Malacandra wrote:Count Zero
, William Gibson. I'll win dirty if I can't get there any other way!
Malacandra takes the boots!
The opening line to the first book in that series, Neuromancer
, is much more famous, and regularly appears in "best first line" lists:
"The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel."
A brilliant opener, even if it's been slightly deflated by modern technology. He means, of course, that the sky was flat and bright and white and jittery like static, and hard to look at, with the added association of something being broken, somewhere. Now, of course, it might be mistaken for meaning a flat blue. But the other opening lines are great, too, and the first sentence of Count Zero
really helps to set the scene. Immediately, there's an unknown "They", and an even more unknown thing called a "Slamhound" - which, although we don't know what it is, doesn't sound good at all. "New Delhi" combined with a name like "Turner" internationalises the setting. The use of "slotted" instead of something like "keyed" or "tuned" or "set" pushes the strangeness, and along with the conversational tone makes you realise that whoever is telling the story is deeply familiar with things you have never heard of. All in less than two dozen words …