Immortality - Quotes from Science Fiction
21.02.2012, 20:01

Immortality - 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!

Thus I have lived on for many a year - alone, and weary of myself - desirous of death, yet never dying - a mortal immortal. Neither ambition nor avarice can enter my mind, and the ardent love that gnaws at my heart, never to be returned - never to find an equal on which to expend itself - lives there only to torment me.

- Mary Shelley, ''The Mortal Immortal'' (1833)

This is the price we pay, he thought, that the race must pay, for its life eternal - that we may not be able to assess in their true value the things that should be dearest to us; for a thing that has no ending, a thing that goes on forever, must have decreasing value.

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

Better a life like a falling star, brief bright across the dark, than the long, long waiting of the immortals, loveless and cheerlessly wise.

- Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (1954)

Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.

- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1954)

To be immortal is commonplace; except for man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death; what is divine, terrible, incomprehensible, is to know that one is immortal.

- Jorge Luis Borges, ''The Immortal'' (1962), translated by James E. Irby (1962)

Like the Eternal Man of Babylonian legend, like Gilgamesh, one thousand plus two hundred years stretches before Trent - without love, without friendship, alone, neither man nor machine, waiting - waiting for the day he will be called to free the humans who gave him mobility, movement, but not life.

- Harlan Ellison, ''Demon with a Glass Hand,'' episode of The Outer Limits (1964)

Believe me, Captain, immortality consists largely of boredom.

- Gene L. Coon, ''Metamorphosis,'' episode of Star Trek (1967)

Nothing is immortal. But only to us is it given to know that we must die. And that is a great gift: the gift of selfhood. For we have only what we know we must lose, what we are willing to lose . . . That selfhood, which is our torment, and our treasure, and our humanity, does not endure. It changes; it is gone, a wave on the sea.Would you have the sea grow still and the tides cease, to save one wave, to save yourself ?

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

What man would not live forever, if he could?

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

The first ten million years were the worst. And the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.

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

Life incorporeal, immortal, was on him now; it had him as it had her. His flesh, his body was beginning to attenuate, to dematerialise out into the great current of sentience that flowed on its mysterious purposes among the stars.

- James Tiptree, Jr., ''Slow Music'' (1980)

You can't achieve immortality by living forever.

- Arthur Byron Cover, Stationfall (1989)

The best definition of an immortal is someone who hasn't died yet.

- Tom Holt, Ye Gods! (1992)

If these aging treatments work, and we are living decades longer than previously, it will certainly cause a social revolution. Shortness of life was a primary force in the permanence of institutions, strange though it is to say it.

- Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars (1992)

Picard: Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. And I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because they'll never come again.What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived. After all, Number One, we're only mortal. Riker: Speak for yourself, sir. I plan to live forever.

- Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga, Star Trek: Generations (film, 1994)

''We could live forever, if we were willing to be stupid the whole time.'' ''Surely you're not saying that God had to choose between long life and intelligence for human beings!'' ''It's there in your own Bible, Carlotta. Two trees - knowledge and life. You eat of the tree of knowledge, and you will surely die. You eat of the tree of life, and you remain a child in the garden forever, undying.''

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

We strive for immortality, all of us, in our myriad ways. Some of us run for public office, in the hopes that we will change the course of the world. Some of us teach, in hopes that out of the thousands of students we encounter, one will blossom. Some of us get married and have children, so that a little bit of us will survive in a fellow human being's DNA. And some of us create, whether it be art, music, poetry, or stories, in hopes of communicating to the future that once we were here, and that once we mattered.

- Michael A. Burstein, ''Paying It Forward'' (2003)

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