Death - Quotes from Science Fiction
21.02.2012, 13:50

Death - Quotes from Science Fiction


A lot of quotations carefully collected from a very big amount of books and divided by categories.

Have fun reading it, this is really interesting and breathtaking!



I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her; but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel.

- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)


Earth is to me a tomb, the firmament a vault, shrouding mere corruption. Time is no more, for I have stepped within the threshold of eternity; each man I meet appears a corse, which will soon be deserted of its animating spark, on the eve of decay and corruption.

- Mary Shelley, The Last Man (1826)


All England slept; and from my window, commanding a wide prospect of the star-illumined country, I saw the land stretched out in placid rest. I was awake, alive, while the brother of death possessed my race.

- Mary Shelley, The Last Man (1826)


Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

- OscarWilde, ''The Canterville Ghost'' (1887)


What is death? In death life lives, and among the dead you shall find the life you lost.

- H. Rider Haggard, ''Black Heart and White Heart'' (1896)


To die will be an awfully big adventure.

- J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan (play, 1904)


Only the man who has died many times begins to live.

- Edwin L. Arnold, Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation (1905)


That is not dead which can eternal lie And with strange aeons even death may die.

- H. P. Lovecraft, ''The Nameless City'' (1921)


To die - to be really dead - that must be glorious.

- Garrett Fort, Dracula (film, 1931)


There was death afoot in the darkness. It crept furtively along a steel girder. [. . .] Girders lifted a gigantic steel skeleton. The naked beams were a sinister forest. It was in this forest that Death prowled. Death was a man.

- Lester Dent, The Man of Bronze (1933)


When you rave of your insane desire to create living men from the dust of the dead, a strange apparition has seemed to appear in the room. It comes, a figure like Death, and each time it comes more clearly - nearer. It seems to be reaching out for you, as if it would take you away from me.

- William Hurlbut, Bride of Frankenstein (film, 1935)


Go. You live. Go. You stay.We belong dead!

- William Hurlbut, Bride of Frankenstein (film, 1935)


''Death,'' said Mark Staithes. ''It's the only thing we haven't succeeded in completely vulgarizing.''

- Aldous Huxley, Eyeless in Gaza (1936)


Earth and sky and water, he thought. I am one with them. Death has made me one with them. For death brings one back to the elementals, to the soil and trees, to the clouds and sky and the sun dying in the welter of its blood in the crimson west.

- Clifford D. Simak, ''Eternity Lost'' (1949)


To mourn is to pity oneself. The dead feel nothing. The mourner does not pity the dead. He pities himself for having lost the living.

- Walter M. Miller, Jr., ''The Soul-Empty Ones'' (1951)


All Egyptian culture was colored by the feeling for the dead. Their finest buildings were tombs and mortuary structures. Instead of repressing their emotions about death, they dramatized them. They brought them out in the open where they could look at them. The dramatization was definitely conducive to mental health. The psychologists tell us that it is no accident that no other human culture has yet lasted as long as the Egyptian did.

- Margaret St. Clair, Agent of the Unknown (1952)


Perhaps that was death - the discovery that nothing existed save oneself in the midst of torture.

- Charles Dye, ''The SeventhWind'' (1953)


One grows used to anything, he thought, even to one's death. You could probably chop off a man's head three times a day for twenty years and he'd grow used to it, and cry like a baby if you stopped.

- Robert Sheckley, Immortality, Inc. (1958)


Sorensen had done well in choosing a profession in which he associated mainly with the dead.

- Stanislaw Lem, The Investigation (1959), translated by Adele Milch (1974)


''Now, then,'' said the psychiatrist, looking up from his note pad, ''when did you first discover that you were dead?''

- Charles Beaumont, ''Blood Brother'' (1961)


Death is merely a matter of definition. Once the definition was very simple: you were dead when you stopped moving for a long time. But now the scientists have examined this antiquated notion more carefully, and have done considerable research on the entire subject. They have found out that you can be dead in all important respects, but still go on walking and talking.

- Robert Sheckley, Journey beyond Tomorrow (1962)


Nobody really believes in death until he sees a dead man.

- Murray Leinster, ''Third Planet'' (1963)


The meeting between ignorance and knowledge, between brutality and culture - it begins in the dignity with which we treat our dead.

- Frank Herbert, Dune (1965)


Consider how erroneous and unwise it is to fear death, a state that deserves, rather, vindication! For what can equal the perfection of nonexistence?

