S.M. Stirling Quotes

Now let’s move on to the subject of how a real man treats his wife. A real man doesn’t slap even a ten-dollar hooker around, if he’s got any self-respect, much less hurt his own woman. Much less ten times over the mother of his kids. A real man busts his ass to feed his family, fights for them if he has to, dies for them if he has to. And he treats his wife with respect every day of his life, treats her like a queen – the queen of the home she makes for their children.

There is a technical term for someone who confuses the opinions of a character in a book with those of the author. That term is idiot.

Leading means running fast enough to keep ahead of your people.

Love isn’t like money–the more you give away the more you get back, and the more you have to give.

You can learn by listening, or by getting whacked between the eyes with a two-by-four. I always found listening easier.

Sometimes the harshest lessons were the most valuable.

Because those events are so real that they cast their shadow forward and backwards through all time, whenever men think of these matters at all. Even if they are mired in ignorace, they will see…fragments of the Truth, as men imprisoned in a cave see shadows cast by the sun. Likewise, all men derive their moral intuitions from God; how not? There is no other source, just as there is no other way to make a wheel than to make it round.

I’m always diplomatic when heavily outnumbered by armed strangers.

Nothing’s free and only the cheaper things can be bought with money.

Bad writers have influences. Good writers steal.

Strange, isn’t it, that it’s always more difficult to talk people out of killing each other than into it?

The heart has its reasons that the mind knows not?

And the first king was a lucky soldier.

The Mackenzie had never met folk so poor in story and song and legends, and it moved him to a pity that pricked at his eyes. Without that tapestry of colour and words and ritual, what was life but eating and mating, sleeping and moving your bowels? All of them good and necessary, but not enough; and they themselves needed that framework too, to give them meaning.

To take life was to understand your own death–that the Hour of the Huntsman also came for you.

Words mean what they’re generally believed to mean. When Charles II saw Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral for the first time, he called it “awful, pompous, and artificial.” Meaning roughly: Awesome, majestic, and ingenious.

A fighter should not think only of his shete, just because he has a shete in his hand. Everything is a weapon in the warrior’s mind.

Many are the marvels of God’s Creation, but none so marvelous as man. Or so cunning, for good and ill.

Sacredness grew like a pearl, sometimes around the most unlikely bits of grit.

A libertarian is someone who can believe that the police are no more than a gang of thugs without realizing that in the absence of police, thugs will gather into gangs.