#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.”

EARLIEST FILM VERSION:
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!

#ShareAReviewDay – Starquest Book 1 by Hywela Lyn

This morning, please help me welcome Hywela Lyn to The Write Stuff. She is sharing a review of her Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel Starquest, Book 1, and I know you’ll enjoy reading it, then sharing far and wide. Thanks!

REVIEW:
Review by Snapdragon – Long And Short Reviews
4-1/2 stars

A love that will carry the heroine across the galaxy; a challenge that will threaten her life. Starquest by Hywela Lyn leaps into the deep end of galaxy right from the start, as the Jaii-onboard-computer announces a calamity that is but moments away. The navigational corrections are not enough, the starship’s drive is compromised; prepare to abandon ship…

Starquest kicks off with a literal bang, and you will feel your heart thumping at the race to abandon ship. The heroine, Jestine Darnell, is setting off on a desperate quest and does not quite know why. Her personal trajectory is impossible to predict, as she soon finds herself in the hands of telepaths – who are telepaths and more. Unsought friendships emerge, but can she trust them? And can that sort of reliance (no matter how good a navigator she is) come to matter among a large starship crew? It doesn’t help that she has to start off with a lie, then wonders if they can see through it. 

The Destiny’s crew find her competent, but they have reservations. Kerry and Jon acknowledge her competence, and you will find yourself hoping against hope that they will give her the benefit of the doubt. It is a troubled time; from the Union’s stranglehold on Earth, to the dangerous Grakk spies lurking all over the universe. Even as we hope for her to be accepted, you will feel a thread of doubt yourself. In an amazing way, Lyn will make you identify – even if just a little bit – with almost every character. 

Some emotions, like a somewhat shared sense of longing, are common among these people that cannot help but remember, a little sadly, the Earth home they left, long ago. What seems like a minor emotion – a loneliness or regret, becomes surprisingly evocative in this tale. 

Ms. Lyn does a great job making surprise characters, like Jaii and other ships’ computers, seem ordinary. And, it’s refreshing that various characters share a sense of pride and enthusiasm in their ships’ capabilities. 

Dialogue tends to be to the point and believable. Events become more and more unpredictable as the story moves forward. The backdrop is a universe – a beautifully envisioned universe. It seems rare to find a story with a science fiction bent so beautifully described. Read a little slice: 

“… watching the rapidly unfolding vista of stars, like shimmering jewels in the black velvet backcloth that was deep space. There was something about the sheer immensity of the Universe that made her feel very insignificant and, at the same time, very tranquil.” 

The lovely, lovely descriptions never slow the action, but manage still to convey emotion and carry the narration forward. This is an incredibly original tale, and – for all the science fiction trappings – is truly a classic quest for love, and the romance, which at first seems very much at the periphery, will become not only a primary motivation, but the chief joy of the tale. Adventure may be the main motif, but the heartwarming side will be a surprising bonus. 

BLURB:

When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant the ship’s second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen. 

Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late…

BUY Starquest Book 1 HERE and HERE


Author Hywela Lyn

Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long suffering husband Dave,  although her heart remains in her native rural Wales, which inspired so much of her writing. 

Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature.  Her characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself.  Her heroines are strong and courageous, while never losing their femininity. a worthy match for the handsome hero.  However difficult the journey, love will always win in the end. 

Her  first novel, Starquest a futuristic romance released by the Wild Rose Press was followed by a second book featuring some of the same characters, entitled Children Of The Mist.  A third novel Beloved Enemy continues what has now become a series known as The Destiny Trilogy. Each book is complete and can be read as a ‘stand alone’, although best read in order. 

She is a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association (UK)  and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group. 

A keen animal lover, she has ‘mare with attitude, called Flying T’pau,a ‘feral’ stable cat, Dusty, and a rescued terrier, Choccy, who manages to twist her round his little paw.  When she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just  eating chocolate!

