#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz

Submissions for #FirstLineFriday are officially closed now. My thanks to all who emailed me with their guesses. I knew this one would be difficult, but I had hoped one or two of you would get it. Alas, no one did this week, so without further ado, here’s the answer to today’s quiz:

“The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand” is the opening line from The Invisible Man, a science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells in 1897.

Originally serialized in Pearson’s Weekly in 1897, it was published as a novel the same year. The Invisible Man the title refers to is Griffin, a scientist who has devoted himself to research into optics and invents a way to change a body’s refractive index to that of air so that it neither absorbs nor reflects light and thus becomes invisible. He successfully carries out this procedure on himself, but fails in his attempt to reverse it. An enthusiast of random and irresponsible violence, Griffin has become an iconic character in horror fiction.

While its predecessors, The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau, were written using first-person narrators, Wells adopts a third-person objective point of view in The Invisible Man. The novel is considered very influential, and helped establish Wells as “the father of science fiction.”

 Wells said that his inspiration for the novella was “The Perils of Invisibility,” one of the Bab Ballads by W. S. Gilbert, which includes the couplet “Old Peter vanished like a shot/but then – his suit of clothes did not.”

The Invisible Man has a wealth of progeny. The novel was adapted into comic book form by Classics Illustrated in the 1950s, and by Marvel Comics in 1976. Many writers and filmmakers also created sequels to the story, something the novel’s ambiguous ending encourages. Over a dozen movies and television series are based on the novel, including a 1933 James Whale film and a 1984 series by the BBC. The novel has been adapted for radio numerous times, including a 2017 audio version starring John Hurt as the invisible man. The cultural pervasiveness of the invisible man has led to everything from his cameo in an episode of Tom and Jerry to the Queen song “The Invisible Man.”

The Invisible Man is a 1933 American pre-Code science fiction horror film directed by James Whale. Based on H. G. Wells’ 1897 science fiction novel The Invisible Man and produced by Universal Pictures, the film stars Claude Rains, in his first American screen appearance, and Gloria Stuart. The film was written by R.C. Sherriff, along with Philip Wylie and Preston Sturges, though the latter duo’s work was considered unsatisfactory and they were taken off the project.

As an adaptation of a book, the film has been described as a “nearly perfect translation of the spirit of the tale” upon which it is based. The first film in Universal’s Invisible Man film series, it spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs which used ideas of an “invisible man” that were largely unrelated to Wells’ original story.

Rains portrayed the Invisible Man (Dr. Jack Griffin) mostly only as a disembodied voice. Rains is only shown clearly for a brief time at the end of the film, spending most of his on-screen time covered by bandages. In 2008, The Invisible Man was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

PERSONAL NOTE: The image of the man covered by bandages (so you could see him) is why the phrase “thickly gloved hand” made me think of this movie as soon as I read the opening line. While I haven’t read the book, I’ve seen the early version of the movie (not when it was released in 1933, though. Even I’M not that old! 😀 ) and several adaptations over time.


Buy The Invisible Man HERE

And that takes care of our #FirstLineFriday for this week. This was a tough one, and I’m not surprised that we didn’t have a winner. However, I hope you enjoyed taking a look at that extraordinarily long and comma-filled opening line, and contrasting it with what most of us would do today.

Thanks so much for taking part, and I’ll be back with another #FirstLineFriday quiz in a week or two. (Still catching up, here.) See you then!

#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

Another week gone by, and you know what that means. Another chance to try your hand at #FirstLineFriday, a little quiz designed to help us appreciate some of the best opening lines in literary history. From the classics of long ago to the latest best-sellers, no matter how old or how recent, everything is fair game on #FirstLineFriday. Let’s see how many of you remember this one.

As always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at 4:00pm, with the title and author of the correct book. 
  2. Do not reply here on the blog. Email only: marciameara16@gmail.com
  3. Honor System applies. No Googling, please.
  4. Submissions end at 4:00 P.M. EST, or when I receive 5 correct answers, whichever comes first.
  5. Winners who live in the U.S. may request a free download of any one of my books for themselves, or for someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of the offered books, they may request a free download of my next publication.
  6. Winners who live elsewhere may request a mobi or PDF file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Put on your thinking caps, because here it is! Today’s opening line:

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” 

Remember, email answers only, please. Thanks! And now off I go to await your guesses. 


#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to the Quiz and Yes, We Have A Winner!

Wow! I was sure this one was going to be so easy. I tell you, folks, it’s hard to know which ones are going to jog people’s memories and which aren’t. At any rate, this is a great opening line, in my opinion, and one that clearly lets the reader know something very different and interesting is about to follow. A good lesson in pulling readers in, I think.

For the second week in a row, we only have one winner, however, she was johnny-on-the-spot with the correct answer. So, let’s congratulate Jeanne Owens for figuring out one that was apparently pretty difficult for most of you. This one, I knew as soon as I read it, though that is certainly not always the case.

And since I’m in the midst of preparing for Dorian’s arrival, I’m keeping this short. Here’s the correct answer for you:

“The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended.” is the opening line of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark.

It’s a bit unusual, in that the 1968 science fiction novel was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick’s film version and published after the release of the film. Clarke and Kubrick worked on the book together, but eventually only Clarke ended up as the official author.

Buy 2001: A Space Odyssey HERE


The classic science fiction novel that captures and expands on the vision of Stanley Kubrick’s immortal film—and changed the way we look at the stars and ourselves.

From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn as man ventures to the outer rim of our solar system, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a journey unlike any other.

This allegory about humanity’s exploration of the universe—and the universe’s reaction to humanity—is a hallmark achievement in storytelling that follows the crew of the spacecraft Discovery as they embark on a mission to Saturn. Their vessel is controlled by HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent supercomputer capable of the highest level of cognitive functioning that rivals—and perhaps threatens—the human mind.

Grappling with space exploration, the perils of technology, and the limits of human power, 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to be an enduring classic of cinematic scope.

And there you have it, folks. I suspect there isn’t a one of you who hasn’t seen this movie or read this book, or like me, both. In fact, I read the entire series. (Yes, there are several more Space Odyssey books, and though it’s been a while, I remember enjoying all of them.) 

Stay tuned for next #FirstLineFriday quiz. (If all goes well, that will be Friday, 9/13, unless I let you know differently.) I’m pretty sure I’m going to use the easiest  to recognize first line I can find. (No, NOT “Call me Ishamel.”  Just. No. 😀 ) But I promise it will be pretty darn famous, and hopefully, we’ll have more winners.  Set your alarms, and I’ll see you then!