It was a dark and stormy night…

July 1, 2010

The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels since 1982.

This year’s winner is from Molly Ringle of Seattle:

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss–a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.

A favorite of mine is the winner of the Detective genre by Steve Lynch of San Marcos, CA:

She walked into my office wearing a body that would make a man write bad checks, but in this paperless age you would first have to obtain her ABA Routing Transit Number and Account Number and then disable your own Overdraft Protection in order to do so.

Bulwer-Lytton coined phrases which now have common usage in our language:

  • The pen is mightier than the sword
  • The great unwashed
  • The almighty dollar
  • See more at Brainy Quote

via Shelf Awareness

posting by Lorraine


3 Responses to “It was a dark and stormy night…”

  1. Kelli Says:

    The gerbil passage has to be one of the funniest I’ve ever read. With how creative people must be to begfin with to author a work, I think that level is even loftier to purposely invent drek. I can think of books where I wondered how in the world a publisher had the derring-do put it out there, but they certainly weren’t aiming for that goal!)

  2. Kelli Says:

    That’s “begin”, BTW, not “begfin”.

  3. Lesla Says:

    This is a few days old, but you might enjoy this short e-mail interview with the winner by Paul Constant, the Stranger’s Books editor:

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