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

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.

There ought not to be anything in the whole universe that man can't poke his nose into?that's the way we're built and I assume that there's some reason for that.

This very personal relationship, ?value,? has two factors for a human being: first, what he can do with a thing, its use to him . . . and second, what he must do to get it, its cost to him. There is an old song which asserts ?the best things in life are free.? Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted? and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears.

The verdict to be passed on the third planet around Sol was never in doubt.

There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk ?his life, his fortune and his sacred honor? on an outcome dubious. Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else.

There seems to have been an actual decline in rational thinking. The United States had become a place where entertainers and professional athletes were mistaken for people of importance. They were idolized and treated as leaders; their opinions were sought on everything and they took themselves just as seriously?after all, if an athlete is paid a million or more a year, he knows he is important... so his opinions of foreign affairs and domestic policies must be important, too, even though he proves himself to be ignorant and sub-literate every time he opens his mouth.

Thou art God, and I am God and all that groks is God.

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"