Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

by Catherine Chiu

  • Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.
  • There’s always someone who collects knowledge, not because of a love of the stuff but in the same way that a magpie collects glitter or a caddis fly collects bits of twigs and rock.
  • You do not ask people like that what they are thinking about in case they turn around very slowly and say “You.”
  • Truth lies within, not without.
  • Unfortunately, wild and unstable ideas have a disturbing tendency to move around and take hold.
  • Fear is strange soil. Mainly it grows obedience like corn, which grows in rows and makes weeding easy. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.
  • “Your sexual organs to sprout wings and fly away!”
  • Being alive is sinful. It stands to reason, because you have to sin every day when you’re alive.
  • People have reality-dampers.
  • What happens to us in this life is not really real. There may be a little pain, but that doesn’t matter. Not if it ensures less time in the hells after death.
  • ‘We are judged in life as we are in death.’
  • Gods with no more believers.
    Not even one. One was just enough.
    Gods who had been left behind.
    And the thing about Brutha’s flame of belief was this: in all the Citadel, in all the day, it was the only one the God had found.
  • 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.
  • If enough people believe, you can be god of anything…
  • We are here and it is now. The way I see it is, after that, everything tends towards guesswork.
  • It is how any true philosopher behaves. One must always be ready to embrace new ideas, take account of new proofs. Don’t you agree? And you have brought new points for me to ponder. I can always be swayed by powerful argument.
  • “Oh. My god,” he said.
    “Something wrong?” said Didactylos.
    “Could someone fetch my tortoise?”
  • “Still, we live and learn. That’s what I always say.”He turned to face the soldier. “Kicking and screaming.”
  • God needed people. Belief was the food of the gods. But they also needed a shape. Gods became what people believed they ought to be.
  • You don’t know. That’s what stops everyone going mad, the uncertainty of it, the feeling that it might work out all right after all.
  • You do what you must. I learn anything, it you have to walk it all alone.
  • I’m on everyone’s side. It’d be nice if, just for once, someone was on mine.
  • When you have their full attention in your grip, their hearts and minds will follow.
  • I. This is Not s Game.
    II. Here and Now, You are Alive.