STEVE AYLETT QUOTES

shambolic selection from the early books

The truth is easiest to disprove - its defences are down.
Toxicology, Aylett

One golfer a year is hit by lightning. This may be the only evidence we have of god’s existence.
Atom, Aylett

Do not hang a man and be surprised at his reaction.
Toxicology, Aylett

The most amusing thing about a pantomime horse is the necessity of having to shoot it twice. Bigot Hall, Aylett

Painkillers are the drugs of the future
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

The landfill of masks will never happen.
Toxicology, Aylett

the law is as preventative as next year’s weather
Shamanspace, Aylett

The element of surprise is available to those who either appear suddenly or have always been there. Thus the shock on the gran’s face when the ancient boulder fell.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

When I desire a spectacle I look to my own conscience.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

There was a time when the extension of illegality to innocent acts could be used to manipulate men. But when guilt is no longer felt over acts of genuine criminality, what hope of instilling guilt in the innocent?
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

A crumb is logical, though discarded. Life is life.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

One thing you’ll say for skeletons, they’ll always give you a smile.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Crime is one of the many methods justice may select.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

At every action ask yourself, ‘Why feel ineffectual when my very frustration advances the world cause?’
Toxicology, Aylett

What happens when the hitcher and the driver are equally murderous?
Atom, Aylett

Nothing like a spider in the mouth to get you thinking.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

How many times does a man have to shave before his chin gets the message?
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

We have truth in order not to die of art.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

it’s hard for people to stampede when they’re strutting
Shamanspace, Aylett

Never refer to a large dog as a friend - he is in custody and he knows it.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

A sniper is like a genius - it’s not enough to be one, you have to be one at something.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

In books there’s nothing of the fish covered in the coldness of the sea, or the feeling of a star touching space. Bad for business.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Staring is its own reward.
Toxicology, Aylett

Eddie knelt and lifted a rock. ‘Lawyers,’ he whispered.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Sanity’s a virginity of the mind
Atom, Aylett

We bring death and those who claim to be our rivals bring death also. It’s investing everywhere.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Honesty is the voice that is acceptable in every matter.
Shamanspace, Aylett

Parker always felt things in his bones because, he said, it saved space.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

the trustiest rule of social disintegration: bars burn last.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

I wish I had a fiver for every time I earnt a fiver.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

Grandeur only works at low speed.
Toxicology, Aylett

Specter was used to stating his opinions as law, a practice known as Dworking.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

No matter how good the idea, there’s always an advocate extreme enough to deter people.
Aylett, interview, 1998

it is a practice of mine never to punch a man whose face is redder on the outside than mine is on the inside
The Crime Studio, Steve Aylett

He went off on tangents so extended they met the tangents of Martians coming the other way.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Pause any country and you’ll spot subliminal torture in the frame.
Shamanspace, Aylett

The optimist sees the future as a rabbit sees the oncoming truck - getting bigger, not closer.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

A crime archaeologist recently excavated a heist preserved in the Pompei lava flow. The crook is aiming a spear at a shopkeeper, who is loading loaves into a bag. The shopkeeper’s expression is no less or more surprised than those of today in similar circumstances - nothing has been learned in the intervening years.’
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

A wound heals slower than a kiss.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

any act worth a damn can not be ignored and when an effective person is ignored it’s the result of a deliberate series of steps on his or her part.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

There’s no such thing as a normal angel. It’s never done that way.
Atom, Aylett

Freedom in cyberspace’d be fine and dandy if we happened to live there.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

It was difficult to tell where one bastard ended and another began
The Crime Studio, Aylett

fractal litigation, whereby the flapping of a butterfly’s wings on one side of the world resulted in a massive compensation claim on the other.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Break your own heart - I’m busy.
Atom, Aylett

Let us forget the past - this is the only way to be genuinely surprised.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Tinsel on a man - happiness is dead.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Authority takes everything. It nails the puddle of wine to the table.
Atom, Aylett

Nuns would run shrieking, but as far as I can tell that’s all they’re for.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

A society will manufacture an image of progress and locate it in the direction it wishes to take us.
Shamanspace, Aylett

