Terry Pratchett Quotes


Type: Novelist

Born: 28 April 1948,Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire,

Died: 12 March 2015 (aged 66), Broad Chalke, Wil

Terry Pratchett was an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works.[2] He is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels. Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry Pratchett Quotes

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him
Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.. Terry Pratchett
Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.

Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.. Terry Pratchett
Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.. Terry Pratchett
In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

Do you think it's possible for an entire nation to be insane?. Terry Pratchett
Do you think it's possible for an entire nation to be insane?

This book was written using 100% recycled words.. Terry Pratchett
This book was written using 100% recycled words.

The trouble is you can shut your eyes but you can’t shut your mind.. Terry Pratchett
The trouble is you can shut your eyes but you can’t shut your mind.

And what would humans be without love? RARE, said Death.. Terry Pratchett
And what would humans be without love?"
RARE, said Death.

Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you
Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.

It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.

Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.. Terry Pratchett
Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.

If cats looked like frogs we'd realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That's
If cats looked like frogs we'd realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That's what people remember.

Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.. Terry Pratchett
Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.

The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always
The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.

He'd been wrong, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was
He'd been wrong, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was a flamethrower.

Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that
Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a treeful of monkeys on nitrous oxide.

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of
The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.

This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.. Terry Pratchett
This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.

Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.. Terry Pratchett
Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.

We who think we are about to die will laugh at anything.

If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.

...inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

Progress just means bad things happen faster.

Adventure! People talked about the idea as if it were something worthwhile, rather than a mess of bad food, no sleep and strange people inexplicably trying to stick pointed objects in bits of you.

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

First draft: let it run. Turn all the knobs up to 11. Second draft: hell. Cut it down and cut it into shape. Third draft: comb its nose and blow its hair. I usually find that most of the book will have handed itself to me on that first draft.

Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.

I read anything that’s going to be interesting. But you don’t know what it is until you’ve read it. Somewhere in a book on the history of false teeth there’ll be the making of a novel.

I just rearrange words into a pleasing order for money.

He enjoyed reading and writing. He liked words. Words didn't shout or make loud noises, which pretty much defined the rest of his family. They didn't involve getting muddy in the freezing cold. They didn't hunt inoffensive animals, either. They did what he told them to. So, he'd said, he wanted to write.

What is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons?

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

It is true that words have power, and one of the things they are able to do is get out of someone’s mouth before the speaker has the chance to stop them.


A witch relied too much on words ever to go back on them.

To animals they were just the weather, just part of everything.
But humans arose and gave them names, just as people filled the starry sky with heroes and monsters, because this turned them into stories.
And humans loved stories, because once you'd turned things into stories, you could change the stories.

... a man needs no camel to ride to hell, yea, nor horse, nor mule; a man may ride into hell on his tongue...

Words have power, you understand? It is in the nature of our universe. Our library itself distorts time and space on quite a grand scale. Well, when the Post Office started accumulating letters, it was storing words. In fact, what was being created was what we call a 'gevaisa', a tomb of living words.

If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.

He sighed. It had come to this. He was a responsible authority, and people could use terms like "core values" at him with impunity.

Lots of people in history have only done their jobs and look at the trouble they caused

Take it from me, whenever you see a bunch of buggers puttering around talking about truth and beauty and the best way of attacking Ethics, you can bet your sandals it's all because dozens of other poor buggers are doing all the real work around the place.

There's always a story. It's all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything's got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.

The universe, they say, depended for its operation on the balance of four forces which they identified as charm, persuasion, uncertainty, and bloody-mindedness.

Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self.

Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.

My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them.
My dream holiday would be a) a ticket to Amsterdam b) immunity from prosecution and c) a baseball bat.

Studies have shown that an ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant grandmother.

Some things are fairly obvious when it's a seven-foot skeleton with a scythe telling you them

Many people could say things in a cutting way, Nanny knew. But Granny Weatherwax could listen in a cutting way. She could make something sound stupid just by hearing it.

I get it,' said the prisoner. 'Good Cop, Bad Cop, eh?'
If you like.' said Vimes. 'But we're a bit short staffed here, so if I give you a cigarette would you mind kicking yourself in the teeth?

The purpose of this lectchoor is to let you know where we are. We are in the deep cack. It couldn't be worse if it was raining arseholes. Any questions?

What's a philosopher?' said Brutha.
Someone who's bright enough to find a job with no heavy lifting,' said a voice in his head.

This was not a fairy-tale castle and there was no such thing as a fairy-tale ending, but sometimes you could threaten to kick the handsome prince in the ham-and-eggs.

It was sad music. But it waved its sadness like a battle flag. It said the universe had done all it could, but you were still alive.

