August 1, 2008

Many books have their moments, scenes that stay in your mind even years later, as vivid as when you first read them. This is one of the things that drives me to keep reading, the knowledge that there are more such memories waiting to be burned into my mind.

I’ve selected some of my own favourites below – I’m sure you have yours. I’ve put the book they come from after the scene.

William reading his letter from Marygay, written centuries earlier. (The Forever War by Joe Haldeman)

The cacophony of talking stones at York cathedral. (Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell by Susannah Clarke)

The French dragon falling screaming to its death after suffering a face
full of acid from an English longwing. As it plummets, its sorrowful rider puts a
pistol to the head of his faithful companion to end its agony. (Temeraire by Naomi Novik)

Ilya Volyova walking the vast and silent corridors of her ship. (Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds)

Fat Charlie Nancy’s karaoke experience – I’m smiling as I type this (Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman)

Trying to use the phones in Unlondon (Un Lun Dun by China Mieville)

The wizard Harry Potter digging the faithfuls Dobby’s grave using only a
shovel and the strength of his arms. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by Joanne Rowling)

Reid Malenfant, at the point of death, clutches an image of his wife,
dead 6000 years ago. Her name is the last sound on his lips. (Space by Stephen Baxter)

Sansa realising it is her wolf that is to be executed. (A Game of Thrones by George RR Matin)

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