- Stanislaw Lem, ''Automatthew's Friend'' (1965), translated by Michael Kandel (1977)


Why does man so zealously guard his dead? Is it because this is the monumentally democratic way of immortalization, the ultimate affirmation of the power to hurt - that is to say, life - and the desire that it continue on forever?

- Roger Zelazny, ''HeWho Shapes'' (1965)


[First use of phrase:] He's dead, Jim.

- Richard Matheson, ''The EnemyWithin,'' episode of Star Trek (1966)


The death of a great mage, who has many times in his life walked on the dry steep hillsides of death's kingdom, is a strange matter: for the dying man goes not blindly, but surely, knowing the way.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)


Death is very close, he thought. [. . .] Nothing is killing me; I have no enemy, no antagonist; I am merely expiring, like a magazine subscription: month by month. Because, he thought, I am too hollowed out to participate any longer.

- Philip K. Dick, Galactic Pot-Healer (1969)


''The child is father to the man''; remember? And the man is father to the corpse.

- Philip K. Dick, Galactic Pot-Healer (1969)


An earthquake does not frighten a man who died in an earthquake.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, ''Nine Lives'' (1969)


He cursed this world where he was so alone and helpless, where the dead were dead forever, where there was no way of restoring them to life.

- Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky, Prisoners of Power (1969), translated by Helen Saltz Jacobson (1977)


Life and death.What's the difference, I always say . . .

- Norman Kagan, ''The Dreadful Has Already Happened'' (1971)


You have no idea what an inconvenience it is, to be dead.

- Joanna Russ, ''Poor Man, Beggar Man'' (1971)


The static qualities of death oppressed him; he felt that mutability was mankind's only hope, even though it took the flowers and pleasures of one's time. 84 Death Most terrible about the dead was the way in which they did not, could not, could never, could never even hope to change.

- Joanna Russ, ''Poor Man, Beggar Man'' (1971)


What we're here for is death Somebody accidentally wound us up (''I told you to leave that alone'') and we must wait to run down.

- George Alec Effinger, ''Things Go Better'' (1972)


Life rises out of death, death rises out of life; in being opposite they yearn to each other, they give birth to each other and are forever reborn.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore (1972)


Cetians died eagerly, curious as to what came next.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, ''TheWord forWorld Is Forest'' (1972)


The Deathbird closed its wings over the Earth until at last, at the end, there was only the great bird crouched over the dead cinder. Then the Deathbird raised its head to the star-filled sky and repeated the sigh of loss the Earth had felt at the end. Then its eyes closed, it twitched its head carefully under its wing, and all was night.

- Harlan Ellison, ''The Deathbird'' (1973)


To die was merely to go on in another direction.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, ''The Day Before the Revolution'' (1974)


To a dead the whole universe is plastic, nothing's real, nothing matters a hell of a lot, it's all only a joke.

- Robert Silverberg, ''Born with the Dead'' (1974)


Drowning is my occupation now.

- Robert Silverberg, ''A Sea of Faces'' (1974)


Death seemed more like an old friend than an interruption. It was sleep.

- Craig Strete, ''Time Deer'' (1974)


''Everyone's entitled to go on living,'' Novins said, vehemently. ''That's why we live. To say no to death.''

- Harlan Ellison, ''Shatterday'' (1975)


It is enough to make you understand why most languages have a word like ''soul.'' There are various degrees of death, and time spares us none of them. Yet something endures, for which a word is needed.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, ''The New Atlantis'' (1975)


He had never been at the side of someone dying before, but he knew it was the human way of ceasing to function. It was an involuntary and irreversible dismantling.

- Isaac Asimov, ''The Bicentennial Man'' (1976)


He thought, correcting the old saying to make it come out the more wisely: Of the dead only speak evil.

- Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny, Deus Irae (1976)


I don't want to die now, I've still got a headache! I don't want to go to heaven with a headache, I'd be all cross and wouldn't enjoy it.

- Douglas Adams, ''Fit the Second,'' episode of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio series, 1978)


What is most mortal is most alive.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, ''The First Report of the Shipwrecked Foreigner to the Kadanh of Derb'' (1978)


I went back to the stretcher with the fear of death like a cold compress on the back of my neck.

- CherryWilder, ''Mab Gallen Recalled'' (1978)


Death, he has learned, is only a slow walk through icefields.

