Quiz: Can You Match the Sci-Fi Opening Line To Its Novel?

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Rachel Brittain

Contributing Editor

Rachel is a writer from Arkansas, most at home surrounded by forests and animals much like a Disney Princess. She spends most of her time writing stories and playing around in imaginary worlds. You can follow her writing at rachelbrittain.com. Twitter and Instagram: @rachelsbrittain

You may think you know books, but how well do you know opening lines? Everyone knows they’re incredible important. An opening line or first paragraph can make or break a story, determining if a reader will even give it a chance. But just how memorable are some of the greatest sci-fi opening lines? And just how well do you remember them? From classics you read in school to contemporary favorites, these sci-fi opening lines will test your knowledge — and memory — of the genre in a new way.

We’ve tested your knowledge with fantasy openers before, but now it’s time for science fiction books to get their due. I tried to be as comprehensive and wide-ranging as possible when picking books to include, because I don’t want any sci-fi fans to feel helmed in. We’ve got sci-fi classics and newer releases, plus hard and soft science fiction, as well as books that some people might consider closer to the speculative sci-fi realm. Which does mean any of you sci-fi readers who tend to stick to a certain niche may find yourselves stumped. But, hey, that’s just a good excuse to expand your science fiction horizons!

So, science fiction fans, are you prepared? Come in and test your knowledge. Because you may know what happens in the story, but do you know the opening line?

I’ve listed the answers below for anyone interested in the full list of books included on the quiz. The titles are listed in alphabetical order, though, and are therefore not the same as the quiz. Still, wait until after you’ve completed the quiz to read through them or you’ll have an unfair advantage. No cheating!


Yes, really. I’m not kidding around about this. Have you already taken the quiz and gotten your results?

This is on the honor system. I’m trusting you.

Okay, here they are:

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson

Finna by Nino Cipri

Goldilocks by Laura Lam

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Launch Something! by Bae Myung-hoon

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

The Seep by Chana Porter

Several People Are Typing by Calvin Kasulke

Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen