Literary Birthday – 26 January – Philip José Farmer

Philip José Farmer was born 26 January 1918, and died 25 February 2009.

Nine Quotes

  1. Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.
  2. These people who expect to be saints in heaven, though they were not on Earth, have ignored the wisdom of the founders of the great religions. This wisdom is that the kingdom of heaven is within you and that you do not go to heaven unless you are already in it. The magic must be wrought by you and you alone. God has no fairy wand to tap the pig and turn it into a swan.
  3. Everybody should fear only one person, and that person should be himself .
  4. Dullard: Someone who looks up a thing in the encyclopaedia, turns directly to the entry, reads it, and then closes the book.
  5. The brain, knowing that a person can’t live forever in this world, rationalises a future, or other-dimensional, world in which immortality is possible. In other words, religion is the earliest form of science fiction.
  6. This story is about love, which means that it is also about hate.
  7. As science pushes forward, ignorance and superstition gallop around the flanks and bite science in the rear with big dark teeth.
  8. It’s a peculiarity of the Norwegian culture and of the English and American, too, that men are not supposed to cry. Stiff upper lip and all that. But the Vikings cried like women in public or privately. They soaked their beards with tears and were not one bit ashamed about it. Yet, they were as quick to draw their swords as they were to shed tears. So, what’s all this crap about men having to hold in their sorrow and grief and disappointment?
  9. It’s not what a person says but what he does that reveals his true character.

Philip José Farmer was an American author. He was an inventive and prolific writer best known for his Riverworld series of science fiction novels.

Source for image: By Zacharias L.A. Nuninga – Wikiportret, CC BY 3.0,

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 26th January 2016