- Jack Dann, ''Camps'' (1979)


Death is the ultimate insecurity to a conscious being, the break that takes away all productivity and vitality, the meaning of all further growth.

- George Zebrowski, Macrolife (1979)


When all the elements of a system are ordered, it's dead - administrative - totally organized, totally communicative, and wholly uninformative. But it doesn't know it's dead until that information comes from a higher state of disorder.

- Carter Scholz, ''The Johann Sebastian Bach Memorial Barbecue'' (1980)


Death was a black wall. It lay before her, extending to infinity in all directions, smooth and featureless and mysterious. She could almost reach out an arm and touch it.

- Michael Swanwick, ''Ginungagap'' (1980)


Death is the ultimate sensory experience.

- Joan D. Vinge, The Snow Queen (1980)


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

- Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples, Blade Runner (film, 1982)


There is no death. It is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness.

- Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor, Poltergeist (film, 1982)


Some people die, but they don't know that they're gone.

- Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor, Poltergeist (film, 1982)


When it's time to die, it's time to die.

- IanWatson, ''Slow Birds'' (1983)


Why, he thought, is anything here? Why is there a world and sky and stars? Why shouldn't there simply be nothing for ever and ever? Perhaps that was the nature of death: nothing for ever and ever.

- IanWatson, ''Slow Birds'' (1983)


What he taught was a kind of passivity, a blissful waiting for a death that was more than merely personal, a death which was also the death of the sun and stars and of all existence, a cosmic death which transfigured individual mortality.

- IanWatson, ''Slow Birds'' (1983)


''I'm dead, Case. Got enough time in on this Hosaka to figure that one.'' ''How's it feel?'' ''It doesn't.'' ''Bother you?'' ''What bothers me is, nothin' does.''

- William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)


No individual death among human beings is important. Someone who dies leaves his work behind and that does not entirely die. It never entirely dies as long as humanity exists.

- Isaac Asimov, Robots and Empire (1985)


It was such an easy thing, death. He saw that now: It just happened.

- William Gibson, Count Zero (1986)


GordonWay was dead, but he simply hadn't the slightest idea what he was meant to do about it. It wasn't a situation he had encountered before.

- Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)


He had nothing against ghosts personally, didn't think a person should be judged adversely simply for being dead, but - he didn't like it. - Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)


The worst thing about knowing that Gary Fairchild had been dead for a month was seeing him every day at work.

- Barbara Hambly, The Silicon Mage (1988)


If you're not ready to die, then how can you live?

- Charles De Lint, Svaha (1989)


Kirk: I've always known I'll die alone.

- David Loughery, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (film, 1989)


People always come back from the dead in such a bad temper.

- Terry Pratchett, Pyramids (1989)


The rings were a matching pair of gold bands, left to Daniel by his parents, who had known he could never afford to buy his own. It gave her pause for thought, how after all these years, somehow, the dead still looked after the living.

- Joan Slonczewski, TheWall around Eden (1989)


Death had subtler vectors than direct touch.

- Lois McMaster Bujold, The Vor Game (1990)


Death is a fine performance, but there's no reason to perform it at a dinner party.

- Alexander Jablokov, ''The Death Artist'' (1990)


The ways of dead people are not our ways. They have a very oblique way of expressing themselves, and often they'll tell you something that can be interpreted many ways; it gives them a way out while preserving their reputation for infallibility.

- S. P. Somtow, ''Lottery Night'' (1990)


They skid. Broadside. Toward the onrushing trucktrain, the fiery red letters on its sides screaming: flammable. Just like that, in the midst of life, we are in death.

- James Stevens-Arce, ''Scenes from a Future Marriage'' (1995)


He thought of coral, of the reefs that grew around sunken aircraft carriers; perhaps she'd become something like that, the buried mystery beneath some exfoliating superstructure of supposition, or even of myth. It seemed to him, in Visitors, that that might be a slightly less dead way of being dead. And he wished her that.

- William Gibson, Idoru (1996)


I am Death, not taxes. I turn up only once.

- Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay (1996)


Death came in on sixteen legs.

- Gregory Benford, ''A Hunger for the Infinite'' (1999)


Cole Sear: I see dead people. Malcolm Crowe: In your dreams? (Cole shakes his head no.) Malcolm: While you're awake? (Cole nods.) Malcolm: Dead people like, in graves? In coffins? Cole: Walking around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead. Malcolm: How often do you see them? Cole: All the time. They're everywhere.

- M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense (film, 1999)

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