Sat
Sep 13 2008 11:26am

A Chance to Show Off: the first line game

Back in October of 1994, my old hometown of rec.arts.sf.written got consumed with enthusiasm for a fairly silly but rather fun game. Google Groups isn’t being helpful at telling me who started it, but thank you whoever you are.

Here’s another chance to play, and a dozen lines to start you off:

Mae lived in the last village in the world to go online.

All of us were dumfounded when Zamatryna-Harani insisted on the old customs for her wedding.

Imagine all the variety of the human species confined to a single world, a world sown with the petrified bones of human ancestors, a planet dotted with the ruins of ten thousand years of forgotten human civilizations—a planet on which, at the time human beings first flew in space, humans still hunted a surplus of animals, gathered wild plants, farmed with ancient methods, spun natural yarns and cooked over wood fires.

“I heard a noise,” Mrs Davenport said, “and then I was moving through this tunnel.”

The magic in that country was so thick and tenacious that it settled over the land like chalk-dust and over floors and shelves like slightly sticky plaster-dust.

It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.

The manhunt extended across more than one hundred light years and eight centuries.

Jeff Winston was on the phone with his wife when he died.

In their ruddy jackets of leather that reached to their knees the men of Erl appeared before their lord, the stately white-haired man in his long red room.

Dear Charles, Please don’t think I’m running away.

“Of course,” they told him in all honesty, “you will be a slave.”

If a man walks in dressed like a hick and acting as if he owns the place, he’s a spaceman.

Rules:

1. You identify as many of the lines as you can, and for every line you identify, you get to post a different first line of a fantasy or SF novel of your choice for other people to identify.

2. If someone has incorrectly identified a line, you can correct their misidentification and post a line, but their line can also still be identified by others.

3. Do not identify lines that have already been identified.

4. If your line has not been guessed in a reasonable period of time—twenty-four hours, say—you can identify it yourself and post another.

To make it easiest, posts should be of the format:

Paul Durham opened his eyes, blinking at the rooms unexpected brightness, then lazily reached out to place one hand in a patch of sunlight at the edge of the bed.
Permutation City, Greg Egan

This is the worst story I know about hocuses.

Well, either that or discussion of the books. Discussion is always good.

547 comments
Dave Bell
1. DaveBell
It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.

Earthly Powers Anthony Burgess

He sat, In Defiance of the municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher -- the Wonder House, as the natives call the Lahore museum.
Dave Bell
2. DaveBell
All of us were dumfounded when Zamatryna-Harani insisted on the old customs for her wedding.

The Necessary Beggar Susan Palwick

There is a similarity, if I may be permitted an excursion into tenuous metaphor, between the feel of a chilly breeze and the feel of a knife's blade, as either is laid across the back of the neck.
Jackie Nelson
3. Abydonian
He sat, In Defiance of the municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher -- the Wonder House, as the natives call the Lahore museum.

Kim
- Rudyard Kipling

Early in the bright sun-yellowed morning, Stuart McConchie swept the sidewalk before Modern TV Sales & Service, hearing the cars along Shattuck Avenue and the secretaries hurrying on high heels to their offices, all the stirrings and fine smells of a new week, a new time in which a good salesman could accomplish things.
Jackie Nelson
4. Abydonian
In their ruddy jackets of leather that reached to their knees the men of Erl appeared before their lord, the stately white-haired man in his long red room.

The King of Elfland's Daughter, Lord Dunsany


It was starting to end, after what seemed most of eternity to me.
frumiousb
5. frumiousb
Mae lived in the last village in the world to go online.
Air
, Geoff Ryman

Georges Leon held his little boy's hand too tightly and stared up from under his hatbrim at the unnaturally dark noon sky.
frumiousb
6. SamiHolloway
"The magic in that country was so thick and tenacious that it settled over the land like chalk-dust and over floors and shelves like slightly sticky plaster-dust."
-- Spindle's End, Robin McKinley

One of my favorite books, really.

replacement:
"Buu lay in his leafy arbor nest and looked up at the stars in the dark sky."

~;)
Iorwerth Thomas
7. Iozz-Sothoth
“Of course,” they told him in all honesty, “you will be a slave.”

'Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand', Samuel R. Delany


In the autumn season of the wine, word went forth from among the cypresses and olives and the laden vines of his country estate that Sandre, Duke of Astibar, once ruler of that city and its province, had drawn the last bitter breath of his exile and age and died.
frumiousb
8. wsp_scitt
Jeff Winston was on the phone with his wife when he died.
Replay, Ken Grimwood

On the Friday morning after my return from futurity, I awoke long after dawn, from the deepest of dreamless sleeps.

There is a similarity, if I may be permitted an excursion into tenuous metaphor, between the feel of a chilly breeze and the feel of a knife's blade, as either is laid across the back of the neck.
Jherg, Steven Brust

Long ago there lived a mighty lord named Fenarr.
Mike Scott
9. drplokta
If a man walks in dressed like a hick and acting as if he owns the place, he’s a spaceman.
Double Star, Robert A Heinlein

There was a wall.
Christopher Davis
10. ckd
The manhunt extended across more than one hundred light years and eight centuries.

A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge

If a man walks in dressed like a hick and acting as if he owns the place, he’s a spaceman.

Double Star, Robert A. Heinlein

1. Seven days after I was born, my mother named me "Ugly Screaming Stink-Girl."

2. I never sleep if I can help it.

So when somebody starts trying to kick down my door at 0300 hours on a rank hot summer night, it isn't quite the surprise for me that it might be for some people.
Mike Scott
11. drplokta
In the autumn season of the wine, word went forth from among the cypresses and olives and the laden vines of his country estate that Sandre, Duke of Astibar, once ruler of that city and its province, had drawn the last bitter breath of his exile and age and died.
Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay

"Tell me, what is happiness?"
frumiousb
12. Tim Walters
There was a wall.
The Dispossessed, Ursula K. LeGuin

It is soon told.
I, Generous, Chronicler, Saxon, write of the vast woman.
Clifton Royston
13. CliftonR
“I heard a noise,” Mrs Davenport said, “and then I was moving through this tunnel.”

Passages, Connie Willis.

She didn't know she had died.
eliza phillips
14. ramblingink
Seven days after I was born, my mother named me "Ugly Screaming Stink-Girl."
Radiant, James Alan Gardner


In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.
Jackie Nelson
15. Abydonian
In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.

Howl's Moving Castle
, Diana Wynne Jones


In the raucous Cathedral Square the crowd prepared to hang a pig.
Ken Walton
16. carandol
Imagine all the variety of the human species confined to a single world, a world sown with the petrified bones of human ancestors, a planet dotted with the ruins of ten thousand years of forgotten human civilizations—a planet on which, at the time human beings first flew in space, humans still hunted a surplus of animals, gathered wild plants, farmed with ancient methods, spun natural yarns and cooked over wood fires.

Cyteen C.J. Cherryh

It was St. Crispin's Eve on Sad al Bari IV when Captain John Truck, impelled by something he was forced to describe to himself as 'sentiment,' decided to visit The Spacer's Rave, on the corner of Proton Alley and Circuit (that chilly junction where the higher class of port lady goes to find her customers).
Kate Nepveu
17. katenepveu
Hmmph. That's the first line of Tigana only if you omit the Prologue.

It was starting to end, after what seemed most of eternity to me.

Nine Princes in Amber, Zelazny.


It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must, soon or late, descend to whoredom.
frumiousb
18. arkessian
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must, soon or late, descend to whoredom.

Point of Honour. Madeline Robins.

The lanky, very young man in the ill-fitting Trader's tunic tried to stretch the cramp out of his long legs.
Clifton Royston
19. CliftonR
Long ago there lived a mighty lord named Fenarr.
Brokedown Palace, Steven Brust

The most nervewracking commissions, Madeline thought, were the ones which required going in through the front door.
Helen Wright
20. arkessian
It was St. Crispin's Eve on Sad al Bari IV when Captain John Truck, impelled by something he was forced to describe to himself as 'sentiment,' decided to visit The Spacer's Rave, on the corner of Proton Alley and Circuit (that chilly junction where the higher class of port lady goes to find her customers).

The Centauri Device (M. John Harrison).


Article XXIV. Section 1. The nineteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
frumiousb
21. rcrain
The lanky, very young man in the ill-fitting Trader's tunic tried to stretch the cramp out of his long legs.

The Solar Queen, Andre Norton


In a distant and secondhand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly, the curling starmists waver and part . . .
Helen Wright
22. arkessian
The lanky, very young man in the ill-fitting Trader's tunic tried to stretch the cramp out of his long legs.

The Solar Queen, Andre Norton

Well... The Sargasso of Space, 1955, Andrew North... but close enough.

In a distant and secondhand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly, the curling starmists waver and part . . .

The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett.


"These people were giants," Tony said.
Helen Wright
23. arkessian
In the raucous Cathedral Square the crowd prepared to hang a pig.

Mary Gentle, Rats and Gargoyles


COLD, COLD AND ALONE. THE EVIL PRESENCE ROAMS THE STAR-STREAMS. IT IS IMMENSE AND DARK AND ALMOST IMMATERIAL: ITS POWERS ARE BEYOND THOSE OF ANY OTHER SENTIENT THING. AND IT IS IN PAIN.
Helen Wright
24. arkessian
"Tell me, what is happiness?" Iain M. Banks. Use of Weapons.

A ramshackle collections of white plastic and steel buildings stood at the edge of the concrete landing strip. Beyond the trade station grey rocks stretched out to a startling blue sea. A fine dust sifted down.
Bill Humphries
25. whump
Article XXIV. Section 1. The nineteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Suzette Haden Elgin, Native Tounge

For three days, Dr. Alimantando had followed the green-person across the desert.
Helen Wright
26. arkessian
For three days, Dr. Alimantando had followed the green-person across the desert." Desolation Road by Ian McDonald.

The little boy was frightened. Gently, Snake touched his hot forehead.
frumiousb
27. Tim Walters
The little boy was frightened. Gently, Snake touched his hot forehead.
Dreamsnake, Vonda N. McIntyre

I was born in 1927, the only child of middle-class parents, both English, and themselves born in the grotesquely elongated shadow, which they never rose sufficiently above history to leave, of that monstrous dwarf Queen Victoria.
zaphod beetlebrox
28. platypus rising
I was born in 1927, the only child of middle-class parents, both English, and themselves born in the grotesquely elongated shadow, which they never rose sufficiently above history to leave, of that monstrous dwarf Queen Victoria.

The Magus,John Fowles

Space is infinite.
It is dark.
Space is neutral.
It is cold.
Ryan V
29. JesterJoker
Georges Leon held his little boy's hand too tightly and stared up from under his hatbrim at the unnaturally dark noon sky.

Last Call, Tim Powers

There was a razorstorm coming in.
zaphod beetlebrox
30. platypus rising
There was a razorstorm coming in

Alastair Reynolds,Revelation Space

I was in Big Sur hiding from my public when I finally heard from Neal again.
Helen Wright
31. arkessian
Early in the bright sun-yellowed morning, Stuart McConchie swept the sidewalk before Modern TV Sales & Service, hearing the cars along Shattuck Avenue and the secretaries hurrying on high heels to their offices, all the stirrings and fine smells of a new week, a new time in which a good salesman could accomplish things.

Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb. Philip K. Dick.


Dark-red warmth and love. Wet. These were the earliest sensations he was aware of.
Helen Wright
32. arkessian
I was in Big Sur hiding from my public when I finally heard from Neal again.

Move Under Ground. Nick Mamatas.


It was the deep dark, unexplored except for robotic visitors.
Helen Wright
33. arkessian
Buu lay in his leafy arbor nest and looked up at the stars in the dark sky.

Dragon's Egg. Robert L. Forward.


Cap down to his black brows, Warren leaned on his truck, hearing out two men slouched in a junker car -- the kind of car those men leave in a ditch when they've done their business.
Helen Wright
34. arkessian
The most nervewracking commissions, Madeline thought, were the ones which required going in through the front door.

Martha Wells, The Death of the Necromancer


I've got a starship dreaming. And there it is.
Wen Wen Yang
35. muteddragon
It was the deep dark, unexplored except for robotic visitors.
Foreigner, C.J. Cherryh

There were some mistakes that “Oops” just didn’t cover.
Wen Wen Yang
36. muteddragon
I've got a starship dreaming. And there it is.
Worldwired, Elizabeth Bear

One of the many problems with working as a private eye, not counting all the many people who want to kill you, often for perfectly good reasons, is that you have to wait for work to come to you.
Helen Wright
37. arkessian
There were some mistakes that “Oops” just didn’t cover.

Wolf Who Rules. Wen Spencer.


(But you missed out the prologue...)

It didn't start out here. Not with the scramblers or Rorschach, not with Big Ben or Theseus or the vampires.
Helen Wright
38. arkessian
One of the many problems with working as a private eye, not counting all the many people who want to kill you, often for perfectly good reasons, is that you have to wait for work to come to you.

The Unnatural Inquirer. Simon R. Green.


World with no name.
Green it was.
Green and gravid.
zaphod beetlebrox
39. platypus rising
It didn't start out here. Not with the scramblers or Rorschach, not with Big Ben or Theseus or the vampires
Peter Watts,Blindsight



I have been trying to remember where it began, thinking about my early childhood and wondering if anything might have happened that made me become what I am.
Helen Wright
40. arkessian
On the Friday morning after my return from futurity, I awoke long after dawn, from the deepest of dreamless sleeps.

The Time Ships. Stephen Baxter.


The window of the bus was a dark square against the featureless night.
Helen Wright
41. arkessian
I never sleep if I can help it.

So when somebody starts trying to kick down my door at 0300 hours on a rank hot summer night, it isn't quite the surprise for me that it might be for some people.

Hammered. Elizabeth Bear.


Matt Carse knew he was being followed almost as soon as he left Madam Kan's.
zaphod beetlebrox
42. platypus rising
Matt Carse knew he was being followed almost as soon as he left Madam Kan's.
Leigh Brackett,Sword of Rhiannon


The solitary, steep hill called Corona Heights was black as pitch and very silent, like the heart of the unknown.
Helen Wright
43. arkessian
The solitary, steep hill called Corona Heights was black as pitch and very silent, like the heart of the unknown.

Fritz Leiber, Our Lady Of Darkness


I think about my friends and the fathers of my children.
David Goldfarb
44. David_Goldfarb
Cheating a little, but everyone already got all the others I know:

This is the worst story I know about hocuses.

Mélusine, by Sarah Monette.

The road the Romans made traversed North Wales a little way inland, between the weather off the Irish Sea and the mountains of Gwynedd and Powys; past the copper and the lead that the travel-hungry Empire craved.
Helen Wright
45. arkessian
The road the Romans made traversed North Wales a little way inland, between the weather off the Irish Sea and the mountains of Gwynedd and Powys; past the copper and the lead that the travel-hungry Empire craved.

The Dragon Waiting. John M. Ford


Everybody falls, and we all land somewhere.
zaphod beetlebrox
46. platypus rising
I think about my friends and the fathers of my children

Naomi Mitchison,Memoirs of a Spacewoman


The road the Romans made traversed North Wales a little way inland, between the weather off the Irish Sea and the mountains of Gwynedd and Powys; past the copper and the lead that the travel-hungry Empire craved. John M.Ford,The Dragon Waiting

Do short stories count?
Anyway,just this time,two of my favourites ever,which I just reread recently.

1-Are you familiar with the scent of extinguished birthday candles?

2-Fox is a Television character,and she isn't dead yet.
frumiousb
47. GervaseFen
Everybody falls, and we all land somewhere.

Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

Seven o'clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the End of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again. Mrs Scattergood - the landlady at the Seven Sleepers Inn - swore it was rats, but Maddy Smith knew better.
Helen Wright
48. arkessian
Are you familiar with the scent of extinguished birthday candles?

The Empire of Ice Cream. Jeffrey Ford.

Fox is a Television character,and she isn't dead yet.

Magic for Beginners. Kelly Link.

Seven o'clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the End of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again. Mrs Scattergood - the landlady at the Seven Sleepers Inn - swore it was rats, but Maddy Smith knew better.

Runemarks. Joanne Harris.


1. Margo Kemperer sniffed. She would have preferred time to study the file before meeting her new aide.

2. Kerris woke.

3. She scowled at her glass of orange juice. To think that she had been delighted when she first arrived here -- was it only three months ago? -- with the prospect of fresh orange juice every day.
Helen Wright
49. arkessian
She didn’t know she had died.

Vacuum Flowers. Michael Swanwick.


I was laying down cards in the marketplace when I got the latest job offer.
Helen Wright
50. arkessian
Space is infinite.
It is dark.
Space is neutral.
It is cold.

The Black Corridor. Michael Moorcock.


Snow was falling on Riverside, great white feather-puffs that veiled the cracks in the façades of its ruined houses, slowly softening the harsh contours of jagged roof and fallen beam.
Morgan MacLeod
51. morgan_dhu
The window of the bus was a dark square against the featureless night.
Pilgrimage: The Book of the People, Zenna Henderson



Chick with a harp. Her hair was the color of an angry sunset, and it fell to her waist in ripples of copper and red.
Morgan MacLeod
52. morgan_dhu
Snow was falling on Riverside, great white feather-puffs that veiled the cracks in the façades of its ruined houses, slowly softening the harsh contours of jagged roof and fallen beam.
Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner


The Khadilh ban-harihn frowned at the disk he had in his hand, annoyed and apprehensive.
frumiousb
53. Carbonel
"She scowled at her glass of orange juice. To think that she had been delighted when she first arrived here -- was it only three months ago? -- with the prospect of fresh orange juice every day." The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. One of my all time favorites.

The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.
Morgan MacLeod
54. morgan_dhu
The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.
The Uglies, Scott Westerfield



The other side of the sun. That's what Lisbei used to call the moon when she was little.
Glenda Wilson
55. glinda
She scowled at her glass of orange juice. To think that she had been delighted when she first arrived here -- was it only three months ago? -- with the prospect of fresh orange juice every day.

The Blue Sword, Robin McKinley

Things often happened to Gallegher, who played at science by ear.
Ken Walton
56. carandol
A ramshackle collections of white plastic and steel buildings stood at the edge of the concrete landing strip. Beyond the trade station grey rocks stretched out to a startling blue sea. A fine dust sifted down.

Mary Gentle - Golden Witchbreed

The little boy was frightened. Gently, Snake touched his hot forehead.

Vonda McInyre - Dreamsnake


It was the chill before dawn that woke him, and the snuffling and stamping of the great bull in its stall.


Cold curtains of November rain came drifting slowly up the valley like an endless procession of phantom mourners following an invisible hearse.
Morgan MacLeod
57. morgan_dhu
Kerris woke.
The Dancers of Arun, Elizabeth Lynn


We set our calendars by the Barrier, counting the hours, days, and years from the moment it engulfed our planet in its mystery.
Clifton Royston
58. CliftonR
Arkessian, you're good at this! (Well, so are a lot of you.)

World with no name. ...

I'm going to have to guess on this one; I don't have a copy in my library to check. Is that Vaster Than Empires and More Slow, by UKL?
Wen Wen Yang
59. muteddragon
Arkessian: sorry!

Things often happened to Gallegher, who played at science by ear.
The Proud Robot, Lewis Padgett


Mother taught me to be polite to dragons.
Opher Lubzens
60. Antongarou
It was the chill before dawn that woke him, and the snuffling and stamping of the great bull in its stall.
The Anvil of Ice/Michael Scott Rohan

They had tried to destroy the Will, but that proved to be beyond their power
Chris Meadows
61. Robotech_Master
"Mother taught me to be polite to dragons."

Talking to Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede

The rays of the September sun flooded the great halls of the old chateau of the Dukes of Charmerace, lighting up with their mellow glow the spoils of so many ages and many lands, jumbled together with the execrable taste which so often afflicts those whose only standard of value is money.
Sam Weber
62. Slither
They had tried to destroy the Will, but that proved to be beyond their power
Mister Monday by Garth Nix

Once upon a time, in a gloomy castle on a lonely hill, where there were thirteen clocks that wouldn't go, there lived a cold, aggressive Duke, and his niece, the Princess Saralinda.
frumiousb
63. David Lev 1
Once upon a time, in a gloomy castle on a lonely hill, where there were thirteen clocks that wouldn't go, there lived a cold, aggressive Duke, and his niece, the Princess Saralinda.

The Thirteen Clocks, James Thurber

It begins, as most things begin, with a song
Soon Lee
64. SoonLee
"It begins, as most things begin, with a song"
"Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman

"You know something, father? Sin exists. It really does."
Dave Bell
65. DaveBell
The rays of the September sun flooded the great halls of the old chateau of the Dukes of Charmerace, lighting up with their mellow glow the spoils of so many ages and many lands, jumbled together with the execrable taste which so often afflicts those whose only standard of value is money.

Arsene Lupin Edgar Jepson and Maurice Leblanc

It started when David came in from the lawn absolutely furious.




Note: sometimes names are not so obvious a clue.
zaphod beetlebrox
66. platypus rising
It started when David came in from the lawn absolutely furious.
Ah ah! Jo Walton,Farthing


The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory.
frumiousb
67. Ruadhan
Dark-red warmth and love. Wet. These were the earliest sensations he was aware of.

Sovereign, by R.M. Meluch


At that moment, as the blue spark of sex burned a wire through his tongue, the heavens rained fire.
Blue Tyson
68. BlueTyson
The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory.

Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson.



In the Great Passage Book there are seven Coloured Captains.
Kate Nepveu
69. katenepveu
"You know something, father? Sin exists. It really does."

Kage Baker, The Graveyard Game


This year the Ribeiro's daffodils seeded early and they seeded cockroaches.
Helen Wright
70. arkessian
This year the Ribeiro's daffodils seeded early and they seeded cockroaches.

Janet Kagan. Mirabile.


The Yrkhaffe waterfront churned with activity. The Metara Kentis was in port.
Helen Wright
71. arkessian
CliftonR @ 58: Sorry, no, it isn't Vaster Than Empires...

Male author. Published in the states in 1975. The author is still being published today...
Helen Wright
72. arkessian
At that moment, as the blue spark of sex burned a wire through his tongue, the heavens rained fire.

Noir. K.W. Jeter.


The third of November was a day so black that no man could tell by the light whether the abbey bells rang for terce or for vespers.
Helen Wright
73. arkessian
The other side of the sun. That's what Lisbei used to call the moon when she was little.

In the Mothers' Land. Elisabeth Vonarburg.

The Khadilh ban-harihn frowned at the disk he had in his hand, annoyed and apprehensive.

Suzette Haden Elgin. At The Seventh Level


I got that because I went to the same book to find a first line!

1. On a warm July evening of the year 1588, in the royal palace of Greenwich, London, a woman lay dying, an assassin's bullets lodged in abdomen and chest.

2. The sky was low and gray and looked hard enough to ring if struck.
Helen Wright
74. arkessian
Chick with a harp. Her hair was the color of an angry sunset, and it fell to her waist in ripples of copper and red.

Gossamer Axe. Gael Baudino.


What it is to be old is to remember things that nobody else alive can remember.
Helen Wright
75. arkessian
In the Great Passage Book there are seven Coloured Captains.

