Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Science Fiction

Science Fiction Quotes (28 quotes)

A fear of intellectual inadequacy, of powerlessness before the tireless electronic wizards, has given rise to dozens of science-fiction fantasies of computer takeovers. ... Other scientists too are apprehensive. D. Raj Reddy, a computer scientist at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie-Mellon University, fears that universally available microcomputers could turn into formidable weapons. Among other things, says Reddy, sophisticated computers in the wrong hands could begin subverting a society by tampering with people’s relationships with their own computers—instructing the other computers to cut off telephone, bank and other services, for example.
An early prediction of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), viruses and worms like Stuxnet. As stated, without further citation, in 'The Age of Miracle Chips', Time (20 Feb 1978), 44. The article introduces a special section on 'The Computer Society.' Please contact Webmaster if you know a primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Apprehension (9)  |  Bank (9)  |  Computer (86)  |  Cut (36)  |  Electronic (10)  |  Fantasy (8)  |  Fear (124)  |  Formidable (6)  |  Hand (116)  |  Inadequacy (4)  |  Instruction (52)  |  Intellectual (85)  |  Relationship (62)  |  Scientist (459)  |  Service (56)  |  Society (195)  |  Sophisticated (13)  |  Subvert (2)  |  Tamper (5)  |  Telephone (22)  |  Tireless (2)  |  Universal (77)  |  Weapon (59)  |  Wizard (3)  |  Wrong (119)

Everything is becoming science fiction; From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century
'Fictions of Every Kind'. In Books and Bookmen (Feb 1971).
Science quotes on:  |  Intact (4)  |  Invisible (33)  |  Literature (64)  |  Margin (6)  |  Reality (155)

I consider [H. G. Wells], as a purely imaginative writer, to be deserving of very high praise, but our methods are entirely different. I have always made a point in my romances of basing my so-called inventions upon a groundwork of actual fact, and of using in their construction methods and materials which are not entirely without the pale of contemporary engineering skill and knowledge. ... The creations of Mr. Wells, on the other hand, belong unreservedly to an age and degree of scientific knowledge far removed from the present, though I will not say entirely beyond the limits of the possible.
Gordon Jones, 'Jules Verne at Home', Temple Bar (Jun 1904), 129, 670.
Science quotes on:  |  Herbert George (H.G.) Wells (27)

I do not see the possibility of comparison between his [H. G. Wells] work and mine. We do not proceed in the same manner. It occurs to me that his stories do not repose on a very scientific basis. ... I make use of physics. He invents. I go to the moon in a cannon-ball, discharged from a cannon. Here there is no invention. He goes to Mars in an airship, which he constructs of a metal which does not obey the law of gravitation. Ça c'est très joli ... but show me this metal. Let him produce it.
Quoted in R. H. Sherard, 'Jules Verne Re-Visited', T.P.'s Weekly (9 Oct 1903).
Science quotes on:  |  Herbert George (H.G.) Wells (27)

I have been a sore-headed occupant of a file drawer labeled ‘‘Science Fiction’’; and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal
Science quotes on:  |  Critic (18)  |  File (6)  |  Label (11)  |  Mistake (114)  |  Particularly (17)  |  Regularly (3)  |  Serious (40)

I suspect one of the reasons that fantasy and science fiction appeal so much to younger readers is that, when the space and time have been altered to allow characters to travel easily anywhere through the continuum and thus escape physical dangers and timepiece inevitabilities, mortality is so seldom an issue.
Science quotes on:  |  Allow (32)  |  Alter (21)  |  Anywhere (11)  |  Appeal (31)  |  Character (89)  |  Continuum (5)  |  Danger (65)  |  Easily (20)  |  Escape (37)  |  Fantasy (8)  |  Inevitability (8)  |  Issue (38)  |  Mortality (14)  |  Physical (100)  |  Reader (22)  |  Reason (343)  |  Seldom (22)  |  Space And Time (8)  |  Suspect (13)  |  Travel (55)  |  Young (83)

