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Quotes of the day: Poul Anderson

Published Tuesday, November 24, 2015 @ 7:11 PM EST
Nov 24 2015

Poul William Anderson (November 25, 1926 – July 31, 2001) was an American science fiction author who began his career during the Golden Age of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous awards for his writing, including seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A cultured, sensitive, observant man is a pleasure to be with in any age.

A little careful pushing, and they’ll bury the hatchet all right- in each other.

A man isn't really alive till he has something bigger than himself and his own little happiness, for which he'd gladly die.

All those agonizing philosophical-theological conundrums amount to 'Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.'

And ninety-nine percent of the human race, no matter how smart they are, will do the convenient thing instead of the wise thing, and kid themselves into thinking they can somehow escape the consequences. We’re just built that way.

Anybody can find infinite Mandelbrot figures in his navel.

Be calm. A man can do but little. Enough if that little be right.

Better a life like a falling star, bright across the dark, than a deathlessness which can see naught above or beyond itself.

He had seen too much of the cosmos to have any great faith in man's ability to understand it.

Heaven is not as narrowly literal-minded as hell.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.

Keep on thinking. Keep your thinking close to the ground, where it belongs. Don’t ever trade your liberty for another man’s offer to do your thinking and make your mistakes for you.

Life isn’t a fairy tale; the knight who kills the dragon doesn’t necessarily get the princess.

Mortal combat corrupts, and war corrupts absolutely.

One man, one vote: A legal doctrine requiring that, from time to time, old gerrymanders be replaced with new ones. The object of this is the achievement of genuine democracy.

Timidity can be as dangerous as rashness.

Too far a retreat from reality is insanity.

Will none wipe the sneer off the face of the cosmos?


(November 25 is also the birthday of Andrew Carnegie.)

Categories: Poul Anderson, Quotes of the day


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