Fun for Monday: 7 SFF Books with Incredible Openings

The lovely Sam over at The Book in Hand does a fun thing most weekends called Sunday’s Seven and a couple of weeks ago she chose seven favourite openings from SFF books she’s read. Because sometimes you really are in or out depending on those first few sentences.

As Sam has kindly given me permission to play along, here are my seven awesome opening lines, all from books I have yet to read:


The Redemption of Althalus by David & Leigh Eddings

“In defense of Althalus, it should be noted that he was in very tight financial circumstances and more than a little tipsy when he agreed to undertake the theft of the Book. Had he been completely sober and had he not reached the very bottom of his purse, he might have asked more questions about the House at the End of the World, and he most certainly would have asked many more about the owner of the Book.”




Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

“Mrs Tiffin could play the bouzouki. Not well, and only one tune: ‘Help Yourself’ by Tom Jones. She plucked the strings expertly but without emotion while staring blankly out of the train window at the ice and snow. She and I had not exchanged an intelligent word since we first met five hours before, and the reason was readily explained: Mrs Tiffin was dead, and had been for several years.”

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The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

“Here be monsters.

MARY: I don’t think that’s the right epigraph for the book.

CATHERINE: Then you write the bloody thing. Honestly, I don’t know why I agreed to do this.

MARY: Because we need money.

CATHERINE: As usual.”




The Library of the Unwritten by A J Hackwith

“Books ran when they grew restless, when they grew unruly, or when they grew real. Regardless of the reason, when books ran, it was a librarian’s duty to catch them.”

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Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

“The student wouldn’t stop doing her homework, and it was going to kill her. Even after the doctors shot her up with tranquilizers, she bunched into a sitting position, fingers curled around an absent keyboard, typing and typing.”

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The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

“The mutineers would have gotten away with it, too, it it weren’t for the collapse of the Flow.”

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab

“Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

It had neither one side, which would be conventional, not two, which would be unexpected, but several, which was, of course, impossible.”

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Does anyone else want to play?

Has anyone read any of these books? And do they live up to their opening lines?




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