Jerry Pournelle Quotes

Jerry Pournelle Quotes.

Somebody's always getting me to come lecture to their w

Somebody’s always getting me to come lecture to their writing class, and I don’t talk about writing at all, I talk about the business of making a living at this racket.
Jerry Pournelle
There were probably, what, 300 science-fiction members in the SFWA, of whom probably a hundred were active members in the sense that they were selling something every year, or every couple years.
Jerry Pournelle
Paradoxically, the few eras of peace were times when men of war had high influence. The Pax Romana was enforced by Caesar’s Legions. The Pax Brittanica was enforced by the Royal Navy and His Majesty’s Forces.
Jerry Pournelle
The Aztecs believe they started up in what’s now New Mexico, and wandered for 10,000 years before they got down into where they are now, in Mexico City. That’s a weird legend.
Jerry Pournelle
Write a lot. And finish what you write. Don’t join writer’s clubs and go sit around having coffee reading pieces of your manuscript to people. Write it. Finish it. I set those rules up years ago, and nothing’s changed.
Jerry Pournelle
You see, I used to do a certain amount of market research by going to the local drugstore and seeing what the truck drivers would put up. Now it’s all just copies from the latest best-seller list and damn little of anything else.
Jerry Pournelle
I have more information in one place than anybody in the world.
Jerry Pournelle
Because Tom Doherty and people like that are not stupid. If they could have streamlined their operation more to get more money out of it, they would have done it. It’s not like they’re a bunch of idiots.
Jerry Pournelle
Heinlein never had a best-seller. Even, I think, with Stranger in a Strange Land, I don’t think it was actually on the New York Times best seller list.
Jerry Pournelle
Much of economics isn’t difficult, or rather, the difficulty is in cooking up arguments to “prove” that commonsense conclusions are wrong. The fact is that many commonsense conclusions are quite correct, and it takes a lot of education to get you to believe different.
Jerry Pournelle
A Dark Age is not just a period in which people no longer know how to do things. The real key is that people no longer remember that certain things can be done at all.
Jerry Pournelle
We juggle priceless eggs in variable gravity. I am afraid. I will taste fear until I die.
Jerry Pournelle
We’re basically after Joe’s beer money, and Joe likes his beer, so you better make sure that what you give him is at least as pleasurable to him as having his six-pack of beer would be.
Jerry Pournelle
The arrogance of some of those who are so damned sure they are right is just astounding. Scientific witch hunts are often the worst kind, and have been since the secular authorities stopped enforcing the local bishop’s decrees of anathema.
Jerry Pournelle
You no longer have much in the way of knowing what to do in a big, epic novel about the future, because nobody knows what the hell is going to happen.
Jerry Pournelle
Asimov was the reason why we changed some rules in the SFWA, and I’m not convinced we changed it for the best.
Jerry Pournelle
And that’s another piece of advice I’ll give junior writers; when you get to the point where they take you to lunch, let the editor suggest where to go.
Jerry Pournelle
Freedom is not free. It is bought at a high price. It can be squandered cheaply.
Jerry Pournelle
I have a big collection of quotation programs…In particular, I like MCR Software’s Wisdom of the Ages, which has the best selection of relevant quotes I know.
Jerry Pournelle
And meanwhile, the storytellers like me and Anderson, Silverberg… we tell stories. People like them. They want to know how it comes out, they want to know what the ending is.
Jerry Pournelle
Of course most people underestimate the warrior characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman peoples anyway. It takes a heap of piety to keep a Viking from wanting to go sack a city.
Jerry Pournelle
That which does not kill me, has made a grave tactical error.
Jerry Pournelle
In any ethical situation, the thing you want least to do is probably the right action.
Jerry Pournelle
A smart soldier wants to know the causes of wars. Also how to end them. After all, war is the normal state of affairs, isn’t it? Peace is the name of the ideal we deduce from the fact that there have been interludes between wars.
Jerry Pournelle
Unrestricted laissez faire capitalism allocates resources in a most efficient way to satisfy human wants without regard to the rationality or morality of those desires.
Jerry Pournelle
We have for years been building a society in which everybody plunders everybody, and while we are weary of being plundered, we enjoy the plunder.
Jerry Pournelle
Bureaucracies are progressive. meaning they have a burning fear that someone. somewhere, is doing something without permission.
Jerry Pournelle
The difference between Libertarian and Conservative is that Conservatives understand this, and know that unregulated capitalism will eventually end with human meat sold in market places, and slavery. Alas, many Conservatives think that everything has to be regulated and controlled.
Jerry Pournelle
To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.
Jerry Pournelle
The hard part of writing at all is sitting your ass down in a chair and writing it. There’s always something better to do, like I’ve got an interview, sharpening the pencils, trimming the roses. There’s always something better to do. Going to a writer’s club?
Jerry Pournelle
I think it takes about a million words to make a writer. I mean that you’re going to throw away.
Jerry Pournelle
So, I guess the answer to your question is very few people can bring off a novel of the future because it’s just so damn hard to make it look like the future.
Jerry Pournelle
The importance of information is directly proportional to its improbability.
Jerry Pournelle
We do a hard fantasy as well as hard science fiction, and I think I probably single-handedly recreated military science fiction. It was dead before I started working in it.
Jerry Pournelle
One of the things we must be able to agree to is to lose an election and not take to the streets.
Jerry Pournelle
In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control, and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.[Pournelle’s law of Bureaucracy]
Jerry Pournelle
I am sure it has been done with less, but you should be prepared to write and throw away a million words of finished material. By finished, I mean completed, done, ready to submit, and written as well as you know how at the time you wrote it. You may be ashamed of it later, but that’s another story.
Jerry Pournelle
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.
Jerry Pournelle
I started in this racket in the early ’70s, and when I was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, of which I was like the sixth president, I was the first one nobody ever heard of.
Jerry Pournelle
If you submit a search of the following phrase on Google, you get over four hundred returns, and they are often very strange ones: “I have more information in one place than anybody in the world.”
Jerry Pournelle
One the other hand, the publishing trend is ghastly, isn’t it? Two hundred and something distributors are now down to 10 or 12? And what’s the recruiting drive?
Jerry Pournelle