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Opening Lines - Worst to Best


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Initial post: 12 Aug 2014 18:14:44 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 10 Sep 2014 13:38:43 BDT]

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 18:52:28 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 10 Sep 2014 13:38:44 BDT]

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 20:45:45 BDT
Garscadden says:
"There was a wall."

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 21:36:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Aug 2014 21:36:52 BDT
Berzelius says:
Well, as no one seems to have mentioned it yet:

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 21:45:52 BDT
Berzelius says:
"My mother is an ape. My father is God."

Philip José Farmer, Lord Tyger

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 23:58:35 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 10 Sep 2014 13:38:46 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 03:06:39 BDT
Ronald Craig says:
"the new issue of 'PerihelionSF'"

Which just so happens to contain one of your own stories. Quelle surprise.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 07:45:57 BDT
Anita says:
:)

Someone here may think you are joking. One of not so many opening lines I do remember

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 08:08:35 BDT
Garscadden says:
It sets up the whole book, and if you stop to think about the first line, it just asks so many questions.

To be honest I really liked the opening line, but it was an essay on the book by (i think) China Miéville that elevated it for me, made me think about what it was saying.

The classic opening line that always appeals to me is:
"I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull: He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family at Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Keutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our Selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call'd me."

A monster opener.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 09:05:31 BDT
Anita says:
I would not have recognised the second one at once, were it not for some giveaways... But there's a curious detail: I was so fascinated by the story of Alexander Selkirk, that after that the book all of a sudden became a lot more interesting.

Any chance you could find that essay? It was early/mid 90's I got the book, someone (from Switzerland!) who knew me as a fan of the author brought me a second hand copy, it wasn't exactly easy to get books here back then. I opened it and the opening line just hit me between the eyes :)

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 10:59:48 BDT
Ken O'Neill says:
"It was the day that my grandmother exploded."

Hint - The book isn't SF, but the author is well-known for his SF.

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 12:55:12 BDT
Paul Tapner says:
Iain Banks?

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 13:18:55 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 10 Sep 2014 13:38:48 BDT]

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 16:22:25 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Aug 2014 16:28:51 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 16:29:26 BDT
Anita says:
"I'll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.
<it feels just too tempting to go on a bit>
The soundest fact may fail or prevail in the style of it's telling: like that singular organic jewel of our seas, which grows brighter as one woman wears it and, worn by another, dulls and goes to dust. Facts are no more solid, coherent, round and real than pearls are. But both are sensitive."

(Possibly it's just me, pairing the two books, but both have fascinating opening lines - and both are fascinating books)

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 16:35:23 BDT
Bearman says:
What book is that from Anita?

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 16:36:33 BDT
Anita says:
Interesting, Amazon chose to delete a *quote* which is an opening line of a book by a *well established author*. Hmmm... This one:

"Walt said that the dead turned into grass, but there was no grass where they'd buried Simon."

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 16:37:58 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Aug 2014 17:32:52 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 16:39:15 BDT
Anita says:
Bearman - This one

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 16:44:35 BDT
Bearman says:
Whoops - I think I've read that one! But in my defence it was a very long time ago.

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 18:57:53 BDT
In the first shop they bought a packet of dogseed, because Doreen had always wanted to grow her own dog. In the second, a pair of bird shoes, which fluttered slightly as Matthew put them on. In the third shop, Little Tommy bought half a dozen singing biscuits, five of which he swallowed straight away, because shopping made him hungry.
There were only nine shops in the entire city. In fact, the shops were the city, so vast they were and all encompassing. It was difficult to know where one shop ended and the next began. No wonder the children were tired already.
In the fourth shop Doreen chose a box of shadows, some of which she used to mask the pain in the head that Tommy's constant singing gave her. In the fifth shop, Matthew floated over the umbrella-pig cage in his bird shoes, claiming that if Doreen had bought the shadows, then he should have at least a single pig to keep the rain off. Doreen reminded him it never rained inside the shops, and that he should instead buy an egg of words. Matthew was becoming angry at the way this shopping trip was going.
Pixel Juice

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 19:17:21 BDT
Garscadden says:
Oooh, i keep forgetting there is a Noon I haven't read yet.

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 19:40:05 BDT
Anita says:
It's not an opening line... but it's a quote I like a lot. :)

"Anything above the level of a field mouse likes having it's ears scratched."

And there's the opening line of the same book:

"In the nighttime heart of Beirut, in one of a row of general-address transfer booths, Louis Wu flicked into reality."

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 20:15:15 BDT
Ahh, Pixel Juice one is brilliant. I was pointed to it a couple of years ago by someone here.

Thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2014 08:43:05 BDT
Ken O'Neill says:
Yep; bonus points for the title.
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