Monday, December 08, 2008

Five-FiftySix Meme: The Answers

Last week I posted the fifth sentence on page 56 from ten science fiction novels.

Here are the answers:

1. "And quivering in the air above the base of the fall was the last rainbow left on Earth."

From the first part of Beyond the Fall of Night (1990) by Gregory Benford and Arthur C. Clarke. That part of the novel is a reprint of Clarke's novella "Against the Fall of Night", which was originally published in 1953.

2. "In spite of herself, she noticed the masculine odor of him, compounded not unpleasantly of sweat, leather, and an unusual muskiness that must be from close association with dragons."

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (1968). The first part of the novel, from which the quote was taken, is the Hugo-award winning novella "Weyr Search".

3. "Mr. Duckworth rode stroke; the drops fell off his paddle like tears of glass on a smooth mirror of the Isis, and . . . "

To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer (1971). The novel won the Hugo award in 1972.

4. " A god who now sought revenge on the race of Men who had devised machines that would banish them from the real world."

From the short story "O Ye of Little Faith" by Harlan Ellison, published in Ellison's short story collection Deathbird Stories in 1975. I identified it as an anthology, which can be a collection by a single author, but more usually refers to a collection by multiple authors. Sorry if that was misleading.

5. "Her thighs soak up the kinetic energy and then release it, and once again she is racing toward us, hair streaming straight out behind her, a broad smile of triumph growing larger in the screen."

From Stardance by Spider and Jeanne Robinson (1979). The 1978 novella that makes up the first part of the novel - the eponymous "Stardance" - won both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

6. "No telling what the ship might do to him next."

The Jesus Incident (1979) by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom.

7. "There would be so many opportunities to miss the obvious, so many chances to misunderstand, so many ways of taking the wrong path"

The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov (1983). The novel was nominated for the Hugo, but didn't win.

8. "Matrix gone, a wave of sound and color . . . . She was moving through a crowded street, past stalls vending discount software, prices feltpenned on sheets of plastic, fragments of music from countless speakers."

Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984) won both the Nebula and Hugo awards.

9. "Hackworth had once taken his family out rowing on the pond in the par, and the ends of the yellow oars spun off compact vortices, and Fiona, who had taught herself the physics of liquids through numerous experimental beverage spills and in the bathtub, demanded an explanation for these holes in the water."

Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age (1995) won a Hugo for best novel.

10. "In a thicker, stinking haze just above the rooftops, the detritus from a million low chimneys eddied together. "

China Mieville's Perdido Street Station (2000) was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula awards but didn't win.

So, how did you do?

P.S. If you are interested in pix from my trip, you can see them here.



  1. I got one...because it happened to be the ONLY book I've actually read on your list (Neuromancer). Quite sad.

    Oh, and I've been meaning to do this on my blog, just haven't taken the chance yet. Thanks for the tag though!

  2. I'm pretty happy with myself. I got numbers 2, 5 (despite not having read it in more than a decade) and 10.


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