Pratchett, Terry

There was not a lot that could be done to make Morpork a worse place. A direct hit by a meteorite, for example, would count as gentrification.

“This is, er, the first time you’ve been away from home by yourself—” “No, father. I spent last summer with Lord Fhem-pta-hem, you remember.” “Oh, did you?” The pharaoh recalled the palace had seemed quieter at the time. He’d put it down to the new tapestries.

It is a well-known fact that when one is about to die the senses immediately become excruciatingly sharp and it has always been believed that this is to enable their owner to detect any possible exit from his predicament other than the obvious one.

as self-centered as a gyroscope.

Teppic’s mind filled up with options. At a time like this, he thought, some divine guidance would be necessary. “Where are you, dad?” He envied his fellow students who believed in gods that were intangible and lived a long way away on top of some mountain. A fellow could really believe in gods like that. But it was extremely hard to believe in a god when you saw him at breakfast every day.

The people believed this gave the high priests power over the gods and the dead, but this was probably a metaphor, i.e., a lie.

They scurried out, leaving Dios alone on the steps. It had been his accustomed position for so long that he’d polished a groove in the stonework, into which he fitted exactly.

then the silence beyond the cell, which had been the silence caused by absence of sound, very slowly became the silence caused by someone making no noise.

The original builders, who were of course ancients and therefore wise, knew this very well and the whole point of a correctly-built pyramid was to achieve absolute null time in the central chamber so that a dying king, tucked up there, would indeed live forever—or at least, never actually die. The time that should have passed in the chamber was stored in the bulk of the pyramid and allowed to flare off once every twenty-four hours.

Teppic drifted past him and climbed carefully up the wall. It had been decorated with a complex bas relief of the triumphs of past monarchs, so Teppic used his family to give him a leg up.

These men are philosophers, he thought. They had told him so. So their brains must be so big that they have room for ideas that no one else would consider for five seconds.

It is astonishingly difficult to walk with legs full of straw when the brain doing the directing is in a pot ten feet away,

These are men who are trying to work out how the world fits together, not by magic, not by religion, but just by inserting their brains in whatever crack they can find and trying to lever it apart.

Someone was just putting a torch to the lighthouse, which was one of the More Than Seven Wonders of the World and had been built to a design by Pthagonal using the Golden Rule and the Five Aesthetic Principles. Unfortunately it had then been built in the wrong place because putting it in the right place would have spoiled the look of the harbor, but it was generally agreed by mariners to be a very beautiful lighthouse and something to look at while they were waiting to be towed off the rocks.

It is now known to science that there are many more dimensions than the classical four. Scientists say that these don’t normally impinge on the world because the extra dimensions are very small and curve in on themselves, and that since reality is fractal most of it is tucked inside itself. This means either that the universe is more full of wonders than we can hope to understand or, more probably, that scientists make things up as they go along.

the bones he crunched underfoot gave him enough essential detail. A lot of people had died here. And it was reasonable to assume that the more recent ones had seen the remains of the earlier ones, and would therefore have proceeded stealthily. And that hadn’t worked.

Let’s say for example that the average life expectancy is seventy years, OK?” “OK,” said the Sphinx, in the uncertain tones of someone who has let the salesman in and is now regretfully contemplating a future in which they are undoubtedly going to buy life insurance.

dreadful,” said IIb frantically. “I know how it is, I had this verruca