The Best of All Possible Worlds

A retreat will teach you again and again that you are neither indispensable nor self-sufficient.

Do I have any recommendations for a Sadiri boys' night out?" I shrugged, smiled, and allowed myself a laugh. "I can come up with something."
I did, too. The Ministry of Culture has all kinds of programmes, and I got someone to put together a package that even the Sadiri might enjoy. But people, this is Cygnus Beta. Yes, we have a few large cities and several towns -- we're not all country bumpkins, vagabonds and adventurers -- but there are few professional artists and actors, few galactic-standard museums and theatres. We simply can't afford them.

Do you know that there are about ten variants of the Sadiri word for “the right thing to do”? There’s the thing that’s right to do because it’s beneficial to all concerned. There’s the thing that’s right to do because it’s been done that way for the last seven generations. There’s even the thing that’s right to do because it will impress your superior. And they mostly get translated as—you guessed it—“appropriate.” I think there’s a particular inflection that means “this may or may not be the right thing to do, but if I say that it is, you might shut up and get on with it.

Ever wonder if you've done the right thing?" I asked him finally.
"Frequently," he replied. "Legalities notwithstanding, to not wonder indicates a dangerous lack of awareness of the near-infinite array of choices presented by life. More tea?

However, one can be telepathically connected to one with whom it is difficult to live peaceably. The ability to know another’s mind does not preclude the likelihood of misunderstanding it.

I am experiencing a measure of excitement combined with increasing pleasure, which is perhaps manifesting as an expression of amusement."
It was the first time he had ever used the scales to describe his emotions. "I love it when you talk dirty," I whispered ...

In the beginning, God created human beings, which is to say God put the ingredients together, embedded the instructions for building on the template, and put it all into four separate eggs marked 'Some Assembly Required.

I've always thought academics should get a little slurry on their boots from time to time.

I was still excited. Big or small, elephants are elephants, after all. Just before we mounted, when I was sure no one could see me, I quickly kissed the shoulder of my beast and murmured, 'Hey, sweetie.'
'Hey, darlin'." That was Tonio, appearing suddenly by my shoulder. He gave me a laughing look that suggested he was either amused by or attracted to women who kiss elephants for no good reason.

Judging other humans and finding them wanting is what the Sadiri do.

Knowledge is power, I said at last. "Let's do it.

Let me tell you, there's no long-distance relationship like an interstellar one.

Remember your ancestors, dream of your descendants and work hard while you're living.

She did not look at him. She did not have to. She took firm hold of his hand and silently gave him her storm of joy to navigate instead.

She had imagined her mind would be bare before his, naked under a scorching desert sun, with neither shelter nor refuge. Instead, it was like playing hide-and-seek in the light and shadow of a forest, discovering and inventing a new language of double meaning, subtlety, poetry, and image. As a linguist, she was captivated; as a lover, she was enraptured. Nothing could be said the same way twice.

There are other, civilised ways of dealing with the matter," Dllenahkh insisted.
Darithiven looked at him with pity. "Then, by your definition, this cannot be civilisation.

This is my universe, my time, my world. There is no going back to what was. There is only the future.

This was not an Indiana Jones classic holovid; it was real life.