Charlie Jane Anders has posted a personal list of favorite first sentences from science fiction, provoking a lively discussion in the comments as people debate their merits and make their own suggestions. I tend to agree with AlfaCharger that the first line from Slaughter-House 5 is my favorite:
“Billy Pilgrim was unstuck in time.”
I love the word “unstuck” for the sound it suggests, as if pulling a suction cup dart from a wall, that slow “phhhh-pop!” as Billy Pilgrim gradually succumbs to trauma, memory, and alienation from his middle-aged suburban life.
Anyone got any faves? From any work of fiction, regardless of genre.
(Hat tip to Blake at LISNews.)