Book beginnings on Friday : The Unstrung Zither
Book Beginnings on Friday is a bookish meme sponsored by Katy at A Few More Pages.
Here’s what you do: share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments section . Include the title and author so we know what you’re reading. Then, if you are so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line, and if you liked or did not like that sentence. Link-up each week at Katy’s place.
I guess my contribution this week might be regarded as cheating as it’s the beginning of a short story instead of a novel. I’ll go ahead with it anyway.
The beginning is from the short story The Unstrung Zither by Yoon Ha Lee and you can find it in the short story collection Year’s Best SF 15, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. So far it’s a really good collection and I’m reading it on my Kindle.
“They don’t look very dangerous,” Xiao Ling Yun said to the aide. Ling Yun wished she understood what Phoenix Command wanted from her. Not that she minded the excuse to take a break from the compositon for two flutes and hammered dulcimer that had been stymieing her for the past two weeks.
Through a one-way window in the observation chamber, Xiao Ling Yun saw five adolescents sitting cross-legged on the floor in a semicircle. Before them was a tablet and two brushes. No ink, these were not calligraphy brushes. One of the adolescents, a girl with short, dark hair, leaned over and drew two characters with quick strokes. All five studied the map that appeared on the tablet.
“Nevertheless”, the aide said. “They attempted to assassinate the Phoenix General. We are fortunate to have captured them.”
It’s a beginning that makes me curious. That’s always a good thing.