View Full Version : From terrible beginnings...

18-07-2003, 13:18:01

The winner of this year's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for bad opening lines to a novel:

Mariann Simms, an aspiring comedy writer from Alabama, US, wrote: "They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white ... Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently."

18-07-2003, 15:06:32

Immortal Wombat
18-07-2003, 16:29:02
So nearly absolute genius, and yet it falls short in the most horrific way... :lol:

18-07-2003, 17:45:17
'GU's favourite entry this year has to be the runner-up in the detective fiction category, from Robert Salsbury:

"Mac was the crustiest ex-LAPD homicide detective with three ex-wives, two mortgages, a greedy daughter wasting time at college, a gay son playing acid-blues punk in some Sacramento dive, and a liver that had been bitch slapped by cheap vodka so many times it looked like a bag of yellow fat, who ever walked into my floral and gift shop."'

:lol: :lol: :lol:

21-07-2003, 22:18:53
Ahhhh ... romance.

"She lay next to him that night, regretting sleeping with another while they were broken up, knowing she had done nothing wrong but feeling vaguely unclean, like freshly washed, once-folded laundry that has been shoved off the bed onto the floor and slept on by the dog."

24-07-2003, 13:26:37
"Had Dorothy known Duncan was a psychopath who would seduce, then brutally murder her, and that her best friend Dana, a forensic pathologist would investigate her death and also fall in love with him, but be saved just in time by Dwayne, her much maligned colleague, perhaps she wouldn't have bought him that Screwdriver."


24-07-2003, 13:38:19
romance at its best

"Anton was attracted to Angela like a moth to a flame - not just any moth, but one of the giant silk moths of the genus Hyalophora, perhaps Hyalophora euryalus, whose great red-brown wings with white basal and postmedian lines flap almost languorously until one ignites in the flame, fanning the conflagration to ever greater heights until burning down to the hirsute thorax and abdomen, the fat-laden contents of which provide a satisfying sizzle to end the agony."

24-07-2003, 13:41:42
are these from real books 100-nil protection?

24-07-2003, 13:45:15
No, they're parodies.

It would be a much funnier contest if the books were real.

An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory if not the reputation of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), who has just enjoyed his bicentennial. The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for The Last Days of Pompeii (1834) and the phrase, "the pen is mightier than the sword," Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, "It was a dark and stormy night."

The contest began in 1982 as a quiet campus affair, attracting only three submissions. This response being a thunderous success by academic standards, the contest went public the following year and ever since has attracted thousands of annual entries from all over the world