Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bad Writing Awards

The 2006 Bulwer-Lytton Awards for bad writing have been announced. This competition in literary parody began in 1982 and is sponsored by San Jose State University. Its name comes from Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), best known for The Last Days of Pompeii and the originator of the phrase long plagiarized by Charles Shultz's Snoopy, "It was a dark and stormy night." (It first appeared in his novel Paul Clifford.) The goal is to submit bad opening sentences for imaginary novels.

There are numerous categories, but given my interests in fiction, I'm only going to quote two of them.

The fantasy fiction winner:

It was within the great stony nostril of a statue of Landrick the Elfin Vicelord that Frodo's great uncle, Jasper Baggins, happened to stumble upon the enchanted Bag of Holding, not to be confused with the Hag of Bolding, who was quite fond of leeks, most especially in a savory Hobbit knuckle stew. - Camille Barigar, Twin Falls, ID

And the science fiction winner:
"Send a message back to Command Central on Earth and ask for their advice, which we will be able receive immediately even at this great distance, thanks to the ingenious manipulation of coherent radiation through a Bose-Einstein condensate and the bizarre influence of the Aspect effect, which enables us to impart identical properties to remotely separated photons," Captain Buzz told the feathered Vjorkog at the comms desk, "and tell them our life-pod is going to explode in eight seconds." - Christopher Backeberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

I think I like the SF winner best... Here is the LINK to the rest of them. Have fun.