Quotes / News Travels Fast

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special rules. The Hingefreel people of Arkintoofle Minor did try to build spaceships that were powered by bad news, but they didn't work particularly well and were so extremely unwelcome whenever they arrived anywhere that there wasn't really any point in being there.

Very great indeed was the commotion among all things with wings that dwelt on the borders of the Desolation of the Dragon. The air was filled with circling flocks, and their swift-flying messengers flew here and there across the sky. Above the borders of the Forest there was whistling, crying and piping. Far over Mirkwood tidings spread: "Smaug is dead!" Leaves rustled and startled ears were lifted. Even before the Elvenking rode forth, the news had passed right west to the pinewoods of the Misty Mountains; Beorn had heard it in his wooden house, and the goblins were at council in their caves...

Bad news travels fast. Down to the Belt and beyond, the rumor spread that the terrible General Woundwort and his Owsla had been cut to pieces on Watership Down and that what was left of them was trailing southward in poor shape, with little heart to keep alert. The Thousand began to close in — stoats, a fox, even a tomcat from some farm or other...
Watership Down, Richard Adams

I looked dumbly at him for a moment. "You knew about this? But, dammit, the Adjutant only mentioned it half an hour ago..."
He looked at me pityingly as I took his list. Of course, I ought to have known better. All this stuff about Highlanders' second sight is nonsense; it's just first-class espionage, that's all.

"Funny thing about submarines. Somehow the crew always knows where we're going before the captain does."
— Commander Cassidy, Destination Tokyo