Speak softly and employ a huge man with a crowbar.

In theory it was, around now, Literature. Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book.

Juliet's version of cleanliness was next to godliness, which was to say it was erratic, past all understanding and was seldom seen.

Listen, Peaches, trickery is what humans are all about," said the voice of Maurice. "They're so keen on tricking one another all the time that they elect governments to do it for them.

The sun rose slowly, as if it wasn't sure it was worth all the effort.

"Yes, Archchancellor?"
"You ain't a member of some secret society or somethin', are you?"
"Me? No, Archchancellor."
"Then it'd be a damn good idea to take your underpants off your head.

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

Rincewind could scream for mercy in nineteen languages, and just scream in another forty-four.

An Assassin, a real Assassin, had to look like one - black clothes, hood, boots, and all. If they could wear any clothes, any disguise, then what could anyone do but spend all day in a small room with a loaded crossbow pointed at the door?

I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

Perhaps it would be simpler if you just did what you're told and didn't try to understand things.

I'd rather be a rising ape than a falling angel.

It was the living who ignored the strange and wonderful, because life was too full of the boring and mundane.

The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.

A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.

I should have learned this, she thought. I wanted to learn fire, and pain, but I should have learned people.

When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth.

At such times the universe gets a little closer to us. They are strange times, times of beginnings and endings. Dangerous and powerful. And we feel it even if we don't know what it is. These times are not necessarily good, and not necessarily bad. In fact, what they are depends on what *we* are.


The Death of Rats looked up from the feast of the potato. SQUEAK, he said.

Death waved a hand dismissively. WELL, YES, OBVIOUSLY ME, he said. I JUST WONDERED IF THERE WAS ANYONE ELSE.

It's not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing.

I’m not superstitious. I’m a witch. Witches aren’t superstitious. We are what people are superstitious of.

We are here and it is now. The way I see it is, after that, everything tends towards guesswork.

The trouble was that he was talking in philosophy but they were listening in gibberish.

When in doubt, choose to live.

In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the
cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat
could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.

Wisdom is one of the few things that looks bigger the further away it is.

Granny was an old-fashioned witch. She didn’t do good for people, she did right by them.

And, as always happens, and happens far too soon, the strange and wonderful becomes a memory and a memory becomes a dream. Tomorrow it's gone.

Anyone with half a mind could see that," said Tiffany.
Miss Tick sighed. "Yes. But sometimes it's so hard to find half a mind when you need one.

No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...


Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?

Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.

You can't give her that!' she screamed. 'It's not safe!'
'She's a child!' shouted Crumley.
'What if she cuts herself?'

If words had weight, a single sentence from Death would have anchored a ship.

IT'S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY'RE NOT /MEANT/ TO BE SAFE.

How do you get all those coins?" asked Mort.

It was said that life was cheap in Ankh-Morpork. This was of course, completely wrong. Life was often very expensive; you could get death for free.


The reaper does not listen to the harvest.


That's what being alive is all about.

There was no safety. There was no pride. All there was, was money. Everything became money, and money became everything. Money treated us as if we were things, and we died.

Do you know how wizards like to be buried?"
"Well, how?"
Granny Weatherwax paused at the bottom of the stairs.


Just because you can explain it doesn't mean it's not still a miracle.

God does not play games with His loyal servants", said the Metatron, but in a worried tone of voice.
"Whoopee", said Crowley.

I wonder if it's like this for mountain climbers, he thought. You climb bigger and bigger mountains and you know that one day one of them is going to be just that bit too steep. But you go on doing it, because it’s so-o good when you breathe the air up there. And you know you'll die falling.

It wasn't that Nanny Ogg sang badly. It was just that she could hit notes which, when amplified by a tin bath half full of water, ceased to be sound and became some sort of invasive presence.

The female mind is certainly a devious one, my lord."
Vetinari looked at his secretary in surprise. "Well, of course it is. It has to deal with the male one.

People who didn't need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn't need people.

You know, you're rather amusingly wrong.

If per capita was a problem, decapita could be arranged

She wore so much thick white makeup in order to conceal her naturally rosy complexion that if she turned around suddenly her face would probably end up on the back of her head.

The elevator shaft was a kind of heat sink. Hot food was cold by the time it arrived. Cold food got colder. No one knew what would happen to ice cream, but it would probably involve some rewriting of the laws of thermodynamics.

You're not going to tell me they built fifty-foot-high killer golems, are you?"

"Only a man would think of that.

It's our job," said Moist. "If you don't think of fifty-foot-high killer golems first, someone else will.