Rynosseros. Terry Dowling.


"...and in those golden, dew-kissed mornings, I open unbelieving eyes and swear that I am still dreaming."
Opher Lubzens
76. Antongarou
On a warm July evening of the year 1588, in the royal palace of Greenwich, London, a woman lay dying, an assassin's bullets lodged in abdomen and chest.
Pavane/Keith Roberts

When the end of the world is near, spend the time in a bar.
frumiousb
77. Dan Blum
When the end of the world is near, spend the time in a bar.
And the Devil Will Drag You Under, Jack Chalker

"We've a first-rate assortment of magic," said the dapper little merchant.
Scott Raun
78. sraun
What it is to be old is to remember things that nobody else alive can remember.
The King's Peace, Jo Walton

The man who was not Terrence O'Grady had come quietly.
Helen Wright
79. arkessian
The man who was not Terrence O'Grady had come quietly.

Agent of Change. Lee and Miller.


The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone.
zaphod beetlebrox
80. platypus rising
The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone

The last unicorn,Peter S.Beagle



No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
Helen Wright
81. arkessian
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson.


I prefer "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" myself.

We are the children of conflict. We have been shaped by struggle: against the Collective and its descendant, the Hegemony; against the Adamantines, their machines turned masters; against the Shiidra, ancient and alien beyond understanding; and against the diluting force of interstellar distance.
Helen Wright
82. arkessian
Cold curtains of November rain came drifting slowly up the valley like an endless procession of phantom mourners following an invisible hearse.

Piper at the Gates of Dawn/Road to Corlay. Richard Cowper.


'Where is he?'
Barney hopped from one foot to the other as he clambered down from the trains peering in vain through the white-faced crowds flooding eagerly to the St Austell ticket barrier.
Helen Wright
83. arkessian
Dear Charles, Please don't think I'm running away.

Jaran, Kate Elliott.


This one had been bugging me... but finally!

Sooner or later, it was bound to happen.
frumiousb
84. MHS
'Where is he?'
Barney hopped from one foot to the other as he clambered down from the trains peering in vain through the white-faced crowds flooding eagerly to the St Austell ticket barrier.
Over Sea, Under Stone, Susan Cooper

They cold-shipped her out, flash-frozen, body still bruised from last-minute upgrades.
Morgan MacLeod
85. morgan_dhu
They cold-shipped her out, flash-frozen, body still bruised from last-minute upgrades.

Spin State, Chris Moriarty




That day in February 2076, SeaTac and every other civilian airport in the world became a graveyard for the mammoth carcases of dead machines.
Morgan MacLeod
86. morgan_dhu
I was laying down cards in the marketplace when I got the latest job offer.
The Gate of Ivory, Doris Egan



The sun was setting in a flood of scarlet and gold as a small white van cruised to a halt on the Caversham Road.Heraldic colour arced majestically over the Thames valley, glowing in the edging windscreens and blanking out the visors of the traffic cops.
Morgan MacLeod
87. morgan_dhu
World with no name.
Green it was.
Green and gravid.


Midworld, Alan Dean Foster

(thanks for the clues.)



Here they are. They're entirely in black, with belted tabards over something like long underwear that make them look like the cards in Alice, though nobody here has heard about that.
Morgan MacLeod
88. morgan_dhu
The Yrkhaffe waterfront churned with activity. The Metara Kentis was in port.
A Business of Ferrets, Beth Hilgartner



Connie got up from her kitchen table and walked slowly to the door. Either I saw him or I didn't and I'm crazy for real this time, she thought.
Morgan MacLeod
89. morgan_dhu
COLD, COLD AND ALONE. THE EVIL PRESENCE ROAMS THE STAR-STREAMS. IT IS IMMENSE AND DARK AND ALMOST IMMATERIAL: ITS POWERS ARE BEYOND THOSE OF ANY OTHER SENTIENT THING. AND IT IS IN PAIN.
Up the Walls of the World, James Tiptree Jr.



Yeung Mai Su was the name of the madwoman who lived in the smallhouse in the forest.
zaphod beetlebrox
90. platypus rising
The sun was setting in a flood of scarlet and gold as a small white van cruised to a halt on the Caversham Road.Heraldic colour arced majestically over the Thames valley, glowing in the edging windscreens and blanking out the visors of the traffic cops.
Bold as Love,Gwyneth Jones

First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.
Morgan MacLeod
91. morgan_dhu
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury



The foreman chatters in Meihua, the beautiful tongue, Singapore English.
zaphod beetlebrox
92. platypus rising
The foreman chatters in Meihua, the beautiful tongue, Singapore English.
Maureen McHugh,China Mountain Zhang

"You may be a wizard, my lady," Sun Wolf said, tucking his big hands behind the buckle of his battered sword belt, "but you're also the biggest damn fool I've ever met in my life."
zaphod beetlebrox
93. platypus rising
I have been trying to remember where it began, thinking about my early childhood and wondering if anything might have happened that made me become what I am. The Glamour,Christopher Priest

The Citadel of Troizen, where the Palace stands, was built by giants before anyone remembers.
Jo Walton
94. bluejo
Connie got up from her kitchen table and walked slowly to the door. Either I saw him or I didn't and I'm crazy for real this time, she thought.

Woman at the Edge of Time Marge Piercy

Yasmin Abraham Martin Odinga drove over the border at noon.
Jo Walton
95. bluejo
The Citadel of Troizen, where the Palace stands, was built by giants before anyone remembers.

The King Must Die Mary Renault

We were in Pertz's tavern, up in the hills above Noupeitou, with the usual people, ostensibly planning to go backpacking in Terraust and actually drinking on Aimeric's tab.
Morgan MacLeod
96. morgan_dhu
"You may be a wizard, my lady," Sun Wolf said, tucking his big hands behind the buckle of his battered sword belt, "but you're also the biggest damn fool I've ever met in my life."
The Ladies of Mandrigyn, Barbara Hambly



Stavia saw herself as in a picture, from the outside, a darkly cloaked figure moving along a cobbled street, the stones sheened with a soft, early spring rain.
Glenda Wilson
97. glinda
The Citadel of Troizen, where the Palace stands, was built by giants before anyone remembers.

Oh, one of my favorite authors: The King Must Die, Mary Renault

Martha Macnamara stood at the Pacific, her toes digging into the froth.

(after previewing: gah. I keep forgetting this site uses BBcode instead of normal HTML. And while I was editing to correct that, Jo posted the answer. :) )
Morgan MacLeod
98. morgan_dhu
Yasmin Abraham Martin Odinga drove over the border at noon.
Fire on the Mountain, Terry Bisson



I awoke to darkness.
I was hungry - starving! - and I was in pain.
Morgan MacLeod
99. morgan_dhu
We were in Pertz's tavern, up in the hills above Noupeitou, with the usual people, ostensibly planning to go backpacking in Terraust and actually drinking on Aimeric's tab.
A Million Open Doors, John Barnes



You didn't see their faces from where you hid behind the maintenance grate. Smoke worked its fingers through the tiny holes and stroked under your nose and over your eyes, forcing you to stifle breaths, to blink, and to cry.
[da ve]
100. slickhop

Octavia Butler, Fledgling

Snow was falling on Riverside, great white feather-puffs that veiled the cracks in the facades of its ruined houses; slowly softening the harsh contours of jagged roof and fallen beam.
zaphod beetlebrox
101. platypus rising
re:96 The Ladies of Mandrigyn, Barbara Hambly
Close,but it is actually The Witches of Wenshar

The grass was unnaturally green. Jelly-bean green or the green of golf games on television, though come to think of it that was grass too, televised grass but grass nevertheless.

I awoke to darkness.
I was hungry - starving! - and I was in pain.

Fledgling,Octavia Butler

Oops! Slickhop,you beat me to the punch while I was typing this:
The noise was ended now. The smoke drifted like thin, gray wisps of fog above the tortured earth and the shattered fences and the peach trees that had been whittled into toothpicks by the cannon fire.
Liza .
102. aedifica
Slickhop @ 100, pick again--"Snow was falling on Riverside" has already been proposed and answered!

(Me, I'm waiting to finally be the first to recognize something--so far someone's beat me to it every time, alas.)
Morgan MacLeod
103. morgan_dhu
Martha Macnamara stood at the Pacific, her toes digging into the froth.
Tea with the Black Dragon, R. A. MacAvoy



Half an hour before, the sun had set, and the iron bell had rung in the bell-tower.
Morgan MacLeod
104. morgan_dhu
Re:101
I thought I might have picked the wrong one - I read them a rather long time ago and have not yet replaced my copies of the books, which wandered off a few house-movings past.
Morgan MacLeod
105. morgan_dhu
The noise was ended now. The smoke drifted like thin, gray wisps of fog above the tortured earth and the shattered fences and the peach trees that had been whittled into toothpicks by the cannon fire.
Way Station, Clifford Simak



The old king stood upon the battlements, gazing southward. The wind whipped back his long white hair and boomed in his heavy cloak. But his eyes never blinked, his face never flinched, as stern and immovable as an image carved in obsidian.
[da ve]
106. slickhop
@aedifica: oops now you now i skipped from about 60 to the end ...
Liza .
107. aedifica
Slickhop - hey, it just means you get to provide another quote! Nobody had identified the one you answered.
Morgan MacLeod
108. morgan_dhu
We are the children of conflict. We have been shaped by struggle: against the Collective and its descendant, the Hegemony; against the Adamantines, their machines turned masters; against the Shiidra, ancient and alien beyond understanding; and against the diluting force of interstellar distance.
The Phoenix in Flight, Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge

(I'll be honest, this is a guess - I am certain it's one of the Exordium novels, but I don't have copies so I can't be sure which one.)



As soon as he entered the room, Baines blurted out, "We want you to find us a viable human heart, fast."
zaphod beetlebrox
109. platypus rising
As soon as he entered the room, Baines blurted out, "We want you to find us a viable human heart, fast." Nalo Hopkinson,Brown Girl in The Ring

Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair. The doctor told him there were no bugs in his hair.
Morgan MacLeod
110. morgan_dhu
Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair. The doctor told him there were no bugs in his hair.
A Scanner Darkly, Phillip K. Dick




The nearest iceberg looked firmly grounded. Waves, with the whole fetch of the Atlantic behind them, exploded upon it, just as they would upon solid rock.
frumiousb
111. Ruadhan
You didn't see their faces from where you hid behind the maintenance grate. Smoke worked its fingers through the tiny holes and stroked under your nose and over your eyes, forcing you to stifle breaths, to blink, and to cry.

Warchild, by Karin Lowachee


I tore down the Continental Shelf off the Bogue Bank while the pogo made periscope hops trying to track me.
Morgan MacLeod
112. morgan_dhu
Sooner or later, it was bound to happen.
Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke



After the war was over, they bound him under the Mountain.
Jo Walton
113. bluejo
After the war was over, they bound him under the Mountain.

The Summer Tree Guy Gavriel Kay

He was lost when he came to us, and I fear the silver spoons he stole from us didn't save him when he ran away and went up into the high domains.
Glenda Wilson
114. glinda
He was lost when he came to us, and I fear the silver spoons he stole from us didn't save him when he ran away and went up into the high domains.

Oh. Damn. Ursula LeGuin. *thinks madly* I'll go with Gifts; I know it's *one* of the Western Shore books.

I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world.
Morgan MacLeod
115. morgan_dhu
He was lost when he came to us, and I fear the silver spoons he stole from us didn't save him when he ran away and went up into the high domains.
Gifts, Ursula K. Le Guin




My mother used to threaten to tear me into eight pieces if I knocked over the water bucket, or pretended not to hear her calling me to come home as the dusk thickened and the cicada's shrilling increased.
Morgan MacLeod
116. morgan_dhu
I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world.
Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart



It's a port city.
frumiousb
117. Danimal
It's a port city.

Babel-17, Samuel Delaney



Call me suicidal (many do).
frumiousb
118. Andria
My mother used to threaten to tear me into eight pieces if I knocked over the water bucket, or pretended not to hear her calling me to come home as the dusk thickened and the cicada's shrilling increased.

Across the Nightingale Floor, by Lian Hearn


Suppose that it is once more 196-, that fateful year, and suppose that you are passing through Millford, Utah, that most fated of crossroads. Population, a battered, bird-splattered ign informs you is "3810 and Still Growing! Home of Shelley B--"
zaphod beetlebrox
119. platypus rising
The nearest iceberg looked firmly grounded. Waves, with the whole fetch of the Atlantic behind them, exploded upon it, just as they would upon solid rock.
John Wyndham,The Kraken Wakes

Hubert Anvil's voice rose above the sound of the choir and full orchestra, reaching the vertex of the loftiest dome in the Old World and the western doors of the longest nave in Christendom.
Helen Wright
121. arkessian
(some of my own):

@22: "These people were giants," Tony said.

Floating Worlds, Cecilia Holland


@33: Cap down to his black brows, Warren leaned on his truck, hearing out two men slouched in a junker car -- the kind of car those men leave in a ditch when they've done their business.

Becoming Alien, Rebecca Ore


@48: Margo Kemperer sniffed. She would have preferred time to study the file before meeting her new aide.

Under the Canopy, Barbara Paul


1. ...A sleep, sweet as Death ... time traversed, and an incalculable distance ... and then a splash of light emerged from the dark, and the cold, its warming touch slowly explaining itself to me, showing suns and little worlds and great swirls of colored gas and angry, roaring dust.

2. Taken from:
Wealth and Wisdom.
A Gentleman's Guide to
Their Acquisition and Keeping
by Tori Samed

3. No-one noticed the rock.
Helen Wright
122. arkessian
@85 That day in February 2076, SeaTac and every other civilian airport in the world became a graveyard for the mammoth carcases of dead machines.

L. Timmel Duchamp, Alanya to Alanya


@87 Here they are. They're entirely in black, with belted tabards over something like long underwear that make them look like the cards in Alice, though nobody here has heard about that.

Joanna Russ, The Two of Them


1. "Will".

2. Logen plunged through the trees, bare feet slipping and sliding in the wet earth, the slush, the wet pine needles, breath rasping in his chest, blood thumping in his head.
Jo Walton
123. bluejo
Not like anyone is keeping score, but Arkessian, you are definitely winning.
Helen Wright
124. arkessian
Too much free time on my hands, methinks!
Blue Tyson
125. BlueTyson
Logen plunged through the trees, bare feet slipping and sliding in the wet earth, the slush, the wet pine needles, breath rasping in his chest, blood thumping in his head.

The Blade Itself, Joe Abercrombie.


"It is in the tenth year of the newly formed Empire of Tolath that our tale begins, 160 years ago."
Bill Williams
126. billsquared
@121: "2. Taken from:
Wealth and Wisdom.
A Gentleman's Guide to
Their Acquisition and Keeping
by Tori Samed "


Thief's Gamble, Juliet McKenna

"On a windless summer day in an uncertain year, more than a century after the founding of Cornell, a man who told lies for a living climbed to the top of The Hill to fly a kite."
frumiousb
127. Andria
No-one noticed the rock.
-The Ghost Brigades, John Scalzi


Green sky at night: hacker's delight.
zaphod beetlebrox
128. platypus rising
On a windless summer day in an uncertain year, more than a century after the founding of Cornell, a man who told lies for a living climbed to the top of The Hill to fly a kite

Fool on the Hill,Matt Ruff

Green sky at night: hacker's delight

The Atrocity Archives,Charles Stross


1)Call me Jonah. My parents did, or nearly did.

2)It was the year when they finally immanentized the Eschaton.
Liza .
129. aedifica
It was the year when they finally immanentized the Eschaton.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea

I finally got one first!

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays it was Court Hand and Summulae Logicales, while the rest of the week it was the Organon, Repetition and Astrology. The governess was always getting muddled with her astrolabe, and when she got specially muddled she would take it out of the Wart by rapping his knuckles.
Blue Tyson
130. BlueTyson
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays it was Court Hand and Summulae Logicales, while the rest of the week it was the Organon, Repetition and Astrology. The governess was always getting muddled with her astrolabe, and when she got specially muddled she would take it out of the Wart by rapping his knuckles.

The Once and Future King, T. H. White
or The Sword in the Stone, whichever you prefer, I guess. :)



"DAG EXTRACTS"
frumiousb
131. morgan_dhu
Call me Jonah. My parents did, or nearly did.
Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut

Hubert Anvil's voice rose above the sound of the choir and full orchestra, reaching the vertex of the loftiest dome in the Old World and the western doors of the longest nave in Christendom.
The Alteration, Kingsley Amis

And one of my own:
We set our calendars by the Barrier, counting the hours, days, and years from the moment it engulfed our planet in its mystery.
Mindscape, Andrea Hairston




They came into the yard on a cloud of red dust, four young aristocrats burning with indignation and wine, and went into the potters' work shed and hauled the woman out by her hair.



In the border lands of northern Shaftal, the peaks of the mountains loom over hardscrabble farmholds.



My hairline itched where the dead receiver lay just under the skin.
Soon Lee
132. SoonLee
Not a first line, or a guess. Just wanted to say that you all rock!
graham roche
133. scrochum
My hairline itched where the dead receiver lay just under the skin.
Archangel Protocol Lyda Morehouse

I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get.
graham roche
134. scrochum
In the border lands of northern Shaftal, the peaks of the mountains loom over hardscrabble farmholds.
Fire Logic Laurie Marks

In a sheepfarmer's low stone house, high in the hills above Three Firs, two swords hang now above the mantelpiece
Kate Nepveu
135. katenepveu
I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get.

Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game


I feel the need to write something more before I go on my way, something that can go on top of this pile of papers, and the last shall be first, as someone or other said in a different context.
zaphod beetlebrox
136. platypus rising
I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get.

Orson Scott Card,Ender's Game

"Hey, Mouse! Play us something," one of the mechanics called from the bar.

morgan_dhu Congratulations.I thought The Alteration was a difficult one.
Morgan MacLeod
137. morgan_dhu
In a sheepfarmer's low stone house, high in the hills above Three Firs, two swords hang now above the mantelpiece
Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Elizabeth Moon (first book of The Deed of Paksenarrion

I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get.
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card



Natalie was eight that summer. It was a dry season, a La Nina year.



And a prophet says a white babe with black eyes shall be born unto a virgin in the winter of the year.
Morgan MacLeod
138. morgan_dhu
"Hey, Mouse! Play us something," one of the mechanics called from the bar.
Nova, Samuel Delany



"They're all starting to die,"IrEthiverris whispered, wringing long, jointed hands.
zaphod beetlebrox
139. platypus rising
"They're all starting to die,"IrEthiverris whispered, wringing long, jointed hands.

Liz Williams Empire of Bones


It is not a heart: light, heavy, kind or broken; dear, hard, bleeding or transplanted; it is not a heart
Morgan MacLeod
140. morgan_dhu
Re: 136

Platypus_rising:

I've a fondness for alternate history and I've been reading spec fic for a very long time. I must admit, for this one I spent a fair bit of time saying to myself "I know that, but what the heck is it?"
Morgan MacLeod
141. morgan_dhu
It is not a heart: light, heavy, kind or broken; dear, hard, bleeding or transplanted; it is not a heart
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins.

(I'd never really thought about this book, which I adore, as being spec fic, but of course it is.)



In Fort Repose, a river town in Central Florida, it was said that sending a message by Western Union was the same as broadcasting it over the combined networks.
graham roche
142. scrochum
And a prophet says a white babe with black eyes shall be born unto a virgin in the winter of the year
sister light, sister dark Jane Yolen

Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin, I had nothing to distract me from my memories
Morgan MacLeod
143. morgan_dhu
Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin, I had nothing to distract me from my memories
Poison Study, Maria Snyder



Merwen reached over the boat rail, but her hand froze above the weathered pier.
Morgan MacLeod
144. morgan_dhu
"Will."
Ink and Steel, Elizabeth Bear



The stone door slammed.
Morgan MacLeod
145. morgan_dhu
...A sleep, sweet as Death ... time traversed, and an incalculable distance ... and then a splash of light emerged from the dark, and the cold, its warming touch slowly explaining itself to me, showing suns and little worlds and great swirls of colored gas and angry, roaring dust.
Marrow, Robert Reed



Rattle and drum.
It was beautiful music.
Jo Walton
146. bluejo
Merwen reached over the boat rail, but her hand froze above the weathered pier.

A Door into Ocean Joan Slonczewski

It came to Obrien quite suddenly that he was dying.
frumiousb
147. Danimal
In a sheepfarmer's low stone house, high in the hills above Three Firs, two swords hang now above the mantelpiece.
Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Elizabeth Moon


The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.
frumiousb
148. Tim May
The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.
The Time Machine, H. G. Wells

For upwards of half an hour now they had watched the runner on the road below the single watchtower of the monastery.
Clifton Royston
149. CliftonR
"Hey, Mouse! Play us something," one of the mechanics called from the bar.
Nova, Samuel Delany

I know someone else beat me to that, but I had to note that I knew that one as soon as I saw it, because I had checked it yesterday to possibly use as one of mine! (So no fresh first line, sorry.)
Opher Lubzens
150. Antongarou
It came to O'brien quite suddenly that he was dying.

Monument/Lloyd Biggle Jr.

I feel the need to write something more before I go on my way, something that can go on top of this pile of papers, and the last shall be first, as someone or other said in a different context

Agyar/Steven Brust

1)story, place and time- these are the essentials.

2)It is possible I already had some presentiment of my future.
frumiousb
151. Tim May
It is possible I already had some presentiment of my future.
The Shadow of the Torturer, Gene Wolfe.

The people in this book might be going to have lived a long, long time from now in Northern California.
Clifton Royston
152. CliftonR
The people in this book might be going to have lived a long, long time from now in Northern California.

Forever Coming Home, Ursula K. LeGuin
zaphod beetlebrox
153. platypus rising
story, place and time- these are the essentials.
Norstrilia,Cordwainer Smith

The stone door slammed.
James Blish,A Case of Coscience


1 My name is Robinette Broadhead, in spite of which I am male.


2 One summer afternoon Mrs Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.
Clifton Royston
154. CliftonR
One summer afternoon Mrs Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.

The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon, and what a fine convoluted sentence that is.

Now I think I owe you all a couple lines. Hmmm...
Clifton Royston
155. CliftonR
1. Nowhere in all the worlds was there a more fearless family than the Dulantys. And the Dulanty children had such towering intrepidity as to leave even their elders gasping.

2. Two men at their ease relaxed on the terrace of one of the many bland, pastel buildings which composed the city outline, and observed the fall of night over the subtle outlines of Symbarupol.
Opher Lubzens
156. Antongarou
My name is Robinette Broadhead, in spite of which I am male.
Gateway/Frederic Pohl


the guys from the "A" and "B" crews have been sitting on their collective ass for five weeks, out in the middle of nowhere.
Helen Wright
157. arkessian
3 more of mine that are getting past their sell-by date...

@72: The third of November was a day so black that no man could tell by the light whether the abbey bells rang for terce or for vespers.

Through a Brazen Mirror, Delia Sherman

@73: The sky was low and gray and looked hard enough to ring if struck.

Falcon, Emma Bull

@75: "...and in those golden, dew-kissed mornings, I open unbelieving eyes and swear that I am still dreaming."

