“Look, if your reaction to a sophont doing psychotically bad things is focused on the instrumentality they used, rather than why on you have a culture prone to psychopathogeny, you are wrong on a level that… well, starshit, you don’t need me to explain it; you need a metaphysicist.”
– Sen. Olynthé Amanyr, 1,688th century,
demonstrating the problem with Imperials
appearing on Meridianite chat shows
(Loosely inspired by this and that, et. al.)
“Every year, since I was old enough to read them, more books have been published than I can read in a year. My reading speed has increased many orders of magnitude in the millennia since then – I have a submind which does nothing but read, continuously – and yet the authors continue to not only outmatch my ability to read, but also my ability to keep the gap from opening still wider.
And yet there are people in the universe who claim that they would find immortality boring.
I do not think the problem lies where they think it lies.”
– Esitariel Cyprium-ith-Avalae, unpublished interview
(Which is to say, a bunch of miscellaneous snippety stuff that didn’t find a home anywhere else.)
“Just once, it would be nice to meet someone who used their wine cellar for storing wine .”Agent-Expediter Fors Raikav, Second Directorate
“Further information on the Spirinal Anomaly is classified REDSHIFT ABYSS YAK. If you do not have REDSHIFT ABYSS YAK clearance, stop reading now.”
“In theory, you can carefully program high-grade nanophages to respect in vivo thermal emissions limits, respect the surface markers of legitimate nanoproducts they might encounter, and use them as a vaccination against possible infection. In actual practice, you shoot people with them from a safe distance, then shout ‘sorry’ if or when their blood begins to boil out of their ears. Remember, you’re likely to discover a need for these when there’s a friggin’ bloom in progress. They probably have a backup anyway, and saving their life comes in third, behind removing them as a transmission vector and not becomin’ part of the problem.”
Return to Hunger, Return to Labor
A minority political movement originating in the League of Meridian and spreading elsewhere among the wealthier regions of the Worlds, advocating the creation of artificial scarcities of goods and artificial demand for labor in order to preserve society from decadence and idleness. It has proven difficult to create memetic countermeasures against, due to the sheer blithering wrongheadedness of the ideas from which it arose.
Ice Age: The period in ciseflish prehistory lasting around 2.5 million years, ending circa 1,000, during which raw water ice (considered a mineral on Ólish) was widely used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussive surface. Following this period, ciseflish technological ascension began with the development of more advanced iceworking and iceturgical techniques, ushering in the Clathrate Age.
“It never delights anyone to find their favorite belief system archived in the Library of Lies, but most of them don’t get truly angry about it until they discover that it’s in the catalog under ‘philosophical weapons’.”
– Clovis Sjarra, Librarian Excellence
(With due apologies to the author of GURPS Lensman, whose work I am shamelessly imitating and which put this thing in my head in the first place…)
“Oblong shape and squared-off prow,
Writ with words from stern to bow.
Drive the mass and make a hole –
That’s a Gallie slave patrol!”
“One of the chief problems with some cultures’ attitude towards professionalism is that it prevents their courts from issuing opinions such as – to quote Mandatory Benevolence Association vs. Suld – ‘This court must affirm that the defendant possesses an unalienable derived right to be, if he so wishes, a bigoted sack of contaminated crap.'”
– Presiding Justice Madrasi Koiric, Court of the Beyond
“There was a pond below the window! We’re not monsters, after all.”
– First Quill Seïn Ejava, Scrupulous Company of Learned Scriveners,
at the Defenestration of the Descriptivists
“If we’re being scrupulous, it was a settling pond. For night soil.”
– Sorel Haranye, former Learned Scrivener, two hours later,
at the “Deodorizing of the Descriptivists”
“Judge ye! And know that ye are judged in turn.”
– Tectar Asamis, Second Exemplar of Saravoné
The defining feature of Lintis (Banners), to most visitors, is that the entire planet smells strongly of peppermint. (A characteristic attributable to the local grass-analog – there’s always a grass-analog – which is heavily loaded with menthols.) Natives and long-term residents, of course, have all long stopped smelling anything, but the casual visitor always ends up leaving before their nose burns in. Or burns out.
– Leyness’s Worlds: Guide to the Core Worlds
A somewhat snarksome summary written for use elsewhere, which I repost here for general interest:
Theomachy of Galia
A polity controlled by and largely made up of religious fanatics, well-known for despising unbelievers, anyone they perceive as weak, the female of the species, any species1, and for some incomprehensible reason, “all that walks on six legs,” despite their homeworld being void of any hexapedes larger than insect-sized. Unpleasantly militant, ephemeralist, baseline-supremacist, slaveholders, possessors of not-at-all-secret plans to conquer the galaxy for their insufficiently-grovelled-before deity, etc., etc.
