!

    (Added)

    It also reminds me a bit of the lovely Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luis Zafon.
    Last edited by Paul Beardsley; 2007-Apr-18 at 08:30 PM. Reason: To add second guess.

  3. #3
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    Your guess is wrong. It predates Sandman.

    And yeah, I looked over my shelves and thought, "Hey, that's got that bit about the books! I'll use that!"
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  4. #4
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    Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer predates Sandman, and it's arguably as much fantasy as SF. But although there is a scene in a huge library, I don't think the dialogue is quite like that - and I've read it three times!

  5. #5
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    Still no.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  6. #6
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    I don't usually like to get into these threads, but I'll just throw out that to my limited fantasy reading that sounds like it could be a reference to the Unseen University's library. So, a Pratchet book perhaps, no clue as to which.

    I do remember reading a short story about an infinite library as well, but I don't remember the name of the story or the author.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  7. #7
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    The writing style is all wrong for Pratchett, I think. (I mean, I know it isn't Pratchett. I'm just saying.)

    It's not a short story, either, nor is it really about the library.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  8. #8
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    Well, I can't think of anything else even vaguely like that then.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    The writing style is all wrong for Pratchett, I think. (I mean, I know it isn't Pratchett. I'm just saying.)

    It's not a short story, either, nor is it really about the library.
    Definitely not Pratchett. Pratchett does have inner monologue, but it's written in the third person.
    __________________________________________________
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    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  10. #10
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    I first thought of Borges and "The Library of Babel", but there's no dialog there.

  11. #11
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    Well, here's a hint--it's by a woman. (Actually, a woman is speaking as well, but there it is.)

    For a second hint, if you knew the name of the character whose name I didn't say, you'd know the other character's name and therefore the name of the book.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  12. #12
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    Guessing, mostly based on the hints: Tehanu, by Ursula LeGuin?
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Guessing, mostly based on the hints: Tehanu, by Ursula LeGuin?
    Ooh, reckon that's a good guess. Wish I could find it to confirm

  14. #14
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    If ToSeek is right, is the "he" Sparrowhawk?

    (I've only read the first book in the series.)

  15. #15
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    Something by Andre Norton perhaps?

  16. #16
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    Nope, not Le Guin. Another quote:

    I was the youngest of three daughters. Our literal-minded mother named us Grace, Hope, and Honour, but few people except perhaps the minister who baptized all three of us remembered my given name.
    It's the first two sentences of the book.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  17. #17
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    I figured out the answer by Googling. Another 18 hours with no correct answer, and I'm going to spill it.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  18. #18
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    I'm still utterly stumped...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    I figured out the answer by Googling.
    Same here (I found it this afternoon), but I'm afraid I am not familiar with this author.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  20. #20
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    She's one of my favourites, and this is one of her best. I'm sadly disappointed that more of you haven't read her work.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  21. #21
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    I've never read anything by her.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  22. #22
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    Well, now, you should! She's written quite a few excellent novels and some decent collections of short stories. (Her most recent story collection was written with her husband, whose stories aren't as good as hers.) In fact, some of the details from this book were used in a movie based on the source material that came out in '91--including, in fact, the library.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  23. #23
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    The only ones I can immediately think of whose husbands wrote too are Joan D. Vinge and C.L. Moore.

    Oh, and Leigh Brackett, but she wasn't really fantasy.

  24. #24
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    Still no, I'm afraid. Looks like the Googlers will have to take it. And all of you clearly have some reading to do--not that I haven't acquired a huge "to-read" list from hanging out around here.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #25
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    This is a bit of a stab in the dark, based solely on writing style: something by Sheri S. Tepper?

  26. #26
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    Beauty, by Robin McKinley, which sits upon our bookshelves, though I haven't read it (presumably my wife has, though).

    I'm going to do an easy one in order to pass the buck (since I didn't really earn this one). However, you have to name the book, the author, and the referenced character, and Gillian is not allowed to respond because I'm sure she knows all this off the top of her head:

    Her bosom rose and fell like an empire.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  27. #27
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    I'm pretty sure I do, yes--I'm quite sure that book's sitting on my shelf right now, not ten feet away.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I'm pretty sure I do, yes--I'm quite sure that book's sitting on my shelf right now, not ten feet away.
    About the same here (but then the McKinley book is sitting about two shelves up, for all the good it did).

    I'll give it another 24 hours, and then you can take it back. Let's hope we don't end up playing ping-pong here.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  29. #29
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    Well I'm pretty sure that it's Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett and the bosom in question is, ahem, Lady Ramkin's Hey! that's the only one I've seen the play of, with the excellent Paul Darrow as Captain Vimes

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Batty View Post
    Well I'm pretty sure that it's Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett and the bosom in question is, ahem, Lady Ramkin's Hey! that's the only one I've seen the play of, with the excellent Paul Darrow as Captain Vimes
    It is indeed. Your go. (I would love to see Pratchett done on stage, but unfortunately his popularity isn't sufficient for that on this side of the Atlantic.)
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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