Exploration and adventure - Quotes from Science Fiction
21.02.2012, 14:39

Exploration and adventure - 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 wanted to see what no one had yet observed, even if I had to pay for this curiosity with my life.

- Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1870), translated byWalter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter (1993)


When we think how narrow and how devious this path of nature is, how dimly we can trace it, for all our lamps of science, and how from the darkness which girds it round great and terrible possibilities loom ever shadowly upwards, it is a bold and confident man who will put a limit to the strange by-paths into which the human spirit may wander.

- Arthur Conan Doyle, ''Lot No. 249'' (1892)


Why had we come to the moon? The thing presented itself to me as a perplexing problem.What is this spirit in man that urges him for ever to depart from happiness and security, to toil, to place himself in danger, to risk even a reasonable certainty of death? It dawned upon me up there in the moon as a thing I ought always to have known, that man is not made simply to go about safe and comfortable and well fed and amused. [. . .] Against his interest, against his happiness, he is constantly being driven to do unreasonable things. Some force not himself impels him, and go he must.

- H. G.Wells, The First Men in the Moon (1901)


I have ever been prone to seek adventure and to investigate and experiment where wiser men would have left well enough alone.

- Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars (1917)


Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.

- James Stephens, The Crock of Gold (1912)


We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them.

- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)


Adventure is when you toss your life on the scales of chance and wait for the pointer to stop.

- Murray Leinster, ''First Contact'' (1945)


''Here we are,'' said Carpdyke, ''located in the exact hub of the Universe, located for a purpose, Pettigrew. A Purpose! Every exploding star must be investigated at once. Every new shape of a nebula must be skirted and charted. Every dark cloud must be searched for harmful material. Pettigrew, the emanations of all the Universe depend upon us.''

- L. Ron Hubbard, ''A Can of Vacuum'' (1949)


Escape, God how we all need escape from this tiny here. The need for it has motivated just about everything man has ever done in any direction other than that of the satisfaction of his physical appetites; it has led him along weird and wonderful pathways; it has led him into art and religion, ascetism [sic] and astrology, dancing and drinking, poetry and insanity. All of these have been escapes because he has known only recently the true direction of escape - outward, into infinity and eternity, away from this little flat if rounded surface we're born on and die on. This mote in the solar system, this atom in the galaxy.

- Fredric Brown, The Lights in the Sky Are Stars (1953)


''Stuff your eyes with wonder,'' he said, ''live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.''

- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1954)


''I believe in Mars,'' he began, quietly. ''I guess I believe some day it'll belong to us.We'll nail it down.We'll settle in.We won't turn tail and run. It came to me one day a year ago, right after we first arrived.Why did we come? I asked myself. Because, I said, because. It's the same thing with the salmon every year. The salmon don't know why they go where they go, but they go, anyway. Up rivers they don't remember, up streams, jumping waterfalls, but finally making it to where they propagate and die, and the whole thing starts again. Call it racial memory, instinct, call it nothing, but there it is. And here we are.''

- Ray Bradbury, ''The StrawberryWindow'' (1954)


It's the highest goal of man - the need to grow and advance . . . to find new things . . . to expand. To spread out, reach areas, experiences, comprehend and live in an evolving fashion. To push aside routine and repetition, to break out of mindless monotony and thrust forward. To keep moving on . . .

- Philip K. Dick, Solar Lottery (1955)


All explorers are seeking something they have lost. It is seldom that they find it, and more seldom still that the attainment brings them greater happiness than the quest.

- Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars (1956)


Men with the restless natures that made them criminals on their own highly civilized Worlds, made the best pioneers.

- Charles V. De Vet and Katherine MacLean, ''Second Game'' (1958)


There ought not to be anything in the whole universe that man can't poke his nose into - that's the way we're built and I assume that there's some reason for it.

- Robert A. Heinlein, Methuselah's Children, revised (1958)


The spirit of adventure, the lure of the unknown, the thrill of a gallant quest. How very grand indeed.

- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth (1961)


''I went a couple of hundred miles on the Kerm Ice one autumn, years ago.'' [. . .] ''What for?'' ''Curiosity, adventure.'' He hesitated and smiled slightly. ''The augmentation of the complexity and intensity of the field of intelligent life,'' he said, quoting one of my Ekumenical quotations. ''Ah: you were consciously extending the evolutionary tendency inherent in Being; one manifestation of which is exploration.''

- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)


The exploration of alien worlds was just a monotonous and exhausting game.

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


As a child I used to watch clouds, and in them, see faces, castles, animals, dragons, and giants. It was a world of escape - fantasy; something to inject wonder and adventure into the mundane, regulated life of a middle-class boy leading a middle-class life.

- Barry B. Longyear, ''Enemy Mine'' (1979)


If we knew exactly what to expect throughout the Solar System, we would have no reason to explore it.

- Poul Anderson, ''The Saturn Game'' (1981)


These lands are not always calm.We may well have more adventures ahead of us. But we shall meet them with high hearts.

- Poul Anderson, ''The Saturn Game'' (1981)


Adventures! Gone with the ravaged forests and culled beasts.We had survival, action and danger on the stock market, but no adventures. Romance was gone away.

- George Turner, Drowning Towers (1987)


He liked the steady sway and rhythms of voyaging, of movement, of the perpetual mystery that lurked beyond the far horizon. This was humanity's role.

- Gregory Benford, ''At the Double Solstice'' (1988)


Perhaps ''because it is there'' is not sufficient reason for climbing a mountain.

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


The world was full of locked doors, and he had to get his hands on every key.

- Orson Scott Card, Ender's Shadow (1999)


Sometimes the mind needs to discover things for itself.

- Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and David Hayter, X2: X-Men United (film, 2003)

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