I dont remember anything I read word for word enough to post an excerpt.
There are many scenes over the years that have stuck with me, for many reasons. 'By this axe I rule' was a good quote from Howard, in writing Kull. I thought that was his best story. I also liked red nails.
I still vividly remember parts of the Elric series, least those I read. And while i dont much enjoy Tolkiens writing, I think he had a lot of portions that lived past his page.
Well…there are loads. And can I remember them word for word? Probably not. I love the opening line of Moby Dick or the White Whale.
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world
In Jane Eyre, with Charlotte Brontë’s achingly beautiful and bold prose, when Miss Temple is reassuring a young Jane, this excerpt broke me into a million little pieces,
The kind whisper went to my heart like a dagger.
in The Handmaid’s Tale, not an excerpt as such but the moment when the commander tells Offred that the mock latin she finds in her room actually means ‘don’t let the bastards grind you down’.
And of course I am a romantic at heart and I can’t leave my beloved Mr Darcy out of this when he confesses his love to Elizabeth Bennet,
In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
There are so many in Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Murakami, but this one sums it up for me,
Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in fight, searching the skies for dreams.
Because for further context, the main character is stuck at the end of the world inside his own mind.
This is from our third book, Beneath a Stone Sky. Just some terms really quick. Hurling is an Irish ball game. The hurley is basically a hockey stick and the sliotar is the ball.
The faerie prince started laughing again. “You wanted the ball. Now you’ve got it.”
True. Brian gave a small shrug and ran for the goal, the goblin worrying at the bone of his wrist like a dog. Maybe he should kick it into the goal, instead? Wait, wasn’t he supposed to be balancing something? He couldn’t run down the field like this. He needed to ditch the goblin.
Just as he grabbed at the ball the goblin let go, apparently realizing what Brian was doing, and tried to run back the way they’d come, toward the other goal, still holding the sliotar.
Brian scrambled to turn, changing his direction at full speed, and grabbed the nasty little goblin again. “Aodhán, go long!” He threw the ball, goblin and all.
The faerie prince spun in place and leapt, catching the goblin out of the air with his hurley and deftly balancing it and the ball with little bouncing motions as he turned to run toward the goal.
Lana jumped over a three-way skirmish and landed right in front of Aodhán, grinning. “Going somewhere?” She whipped her unbroken hurley out and up, catching the prince between the legs.
Aodhán made a small squeaking noise like his helium was leaking out and dropped the goblin. He went down to his knees.
“Foul!” Queen Deirdre was on her feet, looking cross.
Nobody on the field seemed to notice.
King Ceallach shook his head. “No, my love, that’s a perfectly legal move. Play on!”
Lana grabbed up the goblin and ran.
Aodhán, struggling to get up off of his knees, gestured wildly at the succubus. “Stop her!”
Lana was nimble, but so was Brian. He was after her before Aodhán finished speaking, powerful legs propelling him forward at preternatural speed. He’d never run so fast. Strength of ten men, Jessie had said. Must be a Hero thing.
Brian followed Lana through the melee as she tried to lose him in the chaos, leaping over a redcap that he really hoped wasn’t actually eating that guy, and tackled Lana as she broke through to the other side.
Lana snapped her head backward, making Brian see stars and blood run freely from his nose. Her legs churned beneath him, trying to kick him off of her.
Brian didn’t want to hit her, but she wasn’t giving him many choices. Instead, he rolled over onto his back and tried to get a better hold on her.
Lana broke free and scrambled to her feet. “Too nice, Hero. It’s gonna get you killed.”
Brian stood. “I’m not going to hit you over a game.”
Lana’s face softened for an instant. “Fat chick doesn’t know what she’s missing.” And she tried to rack him, goblin still clinging to her hurley.
Brian made a small noise of panic and barely managed to dodge away. “Hey! That thing bites!”
