Have you ever had a phrase running through your mind and couldn’t quite remember the exact words or where you heard it before? Well if it had anything to do with the world of science fiction you will probably find it in Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits, a treasure trove of wit and wisdom from literature, movies and TV. This Hugo-nominated work was researched by Gary Westfahl and includes over 2900 quotations from the world of science fiction and fantasy.
Some quotes are better known than others but they will all amuse, enlighten or get you thinking. Authors range from personalities such as Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury through the alphabet to Edgar Allan Poe and George Zebrowski. There’s also a foreword by Arthur C. Clarke. Westfahl divided the book into topical headings with the intention of creating a feeling of discourse and discussion so prevalent in the genre. Categories begin with Actions and end with Work. In between are topics such as Aliens, Belief, Computers, Earth, Gods and Demons, Immortality, Religion, Space and much more. There’s also a comprehensive index of titles and one of authors.
This is not a book I sit down and read cover to cover but I can open it to any section and find something that will entertain me. I have often revisited favorite moments from a film and become engrossed in reading further. Then a gem from an author unknown to me catches my eye and I’m inspired to look for a book I haven’t read yet. It’s a good source for research and I have also found myself using it for writing prompts. A good quote will set off an idea and I’ll be motivated to write something of my own.
Here are a few examples from the book to whet your appetite. “Once human beings realize something can be done, they’re not satisfied until they’ve done it. – Frank Herbert, Cease Fire (1958)” “The less you know about the future the better off you are.” – Philip K. Dick, The World Jones Made (1956) “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) This comprehensive and well researched book is an invaluable resource for writers, readers and all fans of science fiction. Publisher: Yale University Press (October 10, 2005) ISBN: 978-0300108002 Pages: 488 Price: $28.00