My pal Ilya recently brought this one to my attention, and it gave me a laugh. Apparently the latest “open the nearest book to page X and the third sentence describes your Y” trend sweeping the Internet is “open the nearest book to the first line and replace the second line with and then the murders began.”
Now (in reference to the above source link), while I do agree that one should start a book on a description of the weather only in cases of industrial-grade irony, I obviously don’t agree about the prologue thing. Matter of taste, really. I think a prologue is a valuable narrative tool for lending scope and expectation to a story. But let’s not go into that.
On the whole, I approve of any “open the nearest book” meme that finds its way around, because it provides much-needed positive reinforcement of the concept of having a goddamn book somewhere near you. I loathe, with the incandescent fire of a thousand suns, the pro-stupid, anti-intellectual surge that is drowning the human race.
So – and again, obviously – I decided to apply the idea to The Final Fall of Man.
- In the Thirty-Ninth Century, great men and women of the human race strode among the stars and trod the jewelled thrones of the universe under their sandal’d feet. And then the murders began.
- This, too, shall pass. And then the murders began.
- The famous first communication between Molren and humanity, back in the mists of history when the Fleet entered Earth’s region of space, was a story that had long since been repeated and retold until it had taken on the patina of mythology. And then the murders began.
- It was always nice, Sally reflected, to come home and find food waiting. And then the murders began.
- They say the Damorakind and the worshippers of Karl destroyed Earth. And then the murders began.
- The little ship was inside the bonefields for approximately eighteen hours. And then the murders began.
- The rumbling and shaking had stopped, but the ship still seemed on the verge of falling apart around them. And then the murders began.
- (basically a repeat of , but let’s start at chapter 1 instead of the prologue) Stifling the urge to sigh wearily, Çrom raised his head and looked back and forth. And then the murders began.
Quite hilariously, in almost every case in this series, the inserted second line could really have been implied already. Because murders essentially did begin at that point.
Not entirely sure what that tells us, but it was good for a laugh.