- It's the Simple things that are really effective. Try to remember that.
- That Heel. That lousy wart on the nose of progress.
- I repeat Sturgeon's Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of it is crud. The Revelation: Ninety percent of everything is crud. Corollary 1: The existence of immense quantities of trash in science fiction is admitted and it is regrettable; but it is no more unnatural than the existence of trash anywhere. Corollary 2: The best science fiction is as good as the best fiction in any field.
- Interview with David G Hartwell, The New York Review of Science Fiction (March - April 1989)
- A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content.
- If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?
- It means 'Ask the next question.' Ask the next question, and the one that follows that, and the one that follows that. It's the symbol of everything humanity has ever created, and is the reason it has been created. This guy is sitting in a cave and he says, 'Why can't man fly?' Well, that's the question. The answer may not help him, but the question now has been asked. The next question is what? How? And so all through the ages, people have been trying to find out the answer to that question. We've found the answer, and we do fly. This is true of every accomplishment, whether it's technology or literature, poetry, political systems or anything else. That is it. Ask the next question. And the one after that.
- Science fiction, outside of poetry, is the only literary field which has no limits, no parameters whatsoever. You can go not only into the future, but into that wonderful place called 'other', which is simply another universe, another planet, another species.