Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sentence Sneak Peek - How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

The first sentence from before the first chapter, each chapter after that, and the first sentence from Appendix A of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

"When it happens, this is what happens: I shoot myself."

"There is just enough space inside here for one person to live indefinitely, or at least that's what the operation manual says."

"Client call."

"The earliest memory I have of my own dad is the two of us, sit-ing on my bed as he reads me a book we have checked out from the local library."

"Universe 31 can feel claustrophobic some nights, like it's an overgrown city of insomniacs, crowded and noisy and suffused with a background illumination that glows purple in the sky, in the east sky and the west sky and in the north and the south, in the early sky and the late, high and low and in every corner of every sky, and on nights like these, no one ever sleeps in this city-sized universe, everyone just stares up at their vast yet tiny piece of the connected sky, listening to the still-humming hum of the primordial radiation."

"When you are a kid, playing with the other kids on your street, and everyone is fighting over who they are going to be, you have to call dibs early, as soon as you see one another, pretty much as soon as you step outside your house, even if you're halfway down the block."

"Chronodiegetics is the branch of science fictional science focus-ing on the physical and metaphysical properties of times given a finite and bounded diegesis."

"My manager IMs me."

"Client call."

"Sometimes I think back to when my father and I were first start-ing to sketch it out in his study at home, just ideas on a pad, just lines and vectors and tentative inequalities, first starting to realize what might be possible, and I suspect that he knew even then that he would get lost."

"Phil was right."

"The hub is jammed, so subspace traffic control pushes us out into a holding pattern, where we end up spending almost two hours of bio-time in the XPO loop."

"Once upon a time, I am ten years old and my dad is driving me home from the park."

"You can get into a lot of trouble in the city when you live like I do."

"When it happens, this is what happens: I shoot myself."

"Back in my time machine."

"It's a slim, silver-colored volume with a metallic-looking sheen, relatively modest in size but with a surprising heft, as if it acquired some amount of relativistic mass in its journeys around time."

"At the present moment, I am, in fact, reading the text display generated by TOAD on the main screen in front of me, going along through the words and, noticing, here and there, that the words seem to slightly adjust themselves, sometimes a little ahead of where I'm reading, but usually just behind what I've read, as if the device is self-editing, modifying the text to fit as closely as possible the actual throughput of my conscious act of reading it."

"Why can't I just give up now?"

"Not a good idea."

"I wake up in an enormous Buddhist temple."

"We're in your childhood," TAMMY says."

"It was a moonshot, that first trip."

"My mother was calling for me when we got back."

"A call comes in from Dispatch."

"I am seventeen years old."

"TAMMY makes a face at me I haven't seen before."

'TAMMY's crying again."

"TAMMY opens the panel and the TOAD pops out, and I see on the display that the story is still tracking, has been all along."

"The key fits, thank goodness, because otherwise I'd have been all out of ideas, and I open up the secret compartment to find the eighteenth item."

"When it happens, this is what happens: I shoot myself."

"I get out of the time machine."

"Look in the box."

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