My blood runs with the DNA of nine ancestors from the Mayflower, several more who fired their rifles during the Revolutionary War, and many others who engaged in the defense of their freedom in various ways. Even centuries later, I am still enjoying the fruits of their many sacrifices. The story that they began I now have a responsibility to continue.
Even in fiction, that battle cry for freedom still emerges. That desire of the soul to follow truth without infringement by another echoes through our stories. Today, I'm going to share ten quotes about freedom from science fiction and fantasy.
1. Star Trek (Original Series)
It's time you learned that freedom is never a gift. It has to be earned.
2. Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
All right, he's had his say. You must take it in. I'll say my say, too, in the next few hours. And you'll take it in. And you'll try to judge them and make your decision as to which way to jump, or fall. But I want it to be your decision, not mine, and not the Captain's. But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.
3. The Great Divorce (C. S. Lewis)
Time is the very lens through which ye see — small and clear, as men see through the wrong end of a telescope — something that would otherwise be too big for ye to see at all. That thing is Freedom: the gift whereby ye most resemble your Maker and are yourselves parts of eternal reality.But ye can see it only through the lens of Time, in a little clear picture, through the inverted telescope. It is a picture of moments following one another and yourself in each moment making some choice that might have been otherwise. Neither the temporal succession nor the phantom of what ye might have chosen and didn't is itself Freedom. They are a lens. The picture is a symbol: but it's truer than any philosophical theorem (or, perhaps, than any mystic's vision) that claims to go behind it. For every attempt to see the shape of eternity except through the lens of Time destroys your knowledge of Freedom."
4. Captain America: Winter Soldier
Zola: HYDRA was founded on the belief that humanity could not be trusted with its own freedom. What we did not realize was that if you try to take that freedom, they resist. The war taught us much. Humanity needed to surrender its freedom willingly. After the war, S.H.I.E.L.D was founded and I was recruited. The new HYDRA grew. A beautiful parasite inside S.H.I.E.L.D. For seventy years, HYDRA has been secretly feeding crisis, reaping war. And when history did not cooperate, history was changed.
Natasha: That's impossible, S.H.I.E.L.D would have stopped you.
Zola: Accidents will happen. HYDRA created a world so chaotic that humanity is finally ready to sacrifice its freedom to gain its security. Once the purification process is complete, HYDRA's new world order will arise. We won, Captain. Your death amounts to the same as your Life; a zero sum.
5. Foundation's Edge (Isaac Asimov)
It is better to go to defeat with free will than to live in a meaningless security as a cog in a machine.
6. Star Trek (Original Series)
Cloud William: Freedom?
James T. Kirk: Spock.
Spock: Yes, I heard, Captain.
Cloud William: It is a worship word, Yang worship. You will not speak it.
James T. Kirk: Well, well, well. It is... our worship word, too.
7. 1984 (George Orwell)
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
8. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
Human beings are free except when humanity needs them.
9. King Arthur (2004)
Knights! The gift of freedom is yours by right. But the home we seek resides not in some distant land. It's in us! And in our actions on this day! If this be our destiny, then so be it. But let history remember that as free men, we chose to make it so.
10. Captain America: Winter Soldier
I know I'm asking a lot, but the price of freedom is high; it always has been. And it's a price I'm willing to pay. And if I'm the only one, then so be it. But I'm willing to bet I'm not.
What's your favorite freedom quote from speculative fiction? Share in the comments below!
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I write YA/adult fantasy & sci-fi that explores fantastic and interconnected worlds, with stories that burn through the darkest realities with hope and redemption.
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