Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Famous Opening Lines II
"'The work is, you understand, somewhat unusual,' said Mr. Gordon."
-Poul Anderson, Time Patrol, p. 1.
(Beautifully understated.) However, on looking at the text, I am reminded that Mr. Gordon's observation is preceded by:
"MEN WANTED - 21-40, pref. single, mil. or tech. exp., good physique, for high-pay work with foreign travel. Engineering Studies Co., 305 E. 45, 9-12 & 2-6."
Not the catchiest of openings but not really part of the text, either. More like a heading. Again, it is an understated account of time travelling. We should compare it with an earlier lead-in to the subject of time travel:
"The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us."
-HG Wells, The Time Machine (London, 1973), p. 7.
These are our first introductions to Anderson's Time Patrol and to Wells' Time Machine but we forget such introductions, instead just becoming familiar with the concepts.
To answer a question asked here:
"It was an anachronism to have a human receptionist in this hall of lucent plastic..."
"When Captain Dominic Flandry opened his eyes, he saw metal."
But this time I leave it to blog readers to source these quotes. (They are easy enough to find.)