A Rumor of Angels, M. Bradley Kellogg


Try these instead...

1. Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians.

2. Lieutenant-Commander Peter Holmes of the Royal Australian Navy woke soon after dawn.

3. My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance.
Opher Lubzens
158. Antongarou
Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel/Susanna Clarke

Rocky, would you take a look at this?
zaphod beetlebrox
159. platypus rising
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance

We Have Always Lived in the Castle,Shirley Jackson
And you're right,I love this one too.And also The Sundial.

Lieutenant-Commander Peter Holmes of the Royal Australian Navy woke soon after dawn
Neil Shute,On the Beach


Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell,Susanna Clarke.

My lines will follow shortly
zaphod beetlebrox
160. platypus rising
Rocky, would you take a look at this?
Titan,John Varley
Helen Wright
161. arkessian
@96: Stavia saw herself as in a picture, from the outside, a darkly cloaked figure moving along a cobbled street, the stones sheened with a soft, early spring rain.

The Gate to Women's County, Sheri S. Tepper

@105: The old king stood upon the battlements, gazing southward. The wind whipped back his long white hair and boomed in his heavy cloak. But his eyes never blinked, his face never flinched, as stern and immovable as an image carved in obsidian.

The Hall of the Mountain King, Judith Tarr

@11: I tore down the Continental Shelf off the Bogue Bank while the pogo made periscope hops trying to track me.

Empire of the Sun, J.G. Ballard

@118: Suppose that it is once more 196-, that fateful year, and suppose that you are passing through Millford, Utah, that most fated of crossroads. Population, a battered, bird-splattered sign informs you is "3810 and Still Growing! Home of Shelley B--"

Mechasm, James Sladek


(1) At dawn one still October day in the long ago of the world, across the hill at Alderley, a farmer from Mobberley was rising to Macclesfield fair.

(2) Spun-out, brain-glazed, flying on the wings of tiny silver grains, he sat in the thick brown shadows bemused by the subharmonies of the tabletop singing against his arms.

(3)It is said that fifty-three years after his liberation he returned from the Golden Cloud, to take up once again the gauntlet of Heaven, to oppose the Order of Life and the gods who ordained it so.

(4) The blond WAVE secretary at the reception desk took the speaker cup of a sono-typer away from her mouth, bent over an intercom box.
zaphod beetlebrox
162. platypus rising
So,I have 4 now.

1-This was a golden age, a time of high adventure, rich living and hard dying . . . but nobody thought so.

2-There was a man and he had eight sons. Apart from that, he was nothing more than a comma on the page of History. It's sad, but that's all you can say about some people.

3-Brother Francis Gerard of Utah might never have discovered the blessed documents, had it not been for the pilgrim with girded loins who appeared during that young novice's Lenten fast in the desert.

4-In spite of all his efforts, Tavernor was unable to remain indoors when it was time for the sky to catch fire.
Helen Wright
163. arkessian
@130: "DAG EXTRACTS"

Wormwood, Terry Dowling (I *think*)

@141: In Fort Repose, a river town in Central Florida, it was said that sending a message by Western Union was the same as broadcasting it over the combined networks.

Alas Babylon, Pat Frank

@145: Rattle and drum.
It was beautiful music.

Svaha, Charles de Lint

@155: Nowhere in all the worlds was there a more fearless family than the Dulantys. And the Dulanty children had such towering intrepidity as to leave even their elders gasping.

The Reefs of Earth, R.A. Lafferty

@156: the guys from the "A" and "B" crews have been sitting on their collective ass for five weeks, out in the middle of nowhere.

The Jennifer Morgue, Charles Stross


My lines will also follow shortly -- another visit to the bookshelves required!
zaphod beetlebrox
164. platypus rising
It is said that fifty-three years after his liberation he returned from the Golden Cloud, to take up once again the gauntlet of Heaven, to oppose the Order of Life and the gods who ordained it so.
Roger Zelazny,Lord of Light


You can never tell what a drunken Irishman will do.
(not a sf novel,by an author known mainly for sf)
Opher Lubzens
165. Antongarou
It is said that fifty-three years after his liberation he returned from the Golden Cloud, to take up once again the gauntlet of Heaven, to oppose the Order of Life and the gods who ordained it so.
Lord of Light/Roger Zelazney(sp?)
I love that book

There was a man and he had eight sons. Apart from that, he was nothing more than a comma on the page of History. It's sad, but that's all you can say about some people.
Sourcery/Terry Pratchett

Brother Francis Gerard of Utah might never have discovered the blessed documents, had it not been for the pilgrim with girded loins who appeared during that young novice's Lenten fast in the desert.
A Canticle for Leibowitz/Walter M. Miller


New lines:

1)Like a raging montain, the Terichik rose screaming from a frozen, nightdark sea.

2)Today is the two hundredth anniversary of the final extinction of my One True Love, as close as I can date it.

3)THE sign was rain-smeared and had never been overly straight. P’tr wit ’Whix spared one eye to read it as he passed, then chuckled to himself: “Fabulous Embassy Row? Tours daily?”
Helen Wright
166. arkessian
Here are the lines I owe...

(1) Halfway through the second watch the ship put into Kartos station - the largest thing ever seen in the zone, a gleaming silver agglomeration of vanes cradling an immense saucer body.

(2) It was a dumb thing to do but it wasn't that dumb. There had't been any trouble out at the lake in years.

(3) The storm had raged through most of the night.

(4) Dearest Kate, It is dreadfully flat here since you have been gone, and it only makes it worse to imagine all the things I shall be missing.

(5) I did what Tolstoy did, and jumped out of the train when it stopped in the evening at the old frontier.
Helen Wright
167. arkessian
@165: THE sign was rain-smeared and had never been overly straight. P’tr wit ’Whix spared one eye to read it as he passed, then chuckled to himself: “Fabulous Embassy Row? Tours daily?”

A Thousand Words for Stranger, Julie E. Czerneda.


Which was sitting here on my desk ready to be used!

My next line:

GOVERNMENT WOR
zaphod beetlebrox
168. platypus rising
The storm had raged through most of the night.
Martin-Tuttle Windhaven

When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potrul of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.

And with that,I'm going to follow suit and prepare lunch,bye for now
Kate Nepveu
169. katenepveu
It was a dumb thing to do but it wasn't that dumb. There had't been any trouble out at the lake in years.

Sunshine, McKinley

Dearest Kate, It is dreadfully flat here since you have been gone, and it only makes it worse to imagine all the things I shall be missing.

Sorcery & Cecilia, Wrede & Stevermer


This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.


The whale, the traitor; the note she left me and the run-in with the Post police; and how I felt about her and what she turned out to be--all this you know.
Opher Lubzens
170. Antongarou
This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
The Princess Bride/William Goldman

The visible aspects of the condition, it is believed, first manifested themselves during a stressful period in the patient's life. Therefore, the mild agitation that commonly precedes the acute phase, although evident, was easily ascribable to the patient's augmentation or other, more mundane, causes.
Helen Wright
171. arkessian
@170: The visible aspects of the condition, it is believed, first manifested themselves during a stressful period in the patient's life. Therefore, the mild agitation that commonly precedes the acute phase, although evident, was easily ascribable to the patient's augmentation or other, more mundane, causes.

Kristine Smith, Code of Conduct


Which was another one that was sitting on my desk...

Far out on the galactic Rim, where star systems were sparse and the darkness nearly absolute, Sector Twelve General Hospital hung in space.
Blue Tyson
172. BlueTyson
163, Arkessian, yeah, Wormwood is correct. :) Well done.
Blue Tyson
173. BlueTyson
Today is the two hundredth anniversary of the final extinction of my One True Love, as close as I can date it.

Saturn's Children, Charles Stross.


"He had been without water for three days."
Jo Walton
174. bluejo

The whale, the traitor; the note she left me and the run-in with the Post police; and how I felt about her and what she turned out to be--all this you know.

The Fortunate Fall Raphael Carter

(It's funny how some of them I just instantly know, and others I have to think about for ages before getting.)

He had many names, but one nature, and this unique nature made him subject to certain laws not binding upon ordinary persons. In a compensatory fashion, he was also free from certain other laws, more commonly in force.
frumiousb
175. MHS
GOVERNMENT WOR

Karen Traviss, City of Pearl.

"When my friend Floyd Bellamy came home from the war in Europe, Augusta, Kansas had a parade for him."
Jo Walton
176. bluejo
I did what Tolstoy did, and jumped out of the train when it stopped in the evening at the old frontier.

Last Letters From Hav Jan Morris

Well, if you really want to know how it was I came to be chained to an oak tree, half way up in the middle of nowhere, with wolves trying to eat me out of it, I'll tell you.
frumiousb
177. Tim May
This was a Golden Age, a time of high adventure, rich living, and hard dying . . . but nobody thought so.

The Stars My Destination / Tiger! Tiger! — Alfred Bester.

The ghost was her father's parting gift, presented by a black-clad secretary in a departure lounge at Narita.
zaphod beetlebrox
178. platypus rising
The ghost was her father's parting gift, presented by a black-clad secretary in a departure lounge at Narita. William Gibson,Mona Lisa Overdrive

Some days ago I sat by the window in my room, counting the number of sedative pills I've palmed over the course of the last three months.
graham roche
179. scrochum
The storm had raged through most of the night.
Windhaven, GRRM


The slick pavement, oily with rain and motor lubricants that had dripped from the hundreds of illrepaired vehicles utilizing the major northsouth artery into Jerhattan, caused the accident
Clifton Royston
180. CliftonR
At dawn one still October day in the long ago of the world, across the hill at Alderley, a farmer from Mobberley was rising to Macclesfield fair.
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Alan Garner.

What a great book! I need to replace my copy; I think my daughter must have ended up with that one.

I think #4 in the same post ("The blond WAVE secretary at the reception desk...") is:
Under Pressure, Frank Herbert
but I'm not sure on that one and will await confirmation or disclaimer.

I'm at work now, so I'll have to leave an easy first line that I know by heart:

The bureaucrat fell from the sky.
Clifton Royston
181. CliftonR
P.S. That first line of Weirdstone should have "riding to", not "rising to".

Also, in #152 I named the book as Forever Coming Home, but it's Always Coming Home. That was bugging me when I woke up during the night.
zaphod beetlebrox
182. platypus rising
The bureaucrat fell from the sky.

Stations of the Tide,Michael Swanwick

To the north thin smoke made a column against the darkening sky.
Helen Wright
183. arkessian
CliftonR @ 180: Yes -- #4@161 is Frank Herbert, Under Pressure aka The Dragon in the Sea. Published (just) before I was born, and the "sono-typer" concept has worn well, hasn't it?
Morgan MacLeod
184. morgan_dhu
Far out on the galactic Rim, where star systems were sparse and the darkness nearly absolute, Sector Twelve General Hospital hung in space.
Star Surgeon, James White



His mother’s hand felt cold, clutching his.
Morgan MacLeod
185. morgan_dhu
In spite of all his efforts, Tavernor was unable to remain indoors when it was time for the sky to catch fire.
The Palace of Eternity, Robert Shaw



What David always hated most about the Sumner family dinners was the way everyone talked about him as if he were not there.
zaphod beetlebrox
186. platypus rising
His mother’s hand felt cold, clutching his.

Van Vogt,Slan

His job, as always, bored him.
Morgan MacLeod
187. morgan_dhu
Halfway through the second watch the ship put into Kartos station - the largest thing ever seen in the zone, a gleaming silver agglomeration of vanes cradling an immense saucer body.
Hunter of Worlds, C. J. Cherryh



Here on Tiamat, where there is more water than land, the sharp edge between ocean and sky is blurred; the two merge into one.
Morgan MacLeod
188. morgan_dhu
He had many names, but one nature, and this unique nature made him subject to certain laws not binding upon ordinary persons. In a compensatory fashion, he was also free from certain other laws, more commonly in force.
The Traveler in Black, John Brunner



Two minutes before he disappeared forever from the face of the Earth he knew, Joseph Schwartz strolled along the pleasant streets of suburban Chicago quoting Browning to himself.
Morgan MacLeod
189. morgan_dhu
His job, as always, bored him.
A Maze of Death, Philip K. Dick



The predicted cataclysm, the Wasting, has come and - it seems - gone: pollution, exhaustion and inevitable wars among swollen, impoverished populations have devastated the world, leaving it to the wild weeds.
Helen Wright
190. arkessian
Here on Tiamat, where there is more water than land, the sharp edge between ocean and sky is blurred; the two merge into one.

Joan D. Vinge, The Snow Queen


She had to leave everything behind.
Helen Wright
191. arkessian
The predicted cataclysm, the Wasting, has come and - it seems - gone: pollution, exhaustion and inevitable wars among swollen, impoverished populations have devastated the world, leaving it to the wild weeds.

Suzy McKee Charnas, Walk to the End of the World


When I was quite small I would sometimes dream of a city - which was strange because it began before I even knew what a city was.
Helen Wright
192. arkessian
Two minutes before he disappeared forever from the face of the Earth he knew, Joseph Schwartz strolled along the pleasant streets of suburban Chicago quoting Browning to himself.

Pebble in the Sky, Isaac Asimov


Despite what the Church claimed and the people believed, this was still a Kingdom born of younger sons, the land-hungry and the dispossessed.
Morgan MacLeod
193. morgan_dhu
The slick pavement, oily with rain and motor lubricants that had dripped from the hundreds of illrepaired vehicles utilizing the major northsouth artery into Jerhattan, caused the accident.
To Ride Pegasus, Anne McCaffrey




Somehow I had to stay alive until they found me.
zaphod beetlebrox
194. platypus rising
When I was quite small I would sometimes dream of a city - which was strange because it began before I even knew what a city was.

Is it John Wyndham The Chrysalids?

Right away in the west of Ireland lies a tiny hamlet called Kraighten.
Helen Wright
195. arkessian
His job, as always, bored him.

A Maze of Death, Philip K Dick


Stock cue SOUND: "Presenting SCANALYZER, Engrelay Satelserv's unique thrice-per-day study of the big big scene, the INdepth INdependent INmediate INterface between you and your world!"
zaphod beetlebrox
196. platypus rising
Stock cue SOUND: "Presenting SCANALYZER, Engrelay Satelserv's unique thrice-per-day study of the big big scene, the INdepth INdependent INmediate INterface between you and your world!"

John Brunner,Stand on Zanzibar

I know you are all very uneasy because I have not written for such a long, long time.
Morgan MacLeod
197. morgan_dhu
When I was quite small I would sometimes dream of a city - which was strange because it began before I even knew what a city was.
The Chrysalids, John Wyndham



In the beginning there was Darkness and out of the Darkness came the Mother.
Morgan MacLeod
198. morgan_dhu
Two more of mine that have, I think, passed their "best before" date:

#89
Yeung Mai Su was the name of the madwoman who lived in the smallhouse in the forest.
Ou Lu Khen and the Beautiful Madwoman, Jessica Amanda Salmonson

#103
Half an hour before, the sun had set, and the iron bell had rung in the bell-tower.
Dark Castle, White Horse, Tanith Lee



"Yeth he did too. Popo called me on the vid hithelf an' he wath on'y two year ole," Misty Bent said to her wide-eyed niece, Hazel Bernard.



It was not certain who the hermit could be.
zaphod beetlebrox
199. platypus rising
And this one is mine:#101
The grass was unnaturally green. Jelly-bean green or the green of golf games on television, though come to think of it that was grass too, televised grass but grass nevertheless.

Thomas M Disch,The Priest

It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed.
Morgan MacLeod
200. morgan_dhu
It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed.
Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury





Fitful drafts of chill air blew in through the cruciform windows of the Bell tower, and the fire did little to combat them.
zaphod beetlebrox
201. platypus rising
Fitful drafts of chill air blew in through the cruciform windows of the Bell tower, and the fire did little to combat them.

Marie Brennan Midnight Never Come

When the Calebans first sent us one of their giant metal "beachballs," communicating through this device to offer the use of jumpdoors for interstellar travel, many in the ConSentiency covertly began to exploit this gift of the stars for their own questionable purposes.
Morgan MacLeod
202. morgan_dhu
When the Calebans first sent us one of their giant metal "beachballs," communicating through this device to offer the use of jumpdoors for interstellar travel, many in the ConSentiency covertly began to exploit this gift of the stars for their own questionable purposes.
Whipping Star, Frank Herbert



The hills rolled up to the moon on slopes of wind-bent grass, crested, swept down into tangled brier shadows.
frumiousb
203. Danimal
"When my friend Floyd Bellamy came home from the war in Europe, Augusta, Kansas had a parade for him."
Rocket Science, Jay Lake


At the very end of autumn, Gather had thirty-four coins to spend.
Nathaniel Smith
204. njs
What David always hated most about the Sumner family dinners was the way everyone talked about him as if he were not there.

Where once the sweet birds sang, Kate Wilhelm



Easter was early that year. It fell in blackthorn winter, when the blossom on the sloe could have been taken for frost, and the hawthorn had barely sprouted its buds of green and copper.
Opher Lubzens
205. Antongarou
When the Calebans first sent us one of their giant metal "beachballs," communicating through this device to offer the use of jumpdoors for interstellar travel, many in the ConSentiency covertly began to exploit this gift of the stars for their own questionable purposes.
Whipping Star/Frank Herbert

In the beginning there was Darkness and out of the Darkness came the Mother.
Wizard of the Grove/Tanya Huff

1)How does one know coming good from coming ill?

2)"Fire ready!" Sulun shouted warning.
David Goldfarb
206. David_Goldfarb
The hills rolled up to the moon on slopes of wind-bent grass, crested, swept down into tangled brier shadows.

P.C. Hodgell, God Stalk.

Dominating twice a hundred square miles of campus, parade-ground, airport, and spaceport, a ninety-story edifice of chromium and glass sparkled dazzlingly in the bright sunlight of a June morning.
Helen Wright
207. arkessian
You can never tell what a drunken Irishman will do.

Frederic Brown, The Screaming Mimi

Like a raging montain, the Terichik rose screaming from a frozen, nightdark sea.

Larry Niven, The Barsoom Project

When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potrul of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.

Murakami Haruki, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle


1. Victor Grego finished the chilled fruit juice and pushed the glass aside, then lit a cigarette and poured hot coffee into the half-filled cup that had been cooling.

2. Fargo finished packing his bindle and took a last walk through the freerider sanctuary.

3. On the far western shore of a northern continent there was once a harbor city called Seattle.
Opher Lubzens
208. Antongarou
On the far western shore of a northern continent there was once a harbor city called Seattle.
Wizard of Pigeons/Megan Lindholm

Eons passed, and Man slithered out of the slime, sprouted limbs, developed thumbs. He stood erect, saw the stars for the first time, and knew that they must someday be his.
Helen Wright
209. arkessian
How does one know coming good from coming ill?

Andre Norton, Year of the Unicorn

"Fire ready!" Sulun shouted warning.

C.J. Cherryh, A Dirge for Sabis (or the Sword of Knowledge)


In my family, we used the word we all the time.

Everyone knew he was dying.
Helen Wright
210. arkessian
Eons passed, and Man slithered out of the slime, sprouted limbs, developed thumbs. He stood erect, saw the stars for the first time, and knew that they must someday be his.

Mike Resnick, Birthright-the Book of Man


Heat beat down on my shoulders, my face-cloth.
zaphod beetlebrox
211. platypus rising
Once again I must bow to Arkessian.I thought The Screaming Mimi and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle were safely approaching the expiration date.

Victor Grego finished the chilled fruit juice and pushed the glass aside, then lit a cigarette and poured hot coffee into the half-filled cup that had been cooling.

Beam Piper,Little Fuzzy?

I suppose that your first serious discovery, Dr. Pilman, should be considered what is now called the Pilman Radiant.
Helen Wright
212. arkessian
Platypus rising, sorry! And you've almost got the right Beam Piper book...

The one that's really bugging me is number 12:

It is soon told.
I, Generous, Chronicler, Saxon, write of the vast woman.

It isn't the Tain (is it)? Nor Beowulf. But those are the directions my mind keeps taking me...
Helen Wright
213. arkessian
I suppose that your first serious discovery, Dr. Pilman, should be considered what is now called the Pilman Radiant.

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic


I always get the shakes before a drop.
Opher Lubzens
214. Antongarou
I suppose that your first serious discovery, Dr. Pilman, should be considered what is now called the Pilman Radiant.
Roadside Picnic/Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

"Mr. President! Mr. President!" The White House press corps rose to its collective feet like an attention-seeking wave.
Opher Lubzens
215. Antongarou
I always get the shakes before a drop.
Starship Troopers/Robert A. Heinlein

Now it chanced that in those grim and sorrowful
days which came to the court and land of France
after the death of Roland and the other noble
dukes and brave lords who fell with him in that
last great battle against the Saracens, King Charlemagne was driven to think much of the future of his realm.
Natalie Costa Bir
216. taelian
I suppose that your first serious discovery, Dr. Pilman, should be considered what is now called the Pilman Radiant.
Arkady/Boris Strugatsky - Roadside


The escalator strained slowly upward.
Helen Wright
217. arkessian
"Mr. President! Mr. President!" The White House press corps rose to its collective feet like an attention-seeking wave.

The Prometheus Project, Steve White


In spring, three things came invariably to the house of the King of An: the year's first shipment of Herun wine, the lords of the Three Portions for the spring council, and an argument.
Helen Wright
218. arkessian
The escalator strained slowly upward.

Sergei Lukyanenko, Nightwatch


The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it "the Riddle House," even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.
Natalie Costa Bir
219. taelian
The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it "the Riddle House," even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.
JK Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


In a high cold place on the Unraveller's world, the wind was a constant sighing susurrus, for there was nothing to break its flow.
frumiousb
220. OtterB
Dominating twice a hundred square miles of campus, parade-ground, airport, and spaceport, a ninety-story edifice of chromium and glass sparkled dazzlingly in the bright sunlight of a June morning.
Doc Smith, one of the Lensman books, probably Galactic Patrol

I'll post mine later, am at work without books to reference
Opher Lubzens
221. Antongarou
In spring, three things came invariably to the house of the King of An: the year's first shipment of Herun wine, the lords of the Three Portions for the spring council, and an argument.
Heir of Sea and Fire/Ptricia McKillip

I am not superhuman.
frumiousb
222. OtterB
I didn't know how long I had been in the king's prison.
zaphod beetlebrox
223. platypus rising
Victor Grego finished the chilled fruit juice and pushed the glass aside, then lit a cigarette and poured hot coffee into the half-filled cup that had been cooling.

Fuzzy Sapiens,H.Beam Piper

Another one in the series of classics not really considered specfic but:

Not everybody knows how I killed old Philip Mathers,smashing his jaw with my spade;but first it is better to speak of my friendship with John Divney because it was he who first knocked old Mathers down by giving him a great blow in the neck with a special bicycle-pump which he manifactured himself out of a hollow iron bar.
Helen Wright
224. arkessian
I didn't know how long I had been in the king's prison.

The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner


-- It's scary how often I'm being beaten to the first lines I've got lined up! Let's try...

'Grace, Grace. Have you heard? Oh, it's too awful.'
zaphod beetlebrox
225. platypus rising
One of mine:
Some days ago I sat by the window in my room, counting the number of sedative pills I've palmed over the course of the last three months.