Just to keep the bad dreams at bay, she took a swig out of a bottle that smelled of apples and happy brain-death.

Colon thought Carrot was simple. Carrot often struck people as simple. And he was.
Where people went wrong was thinking that simple meant the same thing as stupid.

I never said nothing..."
"I know you never! I could hear you not saying anything! You've got the loudest silences I ever did hear from anyone who wasn't dead!

But the purpose of the book is not the horror, it is horror's defeat.

But the helmet had gold decoration, and the bespoke armorers had made a new gleaming breastplate with useless gold ornamentation on it. Sam Vimes felt like a class traitor every time he wore it. He hated being thought of as one of those people that wore stupid ornamental armor. It was gilt by association.

Whole new theories of money were growing here like mushrooms: in the dark and based on bullshit.

Your wife is a big hippo! My face is melting! My face is meltinnnnggg!

(About sweeping)....
What he was in FACT doing was moving the dirt around with a broom, to give it a change of scenery and a chance to make new friends.

If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.

Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

She got on with her education. In her opinion, school kept on trying to interfere with it.

Какъв е смисъла на образованието - помисли си, - щом хората ще го ползват?

If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards!

What have I always believed?
That on the whole, and by and large, if a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right.

Gods prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight To Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that a god's idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.

On the Disc, the Gods aren't so much worshipped, as they are blamed.

He wasn't sure he liked everything that was happening, but a lot of it was "cultural," apparently, and you couldn't object to that, so he didn't. "Cultural" sort of solved problems by explaining that they weren't really there.

Gods don't like people not doing much work. People who aren't busy all the time might start to think.

The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives (it's not murder if you do it for a god).

No it's not!" said Constable Visit. "Atheism is a denial of a god."

"Therefore It Is A Religious Position," said Dorfl. "Indeed, A True Atheist Thinks Of The Gods Constantly, Albeit In Terms of Denial. Therefore, Atheism Is A Form Of Belief. If The Atheist Truly Did Not Believe, He Or She Would Not Bother To Deny.

There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to pray to.

It was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universe was ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact of the matter was that the Disc was manifestly traversing space on the back of a giant turtle and the gods had a habit of going round to atheists' houses and smashing their windows.

Be careful what you wish for. You never know who will be listening.

When you can flatten entire cities at a whim, a tendency towards quiet reflection and seeing-things-from-the-other-fellow's-point- of-view is seldom necessary.

Creators aren't gods. They make places, which is quite hard. It's men that make gods. This explains a lot.

It was then that Marvin got religion. Not the quiet, personal kind, that involves doing good deeds and living a better life; not even the kind that involves putting on a suit and ringing' people's doorbells; but the kind that involves having your own TV network and getting people to send you money.

Ankh-Morpork is a godless city-'
'I thought it had more than three hundred places of worship?' said Maladict.
Strappi stared at him in rage that was incoherent until he managed to touch bottom again. 'Ankh-Morpork is a godawful city', he recovered.

To be frank, I find religion rather offensive.

To tell you the truth, I'm something of an atheist.

And so Mort came at last to the river Ankh, greatest of rivers. Even before it entered the city, it was slow and heavy with the silt of the plains, and by the time it got to The Shades even an agnostic could have walked across it. It was hard to drown in the Ankh, but easy to suffocate.

She is standing just behind you. Just behind your right shoulder."
In the silence of the woods, Polly turned.
"I can't see her," she said.
"I am happy for you," said Wazzer, handing her the empty mug.
"But I didn't see anything," said Polly.
"No," said Wazzer. "But you turned around...

The Tezuman Empire in the jungle valleys of central Klatch is known for it organic market gardens, its exquisite craftsmanship in obsidian, feathers and jade, and its mass human sacrifices in honor of Quezovercoatl, the Feathered Boa, god of mass human sacrifices.

Other people say: hold on, if he's carrying the entire universe in a sack, right, that means he's carrying himself and the sack inside the sack, because the universe contains everything. Including him. And the sack, of course. Which contains him and the sack already. As it were.

To which the reply is: well?

But…but you can’t treat religion as a sort of buffet, can you? I mean, you can’t say yes please, I’ll have some of the Celestial Paradise and a helping of the Divine Plan but go easy on the kneeling and none of the Prohibition of Images, they give me wind. Its table d´hôte or nothing, otherwise…well, it would be silly.

Lots of people would be as cowardly as me if they were brave enough.

That’s what being alive is, Thing! It’s being badly prepared for everything! Because you only get one chance, Thing!

