Description: Bulwer-Lytton - 1996
Here are some of the winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest,
which honors bad writing:
Grand prize: ``Ace, watch you head!'' hissed Wanda urgently, yet
somehow provocatively, through red, full, sensuous lips, but he
couldn't, you know, since nobody can actually watch more than part of
his nose or a little cheek or lips if he really tries, but he
appreciated her warning.'' - From Janice Estey, Aspen, Colo.
Historical: Ulysses Simpson Grant, having just finished a meal of
Virginia ham, stretched out in his underwear of Mississippi-grown
cotton, puffed heavily on a Georgia cigar, swilled straight bourbon
whiskey, and thought how good it was to be in the Union Army.'' From
Albert Klar Ogden, Stansbury Park, Utah.
Urban realism: ``The city at night has a million stories, like the
woman who, even now, was weeping over the bloody corpse of her lover
lying where she had slashed him from neck to kneecap, or the
12-year-old kid prostrate on the sidewalk after a drug deal gone
wrong, or the babe, desperate to find the stuff that stopped your
dress from sticking to your legs after you ironed it and couldn't find
a convenience store at this black hour in a city without a name.''
From Michael Davies, Mississauga, Ontario.
Romance: ``The flash of lightning startled her - making her breasts
heave, and in that instant of white light she thought of how M-, her
young lover from the estate's cheese works, had so marveled at the
creamy globes so delicately laced with blue veins that he had called
the one Bleu and the other Stilton, and she reflected that she would
never hear those sweet words again - at least not in the context, for
come tomorrow she would be Lady Vile-Conundrum.'' From D.J. Pass,
Prospect, Nova Scotia.
Purple Prose: ``Nigel lifted his Mont Blanc pen and held it in brief
repose as he gazed past the conflagrative crackling of the fire in the
hearth, through the triple-plate bay window, watching the
incandescence of the twinkling stars like the detonation of a million
flashbulbs, and the preponderance of frothy snowflakes blanketing the
earth as creamily as marshmallow fluff, then, refreshed and inspired,
he began to compose his annual Christmas form letter.'' From Linda
Gauer, Norton, Ohio.
Western: Following the unfortunate bucking of his horse when it was
startled by the posse's shots, Tex - who now lay in a disheveled heap
in the sagebrush - pushed back his sweat-stained Stetson from one
deep-set eye, spat a stream of tobacco juice at the nearest cactus,
and reflected momentarily that the men approaching him with ropes
probably weren't just out for a skip, and - if they were - his freshly
broken ankle would have to cause him to decline any entreaties to join
them.'' From Becky Mushko, Roanoke, Va.
Dishonorable Mention, Pun: ``Baron Frankenstein looked up from his
sewing, smiled benignly across the laboratory at his similarly engaged
creation and protege and called, `Yes, yes! Put on a happy face;
tonight will be your first date with the rest of your wife!'' From
Anthony Buckland, of North Vancouver, Canada.
Detective: It was as hot as a jalpeno outside, the smog hung in the
air like bits of pepper on three-day-old cottage cheese, and the
Condiment Police, after extricating themselves from one pickle after
another, were running late in their effort to ketchup with a bad egg
named Sal Sodium who was armed to the teeth and who was stalking a
gorgeous tomato for the twenty-four carrots on her finger, so they
slipped into their flack jackets with relish before moving in on a
salt with a deadly weapon.