Jeffrey Ford "The Girl in the Glass"


Try this:

On a march evening, at eight o'clock, Backhouse, the medium - a fast - rising star in the psychic world - was ushered into the study at Prolands, the Hampstead residence of Montague Faull.
Helen Wright
226. arkessian
Well, if you really want to know how it was I came to be chained to an oak tree, half way up in the middle of nowhere, with wolves trying to eat me out of it, I'll tell you.

Votan, John James

On a march evening, at eight o'clock, Backhouse, the medium - a fast - rising star in the psychic world - was ushered into the study at Prolands, the Hampstead residence of Montague Faull.

A Voyage to Arcturus, David Lindsay


A sea of mist drifted through the cloud forest, soft, grey, luminescent.

Philip Eslingen settled himself more comfortably on the padded stool, watching as the woman seated opposite made the final adjustments to her orrery.
Helen Wright
227. arkessian
Somehow I had to stay alive until they found me.

Mutant, Henry Kuttner.

Right away in the west of Ireland lies a tiny hamlet called Kraighten.

The House on the Borderland, William Hope Hodgson


Marit was pretty sure she had been murdered. She recalled vividly the assassin's dagger that had punctured her skin, thrust up under her ribs, and pierced her heart.

How to explain? How to describe? Even the omniscient viewpoint quails.
Morgan MacLeod
228. morgan_dhu
In my family, we used the word we all the time.
A Fistful of Sky, Nina Kiriki Hoffman




"Look - there - rising over the Hand of God. Is it?”
Helen Wright
229. arkessian
"Look - there - rising over the Hand of God. Is it?”

Tau Zero, Poul Anderson


One line to follow after a visit to the bookshelves!
Helen Wright
230. arkessian
The line I owe...

Hugh Valleroy paced back and forth, heedless of the muddy water he was splashing onto the boots of the District Director of Federal Police.
Opher Lubzens
231. Antongarou
A sea of mist drifted through the cloud forest, soft, grey, luminescent.
Shards of Honor/Lois McMaster Bujold

Snow, tenderly caught by eddying breezes, swirled and spun in to and out of bright, lustrous shapes that gleamed against the emerald-blazoned black drape of sky and sparkled there for a moment, hanging, before settling gently to the soft, green-tufted plain with all the sickly sweetness of an over-written sentence.
Morgan MacLeod
232. morgan_dhu
In spring, three things came invariably to the house of the King of An: the year's first shipment of Herun wine, the lords of the Three Portions for the spring council, and an argument.
Heir of Sea and Fire, Patricia McKillip




Every day Morgan moved among the living gargoyles
A. L.
233. Rymenhild
Finally! I've been watching this thread for days. I even made myself a tor.com ID so I could comment, but everyone kept guessing the ones I knew before I got there. (That is, hi all. I'm new.)

Philip Eslingen settled himself more comfortably on the padded stool, watching as the woman seated opposite made the final adjustments to her orrery.
Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett, Point of Dreams.

Once there was a child, whose face was like the new moon shining on cypress trees and the feathers of water-birds.
zaphod beetlebrox
234. platypus rising
A sea of mist drifted through the cloud forest, soft, grey, luminescent.
Shards of Honor,Lois McMaster Bujold

How to explain? How to describe? Even the omniscient viewpoint quails.
Vernor Vinge,A fire upon the deep

Lovely as it was, with the blood and all, Render could sense that it was about to end.

When Giles Angarth disappeared, nearly two years ago, we had been friends for a decade or more, and I knew him as well as anyone could purport to know him.
Morgan MacLeod
235. morgan_dhu
Re # 232

Oops. I see that The Heir of Sea and Fire was already identified. My apologies.
Jo Walton
237. bluejo
Lovely as it was, with the blood and all, Render could sense that it was about to end.

The Dream Maker Roger Zelazny

It was an old saying in the Kingdom that "A child who tastes the Wine of the Gods too early is only half a person afterwards."
Morgan MacLeod
238. morgan_dhu
Marit was pretty sure she had been murdered. She recalled vividly the assassin's dagger that had punctured her skin, thrust up under her ribs, and pierced her heart.
Shadow Gate, Kate Eliot



Norman Saylor was not the kind of man to go prying into his wife’s dressing room.
Morgan MacLeod
239. morgan_dhu
I am not superhuman.
Orion, Ben Bova



Children were always the worst.
frumiousb
240. OtterB
It was an old saying in the Kingdom that "A child who tastes the Wine of the Gods too early is only half a person afterwards."

One for the Morning Glory, John Barnes

Line to follow shortly...
Morgan MacLeod
241. morgan_dhu
Hugh Valleroy paced back and forth, heedless of the muddy water he was splashing onto the boots of the District Director of Federal Police.
House of Zeor, by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

(Though it could be one of the other Sime-Gen books, it's been a long time since I read them.)



“The beast changes to a woman or the woman changes to a beast,” the doctor says.
Morgan MacLeod
242. morgan_dhu
Once there was a child, whose face was like the new moon shining on cypress trees and the feathers of water-birds.
The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden, Catherynne Valente



The idiot lived in a black and grey world, punctuated by the white lightning of hunger and the flickering of fear.
zaphod beetlebrox
243. platypus rising
Norman Saylor was not the kind of man to go prying into his wife’s dressing room.

Conjure wife,Fritz Leiber

"He's evil incarnate! Stay away from him!" Arbas glared at the young outlander across from him and took a deep drink from the mug of ale the stranger had bought him.
Opher Lubzens
244. Antongarou
The idiot lived in a black and grey world, punctuated by the white lightning of hunger and the flickering of fear.
More Then Human/Theodore Sturgeon

The sun broke over the edge of Earth, bringing with it a slender blue-white sickle of dawn that encroached on the expanse of darkness that was the planet's nightside as seen from low orbit. The Orbital Command-and-Control Station's viewport polarized against the glare.
zaphod beetlebrox
245. platypus rising
The idiot lived in a black and grey world, punctuated by the white lightning of hunger and the flickering of fear.

Theodore Sturgeon,More Than Human

I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why.
zaphod beetlebrox
246. platypus rising
Double Post
frumiousb
247. OtterB
my line from 240 (It's amazing how many favorites make themselves way too obvious in the first line.)

It began one day in summer about thirty years ago, and it happened to four children.
Opher Lubzens
248. Antongarou
I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why.
At The Mountains of Madness/HP Lovecraft

Bradford-on-Avon is an old town, and not all of its ghosts sleep the sleep of the just
Morgan MacLeod
249. morgan_dhu
I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why.
At the Mountains of Madness, H. P. Lovecraft



"Begin at the beginning" is the phrase.
Helen Wright
250. arkessian
I know you are all very uneasy because I have not written for such a long, long time.

T.W.Hoffmann, The Sand-man


He opened his eyes and looked down. He had no idea where he was.
Helen Wright
251. arkessian
"Yeth he did too. Popo called me on the vid hithelf an' he wath on'y two year ole," Misty Bent said to her wide-eyed niece, Hazel Bernard.

Walter Moseley, Futureland


“Draw me a picture of someplace you’ve been that you liked very much,” Mrs. Patterson suggested, pronouncing each word with the firm, specific articulation peculiar to those who work with children.
Helen Wright
252. arkessian
It was not certain who the hermit could be.

Naomi Mitchison, To the Chapel Perilous


We do seem to have ignored the original rider to the rules "Well, either that or discussion of the books. Discussion is always good." So I'll add here the this is a 'delightful take and unusual take on the Arthurian mythos.' Bonus points (as if I had them to award ) will be given to anyone identifying the source of this quote!

And to return you to your usual programming...

The abyss should shut you up.
Morgan MacLeod
253. morgan_dhu
“Draw me a picture of someplace you’ve been that you liked very much,” Mrs. Patterson suggested, pronouncing each word with the firm, specific articulation peculiar to those who work with children.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Cherie Priest




When I was fourteen, a cousin of mine angered a Malignant One.
Morgan MacLeod
254. morgan_dhu
Two of mine that have dropped by the wayside...

They came into the yard on a cloud of red dust, four young aristocrats burning with indignation and wine, and went into the potters' work shed and hauled the woman out by her hair.
Touched by Venom, Janine Cross

Natalie was eight that summer. It was a dry season, a La Nina year.
Mappa Mundi, Justina Robson

(And I also am slowly going crazy trying to place #12. The phrase "the vast woman" is ringing all sorts of recognition bells in the back of my brain, but nothing is surfacing to tell me the context.)


Two new first lines:


“I’m going to die,” said Jones.



Marghe's suit was still open at neck and wrist, and the helmet rested in the crook of her left arm.
zaphod beetlebrox
255. platypus rising
Bradford-on-Avon is an old town, and not all of its ghosts sleep the sleep of the just

Drinking Midnight Wine,Simon R. Green

"Begin at the beginning" is the phrase.

What Dreams may Come,Richard Matheson

The abyss should shut you up.

Peter Watts,Starfish
zaphod beetlebrox
256. platypus rising
Marghe's suit was still open at neck and wrist, and the helmet rested in the crook of her left arm.
Nicola Griffith,Ammonite
Helen Wright
257. arkessian
May I claim some credit for not recognising.... Touched by Venom, Janine Cross
Caterina Rhode
258. Carnadine
Snow, tenderly caught by eddying breezes, swirled and spun in to and out of bright, lustrous shapes that gleamed against the emerald-blazoned black drape of sky and sparkled there for a moment, hanging, before settling gently to the soft, green-tufted plain with all the sickly sweetness of an over-written sentence.

To Reign in Hell, by Stephen Brust


Next line in just a minute...
Helen Wright
259. arkessian

Not everybody knows how I killed old Philip Mathers,smashing his jaw with my spade;but first it is better to speak of my friendship with John Divney because it was he who first knocked old Mathers down by giving him a great blow in the neck with a special bicycle-pump which he manifactured himself out of a hollow iron bar.

Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman


"Tonight we're going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man."
Caterina Rhode
260. Carnadine
For #258:

Mia Ziemann needed to know what to wear at a deathbed.
zaphod beetlebrox
261. platypus rising
So,now my next 4:

1) There is a legend of Mahrawhenua or Memory Land with its town of Puhamara or Memory Flower.

Again,this is not generally classified Sf,though it could well be.I love it.

2)"And I cannot touch her face And I cannot touch her hair, And I kneel to empty shadows-- Just memories of her grace; And her voice sings in the winds And in the sobs of dawn And among the flowers at night And from the brooks at sunrise And from the sea at sunset, And I answer with vain callings"

3)At the hour of the hot spring sunset two citizens appeared at the Patriarch's Ponds.

4)Fu il 15 di giugno del 1767 che Cosimo Piovasco di Rondò, mio fratello, sedette per l’ultima volta in mezzo a noi.

(What? My English novels are dwindling,it's time to start with my other languages eh eh)

I don't know the source of the Arthurian quote,but for some reason I thought to Boorman's Excalibur.

#12 sounds familiar,but I think it's a case of false recognition,I don't think I've actually read it.
Morgan MacLeod
262. morgan_dhu
Re: #257

Touched by Venom, Janine Cross

It is, I think, a highly controversial book and series. I've read quite vehement arguments for and against it.

I found it gut-wrenchingly powerful, myself, despite the fact (or perhaps becasue of the fact) that the protagonist is anything but - things happen to her, she initiates very little of the action. It's hardly a mature work in terms of style, structure, and technique, but it's a competent piece of writing in my opinion. The subject matter is very difficult, but I quite strongly disagree with one of the more common charges levelled against the book as being pornographic. My own reading of the series is that it delivers a strong feminist, anti-racist and anti-colonialist message, but that's only my personal perspective.
Caterina Rhode
263. Carnadine
(What? My English novels are dwindling,it's time to start with my other languages eh eh)


I'll be sure to quote my next one in Hebrew, then. :D

?????? ??? ?????... ???"? ????? ??? ???? ???
zaphod beetlebrox
264. platypus rising
"Tonight we're going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man"

The Forever War,Joe Haldeman
Morgan MacLeod
265. morgan_dhu
"Tonight we're going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man."
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman



A warm rain misted down on a small boy standing motionless in the tall yellow grass.
zaphod beetlebrox
266. platypus rising
I'll be sure to quote my next one in Hebrew, then. :D

?????? ??? ?????... ???"? ????? ??? ???? ???

Ah,you got me there.Though in my defense,Italian was the original language,so someone who has read the translation should be able to figure out the novel.

My new line for #264
Elizabeth Khan closed the door of the surgery, and locked it.
Morgan MacLeod
267. morgan_dhu
At the hour of the hot spring sunset two citizens appeared at the Patriarch's Ponds.
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov




RE: Negotiations Coming-Forward
FROM: Sanders Nicholas, information holder attached
to the staff of first-Defender Ettin Gwarha
Morgan MacLeod
268. morgan_dhu
Fu il 15 di giugno del 1767 che Cosimo Piovasco di Rondò, mio fratello, sedette per l’ultima volta in mezzo a noi.
The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino

(My Italian is non-existent, but I recognised the name of the character.)



Wind-child, sun-child, what is Kath?
zaphod beetlebrox
269. platypus rising
Il barone rampante/The Baron in the Trees it is.
Congratulations!
zaphod beetlebrox
270. platypus rising
To the north thin smoke made a column against the darkening sky

Henry Kuttner,The Dark World

When an explosion takes place lots of bits and pieces fly all over the scenery.
Morgan MacLeod
271. morgan_dhu
When an explosion takes place lots of bits and pieces fly all over the scenery.
The Great Explosion, Eric Frank Russell



Taran wanted to make a sword; but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes.
Douglas Davidson
272. ddavidso
Wind-child, sun-child, what is Kath?

Cherryh, Faded Sun/Kesrith

On a certain day in June, 19-, a young man was making his way on foot northward from the great City to a town or place called Edgewood, that he had been told of but had never visited.
zaphod beetlebrox
273. platypus rising
On a certain day in June, 19-, a young man was making his way on foot northward from the great City to a town or place called Edgewood, that he had been told of but had never visited.

John Crowley/ Little,Big

The Day it all started-a hot,August Saturday-I'd gotten off work a little after twelve.
Douglas Davidson
274. ddavidso
Taran wanted to make a sword; but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes.

Alexander, Book of Three

Bret found the letters today.
Morgan MacLeod
275. morgan_dhu
The Day it all started-a hot,August Saturday-I'd gotten off work a little after twelve.
A Stir of Echoes, Richard Matheson



In dust and blood – with the sharp tang of terror stark in his nostrils – a man’s mind will sometimes pull forth odd relevancies.
Morgan MacLeod
276. morgan_dhu
Bret found the letters today.
Flying in Place, Susan Palwick




When I think about him, I remember a wave I watched near a beach once, a big, beautiful, smooth wave, perfectly rounded, like molten glass.
Clifton Royston
277. CliftonR
My #2 @ 155 is still up for grabs:

Two men at their ease relaxed on the terrace of one of the many bland, pastel buildings which composed the city outline, and observed the fall of night over the subtle outlines of Symbarupol.

Hints: SF, '80s, beginning of a trilogy. I'll post answer and a new one later today if nobody gets it.
frumiousb
278. Ruadhan
Arkessian, @161m guessed:

@111: I tore down the Continental Shelf off the Bogue Bank while the pogo made periscope hops trying to track me.

Empire of the Sun, J.G. Ballard


Arkessian, sorry, you're wrong. That one is by Alfred Bester. It's Extro, which is also known as The Computer Connection.

Try this one instead:

In the tower of the nameless necromancer it is always cold.
frumiousb
279. Tim May
In the tower of the nameless necromancer it is always cold.
Grunts, Mary Gentle.

Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth. It has been night for a long time. The hovels that encrust the river's edge have grown like mushrooms around me in the dark.
Opher Lubzens
280. Antongarou
Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth. It has been night for a long time. The hovels that encrust the river's edge have grown like mushrooms around me in the dark.
Perdido Street Station/China Mieville

On and on Coeurl prowled.
Douglas Davidson
281. ddavidso
It began one day in summer about thirty years ago, and it happened to four children.

Half Magic/Edward Eager

How strange, that such an insignificant little world should come to matter so much.
frumiousb
282. Tim May
On and on Coeurl prowled.
The Voyage of the Space Beagle, A. E. van Vogt.



There was a man named Lessingham dwelt in an old low house in Wastdale, set in a gray old garden where yew-trees flourished that had seen Vikings in Copeland in their seedling time.
Douglas Davidson
283. ddavidso
On and on Coeurl prowled.

The Voyage of the Space Beagle/van Vogt

There was a white horse, on a quiet winter morning when snow covered the streets gently and was not deep, and the sky was swept with vibrant stars, except in the east, where dawn was beginning in a light blue flood.
Douglas Davidson
284. ddavidso
There was a man named Lessingham dwelt in an old low house in Wastdale, set in a gray old garden where yew-trees flourished that had seen Vikings in Copeland in their seedling time.

The Worm Ouroboros/Eddison

From between two trees at the crest of the hill a very old man watched, with a nostalgic longing he thought he'd lost all capacity for, as the last group of picnickers packed up their baskets, mounted their horses, and rode away south--they moved a little hastily, for it was a good six miles back to London, and the red sun was already silhouetting the branches of the trees along the River Brent, two miles to the west.
Clifton Royston
285. CliftonR
There was a white horse, on a quiet winter morning when snow covered the streets gently and was not deep, and the sky was swept with vibrant stars, except in the east, where dawn was beginning in a light blue flood.

Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin (but you skipped the prologue!)
Clifton Royston
286. CliftonR
OK, time to replenish the store of first lines which I have depleted:

In exchange for Under Pressure back @ 180, I offer this:

Her Gentle and Fruitful Grace, Ruth, Lady of the Green Caves, formerly Princess of the Hidden Land and Lord of the King's FOresets, to their Excellent and Estimable Lordships Randolph, King's Counselor, and Fence, Council's Wizard, greetings.

In exchange for Winter's Tale, I offer this, from which I have intentionally skipped its foreword in my turn:

The particular ill will between the men of the Household of Hobar and the Sixlimbed Folk was said to date from the time of the Hennan Hobar who was the senior of the cadet line which inherited - for lack of male heir in the elder branch - all the fat lands of the Household, well-girthed in appleyards.
zaphod beetlebrox
287. platypus rising
From between two trees at the crest of the hill a very old man watched, with a nostalgic longing he thought he'd lost all capacity for, as the last group of picnickers packed up their baskets, mounted their horses, and rode away south--they moved a little hastily, for it was a good six miles back to London, and the red sun was already silhouetting the branches of the trees along the River Brent, two miles to the west. The Anubis Gates,Tim Powers

How strange, that such an insignificant little world should come to matter so much. David Brin,The Uplift War

1-It was a nice day. All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and rain hadn't been invented yet.

2-Alan sanded the house on Wales Avenue.
Clifton Royston
288. CliftonR
-cough- That should read "Forests", not "FOresets", whatever the latter may be.
Opher Lubzens
289. Antongarou
How strange, that such an insignificant little world should come to matter so much.
The Uplift War/David Brin

From between two trees at the crest of the hill a very old man watched, with a nostalgic longing he thought he'd lost all capacity for, as the last group of picnickers packed up their baskets, mounted their horses, and rode away south--they moved a little hastily, for it was a good six miles back to London, and the red sun was already silhouetting the branches of the trees along the River Brent, two miles to the west.
The Anubis Gates/Tim Powers- I love his works.Especially "Dinner at the Deviants' Palace" that I manged to get my hands on several years back:)

now to my lines:

IT WAS THE MORNING AFTER THE SENSUOUS SECOND FULL MOON of Telengarra, which heralds the coming of the spring rains, when little Colai came running into the village to cry that there were dead people washing up on the beach.

I can't believe we're doing this.
David Cronk Sr
290. DavidCSr
IT WAS THE MORNING AFTER THE SENSUOUS SECOND FULL MOON of Telengarra, which heralds the coming of the spring rains, when little Colai came running into the village to cry that there were dead people washing up on the beach.

Carnivores of light and darkness Alan Dean Foster


"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. "The wildlings are dead."
Opher Lubzens
291. Antongarou
It was a nice day. All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and rain hadn't been invented yet.
Good Omens/Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Alan sanded the house on Wales Avenue.
Down and out in the magic kingdom/Cory Doctorow

1)As I fasten my crash webbing Sareena looks at me and shakes her head. "What is it?" I
ask. She pauses as she pre-checks the heat shield: she looks embarrassed.

2)The trains that enter London arrive like ships sailing across the roofs.
Opher Lubzens
292. Antongarou
"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. "The wildlings are dead."
A Game of Thrones/G.R.R. Martin

Homer opened the door.
zaphod beetlebrox
293. platypus rising
We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. "The wildlings are dead."A game of Thrones,G.R.R.Martin

The trains that enter London arrive like ships sailing across the roofs King Rat,China Mieville
zaphod beetlebrox
294. platypus rising
Homer opened the door.
mmm...The Simpsons? :D

My two:

1)It was about Eleven O'Clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.

A classic,but from another genre.

2)The interrogation room was brightly lit and relentlessly white, and had a disinfectant smell that Toreth no longer even noticed.
zaphod beetlebrox
295. platypus rising
As I fasten my crash webbing Sareena looks at me and shakes her head. "What is it?" I
ask. She pauses as she pre-checks the heat shield: she looks embarrassed.


Charles Stross,Scratch Monkey

His combat-drop shuttle crouched still and silent in the repairs docking bay-malevolent, to Miles's jaundiced eye.
Opher Lubzens
296. Antongarou
His combat-drop shuttle crouched still and silent in the repairs docking bay-malevolent, to Miles's jaundiced eye.
Brothers In Arms/Lois McMaster Bujold

THE green of beetle's wings ... the red of polished carbuncle ... a web of silver fire.
Clifton Royston
297. CliftonR
Since nobody's yet picked up #2 @155...

Two men at their ease relaxed on the terrace of one of the many bland, pastel buildings which composed the city outline, and observed the fall of night over the subtle outlines of Symbarupol.
The Morphodite, M. A. Foster

In its place:

The skywriting in his dream wasn't a word or phrase; it was five white clouds drifting in a blue sky. There was no airplane gusting out smoke, only the five clouds very gradually appearing, exactly positioned, like a constellation growing visible in evening twilight.
David Goldfarb
298. David_Goldfarb
OtterB@220: Yes, Galactic Patrol. Very good.

Her Gentle and Fruitful Grace, Ruth, Lady of the Green Caves, formerly Princess of the Hidden Land and Lord of the King's Forests, to their Excellent and Estimable Lordships Randolph, King's Counselor, and Fence, Council's Wizard, greetings.

Pamela Dean, The Whim of the Dragon.

Rage.

Sing, O muse, of the rage of Achilles, of Peleus' son, murderous, man-killer, fated to die, sing of the rage that cost the Achaeans so many good men and sent so many vital, hearty souls down to the dreary House of Death.
zaphod beetlebrox
299. platypus rising
Sing, O muse, of the rage of Achilles, of Peleus' son, murderous, man-killer, fated to die, sing of the rage that cost the Achaeans so many good men and sent so many vital, hearty souls down to the dreary House of Death.

