I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them
Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.
And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don’t even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in you life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means they are so small you don’t have to take them into account when you are calculating something.
And people who believe in God think God has put human beings on earth because they think human beings are the best animal, but human beings are just an animal and they will evolve into another animal, and that animal will be cleverer and it will put human beings into a zoo, like we put chimpanzees and gorillas into a zoo. Or human beings will all catch a disease and die out or they will make too much pollution and kill themselves, and then there will only be insects in the world and they will be the best animal.
A Rough Guide Be polite at the reception desk. Not all the knives are in the museum. The waitresses know that a nice boy is formed in the same way as a deckchair. Pay for the beer and send flowers. Introduce yourself as Richard. Do not refer to what somebody did at a particular time in the past. Remember, every Friday we used to go for a walk. I walked. You walked. Everything in the past is irregular. This steak is very good. Sit down. There is no wine, but there is ice cream. Eat slowly. I have many matches.
Carcharadon carcharias. Six thousand pounds of muscle powering a hoop of butcher's knives. The only animal that ate its weaker siblings in the womb. Immune from cancer. Constantly awake.
I think people believe in heaven because they don't like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don't like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish.
Siobhan said that when you are writing a book you have to include some descriptions of things. I said that I could take photographs and put them in the book. But she said the idea of a book was to describe things using words so that people could read them and make a picture in their own head.
It wasn't about believing this or that, it wasn't even about good and evil and right and wrong, it was about finding the strength to bear the discomfort that came with being in the world.
I think she cared more for that bloody dog than for me, for us. And maybe that's not so stupid, looking back... maybe it is easier living on your own looking after some stupid mutt than sharing your life with other actual human beings.
... why I like timetables, because they make sure I don't get lost in time.
Lots of things are mystries. But that doesn't mean there isn't an answer to them. It's just that scientists haven't found the answer yet.
And all I could see would be stars. And stars are the places where the molecules that life is made of were constructed billions of years ago. For examples, all the iron in your blood, which stops you being anaemic, was made in a star.
Stories about mental aberration and oddity only make sense in context. Just how do people live with someone who is peculiar, gifted, strange or alien? It's odd because there's a little part of me that wants to write about exotic, strange bizarre subjects. Instead, I've rather reluctantly realised that what I write about is families.
Writing for children is bloody difficult; books for children are as complex as their adult counterparts, and they should therefore be accorded the same respect.
There's something with the physical size of America... American writers can write about America and it can still feel like a foreign country.
If you came from Mars and tried to analyse British or American society through novels, you'd think our society was preponderantly full of middle-aged, slightly alcoholic, middle-class, intellectual men, most of whom are divorced from their families and have nothing to do with children.
Jane Austen was writing about boring people with desperately limited lives. We forget this because we've seen too many of her books on screen.
Humour and high seriousness... Perfect bedfellows, I think. Though I usually phrase it in terms of comedy and darkness. Comedy without darkness rapidly becomes trivial. And darkness without comedy rapidly becomes unbearable.
B is for bestseller.