So you know. You’ve got a book, sitting there. It wants to be read. You’ve been holding out for books one and two in the series, but the book…it just sits there. Smiling. Whispering.
On the other hand (there’s always another hand, unless you’re a fan of the old movie Fiddler on the Roof, but I digress…) hubby’s gone off to work for a few days, my back is sore so there’s a limit to the *useful* things to do. An entire evening lies ahead.
Some of the other bloggers have mentioned jumping in with book three, The Return, and finding it fairly easy to understand. The other two are on the way; I can fill in the blanks soon enough.
Fine, then. I know when I’m beat.
So every once in awhile I post up a novel’s opening paragraphs, and I’m going to do that again here. Keeping in mind this is not the beginning of the series, though.
Friday, February 21, 2020: Mars
The small point of light moved toward them, an unhurried but relentless advance across a lifeless red plain. Not an out-of-the-ordinary sight on Earth, perhaps–a slow vehicle crossing the high desert. But this was Mars. And until moments ago, eight Martian astronauts, along with all of mankind, had thought those explorers were the sole living beings on this forsaken, desiccated planet.
“The glint’s still headed straight for us.” Rear Admiral John Wells, known to his crew as “Hawk,” pointed at the computer display, consternation knitting his brow. “At the current speed of advance, it’ll be here in three days. Tops.”
John heard the quickened breathing of the seven other astronauts gathered around him in the quiet of the Martian morning. Hemmed inside their tight cylindrical home, the crew formed a tense circle in the mission operations center of their laboratory module.
“You’ve only seen those reflections at sunrise, right?” Martin Oswald, their lanky flight engineer, better known as “Oz,” winced as he plucked hair from the side of his head. The guy’s nerves had gotten so bad the bald spot was hard to miss now.
Colonel Melanie Knox nodded and looked up from a data terminal, her small frame bristling with energy. “Satellite surveillance picks up a glint as it crosses the horizon every morning. But only at low sun angles. There’s no mistake–something’s out there. I woke you because I wanted you all to see for yourselves.” She studied her wide-eyed crew-mates and waved a hand across the screen. “Whatever it is, guys, it’s closing in on us.”
So there you have it. Does this give a sense of setting, a sense of character? Can you see the genre?
If you would like to WIN a copy of The Return by Austin Boyd, take the discussion into comments. There might even be a solace prize of one or two or ten.
Heh. The library just called. Book two–The Proof–is in for me to pick up. Whatever happened to The Evidence? Do I have to read the entire trilogy BACKWARDS? Why didn’t I just go buy them in the first place?
I was waiting with bated breath to find out if it was an alien. Obviously, science fiction is immediately implied.
Tension! I love the tension in the room. (Was going to say more, but stalled. Oh well.)
I usually read things in order too if possible. I hate reading or watching something when I already know how its going to end unless of course I fell in love with it the first time around and just have to reread/rewatch because it was sooo good.
As for the opening it definitely sets the scene. That would be a bit frightening thinking you are all alone on a strange planet and then to have this “unknown” device or entity stalking you all of a sudden.
You don’t see much of the characters yet but then it’s only a few paragraphs out of hundreds of pages so there hasn’t really been time to develop the personalities just yet though the excerpt does give just a slight glimpse at certain personality traits.
As for getting everything in backward order – libraries seem to be good at getting the books if they manage to track them down but they don’t seem to be as invested in the order or in making sure to complete a series so readers can read all the sequels.
I once got through the first three books of a series that I borrowed from the library only to find the library system didn’t own a single copy of the fourth and last book in the series – ahhhhh!!!! – so I asked if they could request an interlibrary loan from another library system. What do they decide to do instead – buy the darn thing but then it took a very long two months or more for them to get the thing in and ready to check out. Boy was I chomping at the bit by that point to know what happened to these characters.
Melissa in Oregon
Thanks for stopping by Bibliophile’s Retreat.
I haven’t read the book yet. I just recently joined the CSFF Blog Tour and didn’t have time to read before this tour as my TBR piles are way ahead of me right now LOL! Go ahead and enter me for the drawing the premise of this series sounds intriguing though I’m more into fantasy than SF.
Melissa in Oregon
I liked that first paragraph. I’m still trying to get through G. Polivka’s book. Not his fault–I’ll blame it on Brownies, like I have been the past month.
Thanks for posting that. It looks really, really good from that paragraph.