Literary Birthday – 7 July – Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein was born 7 July 1907, and died 8 May 1988.

Robert A. Heinlein Quotes

  1. The most important lesson in the writing trade is that any manuscript is improved if you cut away the fat.
  2. The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t have steak.
  3. Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate — and quickly.
  4. Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of—but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
  5. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
  6. There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilised 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.
  7. The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
  8. A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot…
  9. Never insult anyone by accident.
  10. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.
  11. Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything… just give him time to rationalise it.
  12. Your initial work is rarely your best; give yourself permission to fail, as long as you learn from the failure.
  13. You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.

Robert A. Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. He published 32 novels, 59 short stories, and 16 collections during his life.  Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Heinlein are known as the ‘Big Three’ of science fiction. He is the author of Stranger in a Strange LandStarship Troopers, and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

Suggested reading:

  1. 19 Predictions For The Future From Robert A. Heinlein
  2. Robert A. Heinlein’s 5 Rules For Writers

Source for Image: unidentified / Greenleaf Publishing, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 7th July 2013