M. K. Hobson (born January 21, 1969) is an American speculative fiction and fantasy writer.
== Quotes ==
=== The Native Star (2010) ===
All page numbers are from the paperback first edition published by Ballantine Books ISBN 978-0-553-59265-8
Nominated for the 2011 Nebula Award Emily’s chestnut-colored hair was thick and shiny as silk floss—an extraordinary female endowment. But like most female endowments, it was generally more trouble than it was worth.
Chapter 1, “Ashes of Amour” (p. 8)“Ever mind the Rule of Three...Three times what thou givest returns to thee.”
Chapter 3, “The Rule of Three” (p. 42)Zombies are soulless creatures, and being soulless has been empirically proven to result in an unpleasant disposition.
Chapter 3, “The Rule of Three” (p. 43)“Still feeling guilty, are we? I’d have thought you’d be over that by now.”“I have a nettlesome little thing called a conscience,” Emily hissed. “Ever hear of it?”“They’re out of fashion in New York,” Stanton said, and though she guessed she was joking, he didn’t sound humorous.
Chapter 5, “The Aberrancy” (p. 74)The sight of Oakland sprawling on the horizon gave Emily’s spirits an additional boost. Oakland was by no means lovely, but it meant they were almost to San Francisco.
Chapter 7, “San Francisco” (p. 95)In New Bethel, we take the word serious. We whip whores, we hang thieves, and we burn sorcerers.
Chapter 11, “The Wages of Sin” (p. 155)He’s lying. I have no doubt he’s excellent at it.
Chapter 11, “The Wages of Sin” (p. 159)“They say that they’re a punishment on godly people for allowing sin to walk the earth unanswered—”“Who is this ‘they’ you’re always referring to?” Stanton glared at Rose, his eyes gleaming with unhidden malice. “Your mongoloid Aunt Kindy? Your drunken Uncle Sal? Or are you talking about the slack-jawed hacks who bang out those dime novels for a bottle of whiskey and the price of a flophouse?”Rose stared at him, her mouth open in astonishment. But Stanton pressed on, his voice flat and awful.“Or maybe you’re just using the word ‘they’ as so many pea-brained idiots use it, as a cowardly rhetorical device, an excuse to say the things you really believe without giving anyone the chance to judge you for the narrow-minded, stupid creature you are.”
Chapter 15, “Ososolyeh” (pp. 211-212)Before the sun went down again, she realized, she would be in New York. The thought sent a nervous thrill through her entire body. Her throat was tight, her heart suddenly racing.
Chapter 15, “Ososolyeh” (pp. 220-221)Emily looked at him for a long time. There were so many things she wanted to know—but she wanted not to know them even more. She didn’t want any more answers. He had been the one thing she could trust, the one person she could rely on. She wanted to beg him to be that way again. But it wasn’t him who had changed. It was her. It was her own credulity she really wanted back. And credulity, like virtue, could be lost only once.
Chapter 17, “The Cockatrice” (p. 237)“Dignity is like morality,” Mirabilis barked. “Too much is as bad as too little.”
Chapter 20, “The Otherwhere Marble” (p. 274)I’d ask you to forego the jingoistic claptrap, but it’s terrifyingly obvious you truly believe it.
Chapter 20, “The Otherwhere Marble” (p. 284)Senator Stanton? The man who’s sold his own soul so many times that no one can figure out who actually owns it?
Chapter 20, “The Otherwhere Marble” (p. 285)She wanted to crawl into his arms and be soothed, and soothe him in return, and forget all the grand ideas she’d ever had about true love, and the necessity for it. Because true love was a load of baloney. Finding a good friend...a good friend who trusted you...was more than enough.
Chapter 22, “Cupid’s Bludgeon” (p. 315)Emily stared into the middle distance, trying to ignore the fact that the men were looking at her like a cupcake on a plate.
Chapter 23, “The Skycladdische and the Sangrimancer” (p. 325)“I’ll do everything I can to help, I promise.”“You always have,” Emily murmured. Except tell me the truth about anything.
Chapter 23, “The Skycladdische and the Sangrimancer” (p. 329)You know, there’s one thing about you that always astonishes me. The longer you talk, the wronger you get.
Chapter 23, “The Skycladdische and the Sangrimancer” (p. 331)
=== The Hidden Goddess (2011) ===
All page numbers are from the paperback first edition published by Ballantine Books ISBN 978-0-553-59266-5 Sadly, there is a fine line between patriotism and paranoia.
Prologue (p. 3)But it was impossible to remain so long in the company of a female, even a divine one, without suffering some form of disillusionment.
Prologue (p. 14)In his idle hours, Heusler sometimes amused himself by trying to conceive of a crime a mortal man could commit that was more monstrous than making a goddess fall in love with him. He had never succeeded.
Prologue (p. 14)Love. Such a lot of damn fuss.
Prologue (p. 15)Could one die from boredom, she wondered? From complete, oppressive, crushing, unmitigated boredom, the likes of which made all other boredom seem like ecstasy’s sweet thrilling embrace? And in such a case, if one happened to have a life insurance policy, would it pay?
Chapter 1, “The Message in the Steam” (p. 17)It was her own evil assumptions that had done her in. She hadn’t even considered the third possible explanation for his strange behavior—that he was a perfectly nice man, without an ounce of guile, just trying to be helpful. People helped people in California. Why hadn’t she thought of that? She’d only been in New York a few weeks, and already she was turning hard and suspicious.