Eh. For a moment I thought The Iliad (couldn't believe my eyes).I suppose it's Ilium by Dan Simmons,though I haven't read it.
zaphod beetlebrox
300. platypus rising
Oh,and my line :
TOWARD THE END of the year 1920 the Government of the United States had practically completed the
programme, adopted during the last months of President Winthrop's administration.
Jackie Nelson
301. Abydonian
The interrogation room was brightly lit and relentlessly white, and had a disinfectant smell that Toreth no longer even noticed.

Mindfuck by Manna Francis


At 10.30am, sharp, James Eckert pulled up in front of Stoddard Hall on the Riveroak College campus, where Grottwold Weinar Hansen had his lab.
zaphod beetlebrox
302. platypus rising
Nice catch with Mindfuck,Abydonian.
I've recommended the Administration series a few times without much success.
Did you like it?
Jo Walton
303. bluejo
RE: Negotiations Coming-Forward
FROM: Sanders Nicholas, information holder attached
to the staff of first-Defender Ettin Gwarha


Ring of Stars Eleanor Arnason.

OK, now I've got it down off the shelf, I'm reading that next. I love that book. I think Arnason is generally amazing.

And CliftonR -- thank you for identifying The Morphodite. I knew I knew it but I couldn't place it and it was driving me mad.

The world is four thousand years old. I was eight years old when I found that out for myself.
Andrew Ty
304. eldritch00
At 10.30am, sharp, James Eckert pulled up in front of Stoddard Hall on the Riveroak College campus, where Grottwold Weinar Hansen had his lab.

The Dragon and the George
by Gordon R. Dickson


This time there would be no witnesses.
zaphod beetlebrox
305. platypus rising
This time there would be no witnesses.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency,Douglas Adams


I took a walk on Spaulding's Farm the other afternoon.
frumiousb
306. OtterB
Re 303: Amazon doesn't know of a Ring of Stars book by Eleanor Arnason. Is this another case where a title was changed in a US version? Thanks.

In general, I'm going to have to browse back through this thread for several books I'd never heard of, but whose opening line was intriguing.
frumiousb
307. Tim May
Since no-one's got it so far:
148: For upwards of half an hour now they had watched the runner on the road below the single watchtower of the monastery.
The Man of Gold, M. A. R. Barker.
{Possibly unfair, on reflection. I was going for obscure, but it feels like when one picks an obscure book there's an implication that it's at least something that ought to be well-known. I enjoy Barker's worldbuilding & find The Man of Gold sort of undemandingly fun, but I wouldn't call it any kind of neglected masterpiece.}

All that day the wind had rattled the shutters and slanted the sky with snow, but in the warm heart of the Hold Carnelian sat with some of his people around a fire, listening to their talk. They were telling stories, the stories that those who could still remember told of their lives before the childgatherers came for them.
Helen Wright
309. arkessian
Some of mine that have withered on the vine...

Spun-out, brain-glazed, flying on the wings of tiny silver grains, he sat in the thick brown shadows bemused by the subharmonies of the tabletop singing against his arms.

Star Web, Joan Cox.

She had to leave everything behind.

The Disappeared, Kristine Katherine Rusch

Despite what the Church claimed and the people believed, this was still a Kingdom born of younger sons, the land-hungry and the dispossessed.

Tower of the Kings Daughter, Chaz Brenchley

Fargo finished packing his bindle and took a last walk through the freerider sanctuary.

Compass Reach, Mark W. Tiedemann

Everyone knew he was dying.

City of Diamonds, Jane Emerson

Heat beat down on my shoulders, my face-cloth.

Teot's War, Heather Gladney

'Grace, Grace. Have you heard? Oh, it's too awful.'

The Firebird's Vengeance, Sarah Zettel


I'm about to leave for a long weekend without 'net access, so I'll throw it open for anyone to post first lines in place of these.
Liza .
310. aedifica
Carnadine @ 263: is
?????? ??? ?????... ???"? ????? ??? ???? ???
the book of Genesis? My Hebrew is slipping away, but I can't think of any other book that starts with "bereshit."

If so, then have another line:

Polly sighed and laid her book face down on her bed.
Liza .
311. aedifica
And 296 is bugging me. I think I know it, but I'm less sure about the book than I am about the author, and my bookshelf is at home (where I am not).
Liviania Smith
312. Liviania
All that day the wind had rattled the shutters and slanted the sky with snow, but in the warm heart of the Hold Carnelian sat with some of his people around a fire, listening to their talk. They were telling stories, the stories that those who could still remember told of their lives before the childgatherers came for them.

The Chosen, Ricardo Pinto

I've been adding too many titles to my TBR list so I skipped some entries for my wallet's safety. Sorry if I'm repeating a first line.

The bells of St. Mark's were ringing changes up on the mountain when Bud skated over to the mod parlor to upgrade his skull gun.
Helen Wright
313. arkessian
Re: #262

Touched by Venom, Janine Cross

I don't have an opinion on the book, not having read it, and am pleased to see a reasoned perspective on it -- even one that confirms my decision not to read it.

I do have an opinion on the controversy, and more particularly on the fact that I know of a number of people who only read the book because of the expectation that controversy generated. (morgan_dhu, I'm sure this doesn't apply to you). IMHO, to read a book because you're expecting it to be badly written and/or intend to mock it is waste of time and energy.
Clifton Royston
314. CliftonR
The bells of St. Mark's were ringing changes up on the mountain when Bud skated over to the mod parlor to upgrade his skull gun.

The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson
zaphod beetlebrox
315. platypus rising
I'm reposting three of mine,from 243 and 251,which are slowly approaching the dreaded expiration date:


1)"He's evil incarnate! Stay away from him!" Arbas glared at the young outlander across from him and took a deep drink from the mug of ale the stranger had bought him.


2) There is a legend of Mahrawhenua or Memory Land with its town of Puhamara or Memory Flower.


3)"And I cannot touch her face And I cannot touch her hair, And I kneel to empty shadows-- Just memories of her grace; And her voice sings in the winds And in the sobs of dawn And among the flowers at night And from the brooks at sunrise And from the sea at sunset, And I answer with vain callings"


And I'll add this one,with thanks to Arkessian (have a nice weekend!)

4)The welcome wagon lady, sixty if she was a day but working at youth and vivacity (ginger hair, red lips, a sunshine-yellow dress), twinkled her eyes and teeth at Joanna and said, "You're really going to like it here! It's a nice town with nice people! You couldn't have made a better choice!"
Morgan MacLeod
316. morgan_dhu
THE green of beetle's wings ... the red of polished carbuncle ... a web of silver fire.
The Fall of the Towers, Samuel Delaney



I’m starting to get worried. Martes’ face seems to be sort of fluctuating in the light fog induced by my four pints of Guinness.
Morgan MacLeod
317. morgan_dhu
TOWARD THE END of the year 1920 the Government of the United States had practically completed the
programme, adopted during the last months of President Winthrop's administration.

The King in Yellow, Robert Chambers




Celestina Giuliani learned the word "slander" at her cousin's baptism.
Clifton Royston
318. CliftonR
Jo, you're very welcome. Are you an M.A. Foster fan, inter alia? I wanted to use The Gameplayers of Zan, one of my favorites, but my ex- got that one in the great book division.
Morgan MacLeod
319. morgan_dhu
The welcome wagon lady, sixty if she was a day but working at youth and vivacity (ginger hair, red lips, a sunshine-yellow dress), twinkled her eyes and teeth at Joanna and said, "You're really going to like it here! It's a nice town with nice people! You couldn't have made a better choice!"
The Stepford Wives, Ira Levin



The early morning breeze blew through the vegetable garden in Union Square, shaking the leaves of the bean plants and the lacy carrot tops.
frumiousb
320. R. Emrys
Celestina Giuliani learned the word "slander" at her cousin's baptism.
Children of God, Mary Doria Russell

He turned up one day in the doorway of my office.
Kerry Dustin
321. rocalisa
Polly sighed and laid her book face down on her bed.
- Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Death comes in many forms, but it has one smell, a smell of blood stagnating, of flesh stiffening, of breath grown stale.
Morgan MacLeod
322. morgan_dhu
He turned up one day in the doorway of my office.
Walden Two, B. F. skinner




You must know that, despite all else I am, I am of the People.
A. L.
323. Rymenhild
You must know that, despite all else I am, I am of the People.

Jo Graham, Black Ships.

"WILL YOU ALL BE QUIET!" snapped High Chancellor Querida.
Liza .
324. aedifica
"WILL YOU ALL BE QUIET!" snapped High Chancellor Querida.
Dark Lord of Derkholm
, by Diana Wynne Jones (unless it's Year of the Griffin, but I'm pretty sure it's the former.

Will fill in a new first line later this evening.

(Edited to say yep, it's Dark Lord.)
Liza .
325. aedifica
To morgan_dhu @ 316: Thank you! I thought it was one of the Towers books, but I just wasn't sure. I should go back and re-read those (especially now).
Morgan MacLeod
326. morgan_dhu
To aedifica @ 325: Delaney has been one of my favourite sf authors for a very long time now. I've been contemplating going back and re-reading some of his best for a while now, myself.

This has been a marvellous game - I've been reminded of so many books that I want to revisit, and introduced to a number of new books that I want to acquaint myself with.
Liza .
327. aedifica
I'm at my sister's house now and have access to bookshelves again--so here's my new line from 324, from a book I don't own but wish I did:

The Triumph TR3 was running sweet tonight; Danny Holman had been fiddling with it for a week straight, but he'd tinkered with it near nonstop for the eight months he'd owned it without any really definite results.
Jo Walton
328. bluejo
CliftonR: Yes, I am very fond of M.A. Foster, and have read all his books. The Ler books are in print again, all in one volume. I was very pleased to see it last year. So you may be able to pick up a copy.

I'll probably get to re-reading them and writing about them in due course.
Caterina Rhode
329. Carnadine
Carnadine @ 263: is
?????? ??? ?????... ???"? ????? ??? ???? ???
the book of Genesis? My Hebrew is slipping away, but I can't think of any other book that starts with "bereshit."


Yup, the first 3 words are from Genesis - actually, it was a joke. "'In the beginning god created...' - almost the oldest sf there is." :D
Britta Ager
330. weatherglass
The Triumph TR3 was running sweet tonight; Danny Holman had been fiddling with it for a week straight, but he'd tinkered with it near nonstop for the eight months he'd owned it without any really definite results.

The Last Hot Time, John M. Ford


The free state of Dorimare was a very small country, but, seeing that it was bounded on the south by the sea and on the north and east by mountains, while its center consisted of a rich plain, watered by two rivers, a considerable variety of scenery and vegetation was to be found within its borders.
Morgan MacLeod
331. morgan_dhu
The free state of Dorimare was a very small country, but, seeing that it was bounded on the south by the sea and on the north and east by mountains, while its center consisted of a rich plain, watered by two rivers, a considerable variety of scenery and vegetation was to be found within its borders.
Lud-in-the-mist, Hope Mirrlees




Many years later she remembered how her parents had looked to her when she was a small child: her father as tall as a tree, and merry and bright and golden, with her beautiful black-haired mother at his side.
frumiousb
332. Tim May
The free state of Dorimare was a very small country, but, seeing that it was bounded on the south by the sea and on the north and east by mountains, while its center consisted of a rich plain, watered by two rivers, a considerable variety of scenery and vegetation was to be found within its borders.
Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees.

There was a moment so short that it had never been successfully measured, yet always far too long. For that moment it seemed that every mind in the universe, every mind that had ever been or ever would be, was screaming its deepest emotions at him.
Jo Walton
333. bluejo

Many years later she remembered how her parents had looked to her when she was a small child: her father as tall as a tree, and merry and bright and golden, with her beautiful black-haired mother at his side.


Deerskin Robin McKinley

The house of O and Aa boomed to the deep voices of the priests.
Britta Ager
334. weatherglass
morgan_dhu@326:This has been a marvellous game - I've been reminded of so many books that I want to revisit, and introduced to a number of new books that I want to acquaint myself with.

I agree! I haven't had time to follow it until now, but I've just gone through and copied down lots of lines and titles.

By the way, do you recommend Ou Lu Khen and the Beautiful Madwoman? I picked it up at a library sale a while back on the strength of the title and promptly forgot I had it.
Clifton Royston
335. CliftonR
Deerskin Robin McKinley

I knew I should have known that one. What a heart-wrenching book that is.
David Goldfarb
336. David_Goldfarb
Platypus_Rising@299: Yep, you're right. I was hoping someone would guess the Iliad itself, so that I could say "Wrong!". Simmons is cribbing from the Iliad there, but not quoting it verbatim.
zaphod beetlebrox
337. platypus rising
I'll take back some of my orphaned lines:

When Giles Angarth disappeared, nearly two years ago, we had been friends for a decade or more, and I knew him as well as anyone could purport to know him.
Clark Ashton Smith,The City of the Singing Flame

"He's evil incarnate! Stay away from him!" Arbas glared at the young outlander across from him and took a deep drink from the mug of ale the stranger had bought him.
Karl Edward Wagner,Bloodstone

There is a legend of Mahrawhenua or Memory Land with its town of Puhamara or Memory Flower.
Janet Frame,The Carpathians

This is a wonderful,wonderful book about how memory and language shape our reality,from the uncommensurable loss of memories and experience that every death brings to the ambiguous power of fiction to appropriate the point of view of others and continuosly rewrite our shared history,all in a story which sheds its skin like a snake several times.

"And I cannot touch her face And I cannot touch her hair, And I kneel to empty shadows-- Just memories of her grace; And her voice sings in the winds And in the sobs of dawn And among the flowers at night And from the brooks at sunrise And from the sea at sunset, And I answer with vain callings"
William Hope Hodgson,The Night Land

Overly ornate prose notwithstanding,one of the few Sf Romances I really like.
For those who complain that these lists have an unhealty effect on their wallet,this one can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg.

It was about Eleven O'Clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.
Raymond Chandler,The Big Sleep (Ok,not sf at all,still...)

Elizabeth Khan closed the door of the surgery, and locked it.
Cristopher Priest,Inverted World

New ones:

1)When I told John that I intended to write his biography, he laughed.

2)The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.

3)It was a hot, steamy summer, and the mosquitoes swarmed everywhere, from their breeding grounds in the rotten, reedy shores of the Red Lake up to the foothills of Mount Abed.

4)It started on that frozen world, among the stone figures in their almost suspended animation.

5)How old do you think Miss DeGroot really is?

6)At dawn he arose and stepped out on to the patio for his first look at Alexandria, the one city he had not yet seen.
Caterina Rhode
338. Carnadine
6)At dawn he arose and stepped out on to the patio for his first look at Alexandria, the one city he had not yet seen.
Sailing to Byzantium, by Robert Silverberg



Two tires fly. Two wail.
A bamboo grove, all chopped down
From it, warring songs.
frumiousb
339. Tim May
The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

Sundered from us by gulfs of time and stranger dimensions dreams the ancient world of Nehwon with its towers and skulls and jewels, its swords and sorceries.
Paul Andinach
340. anobium
The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

Two birds circled each other in the sky above the Lincolnshire marshes. They were owls in love, as much as owls could love.
Jo Walton
341. bluejo

Two tires fly. Two wail.
A bamboo grove, all chopped down
From it, warring songs.


Cryptonomicon Neal Stephenson. How I love that book.

I lived long enough to see the cure for death; to see the rise of the Bitchun Society; to learn ten languages; to compose three symphonies; to realize my boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World; to see the death of the workplace and of work.
Paul Andinach
342. anobium
Maybe this time I'll get in first:

Sundered from us by gulfs of time and stranger dimensions dreams the ancient world of Nehwon with its towers and skulls and jewels, its swords and sorceries.
Swords and Deviltry, Fritz Leiber
zaphod beetlebrox
343. platypus rising
Two tires fly. Two wail.
A bamboo grove, all chopped down
From it, warring songs.


Neal Stephenson,The Cryptonomicon


I know that the line on 339 comes from Leiber's Lankhmar series.I suppose it's the first collection,but I have it in translation.

Once upon a time - for that is how all stories should begin - there was a boy who lost his mother.
zaphod beetlebrox
344. platypus rising
I lived long enough to see the cure for death; to see the rise of the Bitchun Society; to learn ten languages; to compose three symphonies; to realize my boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World; to see the death of the workplace and of work.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom,Cory Doctorow

It is the immensity, I believe. The hugeness of things below. The darkness of dreams.
Clifton Royston
345. CliftonR
My #2 @ 286 is still up for grabs:

The particular ill will between the men of the Household of Hobar and the Sixlimbed Folk was said to date from the time of the Hennan Hobar who was the senior of the cadet line which inherited - for lack of male heir in the elder branch - all the fat lands of the Household, well-girthed in appleyards.

Hints: A great but quirky SF&F writer; published 1969; the book is relatively obscure; the discursive style should be a clue to the author.
Morgan MacLeod
346. morgan_dhu
For weatherglass @ 334:

I certainly enjoyed Ou Lu Khen and the Beautiful Madwoman. It is different from Salmonson's better-known Tomoe Gozen works in that it is not in the woman warrior genre, and that's reflected in the style - it is a softer and subtler story.
Morgan MacLeod
347. morgan_dhu
When I told John that I intended to write his biography, he laughed.
Odd John, Olaf Stapleton

(That's really digging into the classics!)



"After all, it is menwim who beget children,” said Bram, throwing her son a reproving glance over the top of the Egalsund Post.
Kate Nepveu
348. katenepveu
It is the immensity, I believe. The hugeness of things below. The darkness of dreams.

Neil Gaiman, "A Study in Emerald"


There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.
Kerry Dustin
349. rocalisa
There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.
Strong Poison - Dorothy L. Sayers

I don't have a new line at the moment. Will try to add one later.
Morgan MacLeod
350. morgan_dhu
It is the immensity, I believe. The hugeness of things below. The darkness of dreams.
"A Study in Emerald", Neil Gaiman, first published in Shadows over Baker Street (eds. Reaves and Palan) and re-published in Gaiman's collection Fragile Things.

(Yes, I love this story.)




The point is not to make another Earth.
Morgan MacLeod
351. morgan_dhu
Re: @345

I've been thinking Avram Davidson, who certainly fits the clues, but I don't have any of his books in my library, so I can't check. Perhaps someone who does could see if my impression is right.
Morgan MacLeod
352. morgan_dhu
I'm going to suggest some collaborative investigation, if anyone else is up for it.

The line @ 77 is:
"We've a first-rate assortment of magic," said the dapper little merchant.

This one is driving me crazy, largely because one p part - 'We've a first-rate assortment of magic' - is a quote from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Sorcerer, and I doubt that it's an accident.

Can anyone think of a spec fic writer who's done anything that might have been inspired by G&S, because that could be a clue to this one.

Or I could be completely barking up the wrong tree.
frumiousb
353. Jim Henry III
CliftonR @ 345:

The particular ill will between the men of the Household of Hobar and the Sixlimbed Folk was said to date from the time of the Hennan Hobar who was the senior of the cadet line which inherited - for lack of male heir in the elder branch - all the fat lands of the Household, well-girthed in appleyards.

The Island Under the Earth by Avram Davidson.

(I knew it sounded familiar, but couldn't place it when I first read it, until you posted your hints in #345. I haven't read it in about 15 years.)

next:

Traveller died of lockjaw two years after Robert E. Lee died.
Morgan MacLeod
354. morgan_dhu
I see it's time for me to identify several more of my lines.


@232
Every day Morgan moved among the living gargoyles.
A Paradigm of Earth, Candas Jane Dorsey

@239
Children were always the worst.
The Broken Crown, Michelle West

@241
“The beast changes to a woman or the woman changes to a beast,” the doctor says.
Carmen Dog, Carol Emshweller

@253
When I was fourteen, a cousin of mine angered a Malignant One.
Temporary Agency, Rachel Pollack

@254
“I’m going to die,” said Jones.
Synners, Pat Cadigan

@265
A warm rain misted down on a small boy standing motionless in the tall yellow grass.
Imaro, Charles R. Saunders

@275
In dust and blood – with the sharp tang of terror stark in his nostrils – a man’s mind will sometimes pull forth odd relevancies.
The Postman, David Brin

@276
When I think about him, I remember a wave I watched near a beach once, a big, beautiful, smooth wave, perfectly rounded, like molten glass.
Of Love and Other Monsters, Vandana Singh


Replacement lines to come soon.
Morgan MacLeod
355. morgan_dhu
1. On the first day of September, 1974, a child was born to Murray Jacob Katz, a celibate Jewish recluse living across the bay from Atlantic City, New Jersey, an island metropolis then famous for its hotels, its boardwalk, its Miss America Pageant and its seminal role in the invention of Monopoly.



2. In the metallic blur of the horizon, below the cumulus cloud skies, lies Amarantea....



3. Spring's first day was a warm sweet song, a time of companionable silences and comfortably shared labor in Mahon O'Dere's coracle.



4. The moon had set long since. First the red disc of sullen Hega had slid below the horizon, then sliver Vani’s waning crescent.



5. Firelight flickered on the walls as Rifkind, desert-bred, stood close by her hearth, braiding her long black hair into thick plaits, listening to the murmuring crowd-noise below.



6. He had been living at the men’s co-op (Serpent’s House) six months now.



7. And then, after walking all day through a golden haze of humid warmth that gathered about him like fine wet fleece, Valentine came to a great ridge of outcropping white stone overlooking the city of Pidruid.



8. It had been three hundred and fifty-seven years, three months and four days since the emancipation of humanity.
zaphod beetlebrox
356. platypus rising
Yes,A Study in Emerald is brilliant.Is possibly the thing I enjoyed more of Neil outside Sandman.

The point is not to make another Earth.
Green Mars,Kim Stanley Robinson

Re:352 That's something Leiber could have done

I've read the Postman but I didn't remember the first line at all.

On the first day of September, 1974, a child was born to Murray Jacob Katz, a celibate Jewish recluse living across the bay from Atlantic City, New Jersey, an island metropolis then famous for its hotels, its boardwalk, its Miss America Pageant and its seminal role in the invention of Monopoly.
James Morrow,Only Begotten Daughter

And then, after walking all day through a golden haze of humid warmth that gathered about him like fine wet fleece, Valentine came to a great ridge of outcropping white stone overlooking the city of Pidruid. Robert Silverberg,Lord Valentine's Castle

It had been three hundred and fifty-seven years, three months and four days since the emancipation of humanity.
Tobias Buckell,Ragamuffin
zaphod beetlebrox
357. platypus rising
1)When I picked her up at the Stop 'n Shop on Route 28, Dot was wearing a short black skirt and red sneakers just like the ones she had taken from the bargain rack the night we broke into the Sears in Hendersonville five years earlier.

2)It is hard for me to resent my parents, although I envy them their naivete.

3)THE suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged as a cloud of sunset.

4)Much has been written critically about Felix Kennaston since the disappearance of his singular personality from the field of comtemporary writers; and Mr. Froser's Biography contains all it is necessary to know as to the facts of Kenneston's life.
Morgan MacLeod
358. morgan_dhu
It is hard for me to resent my parents, although I envy them their naivete.
This is the second line of Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey - I was looking at the first lines earlier in the game, which is why I remember it.

