Jack Vance Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 61 quotes)
Conversation! Supple sentences, with first and second meanings and overtones beyond, outrageous challenges with cleverly planned slip-points, rebuttals of elegant brevity; deceptions and guiles, patient explanations of the obvious, fleeting allusions to the unthinkable. As a preliminary, the conversationalist must gauge the mood, the intelligence and the verbal facility of the company. To this end, a few words of pedantic exposition often prove invaluable.
The Brinktown jail is one of the most ingenious ever propounded by civic authorities. It must be remembered that Brinktown occupies the surface of a volcanic butte, overlooking a trackless jungle of quagmire, thorn, eel-vine skiver tussock. A single road leads from city down to jungle; the prisoner is merely locked out of the city. Escape is at his option; he may flee as far through the jungle as he sees fit: the entire continent is at his disposal. But no prisoner ever ventures far from the gate; and, when his presence is required, it is only necessary to unlock the gate and call his name.
The Silver Samarsanda stood above the Jardeen, behind a line of tall pencil cypress: an irregular bulk of masonry, plastered and whitewashed, with a wide, many-slanted roof of mossy tiles. Beside the entrance five colored lanterns hung in a vertical line: deep green, a dark, smoky scarlet, a gay light green, violet, and once more dark scarlet; and at the bottom, slightly to the side, a small, steady yellow lamp, the purport of all being: Never neglect the wonder of conscious existence, which too soon comes to an end!