Chapter 2, “An Unexpected Gift” (p. 33)She was painfully aware that doing one’s best was never assurance that it wasn’t the wrong choice anyway.
Chapter 3, “Bottle of Memories” (p. 42)It was disappointing, as if a wish she didn’t know she’d made hadn’t come true.
Chapter 4, “Dmitri” (p. 46)Emily already knew there was going to be hell to pay, and she supposed there was no use allowing it to accrue interest.
Chapter 5, “Dreadnought” (p. 57)“Was your mother furious?”“She’ll get over it,” Stanton said. “Perhaps not in this lifetime, but I happen to believe in reincarnation, so there’s still hope.”
Chapter 5, “Dreadnought” (p. 65)“I’m sorry Mr. Stanton, really I am. I didn’t mean to miss it. Things...happened.”“Oh, well. Things happened. How nice to have that cleared up.”
Chapter 5, “Dreadnought” (p. 65)The obsessive rules of etiquette struck Emily as mean-spirited, like the old trick of tying someone’s shoelaces under the table. It was only fun if you liked watching people fall down.
Chapter 6, “Treachery” (p. 84)The shortness of the woman’s replies indicated that Emily was asking questions Miss Jesczenka didn’t particularly want to answer, but those were usually the questions that most needed to be asked.
Chapter 6, “Treachery” (p. 89)“What kind of idiot do you think I am?””I have no idea what kind of idiot you are,” Miss Jesczenka said. “That’s why I’m asking.”
Chapter 8, “Chaos and Disorder” (p. 133)Spread out before the pyramid, as far as the eye could see, stretched a frozen ocean of blackness—stinking oily blackness that bubbled and churned. Voider than void, colder than cold, deader than dead.It is your world.It is the world we will make for you.
Chapter 8, “Chaos and Disorder” (p. 140)“Your frontier ethics are so rawboned, Miss Edwards, as rough-hewn and clumsy as the log cabin in which you must have been raised.” Mrs. Stanton’s face was like marble as she spoke; only her lips moved with ugly precision. “Decency is striving for perfection in a world in which every other hoglike creature satisfies himself with sloppiness and indulgence. Decency is not in failing to murder someone. It’s in murdering the right person, and sparing your family the indignity of getting caught.”
Chapter 13, “Red Hand, Gold-Colored Eye” (pp. 221-222)There is a difference between not understanding and being willfully obtuse.
Chapter 18, “The Talleyrand Maneuver” (p. 275)“It is a great weakness of credomancers, Miss Edwards. They often believe their own press.””You’re a credomancer, too,” Emily said.“I’m also a woman. Failure, struggle, and doubt are my constant companions. They are not always pleasant, but they inoculate me against overconfidence. As such, I would not trade them for all the arrogant bravado in the world.”
Chapter 18, “The Talleyrand Maneuver” (pp. 282-283)I don’t think that’s the answer he was looking for. It’s not the answer I was looking for. But maybe it’s the right one.
Chapter 19, “The Ruined Woman” (p. 291)“Credomancy may seek to exploit the human desire for a tidy narrative where an unblemished romantic hero vanquishes all obstacles, but such ideals have very little to do with reality. Reality requires pragmatism and compromise. Men fail. Women fail. There are no heroes, only human beings who somehow find the strength to behave heroically, no matter how many times they have been unable to do so in the past. If you understand that, Miss Edwards—if you truly and deeply understand that, then you will understand the most powerful thing anyone with a heart can understand.”“And what’s that?” Emily said softly.“That love is not enough. But it’s a start.”
Chapter 19, “The Ruined Woman” (p. 291)“Don’t lie,” he said. “That’s my job.”
Chapter 19, “The Ruined Woman” (p. 310)Nothing is ever what you want it to be. The harder you grab for it, the more deeply it cuts. And it mocks you for being foolish enough to reach for it at all. You come to fear touching anything at all, because you know that if you do, it will become terrible.
Chapter 19, “The Ruined Woman” (p. 310)Emily pounded on the door, assuming it would do no good, but finding the act of pounding very satisfying indeed.
Chapter 21, “The Dragon’s Eye” (p. 330)“I wasn’t sure if we were still engaged.”“After everything we’ve been through? After true love conquered all?” Emily shook her head. “Being dead had done nothing to alleviate your obtuseness, Mr. Stanton.”“Being dead allowed me to learn the heart’s deepest secret,” he said. “That sometimes love—even true love—isn’t enough.””But it’s a start,” Emily said.
Chapter 25, “Lyakhov’s Anodyne” (p. 353)Having engaged in vigorous and passionate debate while on their honeymoon trip from New York, they had arrived at the startling—and rather liberating—conclusion that the marriage itself was not at all necessary. Stanton no longer had a name to give, and taking Emily’s would have involved all the tedium of authority and nonsense they’d hoped to avoid. So, in the end, he had returned to her the simple gold band she had worn for so long, sliding it onto the ring finger of her new right hand. And she had given him a soft slow kiss. They were the only vows required.
Epilogue (p. 373)
== External links ==
Demimonde, M. K. Hobson’s official site, with links to complete bibliography, blog, and upcoming conventions.