Is it also the first line of another novel?
Morgan MacLeod
359. morgan_dhu
Much has been written critically about Felix Kennaston since the disappearance of his singular personality from the field of comtemporary writers; and Mr. Froser's Biography contains all it is necessary to know as to the facts of Kenneston's life.
The Cream of the Jest, James Branch Cabell





Death came for her from behind a child's game
frumiousb
360. Dan Blum
The line @ 77 is:
"We've a first-rate assortment of magic," said the dapper little merchant.

This one is driving me crazy, largely because one p part - 'We've a first-rate assortment of magic' - is a quote from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Sorcerer, and I doubt that it's an accident.

Can anyone think of a spec fic writer who's done anything that might have been inspired by G&S, because that could be a clue to this one.

Or I could be completely barking up the wrong tree.


I was going to post the answer to this, but I don't want to spoil your fun... I will say that it isn't an accident and you are not barking up the wrong tree.

The book is a trifle, but I thought an amusing enough one that more people would have read it. Possibly I was mistaken.
zaphod beetlebrox
361. platypus rising
Re:358
No,you're right,it is the second line.
I suppose I was a little evil...but I looked up and the first line was long and a little more revealing, while the second was short and to the point,so I decided to try it just for one time...after all if someone did remember the novel he would have found it anyway.
Morgan MacLeod
362. morgan_dhu
Re: @ 361
That's why I didn't post the first line myself. ;-)

New line:



When the series of images ended I reached out and flicked the projector switch off, sending the last holo spiralling down into darkness.
frumiousb
363. Jim Henry III
THE suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged as a cloud of sunset.

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. Not his best work, but surely one of his two or three best novels.

next:

That morning, if Maude Fuller had been a horse, people would have said witches had been riding her, leaving her hair in brown knots, her body sweaty, her long nose puffed, her eyelids thick around her eyes.
Clifton Royston
364. CliftonR
Jim Henry III: Well done! It's obscure enough I wasn't sure anyone would get it even with hints.
Paul Andinach
365. anobium
morgan_dhu @ #352:

Isaac Asimov did a modern dress retread of "The Sorceror" once (in which he suggested that there was a more logical ending to the story than the one G&S used, which they either didn't think of or decided - with reason - that they'd get in real trouble for using). But it's a short story, and Dan Blum says @ #360 that the correct answer is a book.

...and while typing that, I've remembered that Tom Holt has done a novel with a lot of references to "The Sorceror" in the blurb, but as I've read no more of it than the blurb, I don't know if that's it either.
Opher Lubzens
366. Antongarou
Death came for her from behind a child's game
Matadora/Steve Perry

I love that whole series: the guy writes MA very well:)

my line:

"Damn it to Hell anyway!"
frumiousb
367. Ruadhan
Traveller died of lockjaw two years after Robert E. Lee died.

Connie Willis, Lincoln's Dreams


And a new one (ignoring the foreword):

Several centuries (or so) ago, in a country whose name doesn't matter, there was a tall, skinny, straggly-bearded old wizard named Prospero, and not the one you are thinking of, either.
Opher Lubzens
368. Antongarou
these are some lines of mine near their expiration date, if nobody gets them I'll be replacing them later today:

1)Now it chanced that in those grim and sorrowful days which came to the court and land of France after the death of Roland and the other noble dukes and brave lords who fell with him in that last great battle against the Saracens, King Charlemagne was driven to think much of the future of his realm.(hint:no, it isn't medieval)

2)The sun broke over the edge of Earth, bringing with it a slender blue-white sickle of dawn that encroached on the expanse of darkness that was the planet's nightside as seen from low orbit. The Orbital Command-and-Control Station's viewport polarized against the glare.(hint:this one is military SF)

3)I can't believe we're doing this.(hint:second in a trilogy, not generic fantasy)

4)Homer opened the door.(hint: the writer is better known for his horror writing then for his fantasy.)
zaphod beetlebrox
369. platypus rising
Several centuries (or so) ago, in a country whose name doesn't matter, there was a tall, skinny, straggly-bearded old wizard named Prospero, and not the one you are thinking of, either.

I'm sure I've read an article about a novel whose protagonist was named Prospero,but I can't place it.

4)Homer opened the door.(hint: the writer is better known for his horror writing then for his fantasy.)

I'll don my Deerstalker.
Either King,Barker or possibly Koontz.
I don't read Koontz,and it's not from the Dark Tower series.
It may be Barker,but not Weaveworld.
frumiousb
370. OtterB
Several centuries (or so) ago, in a country whose name doesn't matter, there was a tall, skinny, straggly-bearded old wizard named Prospero, and not the one you are thinking of, either.
John Bellairs, The Face in the Frost. Lots of fun.

The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault.
Alena McNamara
371. aamcnamara
It was a hot, steamy summer, and the mosquitoes swarmed everywhere, from their breeding grounds in the rotten, reedy shores of the Red Lake up to the foothills of Mount Abed.
Lirael by Garth Nix.


I remember where I was and what I was doing when Bonnie Prince Charlie was killed.
Alena McNamara
372. aamcnamara
When I picked her up at the Stop 'n Shop on Route 28, Dot was wearing a short black skirt and red sneakers just like the ones she had taken from the bargain rack the night we broke into the Sears in Hendersonville five years earlier.
The Baum Plan for Financial Independence, John Kessel


In an unremarkable room, in a nondescript building, a man sat working on very non-nondescript theories.
Opher Lubzens
373. Antongarou
The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault.
Blood Rites/Jim Butcher

Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.
zaphod beetlebrox
374. platypus rising
In an unremarkable room, in a nondescript building, a man sat working on very non-nondescript theories. Un Lun Dun,China Mieville

So,I still have these running against the clock:

1)It started on that frozen world, among the stone figures in their almost suspended animation.

2)How old do you think Miss DeGroot really is?

I would have liked to put a line by Michael Chabon,but both Kavalier and Clay and TYPU's first lines reveal too much.
So,since I'm really running out of English Originals (also because I try to choose new authors every time) I have picked an original work in a different language.There aren't many internationally famous German Sf writers after all...

Knoten um Knoten, tagein, tagaus, ein Leben lang, immer die gleichen Handbewegungen, immer die gleichen Knoten in das feine Haar schlingend, so fein und winzig, dass die Finger zittrig wurden mit der Zeit und die Augen schwach von der Anstrengung des Sehens — und die Fortschritte waren kaum
zu merken; wenn er gut vorankam, entstand in einem Tag ein neues Stueck seines Teppichs, das vielleicht so gross war wie sein Fingernagel.
frumiousb
375. morgan_dhu
I remember where I was and what I was doing when Bonnie Prince Charlie was killed.
Finder, Emma Bull




Always remember that they come from the desert.
zaphod beetlebrox
376. platypus rising
Always remember that they come from the desert.
The Lions of Al-Rassan,Guy Gavriel Kay

Sara Kendell once read somewhere that the tale of the world is like a tree.
frumiousb
377. Tim May
Sara Kendell once read somewhere that the tale of the world is like a tree.
Moonheart, Charles de Lint

Read this each day.
Morgan MacLeod
378. morgan_dhu
Read this each day.
Soldier in the Mist, Gene Wolfe



Part of the problem, Nita thought to herself as she tore desperately down Rose Avenue, is that I can't keep my mouth shut.
Morgan MacLeod
379. morgan_dhu
A few more of mine that have expired:

@316
I’m starting to get worried. Martes’ face seems to be sort of fluctuating in the light fog induced by my four pints of Guinness.
Troll, Joanna Sinisalo

@319
The early morning breeze blew through the vegetable garden in Union Square, shaking the leaves of the bean plants and the lacy carrot tops.
The City, Not Long After, Pat Murphy

To be replaced by:



The strangest memory of my childhood concerns my father's disappearance.



She had been running for four days now, a harum-scarum tumbling flight through passages and tunnels.
Liza .
380. aedifica
platypus_rising @ 374: I've never read that, but now I want to! I look forward to seeing the title and author revealed. (Actually, I think I know what it is now, but only because I used Google and Wikipedia--so I won't claim it as a win.)
Clifton Royston
381. CliftonR
It's had two days, so...

The skywriting in his dream wasn't a word or phrase; it was five white clouds drifting in a blue sky. There was no airplane gusting out smoke, only the five clouds very gradually appearing, exactly positioned, like a constellation growing visible in evening twilight.
The Paper Grail, James Blaylock

One of his better books, in my opinion. Now I need to dig up a couple new lines...
frumiousb
382. OtterB
Part of the problem, Nita thought to herself as she tore desperately down Rose Avenue, is that I can't keep my mouth shut.
So You Want To Be a Wizard, Diane Duane.
I'd been thinking about using that one.

The stranger sat cross-legged on the sand staring at the vent from which the natural fire of the planet Momus illuminated the small wayside depression on the road to Tarzak.
Morgan MacLeod
383. morgan_dhu
I can't believe we're doing this.
When True Night Falls, C. S. Friedman

(I can't believe it took me this long to recognise it!)


Reveille was not the best thing to have reverberating through one's skull after a night of too much and too little in various combinations.
Morgan MacLeod
384. morgan_dhu
The stranger sat cross-legged on the sand staring at the vent from which the natural fire of the planet Momus illuminated the small wayside depression on the road to Tarzak.
Circus World, Barry Longyear



Three children lay on the rocks at the water's edge.
Morgan MacLeod
385. morgan_dhu
Homer opened the door.
Great and Secret Show, Clive Baker

(D'oh!)



This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.
Morgan MacLeod
386. morgan_dhu
platypus_rising @ 369:

Thanks for mentioning Barker with reference to "Homer opened the door." You jogged my memory.
Morgan MacLeod
387. morgan_dhu
anobium @365:

Now that I've done some investigation of Tom Holt's work, I think you're right. However, I've never read anything by him either, so I think the fun is played out.

Dan Blum @360:

I believe we await enlightenment.
Morgan MacLeod
388. morgan_dhu
In a high cold place on the Unraveller's world, the wind was a constant sighing susurrus, for there was nothing to break its flow.

Guess: Darkfall, Isobelle Carmody (or the sequel, Darksong)

(I've been wanting to read these books, and have read some reviews, so I know a little about the series. Since no one else has ventured a more precise identification, here's my guess.)
Torie Atkinson
389. Torie
morgan_dhu @ 385

This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.
Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut

About to die. And so on.
We're all going to die.
frumiousb
390. Tim May
Since no-one else's got it, I'm going to guess that
Knoten um Knoten, tagein, tagaus, ein Leben lang, immer die gleichen Handbewegungen, immer die gleichen Knoten in das feine Haar schlingend, so fein und winzig, dass die Finger zittrig wurden mit der Zeit und die Augen schwach von der Anstrengung des Sehens — und die Fortschritte waren kaum zu merken; wenn er gut vorankam, entstand in einem Tag ein neues Stueck seines Teppichs, das vielleicht so gross war wie sein Fingernagel.
is Die Haarteppichknüpfer (The Carpet Makers) by Andreas Eschbach, as it's pretty much the only German SF novel I've heard of and the little I can work out seems to fit. (I haven't read it either, but it's been on my list to read (in translation) for a while.)

Turjan sat in his workroom, legs sprawled out from the stool, back against and elbows on the bench. Across the room was a cage; into this Turjan gazed with rueful vexation. The creature in the cage returned the scrutiny with emotions beyond conjecture.
frumiousb
391. Tim May
My 332's been up long enough:

There was a moment so short that it had never been successfully measured, yet always far too long. For that moment it seemed that every mind in the universe, every mind that had ever been or ever would be, was screaming its deepest emotions at him.
World of Ptavvs, Larry Niven.

Painted aircraft flew through the core of the world.
zaphod beetlebrox
392. platypus rising
She had been running for four days now, a harum-scarum tumbling flight through passages and tunnels. Neverwhere,Neil Gaiman (minus Prologue)

Turjan sat in his workroom, legs sprawled out from the stool, back against and elbows on the bench. Across the room was a cage; into this Turjan gazed with rueful vexation. The creature in the cage returned the scrutiny with emotions beyond conjecture.Jack Vance,The Dying Earth

Two of mine:

1)It started on that frozen world, among the stone figures in their almost suspended animation.

This is from Scott Westerfeld's Evolution's Darling
(the Prologue)

2)How old do you think Miss DeGroot really is? The Other,Thomas Tryon

I still have this one: I took a walk on Spaulding's Farm the other afternoon.

I'm afraid this was again a little bit unfair,since while it is indeed a first line,it is also a quote (from Thoreau's Walking).
Since the quote is nearly a page long,I considered it a prologue of sorts.
The first line of the novel proper is:
I had just finished my studies at Oxford, and was taking a brief holiday from work before assuming definitely the management of the estate.
The author was a friend of Dickens,Mark Twain, Ruskin and Lewis Caroll,and a strong influence on, among others, C.S.Lewis.
Shouldn't be difficult now...

morgan_dhu @ 386:We're all in this together...

Tim_May @390:Yep,you're right.A very fine novel.
There aren't many successful sf writers in Germany today,you have to go back to the beginning of the Twentieth Century and the likes of Gustav Meyrink and Kurd Laßwitz to find authors of some relevance.

New lines:

1)THE GRAPPLING HOOK skittered across the rain-slick stone of the ledge before dropping to catch in the grillwork below the third-story window.

2)Russ Evans, Pilot 3497, Rocket Squad Patrol 34, unsnapped his seat belt, and with a slight push floated “up” into the air inside the weightless ship. He stretched himself, and yawned broadly.

3)The trouble began long before June 9,1976,when I became aware of it,but June 9 is the day I remember.

4)It seemed to Eric Nelson that a strange voice spoke in his mind as he lay in drink?drugged sleep, here in the squalid inn of a Chinese frontier village.


Oh,and with prologues...I'm not consistent.

Bye
frumiousb
393. OtterB
THE GRAPPLING HOOK skittered across the rain-slick stone of the ledge before dropping to catch in the grillwork below the third-story window.

Element of Fire, Martha Wells. One of my favorites, and was going to be my next one. Not sure what else to use ... let's try this one.

Petrified with astonishment, Richard Seaton stared after the copper steam-bath upon which he had been electrolyzing his solution of "X," the unknown metal.
zaphod beetlebrox
394. platypus rising
Petrified with astonishment, Richard Seaton stared after the copper steam-bath upon which he had been electrolyzing his solution of "X," the unknown metal. E. E. "Doc" Smith,The Skylark of Space

It's funny b/c while I may have robbed you of the Martha Wells line,I had planned to take the next one from E E Smith,though I had not yet decided exactly what novel.

If the whole tangled affair could be said to have a beginning at all, it began on that cold, blustery afternoon in late October when the man with the Igloo cooler walked into Richard Leyster's office.
Opher Lubzens
395. Antongarou
Two of mine that have gone beyond their "sell-by" dates and will be replaced:
Now it chanced that in those grim and sorrowful days which came to the court and land of France after the death of Roland and the other noble dukes and brave lords who fell with him in that last great battle against the Saracens, King Charlemagne was driven to think much of the future of his realm.
Huon of the Horn/Andre Norton

The sun broke over the edge of Earth, bringing with it a slender blue-white sickle of dawn that encroached on the expanse of darkness that was the planet's nightside as seen from low orbit. The Orbital Command-and-Control Station's viewport polarized against the glare.
Eagle against the Stars/Steve White

and they shall be replaced by:
1)"...While Vegan civilization was undergoing this peculiar decline in influence, while at the height of its political and military power, the culture which was eventually to replace it was beginning to unfold."

2)Enlightenment came to Patera Silk on the ball court; nothing could ever be the same after that.

PS.As to prolgues and such: I personally use the first line of original material- it may be a prologue, a "fake" quote or the first chapter.
Scott Raun
396. sraun
Russ Evans, Pilot 3497, Rocket Squad Patrol 34, unsnapped his seat belt, and with a slight push floated “up” into the air inside the weightless ship. He stretched himself, and yawned broadly.
Invaders from the Infinite, John W. Campbell

I hate telephones.
For one thing, they have a habit of waking you up at the most inconvenient times.
frumiousb
397. Tim May
"...While Vegan civilization was undergoing this peculiar decline in influence, while at the height of its political and military power, the culture which was eventually to replace it was beginning to unfold."
Cities in Flight, James Blish

The story of Terisa and Geraden began very much like a fable.
frumiousb
398. Tim May
Enlightenment came to Patera Silk on the ball court; nothing could ever be the same after that.
Nightside of the Long Sun (or Litany of the Long Sun, in the binding I have, or The Book of the Long Sun), Gene Wolfe.

After so much time has passed, I feel obliged to write this down. Holger and I first met more than twenty years ago. It was in another generation - another age. The bright lads whom I am training these days are friendly and all that, but we don't think the same language and there's no use pretending otherwise. I have no idea whether they will be able to accept a yarn like this.
Clifton Royston
399. CliftonR
Enlightenment came to Patera Silk on the ball court; nothing could ever be the same after that.
Nightside the Long Sun, Gene Wolfe
Clifton Royston
400. CliftonR
Since you beat me to it, I'll answer yours:

After so much time has passed, I feel obliged to write this down. Holger and I first met more than twenty years ago. It was in another generation - another age. The bright lads whom I am training these days are friendly and all that, but we don't think the same language and there's no use pretending otherwise. I have no idea whether they will be able to accept a yarn like this.

Three Hearts and Three Lions, Poul Anderson

He began without any circumlocution. "I joined the Mortzestus in Frisco. I heard before I signed on that there were some funny yarns floating round about her; but I was pretty nearly on the beach, and too jolly anxious to get away, to worry about trifles."
Clifton Royston
401. CliftonR
Muddled the formatting. I'll put the new one here again:

He began without any circumlocution. "I joined the Mortzestus in Frisco. I heard before I signed on that there were some funny yarns floating round about her; but I was pretty nearly on the beach, and too jolly anxious to get away, to worry about trifles."

Also,
in replacement for The Diamond Age 1)
Hello out there!
If you exist, hello!
We may well never find out. This is a wild experiment, test of a wilder hypothesis. But it is also a duty.

and in replacement for The Paper Grail 2)
This book has two authors, one contemporary with its readers, the other an inhabitant of an age which they would call the distant future.
Douglas Davidson
402. ddavidso
I had just finished my studies at Oxford, and was taking a brief holiday from work before assuming definitely the management of the estate.
The author was a friend of Dickens,Mark Twain, Ruskin and Lewis Caroll,and a strong influence on, among others, C.S.Lewis.
Shouldn't be difficult now...


Must be MacDonald, then, and so it is--Lilith. Moving from one college to another:

In the year 1901, it was the custom at Harvard for seniors to entertain the incoming freshmen at "beer nights," where crackers and cheese and beer, to those who drank, and ginger ale, to those who did not drink, were served.
frumiousb
403. Jim Henry III
One of mine which nobody's guessed yet after ~46 hours,

That morning, if Maude Fuller had been a horse, people would have said witches had been riding her, leaving her hair in brown knots, her body sweaty, her long nose puffed, her eyelids thick around her eyes.

Slow Funeral, Rebecca Ore

Another one:

Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss.
Morgan MacLeod
404. morgan_dhu
The trouble began long before June 9,1976,when I became aware of it,but June 9 is the day I remember.
Kindred, Octavia Butler




The year Janet started at Blacklock College, the Office of Residential Life had spent the summer removing from all the dormitories the old wooden bookcases that, once filled with books, fell over unless wedged.
Caterina Rhode
405. Carnadine
The story of Terisa and Geraden began very much like a fable.
The Mirror of her Dreams, by Stephen Donaldson
Caterina Rhode
406. Carnadine
I was busy translating one of my Madrigals Macabre into Martian
on the morning I was found acceptable. The intercom had buzzed
briefly, and I dropped my pencil and flipped on the toggle in a single
motion.


And here's an expansion on one of the lines I posted earlier:

Mia Ziemann needed to know what to wear at a deathbed.
The net counseled simplicity and sincerity. Mia was a ninety-four-year-old Californian medical economist, while the prospective deceased, Martin Warshaw, had been her college sweetheart some seventy-four years previously.
Morgan MacLeod
407. morgan_dhu
This book has two authors, one contemporary with its readers, the other an inhabitant of an age which they would call the distant future.
Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon




She could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.
Morgan MacLeod
408. morgan_dhu
In the year 1901, it was the custom at Harvard for seniors to entertain the incoming freshmen at "beer nights," where crackers and cheese and beer, to those who drank, and ginger ale, to those who did not drink, were served.
Islandia, Austin Tappan Wright

(I'd been thinking about using this one myself.)



“There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden.”
Morgan MacLeod
409. morgan_dhu
Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss.
Lathe of Heaven, Ursula K. Le Guin




A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories.
Morgan MacLeod
410. morgan_dhu
I was busy translating one of my Madrigals Macabre into Martian on the morning I was found acceptable. The intercom had buzzed briefly, and I dropped my pencil and flipped on the toggle in a single motion.
A Rose for Ecclesiastes, Roger Zelazny



Our troop had been up in the High Sierras that day and we were late getting back.
frumiousb
411. seamus_k
"There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden."
A Wind in the Door
Madeline L'Engle


It never occurred to me that I might be kidnapped.
zaphod beetlebrox
412. platypus rising
He began without any circumlocution. "I joined the Mortzestus in Frisco. I heard before I signed on that there were some funny yarns floating round about her; but I was pretty nearly on the beach, and too jolly anxious to get away, to worry about trifles."
W.H.Hodgson,The Ghost Pirates

Hello out there!
If you exist, hello!
We may well never find out. This is a wild experiment, test of a wilder hypothesis. But it is also a duty.

Poul Anderson,Operation Chaos

A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories Aldous Huxley,Brave New World
zaphod beetlebrox
413. platypus rising
1)Bob Wilson did not see the circle grow.

2)When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

3)Parlabane is back.
David Goldfarb
414. David_Goldfarb
The year Janet started at Blacklock College, the Office of Residential Life had spent the summer removing from all the dormitories the old wooden bookcases that, once filled with books, fell over unless wedged.

Pamela Dean, Tam Lin

She was a girlygirl, and they were true men, the lords of creation, but she pitted her wits against them and she won.
frumiousb
415. seamus_k
The world is four thousand years old. I was eight years old when I found that out for myself.
Learning the World
, Ken MacLeod

She could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.
The Hero and the Crown
, Robin McKinley


1. How can you tell the legend from the fact on these worlds that lie so many years away?--planets without names, called by their people simply The World, planets without history, where the past is the matter of myth, and a returning explorer finds his own doings of a few years back have become the gestures of a god.

2. Not once in a generation did the voice of the city change as it was changing now.
Morgan MacLeod
416. morgan_dhu
Bob Wilson did not see the circle grow.
"By His Bootstraps", short story by Robert Heinlein




Snowman wakes before dawn.
zaphod beetlebrox
417. platypus rising
1. How can you tell the legend from the fact on these worlds that lie so many years away?--planets without names, called by their people simply The World, planets without history, where the past is the matter of myth, and a returning explorer finds his own doings of a few years back have become the gestures of a god.
Rocannon's World,Ursula K. Le Guin

She was a girlygirl, and they were true men, the lords of creation, but she pitted her wits against them and she won.
The Ballad of Lost C'mell,Cordwainer Smith

Lines tomorrow.Nighty-night
Morgan MacLeod
418. morgan_dhu
When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.
The Road, Cormac McCarthy




You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.
Morgan MacLeod
419. morgan_dhu
Parlabane is back.
The Rebel Angels, Robertson Davies



The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
frumiousb
420. Tim May
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
Neuromancer, William Gibson.

