A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Odds and Ends

Great Opening Lines
Jon Gibbs, a local writer here in the Valley, runs a blog called An Englishman in New Jersey, for the simple reason that he is.  He recently ran a contest called the Meager Puddle of Limelight Award for Best Opening Line
and announced the winners, which I think are worth sharing:
  1. The goddamn robots were at it again (Beth Cato aka celestialgldfsh) 
  2. The first words Henry Woods heard after his execution were, “You took long enough to get here."  (Elizabeth Hull aka darkspires) 
  3. "Think of me as a time of year" whispered the raccoon, "like libraries in a late autumn afternoon." (Adrian Sterling aka raisinbottom) 
  4. You're all alone here, alone among the dead.  (Phil Giunta aka pgiunta)  
  5. At the beginning, you see, Time had not yet come into being.  (Sue Stone aka knittingknots)
  6. Last night, I dreamed of the drowned man again.  (Christine Lucas aka silverwerecat)
  7. Miranda Lorensen was about to watch her brother die--again.  (Phil Giunta aka pgiunta)
  8. Nobody knew how and nobody knew why, but everywhere that Renee went the rain followed.  (Angela De Groot aka angeladegroot)
The illustrious raisinbottom, who has graced us with his presence on the LiveJournal version of this very blog and has in my own opinion the most outre of the opening lines.  Though truth to tell, I thought one of the non-finalists was pretty good:
I laid down on the tracks waiting for the 1:15 when a voice next to me said: Could you move up a bit?

If the job of an opening line is to get the reader to proceed to the second line, most of these do the trick most excellently.  
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More Odds and Ends below the cut
Esteemed Cells
Another blow struck toward the curing of disease.  Or not
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For Some Values of Earth-sized
Another Earth-sized exoplanet found.  So far, these finds have only re-emphasized how very different our own little world seems to be.  For that matter, perhaps even how different our own little solar system is.  I mean, superjovians whipping around their stars in a couple of days?  Little Mercury needs 88 to pull the trick!  
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Quote of the Week
The culture war is essentially over. Culture seems to have lost.  -- Jerry Pournelle
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Poster of the Week
h/t Mark Shea
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The History Channel
h/t Mark Shea

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