Myron, like countless NCO's before him, had discovered the ideal compromise between power and responsibility.

The newspapers of Utopia, he had long ago decided, would be terribly dull.

Mysticism –perhaps the main aberration of the human mind.

CNN is one of the participants in the war. I have a fantasy where Ted Turner is elected president but refuses because he doesn't want to give up power.

Belief in God is apparently a psychological arti-fact of mammalian reproduction.

Richard turned to his portable computer and, working from notes, called up on the monitor a mass of numbers arrayed in rows and columns.

The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them.

My God -- it's full of stars!

Men had sought beauty in many forms—in sequences of sound, in lines upon paper, in surfaces of stone, in the movements of the human body, in colours ranged through space.

Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal.

He knew now that when power and ambition and curiosity were satisfied, there still were left the longings of the heart.

For relaxation he could always engage Hal in a large number of semimathematical games, including checkers, chess, and polyominoes. If Hal went all out, he could win any one of them; but that would be bad for morale. So he had been programmed to win only fifty percent of the time, and his human partners pretended not to know this.

Think of such civilizations, far back in time against the fading afterglow of creation, masters of a universe so young that life as yet had come only to a handful of worlds. Theirs would have been a loneliness of gods looking out across infinity and finding none to share their thoughts.

Often we had no choice: we couldn't reform the whole world. And didn't somebody once say ‘Politics is the art of the possible'? Quite true—which is why only second-rate minds go into it. Genius likes to challenge the impossible.

Nevertheless, when you did not know what you were looking for, it was important to avoid all prejudices and preconceptions; something that at first sight seemed irrelevant, or even nonsensical, might turn out to be a vital clue.

There was nothing left of Earth. They had leeched away the last atoms of its substance. It had nourished them, through the fierce moments of their inconceivable metamorphosis, as the food stored in a grain of wheat feeds the infant plant while it climbs towards the Sun.

The creation of wealth is certainly not to be despised, but in the long run the only human activities really worthwhile are the search for knowledge, and the creation of beauty. This is beyond argument, the only point of debate is which comes first.

Miraculous though they were—perhaps the supreme triumph of the science that had produced them—they were the creations of a sick culture, a culture that had been afraid of many things.

The image of Jupiter, with its ribbons of white cloud, its mottled bands of salmon pink, and the Great Red Spot staring out like a baleful eye, hung steady on the flight-deck projection screen.

There was no evidence that the intelligence of the human race had improved, but for the first time everyone was given the fullest opportunity of using what brain he had.

Historically, both fear and public opinion were notoriously unconcerned about morality.

He felt confident that when he pulled open the drawer of that desk, he would find a Gideon Bible inside it….

Long ago it had been discovered that without some crime or disorder, Utopia soon became unbearably dull.

No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time.

A major part of his job was deciding when warnings could be ignored, when they could be dealt with at leisure—and when they had to be treated as real emergencies. If he paid equal attention to all the ship's cries for help, he would never get anything done.

That first Prime Monitor, he said, was sent by the Creator, from another dimension of the early universe, into our evolving space-time system.

I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here.

Afrikaans is one of the world's best languages in which to curse; even when spoken politely, it can bruise innocent bystanders.

He had sometimes wondered if the real reason why men sought danger was that only thus could they find the companionship and solidarity which they unconsciously craved.

Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets.

And as for the Council—tell it that a road that has once been opened cannot be closed again merely by passing a resolution.' The.

Much had been lost during the centuries, for men seldom bother to preserve the commonplace articles of everyday life.

Absence of noise is not a natural condition; all human senses require some input. If they are deprived of it, the mind manufactures its own substitutes.

The Chairman glared across three hundred and eighty thousand kilometers of space at Conrad Taylor, who reluctantly subsided, like a volcano biding its time.

But please remember: this is only a work of fiction. The truth, as always, will be far stranger.

It was fascinating to watch that agile mind trying one opening after another, testing and rejecting all the theories that Stormgren himself had abandoned long ago.

Norton tightened his arms around her. One of the nicest things about weightlessness, he often thought, was that you could really hold someone all night, without cutting off the circulation. There were those who claimed that love at one gee was so ponderous that they could no longer enjoy it.

Martin's one of the nicest fellows you could meet, as long as you don't do it too often.

A thousand years in one body is long enough for any man; at the end of that time, his mind is clogged with memories, and he asks only for rest—or a new beginning.

Detachment was all very well, but it could change so easily to indifference.

The origin of the universe might be forever unknown, but all that had happened after obeyed the laws of physics.

Dr. Brown considered all engineers to be nothing more than glorified carpenters and plumbers.

If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Discovery was no longer a happy ship.

This was the fundamental problem with rockets—and no one had ever discovered any alternative for deep-space propulsion. It was just as difficult to lose speed as to acquire it, and carrying the necessary propellant for deceleration did not merely double the difficulty of a mission; it squared it.

Utopia was here at last: its novelty had not yet been assailed by the supreme enemy of all Utopias—boredom. Perhaps.

They could never guess that their minds were being probed, their bodies mapped, their reactions studied, their potentials evaluated.

Jealousy is a terrible thing. It doth mock the meat it feeds upon is an understatement. Jealousy is completely consuming, totally irrational, and absolutely debilitating. The most wonderful people in the world are nothing but raging animals when trapped in the throes of jealousy.

The greatest danger is panic.