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Liu Cixin quotes Showing 1-30 of 558

“No, emptiness is not nothingness. Emptiness is a type of existence. You must use this existential emptiness to fill yourself.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds other life—another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod—there’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people. An eternal threat that any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out. This is the picture of cosmic civilization. It’s the explanation for the Fermi Paradox.”
Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
“Weakness and ignorance are not barriers to survival, but arrogance is.”
Liu Cixin, Death's End
“It was impossible to expect a moral awakening from humankind itself, just like it was impossible to expect humans to lift off the earth by pulling up on their own hair. To achieve moral awakening required a force outside the human race.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“If I destroy you, what business is it of yours?”
Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
“To effectively contain a civilization’s development and disarm it across such a long span of time, there is only one way: kill its science.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Is it possible that the relationship between humanity and evil is similar to the relationship between the ocean and an iceberg floating on its surface? Both the ocean and the iceberg are made of the same material. That the iceberg seems separate is only because it is in a different form. In reality, it is but a part of the vast ocean.…”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Your lack of fear is based on your ignorance.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“In the shooter hypothesis, a good marksman shoots at a target, creating a hole every ten centimeters. Now suppose the surface of the target is inhabited by intelligent, two-dimensional creatures. Their scientists, after observing the universe, discover a great law: “There exists a hole in the universe every ten centimeters.” They have mistaken the result of the marksman’s momentary whim for an unalterable law of the universe. The farmer hypothesis, on the other hand, has the flavor of a horror story: Every morning on a turkey farm, the farmer comes to feed the turkeys. A scientist turkey, having observed this pattern to hold without change for almost a year, makes the following discovery: “Every morning at eleven, food arrives.” On the morning of Thanksgiving, the scientist announces this law to the other turkeys. But that morning at eleven, food doesn’t arrive; instead, the farmer comes and kills the entire flock.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“For the majority of people, what they love exists only in the imagination. The object of their love is not the man or woman of reality, but what he or she is like in their imagination. The person in reality is just a template used for the creation of this dream lover. Eventually, they find out the differences between their dream lover and the template. If they can get used to those differences, then they can be together. If not, they split up. It’s as simple as that. You differ from the majority in one respect: You didn’t need a template.”
Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
“I’m a simple man without a lot of complicated twists and turns. Look down my throat and you can see out my ass.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Every era puts invisible shackles on those who have lived through it, and I can only dance in my chains.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“If we lose our human nature, we lose much, but if we lose our bestial nature, we lose everything.”
Liu Cixin, Death's End
“And now we know that this is the journey that must be made by every civilization: awakening inside a cramped cradle, toddling out of it, taking flight, flying faster and farther, and, finally, merging with the fate of the universe as one. The ultimate fate of all intelligent beings has always been to become as grand as their thoughts.”
Liu Cixin, Death's End
“In China, any idea that dared to take flight would only crash back to the ground. The gravity of reality is too strong.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Make time for civilization, for civilization won't make time.”
Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
“In the face of madness, rationality was powerless.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Time is the cruelest force of all.”
Cixin Liu, Death's End
“Even if God were here, it wouldn’t do any good. The entire human race has reached the point where no one is listening to their prayers.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Take those frauds who practice pseudoscience - do you know who they're most afraid of?"

"Scientists, of course."

"No. Many of the best scientists can be fooled by pseudoscience and sometimes devote their lives to it. But pseudoscience is afraid of one particular type of people who are very hard to fool: stage magicians. In fact, many pseudoscience hoaxes were exposed by stage magicians.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“It’s a wonder to be alive. If you don’t understand that, how can you search for anything deeper?”
Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
“By the time you’re my age, you’ll realize that everything you once thought mattered so much turns out to mean very little.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Sometimes I thought life was precious, and everything was so important; but other times I thought humans were insignificant, and nothing was worthwhile. Anyway, my life passed day after day accompanied by this strange feeling, and before I knew it, I was old.…”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Time is the one thing that can’t be stopped. Like a sharp blade, it silently cuts through hard and soft, constantly advancing. Nothing is capable of jolting it even the slightest bit, but it changes everything.”
Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
“Staying alive is not enough to guarantee survival. Development is the best way to ensure survival.”
Liu Cixin, The Dark Forest
“I need a dual-vector foil for cleansing.”
Liu Cixin, Death's End
“A woman should be like water, able to flow over and around anything.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“Mere existence is already the result of incredible luck. Such was the case on Earth in the past, and such has always been the case in this cruel universe. But at some point, humanity began to develop the illusion that they’re entitled to life, that life can be taken for granted.”
Liu Cixin, Death's End
“The creation myths of the various peoples and religions of the world pale when compared to the glory of the big bang.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem
“I don’t have much to say except a warning. Life reached an evolutionary milestone when it climbed onto land from the ocean, but those first fish that climbed onto land ceased to be fish. Similarly, when humans truly enter space and are freed from the Earth, they cease to be human. So, to all of you I say this: When you think about heading into outer space without looking back, please reconsider. The cost you must pay is far greater than you could imagine. *”
Liu Cixin, Death's End

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Liu Cixin
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