Avoid A Void
Thanks to the courage and devotion of three men, this project of sending a
bullet to the moon, once seen as a futile enterprise, had already produced
concrete results, with incalculable consequences. The voyagers, imprisoned
in their new satellite, had not reached their destination, but at least they had
become part of the lunar world; they were in orbit around the celebrity of
the night, and, for the first time, the human eye could penetrate all her mysteries.
The names of Nicholl, Barbicane, and Michel Ardan would be forever
celebrated in the annals of astronomy, for these bold explorers, eager to
widen the circle of human knowledge, had audaciously launched themselves
into space, gambling their lives in the strangest undertaking of modern times.
—Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon (1865), translated by
Walter James Miller (1978)

Thousands of men have spun a trail of daring adventure and pioneering in
the spaceways. There are statues in virtually every park on the planet dedicated
to their truly magnificent achievements. Statues of rugged men, with
set chins and purposeful eyes. Pioneers who blasted open the greatest frontier
of them all, so you cannot blame us if doggedly we persist in revering their
magic names; to honor their memories.
—Sam Moskowitz, ‘‘Man of the Stars’’ (1941)

Spacemen die if they stay in one place.
—Robert A. Heinlein, ‘‘The Green Hills of Earth’’ (1947)

Astronauts were not the impulsive daredevils so dear to the stereopticonloving
public. They couldn’t afford to be. The hazards of the profession
required an infinite capacity for cautious, contemplative thought.
—Eric Frank Russell, ‘‘Hobbyist’’ (1947)

Spacemen—men who work in space, pilots and jetmen and astrogators and
such—are men who like a few million miles of elbow room.
—Robert A. Heinlein, ‘‘Gentlemen, Be Seated!’’ (1948)

David will never go to space again.
I’m glad.What did it gain the McQuarries? What has it ever gained men?
Have men ever brought back more happiness from the stars? Will they ever?
—Leigh Brackett, ‘‘The Woman from Altair’’ (1951)

You know what they say about bold spacemen never becoming old spacemen.
They don’t live that long.
—Poul Anderson, ‘‘Garden in the Void’’ (1952)

We’d sat cooped up in a prison-cell that flew, that was all—but now we were
—Edmond Hamilton, ‘‘What’s It Like Out There?’’ (1952)

The Stone trembled and threw herself outward bound, toward Saturn. In
her train followed hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands of
thousands of restless, rolling Stones . . . to Saturn . . . to Uranus, to Pluto . . .
rolling on out to the stars . . . outward bound to the ends of the Universe.
—Robert A. Heinlein, The Rolling Stones (1952)

Constantly working outward, putting system after system inside the known
universe, they were the bright hungry wave of mankind reaching out to
gather in the stars.
—Algis Budrys, ‘‘Lower Than Angels’’ (1956)

We’re free out here, really free for the first time.We’re floating, literally.
Gravity can’t bow our backs or break our arches or tame our ideas. You
know, it’s only out here that stupid people like us can really think. The
weightlessness gets our thoughts and we can sort them. Ideas grow out
here like nowhere else—it’s the right environment for them. Anyone can get into space, if he wants to hard enough. The ticket is a
—Fritz Leiber, ‘‘The Beat Cluster’’ (1961)

‘‘You spin in the sky, the world spins under you, and you step from land to
land, while we . . .’’ She turned her head right, left, and her black hair curled
and uncurled on the shoulder of her coat. ‘‘We have our dull, circled lives,
bound in gravity, worshiping you!’’
—Samuel R. Delany, ‘‘Aye, and Gomorrah’’ (1967)

If space people didn’t have curiosity, they probably wouldn’t be space people.
—Stephen Tall, ‘‘The Bear with the Knot on His Tail’’ (1971)

Up here [in space], you’re free. Really free, for the first time in your life. All
the laws and rules and prejudices they’ve been dumping on you all your life
. . . they’re all down there. Up here it’s a new start. You can be yourself and do
your own thing . . . and nobody can tell you different.
—Ben Bova, ‘‘Zero Gee’’ (1972)

Once you’ve grown up in space, moving on means moving out, not going
back to Earth. Nobody wants to be a groundpounder.
—Gregory Benford, ‘‘Dark Sanctuary’’ (1979)

‘‘What was being on the moon literally like?’’ [. . .]
‘‘Being on the moon?’’ His tired gaze inspected the narrow street of cheap
jewellery stores, with its office messengers and lottery touts, the off-duty
taxi-drivers leaning against their cars. ‘‘It was just like being here.’’
—J. G. Ballard, ‘‘The Man Who Walked on the Moon’’ (1985)

Nonetheless, Scranton had travelled in space. He had known the loneliness
of separation from all other human beings, he had gazed at the empty
perspectives that I myself had seen.
—J. G. Ballard, ‘‘The Man Who Walked on the Moon’’ (1985)

You’re all astronauts on some kind of star trek.
—Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, Star Trek: First Contact
(film, 1996)