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

Robert A.
Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald
1907

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

Author Quotes

Under what circumstances is it moral for a group to do that which is not moral for a member of that group to do alone?

We pray for one last landing on the globe that gave us birth; let us rest our eyes on fleecy skies and the cool, green hills of Earth.

Unless you intend to kill him immediately thereafter, never kick a man in the balls. Not even symbolically. Or perhaps especially not symbolically.

We used these rifles in field exercises to simulate a lot of deadlier and nastier aimed weapons, too.

Until a person, man or woman, has enjoyed this treasure bathed in the mutual bliss of minds linked as closely as bodies, that person is still as virginal and alone as if he has never copulated.

We?re simply trying to survive?and the first principle of survival is not to worry about the impossible and concentrate on what?s possible.

Up leaps the race of Earthmen, out, far, and onward yet--

Well... I'm learning.

Value has no meaning other than in relationship to living beings. The value of a thing is always relative to a particular person, is completely personal and different in quantity for each living human?"market value" is a fiction, merely a rough guess at the average of personal values, all of which must be quantitatively different or trade would be impossible.

Were you born stupid, Heinrich, or did you have to study?

Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn't give up, Ben; she's still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her. She's a father working while cancer eats away his insides, to bring home one more pay check. She's a twelve-year-old trying to mother her brothers and sisters because mama had to go to Heaven. She's a switchboard operator sticking to her post while smoke chokes her and fire cuts off her escape. She's all the unsung heroes who couldn't make it but never quit.

What a wonderful world it is that has women in it.

Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion [that violence never settles anything] is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.

What are the facts? Again and again and again ? what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history" ? what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.

Waking a person unnecessarily should not be considered a capital crime. For the first offense, that is.

What are the marks of a sick culture? It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn't the whole population. A very bad sign. Particularism. It was once considered a Spanish vice but any country can fall sick with it. Dominance of males over females seems to be one of the symptoms. Before a revolution can take place, the population must lose faith in both the police and the courts. High taxation is important and so is inflation of the currency and the ratio of the productive to those on the public payroll. But that's old hat; everybody knows that a country is on the skids when its income and outgo get out of balance and stay that way - even though there are always endless attempts to wish it way by legislation. But I started looking for little signs and what some call silly-season symptoms. I want to mention one of the obvious symptoms: Violence. Muggings. Sniping. Arson. Bombing. Terrorism of any sort. Riots of course - but I suspect that little incidents of violence, pecking way at people day after day, damage a culture even more than riots that flare up and then die down. Oh, conscription and slavery and arbitrary compulsion of all sorts and imprisonment without bail and without speedy trial - but those things are obvious; all the histories list them. I think you have missed the most alarming symptom of all. This one I shall tell you. But go back and search for it. Examine it. Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms as you have named... But a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot. This symptom is especially serious in that an individual displaying it never thinks of it as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength. Look for it. Study it. It is too late to save this culture - this worldwide culture, not just the freak show here in California. Therefore we must now prepare the monasteries for the coming Dark Age. Electronic records are too fragile; we must again have books, of stable inks and resistant paper.

To get anywhere, or even to live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer.

War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government?s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him? but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing? but controlled and purposeful violence. But it?s not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It?s never a soldier?s business to decide when or where or how?or why?he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people??older and wiser heads,? as they say?supply the control.

What course of action do you favor? Me? Why, none. Mary, if there is any one thing I have learned in the past couple of centuries, it?s this: These things pass. Wars and depressions and Prophets and Covenants?they pass. The trick is to stay alive through them.

To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy.

We came here for a small, informal meeting. We find you've turned it into a circus. Well, if you're going to have a circus, you've got to have elephants.

The very idea that the Chief would let anybody expose himself to danger in his place is-well, I ought to slap your face; that's what I ought to do!

There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back, for their private benefit.

There was one field in which man was unsurpassed; he showed unlimited ingenuity in devising bigger and more efficient ways to kill off, enslave, harass, and in all ways make an unbearable nuisance of himself to himself. Man was his own grimmest joke on himself. The very bedrock of humor was? Man is the animal who laughs, Jubal answered.

Author Picture
First Name
Robert A.
Last Name
Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald
Birth Date
1907
Bio

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