Everybody has somebody. It could be a friend, a lover, a spouse, a writing partner, or even That One Person You See At The Coffee Shop each day. Sometimes they exist to comfort you. Sometimes they exist to drive you absolutely mad. Be open to either as a form of self-improvement.

Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one.
But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.

Every intelligent being, whether it breathes or not, coughs nervously at some time in its life.

It was a large room, heavily outfitted with the usual badly ventilated furnaces, rows of bubbling crucibles, and one stuffed alligator. Things floated in jars. The air smelled of a limited life expectancy.

Von außen – und erst recht von innen – sieht der Prozess wissenschaftlicher Forschung ungeordnet und verwirrend aus. Man ist versucht zu glauben, Wissenschaftler seien selber unordentlich und verwirrt. In gewisser Hinsicht sind sie es – das gehört zur Forschung. Wenn man wüsste, was man tut, wäre es keine Forschung

Amazin'.' he said again. 'He just looks as though he's thinking, right?'
'But he's not actually thinking?'
'So...he just gives the impression of thinking but really it's just a show?'
Just like everyone else, then really,' said Ridcully

Wizards don’t believe in gods. They didn’t deny their existence, of course. They just didn’t believe. It was nothing personal; they weren’t actually rude about it. Gods were a visible part of narrativium that made things work, that gave the world its purpose. It was just that they were best avoided close up.

If you have enough book space, I don't want to talk to you.

It looked like the sort of book described in library catalogues as 'slightly foxed', although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had been badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be.

Books must be treated with respect, we feel that in our bones, because words have power. Bring enough words together they can bend space and time.

He helped the Librarian up. There was a red glow in the ape's eyes. It had tried to steal his books. This was probably the best proof any wizard could require that the trolleys were brainless.

A book has been taken. A book has been taken? You summoned the Watch," Carrot drew himself up proudly, "because someone's taken a book? You think that's worse than murder?"
The Librarian gave him the kind of look other people would reserve for people who said things like "What's so bad about genocide?

It was also a room full of books and made of books. There was no actual furniture; this is to say, the desk and chairs were shaped out of books. It looked as though many of them were frequently referred to, because they lay open with other books used as bookmarks.

And he read Principles of Accounting all morning, but just to make it interesting, he put lots of dragons in it.

There are some laws that are coded into the very nature of the universe, and one is: There Is Never Enough Shelf Space.

...it is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done.

The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.

Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil... prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon...

There was this about vampires : they could never look scruffy. Instead, they were... what was the word... deshabille. It meant untidy, but with bags and bags of style.

You're not allowed to call them dinosaurs any more," said Yo-less. "It's speciesist. You have to call them pre-petroleum persons.

Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.

Don't look back!"
"Why not?"
"Because I just did! Run faster!

Everywhere's been where it is ever since it was first put there. It's called geography.

If I were you, I'd sue my face for slander.

Were you proposing to shoot these people in cold blood, sergeant?"
"Nossir. Just a warning shot inna head, sir.

We're on a mission from Glod.

Never trust a species that grins all the time. It’s up to something.

You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?

The Captain of the Watch says if you're still in the City by sunrise he will personally have you buried alive.

Letitia! What a name. Halfway between a salad and a sneeze.

Be one of the crowd? It went against everything a wizard stood for, and a wizard would not stand for anything if he could sit down for it, but even sitting down, you had to stand out.

They were small, brightly coloured, happy little creatures who secreted some of the nastiest toxins in the world, which is why the job of looking after the large vivarium where they happily passed their days was given to first-year students, on the basis that if they got things wrong there wouldn't be too much education wasted.

It was long after midnight and the stars looked damp and chilly; the air was full of the busy silence of the night, which is created by hundreds of small furry things treading very carefully in the hope of finding dinner while avoiding being the main course.

Red sky at night, the city's alight.

I know it’s not the right thing to say to a lady, miss, but you are sweating like a pig!"
"My mother always said that horses sweat, men perspire, and ladies merely glow…"
"Is that so? Well, miss, you are glowing like a pig!

The dwarfs can turn lead into gold...
It reached the pointy ears of the dwarfs.
-Can we?
-Damned if I know. I can't.
-Yeah, but if you could, you wouldn't say. I wouldn't say, if I could.
-Can you?

He looked up at them, a scruffy Napoleon with his laces trailing, exiled to a rose-trellised Elba.

If you were going to be successful in the world of crime, you needed a reputation for honesty.

He was certain he was anorectic, because every time he looked in a mirror he saw a fat man. It was the Archchancellor, standing behind him and shouting at him.

Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw.
It was its tendency to bend at the knees.

What I say is, if a witch can't look after herself, she's got no business calling herself a witch.

All he had was nothing, but that was something, and now it had been taken away.

