More of my favorite opening lines. I had fun with this last time, so I’m coming back for more. I like some of these for the language, some for the way they draw you immediately into the story, some because they tell you so much, and some because they tell you nothing at all, but make you want to know more.
NEUROMANCER, WILLIAM GIBSON:
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
(I love this, but weirdly for what was, when written, bleeding edge cyberpunk, this hasn’t aged well since most folks no longer have dead TV channels.)
1984, GEORGE ORWELL:
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13.
THE LOVELY BONES, ALICE SEBOLD:
My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.
A HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, DOUGLAS ADAMS:
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
CRUDDY, LYNDA BARRY:
Dear Anyone Who Finds This, Do not blame the drugs.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, ARTHUR C. CLARKE:
Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.
THE MARTIAN, ANDY WEIR:
I’m pretty much fucked.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, KURT VONNEGUT, JR.
All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn’t his. Another guy I knew really did threaten to have his personal enemies killed by hired gunmen after the war. And so on. I’ve changed all the names.
WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE, SHIRLEY JACKSON:
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.
CHOKE, CHUCK PALAHNIUK:
If you’re going to read this, don’t bother.