Robert A. Heinlein quotes
Robert A. Heinlein
Birthdate: 7. July 1907
Date of death: 8. May 1988
Other names: Robert Heinlein, Роберт Энсон Хайнлайн
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", his sometimes controversial works continue to have an influential effect on the genre, and on modern culture more generally.
Heinlein became one of the first American science fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science fiction novelists for many decades, and he, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke are often considered the "Big Three" of English-language science fiction authors. Among his most notable works are Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, which helped create the space marine and mecha archetypes, and the libertarian novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
A writer also of numerous science fiction short stories, Heinlein was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship of John W. Campbell at his Astounding Science Fiction magazine; however, Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree.
Within the framework of his science fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.
Heinlein was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master in 1974. He won Hugo Awards for four of his novels; in addition, fifty years after publication, five of his works were awarded "Retro Hugos"—awards given retrospectively for works that were published before the Hugo Awards came into existence. In his fiction, Heinlein coined terms that have become part of the English language, including "grok", "waldo", and "speculative fiction", as well as popularizing existing terms like "TANSTAAFL", "pay it forward", and "space marine". He also anticipated mechanical computer aided design with "Drafting Dan" and described a modern version of a waterbed in his novel The Door into Summer, though he never patented or built one. In the first chapter of the novel Space Cadet he anticipated the cell-phone, 35 years before Motorola invented the technology. Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for film and television.
Quotes Robert A. Heinlein
— Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land (1961; 1991), "Jubal Harshaw" in the first edition (1961); the later 1991 "Uncut" edition didn't have this line, because it was one Heinlein had added when he went through and trimmed the originally submitted manuscript on which the "Uncut" edition is based. Heinlein also later used a variant of this in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls where he has Xia quote Harshaw: "Dr. Harshaw says that 'the word "love" designates a subjective condition in which the welfare and happiness of another person are essential to one's own happiness.'"
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— Robert A. Heinlein, book The Green Hills of Earth
Short fiction, The Past Through Tomorrow (1967), Logic of Empire (p. 335); this is one of the earliest known variants of an idea which has become known as Hanlon's razor.