I've had to translate this from the Swedish so I hope it's OK, but from the second book:
“I’ll never be able to forgive them for what they did. To him, to me and to many others. What they left of him is a shadow of what he might have been. If it had never happened we might have been a couple. But we’re not, and we never will be.” Katrin sounded angry and bitter; then she looked directly at her. “Don’t get me wrong Thérèse. Torbjörn means a lot to me, more than any other man I’ve ever met. But we’re not right for each other, not now, not after all we’ve been through. And we both know it.”
Thérèse nodded, not really knowing what to say. In some ways those who’d died during the war had it easy. They were free. But for people like Katrin and Torbjörn the war didn’t seem to have ended at all. They still had to face their demons, and they had to face them every day.
"A thought disturbed the darkling sea. From beyond our universe, it rippled through the millions upon millions of galaxies and on through the many planes of the universe that lay together so closely intertwined that few could distinguish between them."
“I create gods, and I have proven myself your superior in every way!”
“Not quite. I’m still prettier.”
“A useless piece of fluff, that’s what you are,” he sneered, “too foolish to see that it’s already too late. I captured you and Baezha, the great Death Queens, as easily as putting on my boots. I had you under my complete control, tossed you aside when you proved useless, and came here to either convince these fools I was right all along or crush them under their own stupidity.” His voice grew in volume as he ranted on, spittle flying from his lips. “And in all that time there was nothing – absolutely nothing – that you could do! Ever since you started this quest, you failed at every single goal, Battle Queen! You who swore to protect the helpless, defend the defenseless? Just look at all the dead innocents around you! Why do you insist on pursuing this futile quest? Why?”
“If I save even one, it’s worth it.”
“Except you haven’t saved anyone, have you? Once more you let people die! Once again, you! Have! Failed!”
“I did my best.”
“It wasn’t good enough.”
“No, it wasn’t. It often isn’t.”
“Then why bother?”
“Because it’s all I have.”
From The God Makers, Book 5 in my Sisters of the Storm series.
There's a lot of stuff I like from my published works (and especially love it when people quote bits at me...) but that's mainly crime which is not relevant here. I do have a sci-fi trilogy coming out soon - part 1 to be published in July - but here's a chunk from part 2 I think quite gripping (although clearly it helps if you know the characters):
Cam was just about at the end of his tether.
Every step was agony, but he had at least retraced his steps to the foot of the ramp down which he’d come when he’d first left the chamber of the portal.
He looked up and estimated the ramp to be two hundred metres at a gradient of approximately thirty degrees. With the heavy gravity and choking air it was going to be a struggle and his eyes blurred with tears.
He took a step and felt immediately the burn in his legs at the steep incline. He took a second step and had to pause to catch his breath.
‘How do they breathe this crap?’ he wondered. It was a mystery how anything lived at all.
There was almost no vegetation he noted. Not a tree – just a few scraggy weeds poked through cracks in the footpath. What sort of creatures, besides Xyks, could possibly survive here?
With that thought a sense of urgency struck him. He was very exposed on the ramp and Xyks could be watching from anywhere.
Several minutes of concentrated effort got him nearly halfway to the top but he had to pause again to catch his breath. It seemed the harder he exerted himself the more deeply he sucked the bad air into his lungs – and the worse it affected him.
And the gravity felt like chains attached to his limbs stretching all the way to the centre of the planet. He had to carry them every step.
He forced himself to go again. There was a bit of wind the higher he got and the baritone howl of air moving through and around the hive-like structures was further evidence of how different this world was from the Earth which, with all its faults, suddenly seemed like a lush, green paradise.
All the hours he’d wasted inside…
All the time he could have been out in the wilderness, walking, breathing, immersing himself in the beauty of nature…
The howl got louder as he trudged toward the opening at the top of the ramp – and then it changed – became an ululating warning – the unholy baying of some terrible creature in pain.
It seemed to be coming from several directions and Cam looked around wildly for its source.