Pain is the universe unguarded.
Toxicology, Aylett

The best way of getting into something is to think of it as mischief.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

I won’t be lectured to by someone whose nose is the same colour as his eyes,
Toxicology, Aylett

Behind my face do I respect you? Is the war declaration friendly in the envelope?
Toxicology (UK edn), Aylett

the average legislator is driven by the desire to cool his molten ignorance into some lasting obstacle
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Whatever it purports to be, if everyone stops to watch, it is not advisable to drink it.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

there is no more infernal amusement than the spectating of civilization’s bind.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Strong rules don’t bend but break.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

I’ve always been marginal, me.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

to him Marx and Rand were the same because he went by pant size
Toxicology, Aylett

Submission to causes is what befell the gods
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

I crept in to find my father with pennies on his eyes - and looking closer I saw they were made of foil-covered chocolate. Of course I stole and ate them. Magical guilt? Tell me about it.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Oppression evolves, like everything else.
Toxicology, Aylett

Sympathising with their arrogance might encourage them to rule over you.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

The great thing about being ignored is that you can speak the truth with impunity.
Toxicology, Aylett

A hundred percent of marriages end in divorce, disappearance or death.
Toxicology, Aylett

Murder’s the taking of one man’s life by another - war’s the other way around.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

The young are too intent to be truly sinister.
Atom, Aylett

A crime doesn’t have its being outside the law - the law has its being inside a crime.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Everyone steals something.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

The cops stood expecting our amusement to be paralysed in deference. Many had confused their profession with full human identity. I thought a few had guns, and asked someone why.
‘To assure us that nice people carry guns too.’
Toxicology, Aylett

He had long been curious at leaders’ intermittent calls for a return to past values and had tested the notion by trying to build a house from the sky downwards.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

To be so hen-hearted? To live his life as stock footage? To guard forever against divergence into originality? To what end? And what would be left to him? By comparison his life of stress and concern thus far seemed a funky adventure.
Toxicology, Aylett

Originality irritates so obscurely that people may have to evolve to scratch it.
Shamanspace, Aylett

Biting enemies seems to be acceptable in a surprisingly narrow range of circumstances, or so a ninja shouted at me once.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Vampire bat: cute, pig-faced bird which drinks blood. The family Megadermitidae cannot drink blood and are called ‘false vampires’. Which goes to show that if you’re a bat, you can’t win.
Toxicology, Aylett

Leaping into an empty pram amid the screams of women, Eddie tried to reclaim his youth.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Religion is the opium of the people - and it’s cheaper.
Toxicology, Aylett

When a man drops his wife’s dish, the universe opens for a moment like a lion’s jaws.
Toxicology, Aylett

Each sneeze frees a hundred lawyers.
Toxicology, Aylett

Only the English clear heaven for dignitaries.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Life is a chessboard with one piece and one square.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

Nice day - sunny outside and I hadn’t bled much.
Toxicology, Aylett

Chains live without air
Shamanspace, Aylett

Oh to be in England in the cruellest month
Toxicology, Aylett

‘... They say life begins at forty.’
‘On the contrary sir, it begins where it ends - at nought.’
Toxicology, Aylett

What’s life in this nation? Collect emptiness in a household of cornflakes. Transient fuel gobbles attention, the television aches, the truth walks. Scheme worms welcome your corpse, trap clicks and you’re in heaven, bored rigid.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Educated perhaps in the terrifying arts, the barman was silent.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Truths snow into a lake, dissolving and lost.
Toxicology, Aylett

Wouldn’t we all shoot a mayor or two for a few laugh-lines?
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

under our lives our death continues like the blank tape under a recording.
Toxicology (UK edn), Aylett

A weak life is still big enough to push the button.
Toxicology, Aylett

Prayer loves detail - slows you down.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Everyone reckons spirits are a right laugh to flurry and snort over the houses - don’t you believe it.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

A rose can’t help it.
Toxicology (UK edn), Aylett

A man who believes in a billion things has a billion used tickets to sell.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Life and death have equal authority in nature. When laws contradict so fundamentally they cause mere confusion in the average soul ...
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