Then the Dean repeated the mantra that has had such a marked effect on the progress of knowledge throughout the ages.
“Why don’t we just mix up absolutely everything and see what happens?” he said.
And Ridcully responded with the traditional response.
“It’s got to be worth a try,” he said.

Когато Природата зове, тя крещи.

I just think the world ought to be more sort of organized.'
'That's just fantasy,' said Twoflower.
'I know. That's the trouble.' Rincewind sighed again.

Sergeant Colon was lost in admiration. He’d seen people bluff on a bad hand, but he’d never seen anyone bluff with no cards.

He was said to have the body of a twenty-five year old, although no-one knew where he kept it.

The point was that everyone else had someone, even if in Nobby’s case it was probably against their will.

Racism was not a problem on the DIscworld, because - what with trolls and dwarfs and so on - speciesism was more interesting. Black and white lived in perfect harmony and ganged up on green.

the Ankh-Morpork Trespassers' Society was originally the Explorers' Society until Lord Vetinari forcibly insisted that most of the places 'discovered' by the society's members already had people in them, who were already trying to sell snakes to the newcomers.

Could I please amend that suggestion? Could you not be there in the second darkest shadow one hour before midnight, to see who steps into the darkest shadow?

SOD YOU, THEN, Death said.

Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant 'idiot'.

It's not gambling to play
against someone who's no good. It's common sense.


One of the biggest religions on Roundworld was founded by a carpenter's son!' Ponder snarled. 'For years, the most powerful person on the planet was an actor! There's got to be room for Darwin!

Er…what's that glass for, sir?'
‘It’s a monocle,’ said the captain. ‘It helps me see you, for which I am eternally grateful. I always say that if I had two I’d make a spectacle of myself.

Thatsh prieshts for you,” said the old man wetly. “Nothing by torc, torc, torc.

The public thinks big, sensible, measured thoughts while people run around doing silly things

Vimes' glare ran from face to face, causing most of the squad to do an immediate impression of the Floorboard and Ceiling Inspectors Synchronised Observation Team.

Great big bugger,' said Aziraphale. 'Sleepeth beneath the thunders of the upper deep. Under loads of huge and unnumbered polypol - polipo - bloody great seaweeds, you know. Supposed to rise to the surface right at the end, when the sea boils.

How long have you been going?' said Vimes, selecting a pie.
‘Let’s see…what year is this?’
‘Er…Dancing Dog, I think.’
‘Since Tuesday, then,’ said Dibbler.

Oh, don’t be absurd, man.' The Prime Minister sat back in his chair. 'Come on. We can’t just ban a thing because we can’t control it.'

The minister responsible for health and safety looked startled. 'I don’t see why not. It’s never stopped us before.

Sister Georgina had studied at Cambridge or, as she put it, 'Not-the-one-in-Massachusetts-Cambridge-Universitythe-real-one-you-know-in-England.

Not liking Christine would be like not liking small fluffy animals. And Christine was just like a small fluffy animal. A rabbit, perhaps. It was certainly impossible for her to get a whole idea into her head in one go. She had to nibble it into manageable bits.

They want dancing girls! They want thrills! They want elephants! They want people falling off roofs! They want dreams! The world is full of little people with big dreams!

Nanny Ogg was an attractive lady, which is not the same as being beautiful. She fascinated Casanunda. She was an incredibly comfortable person to be around, partly because she had a mind so broad it could accommodate three football fields and a bowling alley.

But I thought she thought he was just a big pile of jobbies?” he said. “I seen her oout walkin’, an’ when he comes ridin’ past, she sticks her nose in th’ air and looks the other wa’. In fact, sometimes I seen her wait aroound a full five-and-twenty minutes for him tae come past, just so’s she can do that.

Here you are. Would you like some pickles?”
“Pickles gives me the wind something awful.”
“In that case - ”
“Oh, I wasn’t saying no,” Mistress Weatherwax said, taking two large pickled cucumbers.

All that yohoho stuff's for landlubbers, or it would be if we ever used words like landlubber. Do you know the difference between port and starboard? I don't. I've never even drunk starboard.

The commander went, as they say in Ankh-Morpork, totally Librarian on them.

The truth of the matter was that Juliet would look good in a sack. Somehow everything she wore fitted perfectly. Glenda, on the other hand, never found anything good in her size and indeed seldom anything in her size. In theory, something should fit, but all she ever found was facts, which are so unbecoming.

I don’t reckon it’s allowed, going round setting fire to people,” said Adam. “Otherwise people’d be doin’ it all the time.”
“It’s all right if you’re religious,” said Brian reassuringly. “And it stops the witches from goin’ to Hell, so I expect they’d be quite grateful if they understood it properly.

