Many fantasy novels - 'Lord of the Rings', for instance, or 'Lavondyss' by Robert Holdstock - are beautifully written. Geoff Ryman's 'The Child Garden' is exquisite and utterly beguiling. Mervyn Peake's 'Gormenghast' trilogy is an astonishing piece of multi-faceted storytelling. So quality of writing does not condemn the genre.
Man is capable of greatness, love, nobility, compassion. Yet never forget that his capacity for evil is infinite. It is a sad truth, boy, that if you sit now and think of the worst tortures that could ever be inflicted on another human being, they will already have been practiced somewhere. If there is one sound that follows the march of humanity, it is the scream.
Yours is a race whose imagination is limited to its own small appetites. Greed, lust, envy - these are the motivating forces of humankind. What redeems you is that in every man and woman there is a seed that can grow to encompass love, joy and compassion. But this seed is never allowed to prosper in fertile ground. It struggles for life among the rocks of your human soul.
It is hard to be angry when one has seen the sun rise,' she said. It seems to be true,' he admitted. 'I wonder why.' Because it makes one feel so small and insignificant. It has been rising forever and will rise forever no matter what we do or do not do. All our problems are as nothing to the sun.
Why must I have the Piglet?' 'Because you are the best.' 'I do not understand.' 'Teach him.' 'And who teaches me?' ' As an officer, my lord, you will have many men under your command and not all will be gifted. You must learn to use each man to his best advantage ...