This is the most important thing I will ever say to you. The human mind is the ultimate testing device. You can take all the notes you want on the technical data, anything you forget you can look up again, but this must be engraved on your hearts in letters of fire. There is nothing, nothing, nothing, more important to me in the men and women I train than their absolute personal integrity. Whether you function as welders or inspectors, the laws of physics are implacable lie detectors. You may fool men. You will never fool metal. That’s all.
If you make it plain you like people, it’s hard for them to resist liking you back.
I know girls who pine for it. They like to play dress-up and pretend being Vor ladies of old, rescued from menace by romantic Vor youths. For some reason they never play ‘dying in childbirth’, or ‘vomiting your guts out from the red dysentery’, or ‘weaving till you go blind and crippled from arthritis and dye poisoning’, or ‘infanticide’. Well, they do die romantically of disease sometimes, but somehow it’s always an illness that makes you interestingly pale and everyone sorry and doesn’t involve losing bowel control.
The Imperial Service could win a war without coffee, but would prefer not to have to.
I don’t want power. I just object to idiots having power over me.
Real destiny takes everything-the last drop of blood, and strip out your veins to be sure-and gives it back doubled. Quadrupled. A thousand-fold! But you can’t give halves. You have to give it all. I know. I swear. I’ve come back from the dead to speak the truth to you. Real destiny gives you a mountain of life, and puts you on top of it.
Forward momentum only worked as a strategy if one had correctly identified which way was forward.
I am increasingly convinced that technological culture is the entire root of women’s liberation.
This is important! But you have to stay absolutely cool. I may be completely off-base, and panicking prematurely." "I don’t think so. I think you’re panicking post-maturely. In fact, if you were panicking any later it would be practically posthumously. I’ve been panicking for days.
Do it for yourself. The universe will be around to collect its cut later.
All the geniuses I ever met were so just part of the time. To qualify, you only have to be great once, you know. Once when it matters.
Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can’t trade for your heart’s desire is your heart.
I’d storm heaven for you, if I knew where it was.
It was never what I wanted to buy that held my heart’s hope. It was what I wanted to be.
When the souls rise up in glory, yours shall not be shunned nor sunderered, but shall be the prize of the gods’ gardens. Even your darkness shall be treasured then, and all your pain made holy.
The will to be stupid is a very powerful force, but there are always alternatives.
Like integrity, love of life was not a subject to be studied, it was a contagion to be caught. And you had to catch it from someone who had it.
They stared at her curiously, and she caught snatches of conversation in two or three languages. It wasn’t hard to guess their content, and she smiled a bit primly. Youth, it appeared, was full of illusions as to how much sexual energy two people might have to spare while hiking forty or so kilometers a day, concussed, stunned, diseased, on poor food and little sleep, alternating caring for a wounded man with avoiding becoming dinner for every carnivore within range – and with a coup to plan for the end.
Hi, I’m a hero, but I can’t tell you why. It’s classified.
But have you ever overheard two women discussing men? Men are crude liars, comparing their drabs, but women – I’d rather have [an] anatomist dissect me alive than to listen to the things the ladies say about us when they think they are alone.
When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.
Children might or might not be a blessing, but to create them and then fail them was surely damnation.
No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. Not when the enemy is me.
I think 99 percent of women’s lib comes from technology making different kinds of lives possible, and then the social adjustment follows the technology – it doesn’t precede it.
A hundred objective measurements didn’t sum the worth of a garden; only the delight of its users did that.
I am not schizoid. A little manic-depressive, maybe." "’Know thyself.’" "We try, sir.
It’s an ancient and honorable term for the final step in any engineering project. Turn it on, see if it smokes.
What you are is a question only you can answer.
We should have taken our chances back then, when we were young and beautiful and didn’t even know it.
The gods give no gifts without hooks embedded.
My home is not a place, it is people.
Yes," Vorkosigan agreed, "I could take over the universe with this army if I could ever get all their weapons pointed in the same direction.
I am who I choose to be. I have always been what I chose, though not always what I pleased.
If you want to catch something, running after it isn’t always the best way.
The world demands I make good choices on no information, and then blames my maidenhood for my mistakes, as if my maidenhood were responsible for my ignorance. Ignorance is not stupidity, but it might as well be. And I do not like feeling stupid.