Woss the matter with you?” asked Big Ted, irritably. “Go on. Press ‘D.’ Elvis Presley died in 1976.”
I DON’T CARE WHAT IT SAYS, said the tall biker in the helmet, I NEVER LAID A FINGER ON HIM.

Three very crowded hours went past. They involved quite a lot of phone calls, telexes, and faxes. Twenty-seven people were got out of bed in quick succession and they got another fifty-three out of bed, because if there is one thing a man wants to know when he’s woken up in a panic at 4:00 A.M., it's that he's not alone.

D’yer see it? This finger, laddie, could send ye to meet yer Maker!”
Sgt. Deisenburger stared at the black and purple nail a few inches from his face. As an offensive weapon it rated quite highly, especially if it was ever used in the preparation of food.

He had done regular live concerts from San Quentin jail until the civil rights people got him under the Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause.

His knowledge of country lore was a little hazy, but he felt fairly sure that if the cows lay down, it meant rain. If they were standing it would probably be fine. These cows were taking it in turns to execute slow and solemn somersaults; and Tyler wondered what it presaged for the weather.

You're- you're not going to force me to go back are you?" he said.
"Um?" said the duke. He waved his hand irritably. "No, no," he said. "Not at all. Just call in at the torturer on your way out. See when he can fit you in.


An hour ago Cutwell had thumbed through the index of The Monster Fun Grimoire and had cautiously assembled a number of common household ingredients and put a match to them.
Funny thing about eyebrows, he mused. You never really noticed them until they'd gone.


Mort was hurt by this. It was one thing not to want to marry someone, but quite another to be told they didn't want to marry you.

Romancin’ is verra important, ye ken. Basically it’s a way the boy can get close to the girl wi’oot her attackin’ him and scratchin’ his eyes oot.

The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.

I'm trying to remember how you tell the time by looking at the sun." -"I should leave it for a while, it's too bright to see the numbers at the moment.

There is always time for another last minute

Time was something that largely happened to other people; he viewed it in the same way that people on the shore viewed the sea. It was big and it was out there, and sometimes it was an invigorating thing to dip a toe into, but you couldn't live in it all the time. Besides, it always made his skin wrinkle.

The calendar of the Theocracy of Muntab counts down, not up. No-one knows why, but it might not be a good idea to hang around and find out.


Life could be horrible in the wrong trouser of time.

His voice gave out and he made several wavy motions with his hand, indicative of the shape of a woman who would probably be unable to keep her balance.

Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.

You're just as dead if you fall from forty feet as you are from four thousand fathoms, that's what I say.

A witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest, Granny Weatherwax had once told her, because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.

I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.

One of the hardest lessons in young Sam's life had been finding out that the people in charge weren't in charge. It had been finding out that governments were not, on the whole, staffed by people who had a grip, and that plans were what people made instead of thinking.

Things that are back to front are often easier to comprehend if they are upside down as well. In life as in politics.

Genua had once controlled the river
mouth and taxed its traffic in a way that couldn't be called piracy
because it was done by the city government, and therefore sound economics
and perfectly all right

A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.

I know that I am a small, weak man, but I have amassed a large library; I dream of dangerous places.

Escapism isn't good or bad of itself. What is important is what you are escaping from and where you are escaping to. I write from experience, since in my case I escaped to the idea that books could be really enjoyable, an aspect of reading that teachers had not hitherto suggested.

Rob turned the rustling pages and grinned.
'Ach, she's writ here: "Oh, the dear Feegles ha' turned up again,"' he said. This met with general applause.
'Ach, what a kind girl she is tae write that,' said Billy Bigchin. 'Can I see?'
He read: "Oh dear, the Feegles have turned up again."
'Ah,' he said.

I staggered into a Manchester bar late one night on a tour and the waitress said "You look as if you need a Screaming Orgasm". At the time this was the last thing on my mind...

You know, I never imagined there were he-dryads. Not even in an oak tree."

One of the giants grinned at him.

Druellae snorted. "Stupid! Where do you think acorns come from?

And that's when I first learned about evil. It is built in to the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.

Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water!

Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

And that's what I don't like about magic, Captain. 'cos it's *magic*. You can't ask questions, it's magic. It doesn't explain anything, it's magic. You don't know where it comes from, it's magic! That's what I don't like about magic, it does everything by magic!

Humanity's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.

Fantasy - the ability to envisage the world in many different ways - is one of the skills that makes us human.

Too much alleged ‘fantasy’ is just empty sugar, life with the crusts cut off.

