My Favorite Quotes by Science Fiction Authors

Science Fiction

I’m a sci-fi author and a lover of quotes. I feel as though a great quote can help bring you out of a slump, help change your mood or perspective, or even inspire you to do something great. I was looking up other great science fiction authors and came across some incredible quotes I thought I would share with everyone (and also for my future self).

Isaac Asimov Quotes

Isaac Asimov was one of the “Big Three” science fiction authors, along with Heinlein and Clarke (who are also mentioned below). He was best known for hard science fiction and his Foundation series.

An image of a quote from sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov on a black background above a cracking planet surrounded by blue space dust.

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

– Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations, 1988

I think we can all agree on this one. Technological advances continue at incredible rates – and without a doubt, some humans will always find the worst way to use that technology. It kind of makes me wonder, though… is society a mess because of people doing horrible things – or do people do horrible things because society is a mess?

An image of a quote from science fiction author Isaac Asimov on a dark blue background with geometric shapes.

“Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.”

– Isaac Asimov, Natural History April 1975

I really like this one too, because I feel like it’s true. Not that sci-fi writers claim to be prophets – but because we tend to be great observers. And, if you are paying attention, it’s easy to spot the same problems coming along wearing a different hat. Despite the issues that keep bubbling to the top in our society, it is important to remember that there will always be room for solutions.

This next one is a bit long for an image – but I love it and wanted to share.

“Writing is hard work. The fact that I love doing it doesn’t make it less hard work. People who love tennis will sweat themselves to exhaustion playing it, and the love of the game doesn’t stop the sweating. The casual assumption that writers are unemployed bums because they don’t go to the office and don’t have a boss is something every writer has to live with. I have never known a writer who hasn’t suffered as a result of this, hasn’t resented it, and hasn’t dreamed of murdering the next person who says “Boy, you’ve sure got it made. You just sit there and toss off a story or something whenever you feel like it.”

– Isaac Asimov, Joy Still Felt (1980), pp. 229-230

Writing is hard work. And yes, loving it doesn’t make it less difficult. But if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t be here still fighting the good fight. I will tell you one thing… seeing a great review about your work sure helps put fuel in the tank. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what writers run on – caffeine and good reviews.

Robert Heinlein Quotes

Robert Heinlein was another of the “Big Three” science fiction authors. A pioneer of hard science fiction, he is best known for Stranger in a Strange Land and Starship Troopers (don’t confuse the film with the book, though).

An image of a quote from sci-fi writer Robert A. Heinlein over a dark, moody, library with bookshelves lined with books.

“There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. The only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick.”

– Robert A. Heinlein 

And then I can’t forget Heinlein’s Rules for Writers:

  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you start.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting (except to editorial demand). 
  4. You must put it on the market. 
  5. You must keep it on the market until sold. 

I have to say – numbers two and three are where I tend to get stuck. There’s an area that resides in the space between “I have a great idea!” and publishing the story that I like to call the “Zone of Doubt.” Inside the zone of doubt it’s dark, it’s muddy, and it’s easy to lose your way. But if you can find your way through, the exhilaration of publishing a book and having your readers love it gives you the courage to face the dreaded zone of doubt once more.

I hear it gets easier the more you wade through those treacherous waters…

Arthur C. Clarke Quotes

Sir Arthur C. Clarke rounds out our list of the “Big Three” science fiction writers. He wrote many science fiction books and is well-known for role in co-writing the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

An image of a starry sky and a crescent moon featuring a quote from science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke.

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

– Arthur C. Clarke, Visions : How Science Will Revolutionize the Twenty-First Century (1999) by Michio Kaku, p. 295

Equally terrifying… and extremely interesting. I explored this thought a bit in The Cost of Survival. However, in the first book I don’t mention a lot about the mysterious people. The story evolves in book two, The Price of Freedom, to reveal more of how humans came to be on the two different planets and what it means for our survivors. But I have so many questions that I want to explore through my writing when it comes to other life in the universe and what interactions might take place. Will it be all-out war like in the first season of the Ardent Redux Saga? Or will it be something more personal and nefarious as seen in Genesis Rising? Time (lots of it) will tell… maybe.

An image of a starry night featuring a famous quote by sci fi author Arthur C. Clarke.

“Perhaps, as some wit remarked, the best proof that there is Intelligent Life in Outer Space is the fact it hasn’t come here. Well, it can’t hide forever – one day we will overhear it.”

– Arthur C. Clarke

As technology advances so does our ability to look deeper through space and time. Sometimes it’s hard to forget that we’re looking into the past and not at the present. It’s statistically possible that there are other planets out there with life developing on a timeline similar to ours, or even ahead of us. But we can’t see their planets as they exist today – only how they looked long before life had a chance to develop. We could be staring right at them and never even know it. Wild to think about – isn’t it?

And the same goes for them. They could be examining our planet through their own technology only to find it covered in dinosaurs, with no idea that we’re here now.

Philip K. Dick Quotes

Philip K. Dick was another important player in the world of science fiction. He’s well-known for works such as A Scanner Darkly, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep?

An image of a quote by sci-fi author Philip K. Dick over a dark background of 0s and 1s.

“I am basically analytical, not creative; my writing is simply a creative way of handling analysis.”

– Philip K Dick

I relate to this one a lot. Though I like to think I’m creatively analytical… and analytically creative. My mind analyzes everything, whether I want it to or not. Writing provides an outlet for my analysis and endless wondering. Writing allows me to process this senseless world in a way that makes more sense to me. Only when I’m steering the ship I have an opportunity to explore the way less traveled, the paths history did not take. It’s this prospect of exploring things differently, and perhaps better, that appeals to me quite a bit. Where humans misstepped before, I can revisit and explore a better way – except in space.

An image of a woman covering her ears to drown out manufactured realities under an overlay of static and a quote by science fiction author Philip K. Dick

“We live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups. I ask, in my writing, ‘What is real?’ Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms.”

– Philip K Dick

We are always under constant bombardment of someone else’s story – someone else’s plan. Learn when you should question the premise and do so. Do you do things because someone else told you to because it aligns with their plans? Or are you doing what’s best for you? Always something to think about.

Inspiration Through Sci-Fi Author Quotes and More

This is just a small collection of quotes by science fiction authors that I enjoyed. I might make a “Quotes by Science Fiction Authors: Part 2” down the road, but for now I had better wrap things up and get back to writing. The Ardent Redux Universe has been calling to me, and we all know I love writing space opera. It’s time to put my head down and finish the next book. After all, Heinlein’s rule number two demands it.

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