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" You know, looking at it objectively, I've written one or two good books. "
" Space or science fiction has become a dialect for our time. "
" What's terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better. "
" It is very enjoyable, writing a story. You get this idea. It takes hold of you. And then you spend day and night thinking about how to do it. And then you do it. And much later, you think, 'Oh, yes. That's an interesting question.' "
" This world is run by people who know how to do things. They know how things work. They are equipped. Up there, there's a layer of people who run everything. But we - we're just peasants. We don't understand what's going on, and we can't do anything. "
" My mother died happily of a stroke in her seventies. "
" What the feminists want of me is something they haven't examined because it comes from religion. They want me to bear witness. "
" I never thought of London in terms of possible heroes - of course, there are thousands. It's a very talented city. "
" Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel. "
" September 11 was terrible but, if one goes back over the history of the IRA, what happened to the Americans wasn't that terrible. "
" I thought that would go without saying, that if a mother gives up her children, it's very painful. "
" A writer falls in love with an idea and gets carried away. "
" I'm not one of those writers that sits worrying about posthumous fame. "
" We like to think we can solve everything, but we can't always. "
" I think a writer's job is to provoke questions. I like to think that if someone's read a book of mine, they've had - I don't know what - the literary equivalent of a shower. Something that would start them thinking in a slightly different way, perhaps. That's what I think writers are for. "
" We use our parents like recurring dreams, to be entered into when needed. "
" Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so. "
" It is the mark of great people to treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important. "
" When young I did my best to undo that bit of the British Empire I found myself in: that is, old Southern Rhodesia. "
" I don't write well when I'm sitting there sweating about every single phrase. "
" I don't think in terms of optimism and pessimism when writing a story. I am telling a story. "
" It's lovely to have money to give away - that's the bonus of winning the Nobel. "
" I'm very unhappy when I'm not writing. "
" My mother was a woman who was very frustrated. She had a great deal of ability, and all this energy went into me and my brother. "
" I have ideas that I will probably never write now. "
" A story is how we construct our experiences. "
" I wanted to write about my mother as she should have been if she had not been messed up by World War I. "
" I wasn't an active feminist in the '60s, never have been. "
" Borrowing is not much better than begging; just as lending with interest is not much better than stealing. "
" Men are restless, adventurous. Women are conservative - despite what current ideology says. "
" I see every book as a problem that you have to solve. That is what dictates the form you use. It's not that you say, 'I want to write a science fiction book.' You start from the other end, and what you have to say dictates the form of it. "