Chapter Quotes – the authors

I get a lot of reader comments about the chapter quotes. They’re probably the single biggest common talking point across the feedback I get, so I thought I would put a few of my quotes’ authors in the spotlight.

Nadhiri Longar, author of Training of a Cortiian

“Having trust in the unknown is one of the quickest ways to commit suicide.”

She’s one of the most widely-quoted authors in the series, and her Training of a Cortiian shows up several times in most of the books. She’s cynical, nasty, and I never have to browse through my quotes directory to figure out if a quote I’m thinking of should belong to her – she’s distinctive.

“Gratitude makes a poor guide and an unreliable currency.”

She was also, almost certainly, a Cortiian. Whether or not she was an Instructor, or a Derian-rank who ended up doing more than her share of training and picked a lasting way to make her feelings known, is open to debate. Be that as it may, the frequency with which her quotes show up argues that her words are uniquely applicable to pretty much every aspect of the Cortii. Cortiian authors are very rare – in fact off the top of my head I can only think of three in my entire list – and she makes me grin pretty much every time.

Tandra Nieti, author of Anthropology and Societal Compulsion

“The chains you choose for yourself are the most binding.”

She doesn’t show up as often as Longar, and with that kind of a title, I see her as the interstellar equivalent of that mildly deranged psychology professor who’s barred from ever representing the university, doesn’t own a suit anyway, and doesn’t give a damn.

“Blind faith is the best defense against rationality.”

From the quotes of hers I do have, she may or may not be humanoid, but she’s devoted a large portion of her life to studying humanoid societies, and the weird quirks of the species psyche that we build ourselves so many fantastic rules to control and hide. My personal feeling is that she’s most likely one of the non-humanoid species; the best observations are usually made from an objective distance.

Tallin Yern, author of A Professional Liar

“Credibility is an affectation of the simple-minded.”

Also, what my British acquaintances would probably term ‘a proper bastard’. I’m not sure if he’s a psychologist or a con-man, but he shows up here and there with a suitably rude and topical commentary in most of the books.

“Truth is subjective.”

He strikes me as most likely humanoid, and probably from one of the advanced worlds or a really central space station. He’s also most likely not from the Federated Planets Alliance; they cherish an entitled mentality that doesn’t really lend itself to his brand of one-liner. I suspect he’s Nasdari, or possibly Hejjin’in


Ankara Zaneth, author of A Planet’s Philosophy

“Define knowledge as a drug: it alters all perceptions.”

Of the five authors I’m going to highlight today, she’s probably the only one you could safely leave as reading matter for your maiden aunt’s bedside table. More or less.

“Facts are a commonly accepted interpretation.Truth is a commonly argued fiction.”

She likes to play with ideas and turn concepts on their heads; I don’t necessarily get the feeling she’s an academic, but she is most likely humanoid, and from the way she comes across, probably originally from the Atari Sector. She likes to challenge entrenched opinions. She doesn’t show up as often as Longar, but she’s one of the more commonly-quoted authors in the series.


Meara YazdaWritings

“Always consider the breaking point of the individual.”

Yazda isn’t per se an author, but bits and pieces attributed to her have been being passed around in the Cortiian databases for so long that I felt she deserved a spot. Like Longar, she is, or was (opinions divide pretty virulently) a Cortiian; she was a Derian, and when she was last officially traceable, she rode for Emoan Cortia.

“Terror can be a measure of sanity.”

Emoan Cortia vanished off the records about three Standard decades ago. It’s not a long time considered in terms of a species that can live up to four centuries, but given that the average Cortiian lifespan is somewhere around twenty-three Standard years, it’s long enough to relegate them to semi-legendary status. No one knows exactly what happened to Emoan, but the most commonly accepted theory is that they somehow ran seriously afoul of their Councils and were broken up. Judging by what little I’ve seen of Yazda’s writings, assuming they are hers, whatever happened after that was notably unpleasant even by Cortiian standards.

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