Readings/Quotes from Nerd & Geek Culture
Updated: Jan 16
#1 This for you by Neil Gaiman
A reading written for two of his friends on their wedding day —
This for you, for both of you,
a small poem of happiness filled with small glories and little triumphs a fragile, short cheerful song filled with hope and all sorts of futures
Because at weddings we imagine the future Because it’s all about “what happened next?” all the work and negotiation and building and talk that makes even the tiniest happily ever after something to be proud of for a wee forever
This is a small thought for both of you like a feather or a prayer, a wish of trust and love and hope and fine brave hearts and true.
Like a tower, or a house made all of bones and dreams
and tomorrows and tomorrows and tomorrows
#2 The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman
“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me.”
#3 LGBTQ - Supreme Court Case on Same-Sex Marriage: Obergefell v. Hodges
“From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage. Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons.
Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations. The centrality of marriage to the human condition makes it unsurprising that the institution has existed for millennia and across civilizations. Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together.
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.” – Justice Anthony Kennedy
#4 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Definition: ‘Love’ is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometres away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope. Statement: This definition, I am told, is subject to interpretation. Obviously, ‘love’ is a matter of odds. Not many meatbags could make such a shot, and strangely enough, not many meatbags would derive love from it. Yet for me, love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticle, and together, achieving a singular purpose, against statistically long odds.
#5 If I Didn’t Have You by Tim Minchin
I’m not undervaluing what we’ve got when I say that given the role chaos inevitably plays in the inherently flawed notion of “fate” it’s obtuse to deduce that I’ve found my soulmate at the age of seventeen. It’s just mathematically unlikely that at a university in Perth I happened to stumble on the one girl on Earth specifically designed for me.
And if I may conjecture a further objection, love is nothing to do with destined perfection. The connection is strengthened, the affection simply grows over time, like a flower or a mushroom or a guinea pig or a vine or a sponge or bigotry… or a banana.
And love is made more powerful by the ongoing drama of shared experience and the synergy of a kind of symbiotic empathy or… something
#6 Star Trek: Voyager
“Commander, I don’t think you can analyze love. It’s the greatest mystery of all. No one knows why it happens, or doesn’t. Love is a chance combination of elements. Any one thing might be enough to keep it from igniting – a mood, a glance… a remark. And if we could define love, predict it – it would probably lose its power.” – Neelix (Unforgettable, 1998)
“You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars — pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… you could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable, and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and… what I’m trying to say, Tristan is… I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I’d know it for myself. My heart… it feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it’s trying to escape because it doesn’t belong to me any more. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange: no gifts, no goods, no demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.” —Yvaine
#8 Wedding Readings from Doctor Who
“You know when sometimes, you meet someone so beautiful – and then you actually talk to them, and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick; but then there’s other people. And you meet them and you think, ‘Not bad, they’re okay,’ and then when you get to know them… Their face just sort of becomes them, like their personality’s written all over it, and they just – they turn into something so beautiful. Rory’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.” – Amy Pond (The Girl Who Waited)
“Do you wanna come with me? ‘Cause if you do, then I should warn you – you’re gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past. Aliens from the future. The day the Earth died in a ball of flame. It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be: The trip of a lifetime!” – The Ninth Doctor
#9 Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
#10 Game of Thrones Wedding Readings
“As you are the Moon of his life, he shall be your Sun and Stars. Your love shall be as ever present as those two celestial bodies…even though they are sometimes hidden from one another’s sight. Your love will be the guiding force that charts the course of your tomorrows, holds your world together in difficult times, and will make life itself shine bolder and brighter than we human beings have a right to dream of.” – From Khal Drogo and Khaleesi’s Dothraki wedding
“Father. Smith. Warrior. Mother. Maiden. Crone. Stranger. I am hers, and he is mine, from this day, until the end of my days.” – Robb Stark marries Talisa
#11 The X-Files
“Well, it seems to me that the best relationships – the ones that last – are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is… suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with.” – Dana Scully
#12 Buffy The Vampire Slayer
“When I say, ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman. You’re the one.” —Spike
“Passion. It is born, and though uninvited, unwelcome, unwanted…like a cancer it takes root. It festers. It bleeds. It scabs… only to rupture and bleed anew. It grows…it thrives…until it consumes. It lives, so it must die. It lies in all of us. Sleeping, waiting, and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir–open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us, guides us. Some to despair… it drives others to murder and others to madness. Passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments: the joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bare. Passion is the source of hope and the cause of despair. It is the source of life and the cause of death. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we’d be truly dead.” – Angel
#13 The Princess Bride by William Goldman
“Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches… I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids…
I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I.”
#14 Excerpt from Babylon 5
The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
The language is not Human, Klingon, Huttese or Gallifreyan.
It speaks in the language of hope. It speaks in the language of trust.
It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion.
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice.
It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us.
And the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born.
It is the small, still voice that says we are One.
No matter the blood, no matter the skin,
No matter the world, no matter the star,
We are One.
No matter the pain, no matter the darkness,
No matter the loss, no matter the fear.
We are One.
Here, gathered together in common cause
We agree to recognize this singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another.
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us,
And each voice lost diminishes us.
We are the voice of the universe, the soul of creation,
And the fire that will light the way to your future together.
#15 The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
“You were the one who taught me… I never looked at you without seeing the sweetness of the way the world goes together, or without sorrow for its spoiling. I became a hero to serve you, and all that is like you. Also to find some way of starting a conversation… I would enter your sleep if I could, and guard you there, and slay the thing that hounds you, as I would if it had the courage to face me in fair daylight. But I cannot come in unless you dream of me… I love whom I love.”
