Fan-favorite quotes from Tad and his books. These are the quotes that rotate on the Home page, collected here in one place for easy reference, refreshed occasionally. — LT


“As for monkeys, I would have five, and they would be named: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, Do Pretty Much Whatever The Hell You Want, and Expensive Attorney.”
— Tad Williams


“So we face our final hours… and all that was once certain has become uncertain. Except for defeat. That, as always, is the end of all our stories.”
— Tad Williams, Shadowheart


“We are none of us promised anything but the last breath we take.”
— Tad Williams, War of the Flowers

“You’re pretty hard-boiled, Tinker Bell.”
“Call me that name again and you’ll be wondering how your bollocks wound up lodged in your windpipe — from below. Just because we don’t get to your side of things much anymore doesn’t mean we don’t know anything. ’If you believe in fairies, clap your hands!’ If you believe in fairies, kiss my rosy pink arse is more like it. Now are you going to shut your gob or not?”
— Tad Williams, The War of the Flowers

“It was only after they had left the bridge and its guardian far behind that Theo realized he had left Tansy’s telephone-brooch in the pocket of his jacket. He had no plans to go back for it, of course: as far as Theo was concerned, that piece of two-legged ugliness was welcome to blow out Tansy’s long-distance bill or download a ton of troll-porn and charge it to the Daisy commune.
Betray me, huh? Taste the Revenge of Vilmos!”
— Tad Williams, The War of the Flowers


“Wicked Tribe, Rooling Tribe! is the mejor hacker tribe. Too small, too fast, too scientific!”
— Tad Williams, Otherland

“I must make a choice every time I speak a sentence in English. I try to choose the happier way of saying things, so that my own words will not weigh me down like stones.”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: City of Golden Shadow

“Go down.” It seemed obvious. “You have to go down before you can come out — that’s how these things always work.”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: City of Golden Shadow

“Confident. Cocky. Lazy. Dead.”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: City of Golden Shadow

“The world was all mud and wire. The war in the heavens was only a faint imitation of the horror men had learned to make.”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: City of Golden Shadow

“She had to find her own story, and she could make it whatever shape she thought best.”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: River of Blue Fire

“Every man is the hero of his own song.”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass

“Our lives aren’t even about doing real things most of the time. We think and talk about people we’ve never met, pretend to visit places we’ve never actually been to, discuss things that are just names as though they were as real as rocks or animals or something. Information Age — Hell it’s the Imagination Age. We’re living in our own minds.
No, she decided as the plane began its steep descent, really we’re living in other people’s minds.”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass

“Yes, look,” said Martine. “The Other has played his knight.”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: Sea of Silver Light


“Since your father has escaped my justice, it is you who must hear my words.”
“Words. You keep saying…”
“Because that was the gift your father gave to me. And the curse that ruined me as well, changed my life to wretched misery. There are hours yet before the guard comes — nay, eons. An eternity, in fact. This is my time, Miranda. Now you will have your words back: before I kill you, you will hear my tale… and you will know what you have done.”
— Tad Williams, Caliban’s Hour


“Welcome stranger. The paths are treacherous today.”
— Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair

“He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.”
— Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair

“Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it — memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.”
— Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair

“Ah. A small aversion to menial labor?” The doctor cocked an eyebrow. “Understandable but misplaced. One should treasure those humdrum tasks that keep the body occupied but leave the mind and heart unfettered. Well, we shall strive to help you through your first day in service. I have thought of a wonderful arrangement.” He did a funny little jig step. “I talk, you work. Good, eh?”
— Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair

Morgenes leaned forward, waggling the leather-bound volume under Simon’s nose. “A piece of writing is a trap,” he said cheerily, “and the best kind. A book, you see, is the only kind of trap that keeps its captive — which is knowledge — alive forever. The more books you have,” the doctor waved an all-encompassing hand around the room, “the more traps, then the better chance of capturing some particular, elusive, shining beast — one that might otherwise die unseen.” Morgenes finished with a grand flourish, dropping the book back up on the pile with a loud thump.
— Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair

“We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.”
— Tad Williams, To Green Angel Tower