The breaking of encryption is us communicating with our technology - breaking the ice.
‘Black Triangle’ story, Aylett

Those who know do not speak, those who speak do not know. Thus wisdom remains uninherited.
Toxicology, Aylett

In America fundamentalist Christians believe the world was created 6,000 years ago - in England people drink in bars that are older than that.
Aylett, interview, 2000

Bodies are street clothes of the spirit, a fattening wallet of things.
Toxicology, Aylett

Justice is a different species than cause and effect.
Toxicology, Aylett

Gun stripping is the tea ceremony of America.
Toxicology, Aylett

I thought things couldn't get any worse - that’s how young I was.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

An office is a machine for dying.
Atom, Aylett

Trickles whisper in abattoir drains and all’s well with the world.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Some people keep their faces on the inside
Atom, Aylett

Couples: when feeding a guppy, spread the work - one to sprinkle the food, one to frown.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Context is everything. Take a dead, dry molecule from an orange, balance it on your finger - utterly useless to one and all. But put it in a box of granola, and it’s gold dust.
Atom, Aylett

All dependence and renunciation go unrewarded in the universal jaws of experience.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

It takes patience to appreciate the wrong reply.
Atom, Aylett

Look at this bullet sir - the lifespan of an aphid, but by gad the changes it can wring.
Atom, Aylett

Man accepts diversity at every level of nature but his own mind. A million emotions; only two hundred words.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

Bleach repeated her view that Russia was never a communist country seeing as communism is the abolition of class, and all they ever did in Russia was abolish the middle one.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

guilt’s a debt in the head
Atom, Aylett

When do you know finally that a secret’s successful?
Shamanspace, Aylett

Since childhood I’d been suspected of imagination.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Everyone knows what’s a real crime.
Atom, Aylett

Organised religion added Jesus to the food groups. The past is killed off by American marksmen. The obligation to possess money, the forced flowers of convention, replicated controversy, canned gunfire, the ordeal venom of litigation, the dwindling comb-over of western culture - here, written in blood and English, is the hobbling of humanity.
Atom, Aylett

The office of Mayor suffered many opportunities to serve the people.
Atom, Aylett

the notion of innocence as a form of aggression against society
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

At what time are people so reckless with meaning? When only the utterly powerful can risk an act of kindness.
Atom, Aylett

Hang up the phone on a vampire - the definition of carefree.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

(On the movie Wilde): It virtually ignored the literary aspects of Wilde. It concentrated so much on the queer thing it could have been about anybody.
Interview, 1998, Aylett

Oh my brothers it’s a fine thing when the most we can hope for is a kick upside the face from a saviour.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

The law is where reality goes to die.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

Regret is the broadest frontier.
Atom, Aylett

doors were invented to let people in and out, and as long as doors were included in the design of safes, vaults and houses, they would continue to serve this purpose.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

‘What’s that thing when someone gets a knock on the head and suddenly can’t remember anything about himself?’
‘Death,’ said the barman, his face a mask of disapproval.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

A mind’s the most controlled substance there is
Toxicology, Aylett

If all roads lead to Rome, how can anyone who lives there ever leave?
The Crime Studio, Aylett

If music be the food of love, why haven’t birds got ears?
The Crime Studio, Aylett

People who've had a lot of good luck deny that luck exists - those who've had a lot of bad know it does.
Shamanspace, Aylett

And when the pen priest told them the walls of hell were four thousand miles thick, they began at once to formulate a plan for breaking in.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

Life shoots first
Atom, Aylett

He possessed the anonymity of those who are in such a state of health and standard opinion as to be almost undetectable to the human eye.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

facts are found where temptation is brightest.
Toxicology, Aylett

it was the fashion to punish crooks severely so as to encourage their assimilation back into the underworld - a process known as ‘recrimination’.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

Murder, theft, riot - they could not permit it to be true.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Never roast a farmer. If you think they complain under normal circumstances, you don’t know the half of it.
Toxicology, Aylett

disorder’s an offence with no mappable contours and the ideal fog for all occasions.
Toxicology, Aylett

Used a replica gun to steal a replica sportscar and experienced a replica of remorse.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

dreams always end before you kill the last person.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

