The Electric Commentary

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cryptonomicon Quotes

My favorite book is Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, and my favorite character is Bobby Shaftoe. Catallarchy has a nice collection of Cryptonomicon quotes, including one of my personal favorites:

“Just kill the one with the sword first.”

“Ah,” Reagan says, raising his waxed and penciled eyebrows, and cocking his pompadour in Shaftoe’s direction. “Smarrrt —you target them because they’re the officers, right?”

“No, fuckhead!” Shaftoe yells. “You kill ’em because they’ve got fucking swords! You ever had anyone running at you waving a fucking sword?”

And this paragraph regarding evolution isn't bad either:

Let’s set the existence-of-God issue aside for a later volume, and just stipulate that in some way, self-replicating organisms came into existence on this planet and immediately began trying to get rid of each other, either by spamming their environments with rough copies of themselves, or by more direct means which hardly need to be belabored. Most of them failed, and their genetic legacy was erased from the universe forever, but a few found some way to survive and to propagate. After about three billion years of this sometimes zany, frequently tedious fugue of carnality and carnage, Godfrey Waterhouse IV was born, in Murdo, South Dakota, to Blanche, the wife of a Congregational preacher named Bunyan Waterhouse. Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo–which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn’t a stupendous badass was dead.


  • Remember to say "Klaatu barada nikto" before you pick it up each time. Oh wait, that's the NECROnomicon.

    Interestingly, that movie is called "Captain Supermarket" in Japan.

    By Blogger Scott H, at 8:31 PM  

  • About a year ago I started telling friends the Athena Techne concept in Cryptonomicon was my new religion. Then I began to write my own contemporaneous adaptation of the ancient Greek goddess. The result is a full book, online for free, or on

    By Anonymous Lance Miller, at 7:31 AM  

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