Robert A. Heinlein quotes

Robert A. Heinlein photo
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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.

Works

Time Enough for Love
Time Enough for Love
Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein
The Number of the Beast
Robert A. Heinlein
Beyond This Horizon
Beyond This Horizon
Robert A. Heinlein
Starship Troopers
Starship Troopers
Robert A. Heinlein
Farmer in the Sky
Farmer in the Sky
Robert A. Heinlein
Between Planets
Between Planets
Robert A. Heinlein
I Will Fear No Evil
I Will Fear No Evil
Robert A. Heinlein
The Puppet Masters
The Puppet Masters
Robert A. Heinlein
Sixth Column
Sixth Column
Robert A. Heinlein
Friday
Robert A. Heinlein
Starman Jones
Starman Jones
Robert A. Heinlein
Double Star
Double Star
Robert A. Heinlein
Methuselah's Children
Methuselah's Children
Robert A. Heinlein
Red Planet
Robert A. Heinlein
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
Robert A. Heinlein
Space Cadet
Space Cadet
Robert A. Heinlein
"—All You Zombies—"
Robert A. Heinlein
Time for the Stars
Time for the Stars
Robert A. Heinlein
Tunnel in the Sky
Tunnel in the Sky
Robert A. Heinlein
If This Goes On—
Robert A. Heinlein
Lost Legacy
Robert A. Heinlein
The Star Beast
The Star Beast
Robert A. Heinlein
Gulf
Robert A. Heinlein
Job: A Comedy of Justice
Robert A. Heinlein
By His Bootstraps
Robert A. Heinlein
Life-Line
Robert A. Heinlein
Glory Road
Glory Road
Robert A. Heinlein
The Past Through Tomorrow
The Past Through Tomorrow
Robert A. Heinlein
Grumbles from the Grave
Robert A. Heinlein
To Sail Beyond the Sunset
To Sail Beyond the Sunset
Robert A. Heinlein
Rocket Ship Galileo
Rocket Ship Galileo
Robert A. Heinlein
The Man Who Sold the Moon
The Man Who Sold the Moon
Robert A. Heinlein
Revolt in 2100
Robert A. Heinlein
Farnham's Freehold
Farnham's Freehold
Robert A. Heinlein
Solution Unsatisfactory
Robert A. Heinlein
They
Robert A. Heinlein
Elsewhen
Robert A. Heinlein
The Year of the Jackpot
Robert A. Heinlein
The Long Watch
Robert A. Heinlein
Assignment in Eternity
Assignment in Eternity
Robert A. Heinlein
Logic of Empire
Robert A. Heinlein
Tramp Royale
Robert A. Heinlein
Expanded Universe
Expanded Universe
Robert A. Heinlein
The Green Hills of Earth
The Green Hills of Earth
Robert A. Heinlein
Goldfish Bowl
Robert A. Heinlein

„Life is short, but the years are long.“

—  Robert A. Heinlein, book Methuselah's Children

Part of the secret "call and response" codewords by which members of the long-lived Howard Families can identify others:
: Life is short.
But the years are long.
Not while the evil days come not.
Methuselah's Children (1958)

„Television leaves no external scars.“

—  Robert A. Heinlein, book Have Space Suit—Will Travel

Source: Have Space Suit—Will Travel (1958), Chapter 3

„Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.“

—  Robert A. Heinlein, book Stranger in a Strange Land

"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.'"
Source: Stranger in a Strange Land (1961; 1991)

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„You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.“

—  Robert A. Heinlein, book The Green Hills of Earth

Logic of Empire (p. 335); this is one of the earliest known variants of an idea which has become known as Hanlon's razor.
Short fiction, The Past Through Tomorrow (1967)
Source: The Green Hills of Earth

„As for libertarian, I've been one all my life, a radical one. You might use the term "philosophical anarchist" or "autarchist" about me, but "libertarian" is easier to define and fits well enough.“

—  Robert A. Heinlein

1975 Statement to Judith Merrill, who had called herself a democrat and a libertarian, stating that such terms described him as well, as quoted in Robert A. Heinlein : In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better | 1948-1988 (2014), p. 389
Context: I think that describes me, too — still a democrat not because I love the Common Peepul and not because I think democracy is so successful (look around you) but, because in a lifetime of thinking about it and learning all that I could, I haven't found any other political organization that worked as well.
As for libertarian, I've been one all my life, a radical one. You might use the term "philosophical anarchist" or "autarchist" about me, but "libertarian" is easier to define and fits well enough.

„I believe in —  I am proud to belong to —  the United States.“

—  Robert A. Heinlein

This I Believe (1952)
Context: I believe in —  I am proud to belong to —  the United States. Despite shortcomings, from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.
And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown — in the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability … and goodness …. of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth, that we always make it just by the skin of our teeth — but that we will always make it … survive … endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes, will endure — will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets, to the stars, and beyond, carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage — and his noble essential decency.
This I believe with all my heart.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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