Far more beguiling than the idea that evil can be destroyed by throwing a piece of expensive jewelry into a volcano is the possibility that evil can be defused by talking. The fantasy of justice is more interesting than the fantasy of fairies, and more truly fantastic.

In fact the Gods were as puzzled by all this as the wizards were, but they were powerless to do anything and in any case were engaged in an eons-old battle with the Ice Giants, who had refused to return the lawnmower.

It's rude to stare," said the troll. Its mouth opened with a little crest of foam, and shut again in exactly the same way that water closes over a stone.
"Is it? Why?" asked Rincewind. How does he hold himself together, his mind screamed at him. Why doesn't he spill?

There were only three times in your life when it was proper to come through the front door, and you were carried every time.

A man walked across the moors from Razorback to Lancre town without seeing a single marshlight, head-less dog, strolling tree, ghostly coach or comet, and had to be taken in by a tavern and given a drink to unsteady his nerves.

But, in truth, it had not exactly been gold, or even the promise of gold, but more like the fantasy of gold, the fairy dream that the gold is there, at the end of the rainbow, and will continue to be there forever - provided, naturally, that you don't go and look. This is known as finance.

Unseen University had never admitted women, muttering something about problems with the plumbing, but the real reason was an unspoken dread that if women were allowed to mess around with magic they would probably be embarrassingly good at it…

It's lies. It's all lies. Some of them are just prettier than others, that's all. People see what they think is there.

Or - and this she knew was a far more accurate way of looking at it - the book was true and reality was lying.

Just because something is a metaphor doesn't mean it can't be real.

My personal theory is that he has a very firm grasp upon reality, it's simply not a reality the rest of us have ever met before.

It is always useful to face an enemy who is prepared to die for his country," he read. "This means that both you and he have exactly the same aim in mind.

Peace?' said Vetinari. 'Ah, yes, defined as period of time to allow for preparation for the next war.

It is a long-cherished tradition among a certain type of military thinker that huge casualties are the main thing. If they are on the other side then this is a valuable bonus.

Anyway, why would you trust anything written down? She certainly didn't trust "Mothers of Borogravia!" and that was from the government. And if you couldn't trust the government, who could you trust?
Very nearly everyone, come to think of it...

Are we entirely ready, sir?" said Lieutenant Hornett, with the special inflection that means "We are not entirely ready, sir."

"We had better be. Glory awaits, gentlemen. In the words of General Tacticus, 'let us take history by the scrotum.' Of course, he was not a very honourable fighter.

Revenge is not redress. Revenge is a wheel, and it turns backwards.

The face you wear in a battlefield should be a solemn one until the time when things are cleaned up and the real world drips its way in.

Afterward, there was that long, crowded pause in which everyone decides that although they are very shaken, and possibly upside down, they are, to their surprise, still alive.

According to the history books, the decisive battle that ended the Ankh-Morpork Civil War was fought between two handfuls of bone-weary men in a swamp early one misty morning and, although one side claimed victory, ended with a practical score of Humans 0, ravens 1,000, which is the case with most battles.

This is Art holding a Mirror up to Life. That’s why everything is exactly the wrong way around.

As far as he could see, the drawings were simply alive. They might be colored earth on rock, but they were as alive as the kangaroo that'd just hopped away.

Oh, my dear Vimes, history changes all the time. It is constantly being re-examined and re-evaluated, otherwise how would we be able to keep historians occupied? We can't possibly allow people with their sort of minds to walk around with time on their hands.

Things just happen, one after another. They don't care who knows. But history... ah, history is different. History has to be observed. Otherwise it's not history. It's just... well, things happening one after another.

It takes a long time for people like Vorbis to die. They leave echoes in history.

What is normal? Normal is yesterday and last week and last month taken together

It's a terrible thing for a man when his woman gangs up on him wi' a toad

She couldn't do any worse, but then, he couldn't do better. So maybe it balanced out.

To him, the pain was a bully, and what did you do to bullies? You stood up to them, because they always ran away in the end. But the pain didn't know about that rule. It just bullied even more.

Inside every sane person there's a madman struggling to get out," said the shopkeeper. "That's what I've always thought. No one goes mad quicker than a totally sane person.

Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.

And just when you’d think [humans] were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they occasionally showed more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of.

Contrary to popular belief and hope, people don't usually come running when they hear a scream. That's not how humans work. Humans look at other humans and say, 'Did you hear a scream?' because the first scream might have been you screaming inside your head, or a horse backfiring.

The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens ('wise man'). In any case it's an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.

Oh. I see. People don't want to see what can't possibly exist.

