Scott Westerfeld quotes:

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  • The Internet is global and seemingly omniscient, while iPods and phones are all microscopic workings encased in plastic blobjects. Compare that to a steam engine, where you can watch the pistons move and feel the heat of its boilers. I think we miss that visceral appeal of the machine.

  • I have no formal training as a writer at all, not even a single English class in college.

  • Shay sometimes talked in a mysterious way, like she was quoting the lyrics of some band no one else listened to.

  • When I finish a first draft, I often look back at first chapters I wrote and laugh at them. They're like pictures of yourself in middle school. You're embarrassed to see them.

  • I have no problem with commenters stating strong opinions, except for my usual annoyance with people who don't agree with me.

  • That Shay was in possesion of hand grenades was a comforting thought showed what kind of night this had become.

  • The difference between being a part-time writer and a full-time writer is like the difference between dating someone and living with them. Some of the romance is gone, but you learn things you'd never know just by dating.

  • Ninety percent of the research comes first. I mostly blunder around reading stuff and talking to smart people until an idea batters or oozes its way through to my narrative brain.

  • What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.

  • Didn't this beat everything? A pretty and an ugly taking a stroll together. The warden came closer, confusion all over his middle-pretty face. Tally smiled. At least she was causing trouble to the end. "I'm Tally Youngblood," she said. "Make me pretty.

  • Tally smiled. At least she was causing trouble to the end. "I'm Tally Youngblood," she said. "make me pretty.

  • As a bio major, I figured "free will" meant chemicals in your brain telling you what to do, the molecules bouncing around in a way that felt like choosing but was actually the dance of little gears--neurons and hormones bubbling up into decisions like clockwork. You don't use your body; it uses you.

  • Never give us what we really want. Cut the dream into pieces and scatter them like ashes. Dole out the empty promises. Package our aspirations and sell them to us, cheaply made enough to fall apart.

  • Maybe this was how you stayed sane in wartime: a handful of noble deeds amid the chaos.

  • I've learned a lot about stage-managing for illustration. Sometimes you have to delete characters from a scene just to keep from overcrowding the image. I've also learned to making big-scale design decisions early.

  • I have no formal training as a writer at all, not even a single English class in college. However, my adult books are all science fiction, which has some similarities to YA.

  • Gravity was something you could beat; all it took was hydrogen, hot air, or even a bit of rope. But being a girl was a miserable, never-ending struggle.

  • Ring around the rosie. A pocket full of posie. Ashes ashes, we all fall down. Some people say that this poem is about the Black Death, the fourteenth-century plague that killed 100-million people... Sadly, though, most experts think this is nonsense... How can I be so sure about this rhyme when all the experts disagree? Because I ate the kid who made it up.

  • Luckily for writers - and unluckily for history - every scientific idea creates human conflict.

  • Her only way home was to betray her friend.

  • The human heart is a strange vessel. Love and hatred can exist side by side.

  • Alek said, Do you think I'm being a fool? I think you're trying to do something good. But doing good is rarely easy, and no weapon has ever stopped a war.

  • He thinks Goliath can end the war, Alek managed at last. The man wants peace! As do we all, Count Volger said. But there are many ways to end a war. Some are more peaceful than others.

  • Surely no one would ever use such a weapon against a city.There are no limits in war, Volger said, still staring out the window.

  • Most men's awareness doesn't extend past their dinner plates.

  • I used to be a pre-industrial writer: thousands of words in a spurt and then a few days off. But as I get older, I've switched to a mode best described as 'slow and steady wins the race.' Basically, I write during the same four hours every day, after breakfast and the all-important coffee, generally in the same room and wearing the same pajamas.

  • Deryn felt brilliant, rising through the air at the center off everyone's attention, like an acrobat aloft on a swing. She wanted to make a speech: Hey, all you sods, I can fly and you can't! A natural airman, in case you haven't noticed. And in conclusion, I'd like to add that I'm a girl and you can all get stuffed!

  • There was a species of middle pretty who smiled at everything: happy smile, disappointed smile, you're-in-trouble smile.

  • Have a little faith in me, Volger." "I have great faith, tempered with vast annoyance.

  • No matter how far from the war we run, it always catches up with us.

  • He makes me feel like that. Like flying.

  • Do you love him?" Deryn swallowed, then pointed at the screen. "He makes me feel like that. Like flying.

  • Maybe they didn't want you to realize that every civilization has its weakness. There's always one thing we depend on. And if someone takes it away all that's left is some story in a history class.

  • Wow," came a familiar voice, "Hypochondriac killed the cat." -Dess

  • Junkies might be easy to knock down, but they're never fragile. They have souls like old leather shoes studded with steel, and they're about as much good as friends.

  • It's not the traveling that takes courage Tally. I've done much longer trips on my own. It's leaving home.

  • When the term machine gun enters common parlance, the word machine becomes much more sinister.

  • I expect that you must receive top marks at school, young lady." Madeleine smiled as she stirred her tea. "There are always rewards for those who state the obvious frequently and with conviction.

  • It's just been a long week, that's all." "It's monday night, Jess." "My point exactly.