Daily Legal Bulletin, published by the Intersystem Office of Criminal Control Research. Aquarius 14, 568 O.E.
Case of Lilo-Alexandr-Calypso vs The People of Luna.
(Legal Summary - For immediate release)
Douglas Davidson
421. ddavidso
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

Gibson, Neuromancer

You see, I had this space suit.
Morgan MacLeod
422. morgan_dhu
You see, I had this space suit.
Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, Robert Heinlein




Although I had known about Delos since I was a young woman, this was my first visit to the planet.
Morgan MacLeod
423. morgan_dhu
Daily Legal Bulletin, published by the Intersystem Office of Criminal Control Research. Aquarius 14, 568 O.E.
Case of Lilo-Alexandr-Calypso vs The People of Luna.
(Legal Summary - For immediate release)

Ophiuchi Hotline, John Varley



When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.
Morgan MacLeod
424. morgan_dhu
Time to retire some of my lines.

@347:
"After all, it is menwim who beget children,” said Bram, throwing her son a reproving glance over the top of the Egalsund Post.
Egalia’s Daughters, Gerd Brantenberg

@355:
In the metallic blur of the horizon, below the cumulus cloud skies, lies Amarantea....
Dreams of the Compass Rose, Vera Nazarian

Spring's first day was a warm sweet song, a time of companionable silences and comfortably shared labor in Mahon O'Dere's coracle.
Lion’s Blood, Steven Barnes

The moon had set long since. First the red disc of sullen Hega had slid below the horizon, then sliver Vani’s waning crescent.
The Grey Mane of Morning, Joy Chant

Firelight flickered on the walls as Rifkind, desert-bred, stood close by her hearth, braiding her long black hair into thick plaits, listening to the murmuring crowd-noise below.
Black Flame, Lynn Abbey

He had been living at the men’s co-op (Serpent’s House) six months now.
Trouble on Triton, Samuel Delaney

@362
When the series of images ended I reached out and flicked the projector switch off, sending the last holo spiralling down into darkness.
The Madness Season, C. S. Friedman


Replacement lines to follow.
Morgan MacLeod
425. morgan_dhu
Gramp Stevens sat in a lawn chair, watching the mower at work, feeling the warm, soft sunshine seep into his bones.


Alive!
Still alive.
Alive … again.


I was born on a farm in Whileaway.


Once upon a time, in a land that was called Britain, these things happened.


Midmorning, a Tuesday in July, Dora Henry went out the front door of Jared's place to get the paper that the paperboy had, as usual, dropped just over the picket fence.


Jarvis stretched himself as luxuriously as he could in the cramped general quarters of the Ares.


“Brother Alf! Brother Alfred!”
Douglas Davidson
426. ddavidso
Our troop had been up in the High Sierras that day and we were late getting back.

Farmer in the Sky, Heinlein

It was dusk--winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees.
frumiousb
427. Ruadhan
You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley


Lying, left hand for a pillow, on the shingled slant of the roof, there in the shade of the gable, staring at the cloud-curdles in afternoon's blue pool, I seemed to see, between blinks, above the campus and myself, an instant piece of sky-writing.
Clifton Royston
428. CliftonR
Lying, left hand for a pillow, on the shingled slant of the roof, there in the shade of the gable, staring at the cloud-curdles in afternoon's blue pool, I seemed to see, between blinks, above the campus and myself, an instant piece of sky-writing.
Do You See Me Ded? I mean,
Doorways in the Sand, Roger Zelazny

(I nearly used that one earlier.)

There is entwined seven-tentacled lightning. It is fire-masses, it is sheets, it is arms.
Kerry Dustin
429. rocalisa
Although I had known about Delos since I was a young woman, this was my first visit to the planet.
Primary Inversion - Catherine Asaro

Retiring this one @321:
Death comes in many forms, but it has one smell, a smell of blood stagnating, of flesh stiffening, of breath grown stale.
Changer - Joan Linkdskold

The ticking of the conference room's antique clock was deafening as the Hereditary President of the People's Republic of Haven stared at his military cabinet.

I am a Botanist.
A. L.
430. Rymenhild
I am a Botanist.

Kage Baker, In the Garden of Iden

Will said, turning a page, "He liked woad."
frumiousb
431. seamus_k
Alive!
Still alive.
Alive … again.

Octavia Butler, Dawn

Will said, turning a page, "He liked woad."
Susan Cooper, Silver on the Tree

1. A mile below the lowest cloud, rock breaches water and the sea begins.

2. It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger whom I am going to talk about.
Opher Lubzens
432. Antongarou
I hate telephones.
For one thing, they have a habit of waking you up at the most inconvenient times.

The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump/Harry Turtledove

Mia Ziemann needed to know what to wear at a deathbed.The net counseled simplicity and sincerity. Mia was a ninety-four-year-old Californian medical economist, while the prospective deceased, Martin Warshaw, had been her college sweetheart some seventy-four years previously.
Holy Fire/Bruce Sterling

When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.
Day of the Trifids/John Windham

I'll be putting replacement lines out a bit later.Need to go through my bookshelves.
A. L.
433. Rymenhild
It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger whom I am going to talk about.
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

I'll supply another first line in the morning.
Dave Bell
434. DaveBell
The ticking of the conference room's antique clock was deafening as the Hereditary President of the People's Republic of Haven stared at his military cabinet.

On Basilisk Station David Weber


If I had cared to live, I would have died.
David Goldfarb
435. David_Goldfarb
If I had cared to live, I would have died.

John Myers Myers, Silverlock.

The trouble with most warlocks is that they talk too much.
David Goldfarb
436. David_Goldfarb
I thought I'd posted this one earlier, but it doesn't seem to have taken:

I was born on a farm in Whileaway.

Joanna Russ, The Female Man.

Have you heard of the Flying Dutchman? No? Nor of the Wandering Jew? Well, it doesn't matter.
A. L.
437. Rymenhild
Have you heard of the Flying Dutchman? No? Nor of the Wandering Jew? Well, it doesn't matter.
Diana Wynne Jones, The Homeward Bounders

Now I owe two first lines. Time to go hunting for them, I suppose.
A. L.
438. Rymenhild
All right, here are my two replacement lines:

The following work was found in the library of an ancient Catholic family in the north of England. It was printed at Naples, in the black letter, in the year 1529.

I see in Lunaya Pravda that Luna City Council has passed on first reading a bill to license, inspect -- and tax -- public food vendors operating inside municipal pressure.
Paul Andinach
439. anobium
Nobody's got my #340 yet, I see. I'm not actually surprised, since although it's an acknowledged classic in its field, (a) that field is relatively narrow and (b) the opening scene is not what people remember about it. I'd completely forgotten those two owls myself.

If you know the book at all, you're far more likely to recognise the last sentence, which will give you the author and a one-in-four or better chance at the title:
"Long ago in an English autumn."

(I'll bring that up to one-in-three by adding that it's not the one that was adapted for television last year; that was "...spring".)
Paul Andinach
440. anobium
I see in Lunaya Pravda that Luna City Council has passed on first reading a bill to license, inspect -- and tax -- public food vendors operating inside municipal pressure.
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Me, a wizard? Until a week ago I was an astronomer, contentedly designing telescope optics.
frumiousb
441. OtterB
I see in Lunaya Pravda that Luna City Council has passed on first reading a bill to license, inspect -- and tax -- public food vendors operating inside municipal pressure.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein

The Citadel of Troizen, where the Palace stands, was built by giants before anyone remembers. But the Palace was built by my great-grandfather.

(hint: this is not SFF, but a triumph of worldbuilding nonetheless)
A. L.
442. Rymenhild
OtterB, I think The King Must Die already got mentioned here. (That's the only reason I remembered its first sentence!)
frumiousb
443. OtterB
Thanks, Rymenhild. I must have missed it the first time. I was afraid I was going to start repeating. I cross-posted on the Heinlein anyway, so I'll let it go.
frumiousb
444. Dan Blum
OK, my very old one:

"We've a first-rate assortment of magic," said the dapper little merchant.


is The Incredible Umbrella by Marvin Kaye.

I'll replace it with something easier:

It was half-past September when the red phone rang.
zaphod beetlebrox
445. platypus rising
Snowman wakes before dawn Oryx and Crake,Margaret Atwood



Gramp Stevens sat in a lawn chair, watching the mower at work, feeling the warm, soft sunshine seep into his bones. C.D.Simak,City



Jarvis stretched himself as luxuriously as he could in the cramped general quarters of the Ares.
A Martian Odyssey,Stanley G.Weinbaum



1. A mile below the lowest cloud, rock breaches water and the sea begins. China Mieville,The Scar



The following work was found in the library of an ancient Catholic family in the north of England. It was printed at Naples, in the black letter, in the year 1529. The Castle of Otranto,Horace Walpole
zaphod beetlebrox
446. platypus rising
So,with the two from yesterday,now I have seven.

1)Clare:It's hard being left behind.

2)'And Mr. Joseph Walters is going to stay the night?' said the smooth, clean-shaven man to his companion,an individual not of the most charming appearance, who had chosen to make his ginger-coloured moustache merge into a pair of short chin-whiskers.

3)There's always a moment where everything changes.

4)It was his wife's debt to Onofrio Esteves, the appliance dealer, that brought Esteban Caax to town for the first time in almost a year.

5)He painted trees as by some special divining instinct of their essential qualities.

6)It was the day my grandmother exploded.

7)I really hated the doctor's office.
Paul Andinach
447. anobium
It was the day my grandmother exploded.
Iain Banks, The Crow Road

As I stood there with the sword in my hand, the blade dripping blood on the floor, I couldn't help but wonder if the blood belonged to my father.
Jo Walton
448. bluejo
A couple of mine that have passed their expiration dates:

The world is four thousand years old. I was eight years old when I found that out for myself.

Learning the World
The house of O and Aa boomed to the deep voices of the priests.

The Blue Hawk Peter Dickinson.

And replacements:

1) Hating the Earth was easy.

2) I often think of that day in Alika when my father, my mother and myself hurried to and fro , assembling a pile of possessions on the front porch in preparation for our holiday in Pallahaxi.
zaphod beetlebrox
449. platypus rising
I often think of that day in Alika when my father, my mother and myself hurried to and fro , assembling a pile of possessions on the front porch in preparation for our holiday in Pallahaxi.

Is it Hello Summer,Goodbye by Michael Coney? I haven't read it but I have its "sequel" I remember Pallahaxi
Jo Walton
450. bluejo
It is indeed. You should read it, it's very good.
frumiousb
451. Jim Henry III
bluejo @448:

Hating the Earth was easy.

Growing Up Weightless, John M. Ford.

another:

Even on the earth shadows are frequently good places to hide.
Andy Leighton
452. andyl
1) Hating the Earth was easy.

Growing Up Weightless by John M Ford (I think).


From the eyrie of the Watchtower high above the mass of Camelford Mountain, Irona watched the sleepers for mohocks and seditionists.
zaphod beetlebrox
453. platypus rising
It has long been out of print,but seems to have been reissued in a limited edition towards the end of last year.I'll look for it.

Now,my next line is an experiment:

Young R.M.,my mormon guard,has finally given me a supply of paper.
Torie Atkinson
454. Torie
Since no one guessed mine:

About to die. And so on.
We're all going to die.

We Who Are About To..., by Joanna Russ
frumiousb
455. morgan_dhu
@426
It was dusk--winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken


@428
There is entwined seven-tentacled lightning. It is fire-masses, it is sheets, it is arms.
Fourth Mansions, R. A. Lafferty


Replacements later.
frumiousb
456. Jim Henry III
Young R.M.,my mormon guard,has finally given me a supply of paper.

Camp Concentration, Thomas M. Disch (although my copy, a 1988 Carroll & Graf paperback, says "...has brought me a supply of paper at last.")

next:

The first time was like this.

Morgan MacLeod
457. morgan_dhu
@446
Clare:It's hard being left behind.
The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

@447
As I stood there with the sword in my hand, the blade dripping blood on the floor, I couldn't help but wonder if the blood belonged to my father.
Sir Apropos of nothing, Peter David

@451
Even on the earth shadows are frequently good places to hide.
Needle, Hal Clement


Replacements later.
zaphod beetlebrox
461. platypus rising
@456 :Jim Henry III

That's why I said it was an experiment.
My line was an attempt at traslating back my copy, which is in Italian.
I got tired of discarding many good books because I have them in my own language.
Most lines should remain pretty recognizable,altough a bit different.

The first time was like this.
Steven Gould,Jumper

Spur was in the nightmare again.
Morgan MacLeod
462. morgan_dhu
I'm getting weird memory allocation error messages almost every time I try to post, and half the time when I try to load this page. And some of my posts are showing up twice. And even now, I cannot see all the recent posts (457 to 461 are missing when I load the comments).

I started a Conversation after the first few error messages because I thought the memory was crashed. It now appears not to be that, but it's clear there are some technical problems, but if things do get wonky again, we could discuss whether to continue the game somehow over there.
Morgan MacLeod
463. morgan_dhu
Some replacement lines:

I am a soothsayer.


Last night, the first time in my six months with Penco, I was the admitting officer for a Milk Train Special.


…and the government of the United States is herewith suspended, except in the District of Columbia, as of the emergency.


In 1894, Mrs. Putnam took Lizzie Hayes to the Midwinter Exhibition in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, where they both used a telephone for the very first time.


My father had a face that could stop a clock.
Morgan MacLeod
464. morgan_dhu
Some replacement lines:

I am a soothsayer.


Last night, the first time in my six months with Penco, I was the admitting officer for a Milk Train Special.


…and the government of the United States is herewith suspended, except in the District of Columbia, as of the emergency.


In 1894, Mrs. Putnam took Lizzie Hayes to the Midwinter Exhibition in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, where they both used a telephone for the very first time.


My father had a face that could stop a clock.
zaphod beetlebrox
465. platypus rising
In 1894, Mrs. Putnam took Lizzie Hayes to the Midwinter Exhibition in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, where they both used a telephone for the very first time.
Karen Joy Fowler,Sister Noon

This is the story of a man named Neil Fisk, and how he came to love God.
zaphod beetlebrox
466. platypus rising
In 1894, Mrs. Putnam took Lizzie Hayes to the Midwinter Exhibition in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, where they both used a telephone for the very first time.
Karen Joy Fowler,Sister Noon

This is the story of a man named Neil Fisk, and how he came to love God.
Kerry Dustin
467. rocalisa
My father had a face that could stop a clock
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
David Goldfarb
468. David_Goldfarb
This is the story of a man named Neil Fisk, and how he came to love God.
Ted Chiang, "Hell is the Absence of God".

A line from me later....

(BTW, Jo, someone did get Learning the World.)
frumiousb
469. Tim May
Jim Henry III @ 456

I'm getting the same behaviour - have been all along, afaik, though I first noticed it in earlier replies to this thread. It's actually not cutting off the ends, though. After going through looking at the names & numbers I've finally realized what's going on - all the comments are there, but it's sorting them by user ID. (This isn't obvious, if you start at the top, because first you get a big block of those of us who posted unregistered, so it just looks like it's in order with gaps.)
frumiousb
470. morgan_dhu
Retiring three lines:

@379
The strangest memory of my childhood concerns my father's disappearance.
The Mysteries, Lisa Tuttle

@383
Reveille was not the best thing to have reverberating through one's skull after a night of too much and too little in various combinations.
Valor’s Choice, Tanya Huff

@384
Three children lay on the rocks at the water's edge.
Daughter of the Forest, Juliet Marillier


Replacement lines:

My family once considered themselves Tico, but the old Hispanic tradition of community has so long ago disappeared from this continent, subsumed in the monoculture of the West, that I consider my only culture to be Quaker.


Diaries are kept by men: strong brushstrokes on smooth mulberry paper, gathered into sheaves and tied with ribbon and placed in a lacquered box.


Reverend Dania came to our town five years before I was born.
Scott Raun
471. sraun
Jim Henry III @ 456


Tim May @ 469
I'm getting the same behaviour - have been all along, afaik, though I first noticed it in earlier replies to this thread. It's actually not cutting off the ends, though. After going through looking at the names & numbers I've finally realized what's going on - all the comments are there, but it's sorting them by user ID. (This isn't obvious, if you start at the top, because first you get a big block of those of us who posted unregistered, so it just looks like it's in order with gaps.)


I'm not seeing 458, 459 & 460 - I saw all three before my last refresh, and when I searched the page for "458", it couldn't be found. I suspect this thread is stressing the server somehow.
Torie Atkinson
472. Torie
@ sraun

That's normal. I deleted those comments (they were duplicates produced by a technical glitch we're experiencing right now).

I'll definitely let our technical guys know about the user ID problem, though. Thank you!
zaphod beetlebrox
473. platypus rising
Reverend Dania came to our town five years before I was born.Kathleen Ann Goonan,Light Music

The rain was without beginning and without end.
frumiousb
474. morgan_dhu
The rain was without beginning and without end.
The ill-Made Mute, Cecilia Dart-Thornton

(Would you believe that just this morning I read a review of one of this author's books and spend some time reading excerpts at Amazon.com to see if I wanted to read them?)



I stopped when I smelled the magic.
frumiousb
475. Tim May
I don't know what Diaries are kept by men: strong brushstrokes on smooth mulberry paper, gathered into sheaves and tied with ribbon and placed in a lacquered box is, but it looks like it's referencing the first line of the Tosa Nikki of Ki no Tsurayuki.

I suspect that The ticking of the conference room's antique clock was deafening as the Hereditary President of the People's Republic of Haven stared at his military cabinet might be Vpnehf by Ebtre Yril (rot13'd because I didn't really recognize it - it reminded me of something I'd heard of, which on investigation turned out to be another book which had become combined with this one in my mind). I won't give a new line unless it turns out to be both correct and unguessed by anyone else.
frumiousb
476. Tim May
Rather than retire my 391, I'll add the next sentence:

Painted aircraft flew through the heart of the world. Lindsay stood in knee-high grass, staring upward to follow their flight.

frumiousb
477. morgan_dhu
Tim May @ 476:

1. While I'm not familiar with the Tosa Nikki, it would be quite appropriate for that work to be referenced in the book the line is from.

2. The line "The ticking of the conference room's antique clock was deafening as the Hereditary President of the People's Republic of Haven stared at his military cabinet" has already been identified as On Basilisk Station, the first of David Weber's Honor Harrington series.
frumiousb
478. Carrie S.
It was half-past September when the red phone rang.
Santa Claus vs S.P.I.D.E.R., Harlan Ellison

About a third of the way down the massive wooden staircase the older of the two tuxedo-clad men paused, head up, nostrils flaring as though he were testing a scent on the air. "We're not...alone."
David Goldfarb
479. David_Goldfarb
Okay, here's the one I didn't post earlier:

When you get down to the bottom of the bottle, as Momma used to say, this is the story of how I became a mother.
Jo Walton
480. bluejo
When you get down to the bottom of the bottle, as Momma used to say, this is the story of how I became a mother.

Mockingbird Sean Stewart

This tale grew in the telling.
zaphod beetlebrox
481. platypus rising
About a third of the way down the massive wooden staircase the older of the two tuxedo-clad men paused, head up, nostrils flaring as though he were testing a scent on the air. "We're not...alone."
Tanya Huff,Smoke and Mirrors

This tale grew in the telling.Tolkien,The Fellowship of the Ring


I'll retire two lines:


@392It seemed to Eric Nelson that a strange voice spoke in his mind as he lay in drink?drugged sleep, here in the squalid inn of a Chinese frontier villageEdmund Hamilton,The Valley of Creation

@394If the whole tangled affair could be said to have a beginning at all, it began on that cold, blustery afternoon in late October when the man with the Igloo cooler walked into Richard Leyster's office. Michael Swanwick,Bones of the Earth

put four new ones:


1)“Do you mean,” Sir Giles said, “that the thing never gets smaller?”

2)There is a principle in nature I don’t think anyone has pointed out before.

3)Believe me, the last thing we ever expected to find was a Snark.

4)Streaker is limping like a dog on three legs.



and remind that these lines from @446 are running against the clock:


2)'And Mr. Joseph Walters is going to stay the night?' said the smooth, clean-shaven man to his companion,an individual not of the most charming appearance, who had chosen to make his ginger-coloured moustache merge into a pair of short chin-whiskers.

3)There's always a moment where everything changes.

4)It was his wife's debt to Onofrio Esteves, the appliance dealer, that brought Esteban Caax to town for the first time in almost a year.

5)He painted trees as by some special divining instinct of their essential qualities.

7)I really hated the doctor's office.
Douglas Davidson
482. ddavidso
Streaker is limping like a dog on three legs.

Startide Rising, Brin.

"It doesn't look burned."
Douglas Davidson
483. ddavidso
Actually, that was the first chapter, not the prologue.

Prologue starts:

The ambulance came bobbing out of the Mercy Medical Center parking lot and swung south on Pine Street, its blue and red lights just winking dots in the bright noon sunshine and the siren echoing away into the cloudless blue vault of the sky.

First chapter starts:

"It doesn't look burned."
frumiousb
484. Jim Henry III
The ambulance came bobbing out of the Mercy Medical Center parking lot and swung south on Pine Street, its blue and red lights just winking dots in the bright noon sunshine and the siren echoing away into the cloudless blue vault of the sky.

Tim Powers, Three Days to Never

next:

I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other.
Douglas Davidson
485. ddavidso
I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other.

Tarzan of the Apes, Edgar Rice Burroughs

Long ago there was a little land, over which ruled a regulus or
kinglet, who was called King Peter, though his kingdom was but little.
frumiousb
486. Jim Henry III
Long ago there was a little land, over which ruled a regulus or kinglet, who was called King Peter, though his kingdom was but little.

This is something by William Morris, I think, probably The Well at the World's End; I won't post another quote yet, waiting to see if someone else identifies it more definitely or more correctly (or until I have access to my Morris books to check my hunch).
frumiousb
487. morgan_dhu
Long ago there was a little land, over which ruled a regulus or kinglet, who was called King Peter, though his kingdom was but little.
The Well at the World's End, William Morris



There is only one Dragon.
frumiousb
488. morgan_dhu
Retiring some lines:

@425
Once upon a time, in a land that was called Britain, these things happened.
The Winter King, Bernard Cornwell

@425
Midmorning, a Tuesday in July, Dora Henry went out the front door of Jared's place to get the paper that the paperboy had, as usual, dropped just over the picket fence.
The Family Tree, Sheri Tepper

@425
“Brother Alf! Brother Alfred!”
Isle of Glass, Judith Tarr


Replacements:


Curran watched the man whose life he required settle onto one of the faux leather couches scattered around the station's reception module.



Excerpt from a letter written by La Comtesse d’Argenlac to her niece Mlle. Madelaine de Montalia, dated September 13, 1743:
…the entertainment provided that night was musical, and Madame la Duchesse had gathered a truly brilliant assemby for her salon.



