Monday, July 28, 2014

Stuff For Eggheads

These are the 10 winners of last year's Bulwer-Lytton contest
(run by the English Dept of San Jose State University),wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel.

10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber he would never hear the end of it."

9) "Just beyond the Narrows the river widens."

8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: 'Andre creep... Andre creep...Andre creep.'"

6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."

5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from seeking out a living at a local pet store."

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."

3) "Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death -- in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."


1) "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved! aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!'"


  1. Of course he lied. Or maybe that's laid.

  2. ha. i want to read the full novel of that last one...i find it oddly compelling....smiles...

    1. these would probably make a pretty good coffee table collection

  3. Okay. Never thought one line could be so important, but you've proven it is...

  4. As a run on sentence (nearly) the winner was actually a great story. But then that would make it a loser eh?

  5. The turgid bloated prose of the Bulwer-Lytton contestants, combined with the capricious nature of the judges' oh-so-impulsive whims, coalesced to form a translucent web of extreme puzzlement over the reader's jaded consciousness.


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