30+ Stranger In A Strange Land Quotes That Science Fiction Fans Will Love

The book revolves around the story of Martians

First, take a sip of water and give yourself a temporary escape from reality with some mind-boggling quotes from the OG novel, 'Stranger In A Strange Land' by Robert A. Heinlein.

This book is a science-fiction masterpiece for all the strange and weird reasons, and the fans are here for it! This book from Robert A. Heinlein first ensures you closely examine your age-old beliefs and assumptions and later opens up your choices in the best possible way.

Filled with imaginative and controversial ideas of religion, sexual freedom, societal norms, and gender roles, 'Stranger in a Strange Land' is a truly groundbreaking novel for humans. Read on to find out the best quotes from 'Stranger in a Strange Land' that science fiction fans will love.

Make sure to check out [Heinlein quotes] and [Starship Troopers quotes] that will spike your interest even more in the science fantasy world.

Best 'Stranger In A Strange Land' Quotes

Written in the '60s, it continues to find new fans and critics. Below are the best quotes from the book, specially curated for Martian sci-fi lovers.

This book is regarded as a pathbreaking work.

1. “Around a minor G-type star toward one edge of a medium-sized galaxy, planets swung as they had for billions of years, under a modified inverse square law that shaped space. Four were big enough, as planets go, to be noticeable; the rest were pebbles, concealed in the fiery skirts of the primary or lost in the black reaches of space. All, as is always the case, were infected with that oddity of distorted entropy called life; on the third and fourth planets surface temperatures cycled around the freezing point of hydrogen monoxide; in consequence they had developed life forms similar enough to permit a degree of social contact.”

- 'Stranger In A Strange Land'.

2. “Self awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

3. “Most neuroses and some psychoses can be traced to the unnecessary and unhealthy habit of daily wallowing in the troubles and sins of five billion strangers.”

- 'Stranger In A Strange Land'.

4. “Solipsism and pantheism. Together they explain anything. Cancel out any inconvenient fact, reconcile all theories, include any facts or delusions you like. But it’s cotton candy, all taste and no substance—as unsatisfactory as solving a story by saying: ‘—then the little boy fell out of bed and woke up.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

5. “Audacity, always audacity — soundest principle of strategy. In practicing medicine I learned that when you are most at loss is the time when you must appear confident. In law I had learned that, when your case seems hopeless, you must impress the jury with your relaxed certainty.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

6. “If you’ve got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn’t prove it.”

- 'Stranger In A Strange Land'.

7. “A desire not to butt into other people’s business is at least eighty percent of all human ‘wisdom’...and the other twenty percent isn’t very important.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

8. “I shan’t attempt to argue differences between one form of ritual cannibalism and another.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

9. “English is the largest of human tongues, with several times the vocabulary of the second largest language -- this alone made it inevitable that English would eventually become, as it did, the lingua franca of this planet, for it is thereby the richest and most flexible -- despite its barbaric accretions . . . or, I should say, because of its barbaric accretions. English swallows up anything that comes its way, makes English out of it.”

- Robert A Heinlein.

10. “With eternity to draw on ... “hurry” was not a concept in Martian.”

- Narrator

Famous Robert A Heinlein 'Stranger In A Strange Land' Quotes

Although ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’ begins in a Martian fairytale fashion, please expect it to eventually become utopian. It is truly strange. The story talks about Martians’ peculiar culture (the previous inhabitants of Mars) and its impact on humans and society. These are the best quotes that take you on a reckless the Martian ride that the book is.

The book talks about the culture of Martian's.

11. “I’ve found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much . . . because it’s the only thing that’ll make it stop hurting.”

- Valentine Michael Smith.

12. “Customs, morals—is there a difference?”

- Jubal Harshaw.

13. “Valentine Michael Smith grokked that physical human love...was a growing-closer.”

- Narrator.

14. “Geniuses are ... always indifferent to sexual customs of the tribe; they make their own rules.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

15. “Art is the process of evoking pity and terror.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

16. “Of course it wasn’t funny; it was tragic. That’s why I had to laugh.”

- Valentine Michael Smith.

17. “Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist- a master can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is, and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

18. “Grok’ means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed.”

- Dr. Mahmoud.

19. “Its very variety, subtlety, and utterly irrational, idiomatic complexity makes it possible to say things in English which simply cannot be said in any other language.”

- Robert. A. Heinlein.

Funny Quotes From 'Stranger In A Strange Land'

According to Heinlein, his work was not supposed to fit into a compact genre of fiction. His book was, in fact, too exclusive to be literally called a sci-fi novel. Based on the kind of story it presents, it was instead a sociopolitical satire on sex and religion within the reference to a futuristic time frame of the world. “I Grok in fullness.”, said Mike (Valentine Michael Smith). This absurd word took the world by storm when it made its place in the day-to-day informal vocabulary. The book is a part of the Martian language that is hard to translate to a human language. ‘Grok’ literally translates to understand something profoundly. But, beware, “You need to think in Martian to ‘grok’ the word ‘grok.’”as Mike says.

20. “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”

- Robert A. Heinlein, Author, ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.

21. “Consider the black widow spider. It’s a timid little beastie, useful and, for my taste, the prettiest of the arachnids, with its shiny, patent-leather finish and its red hourglass trademark. But the poor thing has the fatal misfortune of possessing enormously too much power for its size. So everybody kills it on sight.”

- Robert A. Heinlein, ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.

22. “My dear, I used to think I was serving humanity…and I pleasured myself in the thought. Then I discovered that humanity does not want to be served; on the contrary it resents any attempt to serve it. So now I do what pleases myself.”

- Robert A. Heinlein, ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.

23. “I do know that the slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time — and then shut up.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

24. “But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.”

- Robert A. Heinlein, ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.

25. “You grok. I am explain. I did not have the word. You grok. Anne groks. I grok. The grass under my feet groks in happy beauty. But I needed the word. The word is God.”

- Valentine Michael Smith (Mike).

26. “I’ve been kissed by men who did a very good job. But they don’t give kissing their whole attention. They can’t. No matter how hard they try, parts of their mind are on something else...Missing the last bus—or their chances of making the gal—or their own techniques in kissing—or maybe worry about jobs, or money, or will husband or papa or the neighbors catch on. Mike doesn’t have technique...but when Mike kisses you he isn’t doing anything else. You’re his whole universe...and the moment is eternal because he doesn’t have any plans and isn’t going anywhere.”

- Gillian Boardman.

27. “If Mike is converted to Fosterism... and makes a will in favor of his church... and then ‘goes to heaven’ some sunrise, it will all be, to put it in the correct tautology, as legal as church on Sunday.”

- Jubal Harshaw.

28. “Talking with a Martian is something like talking with an echo. You don’t get any argument but you don’t get results either.”

- Robert A. Heinlein, Author, ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.

29. “Women will forgive anything. Otherwise, the race would have died out long ago.”

- Robert A. Heinlein, Author, ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.

30. “Christ was crucified for preaching without a police permit.”

- Robert A. Heinlein, Author, ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.

31. “The Universe was a silly place at best...but the least likely explanation for it was the no-explanation of random chance, the conceit that abstract somethings ‘just happened’ to be atoms that ‘just happened’ to get together in ways which ‘just happened’ to look like consistent laws and some configurations’ just happened’ to possess self-awareness and that two ‘just happened’ to be the Man from Mars and a bald-headed old coot with Jubal inside.”

- Robert A. Heinlein, Author, ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for ['Stranger In A Strange Land' quotes] then why not take a look at [Sci Fi quotes], or Ursula K Le Guin quotes.


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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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