  • Haven't you ever known someone rejected by a lover, who, consumed by rage and jealousy, never lets go? They look on from a distance, unseen but boiling inside. The emotion never seems to tire, this hatred mixed with intense obsession, even with a kind of twisted love.

  • She thought of the orchids spreading across the plains below, choking the life out of other plants, out of the soil itself, selfish and unstoppable. Tally Youngblood was a weed. And, unlike the orchids, she wasn't even a pretty one.

  • Around the outskirts of the city, cut off from town by the black oval of the river, everything was in darkness. Everyone ugly was in bed by now.

  • I'd watched too many schoolmates graduate into mental institutions, into group homes and jails, and I knew that locking people up was paranormal - against normal, not beside it. Locks didn't cure; they strangled.

  • Nature didn't need an operation to be beautiful. It just was.

  • As one does a bear riding a bicycle. One sees it so rarely. (Spoken by Volger, on Deryn)

  • I'm not the one going for a biology degree. I'm just a philosophy major who eats people.

  • You are so... 11:59

  • She was nothing in particular. But at least she had a purpose.

  • Warning stickers on books would be a nightmare.

  • History would indicate that the majority of people have always been sheep.

  • Hoverboarding looks so fun, like being a bird. But actually doing it is hard work."Shay shrugged. "Being a bird's probably hard work too. Flapping your wings all day, you know?

  • I guess sometimes you have to lie to find the truth.

  • Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same is everyone thinking the same.

  • ...humanity is a disease, a cancer on the body of the world.

  • You look beautiful - David

  • At least one thing was consistent about her life: It just kept on getting more complicated.

  • Not everything made you stronger. It was possible to survive, yet still be crippled for your trouble. Sometimes it was okay to run away, to skip the test, to chicken out. Or at least to get some help.

  • People only worry about the uncanny for about a week; that's the end of their attention span. After that, suspicions turn into shtick.

  • And a special thanks for not burning up the whole ship. Including yourself, you daft bum-rag.

  • However stupid the choice seemed, Shay had made it with her eyes open, and had respected Tally's choice to stay.

  • Why are you still wearing...?" Aya began. "Oh, that's not smart plastic? You're really an ugly?" David rolled his eyes and Shay said quietly, "David's never had any surge at all. But I wouldn't use the word ugly...Tally might eat you.

  • Nature was tough, it could be dangerous, but unlike Dr. Cable or shay, or peris-unlike people in general-it made sense. The problems it threw at you could be solved rationally.

  • Now,young lady,I suppose you're here for a work assignment." Work?" Tally said. They both looked down at her puzzled expression, and Shay burst into laughter.

  • You're insane!" she shouted. "Pretty cool, huh?" "No!"Tally yelled. "Why didn't you tell me it was broken?" Shay shrugged. "More fun that way?" "More fun?" Her heart beating fast,her vision strangely clear. She was full of anger and relief and...joy. "Well, kind of. But you suck!

  • What did a happy ending even mean in real life, anyway? In stories you simply said, 'They lived happily ever after,' and that was it. But in real life people had to keep on living, day after day, year after year.

  • you're infamous, Tally. Everyone's terrified of you. The new system may have made the other cities nervous, but they seem to think my little gang of psychotic sixteen-year-olds is worse" - Cable to Tally

  • She couldn't disappoint the whole village. There were no wallscreens here, no newsfeeds or satellites bands, and touring soccer teams were no doubt few and far between. (...), that made stories a valuable commodity, and it probably wasn't very often that a stranger dropped in from the sky.

  • My name is tally youngblood and my mind is very ugly

  • I don't want to hurt you but I will if I have too - Tally Youngblood

  • I'm Tally Youngblood. Make me pretty." -Tally Youngblood

  • The lie took form as she spoke, pulling on as many strands of truth as it could reach.

  • they walked with a pedatory grace.... one of them ripped off their hood and said, "my name is Tally Youngblood and is a special circumstance"....

  • I love you all. But it's time to say good-bye, for now. be careful with the world, or the next time we meet, it might get ugly. -Tally Youngblood

  • A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion, as necessary and dangerous as file sharing, free speech, and bottled water on a plane.

  • One of the most common questions writers are asked is "Where do you get your ideas?" But the sad truth is, we don't know. Ideas can come at any time and from any direction: in the shower, waiting for an elevator, or while bouncing across Wikipedia pages.

  • We needed to become world-famous soon, while there was still that kind of world to be famous in...

  • He turned to face her again, his late-pretty composure crumbling. "But you're..." "Pretty? Think again." She smiled. "I'm Tally Youngbood. My mind is very ugly. And I'm taking your car.

  • When the term 'machine gun' enters common parlance, the word 'machine' becomes much more sinister.

  • Sometimes you have to delete characters from a scene just to keep from overcrowding the image.

  • I found a great book called 'Slang Through the Ages' by Jonathon Green. It's basically a thesaurus of historical slang, and had lots of great old uses.

  • ...I want those perfect eyes and lips, and for everyone to look at me and gasp. And for everyone who sees me to think Who's that? and want to get to know me, and listen to what I say." "I'd rather have something to say.

  • A little drama wins more friends than boring.

