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

Time is never a problem on the God level. Or space. Whatever needed to deceive you was provided. But no more than that. That is the conservative principle in art at the God level. While I can't do it, not being at that level, I have seen a lot of it done. A skillful Artist in shapes and appearances does no more than necessary to create His effect.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

There is no way to stop. Writers go on writing long after it becomes financially unnecessary...because it hurts less to write than it does not to write.

This is the great day. This is the greatest event in all the history of the human race, up to this time. That is ? today is New Year's Day of the Year One. If we don't change the calendar, historians will do so. The human race ? this is our change, our puberty rite, bar mitzvah, confirmation, from the change of our infancy into adulthood for the human race. And we're going to go on out, not only to the Moon, to the stars; we're going to spread. I don't know that the United States is going to do it; I hope so. I have ? I'm an American myself; I want it to be done by us. But in any case, the human race is going to do it, it's utterly inevitable: we're going to spread through the entire universe.

Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few.

There are a dozen different ways of delivering destruction in impersonal wholesale, via ships and missiles of one sort or another, catastrophes so widespread, so unselective, that the war is over because that nation or planet has ceased to exist. What we do is entirely different. We make war as personal as a punch in the nose. We can be selective, applying precisely the required amount of pressure at the specified point at a designated time? We are the boys who go to a particular place, at H-hour, occupy a designated terrain, stand on it, dig the enemy out of their holes, force them then and there to surrender or die. We're the bloody infantry, the doughboy, the duckfoot, the foot soldier who goes where the enemy is and takes him on in person. We've been doing it, with changes in weapons but very little change in our trade, at least since the time five thousand years ago when the foot sloggers of Sargon the Great forced the Sumerians to cry Uncle! Maybe they'll be able to do without us someday. Maybe some mad enius with myopia, a bulging forehead, and a cybernetic mind will devise a weapon that can go down a hole, pick out the opposition, adn force it to surrender or die--without killing that gang of your own people they've got imprisoned down there. I wouldn't know; I'm not a genius, I'm an M.I. In the meantime, until they build a machine to replace us, my mates can handle that job--and I might be some help on it, too.

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.

Time was when I was immune to emotional shocks. But as I get older, I don't get tougher; I get softer.

The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of ?loyalty? and ?duty.? Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute ? get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed.

There are but two ways of forming an opinion in science. One is the scientific method; the other, the scholastic. One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all important and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind, authority is everything and facts are junked when they do not fit theory laid down by authority.

There is nothing in this world so permanent as a temporary emergency.

This sad little lizard told me that he was a brontosaurus on his mother's side. I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have little else to sustain them. Humoring them costs nothing and adds to happiness in a world in which happiness is always in short supply.

To be human: to strive in the face of the certainty of failure.

The United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of importance.

There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who "love Nature" while deploring the "artificialities" with which "Man has spoiled `Nature.'" The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of "Nature" : but beavers and their dams are.

There is only one way to console a widow but remember the risk.

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 be matter of fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy--and dull fantasy at that--as the real world is strange and wonderful.

The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.

There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.

There is solemn satisfaction in doing the best you can for eight billion people. Perhaps their lives have no cosmic significance, but they have feelings. They can hurt.

This Universe never did make sense; I suspect that it was built on government contract.

The Universe was a damned silly place at best... but the least likely explanation for its existence was the no-explanation of random chance, the conceit that some abstract somethings just happened to be some atoms that just happened to get together in configurations which just happened to look like consistent laws and then some of these configurations just happened to possess self-awareness and that two such just happened to be the Man from Mars and the other a bald-headed old coot with Jubal himself inside. No, Jubal would not buy the just happened theory, popular as it was with men who called themselves scientists. Random chance was not a sufficient explanation of the Universe--in fact, random chance was not sufficient to explain random chance; the pot could not hold itself.

There are things which cannot be taught in ten easy lessons, nor popularized for the masses; they take years of skull sweat.

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"