Thursday: “The notion that any one person can describe ‘what really happened’ is an absurdity.” Eddings. Context? From Polgara the Sorceress. This is how Polgara starts her account of what she has seen and known in her extraordinarily long life.

Friday: “Jokes as well as justice come in with speech.” C.S. Lewis. Context? From The Magician’s Nephew, one of the Narnia books. Aslan has just given selected animals the gift of speech, and the jackdaw has become (as much as made) the first joke.

Saturday: “Earth’s in the complication stage.” Zenna Henderson. Context? From The People: No Different Flesh. Johannan, one of the People, says to Mark: “See that tree up there? Simplicity says – a tree. Then wonder sets in and you begin to analyze it – cells, growth, structure, leaves, photosynthesis, roots, bark, rings – on and on until the tree is a mass of complications. Then finally, with reservations not quite to be removed, you can put it back together again and sigh in simplicity one more – a tree. You’re in the complication period in the world now.”

Sunday: “I don’t presume to criticize the good Lord, but why did He make the majority of stars type M?” Poul Anderson. Context? From “The Three-Cornered Wheel” in The Trouble Twisters. Martin Schuster, the Master Trader, is stranded on a world circling an M-type star (small and rather cool) and is not happy with the climate. (I’m inclined to doubt that the planet of such a sun could support life, but that’s not part of the story. He’s quite correct about most stars being type M, by the way. One of the interesting things about Type M stars is that their expected life spans are considerably longer than the age of the Universe, so none have died or even come close to old age.)

Monday: “I hope our prospects are somewhat better than poor Hamlet’s.” Turtledove. Context? From The Guns of the South, an alternate history novel in which a time traveler provides the Confederate troops with AK-47 rifles. The speaker is General Robert E. Lee, just before the new gun is demonstrated.

Tuesday: “The writing business, basically sedentary, does have its brisk moments.” Heinlein. Context? From The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. In this case, the writer is running for his life. The book is basically a satirical romp through all of Heinlein’s universes.

Wednesday: “The weak neither survived nor deserved to.” Bowling. Context? From Homecoming. Zhaim is angry about being dragged along on what he considers a wild goose chase and is rehearsing to himself his anger at his father’s attempts to rein in his pleasures.

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