#16 Scientific Romance by Tim Pratt
If starship travel from our Earth to some far star and back again at velocities approaching the speed of light made you younger than me due to the relativistic effects of time dilation, I’d show up on your doorstep hoping you’d developed a thing for older men, and I’d ask you to show me everything you learned to pass the time out there in the endless void of night.
If we were the sole survivors of a zombie apocalypse and you were bitten and transformed into a walking corpse I wouldn’t even pick up my assault shotgun, I’d just let you take a bite out of me, because I’d rather be undead forever with you than alive alone without you.
If I had a time machine, I’d go back to the days of your youth to see how you became the someone I love so much today, and then I’d return to the moment we first met just so I could see my own face when I saw your face for the first time, and okay, I’d probably travel to the time when we were a young couple and try to get a three-way going. I never understood why more time travelers don’t do that sort of thing.
If the alien invaders come and hover in stern judgment over our cities, trying to decide whether to invite us to the Galactic Federation of Confederated Galaxies or if instead a little genocide is called for, I think our love could be a powerful argument for the continued preservation of humanity in general, or at least, of you and me in particular.
If we were captives together in an alien zoo, I’d try to make the best of it, cultivate a streak of xeno-exhibitionism, waggle my eyebrows, and make jokes about breeding in captivity.
If I became lost in the multiverse, exploring infinite parallel dimensions, my only criterion for settling down somewhere would be whether or not I could find you: and once I did, I’d stay there even if it was a world ruled by giant spider- priests, or one where killer robots won the Civil War, or even a world where sandwiches were never invented, because you’d make it the best of all possible worlds anyway, and plus we could get rich off inventing sandwiches.
If the Singularity comes and we upload our minds into a vast computer simulation of near-infinite complexity and perfect resolution, and become capable of experiencing any fantasy, exploring worlds bound only by our enhanced imaginations, I’d still spend at least 10^21 processing cycles a month just sitting on a virtual couch with you, watching virtual TV, eating virtual fajitas, holding virtual hands, and wishing for the real thing.
#17 The Day the Saucers Came by Neil Gaiman
“That day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden, Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes, And the people of Earth stood and stared as they descended, Waiting, dry-mouthed, to find what waited inside for us And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow But you didn’t notice it because That day, the day the saucers came, by some coincidence, Was the day that the graves gave up their dead And the zombies pushed up through soft earth or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable, Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran, But you did not notice this because
On the saucer day, which was the zombie day, it was Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us A ship built of dead-men’s nails, a serpent, a wolf, All bigger than the mind could hold, and the cameraman could Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out But you did not see them coming because
On the saucer-zombie-battling-gods day the floodgates broke And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities And charm and cleverness and true brave hearts and pots of gold While giants feefofummed across the land, and killer bees, But you had no idea of any of this because
That day, the saucer day, the zombie day, The Ragnarok and fairies day, the day the great winds came And snows, and the cities turned to crystal, the day All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the Computers turned, the screens telling us we would obey, the day Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars, And all the bells of London were sounded, the day Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day, The fluttering capes and arrival of the Time Machine day, You didn’t notice any of this because you were sitting in your room, not doing anything not even reading, not really, just looking at your telephone, wondering if I was going to call.”
#18 Ultimate Geek Mashup
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird,
and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours,
we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.
Love is the moment before you’re frozen in carbonite, when the girl you’ve had your eye on finally admits what you always knew.
Love is when you say, “I know”. Love is do, or do not, there is no try.
Wuv…twu wuv…goes on forever and ever. And always says “As you wish”.
Love is not cupid’s Arrow, it’s Katniss Everdeen’s. May the odds be ever in your favor.
It happens in a Flash, and makes you feel like you can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
It’s a shield, a smash, a hammer, and an iron suit, all in one.
You should always be in love. Unless you can be The Doctor. Then you should be The Doctor.
Love is the Ron Swanson of emotions. There is nothing stronger, except Ron Swanson.
When it comes to love, treat yo-self.
Love says “Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear”. Love is like a prayer.
It’s the great American hero, Kevin Bacon, teaching a small town that it’s our time, it’s our time to dance.
Love is 1.21 gigawatts. It makes us drive 88 miles per hour, speeding towards our destiny.
It’s dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria.
It’s more powerful than a T-Rex, and almost majestic.
Love is our happy thought. Love is magic.
Love is asking “After all this time?” and knowing the answer will be “Always”
#19 The Mario Cart Love Song:
You be my princess & I'll be your toad
I'll follow behind you on rainbow road
Protect you from red shells wherever we go
No-one will touch us if we pick up a star
And if you spin out, you can ride in my car
When we slide together we generate sparks
In our wheels and our hearts
The blue shell is coming so I'll go ahead
If you hang behind it will hit me instead
But never look back 'cause I'm down but not dead
I'll catch up to you
Don't worry about Bowser or DK
Let's eat this glowing mushroom
And they'll all fade away
The finish line is just around the bend
I'll pause this game so our love will never end
#20 Adaptation from Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything
“Welcome. And congratulations. I am delighted that you could make it. Getting here wasn't easy, I know. In fact, I suspect it was a little tougher than you realize.
To begin with, for you both to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you, and your relationship. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.
For the next many years (we hope) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the billions of deft, cooperative efforts necessary to keep you, and you marriage intact and let you experience the supremely agreeable but generally underappreciated state known as co-existence.
Why atoms take this trouble is a bit of a puzzle. Being either of you is not a gratifying experience at the atomic level. For all their devoted attention, your atoms don't actually care about you-indeed, don't even know that you are there. They don't even know that they are there. They are mindless particles, after all, and not even themselves alive. (It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick each other apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been both of you.)
Yet somehow for the period of your existence they will answer to a single overarching impulse: to keep you… you, as a couple."
"You really are at the beginning of it all. The trick, of course, is to make sure you never find the end. And that, almost certainly, will require a good deal more than lucky breaks."