Robert A. Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald

Robert A.
Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald

American Novelist, Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction Writer, called the "dean of science fiction writers"

Author Quotes

You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.

You have to give an editor something to change, or he gets frustrated. After he pees in it himself, he likes the flavor much better, so he buys it.

You have to have been out on a long patrol to appreciate this properly. You need to have looked forward to your day of guard duty, for the privilege of standing two hours out of each six with your spine against bulkhead thirty and your ears cocked for just the sound of a female voice. I suppose it's actually easier in the all-stag ships... but I'll take the Rodger Young. It's good to know that the ultimate reason you are fighting actually exists and that they are not just a figment of the imagination.

You just said you couldn?t.

You live and learn. Or you don't live long.

You obviously don't know what an Old Man of the Sea great wealth is. It is not a fat purse and time to spend it. Its owner finds himself beset on every side, at every hour, wherever he goes, by persistent pleaders, like beggars in Bombay, each demanding that he invest or give away part of his wealth. He becomes suspicious of honest friendship--indeed honest friendship is rarely offered him; those who could have been his friends are too fastidious to be jostled by beggars, too proud to risk being mistaken for one.

You should. It's barely less important than your own heart-beat.

You were probably educated in the conventional economic theories of your period which were magnificent and most ingenious, but--if you will pardon my saying so--all wrong.

Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate ? and quickly.

You're in bad shape when your emotions force you into acts which you know are foolish.

You don?t pay back, you pay forward.

You go into a man?s house, you accept his household rules ? that?s a universal law of civilized behavior.

You got the impression that he never needed to sleep - just ten-thousand-mile checkups and dust him off occasionally.

What we think of as ?Physical beauty? is almost certainly a tag for a complex of useful survival characteristics. Smartness?intelligence?among them.

While still a kitten, all fluff and buzzes, Pete had worked out a simple philosophy. I was in charge of quarters, rations, and weather; he was in charge of everything else. But he held me especially responsible for weather. Conneticut winters are good only for Christmas cards; regularly that winter Pete would check his own door, refuse to go outside because of that unpleasant white stuff beyond it (he was no fool), then badger me to open a people door.

Work is not an end in itself; there must always be time enough for love.

When a fact came along, he junked theories that failed to match.

Who is more real? Homer or Ulysses? Shakespeare or Hamlet? Burroughs or Tarzan?

Writing can be learned, but not taught.

When a place gets crowded enough to require ID?s, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.

Who said I was wise? I?m a professional bad example. You can learn a lot by watching me. Or listening to me. Either one.

Writing is a legal way of avoiding work without actually stealing and one that doesn't take any talent or training.

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, ?This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,? the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything ? you can?t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly.

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.

Author Picture
First Name
Robert A.
Last Name
Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald
Birth Date

American Novelist, Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction Writer, called the "dean of science fiction writers"