Lester del Rey

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Lester del Rey (June 2, 1915 – May 10, 1993) was an American science fiction author and editor.


The Eleventh Commandment (1962)[edit]

All page numbers from the revised mass market paperback published by Ballantine Books (first printing, November 1970)
  • An accident of careless handling at a dumping point had touched off a great atomic explosion, somewhere in central Europe. That country had thought itself attacked during the disarmament hiatus, and had struck at China, which had bombarded Russia, which thought it was being attacked by America. The confusion was straightened out in less than two hours, but by then two-thirds of the world had been killed.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 14)
  • The present molders of the code seemed to have a clear knowledge of just how difficult to make something, to add to its fascination, without making it impossible.
    • Chapter 5 (p. 42)
  • He walked on in silence for a while, thinking of all that he had seen. And the sum of his thought was a sickness against the whole hypocritical system that was despoiling an incredibly rich planet.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 70)
  • Evolution’s logical, unlike religion. Even the Church will agree with that. You have to take religion on faith and you can’t test it by common sense.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 72)
  • A single tiny cell had decided the fate of a population pressed so close to the ultimate limit of the planet’s resources that there was no margin for error. Facing such risks, how could any sane and responsible ruling group dare to demand still more mouths to cry for food? It was a shabby, horrible way to run a world.
    • Chapter 11 (p. 107)
  • Stupidity, greed, misdirected aggression—or sum it up and call it man.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 114)
  • “But it won’t stay at this level. Not with the Eleventh Commandment. They won’t stop, even when there are a hundred billion.”
    Epstein shook his head. “They won’t get there. At the present time, conditions make the death rate about equal to the birthrate. Sooner or later, everything reaches its own level. Oh, if the Australian scheme goes through, we may reach a twenty billion total. Beyond that, the more children get born, the worse conditions get—which brings up the death rate and cuts the figure back again.”
    “And leaves the misery rate at a maximum.”
    • Chapter 12 (p. 116)
  • “How can you prove God’s on your side?” Boyd asked.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 138)
  • He was sure there must be some catch. Every principle here had an opposite, and both were wrong.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 155)
  • “You really are a pig,” she decided coldly.
    “You’ve got your snout in the trough here too,” he reminded her.
    • Chapter 17 (p. 157)

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