Trouble’s the only thing which can result from posing in a doorway with your trousers on only one leg. And it’s the bare leg, not the trousered one, which will be the cause of that trouble.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

He said he didn’t like my kind and I was filled with the delirious expectation that he would identify me as a common species - that there were others like myself. I controlled my excitement, but he seemed to sense it - his gaze wavered uncertainly.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

Those who lead double lives do so because they can only count that far
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

There’s no limit to what a dying system will demand of you
Toxicology, Aylett

Love is granted before we know it, like an escaping bird. Respect is more slow, like a tired badger.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

sacrifice swings the spotlight onto absence
Shamanspace, Aylett

Snapper believed he could release his prejudices only by expressing them, and would believe this until he was buried in worms and clay.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

Seemed she should learn to smile when she was unhappy, to stop laughing, to speak up, to never speak to strangers, to share guilt for the acts of strangers, that strangers made the laws of the land, that the laws of the land valued things over life, that life ended if a stranger decided it, to be where she could be found, to feel one thing and do another. How could she hang so many contradictions in one skull?
Toxicology, Aylett

His bulk was the only thing standing between justice and chaos, and he had so far kept these conditions innocent of one another.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

A thought is no different than an act, especially if your thoughts are of no consequence.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Most books are so well written they barely have any effect on the reader’s senses
Toxicology, Aylett

Saying ‘Advantage mine’ when overtaking someone on the pavement is not a winning attitude.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Remember the philosopher Pandemal who went to hell with the words, ‘Fatal place, have another bit.’
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Denial. Vacuum competes with vacuum. Laws outlaw the harmless to make the effective inconceivable. Scholarly incomprehension. No questions asked. Banality given the terms and prestige of science. Ignorance worn like a heraldic crest. Mediocrity loudly rewarded. Misery by instalments. Hypocrisy too extreme to process. Maintenance of a feeble public imagination. Lavish access to useless data. Fashion as misdirection.
(end of the world accurately predicted in:) Toxicology, Aylett

Women send signals but men speak English.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Death cancels everything but truth, then buries us in uncomfortable trousers and no underwear.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

Who rises from prayer a better man has forgotten something.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

No end of friends but gets through the embalming fluid, know what I mean.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Pretension - the pretense that your words or actions are of greater value or meaning than they actually are.
Toxicology (UK edn), Aylett

Crime is an evolving definition sir - and one must evolve with the times.
Atom, Aylett

My interviews are often spiked because I give the wrong answers.
Aylett, spiked interview, 1999

Snack in a sniper’s nest - calm before the storm.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

‘I was careless enough to be born in England ... I’m not about to compound the error by dying here at your hands.’
Shamanspace, Aylett

Lady luck means to feed.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

The clerk tripped on the carpet, hit a window and went through, carrying with him a vase which had been on the sill. His skull broke like the vase and the vase broke like his skull, and both burst forth water mainly, and from the vase some flowers. If I could choose a death I’d make it something like that, except I’d add a good woman and some lard.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Wooden skulls don’t work for long.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Anything my legs can pass, I’ll ignore.
Toxicology, Aylett

If we accept for the moment that reptiles have a way of knowing their own smooth charm, should we trouble ourselves with any other question?
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

From space this Earth is incandescent with abominations - the gods write their signature in our entrails.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

A key and a strangler - this is all a simple tale requires.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

A flower is coloured silk in the dirt, not a symbol.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Nobody dared waste time telling him we planned to ignore the order - every time he raised his face we tensed for the euphoria of disobedience.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

You cannot ice-skate and be bewildered at the same time
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

I found myself hungering for the wooden stone at the heart of the peach, a truth which didn’t change from one moment to the next.
Toxicology, Aylett

When I was a kid the devout sang a chorus of subordination and villains wore masks to keep off the glare of our envy.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

When man cannot effect cannibalism, can only be judged by evils, as distant cities go quiet in collapse and trouble, I will make toast by the river, and remember the warning I gave you this day.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

My rule for life is to be desperate one day at a time.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Status looks outward so unremittingly its heart may stop without concern.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Thought truth was the stone in the snowball. Truth was really the whole shebang.
Shamanspace, Aylett

