by Dan Simmons
Life, Consciousness, and Existence Quotes in Hyperion
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
In 20th-century Old Earth, a fast food chain took dead cow meat, fried it in grease, added carcinogens wrapped in petroleum-based foam, and sold nine hundred billion units. Human beings. Go figure. (3.191)
For some reason, we're really craving a Big Mac right now.
[Sarai] had always felt that the essence of human experience lay [...] in the unself-conscious flow of little things [...] the sum of such hours creating a synergy which was important and eternal. (4.476)
This is a less-cliché, more evocative way of saying "it's the little things that count." So go hug your cat—and maybe upload a picture of Mr. Snookums to Instagram. That's the stuff that's going to matter.
[Johnny] told of his inability to write further poetry, […] of his retreat into something resembling catatonia combined with "hallucinations" of his true AI existence in the nearly incomprehensible (to a nineteenth-century poet) TechnoCore. (5.771)
AIs were programmed at some point in time, so it's possible that Johnny's existence is entirely predetermined. He wants to be human, but is that possible without free will?