Science Fiction Quotations


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From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits

Edited by Gary Westfahl; Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke

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Thousands of memorable quotations from the best science fiction works of all time

In this unprecedented collection of science fiction and fantasy quotations, the reader revisits the stunning moment when Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein monster first comes to life; witnesses the transformation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde; is present when Bruce Wayne resolves to become Batman; and overhears the cosmic conclusions of The Incredible Shrinking Man. Drawing upon two centuries of the vast and provocative literature of science fiction and fantasy, this comprehensive book presents more than 2,900 quotations from wide-ranging sources, including science fiction and fantasy stories, novels, films, and television programs.

The quotations are organized by topic—alien worlds; darkness and light; robots, androids, and cyborgs; machines and technology; weapons; and more than one hundred others. The reader will encounter the wit and wisdom of renowned authors (H. G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin) along with definitive versions of such important statements as Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics and Star Trek’s Prime Directive.

With its thorough index, this book is both an invaluable resource for the writer or scholar and an irresistible page-turner for the curious browser.

Gary Westfahl teaches at the University of California, Riverside. He has published extensively in the field of science fiction and in 2003 received the Science Fiction Research Association’s Pilgrim Award for lifetime contributions to science fiction and fantasy scholarship.

From Science Fiction Quotations:

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”—Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, The Matrix (film, 1999)

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)

“All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil.”—Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)

“A massive undertaking that would have daunted all but the most indefatigable of researchers—and one for which generations of science fiction writers and enthusiasts will be extremely grateful.”—Sir Arthur C. Clarke, from the foreword

“In this well-researched work, Westfahl shows how diverse the genre of science fiction has been and remains. Most public and academic libraries will want to purchase.”—Booklist

"Producing a book of science fiction quotations is something of a thankless task. . . . We should therefore all be grateful to Gary Westfahl for undertaking this job on our behalf. . . . If you are trying to think of a Christmas present for the SF fan who has everything, this book should be on your list."—Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City

"Today there are a number of websites that offer personal collections of favorite quotations, but nothing approaching the scale of Gary Westfahl’s Science Fiction Quotations. . . . It’s a hoot, and the sort of book that many SF readers will want to have in their libraries, not only for browsing purposes . . . as a carefully researched source for many of the field’s familiar but often undocumented or misattributed statements. . . . [Westfahl] does a terrific job of finding nuggets in obscure or forgotten corners of the genre . . . and of representing every period of SF history."—Gary K. Wolfe, Locus

"A wonderful new book. . . . Westfahl has put together the book I’ve always wanted."—Scott Edelman, Science Fiction Weekly

"We all have that friend who’s got a quote for everything. . . . Now, you can own that friend, in the form of Science Fiction Quotations, a wonderful new resource edited by science fiction scholar Gary Westfahl. . . . Westfahl’s organization is a marvel of convenience. . . . [This book] should be on every genre lover’s reference shelf. . . . If you personally don’t know much about science fiction, this will definitely whet your appetite, or at least give you a can’t-lose idea for a holiday gift for that sci-fi lover in the family."—John C. Snider, Scifi Dimensions

"If you enjoy browsing quotations on a variety of subjects by a variety of science fiction and fantasy authors, you will enjoy Science Fiction Quotations."—Nicki Lynch, SFRevu

"The range of quotations available is impressive. Westfahl has used a very broad definition of science fiction and that plays to the reader’s advantage. . . . A great reference work."—Eoghann Irving, Solar Flare

A wonderful, new resource guide. . . . Anyone who considers themselves a science fiction fan should rush out and get one.

“This is a collection well worth having on the bookshelf for any fan, writer, or scholar.”—Jeremy Adam Smith, Strange Horizons

"Eminently browsable, this compilation is as entertaining as it is useful. No other work of comparable length and scope is available."—Steven Sowards, American Reference Books Annual 2006

"Eminently browsable, this compilation is as entertaining as it is useful. No other work of comparable length and scope is available."—Steven W. Sowards, ARBA Online

"[Westfahl's] selection is sensible, well-chosen and appears to be balanced, showing that SF writers are about as thoughtful and literate as their more varied counterparts in Bartlett's."—Neil Barron, Science Fiction Research Association Review

Selected for AAUP Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, 2006
ISBN: 9780300108002
Publication Date: October 10, 2005
488 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4