I don't see what's so triffic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset 'cos they act like people.

I would like you to teach [the orcs] civilised behaviour," said Ladyship coldly.

He appeared to consider this. "Yes of course, I think that would be quite possible," he said. "And who would you send to teach the humans?

And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn't that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people.
As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn't measure up.

I'm just capable of entertaining the fantastic idea that, in certain circumstances, Homo sapiens might actually be capable of thinking. It must be worth a go, since we've tried everything else.

William: "I'm sure we can all pull together, sir."
Vetinari: "Oh, I do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.

He said to people: you’re free. And they said hooray, and then he showed them what freedom costs and they called him a tyrant and, as soon as he’d been betrayed, they milled around a bit like barn-bred chickens who’ve seen the big world outside for the first time, and then they went back into the warm and shut the door...

Is It Frightening To Be Free?"

"You said it."

"You Say To People 'Throw Off Your Chains' And They Make New Chains For Themselves?"

"Seems to be a major human activity, yes.

The Empire's got something worse than whips all right. It's got obedience. Whips in the soul. They obey anyone who tells them what to do. Freedom just means being told what to do by someone different.

You Say To People 'Throw Off Your Chains' And They Make New Chains For Themselves?

But this didn't feel like magic. It felt a lot older than that. It felt like music.

There are millions of chords. There are millions of numbers. And everyone forgets the one that is a zero. But without the zero, numbers are just arithmetic. Without the empty chord, music is just noise.

Big fat hairy monkey, hands a couple of octaves wide?

They say that the eyes of some paintings can follow you around the room, a fact that I doubt, but I am wondering whether some music can follow you for ever.


Brother Preptil, the master of the music, had described Brutha's voice as putting him in mind of a disappointed vulture arriving too late at the dead donkey.

And now, because of a song, Vimes, a simple piece of music, Vimes, soft as a breath, stranger than a mountain, some very powerful states have agreed to work together to heal the problems of another autonomous state and, almost as collateral, turn some animals into people at a stroke.

What you look at, you change.

And I'm made up of everyone I've ever met who's changed the way I think. So who is "me"?

He'd wanted changes. It was just that he'd wanted things to stay the same, as well.

There have been times, lately, when I dearly wished that I could change the past. Well, I can’t, but I can change the present, so that when it becomes the past it will turn out to be a past worth having.

And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things.

Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves.

Sometimes the only thing you could do for people was to be there.

Yes, but nomes aren’t hard to make,” said Dorcas. “You just need other nomes.” “You’re weird.

As far as she could see, children mostly argued, shouted, ran around very fast, laughed loudly, picked their noses, got dirty and sulked.

It was nice to hear the voices of little children at play, provided you took care to be far enough away not to hear what they were actually saying.

Things that try to look like things often do look more like things than things.

That's the fashion. Fast as the speed of light, they say. Ha! It's got no soul, sir, no heart.

In the words of the philosopher Sceptum, the founder of my profession: am I going to get paid for this?

Albert wanted to argue. He wanted to say, Really? In that case, how come so many of the rich buggers is bastards? And being poor don't mean being naughty, neither.

The money… will talk?' said Mr Spools carefully.
'Imps,' said Moist. 'They're only a sort of intelligent spell. They don't even have to have a shape. We'll print them on the higher denominations.

Making money is good, but there's no pockets in a shroud.

Money is all you can think about when all you have is a price, Carrot said

The Yen Buddhists are the richest religious sect in the universe. They hold that the accumulation of money is a great evil and a burden to the soul. They therefore, regardless of personal hazard, see it as their unpleasant duty to acquire as much as possible in order to reduce the risk to innocent people.

Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle. It’s a feeling inside that can hardly be contained.

Jeremy tried to be an interesting person. The trouble was that he was the kind of person who, having decided to be an interesting person, would first of all try to find a book called How to Be An Interesting Person and then see whether there were any courses available.

If women were as good as men they'd be a lot better!

Нещата винаги са били по-добри някога, а не сега. Това е в природата им.

I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.

Preston, I don't think this creature could ever find its way into your head. Quite apart from anything else, it seems pretty crowded and complicated to me.

Everyone knew there were wolves in the mountains, but they seldom came near the village - the modern wolves were the offspring of ancestors that had survived because they had learned that human meat had sharp edges.

Learnin’ how not to do things is as hard as learning how to do them.


It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever," he said. "Have you thought of going into teaching?

"It's not that I don't want... I mean, I've always...it's just that life is a habit that's hard to break...

[Science fiction is] out in the mainstream now. You can tell by the way mainstream literary authors pillage SF while denying they're writing it!

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