The roof exists only to conceal what the world is about to heap upon me.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

I owed no morality to those who would extort it by force
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

I’ve learnt that a man must go where he’s welcome if he wishes for conviviality, and where he’s unwelcome if he wishes for mayhem and adventure.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

I enjoy staring at the sea, but unlike other wanderers of the Brighton coast, who are careful to appear wistfully enriched by the phenomenon, I make a point of looking utterly baffled.
Aylett, interview, 2000

Our despair’s so comprehensive round here it’ll take more than your miracles to shift it Padre.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

The trouble with the law is that it’s yet to fall into the right hands.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

England’s a shower curtain for the modest butcher.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

You may learn that you can justify any atrocious act by connecting it with several years of a stranger’s success - no-one condemns altruism.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

I’m serenaded by bullshit.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

‘Is this what passes for murder round here?’
Toxicology (UK edn), Aylett

You’ll have no physical pain Eddie, not at first. Life measured in tides of snot, whispered like memorial curses. Movement by the tiny privilege stepladder. Dark afflicted years of assignment to the business corridor, then the last.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Injustice rings down through history to a deserted callbox.
Toxicology, Aylett

I sold a spicy doughball in the street for eighty quid because the fool thought I was someone else. There was my first lesson in how to progress in this world.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Terror and dread, the claws of the soul - hang on for dear life.
Bigot Hall, Aylett

Notice the ears on either side of that apple? Now tell me the world’s not collapsing.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Individual versus society, or versus god. Either way it’s the resistance to absorption.
Shamanspace, Aylett

Time is longer than hope.
Atom, Aylett

Stab me if you can enjoy it - but not if it feels like a duty. Stab me vertically if I’m lying down and horizontally if I’m running.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

And I thought - parts become outdated, it’s a hood with smile, it’s sleeves on cars, it’s the norm, who can keep up?
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

The Bible’s all small print.
Toxicology, Aylett

Some things you don’t believe till you see them in the mirror.
Toxicology, Aylett

The authorities portrayed shock and outrage but never described what it was they had been expecting.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Opposites attract, resulting in a narrowing of possibilities.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Unachieved, my destiny drums its bony fingers as I snore.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Pick out summer from a picnic and you’re left with idiots in a marsh.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Skint in a tux, you impress nobody.
Horoscope’ story, Aylett

Meanwhile someone stepped into a cage with a lion. For me a lion is like any other situation - if you’re going to whip it and push it away with a chair, why get involved in the first place?
Bigot Hall, Aylett

I’m the skeleton you strain to conceal in your own body.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Killjar brothers date their dreams, the horizon wounds like a knife, pebbles surge in roil-whispers - and other calculated marvels. Don’t try bullshitting me, brother.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Male cops were taught it was okay to shoot a woman in the back but most still considered this too much of a commitment.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

ideas are self-replenishing, like snot
The Crime Studio, Aylett

Beerlight rules for Russian Roulette. A group of people sit around a table on which rests a fully loaded gun. The first one to pick it up and shoot himself is the Russian.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

Nature hates a vacuum and tends to fill it with the standing idle.
The Crime Studio, Aylett

a time when the activity of swapping one addiction for another was the only example of fair barter remaining in the western world.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

Chum, I’m stood here the risen Christ. A cigarette in each nostril, I save time for myself and others. Clams yawn like a garbage truck as I approach with an opener. The embassy summon me and call me bastardo, slapping my face with my own passport. A filament of butterfly nerve anchors my virtues.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Scientists used to do an experiment whereby a dog’s repeated reward for performing a task was unaccountably replaced by punishment. The dog, knowing it would be penalized for doing well or doing badly, would become melancholic and inactive. This and other unforeseeable results were funded by taxing up to sixty percent of people’s earnings. People became strangely melancholic and inactive.
Slaughtermatic, Aylett

I knew books could see people around them, they ground their tiny teeth, tried to rattle like windows, stories to tell.
Shamanspace, Aylett

Nemesis crush - one at a time please.
The Inflatable Volunteer, Aylett

Book of Aylett quotes TAO TE JINX available HERE

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