Quotations about   science fiction

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.

The oldest argument against SF is both the shallowest and the profoundest: the assertion that SF, like all fantasy, is escapist. […] If it’s worth answering, the best answer is given by Tolkien, author, critic, and scholar. Yes, he said, fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape? The moneylenders, the know-nothings, the authoritarians have us all in prison; if we value the freedom of the mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can.

Ursula K. Le Guin (b. 1929) American writer
“Escape Routes,” Galaxy (Dec 1974)

Reprinted in The Language of the Night (1979).

Though Le Guin makes it clear it's a paraphrase, the main body of this passage is often misrepresented as an actual quotation from J. R. R. Tolkien (and with an exclamation point on the final sentence). It was, instead, inspired by Tolkien's comments on escapism in "On Fairy-Stories" (1939).

More discussion on this quotation: Not a Tolkien quote: "Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory" - thetolkienist.com
Added on 13-Dec-21 | Last updated 13-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Le Guin, Ursula K.

Back in the nineteen-hundreds it was a wonderful experience for a boy to discover H. G. Wells. There you were, in a world of pedants, clergymen and golfers, with your future employers exhorting you to “get on or get out”, your parents systematically warping your sexual life, and your dull-witted schoolmasters sniggering over their Latin tags; and here was this wonderful man who could tell you about the inhabitants of the planets and the bottom of the sea, and who knew that the future was not going to be what respectable people imagined.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“Wells, Hitler, and the World State,” Horizon (Aug 1941)
Added on 27-Jul-17 | Last updated 31-Jul-17
Link to this post | 2 comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Orwell, George

A common issue with SF settings is that causally disconnected civilizations nevertheless are close enough in technological development that conflict is possible, rather than it being a matter of laser cannons against a thin film of single celled organisms.

James Nicoll (b. 1961) Canadian reviewer, editor
“Because My Tears are Delicious to You 5,” rec.arts.sf.written, Usenet (30 Jun 2014)
Added on 28-Mar-16 | Last updated 28-Mar-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Nicoll, James

I wouldn’t want to live in Tomorrowland, where the social patterns and infrastructure are all so spiff and modern and rational and well-designed that any remaining problems must needs be insoluble, and so a cause for despair.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden (b. 1956) American editor, writer, essayist
“On Time” (1995)
Added on 29-Aug-14 | Last updated 29-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Hayden, Teresa Nielsen