Sunday, September 11, 2011

First sentences by Neal Stephenson

Wherein it is acknowledged that ranking and or judging books by a single sentence is a wholly stupid enterprise and thus these are arranged chronologically


But the Cobweb sentence would be my favorite.

The Big U, 1984

The Go Big Red Fan was John Wesley Fenrick's, and when ventilating his System it throbbed and crept along the floor with a rhythmic chunka-chunka-chunk.

Zodiac, 1988

Roscommon came and laid waste to the garden an hour after dawn, about the time I usually get out of bed and he usually passes out on the shoulder of some freeway.

Snow Crash, 1992

The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory.

Interface, 1994

William Anthony Cozzano's office was a scandal.

The Diamond Age, 1995

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.

Cobweb, 1996

Clyde Banks was standing in line, in the early stages of hypothermia, when he first saw his future wife, Desiree Dhont, wrestle.

Prologue from Cryptonomicon, 1999

Two tires fly. Two wail.

A bamboo grove, all chopped down

From it, warring songs.

...is the best that Corporal Bobby Shaftoe can do on short notice--he's standing on the running board, gripping his Springfield with one hand and the rearview mirror with the other, so counting the syllables on his fingers is out of the question.

1st chapter from Cryptonomicon, 1999

Let's set the existence-of-God issue aside for a later volume, and just stipulate that in some way, self-replicating organisms came into existence on this planet and immediately began trying to get rid of each other, either by spamming their environments with rough copies of themselves, or by more direct means which hardly need to be belabored.

In the beginning...was the command line, 1999

About twenty years ago Jobs and Wozniak, the founders of Apple, came up with the very strange idea of selling information-processing machines for use in the home.

Quicksilver, 2003

Enoch rounds the corner just as the executioner raises the noose above the woman's head.

The Confusion, 2004

He was not merely awakened, but detonated out of an uncommonly long and repetitive dream.

The System of the World, 2004

"Men half your age and double your weight have been slain on these wastes by Extremity of Cold," said the Earl of LostWithiel, Lord Warden of the Stannaries, and Rider of the Forest and Chase of Dartmoor, to one of his two fellow-travelers.

Anathem, 2008

Do your neighbors burn one another alive?

Reamde, 2011

...to be added September 20, when Amazon delivers it. I read that if you do THE FACEBOOK, excerpts from the first chapter are available at The Neal Stephenson's THE FACEBOOK page. But by not doing THE FACEBOOK this isn't available to me. On THE TWITTER I requested help in accessing the first sentence and received no help. Based on this small, but completely accurate, sample size, I conclude that participating in social media is both annoying and pointless.

2 Comments:

Blogger bill said...

and the first sentence of REAMDE is [drumroll] .......

"Richard kept his head down."

Oh...that's...hey, gotta start somewhere.

9/17/2011 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger blake said...

I think that's the only one I understand. And I've read Necronomicon.

12/10/2012 08:56:00 PM  

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