Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.
They had not yet attained the stupefying boredom of omnipotence, their experiments did not always succeed.
Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.
After their encounter on the approach to Jupiter, there would aways be a secret bond between them---not of love, but of tenderness, which is often more enduring.
He did not know that the Old One was his father, for such a relationship was utterly beyond his understanding, but as he looked at the emaciated body he felt a dim disquiet that was the ancestor of sadness.
One of the greatest tragedies in mankind's entire history may be that morality was hijacked by religion.
Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistence of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now.
He found it both sad and fascinating that only through an artificial universe of video images could she establish contact with the real world.
There were, however, a few exceptions.One was Norma Dodsworth, the poet, who had not unpleasantly drunk but had been sensible enough to pass out before any violent action proved necessary. He had been deposited, not very gently, on the lawn, where it was hoped that a hyena would give him a rude awakening. For all practical purposes he could, therefore, be regarded as absent.
When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
It is a good principle in science not to believe any 'fact'---however well attested---until it fits into some accepted frame of reference. Occasionally, of course, an observation can shatter the frame and force the construction of a new one, but that is extremely rare. Galileos and Einsteins seldom appear more than once per century, which is just as well for the equanimity of mankind.
Meteorites don’t fall on the Earth. They fall on the Sun and the Earth gets in the way.” - John W. Campbell
Anything that had happened once on Earth should be expected millions of times elsewhere in the Universe, that was almost an article of faith among scientists.
Some dangers are so spectacular and so much beyond normal experience that the mind refuses to accept them as real, and watches the approach of doom without any sense of apprehension. The man who looks at the onrushing tidal wave, the descending avalanche, or the spinning funnel of the tornado, yet makes no attempt to flee, is not necessarily paralyzed with fright or resigned to an unavoidable fate. He may simply be unable to believe that the message of his eyes concerns him personally. It is all happening to somebody else.
What was more, they had taken the first step toward genuine friendship. They had exchanged vulnerabilities.
Didn’t somebody once say ‘Politics is the art of the possible’?” “Quite true—which is why only second-rate minds go into it. Genius likes to challenge the impossible.
[T]hese leaders must not believe they are actually being watched, for their behavior in no way reflects the possible existence of a set of values or ethical laws that supersedes their own dominion.
Now, before you make a movie, you have to have a script, and before you have a script, you have to have a story; though some avant-garde directors have tried to dispense with the latter item, you'll find their work only at art theaters.
This had not endeared him to exobiologists such as Dr Perera, who took exactly the opposite view. To them, the only purpose of the Universe was the production of intelligence, and they were apt to talk sneeringly about purely astronomical phenomena, 'Mere dead matter' was one of their favourite phrases.
. . . Moon-Watcher felt the first faint twinges of a new and potent emotion. It was a vague and diffuse sense of envy--of dissatisfaction with his life. He had no idea of its cause, still less of its cure; but discontent had come into his soul, and he had taken one small step toward humanity.
Let us say that you might have become a telepathic cancer, a malignant mentality which in its inevitable dissolution would have poisoned other and greater minds.
The person one loves never really exists, but is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto whatever screen it fits with least distortion.
That requires as much power as a small radio transmitter--and rather similar skills to operate. For it's the application of the power, not its amount, that matters. How long do you think Hitler's career as a dictator of Germany would have lasted, if wherever he went a voice was talking quietly in his ear? Or if a steady musical note, loud enough to drown all other sounds and to prevent sleep, filled his brain night and day? Nothing brutal, you appreciate. Yet, in the final analysis, just as irresistible as a tritium bomb.
There's no real objection to escapism, in the right places... We all want to escape occasionally. But science fiction is often very far from escapism, in fact you might say that science fiction is escape into reality... It's a fiction which does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future. In fact I can't think of any form of literature which is more concerned with real issues, reality.
And yet, even while they baffled him, they aroused within his heart a feeling he had never known before. When- which was not often, but sometimes happened- they burst into tears of utter frustration or despair, their tiny disappointments seemed to him more tragic than Man’s long retreat after the loss of his Galactic Empire. That was something too huge and remote for comprehension, but the weeping of a child could pierce one to the heart.Alvin had met love in Diaspar, but now he was learning something equally precious, and without which love itself could never reach its highest fulfillment but must remain forever incomplete. He was learning tenderness.
I am an optimist. Anyone interested in the future has to be otherwise he would simply shoot himself.
One thing seems certain. Our galaxy is now in the brief springtime of its life—a springtime made glorious by such brilliant blue-white stars as Vega and Sirius, and, on a more humble scale, our own Sun. Not until all these have flamed through their incandescent youth, in a few fleeting billions of years, will the real history of the universe begin.It will be a history illuminated only by the reds and infrareds of dully glowing stars that would be almost invisible to our eyes; yet the sombre hues of that all-but-eternal universe may be full of colour and beauty to whatever strange beings have adapted to it. They will know that before them lie, not the millions of years in which we measure eras of geology, nor the billions of years which span the past lives of the stars, but years to be counted literally in the trillions.They will have time enough, in those endless aeons, to attempt all things, and to gather all knowledge. They will be like gods, because no gods imagined by our minds have ever possessed the powers they will command. But for all that, they may envy us, basking in the bright afterglow of creation; for we knew the universe when it was young.