Here are some of my favourite opening lines from Science Fiction:
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. William Gibson, Neuromancer
Monday morning when I answered the door, there were twenty-one new real estate agents there, all in horrible polyester gold jackets. Rudy Rucker, The Hacker and the Ants, Version 2.0.
Two glass panes with dirt between and little tunnels from cell to cell: when I was a kid I had an ant colony. Samuel R. Delany, The Star Pit.
It was a pleasure to burn. Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Brother Francis Gerard of Utah might never have discovered the blessed documents, had it not been for the pilgrim with girded loins who appeared during that novice’s Lenten fast in the desert. Walter M. Miller, Canticle for Leibowitz
When a day that you happen to know is a Wednesday starts off by sounding like a Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere. John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids.
The Morris dance is common to all inhabited worlds in the multiverse. Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
I’ve watched through his eyes, I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you he’s the one. Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game
Technically it’s two sentences, but…
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended. Arthur C. Clarke, 2001
I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination. Ursula K.Leguin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“In ten years, the penis will be obsolete!” said the salesman. John Varley, Steel Beach
A merry little surge of electricity piped by automatic alarm from the mood organ beside his bed awakened Rick Deckard. Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Today we’re going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man. Joe Haldeman, The Forever War
One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets. Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
Five hours’ New York jet lag and Cayce Pollard wakes in Camden Town to the dire and ever-circling wolves of disrupted circadian rhythm. William Gibson, Pattern Recognition