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Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Entries

Each year, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest lures entrants to write a truly awful first sentence for a novel that no one would want to read. My 1999 entry won a "dishonorable mention," the lowest award possible:

It wasn't the best of times; it wasn't the worst of times; it was the times you'd get if you arranged all possible times (including even fictional times in which the nights were usually dark and stormy) in order from worst to best on the real number line from 0.0 inclusive to 1.0 exclusive and then used a really good uniform random number generator to pick a value in that range thus choosing the corresponding times -- that's the times it was.

(first line from A Tale of Two Statisticians
by Dale "What the Dickens?!" Dellutri)

It was bad enough to be quoted in the New York Times (Sunday, Sep 5, 1999, Section 4, pg 7), and has been added to a number of web pages:

If you know of any other links, please e-mail me .

Unfortunately, my 2000 entry did not receive any award:

On that fateful morning the fog was thick as pea soup, except that it was greyish instead of green, and there weren't any savory spices or tender, pink morsels of ham, and no waiter to offer a tablespoon of cream sherry or a dollop of sour cream, and no sourdough bread, "and shouldn't there be a side spinach salad topped with mandarin oranges and crumbled bacon and egg and a nice honey vinaigrette dressing?" Jack thought.

(first line from The Restaurant Critic Always Eats Twice
by Dale "Five Stars for Ambience!" Dellutri)

And neither did my 2001 entry:

She seemed to him to be a true capital asset, and when they talked about their futures he thought that he was looking at a 60% long-term/40% short-term relationship, but little did he know that a further audit would reveal that she was as ordinary as any Section 1256 contract for which an election under 988(c)(1)(D)(ii) was in effect.

(first line from For I'm the Taxman!
by Dale "28% of the amount over..." Dellutri)

Don't you think they're pretty awful?

I'm beginning to think that I don't quite understand this contest.


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Copyright 2008 Dale A. Dellutri
Last modified: Monday, 17-Jul-2017 16:52:14 EDT