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.

Year's Best SF 15, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer“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.

About mostraum

Librarian, reader, atheist, blogger, golfer, lesbian, geek.

Posted on September 2, 2011, in Literature/Books, Quotes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Just added you to my blog archive πŸ™‚
    Fairly new to the blogging “abroad” thing and spend my time going i circles to where to promote my blog. There are so many book blogging communities out there…
    Love the pic of your cat (the Norwegian Tanz blog πŸ™‚
    Have a cat and a dog myself – and do a lot of photography, but haven’t managed to get an interesting picture of both of them together…
    Wish you a lovely weekend! My boyfriend is in USA so I have my weekend for myself, the blog and my books. Yeeeyyyhhh :-))

  2. Good luck. Yes, there’s a lot of blogging communities out there. I’m sure you’ll do fine and get readers. And I do want to see a dog/cat-picture one day πŸ™‚

  3. I love having my curiosity aroused! Thanks for sharing.


  4. I don’t think it’s cheating:) Hope you enjoy it!

  5. I think Hammered Dulcimers are such funny, odd instruments. So I take it that the book has a humorous side.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    My Head is Full of Books

  6. It’s actually a quite somber short story. But I agree, hammered dulcimers are funny instruments πŸ™‚

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