Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hats off to Hataitai

The results of the 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, in which entrants are asked to “compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels” have been announced. The winner is Cathy Bryant of Manchester with:
As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting.
There are various genre categories – adventure, children’s literature, fantasy and so on – and the winner of the historical fiction section is Leslie Craven of Hataitai with this:
The “clunk” of the guillotine blade’s release reminded Marie Antoinette, quite briefly, of the sound of the wooden leg of her favourite manservant as he not-quite-silently crossed the polished floors of Versailles to bring her another tray of petit fours.
As always there are gems among the also-rans, for example this from Rebecca Oas of Atlanta, Georgia:
Ronald left this world as he entered it: on a frigid winter night, amid frantic screams and blood-soaked linens, while relatives stood nearby and muttered furious promises to find and punish the man responsible.
And this from Howard Eugene Whitright of Seal Beach, California in the crime section:
The blood seeped out of the body like bad peach juice from a peach that had been left on one side so long the bottom became rotten while it still looked fine on the top but had started to attract fruit flies, and this had the same effect, but with regular flies, that is not say there weren’t some fruit flies around because, after all, this was Miami.
Monitor: Steve “Money Shot” Whitehouse
A week later, Stuff catches up and interviews Leslie Craven. Sadly, he says that he has “no desire to expand the paragraph to a full novel”.

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