Reach Hywela Lyn on Social Media below:

Email: HywelaLyn@HywelaLyn.co.uk

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hywela-Lyn/e/B002BMBXH4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Amazon US: amazon.com/Hywela-Lyn/e/B002BMBXH4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Blog: https://hywelalyn.blogspot.com
Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/pg/HywelaLynAuthor/https://www.facebook.com/pg/HywelaLynAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hywela_Lyn
Website: https://www.hywelalyn.co.uk 

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Virtual part invite – new release THE WORLD AND THE STARS

Just a quick note to say, if anyone has the time – tomorrow (today? – not sure, what with time differences), Friday 10th, anyway, I’d like to invite you to drop in to the virtual facebook party I’m hosting for the release of my latest book – an anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories by my writer’s group and friends.

The World and the Stars 500And yes, I have a story in there as well as acting as publisher.

We’ve dedicated the book to our founder, Peter T Garratt, who sadly passed away at the young age of 54, and is much missed.

He would have been very proud of this book.

I’m planning entertainment, chat, and a few competitions with small prizes, so even if you only have a few minutes, you’re welcome to just drop in.

8pm – 11pm British Summer Time, BST, (you can find a time converter here) and the party is on facebook here

Hope to see a few of you there 😀

Oh, and in addition, I’m offering FREE copies to anyone who would like to review…

#Excerpt from #SF short story PERFECT FIT by Deborah Jay #readers #books

The World and the Stars 500Excerpt week continues!

Today, a little snippet from my forthcoming contribution to the SFF multi-author anthology edited by Chris Butler, THE WORLD AND THE STARS, that I will be publishing next month.

You are the first people to see the cover!

I trained originally in life sciences, with specialised interest in genetics, so developments in gene-splicing and genetic modification (GM) are of particular interest to me, and that’s how this story came about.

Roz is a technician in the gene-splicing lab on board a worldship, travelling to set up a new colony. Unfortunately their arrival is long overdue, and the inhabitants are getting restless.

 

Excerpt from PERFECT FIT, a science fiction short story

Roz sidled in at the back of the crowded meeting hall and slid onto a chair in the hope that nobody would notice her arrival. The wooden seat creaked a protest as she perched on its front edge, and she drew a couple of deep breaths to settle her pounding heart. Accustomed to the sterile atmosphere in the lab, she almost choked on air thick with the smells of so many bodies.

She glanced from side to side to check who else was there, and met a pair of beautiful velvet brown eyes, almond-shaped above sculpted cheek bones. Sam’s lips curved up, and her stomach flip-flopped. She’d met him at her second meeting, and they’d made an instant connection, though under normal circumstances their paths would never have crossed. As a gardener, Sam’s was not a profession normally found in the social circle of a lab tech, but these secretive gatherings defied the usual conventions, and for that, she was glad. Their relationship was blossoming fast, and even as Sam smiled at her, Roz’s mind was darting ahead, imagining how his unique, fuzzy-tipped fingers might feel against her bare flesh. The tech side of her brain speculated what genes might have produced the specialised modification that allowed Sam to pollinate plants with just his finger tips.

Just then, Garth, the huge man responsible for instigating the budding revolution, rose to his feet at the front of the hall, towering over everyone else, even those still on their feet. Roz’s face snapped forward, severing the delicious promise in Sam’s gaze. The assembly—several hundred, by Roz’s reckoning—settled into reverent silence, overawed by the spectacle that was their leader. With the dense double muscling of his bovine GM bulging beneath his skin, Garth looked like he could take on the world and win. Charolais genes, a mutation that had proven fortuitous for the beef industry, supplied the tech side of Roz’s mind. Sometimes she wished she could switch it off.

She’d seen countless modifications, but few as visually impressive as Garth’s. Specially designed for heavy lifting, his super-manly physique had quite swept her off her feet when they’d first met, but things had not gone so well thereafter. She crossed her legs and squeezed her thighs together, recalling their embarrassing attempt at sex.

She’d heard all the jokes about ‘size matters’, but she didn’t think that was quite what they meant.