Jack Williamson

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Jack Williamson

John Stewart Williamson (April 29, 1908 – November 10, 2006), who wrote as Jack Williamson, was an American science fiction writer.


Short fiction[edit]

The Humanoid Universe (1980)[edit]

  • Human belief is seldom related to truth.
  • Human knowledge is never entirely consistent or complete, because the human brain is only a crude and transient mass of watery cells, error-prone and glacier-slow.
    • p. 51

Darker Than You Think (1948)[edit]

Numerous editions. All page numbers here are from the mass market edition published by Dell ISBN 0-440-11746-1, July 1979, 1st printing
  • “I wonder—?” whispered April Bell, her long eyes narrowed and dark. “I wonder what they really found?”
    “Whatever it is,” breathed Barbee, “the find doesn’t seem to have made them very happy. A fundamentalist might think they had stumbled into hell.”
    “No,” the girl said, “men aren’t that much afraid of hell.”
    • Chapter 2, “The Kitten Killing” (p. 39)
  • Quietly she said: “I know I’m not insane.”
    So, Barbee understood, did all lunatics.
    • Chapter 5, “The Thing Behind the Veil” (p. 86)
  • And introvert is one of the harmless scientific terms he used to use when he was really writing about witches.
    • Chapter 5, “The Thing Behind the Veil” (p. 90)
  • “I’m not a religious man, Mr. Barbee—I reject the supernatural, and my own rational philosophy is founded on proven science. But I still believe in hell.”
    The dark man smiled.
    “For every man manufactures his own private hell and peoples it with demons of his own creation, to torment him for his own secret sins, imagined or real. It’s my business to explore those personal hells and expose their demons for what they are. Usually they turn out to be much less terrifying than they seem.”
    • Chapter 13, “Private Hell” (p. 206)
  • “The only real scientific support of extrasensory and psychokinetic phenomena has come from such studies as those at Duke University,” he added. “Some of the published results purporting to show the reality of ESP and the mental manipulation of probability are pretty convincing—but I’m afraid the wish to demonstrate the survival of the soul has blinded the researchers to some grave flaw in their experimental or statistical methods.”
    He shook his head, with a sober emphasis.
    “This universe, to me, is strictly mechanistic. Every phenomena that takes place in it—from the birth of suns to the tendency of men to live in fear of gods and devils—was implicit in the primal superatom from whose explosive cosmic energy it was formed. The efforts that some distinguished scientists make to find room for operation of a free human will and the creative function of supernatural divinity in such apparent defects of mechanistic determination as Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty—those futile efforts are as pathetic to me as the crudest attempt of a witch doctor to make it rain by sprinkling water on the ground. All the so-called supernatural, Mr. Barbee, is pure delusion, based on misdirected emotion and inaccurate observation and illogical thinking.”
    His calm brown face smiled hopefully.
    “Does that make you feel any better?”
    “It does, doctor.”
    • Chapter 13, “Private Hell” (p. 207)
  • He certainly didn’t feel insane, he reflected—but then did any lunatic, ever?
    • Chapter 14, “As a Serpent Strikes—” (p. 210)
  • The vampire legend, he might conclude, has served conveniently for many thousand years as a conventional folk expression of unconscious feelings of aggression and guilt.
    • Chapter 21, “Into the Shadows” (p. 319)

The Stonehenge Gate (2005)[edit]

All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Tor ISBN 0-765-30897-5
  • “Don’t you get it? The grand enigma of our universe. The joy of science, the power of math, the elation of discovery.” He looked out again, speaking half to himself, yet eager to share what he felt. “That’s the mystery of the natural creation. Galaxies and planets, life and mind grown from the fire and dust of the big bang. That’s the enchantment of science. New vistas of wonder exploding out of every advance.”
    • Chapter 3 (p. 32)
  • The mystery of it gets me. The builders of the trilithons and the road were high-tech wizards, but their skills didn’t save them. I’ve been wondering how they died. Maybe they got too good at the science of war.
    • Chapter 6 (p. 60)
  • “Magic.” He shot photos and shook his head. “Pure magic, till we learn enough to understand it.”
    • Chapter 7 (p. 67)

External links[edit]