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The Wonderland Gambit Part Two: The March Hare Network
by Jack L. Chalker

p.63 I nodded sourly. "Yeah, like the Spanish Inquisition. That's your mind-set, Sister, and why I can't go along. It's the logic that says, 'Okay, torture 'em. If they don't convert and die, then they'll be welcomed as martyrs in heaven if we were wrong about them, or they'll go to hell as they deserved if we weren't.' The old witch-dunking test. If she drowns she wasn't a witch."

p.64 "Just because I am wrong doesn't mean you are right," I retorted. "I guess what you are and where you really are right. True believers always think that they have the answers, and everybody who doesn't agree with them a hundred percent is their enemy. I don't believe in absolutes."
     "Just cop-outs," she said acidly. "A rationale for having no convictions at all."
     "Pragmatists keep the world turning. When the true believers take over, people get hurt, even killed."

p.177 Alice McKee hadn't trusted Al one bit. She'd gone along but had admitted she would be there only until they had it in their hands and she could take him on. It was a good bet Les and Rita and probably most of the others felt the same. What a crew of gods! As disloyally screwed up as the gods of ancient Olympus!

NAMES: Sutherland, Wilisczik (pron. "Vilichek"), Rina, Ajani, Sasucha
orbitaldiamonds: painting of dragon and books ([ a ] dragon and books)
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The Identity Matrix
by Jack L. Chalker

p.49 The world was certainly effectively organized to deny any basics of life to a thirty-five-year-old pre-teenager.

p.109 We begin as little babies, but there it departs. Everything in a boy's life is a competition. Winning. Sports. Fighting to establish pecking orders in gangs. Showing off. But, you see, the necessary basic training is there because men can't do anything else. Women now have the same career choices as man, but they can opt not to work, to have and raise babies, their choices clear early in life. Men have only the sense of purpose in the job. Even if they marry, the law gives the man the obligation to support the wife and kids, and in a divorce gives the kids almost invariably to the mother while making Dad pay for it, even if mom's a cultist murderer with a fifty-thousand-dollar-a-year job while Dad's a kind, devoted, loving ten-thousand-dollar-a-year janitor. He has no rights, only responsibilities, and no real options. No wonder men die so much earlier than women."

p.109-110 "It's no picnic as a woman, either," Dory responded. "We get the dolls, the toy stoves, the frilly little dresses. We rarely get the attention our brothers do, the preparation for something big. Then along comes puberty and you get periods that make you feel yucky, and suddenly you can't go to the store alone. If your parents aren't scared for you then you soon get scared for yourself. Rape becomes a threat that you live with. You envy your brother going downtown alone to pick up something at the tore or to take in a movie. The boys have one thing in mind. I was seventeen before my parents would trust me out on a date after dark! And most girls have to decide in the college years--career or family. The pressure's big, you get hurt fast and often, and if, like me, you're good looking, you're even more limited. It's understood you'll work for awhile until you get married and settle down, but aside from modeling or show business or something like that you can get any job--if you want to pay the price for keeping it, and you don't expect to go anywhere.
     "Pretty women aren't supposed to be smart, and they don't have to be. You quickly learn what you're expected to do to get what you want--and either you do it, or don't and go nowhere, or get married and settle down. You get a dozen passes just going to lunch. You wind up a prisoner in your own without options at all. You know, I really envied men. I had two older brothers and I really wanted to be one of them. Come and go when you please, free to pick and choose careers, free to be left alone in a crowded party if you felt like it. No period, no danger of getting pregnant, none of that."

p.117 He'd been in the United States most of his life but he still couldn't tell the difference between a V and a W.

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March 2010

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