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

When faced with a problem you do not understand, do any part of it you do understand, then look at it again.

Why does a moth fly toward light?

Yes, Boss?' Dorcas, the last twenty or thirty years I've been a worthless, no-good parasite.' She yawned again. 'Everybody knows that.' Nevermind the flattery. There comes a time in every man's life when he has to stop being sensible--a time to stand up and be counted--strike a blow for liberty--smite the wicked.' Ummm...' So quit yawning, the time has come.' She glanced down. 'Maybe I had better get dressed.

When I don?t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why.

Why don't they make more science fiction movies?

Yes, maybe it?s just one colossal big joke with no point to it. Lazarus stood up and stretched and scratched his ribs. But I can tell you this, Andy, whatever the answers are, here?s one monkey that?s going to keep on climbing, and looking around him to see what he can see, as long as the tree holds out.

When I was in high school, I won a debate by quoting an argument from the British Colonial Shipping Board. The opposition was unable to refute me - because there never was a British Colonial Shipping Board.

Why not?

Yes, sir, there are things to see and do on the French Riviera without spending money.

When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

Widows are far better than brides. They don't tell, they won't yell, they don't swell, they rarely smell, and they're grateful as hell.

Yield to temptation. It may not pass your way again.

When it don?t rain, the roof don?t leak; when it rains, I can?t fix it nohow.

Winslow says I don't understand plotting and probably I don't - I have been congratulated many times on the skill shown in my plotting when I knew damn well that the story in question had not been plotted in advance at all. My notion of a story is an interesting situation in which a human being has to cope with a problem, does so, and thereby changes his personality, character, or evaluations in some measure because the coping has forced him to revise his thinking. How h copes with it I can't plot because that depends on his character, and I don't know his what his character is until i get acquainted with him. When I can hear the character talk then I'm all right - he works out his own salvation.

You are telling me that I did something because I was going to do something. Well, didn?t you? You were there. No, I didn?t?no? well, maybe I did, but it didn?t feel like it. Why should you expect it to? It was something totally new to your experience. But? but? Wilson took a deep breath and got control of himself. Then he reached back into his academic philosophical concepts and produced the notion he had been struggling to express. It denies all reasonable theories of causation. You would have me believe that causation can be completely circular. I went through because I came back from going through to persuade myself to go through. That?s silly. Well, didn?t you?

When one teaches, two learn.

Wisdom includes not getting angry unnecessarily. The Law ignores trifles and the wise man does, too.

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting.

When railroading time comes you can railroad?but not before.

With just a touch more self-confidence and a liberal helping of ignorance I could have been a famous evangelist.

You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.

What did I want? I wanted a Roc's egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist, and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get up feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a likely wench for my droit du seigneur - I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the albatross that had been pacing us the last thousand miles. I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, The game's afoot! I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and Lost Dauphin. I wanted Prester John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and to eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be the way they had promised me it was going to be, instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is. I had had one chance - for ten minutes yesterday afternoon. Helen of Troy, whatever your true name may be - and I had known it and I had let it slip away. Maybe one chance is all you ever get.

When the need arises ? and it does ? you must be able to shoot your own dog. Don't farm it out ? that doesn't make it nicer, it makes it worse.

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.

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"