John W. Campbell Quotes

Who is John W. Campbell?

John Wood Campbell Jr. was an American science fiction writer and editor. Campbell is best known for his short story 'Who Goes There?' which was adapted into two classic movies: 'The Thing from Another World' and John Carpenter's 'The Thing'.

Born June 08, 1910
Died July 11, 1971

Books by John W. Campbell


Best 16 Quotes by John W. Campbell

“Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.”

John W. Campbell

“Generally, a desirable, practically attainable idea, suggested in prophecy, has a chance of forcing itself into reality by its very existence.”

John W. Campbell

“History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, 'Can't you remember anything I told you?' and lets fly with a club.”

John W. Campbell

“Immunity corrupts; absolute immunity corrupts absolutely.”

John W. Campbell

“It was the law that if a white man was caught trying to educate a Negro slave, he was liable to prosecution entailing a fine of fifty dollars and a jail sentence. Our ignorance was the greatest hold the South had on us. We knew we could run away, but what then?”

John W. Campbell

“Man studied birds for centuries, trying to learn how to make a machine to fly like them. He never did do the trick; his final success came when he broke away entirely and tried new methods.”

John W. Campbell

“Never accept the initial premise of the opposition.”

John W. Campbell

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“Pioneering basically amounts to finding new and more horrible ways to die.”

John W. Campbell

“Science is not a sacred cow – but there are a large number of would-be sacred cowherds busily devoting quantities of time, energy and effort to the task of making it one, so they can be sacred cowherds.”

John W. Campbell

“That's the trouble with languages. They have to be learned.”

John W. Campbell

“There's nothing quite so stultifying as having someone around who has all the answers – and gives them to you.”

John W. Campbell

“We presuppose two things: that there is yet to be learned infinitely more than is now known, and that man can learn it.”

John W. Campbell

“Write me a creature that thinks as well as a man or better than a man, but not like a man.”

John W. Campbell

Cloak of Aesi Quotes

“No literature is sound, no philosophy of action workable, if it doesn't take a hard look at itself.”

John W. Campbell
Cloak of Aesi

Products by John W. Campbell

“Too darned good a machine can be a menace, not a help.”

John W. Campbell
Cloak of Aesi

Who Goes There? Quotes

“The men knew how to die and be dead, but the machines didn't.”

John W. Campbell
Who Goes There?

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“Monsters in movies are us, always us, one way or the other. They’re us with hats on. The zombies in George Romero’s movies are us. They’re hungry. Monsters are us, the dangerous parts of us. The part that wants to destroy; the part of us with the reptile brain. The part of us that’s vicious and cruel. We express these in our stories as these monsters out there.”


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