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

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 coldest depth of Hell is reserved for people who abandon kittens.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness.

The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H. Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.

The second best thing about space travel is that the distances involved make war very difficult, usually impractical, and almost always unnecessary. This is probably a loss for most people, since war is our race's most popular diversion, one which gives purpose and color to dull and stupid lives. But it is a great boon to the intelligent man who fights only when he must.

The commonest weakness of our race is our ability to rationalize our most selfish purposes.

The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it ? once you can honestly say, ?I don?t know?, then it becomes possible to get at the truth.

The next higher level is to work, fight, and sometimes die for your own immediate family. This is the level at which six pounds of mother cat can be so fierce that she'll drive off a police dog. It is the level at which a father takes a moonlighting job to keep his kids in college ? and the level at which a mother or father dives into a flood to save a drowning child... and it is still moral behavior even when it fails.

The shops certainly did have pretty things and the handmade blouses were among the prettiest. Ticky insisted they were "bargains" and I suppose they were. I never will understand about such things; to my mind a bargain is something I need at a price I can afford.

The correct way to punctuate a sentence that states: Of course it is none of my business, but -- is to place a period after the word but. Don't use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.

The hell I won't talk that way! Peter, an eternity here without her is not an eternity of bliss; it is an eternity of boredom and loneliness and grief. You think this damned gaudy halo means anything to me when I know--yes, you've convinced me!--that my beloved is burning in the Pit? I didn't ask much. Just to be allowed to live with her. I was willing to wash dishes forever if only I could see her smile, hear her voice, touch her hand! She's been shipped on a technicality and you know it! Snobbish, bad-tempered angels get to live here without ever doing one lick to deserve it. But my Marga, who is a real angel if one ever lived, gets turned down and sent to Hell to everlasting torture on a childish twist in the rules. You can tell the Father and His sweet-talking Son and that sneaky Ghost that they can take their gaudy Holy City and shove it! If Margrethe has to be in Hell, that's where I want to be!

The next level in moral behavior higher than that exhibited by the baboon is that in which duty and loyalty are shown toward a group of your own kind too large for an individual to know all of them. We have a name for that. It is called "patriotism."

The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time-and then shut up.

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"