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394 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published January 1, 2004
“What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.”
“That was an important rule of any game: always make it easy for people to give you money.”
“And you just hoped something would turn up? What made you think it would?"
"It always has. The only way to get something to turn up when you need it is to need it to turn up.”
«—Se me ocurre que ahora tenemos los clacs.
—¿Los clacs? —replicó Húmedo—. Yo le diría que los clacs son maravillosos si se quiere conocer los valores del mercado de gambas de Genua. Pero ¿acaso puede usted escribir S.C.U.B.A. en un clac? ¿Puede sellarla con un beso amoroso? ¿Puede derramar lágrimas sobre un clac, puede olerlo, puede incluirle una flor prensada? Una carta es más que un simple mensaje. En todo caso, los clacs son tan caros que el hombre medio de la calle solo puede permitírselos en momentos críticos: ABUELO MUERTO FUNERAL MARTES. ¿El salario de un día de trabajo para mandar un mensaje que es tan cálido y humano como lanzar un cuchillo? Las cartas, en cambio, son reales.»
“Spurred by the competition, we are investing in a challenging, relevant, and exciting systemic overhaul of our entire organization, focusing on our core conpetencies while maintaining full and listening cooperation with the communities we serve. We fully realize that our energetic attempts to mobilize the flawed infrastructure we have inherited have been less than totally satisfactory, and hope and trust that our valued and loyal customers will bear with us in the coming months as we interact synergistically with change management in our striving for excellence. That is our mission.”
An awed silence followed.
“What is your first name, Miss Cripslock?” said Moist.
For a moment, the woman colored. Then she said: “It’s Sacharissa.”
“Thank you. I’m Moist. Please don’t laugh. The golems—you’re laughing, aren’t you…”
“It was just a cough, honestly,” said the reporter, raising a hand to her throat and coughing unconvincingly.
Favorite's Favorite • Three Act Wonder • Ancient takes on the Modern
• GNU • The Cast and the Crew • Similar yet Different
• Inspirations • Journey's End • Parting Words
“There’s a lot of interest, sir. I thought we could do a whole set of stamps for the big guilds, sir. All the collectors would want them. What do you think?”
“That’s a very clever idea, Stanley,” said Moist. “We’ll do that. The one of the Seamstresses’ Guild might have to go inside a plain brown envelope, eh? Ha ha!”
This time it was Stanley who looked perplexed.
Moist coughed. “Oh, nothing. Well, I can see you’re learning fast, Stanley. Some things, anyway.”