If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic
Science quotes on:  |  Modern (110)  |  Myth (43)  |  Mythology (12)  |  Technology (205)  |  Tragic (8)

If what we are doing is not seen by some people as science fiction, it’s probably not transformative enough.
Explaining his enthusiasm for a laboratory experiment to grow a meat patty from cells in the lab, for which he contributed more than $330,000. In Alan Boyle, 'Google’s Sergey Brin explains why he paid $330,000 for lab burger', nbcnews.com website, (5 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Probably (29)  |  Transformation (48)

Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today–but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved a
Science quotes on:  |  Become (130)  |  Blind (35)  |  Concept (103)  |  Core (14)  |  Critic (18)  |  Crucial (8)  |  Essence (43)  |  Individual (185)  |  Philosopher (134)  |  Revolve (7)  |  Salvation (7)  |  Save (48)  |  Seem (109)  |  Story (62)  |  Today (100)  |  Trivial (34)

Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists
Science quotes on:  |  Economist (13)  |  Forecast (8)  |  Interest (182)  |  Laugh (20)  |  Listen (33)  |  People (316)  |  Same (107)  |  Weather (30)

It is said that fact is sometimes stranger than fiction, and nowhere is this more true than in the case of black holes. Black holes are stranger than anything dreamt up by science fiction writers.
In Lecture, 'Into a Black Hole' (2008). On hawking.org website.
Science quotes on:  |  Black Hole (14)  |  Dream (143)  |  Fact (628)  |  Strange (67)  |  Writer (35)

It’s better to read first rate science fiction than second rate science—it’s a lot more fun, and no more likely to be wrong.
Lecture at Wired 2013 (18 Oct 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Better (146)  |  Fun (29)  |  Likely (26)  |  Read (88)  |  Wrong (119)

Not only is science fiction an idea of tremendous import, but it is to be an important factor in making the world a better place to live in, through educating the public to the possibilities of science and the influence of science on life which, even today, are not appreciated byu the man on the street. ... If every man, woman, boy and girl, could be induced to read science fiction right along, there would certainly be a great resulting benefit to the community, in that the educational standards of its people would be raised tremendously. Science fiction would make people happier, give them a broader understanding of the world, make tham more tolerant.
Editorial, Science Fiction Week (1930). In Gary Westfahl, Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction (2007), 166.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (286)

One of the biggest roles of science fiction is to prepare people to accept the future without pain and to encourage a flexibility of the mind. Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.
(1984) Quoted in Jerome Agel (ed.), The Making of Kubrick's 2001 (4th Ed. 1970), 300. In James E. Combs, Polpop: Politics and Popular Culture in America (1984), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (48)  |  Flexibility (5)  |  Future (256)  |  Mind (576)  |  Pain (90)  |  Politician (24)  |  Read (88)  |  Story (62)

Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.
In Rosemarie Jarski, Words from the Wise: Over 6,000 of the Smartest Things Ever Said (2007), 438.
Science quotes on:  |  Politician (24)

Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art.
The Imagination of Disaster,' Against Interpretation (1966).
Science quotes on:  |  Art (217)  |  Disaster (37)  |  Film (9)  |  Old (118)  |  Science (1741)  |  Subject (133)

Science fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts.
Science quotes on:  |  Ghost (21)  |  Scientist (459)  |  Story (62)  |  Write (93)

Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it’s the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself; Science fiction is central to everything we’ve ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don’t know what they’’re talking about
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (87)  |  Central (28)  |  Civilization (161)  |  Everything (139)  |  Fun (29)  |  History (314)  |  Idea (457)  |  Important (135)  |  Know (394)  |  Literature (64)  |  People (316)  |  Talk (68)  |  Weve (13)  |  World (746)  |  Writer (35)

Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
'How Easy to See the Future'. In Asimov on Science Fiction (1981), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Catastrophe (18)  |  Foresee (9)  |  Inevitable (19)  |  Problem (382)  |  Solution (175)  |  Writer (35)

Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can’t talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful.
'How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later,' introduction, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon (1986).
Science quotes on:  |  Dreadful (5)  |  Fiction (17)  |  Know (394)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Limit (97)  |  Really (62)  |  Say (160)  |  Science (1741)  |  Sorry (16)  |  Talk (68)  |  Usually (22)  |  Writer (35)

The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.
Science quotes on:  |  Function (100)  |  Future (256)  |  Predict (12)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Sometimes (34)

The question grows more troubling with each passing year how much of what yesterday’s science fiction regarded as unspeakably dreadful has become today’s awardwinning research
Science quotes on:  |  Become (130)  |  Dreadful (5)  |  Grow (78)  |  Pass (69)  |  Question (327)  |  Regard (60)  |  Research (530)  |  Today (100)  |  Trouble (55)  |  Unspeakably (3)  |  Year (240)  |  Yesterday (16)

The rockets that have made spaceflight possible are an advance that, more than any other technological victory of the twentieth century, was grounded in science fiction… . One thing that no science fiction writer visualized, however, as far as I know, was that the landings on the Moon would be watched by people on Earth by way of television.
In Asimov on Physics (1976), 35. Also in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 307.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (27)  |  Advance (128)  |  Earth (582)  |  Landing (2)  |  Moon (174)  |  Rocket (31)  |  Space Flight (22)  |  Technology (205)  |  Television (28)  |  Victory (24)  |  Visualize (6)  |  Watch (52)  |  Writer (35)

Three thousand stadia from the earth to the moon,—the first station. From thence to the sun about five hundred parasangs. ... Marvel not, my comrade, if I appear talking to you on super-terrestrial and aerial topics. The long and the short of the matter is that I am running over the order of a Journey I have lately made. ... I have travelled in the stars.
One of the earliest examples of what might be regarded as science fiction.
Icaromennipus, or the Aerial Jaunt in Ainsworth Rand Spofford (ed.), Rufus Edmonds Shapley (ed.) The Library of Wit and Humor, Prose and Poetry, Selected from the Literature of all Times and Nations (1894), vol. 4, 282-283. A shortened quote is on the title page of H. G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon (1901).
Science quotes on:  |  Moon (174)

Unfortunately, in many cases, people who write science fiction violate the laws of nature, not because they want to make a point, but because they don't know what the laws of nature are.
In Carl Howard Freedman (ed.), Conversations with Isaac Asimov (2005), back cover.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Law Of Nature (55)  |  Violation (6)  |  Write (93)

With science fiction I think we are preparing ourselves for contact with them, whoever they may be.
Interview in article by Dean Lamanna, 'It's No Act—He's into UFOs' in UFO Magazine (U.S. Edition, 1994), 9:4.
Science quotes on:  |  Contact (29)  |  Ourselves (45)  |  Prepare (25)  |  Think (249)  |  Whoever (12)

You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.
Science quotes on:  |  Religion (214)  |  Rich (52)  |  Start (80)  |  Want (139)  |  Write (93)

[First use of the term science fiction:] We hope it will not be long before we may have other works of Science-Fiction [like Richard Henry Horne's The Poor Artist], as we believe such books likely to fulfil a good purpose, and create an interest, where, unhappily, science alone might fail.
[Thomas] Campbell says, that 'Fiction in Poetry is not the reverse of truth, but her soft and enchanting resemblance.' Now this applies especially to Science-Fiction, in which the revealed truths of Science may be given interwoven with a pleasing story which may itself be poetical and true—thus circulating a knowledge of Poetry of Science, clothed in a garb of the Poetry of life.
A Little Earnest Book Upon a Great Old Subject (1851), 137.
Science quotes on:  |  Poem (86)  |  Truth (764)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.