Then he saw movement in the distance. It looked tiny but he knew it must be monstrous – grey and moving like a giant rat in little hops and scurries. It seemed to look directly at him then raised its head and howled – a new note – a summons.
The howl was blended with others joining in and Cam forced himself to move. The creature was five hundred metres away but bounded towards him, making light of the gravity.
Cam was sobbing with desperation as he gauged the distance above to the doorway – more than fifty metres, an impossible journey.
He glanced back to see more of the creatures converging in the wake of the leader, like a pack of greyhounds. They covered the ground in terrible speed, now only two hundred metres from the bottom of the ramp.
He was almost down to hands and knees, dragging himself upwards, even the last of his adrenalin gone. He heard the shrieking and grunting of the animals flying towards him and imagined their jaws closing.
His eyes were blurred with tears and the breath burned in his chest as he drove himself on – metres to go and the baying deafening.
He collapsed just over the threshold – unable to move another inch and his mind frozen with horror. He could feel the hot pulsing of their breath and couldn’t understand why he’d not been torn to shreds.
He rolled onto his back to see a sight more vile and hideous than any acid nightmare. Three of the creatures were clustered in the doorway like Cerberus – snapping and lunging at him, rivers of drool dripping from their pitch-fork fangs. Baying in frustration.
Because even in the extremity of his danger, Cam perceived that they would not cross the threshold.
He edged further away as their eyes blazed with the promise of death and the howling increased in volume and rage.
A few more metres and Cam started feeling distinctly better. He felt lighter and breathed more easily.
"She guided me by the hand down a somewhat lengthy corridor, whose crimson walls were forlornly lit by ebon ironwork sconces. The fashioning of them were such that they approximated masses of pointed, thorny vines: within which burned deep red rosen candles: casting all manner of frightful shadows through their curling, snaking, prickly trammels! An impression emerged: that of wandering through a wood of barren trees under a cold full moon. A vast canopy of twisted, pointed, stabbing branches to cast their horrid phantasms upon me, and fill the obscure recesses of my mind with terrors both innumerable,... and unnamable!"
And they left another clue, known as "A bounty hunter who?" along with the notion that anyone curious about A bounty hunter who would need to use their imagination to think of.
And their fault, when leaving the clue "A bounty hunter who" was that of nanotechnology sand where things never went as planned.
Although, the Aeon tribe did leave another clue.
This clue was known as a Soniq vision palace, and floated high above the ground in the sky with a mechan alien soniq vison that did fly.
And the mechan alien soniq vison was sentient while she kept many genie lamps and tea pots that she tended to.
And at night there was a curfew, anyone who was caught breaking the curfew was paid a CORE logo dream catcher.
One night, a girl named "Corey" snuck out to go to a big ball tennis court she knew of.
The stars in the sky were beautiful and the breeze that sleazed from CORE broadcast radio tower to CORE broadcast radio tower that broadcasted CORE broadcasts felt good and made her relax as she felt like a star.
She felt so good, that she called her friend Nespa to come and catch her breaking the curfew.
Nespa only had one dream catcher, so she took the CORE logo dream catcher to give to Corey as payment.
When Nespa met Corey, she paid Corey the CORE logo dream catcher.
And, underneath the stars, the two of them went to explore the nearest CORE broadcast radio tower. However, the tower wasn't active and had been deactivated long ago.
The rules were that each deactivated CORE broadcast radio tower was installed with a artificial intelligence hive mind in the dungeon below the tower.
Corey and Nespa climbed all the way to the top of the tower that had many CORE logo dream catchers hanging from it.
"These must be from people who were caught breaking the curfew." Corey said to Nespa.
And they could see the horizon of radio towers strobe lights in the distance and hear the sounds of their retro broadcasts.
The name of the radio tower that they climbed was "Never Say "Why I Never"", they could see the name on a electronic panel wall of the radio tower.
And as Nespa handed her the dream catcher, Corey said "Why I Never".
And this left Nespa without a dream catcher, so Corey took one off of the radio tower for her.