The way led along upon what had once been the embankment of a railroad. But no train had run upon it for many years. The forest on either side swelled up the slopes of the embankment and crested across it in a green wave of trees and bushes. The trail was as narrow as a man's body, and was no more than a wild-animal runway. Occasionally, a piece of rusty iron, showing through the forest-mould, advertised that the rail and the ties still remained. In one place, a ten-inch tree, bursting through at a connection, had lifted the end of a rail clearly into view. The tie had evidently followed the rail, held to it by the spike long enough for its bed to be filled with gravel and rotten leaves, so that now the crumbling, rotten timber thrust itself up at a curious slant. Old as the road was, it was manifest that it had been of the mono-rail type.
There is just enough space inside here for one person to live indefinitely, or at least that's what the operation manual says. User can survive inside the TM-31 Recreational Time Travel Device, in isolation, for an indefinite period of time.
There were angels in the glass, two four six many of them, each one shuffling into his place in line like an alderman at the Lord Mayor's show. None was dressed in white; some wore fillets or wreaths of flowers and green leaves in their loose hair; all their eyes were strangely gay. They kept pressing in by one and two, always room for more, they linked arms or clasped their hands behind them, they looked out smiling at the two mortals who looked in at them. All their names began with A.
A warm rain misted down on a small boy standing motionless in the tall, yellow grass. Although he enjoyed the sensation of rain on his skin, the boy's expression remained solemn - too solemn for a child who had seen only five rains wash through the Tamburure. His height and breadth would have been envied by a boy of seven rains' passing.
There are men of violence. There are men who drink. And then there was Ansige, a man with a vice so pathetic as to be laughable. He ate; he lived for his belly. No one would believe that a woman could leave a man for that, but before you scoff, consider this. With his gluttony, he drew in other sins - arrogance complicated by indolent stupidity, lust for comfort, ire when thwarted, avarice in all his business dealings, and a strange conviction that always, somehow, there was some undeserving person who had more food than he did.
Which books/stories did you recognize by their first paragraphs? Which quotes interest you the most, making you curious about what sort of story is being told? Which quotes make you less curious to know from what book they are taken, due to some flaw in the writing?