This is not the book I set out to write.
frumiousb
489. bleach
Tim May @ 391, 476:

Painted aircraft flew through the heart of the world. Lindsay stood in knee-high grass, staring upward to follow their flight.
Schismatrix, Bruce Sterling


Hayden Griffin was plucking a fish when the gravity bell rang.
David Goldfarb
490. David_Goldfarb
Hayden Griffin was plucking a fish when the gravity bell rang.

Karl Schroeder, Sun of Suns...one of the books given away as an e-freebie on this very site!

The dragons came at dawn, flying low and in formation, their jets so thunderous they shook the ground like the great throbbing heartbeat of the world.
Andy Leighton
491. andyl
4)It was his wife's debt to Onofrio Esteves, the appliance dealer, that brought Esteban Caax to town for the first time in almost a year.

Lucius Shepard (again) The Jaguar Hunter


As my previous first line is still running I am going to pick an easier one this time.

"Play it again, child"

The one that is still running is

From the eyrie of the Watchtower high above the mass of Camelford Mountain, Irona watched the sleepers for mohocks and seditionists.

A clue - written by a woman. Another clue on Saturday if it is still going.
Scott Raun
492. sraun
Excerpt from a letter written by La Comtesse d’Argenlac to her niece Mlle. Madelaine de Montalia, dated September 13, 1743:
…the entertainment provided that night was musical, and Madame la Duchesse had gathered a truly brilliant assemby for her salon.
Hotel Transylvania
, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

First line coming in a bit...
zaphod beetlebrox
493. platypus rising
Out with the old:

2)'And Mr. Joseph Walters is going to stay the night?' said the smooth, clean-shaven man to his companion,an individual not of the most charming appearance, who had chosen to make his ginger-coloured moustache merge into a pair of short chin-whiskers. Arthur Machen,The Three Impostors

3)There's always a moment where everything changes. Elizabeth Hand,Generation Loss

5)He painted trees as by some special divining instinct of their essential qualities.
Algernon Blackwood,The Man whom the Trees Loved

7)I really hated the doctor's office.
Robert Rankin,Waiting for Godalming

And this one,which I had forgot from @344
Once upon a time -for that is how all stories should begin - there was a boy who lost his mother.
John Connolly,The Book of Lost Things.

Very good fantasy by a best selling crime fiction author. Reminded me of Coraline and Weaveworld.

Plus,from @488
Curran watched the man whose life he required settle onto one of the faux leather couches scattered around the station's reception module. Sarah Zettel,Fool's war

In with the new:

1)Mr.Dunworthy opened the door to the laboratory and his spectacles promptly steamed up.

2)The voice began again in her ear as she hurried into the airport. It was the merest thread of sound, carrying through the implanted receiver.

3)I first saw the light in the city of Boston in the year 1857.

4)In nineteen?fourteen,it was enemy aliens.

5)In my time I have been called many names: sister,lover,priestess,sorceress,queen.*

6)My name is Greta Forzane.*


*Lines may be slightly different due to reverse translation.
Scott Raun
494. sraun
Grand Admiral Syranax hyr Urnan, hereditary Commander-in-chief of the Fleet of Drak'ho, Fisher of the Western Seas, Leader in Sacrifice, and Oracle of the Lodestar, spread his wings and brought them together again in an astonished thunderclap. For a moment, it snowed papers from his desk.
jamie stafford-hill
495. seamus
Mr.Dunworthy opened the door to the laboratory and his spectacles promptly steamed up.
Connie Willis, Doomsday Book

Having cast one manuscript into the seas of time, I now begin again.
frumiousb
496. bleach
Grand Admiral Syranax hyr Urnan, hereditary Commander-in-chief of the Fleet of Drak'ho, Fisher of the Western Seas, Leader in Sacrifice, and Oracle of the Lodestar, spread his wings and brought them together again in an astonished thunderclap. For a moment, it snowed papers from his desk.
The Man Who Counts, Poul Anderson

Dear Newcomer,
Welcome to the Epsilon Eridani system.
frumiousb
497. Dan Blum
My name is Greta Forzane.

The Big Time, Fritz Leiber

As it had been prophesied, I came down from the hills and walked over the sunbaked plain.
Andy Leighton
498. andyl
I first saw the light in the city of Boston in the year 1857.

Looking Backward - Edward Bellamy

My first line -

The ground crew had all but finished their litany.
frumiousb
499. Tim May
477.
The line "The ticking cabinet" has already been identified
So it had. Wonder how I missed that. ‹_›

Having cast one manuscript into the seas of time, I now begin again.
The Urth of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe.

This is Ares Launch Control, Jacqueline B. Kennedy Space Center.
zaphod beetlebrox
500. platypus rising
Dear Newcomer,
Welcome to the Epsilon Eridani system.

Alastair Reynolds,Chasm City

These things are there.The garden and the tree
The serpent at its root, the fruit of gold
The woman in the shadow of the boughs
The running water and the grassy space.
frumiousb
501. Jim Henry III
The dragons came at dawn, flying low and in formation, their jets so thunderous they shook the ground like the great throbbing heartbeat of the world.

I'm pretty sure this is The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick; and I suspect this

This is Ares Launch Control, Jacqueline B. Kennedy Space Center.

might be "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" by James Tiptree, Jr.; but I don't have copies of either handy to check.
frumiousb
502. Tim May
Jim Henry III @ 501.
I suspect this

This is Ares Launch Control, Jacqueline B. Kennedy Space Center.

might be "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" by James Tiptree, Jr
Incorrect, I'm afraid, though I can see your logic. (As to the other, I'm pretty sure you're very close but not quite right there either.)
Paul Andinach
503. anobium
Retiring my oldest:

Two birds circled each other in the sky above the Lincolnshire marshes. They were owls in love, as much as owls could love.
Paul Cornell, Love and War


The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber.
frumiousb
504. Dan Blum
The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber.

"Who Goes There?" by "Don A. Stuart" (John Campbell)

I'll think of a new line presently.
frumiousb
505. Dan Blum
The Logodaedalian Club was renowned for three things: the zest of its cuisine, the draftiness of its common rooms, and the verbal wit of its leading members.
A. L.
506. Rymenhild
I feel like In my time I have been called many names: sister,lover,priestess,sorceress,queen must be Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon, but the reverse translation probably changed the wording a little.

I'll look for a new first line later today.
Clifton Royston
507. CliftonR
The dragons came at dawn, flying low and in formation, their jets so thunderous they shook the ground like the great throbbing heartbeat of the world.

The Dragons of Babel, Michael Swanwick

I'll give my line later, at work now.
frumiousb
508. morgan_dhu
These things are there.The garden and the tree
The serpent at its root, the fruit of gold
The woman in the shadow of the boughs
The running water and the grassy space.


This is the opening of A.S. Byatt's Possession. I wouldn't ordinarily think of it as speculative fiction, although I suppose an argument could be made for considering it as alternate history.

I'll continue with another first line from a book that might not ordinarily be thought of as spec fic.



My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.
frumiousb
509. OtterB
My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

To anyone who glanced casually inside the detention room the young man sitting there did not seem very formidable.
zaphod beetlebrox
510. platypus rising
@506 Rymenhild :yes,it is The Mists of Avalon.If you find the original line,could you post it?

@508 morgan_dhu :I suppose the tenuous link with spec-fic is given by the fairy-tales inserted in the text.
Then again,I thought the odd book once in a while (like Earthly Powers,The King must Die or The Rebel Angels) was fair game.

these lines of mine should have expired,but I'll extend the deadline:

1)“Do you mean,” Sir Giles said, “that the thing never gets smaller?”

2)There is a principle in nature I don’t think anyone has pointed out before.

3)Believe me, the last thing we ever expected to find was a Snark.

4)The voice began again in her ear as she hurried into the airport. It was the merest thread of sound, carrying through the implanted receiver.

5)In nineteen?fourteen,it was enemy aliens.

To anyone who glanced casually inside the detention room the young man sitting there did not seem very formidable. Andre Norton,The Time Traders

Time:first hours of the evening,Thursday 26 March 1964*

*Line may be slightly different due to reverse translation.
Helen Wright
511. arkessian
To anyone who glanced casually inside the detention room the young man sitting there did not seem very formidable.

The Time Traders, Andre Norton


And one of mine which I missed revealing ages ago:

He opened his eyes and looked down. He had no idea where he was.

Shadow,K.J.Parker


That last is the first book of a trilogy I think is much overlooked.

And now two to replace these:

When the dominant species of a minor nine planet system revolving about a yellow sun known as "Sol"—situated close to the fringe of the Galaxy—gained knowledge of space flight and came out into our lanes of travel there arose a problem which Central Control had to solve, and speedily.

"Ah, hell's mindmeldew, Fish! I did that already."
Helen Wright
512. arkessian
“Do you mean,” Sir Giles said, “that the thing never gets smaller?”

Many Dimensions, Charles Williams


Platypus_rising, we both posted the answer to 509 at around the same time, but you just pipped me to the post so I'll let my second new line at 511 stand for this.
zaphod beetlebrox
513. platypus rising
Welcome back,Arkessian.Post away,more lines,more fun.
I edited 510 to add two more lines.

When the dominant species of a minor nine planet system revolving about a yellow sun known as "Sol"—situated close to the fringe of the Galaxy—gained knowledge of space flight and came out into our lanes of travel there arose a problem which Central Control had to solve, and speedily.

Andre Norton,Star Soldiers


His mother's hand felt cold, grasping (clutching?) his.*

*Line may be slightly different due to reverse translation.
frumiousb
514. morgan_dhu
I think I'll follow platypus_rising's lead and repost my still-unguessed lines.


@464.
I am a soothsayer.


@464.
Last night, the first time in my six months with Penco, I was the admitting officer for a Milk Train Special.


@464.
…and the government of the United States is herewith suspended, except in the District of Columbia, as of the emergency.


@470.
My family once considered themselves Tico, but the old Hispanic tradition of community has so long ago disappeared from this continent, subsumed in the monoculture of the West, that I consider my only culture to be Quaker.


@470.
Diaries are kept by men: strong brushstrokes on smooth mulberry paper, gathered into sheaves and tied with ribbon and placed in a lacquered box.


@474.
I stopped when I smelled the magic.


@487.
There is only one Dragon.


@488.
This is not the book I set out to write.
Moon Dance, S. P. Somtow
frumiousb
515. morgan_dhu
@415
Not once in a generation did the voice of the city change as it was changing now.
Against the Fall of Night, Arthur C. Clarke

(Guess: this makes me think of Diaspar, but to the best of my recollection, this is not the way City and the Stars opens, so I'm guessing that it is Clarke's earlier version of the story, which was extensively re-written in City and the Stars.)


@219 and 388
In a high cold place on the Unraveller's world, the wind was a constant sighing susurrus, for there was nothing to break its flow.
Since no one has challenged my earlier guess that this is Isobelle Carmody's Darkfall,I'm going to assume I was right and post a new line to replace that one:



As I dressed that morning I ran over in my mind the long list of statistics, evasions and exaggerations that they would expect in my report.
frumiousb
516. morgan_dhu
I see that in reposting my unguessed lines, I have inadvertently identified one of them:

@488.
This is not the book I set out to write.
Moon Dance, S. P. Somtow


So I'll post a replacement:




Not the first, Marron knelt in the Chamber of the King's Eye and thought, What need Ascariel?
frumiousb
517. morgan_dhu
I've finally remembered this one.

@411.
It never occurred to me that I might be kidnapped.
The Exile Kiss, George Alec Effinger



The flying saucer landed on our front yard and a little green man got out of it.
frumiousb
518. morgan_dhu
Another one that's been bugging me.

@481
Believe me, the last thing we ever expected to find was a Snark.
"Hunting the Snark", Mike Resnick



The last drops of the thundershower had hardly ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled his pack more comfortably on comfortably on his tired shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut-tree into the middle of the road.
jamie stafford-hill
519. seamus
The last drops of the thundershower had hardly ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled his pack more comfortably on comfortably on his tired shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut-tree into the middle of the road.
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

replacement line later.

@515, morgan_dhu — yes, Against The Fall of Night is correct.
David Goldfarb
520. David_Goldfarb
Okay, time to retire this one:

The trouble with most warlocks is that they talk too much.

Chester Anderson, The Butterfly Kid.

Here's the replacement:

You want to know what good is? I'll tell you what good is.
Paul Andinach
521. anobium
One of mine (#440) is still open:

Me, a wizard? Until a week ago I was an astronomer, contentedly designing telescope optics.


(Hints: The wizard in question is of the "computer ..." variety. Probably I should also admit that the book is non-fiction, although it has points of commonality in both style and content with works of fiction by people like Neal Stephenson and Cory Doctorow - and has in fact already been mentioned here on tor.com (not in this thread) in a Cory-related context.)
frumiousb
522. Tim May
Oho! In that case:
Me, a wizard? Until a week ago I was an astronomer, contentedly designing telescope optics.
is The Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll.

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Douglas Davidson
523. ddavidso
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

1984

"Whose spells are you using, Buddy?"
frumiousb
524. morgan_dhu
"Whose spells are you using, Buddy?"
"Magic, Inc.", Robert Heinlein



The boy was odd.
zaphod beetlebrox
525. platypus rising
The boy was odd Gordon R. Dickson,Dorsai

I could have sworn I had already posted that line.
Evidently I looked it up but forgot to add it to my list.
I'll post a new line tomorrow.
frumiousb
526. morgan_dhu
Retirement time:

464. I am a soothsayer.
Gaia’s Websters, Kim Antieau

464. Last night, the first time in my six months with Penco, I was the admitting officer for a Milk Train Special.
The Red Rose Rages (Bleeding), L. Timmel Duchamp

464. …and the government of the United States is herewith suspended, except in the District of Columbia, as of the emergency.
The Earth Abides, George Stewart

470. My family once considered themselves Tico, but the old Hispanic tradition of community has so long ago disappeared from this continent, subsumed in the monoculture of the West, that I consider my only culture to be Quaker.
The Dazzle of Day, Molly Gloss

470. Diaries are kept by men: strong brushstrokes on smooth mulberry paper, gathered into sheaves and tied with ribbon and placed in a lacquered box.
The Fox Woman, Kij Johnson

474. I stopped when I smelled the magic.
Dragon of the Lost Sea, Laurence Yep

487. There is only one Dragon.
The Dragon and the Unicorn, A. A. Attanasio


Replacements:

The volcano that had reared Taratua up from the Pacific depths had been sleeping now for half a million years.


I know a place where there is no smog and no parking problem and no population explosion... no Cold War and no H-bombs and no television commercials... no Summit Conferences, no Foreign Aid, no hidden taxes - no income tax.


"You're soon sixteen years old," said Grandpap.


Peter Welles, psychiatrist, eyed the boy thoughtfully.


The occupants of each floor of the hotel must as usual during the games form their own protective groups...


Jack Holloway found himself squinting, the orange sun full in his eyes.


The blackness was absolute.
frumiousb
527. Dan Blum
I know a place where there is no smog and no parking problem and no population explosion... no Cold War and no H-bombs and no television commercials... no Summit Conferences, no Foreign Aid, no hidden taxes - no income tax.
Heinlein's Glory Road

New line later.

And, someone please answer #520 - I know that I've read it and it's driving me nuts.
jamie stafford-hill
528. seamus
belated new line for #519:

Two pieces of yesterday were in Captain Davidson's mind when he woke, and he lay looking at them in the darkness for a while.
Douglas Davidson
529. ddavidso
Two pieces of yesterday were in Captain Davidson's mind when he woke, and he lay looking at them in the darkness for a while.

The Word for World Is Forest, Le Guin

The first time that Christa Malone heard the name of Innokenti Isayevich Falin, it was spoken by the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.
frumiousb
530. Jim Henry III
The first time that Christa Malone heard the name of Innokenti Isayevich Falin, it was spoken by the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

The Translator, John Crowley

next:

"Do you believe in love?" he asked her.
frumiousb
531. Tim May
I'll retire my 499:
This is Ares Launch Control, Jacqueline B. Kennedy Space Center.
Voyage, Stephen Baxter.

Most of the crowd at Mallorys Bar & Sleep in Delta Sector had no idea what was really going on.
frumiousb
532. Dan Blum
Ha, finally got

You want to know what good is? I'll tell you what good is.
Brust's The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

My two lines (the second is too easy, I'm sure, but it's a great opening):

Stanton Frelaine sat at his desk, trying to look as busy as an executive should at nine-thirty in the morning.

He doesn't know which of us I am these days, but they know one truth.
David Goldfarb
533. David_Goldfarb
Jack Holloway found himself squinting, the orange sun full in his eyes.

H. Beam Piper, Little Fuzzy.

He doesn't know which of us I am these days, but they know one truth.

Alfred Bester, "Fondly Fahrenheit".

It was hot on the roof. Above, the sky was fast-forward: zeppelin fleets of cloud alternating with ragged anarchic flags of black.

"...like your brain has been frozen in liquid nitrogen, and then smashed into a thousand shards!"
Andy Leighton
534. andyl
I am retiring -
"Play it again, child"

The answer is The Glass Harmonica by Louise Marley.


I will keep the following open for the time being (with another clue) however if no-one has guessed by Tuesday I will retire it.

From the eyrie of the Watchtower high above the mass of Camelford Mountain, Irona watched the sleepers for mohocks and seditionists.
Clues.
1) Written by a woman.
2) She is married to another genre author.


The final one I have going I will keep going
The ground crew had all but finished their litany.


Finally a replacement for the retiree -
Anton huddled in his sheepskin jacket and military-style leather raincoat.
frumiousb
535. morgan_dhu
"Do you believe in love?" he asked her.
There Are Doors, Gene Wolfe

Most of the crowd at Mallorys Bar & Sleep in Delta Sector had no idea what was really going on.
The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict, Stephen Donaldson



The mermaid rose out of deep water into the stormheart.


In the town where Kicsi grew up there was a rabbi who could work miracles.
jamie stafford-hill
536. seamus
In the town where Kicsi grew up there was a rabbi who could work miracles.
Lisa Goldstein, The Red Magician

If dreams can be portents of what is to come, then I had my fair share of forewarning before my life was stolen away.
frumiousb
537. morgan_dhu
If dreams can be portents of what is to come, then I had my fair share of forewarning before my life was stolen away.
Trader, Charles DeLint


Mass murders are usually the more shocking because of the unexpected settings and the past character of the murderer.
Scott Raun
538. sraun
Peter Welles, psychiatrist, eyed the boy thoughtfully.
In Hiding
, Wilmar Shiras

At least, I think so. Please confirm? I'll hold off on a new first line until I hear.
frumiousb
539. morgan_dhu
sraun @ 538:

"In Hiding" by Wilmar Shiras is correct. Also correct (if anyone else was on the verge) would have been Children of the Atom as the title of the book that includes the various linked stories.
Jackie Nelson
540. Abydonian
The mermaid rose out of deep water into the stormheart.

Prospero's Children
- Jan Siegel


The letter was in Earth script, unhandily scrawled in blobby blue ballpoint.
Scott Raun
541. sraun
Yay! for In Hiding - here's my new line:

Patrol Cruiser "IP-T 247", circling out toward Pluto on leisurely inspection tour to visit the outpost miners there, was in no hurry at all as she loafed along.
frumiousb
542. Dan Blum
Possibly I should give hints for my three outstanding lines:

1. As it had been prophesied, I came down from the hills and walked over the sunbaked plain.

This is a relatively recent (where "relatively recent" covers the last 20 years or so) fantasy novel by a reasonably well-known author. However, it's not one of his best-known books, although I think it should be.

2. The Logodaedalian Club was renowned for three things: the zest of its cuisine, the draftiness of its common rooms, and the verbal wit of its leading members.

This is the first genre novel by an author who is still not widely known, but has been getting a fair amount of attention recently. Online, at any rate. It is in a setting and style similar but not identical to that of a much better-known author.

3. Stanton Frelaine sat at his desk, trying to look as busy as an executive should at nine-thirty in the morning.

This is a very famous short story, possibly the best-known by its author.
Glenda Wilson
543. glinda
Stanton Frelaine sat at his desk, trying to look as busy as an executive should at nine-thirty in the morning.

Oh! Robert Sheckley, "The Seventh Victim"

They never turn the lights off in Grand Central; and they may lock the doors between one and five-thrity a.m., but the place never quite becomes still.
Glenda Wilson
544. glinda
gah. tyop. it's "five-thirty a.m." in the quote.
frumiousb
545. morgan_dhu
They never turn the lights off in Grand Central; and they may lock the doors between one and five-thrity a.m., but the place never quite becomes still.
Book of Night with Moon, Diane Duane



Her hair was a brilliant green.
frumiousb
546. morgan_dhu
Clues for my lines, let me show you them!

515. As I dressed that morning I ran over in my mind the long list of statistics, evasions and exaggerations that they would expect in my report.

A classic collaboration from the late 50s.


516. Not the first, Marron knelt in the Chamber of the King's Eye and thought, What need Ascariel?

First volume of a fantasy series from a relatively new writer.


517. The flying saucer landed on our front yard and a little green man got out of it.

Recently published novel that can be said to cover old ground from a new perspective.


526. The volcano that had reared Taratua up from the Pacific depths had been sleeping now for half a million years.

One of several classic novels from the pen of a prolific futurist.


526. "You're soon sixteen years old," said Grandpap.

An early coming of age novel by a Tiptree award winner.


526. The occupants of each floor of the hotel must as usual during the games form their own protective groups…

A Golden Age American SF writer who could be considered Canadian, but let’s not quibble about semantics.


526. The blackness was absolute.

First volume of an alternate Earth trilogy.


537. Mass murders are usually the more shocking because of the unexpected settings and the past character of the murderer.

First volume of one of several well-known series written in the 70s and 80s by this author.
Glenda Wilson
547. glinda
Not the first, Marron knelt in the Chamber of the King's Eye and thought, What need Ascariel?

Oh! Chapter one, rather than the intro (Despite what the church claimed and the people believed, this was still a Kingdom born of younger sons, the land-hungery and the dispossessed.)

Chaz Brenchley, The Devil in the Dust

You can feel right small and alone amongst those foresty mountains, even by the light of the day; and the sun was a-sagging down toward a toothy sawback of heignts there at the west.
Glenda Wilson
548. glinda
(And despite previewing twice, a tyop still snuck in. Classic example of typing-while-migraining; not as dangerous as driving-while-intoxicated, but very embarrassing.)
Douglas Davidson
549. ddavidso
515. As I dressed that morning I ran over in my mind the long list of statistics, evasions and exaggerations that they would expect in my report.

A classic collaboration from the late 50s.

That would be The Space Merchants, by Pohl and Kornbluth.


As the lesser and then the greater stars disappeared in the advancing light, the towering mass of the forest that walled in the cornfield retained for a while the utter blackness of the night.
frumiousb
550. Rikka
Not the first, Marron knelt in the Chamber of the King's Eye and thought, What need Ascariel?
Tower of the King's Daughter, Chaz Brenchley

He was not merely /awakened/, but /detonated/ out of an uncommonly long and repetitive dream.

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