Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday: SF Edition

I'm currently reading John Scalzi's excellent novel Old Man's War. The book begins with one of the best opening lines in recent memory. Since I'm listening to the audiobook, I didn't realize it was actually three sentences but, if you format the text differently, it could have been two.
I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife's grave. Then I joined the army.
Anyone who doesn't want to read more, well, I don't know what to say.

As for some SF-related sentence of my own, my current WIP is this fantasy/steampunk/SF thing I described in the first post of SF Safari. I may end up changing things around but here's a couple of sentences to tease you with:
He didn't know how and he didn't know why but, somehow, in the fifteen years he's been marooned in this strange, foreign city, Captain Gregg Landingham discovered that the buildings were alive and they spoke to him. Now, they were telling him that someone he knew was being murdered.
Over on my crime blog, I posted some pulp-related sentences. Head on over there and let me know what you think.

For more Two Sentence Tuesday fun, head on over to Women of Mystery.


  1. Really great sentences. I really want to read more.

  2. Scott, you cannot leave us hanging on these two great sentences. I empower you to put the next two sentences down for next week. Surely there won't be any plot spoilers so soon.

  3. Crystal - Thanks for linking over here. I have this grand idea for this grand story but I want to make sure I keep it on a human level. So, I'm working through all these new characters dancing around in my head, seeing if they have something to say that's of interest to me. To date, the word "marooned" is the key.

    Barbara - [Taking deep breath and pounding solidly on chest] I feel so empowered. Here's the thing: as I wrote in Crystal's comment, I'm seeing what these new folks have to say for themselves. As I sat down--this morning--to write my two SF sentences, I kept trying to go for the long, involved sentence. And I had a particular idea of how Captain Langingham was going to act. Then, suddenly, that bit about the buildings being alive just sneaked up on me and I went with it. I like the idea. Now, I need to come up with sentences 3 and 4. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Often my stories will take on a life of their own when I begin them, then I go with the flow. Sometimes the most amazing things pop up out of the blue and you have just encountered such an experience. Go with it and see where it leads you.

  5. Barbara - There were a couple of times when I was writing my first novel where things seemed to happen magically. It was as if my characters, the ones I created, stood up and let me know that there were other things they could do. I followed their lead and wrote a better book.