Also, in blissful and complete denial of the inability of fanaticism to compensate for technological inferiority, and of the way in which even fellow members of the Socionovist Association consider their outright fondling of the Villain Ball to be slightly less subtle than Snidely Whiplash2.
1. Even in cases such as the qucequql, which considering the qucequql male is little more than a non-sapient wrapper around a gamete packet, makes even less sense than the rest of their doctrine. Also, makes conversations at diplomatic dinner parties downright tedious.
2. Only without the sense of style or the awesome mustache.
“Among the torang, when crisis strikes, it is safer to be among your enemies than among your friends. A friendly torangta may expect you to sacrifice yourself in the name of the friend-group; an enemy will keep you alive as an assertion of superiority.”
– To See The Outer Worlds And Live!, Peregrine Press, 7930
“The Venerable and Veritable Autocrator of Chengál Rock, may his reign last forever, will be accepting petitions from all within the Rock during the first shift for the megapulse following the Rock’s apoapsis, as custom dictates. Please note that immediately following shift-end, all vacuum-qualified citizens of the Rock are required to report to Docks and Locks for mandatory civil labor. All non-vacuum-qualified citizens are required to report to Central Recycling, likewise.”
– system announcement on Chengál Rock public notifications channel
“For new citizens and visitors to the Rock, the ‘mandatory civil labor’ is required because the V. and V. Autocrator has a policy of throwing anyone who demands that he have a policy out of his personal airlock, and traffic control start complaining if no-one cleans up after Petition Fortnight. Be advised.
“And may his reign last forever.”
– anonymous classified advertisement immediately following the above
“Why is the Empire’s software all so reliable?
“Because it’s designed by contract!”
…hey, it’s hilarious if you’re a future space geek. Trust me on that.
“…and the vacuum is hard out today.”
A joke so old it’s evolved sophoncy independently from the primordial slime, but interface vehicle pilots evidently have to say something about ambient conditions at the highport. It seems that talking about the weather comes pre-hardwired into every sophont species’ cognome – whether or not there is any.
– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary
“The greatest and most misleading heresy of my field is the conflation of value with exchange-value.”
– Academician Teidal Ellestrion,
Imperius Professor of Fiscal Econometrics (Commercial University of Seranth),
Director of the High Guild of Coin and Credit,
Aurarch Emeritus of Éävalle
RESPLENDENT EXPONENTIAL VECTOR
SAFER SCIENCE INITIATIVE
IT’S BEEN  DAYS SINCE OUR LAST UNSCHEDULED REALITY EXCURSION
So, I was chasing links this morning and ended up at a State Department travel advisory, and then this just wrote itself, really…
“The Ministry of State and Outlands alerts Imperial citizen-shareholders that the quadrennial elections are scheduled to take place in Blatantly Obvious Expy near the end of this year. The opening engagements have already begun, and related activities are expected to only intensify in the coming months.
“As such, the Ministry of State and Outlands recommends that citizen-shareholders avoid travel to Blatantly Obvious Expy until the second quarter of the coming year, due to the high risk of nausea, rage excursions, and self-inflicted head injuries.
“The Ministry regrets that there’s really nothing it can do to help you if you insist on visiting during this period of crisis and localized brou-ha-ha.
“For further information, see publication SO-2961 – Seriously, What The Fucking Fuck?: Coping With Barbarism Through Alcohol Consumption.”
From today’s utterly-non-canon-but-it-got-stuck-in-my-head department of advertising snippets:
The myrmidonic carbonizer. It’s the top of our range.
The myrmidonic carbonizer. Erodes muon metals in seconds.
The myrmidonic carbonizer. For when you absolutely, positively need to split quarkonium.
Our critics have accused our research department of being questionably sane. Well, we showed them. We showed them all.
Our critics have also claimed the myrmidonic carbonizer is spectacularly dangerous overkill for any ordinary circumstances.
We agree. But we didn’t build the myrmidonic carbonizer for ordinary circumstances. We built it for “What has that psychotic asshole done now?” circumstances.
The myrmidonic carbonizer. Built by Mad Science ™, for use on Mad Science (not tm).
Also considered as a slogan:
If God’s Not Dead, You Weren’t Using A Myrmidonic Carbonizer.
“This… is a much honored tradition back in the Crescent. When required by our qalasír to do something truly inadvisable, we always sit down with a bottle of whisky and make a long, comprehensive list of all the reasons why we really shouldn’t do whatever we have to do.”
“So you can argue yourself out of it?”
“Hells, no. If we could argue ourselves out of it, it wouldn’t be a matter of qalasír. It’s just nice to have the extent of our imminent stupidity all properly enumerated.”