First lines and Fritz Leiber

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Michael Whelan

I saw a writing contest a short time ago where the first line of a book was submitted to see if it “hooked” anyone.

(The first lines of my three books aren’t that exciting, with the possible exception of Roger Mantis, but that’s just a slight alteration of the first line of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.)

Last week I started re-reading Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series (I like reading my old favorites). These books are mostly short stories, and I began noticing how great the first lines were.

Below the break, I’ll list the first lines from some of these short stories (and the second ones for good measure) under their associated collection titles.

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Some of the people I wish had done my book cover instead of me.

Michael Whelan:

Dragonsbane by Michael Whelan

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Mark Ferrari:

Last Light on Atlantis by Mark Ferrari

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The people at Platinum:

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The book cover I did, a Photoshop illustration designed for a hardcover wrap-around dust jacket with end flaps. The artwork was done with an ancient version of Accurender and an even older version of AutoCAD.

Castle Falcon Cover, dust jacket by Tom Alan Brosz

(All illustrations copyright of their respective artists)