  • A rat called Possible New Strain was sitting under a spaghetti strainer held down with a pile of journalism textbooks, saying rude things in rat-speak.

  • Ah. So he's forgotten the most important rule of warfare. Which is... That nothing ever goes to plan.

  • Alek said, "Do you think I'm being a fool?" "I think you're trying to do something good. But doing good is rarely easy, and no weapon has ever stopped a war.

  • Alek was right behind her now, his body pressing close as he adjusted her sword arm. She hadn't realized this fencing business would be so touchy. He grasped her waist, sending a crackle across her skin. If Alek moved his hands any higher, he might notice what was hidden beneath her careful tailoring. "Always keep sideways to your opponent," he said, gently turning her. "That way, your chest presents the smallest possible target." "Aye, the smallest possible target," Deryn sighed. Her secret was safe, it seemed.

  • All that glitters is not hovery.

  • And here in America rival newspapermen attack each other on sight?

  • And it was pretty clear that no prince was showing up, or at least that he was really late.

  • And over all those sleepy weeks, the dream always ended the same way, with the dragon coming for the princess saying the same words every time.... "Face it, Tally-wa, you're Special.

  • And the worst thing was, there were no mirrors out there in the wild, so the princess was left wondering whether she in fact was still beautiful... or if the fall had changed the story completely.

  • And you know, these things don't last forever.' I know, Mandy. Nothing does.' That's the spirit.

  • And you've actually watched it yourself?' I asked. 'Willingly?' Sure. I had to see it, you know? Besides we should be safe. Only one in twenty viewers actually had a bad reaction. And it was mostly kids who were affected. I mean younger than you guys. I think the average age was about ten.' That made me feel somewhat better. But that was a kid's show,' said Jen. 'Maybe it affects everyone, but not that many adults were watching.' That made me feel less better. I wanted my protective bangs back.

  • Apparently textbooks were an endangered species here in Bixby, Oklahoma.

  • Barking hard work, being a boy.

  • Becoming pretty doesn't just change the way you look," she said. "No," David said. "It changes the way you think.

  • But it's always taking a risk, when you ... kiss someone new.

  • But they're already singing our praises!" "They are Americans. They toot their horns for anything.

  • But you know what? It's not my behavior I'm worried about anymore. It's yours.

  • But you weren't born expecting that kind of beauty in everyone, all the time. You just got programmed into thinking anything else is ugly.

  • Clear-cutting" was the word for what the Rusties had done to the old forests: felling every tree, killing every living thing, turning entire countries into grazing land. Whole rain forests had been consumed, reduced from millions of interlocking species to a bunch of cows eating grass, a vast web of life traded for cheap hamburgers. "Look, we're not clear-cutting. All we're doing is pulling out the garbage that the Rusties left behend," David said. "It just takes a little surgery to do it.

  • Come on, it's almost midnight. Let's go watch them cut the cake.

  • Cure for writer's block: blow something up(in the story)

  • Dare to ask, "Where is my novel too simple?"

  • Dess shook her head. "Before he walked off, Rex said for you to wait. He said it's totally important you don't touch Angie until he comes back. and he said that if you were a pain about it, I get to hit you with that." She pointed to where the darkling had flung Flabbergasted Supernumerary Mathematician, its tip blackened by ichor and fire. "So, go ahead.

  • Did you really think I was too fragile to know what Deryn was?" "Fragile?" Volger looked about. "I hadn't thought so, but now I find you brooding in a bathroom. This doesn't speak well of your sturdiness.

  • Dude, I just watched you climb up a f*cking building!-Lace

  • Dying is one of those things that can't be fixed. Not by talking about it, not with all the brain surge in the world.

  • Emperors are vain and useless things.

  • Even mocking people helped their face stats. In the reputation economy, the only real way to hurt anyone was to ignore them completely. And it was pretty hard to ignore someone who made your blood boil.

  • Everyone in the world was programmed by the place they were born, hemmed in by their beliefs, but you had to at least try to grow your own brain.

  • Frighteningly Beautiful, Dangerously Strong, Breathtakingly Fast. Face it Tally-wa you're special...

  • Fuzzy Tally is no more.

  • God, you mean I lost my virginity to the apocalypse?" Morgan sighed again. "The whole thing was really embarrassing; my parents sent me to Brooklyn when they found out." She shrugged. "I thought I'd be safe in a gay bar, okay? What were you doing in there anyway?" Lace looked at me sidelong. "You were where?" I took a sip of beer, swallowed it. "I, uh, hadn't been in the city...very long. I didn't know.

  • Good books make you ask questions. Bad readers want everything answered.

  • Hard work's a good distraction.

  • Having a brain hurt so much sometimes.

  • He and I have this... personality conflict. Namely, I think he should get a new one.

  • He squeezed her hand. "Then I'll come get you, wherever you are when it happens. We'll be okay." "But what about everybody else?" He stared out across the river, nodding slowly. "My guess is, everybody else is in big trouble.

  • He thinks Goliath can end the war," Alek managed at last. "The man wants peace!" "As do we all," Count Volger said. "But there are many ways to end a war. Some are more peaceful than others.

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