Thoughts Regarding Speculative Fiction


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I am constantly amazed by how much stranger science is than science fiction.

— Marcus Chown, Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You

If I finish a book a week, I will read only a few thousand books in my lifetime, about a tenth of a percent of the contents of the greatest libraries of our time. The trick is to know which books to read.

— Carl Sagan

Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.

— Octavia E. Butler

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

— Philip K. Dick

The most romantic creation to have come out of regret is time-travel.

— Preeti Bhonsle

Science-fiction balances you on the cliff. Fantasy shoves you off.

— Ray Bradbury

Science fiction reflects scientific thought; a fiction of things-to-come based on things-on-hand.

— Benjamin Appel, The Fantastic Mirror-SF Across The Ages (Panthenon 1969)

I am chaos in this ordered society, the flaw in a carefully wrought plan. I am turbulence in the queen’s eternal river.

— Eugie Foster, Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast

The main thing about aliens is that they are alien. They feel no responsibility for fulfilling any of your expectations.

— Robert Silverberg, Dark City Lights

To write good sci-fi today you must push further and harder, reach deeper into your own mind until you break through into the strange and terrible country wherein live your own dreams.

— Gardner Dozois

A science fiction story is one which presupposes a technology, or an effect of technology, or a disturbance in the natural order, such as humanity, up to the time of writing, has not in actual fact experienced.

— Edmund Crispin

Science Fiction is literature about the future, telling stories of the marvels we hope to see–or for our descendants to see–tomorrow, in the next century, or in the limitless duration of time.

— Terry Carr