1. I am an old man now, but then I was already past my prime when Arthur was crowned king.
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. One of the first fantasy novels I fell for, it was THE gateway
sistermagpie and patchfire got it right.
2. In shirt-sleeves, the way I generally worked, I sat sketching a bar of soap taped to an upper corner of my drawing board.
zeuss55 got this one. It's Jack Finney's Time and Again. Such, such a good book. Trivially speaking, this is the book that inspired the premise of the film Somewhere in Time.
3. The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.
From The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. Guessed right by inspiredlife and peacey's SK-fan husband. :)
4. Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth. It has been night for a long time.
earthquake1906 guessed this (last) one right! It's Perdido Street Station by China Miéville. This is a fantastic book, and the reason why I eat up everything this guy writes with a spoon. His narrative rivals Winters' Tale for sheer beauty; however, the story is darker and grittier (not that Winter's Tale is a romantic comedy by any stretch).
5. A great city is nothing more than a portrait of itself, and yet when all is said and done, its arsenals of scenes and images are part of a deeply moving plan. As a book in which to read this plan, New York is unsurpassed.
From the book which IMO has the best narrative and one of the best main characters, everever, Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. This is one of those books that I wish I hadn't read yet so I could go back and read for the first time. The narrative is like dreaming. inspiredlife got it.
6. Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island's beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat.
From A Peoples' History of the United States by Howard Zinn.
Anyone looking for the best book on US History--this is it, guys. While you're at it, read everything else by Dr. Zinn, as well.
patchfire, songdog and phoenixw got this one right.
7. I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain, since by tonight I shall be no more.
"Dagon" by H.P. Lovecraft. I read it in The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories. It's a good volume to pick up if you're new to Lovecraft; it's got a good sampling of his work and is annotated. sistermagpie guessed it right, as did zeuss55.
8. They do it with mirrors. It's a cliche, of course, but it's also true.
corridorgeist got this one. It's from the introduction of Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors, a lovely little collection of a short stories (including Shoggoth's Old Peculiar which makes my geeky Lovecraftian heart happy *g*). I used the first line of the introduction, since there's actually a story inside the intro itself.
9. Tall sails scraped the deep purple night as rockets burst, flared, and flourished red, white, and blue over the stoic Statue of Liberty.
patchfire got this one right. It's And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts. Written in 1987, it's probably the best book on the early history of the AIDS epidemic in the US, and the huge amount of politics behind medical research.
10. It began one day in summer about thirty years ago, and it happened to four children.
Half Magic by Edward Eager. This was the other book that helped guide my way to fantasy as a genre.
Guessed right by patchfire, songdog, and sistermagpie.
Now the game's done! Thanks for playing, everyone. :)